In order to receive direct payments, farmers must fulfill the proof of ecological performance (PEP). This includes various requirements, such as animal-friendly husbandry of livestock, a balanced fertilizer consumption, regulated crop rotation, appropriate soil protection, targeted use of plant protection products and a minimum proportion of biodiversity promotion areas (at least 7% of the agricultural area).
15 types of promotion of biodiversity areas have been specified (e.g. meadows, pastures, orchards, wildflower strips). For these areas two types of contributions are paid: Quality contributions for quality level I and II and contributions for connectivity. While the requirements for quality level I are measure-oriented (e.g. no use of fertilizers and pesticides allowed, defined cutting time), results are defined for quality level II in addition to measures for individual types of areas. Participation in quality level II and in networking projects is voluntary. In case of participation, a contract is concluded for 8 years.
Location of the schemewhole country
Duration of the schemeSince: 1998
Objective(s) of the scheme / project
Which habitats or species are in the focus of the scheme / project?
- Habitats (incl. habitats of Fauna-Flora-Habitat-Directive (FFH-D.))
- Landscape elements
15 types of promotion of biodiversity areas have been specified e.g.:
- extensively used meadow
- extensively usead pasture
- wildflower strips
- natural field margins
- dry stone walls
Which indicators are used?
- Species (incl FFH and BD)
- Physical structures (e.g. dead wood, presence of brushwood, hollow trees, tall grass)
Indicator plant species from a defined list
Design of scheme / project
- Hybrid result based payment with complementary management based payments
Quality contributions for quality level I and II
While the requirements for quality level I are measure-oriented (e.g. no use of fertilizers and pesticides allowed, defined cutting time), results are defined for quality level II in addition to measures for individual types of areas. For example, extensively used meadows of quality level II must have at least 6 indicator plant species from a list, or a certain number of structures must be present in an orchard in order to get biodiversity contributions.
Networking contributions are paid with the aim of establishing biodiversity promotion areas in places that are of central importance for biodiversity. These include, for example, areas along forests, streams and hedges. By establishing biodiversity areas in specific locations, the connectivity between populations can be improved, ensuring genetic and demographic exchange within species and the natural environment. This is of great importance, as such exchange increases the adaptability of populations, for example, and thus ensures their long-term conservation. Furthermore, species- and habitat-specific measures are implemented within the framework of networking projects in order to specifically promote specific species.
Contributions for connectivity
Contributions for connectivity are only granted if the areas are created and managed according to the specifications of a regional connectivity project approved by the canton. The species- and habitat-specific measures are defined within the individual networking projects and are either management based ore result based.
By which fund(s) is the scheme / project implemented?
- National governmental financing
The quality contributions are fully financed by the federal government.
Contributions for connectivity are financed to a maximum of 90% by the federal government. The canton, communes or other sponsors must contribute at least 10 % of the contributions for connectivity.
How are the incentives (payment levels) calculated?
- Based on the costs of management actions
Is there a top up in case of reaching the goals?
How many hectares are in the scheme?
- More than 5.000
How many farmers take part in the scheme?
- More than 2.000
How are participating farmers supervised/advised?
- Advisors visits (optional)
- Advice by telephone
- Information documents (pamphlets, reports, etc.)
For farmers participating in an connectivity project one adviser visit a year is obligatory. The advice can take place as individual advice or as group advice.
Are there any evaluation results?
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