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Sustainable adaptation of typical EU farming systems to climate change (LIFE AGRI ADAPT)
Start date: Sep 1, 2016, End date: Dec 31, 2019 PROJECT  FINISHED 

Background The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) predicted in its 2014 report that climate change would have negative impacts on agriculture for the rest of this century, even in temperate zones such as in Europe. Integration of adaptation measures into the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) and Cohesion Policy can increase the resilience of EU agriculture to climate change. Objectives LIFE AGRI ADAPT aims to increase the resilience of EU agriculture to climate change by demonstrating sustainable best-practice adaptation measures with an ecosystem-based approach at farm level. The reasons for this are twofold: to further integrate adaptation into the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP), Cohesion Policy, the Thematic Strategy for Soil Protection and EU Biodiversity strategy; and to exchange best practice and raise awareness of climate change vulnerabilities and adaptation options, a priority of the EU Strategy on adaptation to climate change. Specific project objectives include: Improving the knowledge base for the development, assessment and monitoring of climate change vulnerability at farm level by developing and testing a common method ready for use in the four EU climate risk areas; Testing sustainable measures and management approaches for climate change adaptation by identifying and implementing them with concrete action plans on 120 pilot farms covering the three main farming systems (arable land, livestock, permanent crops) in the four EU climate risk areas. The pilot farms will be located in Spain, France, Germany and Estonia and cover 29 600 ha in total; Promoting sustainable adaptation measures and enhancing the capacity to apply that knowledge in practice by demonstrating those measures to farmers, farmers’ associations, agronomists, food standards agencies and agricultural insurance companies; Raising awareness amongst farmers and future farmers of sustainable as regards sustainable adaptation options at farm level by developing, creating and disseminating training packages; and Contributing to the development and implementation of EU policy on climate change adaptation by transferring best-practice and know-how to political, agricultural and food business stakeholders at regional, national and European level, and by mainstreaming across policy areas. The project is expected to achieve the following: Produce four baseline reports (one for each EU climate risk area) and distribute those reports to a total of 400 climate experts and agricultural stakeholders; Compile adaptation measures tailored to arable land, livestock and crop farmers for the 120 pilot farms participating in the LIFE project; Produce an adaptation assessment and action plan for each of the 120 pilot farms, developed in collaboration with the farmers; Reduce vulnerability to climate change by 50% on each of the participating pilot farms; Develop a tool for the assessment of climate change vulnerability at farm level in the four EU climate risk areas; Identify general proposals for sustainable adaptation measures per farming system, based on results from the pilot farms and disseminate those results to political, agricultural and food business stakeholders at national and EU level and beyond; and Demonstrate “Farming Adaptation Training Packages” at workshops and other events.

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