Agriculture and the Environment: A Sustainable Complementarity

Observer 203, December 1996/January 1997
The impact of agriculture on the environment is a major issue for agricultural policy in OECD countries. All of them recognise the importance of the sustainable management of natural resources. And with the reform of agricultural policy now underway, many countries are setting environmental conditions in granting support to farmers. But what are the impacts, both harmful and beneficial, of agriculture and agricultural policies on the environment? Which policy measures are countries using to deal with environmental issues in agriculture? The OECD is about to publish three studies that explore aspects of these issues. One examines the scope for developing quantitative data on the environmental effects of agriculture. A second explores the environmental effects of land-diversion schemes. And the third study examines low-cost, farmer led, co-operative approaches to tackling environmental problems.
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