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WFD meets CAP -

Towards the first River Management Plan

18 - 19 September 2008, Bonn



Conference background

Conference Summary [pdf, English, 209 KB]

 

In 2005-2006, the EU Strategic Steering Group on Agriculture (SSG) mainly focused its activity on identifying the gaps between WFD requirements and existing CAP. A first analysis of agricultural pressures and impacts on water bodies was prepared. The level of analysis possible in the first round was limited as it was in advance of the river basin management plans and their associated programmes of measures (that must be drafted by 2008 and adopted by 2009). Few practical case studies were therefore available and part of this work remains theoretical. Now one year before the first River Basin Management plans have to be completed the situation has changed and first examples of how to deal with agriculture in these plans are available.


In recognition of the acuteness of water scarcity and drought challenges in Europe, the Commission adopted a Communication on these issues on 18 July 2007. This Communication identifies measures of water saving, water efficiency and land use that can bear fruit in the short term in all sectors includ-ing agriculture.

Likewise climate change and energy have become high priorities, as the EU is taking the lead to build a global low carbon economy. In March 2007, the European Council adopted conclusions to reduce CO2 emissions and to set a binding 20% target for the use of renewable energy sources, including a 10% share of biofuels in petrol and diesel consumption. Agriculture and forestry can make an impor-tant contribution in providing the feed stocks for bio-energy, in carbon sequestration and in further reducing GHG emissions but the development of biofuels could also further affect the quality and quantity of water resources.


So the water – agricultural link has become more important over the last years and it is time to discuss practical approaches on how to fulfil the different demands and objectives, namely meeting the environmental objectives of the Water Framework Directive, ensuring food supply and the energy supply required to mitigate the impacts of climate change, ensuring adaptation of agriculture to climate change including increasing water scarcity and droughts.


Aim and objectives of the conference
In light of the background described above the conference will provide a forum to discuss the different approaches to set up the first RBMP with regard to agriculture. This will cover general approaches but also specific issues like water pricing or the use of exemptions.

The conference should also allow to develop ways of addressing the new challenges coming from climate change, bioenergy production and increasing water scarcity and droughts. The event should be used to exchange different experiences gained and lessons learned from the different approaches.


In order to achieve the highest benefits the conference will include working groups and a discussion in the plenary session.

 

 


Conference organised by Ecologic on behalf of:


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