UK Environmental Land Management update: how government will pay for land-based environment and climate goods and services

UK Department for Environment, Food & Rural Affairs| Source Download |

Introduction: Embarking on a groundbreaking shift from the EU's Common Agricultural Policy (CAP), England is undergoing a historic reform of agricultural policy and spending. The transition aims to move from land-based subsidies to Environmental Land Management schemes, fostering sustainable practices, environmental conservation, and improved services for farmers.

Key Objectives

  • Phasing Out Land Subsidies: The Agricultural Transition seeks to phase out subsidies for land ownership and tenure, focusing on incentivizing sustainable practices, environmental conservation, and efficient services for farmers.
  • Expanding Environmental Land Management Schemes: As a crucial component of the transition, Environmental Land Management schemes will incentivize farmers and land managers to provide environmental goods and services alongside food production. This shift aligns with ambitious targets for climate and environmental sustainability.
  • Improving Services for Farmers: Recognizing the importance of farmer engagement, the transition emphasizes the improvement of services for farmers and land managers. Clearer, fairer, and more effective regulations are integral to achieving key outcomes in food, environment, and welfare policies.

Reforms and Strategies:

  • Sustainable Farming Incentive (SFI): Pay farmers to adopt and maintain sustainable farming practices, supporting natural environment enhancement, farm productivity, and improved animal health.
  • Countryside Stewardship (CS): Incentivize targeted actions related to specific locations, features, and habitats. Encourage collaborative efforts across local areas for more impactful results.
  • Regulatory Evolution: Incentivize farmers to surpass regulatory requirements in phases. The regulatory baseline will adapt over time, targeting payments toward impactful environmental services.
  • Flexible Approach and Farmer Accessibility: Offer accessible and flexible options for farmers to adopt sustainable practices. The scheme will evolve to incentivize combinations of actions at a larger scale for significant environmental impact.