Agroforestry and the EU ABER Regulation
- 1. EURAF
Changes in the Agricultural Block Exemption Rules (ABER) for State Aid to agriculture, forestry, fisheries and aquaculture were published on 14.12.22 as Commission Regulation 2022/2472. This replaces Regulation 702/2014. EURAF particularly welcomes: a) the extension of funding to the restoration of existing agroforestry areas, rather than simply new planting, b) the increase in payments for establishment and restoration from 80% to 100% of eligible costs, c) the increase in the eligibility period for annual premiums from 5 years to 12 years. These changes could put agroforestation schemes on a par with afforestation in countries like Ireland, Netherlands (Figure 1) and Finland, which finance forestry using national or European funds which are outside of the CAP. There is concern, however, that these States are not required to provide any reporting at a European level on their forestry and agroforestry activities.