Agriculture and environment
People have worked the soil in Estonia for centuries, and this has affected our nature and land. Land is cultivated on about one fifth of Estonia's territory. Agriculture has enabled us to shape and maintain semi-natural habitats. Their diversity and survival depend on how well we are able to preserve them. However, agriculture can also adversely affect nature, by polluting soil, water or air, fragmenting habitats and destroying wildlife, both in inland water bodies and on land.
Statistics Estonia publishes information on 28 agri-environmental indicators set by the European Commission. These allow policy makers, researchers and the general public to analyse and assess the interactions between agriculture and the environment as well as development trends.
The purpose of collecting agri-environmental indicators is to
- describe the status of agriculture and the environment;
- explain and monitor the links between agricultural practices and their impact on the environment;
- provide background information on the diversity of agro-ecosystems;
- assess to which extent the development of agriculture and rural life promote environmentally friendly farming and sustainable agriculture;
- provide an overall assessment of the sustainability of agriculture.