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Evaluating Agri-environmental Policies

Design, Practice and Results

image of Evaluating Agri-environmental Policies

These conference proceedings present a series of evaluations of agri-environmental policies in OECD countries.  They examine how effective the policies have been in achieving objectives and what policy makers have learned about the design and implementation of their policies. 

These proceedings show that different methods of policy evaluation are complementary. Most countries focus on evaluating the environmental effectiveness rather than the economic efficiency of policies, using physical indicators rather than monetary values. Many policies are achieving their environmental objectives, but are taking longer than originally anticipated. The initiative being taken in many countries to incorporate monitoring and data collection into programme design and implementation is a positive development.  But a number of steps need to be taken to improve the quality of evaluations, including the better articulation of policy goals and objectives, improving data quality and establishing baselines for comparison.

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Evaluation of Agri-environmental Measures in Switzerland

In 1994, Switzerland launched an extensive evaluation of agri-environmental measures that will be completed in 2005. Over time, various scientific studies commenced to analyse the effects of these measures on biodiversity; nitrogen, phosphorus and pesticide use; and the farm economic situation. A system of agri-environmental indicators is being established. Every four years, Switzerland decides on important modifications in agricultural policy. The various projects have to be finished and exploited in such a way that they can be used in the next round of agricultural policy modification.

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