• soil erosion;
  • soil conservation;
  • water salinisation;
  • Common Agricultural Policy;
  • cross-compliance;
  • Institutional Capacity;
  • Greece


Erosion of topsoil, loss of organic matter and irrigation water salinisation are the major soil conservation issues in Greek agriculture. Cross-compliance measures applied under the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) form the backbone of the soil conservation policy in Greece. CAP reforms and especially the transition to decoupled farm payments, instability in world agricultural commodity prices and contradicting agricultural policy signals are the major causes of changing farming practices. The incapability of institutional structures to follow the observed changes is attributed to the lack of appropriate infrastructure and low levels of human capital in quantitative and qualitative terms in the region. Soil conservation efforts are strongly influenced by a piecemeal policy framework and institutional rigidities. The present work uses case studies presenting failures and success in applying soil conservation policy in Greece Institutional capacity, building is necessary to support the implementation of conservation policy at local and regional levels. Copyright © 2010 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.