WP8 aims to identify ways in which the data, increased understanding, specific tools and indicators and more empirical insights from iSQAPER can be deployed in policies relating to soils and agriculture, with particular reference to the EU’s Common Agricultural Policy. Lessons will be drawn from the different WPs to help to refine and design policy options, including mechanisms such as the Good Agricultural and Environmental Condition (GAEC) component of cross-compliance, the new “Greening” element of Direct Payments, and agri-environment schemes, and also for potential new incentives to encourage the adoption of practices favourable to good soil condition. Soil monitoring tools have the potential to allow a more proactive role for farmers in meeting defined objectives. Policy measures can be better calibrated to the most effective forms of agricultural management, and progress made towards a more strongly result-based approach in agri-environmental policy.

The main activities of WP8 will be: i) a stocktake of existing policy measures aimed at improved soil management and their scientific underpinning; ii) to build on WPs 3-7, to extract policy relevant data and insights for the design of specific measures addressing agricultural soils; iii) to demonstrate how SQAPP can be utilized for different policy purposes, e.g. in cross compliance and agri-environmental measures, or by integrating soil quality objectives in policies aimed at improving productivity; and iv) to draw wider policy conclusions relevant to Pillars 1 and 2 of the CAP, and their further development post 2020.

Deliverables will include i) an initial stocktake report on existing policy measures at different levels of governance (EU, national, regional); ii) an inventory of policy relevant data and sources extracted from WPs 3-7 and applicable to policy design; iii) a short report on the potential for applying SQAPP to different policy challenges and settings (TRL7); iv) a brief report on the existing and new agriculture and environment policy frameworks in the EU and in China, thereby identifying relevant entry points within the policy arena; and v) conclusions on lessons for agricultural and environmental policy, including the post 2020 CAP.

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