Nature and agriculture both shape the European countryside and one of the main challenges for the years to come will be to strengthen their interaction for the future development of rural areas. In this topical book, the authors demonstrate how economics and ecology can play a critical role in maintaining and sustaining this relationship. The book identifies the dilemmas facing European agriculture and explores their economic and ecological consequences. The authors believe a better understanding of these problems will be crucial in recognizing the potential options for the future role of agriculture and nature policy and will guide the identification of suitable policy instruments. They highlight current threats to the relationship between agriculture and nature - such as abandonment and intensification - and demonstrate how these problems can be resolved by a rational policy mix. The book also provides extensive empirical evidence from four case studies and concludes by scrutinizing the major changes in market conditions and the Common Agricultural Policy which could upset this important but fragile balance between agriculture and nature. Providing a state-of-the-art overview of current thinking on the relationship between agriculture and nature in the context of EU policy, this book should be welcomed by policymakers and those studying and working in the fields of agricultural and resource economics, geography and agri-business.
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