Literature

 
Title Year of publication Author(s) Country / Region Public good PDF or link
Biodiversity indicators for result-based agri-environmental schemes – Current state and future prospects
2023
Noëmi Elmiger, Robert Finger, Jaboury Ghazoul, Sergei Schaub
Europe
Biodiversity
What is it about
The article investigates how biodiversity indicators for result-based schemes might be designed and implemented. The authors conducted a systematic review of the scientific literature to identify the range of proposed biodiversity indicators. They synthesized the currently used biodiversity indicators in existing result-based agri-environmental schemes and compared the proposed and implemented indicators. The article provides an overview of planned result-based schemes under the 2023–27 reform of the EU Common Agricultural policy and proposes how the schemes and indicators might be improved by drawing from technological advances.

Title Year of publication Author(s) Country / Region Public good PDF or link
Data on farmers’ acceptance of results-based agri-environmental schemes
2022
Anna Massfeller, Manuela Meraner, SilkeHüttel, Reinhard Uehleke
Germany
Biodiversity
What is it about
The Data presented in this article contains information on farmers’ acceptance of results-based agri-environmental schemes (AES) collected from German farmers in an online survey in spring 2020. Acceptance is measured in the willingness to participate and the intensity of participation in terms of area willing to enroll for the scheme. Personal, farm characteristics and behavioral factors have been considered. We used a between subject design to introduce a social nudge (i.e. information treatment) for one group of participants. The data was collected via the software LimeSurvey. We chose a two-step approach e.g. participants were asked for participation first and then only those who would be willing to participate were asked for the intensity in terms of area willing to enroll. This data is related to the paper Farmers’ acceptance of results-based agri-environmental schemes: a German perspective (https://doi.org/10.1016/j.landusepol.2022.106281).

Title Year of publication Author(s) Country / Region Public good PDF or link
Farmers' acceptance of results-based agri-environmental schemes: A German perspective
2022
Anna Massfeller, Manuela Meraner, SilkeHüttel, Reinhard Uehleke
Germany
Biodiversity
What is it about
Results-based agri-environmental schemes (AES) seek to overcome reluctance to adopt other forms of AES in the European Union. Instead of complying with inflexible land management prescriptions, farmers receive payments after certain contracted environmental results are verified. In addition to reducing the organizational and administrative burdens, this practice allows farmers to focus on which practices can achieve the desired environmental outcomes. Farmer uptake of results-based payments may be limited by risk-adverse behavior, such as fear of not meeting environmental targets and forfeiting the contracted payment. This study investigated participation in a hypothetical results-based AES among arable farmers in the German state of North Rhine-Westphalia and the number of hectares enrolled (participation intensity). Our hypothetical scheme sought to foster biodiversity in pollinator and bird species by supporting weed-species richness in intensive arable production. Our split-treatment research design investigated how social nudging influences acceptance and intensity. Approximately 60% of the 63 farmers in our convenience sample expressed a willingness to participate in our hypothetical scheme. Using a Heckman style selection model, we could not detect any effect of the social nudge tested on the likelihood of participation or its intensity. Cognitive factors correlated positively with the likelihood of participation, whereas social and dispositional factors correlated with participation intensity. Perceived lack of control was the main obstacle found to adoption. The findings suggest that policies can mitigate barriers to acceptance by reducing the bureaucratic burden and being transparent over expected costs and ecosystem benefits. This study was the first to investigate farmers' acceptance of a hypothetical results-based AES that targets the enrichment of biodiversity in arable farming and thus may serve as a stepping stone for follow-up studies.

Title Year of publication Author(s) Country / Region Public good PDF or link
Insights into innovative contract design to improve the integration of biodiversity and ecosystem services in agricultural management
2022
Birte Bredemeier, Sylvia Herrmann, Claudia Sattler, KatrinPrager, Lenny G.J.van Bussel, Julia Rex
EU
Biodiversity
What is it about
Innovative contracts are needed that promote the provision of biodiversity and diverse ecosystem services from land under agricultural production, given that mainstream agri-environment-climate measures (AECM) funded by the public purse have shown limited effectiveness. Recently, various actors from the public, private and third sectors have experimented with and implemented innovative contracts that incentivise farmers for the increased provision of environmental public goods alongside private goods. Due to their evolving and experimental nature, detailed information on characteristics of contract design and governance context of these contracts is lacking, hence preventing them from being used more widely.

This paper addresses this gap and reports the findings of an analysis of 62 cases, based on information from a literature review and complemented by expert knowledge. Following an actor-based typology, we identified innovative payments for ecosystem services (PES) as the most common contract type, followed by value chain approaches and very few land tenure contracts. Alternative classifications are possible, with hybrid contracts showing promising combinations of different contract characteristics such as basis of payment (action-based, results-based) and contract parties (collective or bilateral arrangements). The most innovative approaches were value chain contracts. They exhibited more tailored contracts between (single) producers and processors instead of the generic publicly-funded AECM, a stronger bottom-up approach to define the (mostly action-based) measures, and the interest of processors to use these activities for marketing purposes. In contrast, publicly-funded PES contracts appeared to be more innovative with respect to results-based payments rewarding the environmental performance of farmers, and providing them more flexibility and autonomy. Future research should focus on the benefits of such innovative contracts, e.g. with regard to costs and environmental effectiveness.

Title Year of publication Author(s) Country / Region Public good PDF or link
Result-based payments as a tool to preserve the High Nature Value of complex silvo-pastoral systems: progress toward farm-based indicators
2022
Teresa Pinto-Correia, Isabel Ferraz-de-Oliveira, Maria Helena Guimarães, Elvira Sales-Baptista, Carla Pinto-Cruz, Carlos Godinho and Ricardo Vieira Santos
Portugal
Biodiversity
Soil quality
What is it about
As shown by the Green Deal's ambition, the European Commission is progressively pushing for an environmental shift and climate action in Europe. For the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP), this involves a stronger focus on greening policy objectives. For agri-environmental schemes, this entails changes toward performance-based payments, partially replacing traditional activity-based payments. The CAP foresees greater flexibility in national programs and tailor-made solutions centered on results (i.e. environmental outcomes), benefiting farmers who go beyond the minimum environmental performance required. The environmental outcomes of farm practices must be assessed so that changes can be monitored over time and linked to payment delivery. This requires stakeholders to collaborate with researchers to identify farm-based indicators that are easily applicable, to achieve environmental results that are dependent on farm practices, and to assess and monitor changes in outcomes over time. The analysis in this paper is based on a transdisciplinary process that began in 2017 in a Natura 2000 site and its surroundings in Southern Portugal, to identify result-based measures for the Montado silvo-pastoral system. Farmers' understanding of how to adapt their practices to reach better environmental results was combined with scientific knowledge of the relevant environmental outcomes and how these can be assessed with indicators. Ten field-based visual indicators were defined, which farmers applied in the field, and validated by technical staff. These indicators are related to several aspects of the silvo-pastoral system: soil quality, pasture diversity, tree renewal, tree health, singular landscape elements, and biodiversity. The approach used in this process was innovative. We describe each step and present its advantages and drawbacks for designing and implementing result-based payments. Ultimately, their implementation is expected to lead to higher sustainability in the Montado.

Title Year of publication Author(s) Country / Region Public good PDF or link
Spatial Coordination Incentives for landscape-scale environmental management: A systematic review
2022
Chi Nguyen, Uwe Latacz-Lohmann, Nick Hanley, Steven Schilizzi, Sayed Iftekhar
Global
Multiple
What is it about
Conventional agri-environmental schemes (AES) have been criticized for failing to exploit conservation synergies that could be obtained from spatial coordination of conservation efforts. Understanding the design and implementation of novel incentive mechanisms explicitly designed to boost spatial coordination of conservation efforts is, therefore, of critical importance. We conducted the first systematic review of such incentives (‘Spatial Coordination Incentives’), including Agglomeration Bonus, Threshold Bonus, and Threshold Payments. The review aims to investigate these incentives’ performance and identify the underlying factors affecting their performance. An extensive bibliographic search was carried out and 55 papers were included in the final analysis. Most papers (89%) are theoretical and experimental studies. Real-world applications of these incentives are rare. The theoretical and empirical evidence suggests that these incentives could potentially promote participation, spatial coordination, and environmental effectiveness. However, the results remain a subject of debate in experimental studies. Performance variation is attributed to scheme design features and contextual factors. We highlight the areas where future work would be most warranted to further validate the performance of these incentives. Insights gained from the review provide important implications for the emerging field of conservation science and ongoing efforts to improve the design of AES for better landscape-scale management.

Title Year of publication Author(s) Country / Region Public good PDF or link
Are result-based schemes a superior approach to the conservation of High Nature Value grasslands? Evidence from Slovenia
2021
Tanja Šumrada, Branko Vreš,Tatjana Čelik, Urban Šilc, Ilona Rac, Andrej Udovč, Emil Erjavec
Slovenia
Biodiversity
What is it about
In this study, we explored the potential of the payment-by-results approach in supporting the maintenance of High Nature Value (HNV) grasslands in a typical HNV farming system and Natura 2000 site in Slovenia (Europe) with a high share of small farms, fragmented land ownership and long-term process of land abandonment. We tested the applicability of a hypothetical result-based scheme (RBS) for the conservation of dry grasslands and a set of associated plant indicators, and identified key obstacles to its implementation. Based on a statistical analysis of a survey with 263 farmers and a thematic data analysis of 62 farmer interviews and 10 in-depth interviews and focus groups with researchers, public officials and agricultural advisors, we found that a majority of both farmers and experts support the introduction of RBSs. The selected plant indicators were well-known among the local farmers and monitoring of their presence was preferred over the current system, which demands keeping records on the implementation of farming practices. However, although the RBSs seem to be a superior alternative to the current management-based schemes, their introduction might not be enough to ensure HNV farming systems’ successful conservation. Our results indicate a lack of institutional capacity to implement RBSs on a larger scale, particularly in terms of data support and qualified staff in the advisory service and monitoring agencies. Furthermore, experience to date and mistrust among stakeholders indicate a questionable ability and motivation of authorities to develop locally-based, flexible and innovative agri-environmental measures. RBSs alone also do not adequately address some of the root causes for the disappearance of HNV grasslands, particularly: the lack of knowledge regarding the appropriate modern farming system(s) to ensure their sustainable management in line with conservation goals; specific needs of small farmers; and the need for a socially acceptable land policy reform to enable easier access to land. We argue that systematic investment in closing the existing data and research gaps as well as in increasing the capacity of key institutions at the national and local levels are needed, particularly in European regions of high conservation priority. Furthermore, better integration of nature conservation in different rural policies and a holistic developmental approach in (remote) rural areas are necessary to prevent further abandonment of HNV farming and enable the adoption of biodiversity-friendly farming models.

Title Year of publication Author(s) Country / Region Public good PDF or link
Comparing effectiveness and return on investment of action‐ and results‐based agri‐environmental payments in S witzerland
2021
David Wuepper, Robert Huber
Switzerland
Biodiversity
What is it about
Agri-environmental schemes are an important policy tool to foster agricultural sustainability. We assess the effectiveness and return on investment of two different schemes designed to encourage biodiversity conservation in Switzerland: payments for actions and payments for results. Empirically, we exploit a major policy reform that created a natural experiment by abruptly and unevenly increasing both payments across farmers. Using difference in differences, we estimate the effect of the policy reform on farmers for whom only the action- or the results-based payments increased, as well as on those for whom both increased, compared to farmers for whom neither increased. Our findings are fourfold: First, higher payments increased the biodiversity conservation area. A payment raise by 1% increased conservation areas on average by 0.6% in the action based, and by 1% in the results-based scheme. Second, the combination of both schemes increased average effectiveness but also windfall gains. Third, using a benefit transfer approach, we estimate a positive return of investment for all payment increases. Finally, the estimated return on investment for the results-based payments is higher than for the action-based payments.

Title Year of publication Author(s) Country / Region Public good PDF or link
Developing payment-by-results approaches for agri-environment schemes: Experience from an arable trial in England
2021
S.P. Chaplin, J. Mills, H. Chiswell
England
Biodiversity
What is it about
There is increasing interest in the potential for payment-by-results approaches to be adopted more widely in agri-environment schemes to address some of the limitations of conventional action-based approaches. To date, researchers have almost exclusively applied the approach in grassland farming systems. This paper reports on the results from an English, pure payment-by-results pilot scheme that tested the delivery of two environmental objectives: provision of winter bird food for farmland birds and provision of pollen and nectar resources for pollinating insects in arable farming systems, and incorporated farmer self-assessments. The method employed an assessment of environmental outcomes using an experimental design, recording the number of plants/seed heads per quadrat for specified species and an analysis of farmers’ attitudes using a qualitative survey. The results from 15 farms revealed improved environmental performance compared to similar measures implemented under conventional agri-environment schemes. The analysis also revealed a high correlation of farmer self-assessment of results with expert assessments. Survey findings also identified farmers’ views on the advantages (flexibility and freedom, fairness) and disadvantages (risk of failure and non-payment) of such an approach.

Title Year of publication Author(s) Country / Region Public good PDF or link
Exploring the commodification of biodiversity using olive oil producers’ willingness to accept
2021
Melania Salazar-Ordóñez, Macario Rodríguez-Entrena and Anastasio J. Villanueva
Andalusia, Spain
Farmland biodiversity
What is it about
There is a growing need for innovative new instruments to complement the current schemes aimed at improving farmland biodiversity. Some of the most promising innovations include market-based instruments relying on what is known as the commodification of biodiversity. This paper aims to estimate the compensation farmers would need to receive in order to adopt environmentally-friendly practices aimed at incorporating the provision of biodiversity into food production. The analysis relies on a discrete choice experiment (DCE) that estimates farmers’ willingness to accept (WTA), both in terms of harvest (i.e. €/kg of output) and area (i.e. €/ha), for improving the levels of bird biodiversity in olive groves. The analysis focuses on a case study of mountain olive growers in Andalusia (Southern Spain). Results show that the higher the level of provision of farmland biodiversity, the higher the farmers’ WTA. Harvest-based estimates range from 0.185 €/kg to 1.395 €/kg olive oil for levels of provision of 13 and 30 bird-species/farm, respectively, meaning 58.5 €/ha to 440.0 €/ha in area-based terms. High-yield farms show higher WTA values compared to low-yield farms, with the exception of harvest-based estimates for the least stringent scenario. Taking into account the average farm-gate prices of both regular and organic extra virgin olive oil, the results suggest a great potential for the commodification of biodiversity through olive oil markets. However, further research is needed on the implementation of hybrid governance solutions including market-based and incentive-based instruments.

Title Year of publication Author(s) Country / Region Public good PDF or link
Farmers’ heterogeneous preferences towards results-based environmental policies
2021
Olli Niskanen, Annika Tienhaara, Emmi Haltiaa and Eija Pouta
Finland
Multiple public goods
What is it about
Heterogeneity of farmers’ preferences and willingness to accept compensation (WTA) related to a results-based agri-environmental policy were investigated using a choice experiment and latent class analysis. A quarter of farmers would be willing to switch to a results-based agri-environmental scheme (AES) with a moderate compensation request, whereas one quarter supported the status quo. Willingness to reform the AES was found among all farmers, but the current practice-based approach generally appeared to be more acceptable than the new proposed policy. Responses to the results-based AES differed between farmer groups. Therefore, attention should be paid in policy design to ensuring desirable programme coverage among different regions and farm types.

Title Year of publication Author(s) Country / Region Public good PDF or link
Impacts of management at a local and landscape scale on pollinators in semi-natural grasslands
2021
Michelle Larkin, Dara A. Stanley
Ireland
Biodiversity
What is it about
1. Managing farmland to benefit biodiversity is becoming increasingly necessary to combat biodiversity declines and maintain ecosystem services. Results-based agri-environmental schemes are a tool used to achieve this by paying farmers based on environmental results delivered. These schemes often utilise plant indicator species to assess results at field scale; however, it is unknown if focusing on enhancing a subset of one biodiversity group within results-based schemes impacts wider biodiversity, and whether local-scale implementation of results-based schemes or/and the wider landscape are more important drivers of biodiversity patterns.
2. Insect pollinators provide important pollination services for many crop and wild plants, and as mobile organisms often experience landscape at large spatial scales. We tested whether insect pollinators are affected at local scale by a results-basedscheme scored based on plant indicators, or if landscape management is more important, and whether there were different responses between taxon-specific groups. Bumblebees, solitary bees, hoverflies and butterflies were sampled using transects and pan traps in 23 fields with varying scores assigned by the scheme,
situated in high-intensity (≥65% improved grassland) or low-intensity (≥65% semi-natural grassland) landscapes.
3. Results indicate taxon-specific responses to local and landscape management in semi-natural
grasslands. Bumblebees responded positively to local-scale management in fields with higher floral diversity, whereas hoverflies and butterflies responded
positively to low-intensity landscape management.
4. Synthesis and applications. Using plant species as indicators for biodiversity in agri-environment schemes can have indirect benefits for non-target taxa like bumblebees, but broader indicators should be developed to incorporate other pollinator
groups. Pollinator groups respond differently to local and landscape management in semi-natural grasslands. Agri-environmental
management should consider a range of different management measures and landscape scale approaches where possible, to maximise benefits for a range of pollinator taxa.

Title Year of publication Author(s) Country / Region Public good PDF or link
Management of high nature value farmland in the Republic of Ireland: 25 years evolving toward locally adapted results-orientated solutions and payments
2021
James Moran, Dolores Byrne, Julien Carlier, Brendan Dunford, John A. Finn, Daire Ó hUallacháin and Caroline A. Sullivan
Ireland
Multiple public goods and ecosystem services, e.g. biodiversity and habitat quality, carbon storage, and water services
What is it about
The effective conservation of high nature value farmland (HNV) will be crucial for the conservation of European and Irish biodiversity, and to meet the growing demand for a wide range of private and public goods and services from farmland. Here, we describe the evolution of policy and management of HNV farmland in the Republic of Ireland over the last 25 years and describe the emerging locally adapted, results-based payment approach that is valorizing a broad range of ecosystem services from these areas, which helps to underpin the future social, ecological, and financial viability of HNV farmland.
HNV farmland in the Republic of Ireland covers approximately 33% of the agricultural land, and 50% of these areas coincide with Natura 2000 land. A broad diversity of landscape types dominated by seminatural vegetation from upland areas to lowland areas is a key challenge when designing policy support for HNV farmland areas. To date, action-based agri-environment schemes have struggled to adapt to these conditions, and to provide sufficient incentive and flexibility to deliver the desired environmental outcomes. In response, several projects and programs have implemented results-based payments, which we illustrate using three case studies from the Burren Programme, the Results Based Agri-environment Pilot Scheme (RBAPS), and European Innovation Partnership Operational Groups: The Hen Harrier and Pearl Mussel Projects. We highlight choices in the design and implementation of these case studies that aimed to better achieve the environmental objectives. We conclude with general lessons from the Irish experience with results-based approaches, and how they may be scaled up for wider implementation.

Title Year of publication Author(s) Country / Region Public good PDF or link
Payments by modelled results: A novel design for agri-environmental schemes
2021
Bartosz Bartkowski, Nils Droste, Mareike Ließ, William Sidemo-Holm, Ulrich Weller, Mark V.Brady
Not applicable
Multiple public goods
What is it about
From a theoretical point of view, result-based agri-environmental payments are clearly preferable to action-based payments. However, they suffer from two major practical disadvantages: costs of measuring the results and payment uncertainty for the participating farmers. In this paper, we propose an alternative design to overcome these two disadvantages by means of modelling (instead of measuring) the results. We describe the concept of agri-environmental payments by modelled results (PAMR), including a hypothetical example of payments for the protection and enhancement of soil functions. We offer a comprehensive discussion of the relative advantages and disadvantages of PAMR, showing that it not only unites most of the different advantages of result-based and action-based schemes, but also adds two new advantages: the potential to address trade-offs among multiple policy objectives and management for long-term environmental effects. We argue that PAMR would be a valuable addition to the agri-environmental policy toolbox in the EU and beyond, while also reflecting recent advancements in agri-environmental modelling.

Title Year of publication Author(s) Country / Region Public good PDF or link
Selecting appropriate plant indicator species for Result-Based Agri-Environment Payments schemes
2021
Sara Ruas, Roser Rotchés-Ribalta, Daire ÓhUallacháin, Karzan D.Ahmed, Michael Gormally, Jane C.Stout, Blánaid White, JamesMoran
Ireland
Biodiversity
What is it about
Agri-Environment Schemes (AES) have long been implemented across Europe to incentivise farmers to alter their management practices to improve biodiversity and water, air and soil quality. However, the cost-effectiveness of traditional action-based schemes has been questioned, and Result-Based Payment (RBP) schemes have been recommended as an alternative. To evaluate the effectiveness of management actions, RBP approaches often rely on indicator species to monitor changes in environmental conditions. The selection of appropriate indicator species for RBP follows several steps and criteria. One of the mentioned criteria is that the species should react to the farmer’s management choices. Thus, the main objective of this study is to understand how existing lists of indicator plant species (aimed at assessing ecological integrity of grasslands and hedgerows in Ireland) are suitable for RBP schemes, by assessing how different environmental and management variables are related to the presence of the plant species selected. Extensive field surveys were conducted to assess the presence and cover of indicator species in grasslands and hedgerows in two study regions in Ireland. The indicator plant species occurrence and diversity (species richness and Simpson’s Diversity Index) were correlated with variables within farmers’ control and variables outside farmers’ control. Results showed that grassland indicator species occurrence and diversity was mainly related to grassland semi-naturalness and to the diversity of habitats existing on the farm – both variables within farmers’ control – and thus were appropriate indicators for assessing the effectiveness of management and suitable for use in RBP schemes. Conversely, the occurrence and diversity of hedgerow indicator species was not strongly related to any of the explanatory variables, making them unsuitable for use in a RBP scheme. For a RBP scheme targeted at hedgerows, clear objectives will need to be established and the farmers’ management choices need to be better linked to the selected indicator species. The selection of indicator species needs to undergo scientific scrutiny to develop fair results assessments as shown by the results of this study. The analyses conducted highlight the importance of testing if the species react to the farmers’ management choices and should be a key methodological step before final indicator species lists are implemented in RBP schemes. Recommendations for results assessments in RBP approaches are discussed based on the results of this study.

Title Year of publication Author(s) Country / Region Public good PDF or link
Technical Guidance Handbook Setting up and implementing result-based carbon farming mechanisms in the EU
2021
COWI, Ecologic Institute and IEEP
Europe
Carbon sequestration and soil functionality
What is it about
This Technical Guidance Handbook is intended to support the development of result-based payment schemes for carbon farming in the EU. The Handbook has been prepared as part of a wider study Analytical support for the operationalisation of an EU Carbon Farming Initiative, funded by the European Commission, which explores the options for wide-scale adoption of result-based carbon farming schemes or initiatives linked to climate change mitigation and adaptation.

Executive summary: https://op.europa.eu/en/publication-detail/-/publication/b7b20495-a73e-11eb-9585-01aa75ed71a1/language-en
Annexes case studies: https://op.europa.eu/en/publication-detail/-/publication/99138c98-a741-11eb-9585-01aa75ed71a1/language-en

Title Year of publication Author(s) Country / Region Public good PDF or link
The legitimacy of result-oriented and action-oriented agri-environmental schemes: A comparison of farmers' and citizens' perceptions
2021
Annukka Vainio, Annika Tienhaara, Emmi Haltia, Terho Hyvönen, Jarkko Pyysiäinen, Eija Pouta
Finland
Multiple
What is it about
Farmers’ and citizens’ perceptions of the legitimacy of the current action-oriented and the proposed result-oriented agri-environmental schemes (AES) are poorly known. To help fill this gap, this study analysed such perceptions in the context of Finnish citizens and farmers. Hypotheses on legitimacy, ecosystem service perceptions and environmental values were developed and empirically tested with nationwide surveys of Finnish citizens (n= 1,744) and farmers (n = 1,215) using t-test and multiple linear regression. The results demonstrated that Finnish citizens perceive the proposed result-oriented AES as more legitimate, whereas Finnish farmers attribute greater legitimacy to the current action-oriented AES. Among both groups, a preference for action-oriented AES, and reluctance to change them, was associated with the perception that Finnish agriculture has been successful in producing ecosystem services. Among both groups, environmental preferences were associated with the legitimation of both AES. The conclusion is that in order for a change in AES to be legitimate, that change should be perceived as necessary, justified and based on the values considered important by farmers and citizens.

Title Year of publication Author(s) Country / Region Public good PDF or link
Determinants for the Implementation of Action-, Result- and Multi-Actor-Oriented Agri-Environment Schemes in Switzerland
2020
Gabriele Mack, Christian Ritzel and Pierrick Jan
Switzerland
Farmland biodiversity
What is it about
Result- and multi-actor-oriented agri-environmental payment schemes are considered more cost-effective than action-oriented schemes in providing environmental public goods. This study analysed socio-economic determinants influencing the implementation of three types of agri-environmental scheme: action-, result- and multi-actor-oriented payment schemes. We relied on farm-level data from 2015 to 2017 retrieved from the Swiss Farm Accountancy Data Network (FADN) and individually linked with Swiss agricultural census data. The census data provided detailed information on the proportions of action-, result- and multi-actor-oriented ecological focus areas (EFAs) implemented on each FADN farm. We found evidence that farmers' knowledge and competences are more important for result- and multi-actor-oriented EFAs than for action-oriented schemes: farms managed by young full-time farmers with higher levels of education have significantly higher proportions of result-oriented EFAs. In addition, farmers with higher levels of education who manage larger farms have significantly higher proportions of multi-actor-oriented EFAs. Furthermore, institutional factors such as cantonal authorities strongly influenced the proportions of result- and multi-actor-oriented EFAs. In contrast, the implementation of action-oriented EFAs was strongly driven by farm type. We observed higher proportions of action-oriented EFAs for farm types where implementation led to little change in farming practices (for instance, extensive ruminant farms). This adverse selection behaviour resulting from low compliance costs was not observed for result- or multi-actor-oriented EFAs.

Title Year of publication Author(s) Country / Region Public good PDF or link
Developing results-based approaches to supporting the management of common grazings – final report, volume 1
2020
Robyn Stewart and Gwyn Jones
Outer Hebrides, Scotland
Biodiversity
Climate stability
What is it about
This is the final report of a LEADER and NatureScot (NS) funded project to develop a testable results or outcomes-based approach to supporting the sustainable management of common grazings, focussing first and foremost on biodiversity, but having particular regard also to carbon storage and sequestration in blanket bogs.

The link to the report is provided below. In addition, you can access the annexes of the report at:
http://www.efncp.org/download/OuterHebridescommongrazingsprojectfinalreport-annexes.pdf

Title Year of publication Author(s) Country / Region Public good PDF or link
Farming for Nature - the Role of Result-based Payments
2020
Eileen O’Rourke and John A. Finn (Editors)
Ireland
Biodiversity
What is it about
Agricultural habitats cover approximately half the European Union (EU) and an estimated 50% of all species and several habitats of conservation concern in the EU depend on agricultural management. Reversing the loss of European biodiversity is clearly dependent on the conservation of farmland biodiversity.
Results-based approaches are the focus of a growing discussion about improved biodiversity conservation anenvironmental performance of EU agri-environmental policies. This book outlines lessons learned from a collection of Irish case studies that have implemented results-based approaches and payments for the conservation of farmland habitats and species. The case studies include prominent projects and programmes: the Burren Programme, AranLIFE, KerryLIFE, the NPWS Farm Plan Scheme and Result-Based Agri-environmental Payment Schemes (RBAPS) project.
This work is intended for an international audience of practitioners, policymakers and academics interested in results-based approaches for the conservation of biodiversity and the provision of ecosystem services.

Title Year of publication Author(s) Country / Region Public good PDF or link
How to improve the conservation of species-rich grasslands with result-oriented payment schemes?
2019
Thomas Kaiser, M. Reutter and Bettina Matzdorf
Brandenburg, Germany
Farmland biodiversity
What is it about
Specific mechanisms for result-oriented payment schemes using vascular plant taxa have been discussed as possible targeted approaches for promoting European species-rich grasslands. Most indicator lists are restricted to a limited number of frequently occurring indicator taxa. However, these lists often do not adequately reflect the most valuable grasslands in terms of conservation. Thus, we developed a procedure for selecting indicator species from an expanded checklist as well as a procedure for weighting indicator species based on their indicator power in terms of conservation criteria. The case study region was the federal state of Brandenburg (Germany). The database contained Brandenburg’s vegetation mapping data and a simple indicator checklist from a previous agri-environmental program. For the conservation quality criteria, we used species number, number of extensive grassland species, number of threatened red list species and indices combining two of these criteria. The new expanded checklist resulted in 71 indicator taxa. We recommended a weighting factor that considers the indicator power of the index that combines extensively used species and red list species. Regression analyses were conducted to test the improvements resulting from each step of the approach. The determination coefficient of the regression between the number of indicator taxa and the quality index increased in the following order: simple checklist, expanded checklist and expanded weighted checklist (0.420, 0.654 and 0.782). The new, more differentiated list allows a 5-step payment approach. Generally, this procedure could be used to compile weighted indicator lists for other regions.

Title Year of publication Author(s) Country / Region Public good PDF or link
Pilot Results-Based Payment Approaches for Agri-environment schemes in arable and upland grassland systems in England
2019
Stephen Chaplin, Vicky Robinson, Annabelle Le Page, David Ward, Damien Hicks, Eva-Marie Scholz, Helen Keep, Jane Le Cocq
England
Farmland biodiversity
What is it about
This report describes a Results Based Agri-Environment Payment Scheme (RBAPS) developed as a pilot in England from 2016 to 2018. The scheme was delivered by Natural England in partnership with the Yorkshire Dales National Park Authority (YDNPA) and co-financed by the European Commission. It operated in Wensleydale (on species rich meadows and grassland for breeding waders) and Norfolk/Suffolk (delivering plots of winter bird food and flower-rich mixes for pollinators). Farmers had complete flexibility on how to manage their land, but the annual scheme payment was linked to their level of success in delivering the biodiversity outcome. The project aimed to test whether this outcomes-focussed approach motivated farmers to deliver better quality habitats for wildlife compared with the conventional approach in schemes such as Countryside Stewardship, where payments are fixed and the way they manage the land is prescribed in an agreement. It also looked at how accurately farmers could self-assess their own results, tested the cost-effectiveness of a RBAPS and explored participant and stakeholder attitudes. The project forms part of the evidence base informing the development of future agri-environment schemes.

Title Year of publication Author(s) Country / Region Public good PDF or link
Agri‐Environment Scheme Design: Past Lessons and Future Suggestions
2018
Paula Cullen, Pierre Dupraz, James Moran, Pat Murphy, Ronan O'Flaherty, Cathal O'Donoghue, Robert O'Shea and Mary Ryan
Europe
Multiple public goods
What is it about
This article summarises the views of a panel of experts from the areas of agricultural economics, ecology, agri‐environmental policy and agricultural extension who were bought together for a novel workshop on agri‐environment schemes conducted at the Agricultural Economics Society's 91st Annual Conference. The panel discussed the past, present and future of European Union agri‐environment schemes with emphasis on the movement from top‐down action‐based schemes to participatory‐partnership results‐based schemes. Pierre Dupraz, an expert in economic evaluations of agri‐environment schemes, pointed out past issues of agri‐environment schemes including the conflicting objectives and the growing complexity. James Moran, an ecologist who has been involved in the design of results‐based schemes, identified the importance of designing schemes that are adaptable and incentivise farmers to improve. Ronan O'Flaherty, a senior policymaker involved in new scheme design in Ireland, shone a light on the policy behind agri‐environment schemes and the importance of stakeholder buy‐in. Pat Murphy, a knowledge transfer specialist involved in the implementation of agri‐environment schemes, discussed the importance that knowledge transfer must play in the future of agri‐environment schemes. Together the speakers identified the challenges faced in designing and implementing agri‐environment schemes that improve environmental outcomes whether they be action or results‐based.

Title Year of publication Author(s) Country / Region Public good PDF or link
Improving agricultural pollution abatement through result-based payment schemes
2018
William Sidemo-Holm, Henrik G. Smith, Mark V.Brady
Sweden
Water quality
What is it about
This study designed and evaluated a result-based payment scheme for nonpoint-source pollution abatement from arable land. In a case study in southern Sweden, the cost-effectiveness of the new scheme was compared with that of an existing action-based scheme for vegetated buffer strips to prevent the pollutant, particulate phosphorus, from reaching water resources. The results suggest that result-based payment schemes based on modeled outcomes of pollution abatement are feasible and will considerably improve cost-effectiveness compared to action-based schemes, by relocating buffer strips to where they are more effective and not simply where they have the lowest costs for farmers.

Title Year of publication Author(s) Country / Region Public good PDF or link
Results-based Agri-environment Payments General Guidance Handbook. Step-by-step to designing results-based schemes: lessons from Ireland and Spain.
2018
Maher, C., Moran, J., Beaufoy, G., Berastegi Garciandia, A., Bleasdale, A., Byrne, D., Copland, A., Dunford, B., Edge, R., Iragui Yoldi, U., Jones, G., Lopez Rodriguez, F., McLoughlin, D. and
Ireland, Spain
Biodiversity
What is it about
This document is a General Guidance Handbook that provides step-by-step guidance to the delivery of resultsbased schemes in general. The RBAPS project developed and adapted the approach taken by existing full or hybrid results-based projects, including the Burren Programme, and guidance provided by the European Commission (Keenleyside et al. 2014). This handbook is accompanied by four Measure Handbooks that provide further specific detail on the measures designed as part of the RBAPS project (Species-rich Grasslands and Mosaic Habitat Suitable for Marsh Fritillary, Breeding Wader Habitat, Shannon Callows Species-rich Floodplain Meadows, Perennial Crops in the Mediterranean Mosaic Landscape). The measure handbooks and supporting guidance documents and project reports are available for download from the project website at www.rbaps.eu/documents.

Title Year of publication Author(s) Country / Region Public good PDF or link
Results-Based Payments for Biodiversity: A New Pilot Agri-Environment Scheme for the Târnava Mare and Pogány-havas Regions 2015-2018
2018
Răzvan Popa, László Demeter
Târnava Mare and Pogány-havas Regions, Romania
Biodiversity
What is it about
The leaflet describes a pilot agri-environment scheme for the Târnava Mare and the Pogány havas / Munții Ciucului regions. The scheme was targeted at hay meadows of High Nature Value and run as a test in these two areas for 3 years from 2016-2018.

Title Year of publication Author(s) Country / Region Public good PDF or link
Targeted payments for services delivered by farmers
2018
Berkhout, P., A. Doorn and R. Schrijver
Netherlands, Czech Republic, Germany and Sweden
Multiple public goods
What is it about
This report explores options within the Common Agricultural Policy to strengthen payments to farmers
for delivering public services related to land management, with a focus on environmental services. It
also discusses the advantages and disadvantages of different payment systems (including results-based payments) in terms of compliance with
WTO and EU legal conditions, the administrative burden (both public and private), monitoring and
control and uptake by farmers.

Title Year of publication Author(s) Country / Region Public good PDF or link
Time to look for evidence: Results-based approach to biodiversity conservation on farmland in Europe
2018
I. Herzon, T. Birge, B. Allen, A. Povellato, F. Vanni, K. Hart, G. Radley, G. Tucker, C. Keenleyside, R. Oppermann, E. Underwood, X. Poux, G. Beaufoy, J. Pražan
EU
Biodiversity
What is it about
The article summarises experiences of all schemes paying for biodiversity results on agricultural land operating in the EU and EFTA countries with the aim of reviewing the decisive elements of the schemes’ design and implementation as well as the challenges and opportunities of adopting a results-based approach.

Title Year of publication Author(s) Country / Region Public good PDF or link
Result-based agri-environment measures: market-based instruments, incentives or rewards? The case of Baden Württemberg
2016
Daniele Russi, Hélène Margue, Rainer Oppermann, Clunie Keenleyside
Baden Württemberg, Germany
Biodiversity
What is it about
The authors have analysed MEKA-B4, a result-based agrienvironment measure in Baden-Württemberg (Germany), between 2000 and 2014, which aimed to preserve species-rich grassland. Based on semi-structured face-to-face interviews with participating and non-participating farmers and key institutional actors the authors argue that MEKA-B4 could be considered a Payment for Ecosystem Services (PES), but only if a broad definition is adopted, as the payment appeared to cover the opportunity costs of only some categories of farmers (e.g., part-time farmers, less productive fields, hay producers), but it was too low to cover those of intensive cattle raisers and biogas producers, partly due to the changing market conditions (e.g., fluctuating and decreasing price of hay; incentives to produce biogas).

Title Year of publication Author(s) Country / Region Public good PDF or link
“Flowering Meadows”, a result-oriented agri-environmental measure: Technical and value changes in favour of biodiversity
2015
Philippe Fleury, Claire Seres, Laurent Dobremez, Baptiste Nettier and Yves Pauthenet
France
Farmland biodiversity
What is it about
Maintaining biodiversity in farming areas has become an important issue. Several public policies, including agri-environmental measures (AEMs), incite farmers to adapt their practices to preserve biodiversity. Yet many authors hold that farmers must undergo a cultural change by developing an environmental ethic and mind-set in order for these changes in practice to be sustainable. Looking at this issue from these two perspectives, via changes to practices and the values and influence of local social contexts, we analysed the implementation of a new result-oriented AEM: the “Flowering Meadows” AEM. Covering the Bauges, Haut-Jura and Vercors Regional Natural Parks in France, the survey was based on semi-structured interviews with farmers and other stakeholders such as environmentalists and local elected officials. We will show how the various actions accompanying this measure (training sessions, the “Flowering Meadows” competition, etc.) led to a consensus on the positive values of biodiversity. Although farmers committed to this measure for a variety of reasons (economic, environmental and social), most welcomed the idea of result-oriented payments, which they interpreted as a sign acknowledging their skills and knowledge. Changes to farming practices have nevertheless been limited to date. Here we show that the “Flowering Meadows” measure's innovation, together with the various actions to promote it, lies in its ability to build a positive social norm with respect to “meadow flowers,” seen as a symbol of biodiversity, rather than in its limited impact on changing farming practices. In conclusion, we discuss the potential of result-oriented agri-environmental schemes and their policy implications, as well as their outlooks. The particular way in which a result-oriented AEM is implemented is vital to its success in biodiversity conservation, and we make three recommendations for its improvement: anticipating a two-level payment structure better rewarding farmers who have improved biodiversity; paying particular attention to the formulation of a wording expressing the measure's finality in which all actors, not only environmentalists, may find their place; and keeping flexibility in the measure's implementation to account for the local context (existing networks of actors, intensity and quality of relations between farmers and other stakeholders). Instead of looking exclusively at the payment structure – that is, the result- and/or action-oriented AEM – our approach encourages a broad perspective on the conception of pro-biodiversity measures at the scale of an AEM scheme combining several actions: the AEM per se, plus other actions including training, education, advising and support for new governance processes.

Title Year of publication Author(s) Country / Region Public good PDF or link
Improving the link between payments and the provision of ecosystem services in agri-environment schemes
2014
Mark S. Reed, Andrew Moxey, Katrin Prager, Nick Hanley, James Skates, Aletta Bonn, Chris D. Evans, Klaus Glenk, Ken Thomson
UK
Multiple public goods
What is it about
This paper considers how agri-environment schemes under the Common Agricultural Policy could be adapted to derive a higher return of ecosystem services, by spatially targeting the services most valued by society and providing incentives for cross-boundary management of certain ecosystem services at catchment or wider spatial scales. The paper reviews evidence that spatially targeted, outcome-based payments may be more economically efficient than current approaches, but identifies a number of challenges, including: scientific uncertainty; pricing of ecosystem services; timing of payments; increased risk to land managers; compliance with World Trade Organisation regulations; and barriers to cross-boundary collaboration in the management of ecosystem services at habitat, catchment or landscape scales. Options are reviewed to overcome these challenges, including: the use of pressure–response functions and modelling approaches to establish causal links between management and ecosystem service delivery and reduce the costs of monitoring; non-market valuation techniques to set prices for ecosystem service delivery; insurance schemes; combining funding from public and private Payment for Ecosystem Service schemes; and options to facilitate cross-boundary management of ecosystem services. Using examples from UK peatlands and the Welsh Glastir agri-environment scheme, the paper suggests ways to link payments for management inputs more effectively to the provision of ecosystem services.

Title Year of publication Author(s) Country / Region Public good PDF or link
Results-based Payments for Biodiversity Guidance Handbook Designing and implementing results-based agri-environment schemes 2014-2020
2014
Clunie Keenleyside, Geoff Radley, Graham Tucker, Evelyn Underwood, Kaley Hart, Ben Allen, Hetty Menadue
EU
Biodiversity
What is it about
This Guidance Handbook and accompanying supplements are part of a package of materials designed to support the development of results-based agri-environment payment schemes across the EU. These have been prepared within the context of a wider study reviewing results-based approaches to biodiversity delivery on farmland in Europe. The main study report and all the materials can be found on the European Commission website: https://ec.europa.eu/environment/nature/rbaps/index_en.htm

Title Year of publication Author(s) Country / Region Public good PDF or link
Agri-environment schemes: Farmers’ acceptance and perception of potential ‘Payment by Results’ in grassland—A case study in England
2013
Lilli A.Schroeder, Johannes Isselstein, Stephen Chaplin and Stephen Peel
England
Farmland biodiversity
What is it about
The implementation of a ‘Payment by Results’ (PBR) approach to agri-environment schemes (AES) can further increase their ecological and economic efficiency. The aim of this case study was to assess farmers’ perception and acceptance of potential PBR using the example of England and to evaluate aspects of importance to the implementation of PBR. Face-to-face interviews were conducted with 32 farmers in the English region of ‘Yorkshire and The Humber’. A semi-standardised questionnaire, which included an example-PBR-option for maintaining and enhancing species-richness in grassland, was developed. The results show that the majority of farmers in this case study accepted PBR. Acceptance was significantly influenced by farmers’ age, experience with AES, farm size and abundance of pre-existing environmental features. If PBR was introduced, farmers would seek more advice. However, the actual willingness of farmers to join a full PBR scheme instead of an action-based option is still questionable. An approach combining a maintained with an enhanced PBR element with different target levels emerged as a possible way forward.

Title Year of publication Author(s) Country / Region Public good PDF or link
Indicator-based agri-environmental payments: A payment-by-result model for public goods with a Swedish application
2013
Knut Per Hasund
Sweden
Biodiversity
Landscape
Cultural heritage
What is it about
Biodiversity, cultural heritage, and scenery are major public goods produced in the agricultural landscape. Theoretically, Indicator-based Agri-Environmental Payments have the properties of providing socially efficient production. A system of seven composite state indicators, expressing the public goods of the respective fields or field elements, was developed and tested to assess if the model worked in practical policy implementation. The evaluation indicated a more efficient resource allocation, better dynamic incentives and lower transaction costs, compared to the current Swedish payment programs. A disadvantage is that such value-differentiated payments do not comply with tailoring and with present WTO- or CAP-regulations of cost-based payments.

Title Year of publication Author(s) Country / Region Public good PDF or link
Result-oriented agri-environmental schemes in Europe and their potential for promoting behavioural change
2013
Rob J.F. Burton and Gerald Schwarz
Europe
Multiple public goods
What is it about
Increasing interest is being shown in result-oriented agri-environmental schemes. Such schemes have the advantage of encouraging farmers to innovate to produce environmental goods – thus promoting the development of new skills and knowledge and, theoretically, ensuring that farmers are paid for provision rather than for performing management behaviours that may, or may not, lead to provision. In Europe a number of projects have trialled result-based payments over the last decade and calls for a stronger connection between agri-environmental payments and outcomes are growing. However, while the amount of information available on result-oriented schemes is increasing, there is currently no overview of the approach in the literature. This paper seeks to address this gap through a review of existing literature. It discusses why we might consider the use of result-oriented schemes, outlines two key ‘problem areas’ (the increased risk schemes represent to farmers, and the difficulties of developing and monitoring indicators), and, finally, proposes a framework for examining the strength of results orientation based on three dimensions – proportion of result-oriented payments, sensitivity of payments, and duration of schemes/payments. Although economic and ecological arguments are outlined, our focus in the analysis is on how the result-oriented approach is likely to institute cultural/social change, and how to optimise schemes to ensure cultural embeddedness.