Soil conservation policy measures to control wind erosion in northwestern Europe

M.J.P.M. Riksen, F.M. Brouwer, J. de Graaff

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

25 Citations (Scopus)


Wind erosion is not as significant or a widespread problem in Europe as in dryer parts of the world, but it can cause major damage in small areas. The hazard is greatest in the lowlands of northwestern Europe with more than 3 million ha at high-potential wind erosion risk. Crop damage and off-site damage have prompted farmers and policymakers to pay more attention to wind erosion control. A great variety of measures have been developed in the last decades. Most fanners, however, only use measures to protect their high value crops. In existing policies, little attention is paid to the off-site effects and long-term effects of wind erosion. There are no direct policy measures at a European level to control soil erosion, and few measures exist in individual Member States. Agricultural or environmental EC policies offer different policy tools to approach the wind erosion problems related to agricultural practices. Tools like subsidies for the re-afforestation of arable land can help regional policy makers with the implementation of wind erosion control measures. A case study concerning the 'Code of Good Agricultural Practice' shows that regional differences result in different control measures that fits best given the physical, social and economic context. The formulation of the practical details of such code should therefore remain a task of the local or regional government. The main objectives of a Code of Good Agricultural Practice could be formulated at national or European level. (C) 2003 Elsevier Science B.V All rights reserved.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)309-326
Publication statusPublished - 2003


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