Title: Scientific contribution on combining biophysical criteria underpinning the delineation of agricultural areas affected by specific constraints
Editors: TERRES Jean
Publisher: Publications Office
Publication Year: 2014
JRC N°: JRC92686
ISBN: 978-92-79-44340-4
ISSN: 1831-9424
Other Identifiers: EUR 26940
OP LB-NA-26940-EN-N
URI: http://publications.jrc.ec.europa.eu/repository/handle/JRC92686
DOI: 10.2788/844501
Type: EUR - Scientific and Technical Research Reports
Abstract: Support for farming in areas facing natural constraints aims at compensating farmers for disadvantages due to adverse biophysical conditions. EU regulation No 1305/2013 provides grounds to delineate, amongst others, ‘areas with specific constraints’ through the combination of biophysical criteria of Annex III when at least two of the biophysical criteria are present within a margin of not more than 20% of the threshold value initially defined. An ad-hoc panel of experts, under JRC steering, has prepared guidance and recommendations on the plausible combination of criteria and relevant sub-severe thresholds. However, the experts have also underlined the uncertainties of this exercise due to data availability and the complexity of soil-climate-plant interactions. The eight biophysical criteria (indeed 14 sub-criteria) were cross-tabulated to examine the resulting 91 pairwise combinations. These can result in negative or positive synergies, no interaction, unclear synergy; some combinations are not possible. Moreover, specific cases were also identified where criteria combinations are not appropriate (e.g. when criteria are conceptually linked). An assessment of the threshold values towards the 20% margin was carried-out and revealed that the application of the exact threshold value is not always possible or reasonable. As a consequence, five approaches to this situation were defined and accordingly applied to the concerned criteria. For each criterion, the rationale and justification for the sub-severe threshold application are provided in the document. For the combination of criteria, factsheets were prepared for all negative (25 cases), positive (3 cases) and unclear synergies (5 cases).
JRC Directorate:Sustainable Resources

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