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.



Key Issues

Part V contains two excellent papers that evaluate agri-environmental regulatory policies. The papers take mainly a technical standpoint, focusing on the measurement of the principal environmental issue that was the objective of policy makers, i.e. soil erosion in the US and nitrogen loss in Denmark. Both papers show some attention to the dynamics of policy impact, particularly the Danish paper that discusses the trend in nitrogen reduction. The two papers emphasise the good results of the policies under evaluation, even with delays and the presence of climate effects that somehow disturb the clear interpretation of the environmental changes detected. They also emphasise the importance of simple indicators, regularly used over time, with possibilities for benchmarking and comparisons (such as nitrogen balances) and the use of a mix of information sources (primary ambient data, input statistics, etc.). The papers focus on one or a few indicators very much confined to the main target of the policy...


This is a required field
Please enter a valid email address
Approval was a Success
Invalid data
An Error Occurred
Approval was partially successful, following selected items could not be processed due to error