Decision-making in the economies of Central and Eastern Europe and the New Independent States largely ignored the environmental impacts of agriculture in the past. The legacy is a degradation in the quality and quantity of the water and land resources upon which agriculture critically depends. The transition to a market economy provides a unique opportunity for countries in the region to develop new approaches to increase the coherence and effectiveness of both agricultural and environmental policies. Presented at the OECD conference on Agriculture and the Environment in the Transition to a Market Economy in Vilnius, Lithuania, the papers in this volume examine agricultural, environmental, and rural development policy issues in OECD countries and those of Central and Eastern Europe and the New Independent States. In addition, they review approaches to policy integration for specific agriculture-environment issues.
"Agriculture like forestry, mining, commercial fishing, and manufactoring is an economic sector. Agriculture is especially important in rural areas because it employs about one-quarter of the rural population in OECD countries, and with forestry uses most of the rural land. But agriculture alone cannot be the source of a vital and growing rural economy; no net new farming jobs have been created in OECD Member countries in several decades."