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The Common Agricultural Policy: A Benefit or Barrier to Biodiversity Conservation in General and Bird Conservation in Particular?

Butler, Maya (2015) The Common Agricultural Policy: A Benefit or Barrier to Biodiversity Conservation in General and Bird Conservation in Particular? Master of Science by Research (MScRes) thesis, University of Kent,. (doi:10.22024/UniKent/01.02.47657) (Access to this publication is currently restricted. You may be able to access a copy if URLs are provided) (KAR id:47657)

Language: English

Restricted to Repository staff only until 1 March 2092.

[thumbnail of Final MSc piece.pdf]
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The Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) is the principal agricultural framework for the 28 Member States of Europe. It provides subsidies to promote efficient, environmentally sustainable, productive farming practices. The environment and the conservation of wildlife thus form an integral component of CAP via two ‘pillars’: the newly introduced “greening” in Pillar I, which will come into effect in 2015 and the agri-environmental schemes of Pillar II. Whether changes such as greening will be more or less advantageous to the environment remains to be seen. This thesis examines the role that CAP and its schemes (current and proposed) play in biodiversity conservation, as well as the attitudes of key stakeholders towards them. Research objectives include critiquing the agri-environmental schemes of the 2007-2013 CAP and forecasting the likely uptake of new schemes in the 2014-2020 reformed CAP, as well as the potential biodiversity value of these.

Surveying a range of key stakeholders from research sites in East Kent and North Cornwall, as well as representatives from Parliament and the European Commission, I used a mixed-methods approach – postal survey and in-depth interviews. I hypothesised that scheme uptake would be limited due to financial constraints, compliance issues and bureaucracy, but that with greening, biodiversity outcomes would likely be reached. My research uncovered the threat that, because greening will be an annual non-contractual agreement that dilutes restrictions and compliance, making sustained environmental gains questionable, farmers may disregard schemes because of greening such that the outcomes for wildlife could be jeopardised.

However, with more stakeholder collaboration and further policy refinement, CAP does have the potential to successfully promote its aims of conservation and food production.

Item Type: Thesis (Master of Science by Research (MScRes))
Thesis advisor: Rootes, Professor Christopher
DOI/Identification number: 10.22024/UniKent/01.02.47657
Additional information: The author of this thesis has requested that it be held under closed access. We are sorry but we will not be able to give you access or pass on any requests for access. 24/02/2022
Uncontrolled keywords: Environmental Social Science Agriculture Bird Conservation
Subjects: G Geography. Anthropology. Recreation > GE Environmental Sciences
H Social Sciences
Q Science > QH Natural history > QH75 Conservation (Biology)
Divisions: Divisions > Division for the Study of Law, Society and Social Justice > School of Social Policy, Sociology and Social Research
Depositing User: Users 1 not found.
Date Deposited: 13 Mar 2015 01:00 UTC
Last Modified: 24 Feb 2022 11:51 UTC
Resource URI: (The current URI for this page, for reference purposes)

University of Kent Author Information

Butler, Maya.

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