Environmental Performance of Agriculture in OECD Countries Since 1990

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In OECD countries, agriculture uses on average over 40% of land and water resources, and thus has significant affect on the environment. This report provides the latest and most comprehensive data and analysis on the environmental performance of agriculture in OECD countries since 1990. It covers key environmental themes including soil, water, air and biodiversity and looks at recent policy developments in all 30 countries.

Over recent years the environmental performance of agriculture has improved in many countries, largely due to consumer pressure and changing public opinion. Many OECD countries are now tracking the environmental performance of agriculture, which is informing policy makers and society on the trends in agri-environmental conditions, and can provide a valuable aid to policy analysis. The indicators in this report provide crucial information to monitor and analyse the wide range of policy measures used in agriculture today, and how they are affecting the environment. 

Did You Know?  In OECD countries, agriculture uses on average 40% of land and water resources.

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Using Agri-environmental Indicators for Policy Analysis

Agri-environmental Indicators (AEIs) can contribute to the needs of policy makers and other users in a number of ways examined in this chapter. A brief overview is provided in Section 4.1 of recent developments in domestic agricultural support; agri-environmental policy measures; and multilateral environmental agreements affecting agriculture, in particular, drawing a link to the material included in the country sections of Chapter 3. Section 4.2 discusses how selected OECD countries and international organisations, including OECD, are using AEIs as part of their toolkit to report on the environmental performance of agriculture. A selective literature review in Section 4.3 examines how AEIs are being used by OECD member governments, the OECD and other international governmental organisations, and other researchers, in analysing the linkages between the effects of agricultural and environmental policies on environment outcomes. Finally, Section 4.4 highlights where key gaps exist in terms of knowledge, methodologies, and data which are limiting the use of AEIs for reporting the state and trends of environmental conditions in agriculture and as a tool in policy analysis.

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