Browsing by Subject "Agri-environment schemes"

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  • Herzon, I.; Birge, T.; Allen, B.; Povellato, A.; Vanni, F.; Hart, K.; Radley, G.; Tucker, G.; Keenleyside, C.; Oppermann, R.; Underwood, E.; Poux, X.; Beaufoy, G.; Prazan, J. (2018)
    Increased use of annual payments to land managers for ecological outcomes indicates a growing interest in exploring the potential of this approach. In this viewpoint, we drew on the experiences of all schemes paying for biodiversity outcomes/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. We analysed the characteristics of results-based schemes using evidence from peer-reviewed literature, technical reports, scheme practitioners and experts in agri-environment-climate policy. We developed a typology of the schemes and explored critical issues influencing the feasibility and performance of results-based schemes. The evidence to date shows that there are at least 11 advantages to the results-based approach not found in management-based schemes with similar objectives, dealing with environmental efficiency, farmers' participation and development of local biodiversity-based projects. Although results-based approaches have specific challenges at every stage of design and implementation, for many of these the existing schemes provide potential solutions. There is also some apprehension about trying a results-based approach in Mediterranean, central and eastern EU Member States. We conclude that there is clear potential to expand the approach in the European Union for the Rural Development programming period for 2021-2028. Nevertheless, evidence is needed about the approach's efficiency in delivering conservation outcomes in the long term, its additionality, impact on the knowledge and attitudes of land managers and society at large, development of ways of rewarding the achievement of actual results, as well as its potential for stimulating innovative grassroots solutions.
  • Ekroos, Johan; Tiainen, Juha; Seimola, Tuomas; Herzon, Irina (2019)
    Context The current Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) of the European Union includes three greening measures, which are partly intended to benefit farmland biodiversity. However, the relative biodiversity effects of the greening measures, including joint effects of landscape context, are not well understood. Objectives We studied the effects of increasing crop diversity, proportions of production grasslands and fallows, corresponding to CAP greening measures, on open farmland bird diversity, whilst controlling for the effects of distance to forests, field edge density and proportion of built-up areas. Methods We surveyed open farmland birds using territory mapping in Southern Finland. We modelled effects of greening measures and landscape structure on farmland birds (7642 territories) using generalised linear mixed models. Results Increasing proportions of grasslands increased farmland bird species richness and diversity in open farmland, whereas increasing proportions of fallows increased bird diversity. Increasing crop diversity benefited individual species, but not species richness or diversity. Increasing field edge densities consistently increased the species richness of all farmland species, in-field nesters and non-crop nesters, as well as total farmland bird diversity. The relative effect of edge density was much stronger compared to the three greening measures. Conclusions Our results show that promoting fallows and grasslands, in particular grazed grasslands and various types of semi-natural grasslands, has the highest potential to benefit farmland bird diversity. Maintaining or increasing field edge densities, currently not supported, seems to be of even more benefit. In open farmland, with little or no field edges, fallows and grasslands are particularly beneficial.