Successful webinar on "Assessing results-based indicators"
Topic of the webinar on 20 June 2020 was 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.
00:30:30 – 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.
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:
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.
Thanks, Brendan, for that addition. Effective communication is a key aspect of RBP approach.
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.
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.
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.
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
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.
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.
The next webinar is expected to take place in autumn 2020 on "Implementation of results-bases schemes in the future CAP".