Ecosystem Services: European Agricultural Law and Rural Development

Brian Jack

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter (peer-reviewed)peer-review


This chapter examines the concept of ecosystem services and analyses the role that the European Union’s Common Agricultural Policy (“the CAP”) is playing in supporting and protecting these services throughout the European Union. The chapter begins by exploring both the nature and condition of ecosystem services before going on to examine the commitments that have been made in international and European Union environmental policies to protect these services. The chapter then provides a brief examination of the severe impact that early CAP production policies had upon ecosystems producing important ecosystem services. Over recent decades, no less than six major reform packages have been introduced and have made fundamental changes to the CAP. The most recent of these occurred with the regulations introduced on December 2013, which are intended to govern European agriculture until the end of 2020. In the light of these reforms, the chapter analyses the modern CAP and questions whether the policy measures currently available provide the degree of protection and support for ecosystem services that is envisaged by the European Union’s environmental policy. Finally, the chapter points out that, in addition to the CAP, private markets are also likely to develop, providing payments for landowners who help to protect ecosystem services.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationLaw and Agroecology: A Transdisciplinary Dialogue
EditorsM Monteduro, P. Buongiorno, S. Di Benedetto, A. Isoni
Place of PublicationBerlin
Number of pages24
ISBN (Electronic)9783662466179
ISBN (Print)9783662466162
Publication statusPublished - 2015


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