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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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Key Issues

The papers included in Part III cover a range of agri-environmental measures that reward farmers for the supply of public benefits (e.g. environment, biodiversity values and nature management). Measures include: 1) the adoption of a new Environmental Stewardship Scheme to be put in the broader context of agri-environmental programmes in England; 2) buffer strips as a very specific and targeted agri-environmental measure in Finland; 3) a comparison of agri-environmental measures relative to other agricultural policy programmes that could contribute to meeting environmental targets in Germany, Sweden and Switzerland; and 4) a specific programme (the CRP) in the United States to control soil erosion and conserve wildlife...

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