Network webinars


Webinar No 2: "Implementation of RBPS in the CAP 21-27"

22nd October 2020

The aim of this webinar was to explore what role RBPS might play in ensuring a more equitable and effective CAP to ensure food and environmental security.

The event was organised in conjunction with Burren Winterage School 2020.

Delegates were welcomed by co-hosts Wolfgang Suske and Johanna Huber, promoters of the ‘results-based payments’ network, who introduced ‘result-based payments’ and outlined the day’s Agenda. Delegates could then choose one of two parallel sessions.

The first Parallel Session was chaired by Brendan Dunford of the Burren Programme and the rapporteur was Dr. James Moran. It featured three fascinating Case Studies. Firstly, Timothy Male from the US Policy Innovation Organization described some ‘Pay for Success’ examples, mostly relating to watercourse management. This was followed by Dr. John Finn (Teagasc) who reviewed some of the learnings from his recent publication (co-edited with Dr. Eileen O’Rourke) on RBPS in Ireland Farming for Nature: The Role of Result Based Payment Schemes. The final speaker was Lena Schaller from the CONSOLE Project who shared some fascinating insights from over 60 Case Studies undertaken as part of her research.

The second Parallel Session was chaired by Wolfgang Suske and featured two speakers. Firstly, Elisabeth Süßenbacher from the Austrian Ministry of Agriculture spoke about the Implementation of a RBPS for biodiversity, soil and climate protection in the Austrian Agri-Environmental Programme 2023. This was followed by Sönke Beckmann, Senior Policy Advisor at Deutscher Verband für Landschaftspflege, Germany, who spoke about possibilities to integrate RBPS in the first pillar of CAP.

Watch second Parallel Session:

The Plenary Session that followed began with reports from James and Wolfgang from the parallel sessions, followed by an intervention from Corina Roe (DAFM) and finally from Frank Vassen of DG Environment, who shared the perspective of the EU Commission on RBPS.

Following a short break, the floor was given over to Professor Allan Buckwell, Research Director, RISE Foundation Brussels and Emeritus Professor, Imperial College, London. This was followed by an eloquent summary of the day’s events by Tom Arnold, Chairman of the AgriFood 20230 Committee and by a number of questions and answers from Prof. Buckwell.

Watch introduction, first Parallel Session and Plenary Session:

Webinar No 1: "Assessing results-based indicators"

20th June 2020

In this webinar we discussed how ecological indicators in results-based funding schemes can be defined and controlled. James Moran of the Irish Galway Mayo Institute and Remco Schreuder and Jetze Geene of the Netherlands Enterprise Agency presented two different approaches. In the following discussion, among other things, participants talked about the extent to which results-based payments can be used not only to achieve biodiversity targets but also to achieve climate protection goals. Nearly 100 representatives from research, administration and advisory sector from 20 European countries participated. We had also participants from Canada and Japan.

00:00:01 – 00:28:27 Presentation of James Moran (Galway-Mayo-Institute, Ireland):
Ireland’s RBPS. Focus on results Indicators (download pdf-file; due to technical problems the recording starts with the 4th slide).

00:30:30 – 00:33:31 Differences between results-based and action-based schemes when you have also structural factors.

00:33:41 – 00:36:06 Results-based payment schemes on common land where many farmers share one parcel.

00:39:10 – 00:41:18 Novel measures in the future Irish AECM measures.

00:41:45 – 00:45:44 Differences between results-based payment schemes and action-based payment schemes concerning the costs of monitoring.


00:46:39 – 01:16:12 Presentation of Remco Schreuder (Senior Advisor Agriculture at Netherlands Enterprise Agency) and Jetze Genee (Provence of Friesland, AECM, The Netherlands):
AECM in Netherlands: Assessing habitat approach on regional level (download pdf-file).

01:17:50 – 01:24:18 Scope of results-based payment schemes to reduce carbon dioxide emissions from land.

01:24:23 – 01:26:45 Checking of farmers by farmer collectives in the Netherlands.

01:27:07 – 01:28:38 Indicators (type of vegetation cover) for measuring "soil health" in the Montado (Portugal).

01:29:02 – 01:30:01 Case studies within the CONSOLE project which deal with carbon sequestration. The examples are case studies AT4 and FI3, available here. The document with the information is titled "CONSOLE FACTSHEETS_D2.1".


Chat discussion on differences between results-based schemes and action-based schemes:

Brendan Dunford

Traci: its worth noting also that with a 'hybrid' approach, the 'result' really helps to push the farmer to select 'actions' that will improve the field score/payment. This means that actions are more impactful. Also we find that a results-payment can also be an effective 'control' mechanism to limit negative activities - if a farmer does something 'bold' in a field, then he/she may forfeit the result-payment for that field in that year - an immediate signal not to do such works in future.

Traci Birge

Thanks, Brendan, for that addition. Effective communication is a key aspect of RBP approach.

Derek McLoughlin

Traci, do you mean the additional 'supporting actions' payments, in addition to the 'result-based' payment? If so, we (generally) in Ireland see supporting actions similar to 'medicine' to fix a given problem. These would be one-off payment to facilitate improvements in ecological quality. Results payments would be annual payments.

John Finn

For anyone that is interested, see a compilation of lessons from selected Irish RBP in a recent book: O’Rourke and Finn. 2020. Farming for Nature: the Role of Results-Based Payments. Teagasc and NPWS.

Brendan Dunford

Traci - Yes indeed re effective comms. We find that farmers understand well the concept of RBPS (same as for their livestock - better quality means more money) and we find that this 'incentive' creates an appetite for information - rather than the usual situation where we tend to 'force feed' farmers with information.

Gwyn Jones

I think we should be honest also and say that the line is quite blurred (and maybe we don't need to be too tied to this versus that) - in the RBAPS pilot on the Callows, I found it extremely difficult to accept that an approach which says 'if you do x and y, you are guaranteed to get a score of 10 this year' as anything other than a prescription/action-based measure.  But then Brendan is saying that there can still be benefits in assessing the result and giving feedback.  It was also interesting that Natural England found real differences in the farmer performances in their bird feed strips between the standard AECM and their results-based pilot, even though they were really aiming for the same thing

Brendan Dunford

Re Gwyn's point: there is much more 'ownership' by the farmer when he/she feels he/she even has a small amount of freedom in deciding how, what and when to do something.

John Finn

RE: Gwyn's point. Although farm advisors aim to guide and advise, there is also scope for innovation. A farmer can use their experience in managing habitats (and some are very experienced) to implement their own management strategies to attain top scores and payments. They can also implement/trial new strategies. There was an example of this in the KerryLIFE project, where an individual farmer suggested the use of A-frame fencing (hard to fence in rock!) to protect one of the most important river areas for juvenile freshwater pearl mussels.