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As countries are increasingly using a wide range of policy measures to address agri-environmental issues, indicators provide crucial information to monitor and analyse the effects of those policies on the environment.
They can also help the understanding and analysis of the environmental effects of future policy scenarios and agricultural projections.
- In OECD countries, agriculture uses on average over 40% of land and water resources, and thus has significant affect on the environment.
- Agricultural nutrient balance surpluses have decreased in OECD countries since the early 1990s, pesticide use has declined and soil erosion has stabilised.
- Agricultural water use has grown more rapidly than total water use in OECD countries, mainly driven by an expansion in the total OECD irrigated area.
OECD agri-environmental indicators
To help improve measurement of the environmental performance of agriculture, OECD has established a set of agri-environmental indicators, with development of the indicators in cooperation with Eurostat and FAO. These indicators inform policy makers and society on the state and trends in agri-environmental conditions, and can provide a valuable aid to policy analysis.
>> Find out more: Agriculture's Environmental Performance (pdf, 2 pages, 57 KB)
Environmental Performance of Agriculture in OECD Countries Since 1990 (published 2008)
The times series primary database used for the indicators in this report provides cross-country coverage on an annual basis since 1990 (where available):
- Full list of the OECD agri-environmental indicators used in chapter 1 of Environmental Performanace of Agriculture in OECD Countries Since 1990 and an assessment of the indicators according to the OECD indicator criteria - policy relevance, analytical soundness, measurability, and ease of interpretation.
- Other agri-environmental indicators for which either methodologies and/or data sets are not yet at a stage that allows for representative comparative OECD country coverage or in certain cases (e.g. cultural landscape indicators and water retaining capacity) are only policy-relevant to some OECD countries.
Environmental Performance of Agriculture in OECD Countries Since 1990
This report, published as a full publication and a shorter 'at a glance' summary, 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 30 countries.
You can access data and chapters by environmental theme and by country, and consult previous editions.
Environmental Indicators for Agriculture:
Papers and proceedings from OECD workshops on agri-environmental indicators:
- OECD Workshop on Agri-environmental Indicators
At this workshop held in Leysin, Switzerland in March 2010, participants reviewed the current OECD agri-environmental indicators and considered future directions for the indicators in meeting the needs of policy makers.
- Farm management indicators and the environment
Proceedings of an OECD Expert Meeting, Palmerston North, New Zealand, March 2004 on the development of indicators that track the impact of different farm management practices on the environment.
- Agricultural impacts on soil erosion and soil biodiversity: developing indicators for policy analysis
Proceedings from an OECD Expert Meeting, Rome, Italy, March 2003 on the development of soil erosion and soil biodiversity indicators for policy purposes.
- Agriculture and land conservation: developing indicators for policy analysis
Proceedings from an OECD Expert Meeting, Kyoto, Japan, May 2003 on the development of land conservation indicators for policy purposes.
- Agricultural water quality and water use: developing indicators for policy analysis
Proceedings from an OECD Expert Meeting, Gyeongju, Korea, October 2003 on the development of agricultural water quality and water use indicators for policy purposes.
- Soil organic carbon and agriculture: developing indicators for policy analysis
Proceedings from an OECD Expert Meeting, Ottawa, Canada, October 2002 on the development of indicators that track the state and trends in agriculture's soil organic carbon.
- Agricultural impacts on landscapes: developing indicators for policy analysis
Proceedings from an OECD Expert Meeting, Oslo, Norway, October 2002 on the development of indicators that track the state and trends in agricultural landscapes.
- Agriculture and biodiversity: developing indicators for policy analysis
Proceedings from an OECD Expert Meeting, Zurich, Switzerland, November 2001 on the development of indicators that track the state and trends in agriculture's impact on biodiversity.
Find more OECD data, analysis and publications at these sites:
For more information on OECD work on water use in agriculture, write to the OECD Trade and Agriculture Directorate: email@example.com
Bookmark this page: www.oecd.org/agriculture/env/indicators