Impacts of the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) on Biodiversity, Ecosystem Services and People

iCAP-BES is a Strategic Project of iDiv

Guy Pe’er

Project Leader
Phone: +49 341 9733182
Email: guy.peer@idiv.de

iDiv / UFZ

Dept. Ecosystem Services

Agriculture and Ecosystem Services "hub" (Group leader)

Events, news and products

11.7.2023: Scientists support the EU’s Green Deal and reject the unjustified argumentation against the Sustainable Use Regulation (SUR) and the Nature Restoration Law (NRL)

See here for more information and the letter by 24 scientists, signed by 6,000 scientists across the EU and 30 more countries. 

Reference: Pe’er, G., J. Kachler, I. Herzon, D. Hering, A. Arponen, L. Bosco, H. Bruelheide, M. Friedrichs-Manthey, G. Hagedorn, B. Hansjürgens, E. Ladouceur, S. Lakner, C. Liquete, I.S. Pinto, M. Quaas, M. Robuchon, D. Saavedra, N. Selva, J. Settele, C. Sirami, N. M. van Dam, H. Wittmer, E.R. J. Wubs, and A. Bonn (2023) Scientists support the EU’s Green Deal and reject the unjustified argumentation against the Sustainable Use Regulation and the Nature Restoration Law. Open letter (Full Version, 9.7.2023). Doi: 10.5281/zenodo.8033784


9.2.2023: Verbesserung der Lebensraummöglichkeiten für Kiebitz und Rebhuhn in Ackerland und Grünland in Deutschland.

The conservation schemes and the online event material are available here.


Recommendations from >300 scientists to improve CAP's performance for biodiversity:

6.2022: Paper published in Conservation Letters (open access)

5.2021: Public event and report:

CAP post-2020: Recommendations from >300 scientists to improve performance for biodiversity

2021: GrazeLIFE Project Report: How can the CAP and other policies support extensive grazing (Link)

2020: >3600 Scientists call for action to improve the CAP for people and nature


The aim of iCAP-BES is to facilitate a shift from identifying problems to designing and promoting solutions for improving farmland biodiversity, ecosystem services, and rural societies in Europe.

Specific objectives

Assess the CAP’s impacts on nature and people.

Identify and evaluate cascading effects of the CAP in Europe and globally.

Engaging in a close dialogue with policy makers and societal actors to enhance the uptake of existing and generated knowledge for a more sustainable CAP.

Project questions and activities

Q1: How can impacts of the CAP in its entirety, on nature (BD and ESS) and people (income and inequities), be better measured?

Action 1.1: Integrative analysis of (joint) paths of biodiversity and rural societies.

Action 1.2: Improve targets and indicators and provide guidelines for monitoring.

Q2: How does the CAP affect the sustainability of agricultural production in Europe?

Action 2: Analysis of CAP effects on production, with a focus on:
a) support for animal products (coupled and decoupled Direct Payments, AECM for extensive grazing) and
b) support for sustainable farming systems through CAP payments, labelling and certification.

Q3: How can CAP instruments be improved to promote habitat restoration and contribute to climate change mitigation and adaptation?

Action 3: Identify risks and opportunities for the CAP regarding climate change mitigation and adaptation, and the role of natural capital and restoration in this context, through literature reviews, policy analyses and a SWOT analysis (Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats)

Q4: How can behavioural (societal) action and governance changes be fostered toward better protection and restoration of farmland BD, ESS and rural societies?

Action 4.1: Support decision-making, with focus on landscape-level planning and result-based implementation

Action 4.2: Advancing the concept of a “socio-ecological frontier”

Strategic aims and actions

Enhance interdisciplinarity in iDiv

Support action-oriented research to promote evidence-based decision-making

Enhance strategic cooperation with key research institutes and societal actors (NGOs, GOs, companies)


Related projects


CAP4GI (Link) 2020-2024

Agroecology-TRANSECT (Link) 2022-2026


Birds@Farmlands (Developing tools to support farmland bird conservation in the EU) 2021-2022

GrazeLIFE(www.grazelife.eu) 2019-2021


Project partners

Aletta Bonn, UFZ / iDiv / Univ. of Jena
Bernd Hansjürgens, UFZ / iDiv
Martin Quaas, iDiv / U Leipzig
Christian Wirth, iDiv / U Leipzig
Nicole van Dam, iDiv / Univ. of Jena
Sebastian Lakner, Uni Rostock
Norbert Röder, Thünen Insttitute
Maren Birkenstock, Thünen Insttitute
Jens Dauber, Thünen Insttitute
Francisco Moreira, CIBIO / InBIO
Ângela Lomba, CIBIO / InBIO
Kimberly Nicholas, U Lund
Henrik Smith, U Lund
Clélia Siarmi, INRAE
Ralf Seppelt, UFZ / iDiv
Birgit Müller, UFZ

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