Environmental Engineering Reference
to a policy that determines the policy result, but it is the combination of the farmers
action within the environmental context. The appraisal needs to be spatially explicit
as it is not sufficient for policy makers to know what the impact will be, but it is
also important to know where the impacts will be and how and why they vary in
different regions in the EU. An agri-environmental stratification should provide a
sampling basis for assessing the impacts of European Union policy in the wide
variation of combinations of farming activities and environmental endowments.
It enables to measure the effect of farming in response to policy across the widely
varying environmental conditions. The classifying factors of the typology are based
on environmental factors that are relatively stable in time and do not change under
influence of antropogenic factors, at least not in a short period of time (Cochran 1997;
Bunce et al. 1996 a).
Requirements of a Spatial Agri-environmental Framework
The AEnZ needs to be an agri-environmental framework that systematically
covers the wide range of combinations between farming activities and environments
that together determine the effects of farming on the environmental objectives of
Minimum requirements of such a framework are:
It should provide a good overview of the agri-environmental diversity in Europe
supporting the development of agri-environmental modelling that is applicable
to the main agricultural production areas in Europe. It should therefore be based
on soil and climate factors, slope and altitude. Land cover and yield data were
not incorporated as they can easily change under influence of human interference.
They can be used as attributes to describe the AEnZs.
It should provide a statistically robust classification that can be used as a sampling
and up-scaling basis for collection of farm information and (point) modelling of
It should cover the whole of Europe (EU27+, i.e. EU27 and Norway, Switzerland
and the Balkan countries) which leads to the requirement for similar input data
with a European-wide coverage.
It should not duplicate any existing environmental classification but rather build
on these and further extend these classifications for the specific requirements of
The selection of input data for the AEnZ is based on user requirements, experience
from former projects and the availability of data at the European scale, such as the
2006b) and land use/land cover (Büttner et al. 2004) , the weather data in the
Monitoring of Agriculture with Remote Sensing (MARS) climate database