Article – Agri-Environment Scheme Design: Past Lessons and Future Suggestions

Cullen, P., Dupraz, P., Moran, J., Murphy, P., O’Flaherty, R., O’Donoghue, C., … Ryan, M. (2018). Agri-Environment Scheme Design: Past Lessons and Future Suggestions. EuroChoices, 0(0).
This article summarizes 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 incentivize 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.

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