Action: Cross compliance standards for all subsidy payments
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Apart from the Swiss Ecological Compensation Areas scheme (considered in another section), we found no studies comparing the effects of cross compliance standards with other means of implementing agri-environmental measures, or that considered the effects of cross compliance by monitoring farmland bird populations before and after it was implemented.
Cross compliance is when farmers have to meet certain statutory standards to qualify for direct support payments such as those under the first pillar of the current Common Agricultural Policy. The standards could include, for example, keeping the land in ‘good agricultural condition’ or managing soil to avoid erosion. The Swiss Ecological Compensation Areas scheme, under which farmers have to manage 7% of their land to qualify for area-based payments, was made obligatory in Switzerland under cross compliance in 1998. Studies examining the effects of this scheme are included in a different section: ‘Increase the proportion of natural/semi-natural habitat in the farmed landscape’.