What is RISE?
RISE is a philanthropic foundation that aims to promote a sustainable, profitable and internationally competitive rural economy across Europe and to preserve the European countryside, its environment and biodiversity, cultural heritage and traditions. RISE works through supporting innovative pilot projects, think tank work on rural and environmental issues, and by providing a platform for debate on key issues that affect rural communities.
RISE Launches Sustainable Intensification Report
June 24, The RISE Foundation launched our report The Sustainable Intensification of European Agriculture. The report was launched at the Center for European Policy Studies (CEPS) by Professor Jo Swinnen, former EU Agricultural Commissioner and RISE CEO Dr. Franz Fischler and project coordinator Professor Allan Buckwell of the Institute for European Environmental Policy (IEEP).
The concept of Sustainable Intensification (SI) is used in the context of feeding a global population expected to reach 9 billion by 2050. The RISE report comprises the first analysis of SI in a European context, and argues it must be the paradigm within which future agricultural policy is made in the EU.
The report makes three key points:
- The agricultural input which needs to be intensified across all of Europe is knowledge per hectare. This means knowledge in managing delicate ecosystems, knowledge to ensure that pollinator populations thrive, knowledge to make water management minimise flooding, as well as knowledge to achieve more food output per hectare.
- The EU needs to devise a measurement tool for environmental farming performance. It would be strongly preferable to build on an EU-wide set of indicators already developed, for example the Joint Research Centre’s IRENA indicators.
- In addition to better enforcement of existing environmental regulations, and using policy measures under the CAP, changes in farming practices must also come from farmers and private actors themselves. Many companies up- and downstream already operate sustainability schemes, some of which are reviewed in the report. These should be strengthened and broadened, with more efforts to monitor and demonstrate their impact.
“This report represents the first systematic look at the policies needed to prepare European agriculture for the challenges of the 21st century. It represents a tremendous contribution to future rounds of CAP reform”, said Dr. Franz Fischler.
“The report makes clear that the next increase in global food output must come from continued intensification of existing agricultural land, and that this must be accompanied by a steep reduction in the negative environmental consequences of agriculture”, commented Professor Buckwell. “The last round of negotiations failed to produce meaningful green reform of the CAP, which is why this report is written with the 2017 mid-term review in mind”.