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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

All three papers in Part VI discuss, and in some cases value, the benefits that result from agrienvironmental policies (AEP). For instance, the social environmental benefits of the Canadian Shelterbelt Program exceed the cost, and in New Zealand, the potential economic gains to farmers resulting from the Sustainable Farming Fund exceed the funds provided. But we have learned that there are uncertainties with regard to the appropriate economic evaluation tools...

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