Sustainable agriculture



At the regional country level various European institutions are involved in the process of establishing agri-environmental indicators. Most importantly is the recent request from the European Union Council Summit meeting in Helsinki, December 1999, to establish indicators for the integration of environmental concerns into the Common Agricultural Policy (Commission of the European Union, 2000). An initial response to this request has been a joint Report by the European Commission and EUROSTAT to provide statistical information on agriculture, environment and rural development (European Commission, 1999; and EUROSTAT, 1999). The European Environment Agency is involved with developing environmental indicators, which include an agricultural focus (European Environment Agency, 2000).

Under the auspices of the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), the Commission for Environmental Co-operation is developing an analytical framework to address environmental concerns, including issues related to agriculture (CEC, 1999). Major components of the framework are indicators for assessing how NAFTA-associated processes generate environmental pressures and responses that affect air, water, land and biodiversity.

Australia and New Zealand have a collaborative effort to oversee the process of defining, promoting and monitoring progress toward sustainable agriculture (Agricultural Council of Australia and New Zealand, 1996).


Agricultural Council of Australia and New Zealand (1996), Indicators for Sustainable Agriculture: Evaluation of Pilot Testing. Report prepared for the Sustainable Land and Water Resources Management Committee, Standing Committee on Agriculture and Resource Management, CSIRO Publications, Victoria, Australia.

CEC [Commission for Environmental Cooperation] (1999), "Environmental Impacts and Indicators", Chapter V of Issue Study 1, pp. 153-167, in CEC, Assessing Environmental Effects of the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA): An Analytic Framework (Phase II) and Issue Studies, Montreal, Canada. Available at: [English _#sup_62; Publications and Information Resources _#sup_62; CEC Publications _#sup_62; Environment, Economy and Trade]

Commission of the European Union (2000), Communication from the Commission to the Council and the European Parliament - Indicators for the Integration of Environmental Concerns into the Common Agricultural Policy, COM(2000)20Final, 26 January, Brussels, Belgium.

European Commission (1999), Agriculture, Environment, Rural Development: Facts and Figures - A Challenge for Agriculture, Office for Official Publications of the European Communities, Luxembourg. Available at:

EEA [European Environment Agency] (2000), Environmental Signals 2000, Environmental Assessment Report No. 6, Copenhagen, Denmark. Available at: [_#sup_62; all available reports]

EUROSTAT [Statistical Office of the European Communities] (1999), Towards Environmental Pressure Indicators for the EU, Environment and Energy Paper Theme 8, Luxembourg. The background documentation is available at: and


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