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Compliance and Control of Agricultural and Regional Policies


Specific Objectives:
The content of the MARS PAC action is structured into eight work- packages:
1. Controls with Remote Sensing To coordinate controls with remote sensing including the purchase of satellite data on DG AGRI budget line (2 Mio € /year), and to perform quality control and reinforce support to the Audit Unit of DG AGRI. Tasks will involve integration of new very-high-resolution satellite (IKONOS, QuickBird, Orbimage, EROS), compliancy with new regulations on controls and agri-environmental measures and the optimisation of integration with field inspections and IACS procedures;
2. Land Parcel Identification Systems (LPIS) Council Reg. 1593/00 To provide technical support to the implementation of GIS for the IACS management (compulsory from January 2005), including the integration of ortho-imagery, migration from cadastre-based systems to real parcels or block management systems, as well as to information technology for exchanging graphical information between local administrations, farmers and field inspectors;
3. Olive GIS, Vineyard and permanent crop Registers. To provide technical specifications and support of audit by DG AGRI for olive GIS, vineyard and permanent crop registers to fulfil the compatability requirement for cross-checking with IACS (ELABORATE);
4. Rural Development Plans: To assess the specific issues related to the management/control of Agri-Environmental Measures (AEM) and of Rural Development Plans in the context of CAP reform (landscape, biodiversity, quality of water, etc) as well as for food quality (organic farming, etc), including the development of relevant and objective indicators for the monitoring and the evaluation of the various measures defined at national /regional level;
5. Measurement, GPS and Geomatics. To refine technical issues related to the use of GPS technologies for parcel measurement, production of ortho-imagery from high-resolution satellite sensors, and the management/updating of large scale maps;
6. Support and training for Candidate Countries To coordinate the support for the implementation of the "Acquis Communautaire" in Candidate Countries including:
i) LPIS (controls with Remote-Sensing for the 13 countries;
ii) Olive-Tree GIS and Vineyard Registers respectively for 4 and 8 candidate countries. Training will involve the organisation of workshops (with DG ELARG), bilateral visits and projects, and to undertake peer reviews on behalf of DG AGRI & DG ELARG to monitor and assess compliance of the management systems;
7. Quality, traceability and certification in agriculture. To support the reform of the CAP through use of LPIS for the certification of products (DOC, AOC); use of GPS techniques to record farming practices in the frame of traceability procedures set up by Agro-Industries; problems of parcels contaminated by heavy metals or toxic pollutants (dioxin);
8. Multipurpose large scale mapping, Cadastre & Rural Area Management:
i) To perform a technical audit of the works carried out so far and a review of the future program for the creation of a Cadastre in Greece (EC financing currently €100M);
ii) The Cadastre Committee launched by the Spanish presidency (Granada, May 2002). To complete LPIS coverage to all rural areas to promote standards and cost efficient methodologies for a multipurpose large scale mapping of Europe. Anticipated milestones and schedule WP1 ITT publication - November 2003 quality control reports WP2 - workshop WP3 - audit reports WP4 - production of annual evaluation report WP5 - recommendations on measurement & tolerance WP6 - visits and workshops WP7 - position paper on quality, traceability & certification in agriculture (WHEN) WP 8 Phase 1 technical report on cadastres in Greece.
Planned Deliverables:
1. Controls with remote sensing: The yearly activities includes an ITT publication on behalf of 15 Member States (Nov), the preparation of technical specification on RS controls; Centralisation of the purchase of satellite images (800, i.e. €2 M covered by DG AGRI), the production of quality control reports (4-6), ad-hoc controls or participation to Audit missions (DG AGRI, OLAF); the organisation of conferences, workshops and training (2);
2. LPIS: Definition of functional / technical recommendations and follow-up missions; Note on modalities of auditing compliancy of GIS and parcel identification systems to be implemented before 2005. Organisation of 2 workshops or conferences;
3. OLISIG and Vineyard registers: 2 Audit reports for OLISIG. Monitoring the compliance with update obligations; Technical recommendation on the compliancy of Vineyard registers with IACS and LPIS. Launching Pilot projects on the use of new sensors to monitor and control Vineyard;
4. Rural development plan: Annual Evaluation report; 2 Pilot studies; Guidelines on best practices for implementation and control of RDP;
5. GPS and Geomatics: Creation and update of Recommendations on Measurement and Tolerance; Methodologies for testing or benchmarking new receivers are presently defined by MARS and will be utilised by Member States in the coming year(s). Tests and pilot studies on the new GPS systems (EGNOS); development of a prototype mobile application combining GPS and LPIS information updated technical specifications and standards for the production of ortho imagery; Technical watch and benchmark on new sensors available (satellite, airborne);
6. PECO support and follow up: Support to CC to respect to acquis communautaire; Technical visits and/or workshops with 4 candidate countries. 4 Pilot projects in PL, RO, BU, SK; possible participation to Peer Reviews in 5 candidates Countries (DG ENLARG);
7. Quality, traceability and certification in agriculture: A position paper on this subject. 1 Workshop grouping various stakeholders and responsible of the DG AGRI. Launching of Pilot project(s) to test and demonstrate integrated use of LPIS and GPS technologies for the traceability and certification in agriculture;
8. Large scale multi purpose mapping and Cadastre: First phase of technical Audit of funded cadastre works in Greece (DG. REGIO). Consolidation of the Cadastre Committee Network. Reinforcement of the link with the works funded by DG. ENLARGE in Candidate Countries. Draft Technical recommendations for the implementation of large scale mapping in Europe.
Summary of the Action:
The main aims of the MARS PAC action are as follows: A general improvement of the consistency and the accuracy of the controls which requires simultaneously a harmonisation of methods and a careful adaptation to regional contexts. The technical audit of the compliance of Member States in the management of agricultural subsidies; the proper use of EU funding allocated for the creation of the LPIS / IACS (DG AGRI) or for the implementation of National Cadastres (DG AGRI, DG ENLARGE). In the medium term, the present action should also aim for: An improvement of the traceability in agriculture practice, with a better reference for product origin through field identification systems; the definition of large scale mapping standards for rural area management, monitoring of technological developments, linked to the above. Reaching these objectives requires an appropriate balance and synergy between: Support activities in close relationship with Regulation and funding, where the MARS PAC is considered as a Centre of Reference and MARS team operates in close contacts with DG Agriculture, Administrations from Member-States or Candidate Countries; Research and development carried out in accompaniment to the former support, in order to test evaluate new technologies, develop and optimise methods, define specifications or standards; More exploratory activities, based on MARS know-how and methods, aimed to initiate new applications, anticipating future evolution. Rationale The control of area-based payments of the CAP and the compliance monitoring of Member States' field identification systems have revolved around very specific technologies (remote sensing, Geographic Information Systems, GPS...) for which our client DGs (AGRI, OLAF) need to refer to a recognised technical reference body, independent from national or commercial interest. Since 1997, DG Agriculture transferred to the JRC MARS (Monitoring of Agriculture through Remote Sensing) Unit responsibility for the technical co-ordination of the control with remote-sensing carried out by the Member-States. Similar transfers have been requested with respect to the Land Parcel Identification System, Olive Tree GIS, Vineyard Register, as well as for extension of the activities to the 13 Candidates Countries.

MARS team is recognised by the client DG, national administrations or contractors, as a centre of reference, defining recommendations for the implementation of regulations, promoting best practices, establishing technical specifications and standards of products. MARS is also directly involved in quality control, audits or Peer Reviews, carried out by DG AGRI, ENLARGE or OLAF. The MARS PAC activity is directly related to the following Regulations and priorities: DG AGRI and OLAF: compliance implementation and control of Reg. 3508/92, 1593/00 (IACS, LPIS), 3887/92 and 2419/01 (controls); 2392/86, 649/87 and 1549/95 (Vineyard Registers) 2366/98 (Olive Tree GIS), 1247/99 and 445/2002 (Rural Development measures). DG REGIO: Follow up of Commission decision of funding or evaluation of national cadastre; DG ENLARG, DG AGRI: implementation by Candidate Countries and compliancy with the "Acquis communautaire".


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