Published April 1, 2024 | Version 1
Working paper Open

Agroforestry systems in the Spanish CAP Strategic Plan: analysis and reflection

  • 1. ROR icon University of Extremadura
  • 2. ROR icon Centre Tecnològic Forestal de Catalunya
  • 3. European Agroforestry Federation (EURAF)
  • 4. ROR icon University of Vic
  • 5. Centre de la Propietat Forestal
  • 6. Oficina Catalana del Canvi Climatic (DACC)
  • 7. ROR icon Centre for Research on Ecology and Forestry Applications
  • 8. DACC
  • 9. AGRESTA


  • We analyse the inclusion of agroforestry systems (agroforestry) in the Spanish CAP Strategic Plan 2023-27 (CSP), and other related national and regional plans and regulations. The CSP establishes a maximum of 100 trees/ha for agroforestry to remain classified as “arable land” or “permanent crops”, although autonomous regions have the option to reduce this threshold. In “permanent pasture” agroforestry is defined in a more flexible way, based on remotely-sensed information, including LIDAR, and the calculation of a “coefficient of eligibility” for basic payments. 
  • Pillar I of the CAP (Direct Payments) describes nine Good Agricultural and Environmental Conditions (GAEC/GAEC) which should be maintained by farmers and administrations. Three of these are particularly relevant to agroforestry: GAEC-8 (maintaining landscape features), GAEC-1 (preserving ratios of permanent pasture) and GAEC-9 (ban on converting permanent pasture in Natura 2000 sites).
  • Also in Pillar I is the new concept of eco-schemes. From the nine eco-schemes implemented by Spain, there are six that may be relevant to agroforestry - in particular those related to extensive grazing and the maintenance of vegetative cover in permanent crops.
  • Pillar II of the CAP includes various rural development measures relevant to agroforestry. There are 28 "investment" or "agri-environment-climate" measures in Spain, and at least 13 could be used for the establishment and maintenance of agroforestry - however only two of these explicitly use the term in their titles.
  • Agroforestry-related measures have been activated in 10 - 11 autonomous regions. All regions have activated at least 4 of the 13 measures, with an average of 7 measures per region.
  • In the CAP Performance Monitoring and Evaluation Framework, three indicators are particularly important: R.17, which indicates the are of forestry and agroforestry established by Member States; O.16 which indicates the amount of forestry and agroforestry receiving annual support from Member States and I.21, which indicates the area of landscape-feature supported by member states.
  • The Spanish Land Parcel Identification System (SIGPAC) is almost unique in Europe, since it includes both agricultural and forest parcels, and has two specific land use categories for silvopasture titled "pastures-with-trees" and "pastures-with-shrubs".


EURAF Policy Briefing #44


Agroforestry systems in the Spanish CAP Strategic Plan_ analysis and reflection.pdf

Additional details


DIGITAF – DIGItal Tools to help AgroForestry meet climate, biodiversity and farming sustainability goals: linking field and cloud 101059794
European Commission
LIFE AgroForAdapt LIFE20 CCA/ES/001682
European Commission