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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 Policies Implemented in France from 2000 to 2002 under the CTE Farm Contract Scheme

While various agri-environmental measures have been available in France since the early 1990s, a single scheme based on regional farming contracts (the contrat territorial d’exploitation or CTE) was established in 2000 as part of the Rural Development Plan 2000-06.2 This was a major shift to broaden the scope of applicability to cover the whole country. As required, a mid-term evaluation of the RDP was conducted in 2003. Within this, the evaluation of the CTE was split into 22 contracts (one national and 21 regional) which were awarded to eleven evaluation consultancies, and cost over EUR 1 million. At this stage, the main findings indicate that the measures appear to be working adequately with regard to maintaining biodiversity and the quality of landscape in grazing and mixed crop/livestock zones but fairly poorly in terms of mitigating the negative impacts of agriculture, such as water pollution. As a follow-up to the evaluation, working groups were established to consider changes to the measures to improve their performance.

English

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