Populations of birds, mammals, reptiles, amphibians and insects across Europe are declining sharply due to harmful intensive farming practices. Europe’s leading scientists are therefore calling on the European Union to reform the currently destructive Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) and, consequently, to halt its, often irreversible, eradication of nature.
Organizations across Europe and beyond, represented by 2,500 scientists, addressed the European Parliament for the first time today in an open letter. The letter emphasizes the common scientific recognition that the growing loss of biodiversity is strongly linked to the intensification of agriculture, adding that the European Union should adapt agricultural policy, currently a key driver of nature destruction, to climate change and biodiversity loss in the future.
At present, the citizens of the European Union pay almost € 60 billion in taxes for the payment of subsidies under the common agricultural policy, most of which finances intensive and industrial agriculture. However, this type of farming model directly leads to the loss of biodiversity, water and air pollution, excessive water abstraction, a drastic increase in pesticide use and contributes to the climate crisis.
In a letter to scientists agree that the aforementioned way of farming has led to a steep decline in European populations of farmland birds. The latter was between 1980 and 2015 is more than 55%. Similar trends have been detected in other plant and animal species that are tied to the agricultural landscape. In nature reserves Germany has been in 27 years, recorded a 76% decline in populations of insects. The above trends are worrying, because they are less numerous existing population more vulnerable to extinction. The key reasons for the decline of biodiversity in the agricultural landscape, the scientists exposed the removal of certain landscape elements (eg. Hedges and trees), the use of pesticides, the spread of irrigation systems and the loss of grazing land.
In support letter to Harriet Bradley, associate in the field of agricultural policy, BirdLife Europe, he says: “Scientific evidence speak for themselves – intensive farming kills nature. If the common agricultural policy will comprehensively amended – if we do not make room for nature – then the promise of the Green agreement for Europe in relation to biodiversity and the climate just empty words on paper have one additional