Project deliverable Open Access
Panoutsou, C.; Singh, A.; Christensen, T.
Marginal land rehabilitation to grow industrial crops presents a unique opportunity for deliver-ing commitments for the Renewable Energy Directive (RED II), global climate change goals, and sustainable bio- based products without interfering with European food security. Moreo-ver, the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP), under Pillar II, has set support measures for Less Favoured Areas (LFA), High Nature Value Farming (HNV), Areas of Natural Constraints (ANC) to prevent land abandonment.
Marginal lands are in large part attributed to agricultural land which has been abandoned. This is a major problem in terms of environmental, socioeconomic and landscape implica-tions as it can cause uniform landscapes, higher risks of fires, reduced biodiversity adapted to man-made environments, reductions in river flows and less water in basins, loss of cultural landscapes and management techniques required for their conservation, and loss of arable land and pastures, which could be essential for the sustainable development of rural com-munities.
The aim of identifying ‘Good Practices’ is to understand the context of using marginal land for cropping, the state and prospects for industrial crops, the conditions framing their cultivation and the supply chains as well as their operational capacities across time and development stages. The process of identifying the ‘Good Practice’ involves gathering information on suc-cesses and failures of growing industrial crops on marginal lands in different contexts and lessons learned from them followed up with analysis of what works, what does not work and why. The ‘Good Practice’ can be assessed based on a combination of technical, environ-mental, economic and socio-economic criteria and indicators.
It will follow practices which rehabilitate the biophysical constraints related to the soil and wa-ter conditions of the land while improving environmental, economic and societal establish-ments and operational aspects of the value chain. These practices will lead a path to policy success in integrating industrial crops cultivated in marginal lands in bio-based value chains.