Staff Publications

Staff Publications

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    'Staff publications' is the digital repository of Wageningen University & Research

    'Staff publications' contains references to publications authored by Wageningen University staff from 1976 onward.

    Publications authored by the staff of the Research Institutes are available from 1995 onwards.

    Full text documents are added when available. The database is updated daily and currently holds about 240,000 items, of which 72,000 in open access.

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    Firms’ willingness to invest in a water fund to improve water-related ecosystem services in the Lake Naivasha basin, Kenya
    Mulatu, D.W. ; Oel, P.R. van; Veen, A. van der - \ 2015
    Water International 40 (2015)3. - ISSN 0250-8060 - p. 463 - 482.
    tropical forestry projects - environmental services - market actors - payments - management - behavior - private - choice - impact
    A valuation scenario was designed using a contingent-valuation approach and presented to decision makers in business firms in Kenya’s Lake Naivasha basin to test how applicable a water fund might be as a potential financing mechanism for a payment for water-related ecosystem services scheme. The findings indicate that measuring a firm’s willingness to invest in ecosystem services could help determine whether a firm would invest and engage with other stakeholders to pool their investments in ecosystem services. Linking the institutional decision-making behaviour of a firm and its willingness to invest in a water fund is the novelty of this article.
    Scale and self-governance in agri-environment schemes: experiences with two alternative approaches in the Netherlands
    Westerink, J. ; Melman, D. ; Schrijver, R.A.M. - \ 2015
    Journal of Environmental Planning and Management 58 (2015)8. - ISSN 0964-0568 - p. 1490 - 1508.
    social-ecological systems - biodiversity conservation - agricultural landscapes - habitat fragmentation - mosaic management - limosa-limosa - payments - survival - policy - participation
    Agri-environment schemes in the Netherlands have been criticized for their lack of effectiveness. Explanations were sought in the limited size of the individual farm and in the shallowness of the measures. We distinguish three scale problems: in the spatial dimension (from farm element to landscape), in the management dimension (from add-on measure to farming system) and in the governance dimension (from little to much space for self-governance by farmers). These scale concepts are used to translate insights from ecology and agro-economy to governance approaches. We analyse case studies of two new approaches: an area approach with group contracts and spatial coordination of agri-environmental measures, and a farming system with substantial adaptations of the farming concept. Both approaches have elements of increased self-governance and could offer inspiration for schemes elsewhere. We propose that appropriate space for self-governance is necessary when choosing another scale approach for making agri-environment schemes more effective.
    Implementing REDD+ (Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Degradation): evidence on governance, evaluation and impacts from the REDD-ALERT project
    Matthews, R.B. ; Noordwijk, M. van; Lambin, E. ; Meyfroidt, P. ; Gupta, J. ; Verschot, L. ; Hergoualc'h, K. ; Veldkamp, E. - \ 2014
    Mitigation and Adaptation Strategies for Global Change 19 (2014)6. - ISSN 1381-2386 - p. 907 - 925.
    land-use - agricultural intensification - environmental services - avoided deforestation - shifting cultivation - developing-world - food security - carbon - payments - costs
    Abstract The REDD-ALERT (Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Degradation from Alternative Land Uses in the Rainforests of the Tropics) project started in 2009 and finished in 2012, and had the aim of evaluating mechanisms that translate international-level agreements into instruments that would help change the behaviour of land users while minimising adverse repercussions on their livelihoods. Findings showed that some developing tropical countries have recently been through a forest transition, thus shifting from declining to expanding forests at a national scale. However, in most of these (e.g. Vietnam), a significant part of the recent increase in national forest cover is associated with an increase in importation of food and timber products from abroad, representing leakage of carbon stocks across international borders. Avoiding deforestation and restoring forests will require a mixture of regulatory approaches, emerging market-based instruments, suasive options, and hybrid management measures. Policy analysis and modelling work showed the high degree of complexity at local levels and highlighted the need to take this heterogeneity into account—it is unlikely that there will be a one size fits all approach to make Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Degradation (REDD+) work. Significant progress was made in the quantification of carbon and greenhouse gas (GHG) fluxes following land-use change in the tropics, contributing to narrower confidence intervals on peat-based emissions and their reporting standards. There are indications that there is only a short and relatively small window of opportunity of making REDD+ work—these included the fact that forest-related emissions as a fraction of total global GHG emissions have been decreasing over time due to the increase in fossil fuel emissions, and that the cost efficiency of REDD+ may be much less than originally thought due to the need to factor in safeguard costs, transaction costs and monitoring costs. Nevertheless, REDD+ has raised global awareness of the world’s forests and the factors affecting them, and future developments should contribute to the emergence of new landscape-based approaches to protecting a wider range of ecosystem services. Keywords Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Degradation . REDD+ . Indonesia . Vietnam. Cameroon . Peru . Peatlands . Carbon stocks .Greenhouse gases . GHGs
    Estimating the cost of different strategies for measuring farmland biodiversity: Evidence from a Europe-wide field evaluation
    Targetti, S. ; Herzog, F. ; Geijzendorffer, I.R. ; Jongman, R.H.G. - \ 2014
    Ecological Indicators 45 (2014). - ISSN 1470-160X - p. 434 - 443.
    conservation - indicators - scale - management - challenge - habitats - payments - lessons - ecology - forests
    Forty percent of the EU land area is currently considered to be agriculturally managed (utilised agricul-tural area – UAA – Eurostat Agricultural Census 2010), and attention to the environmental performanceof farming practices is growing. To determine the performance of agricultural practices, farm-scale mon-itoring programmes are required but their implementation is hampered by a number of difficulties suchas the identification of broadly applicable indicators appropriate for different biogeographic locations,and the evaluation of the effectiveness and costs of different monitoring approaches. In this paper, wefocus on the costs of farm-scale biodiversity monitoring, presenting results from a Europe-wide costdata collection in the EU FP7 BioBio Project. Firstly, we present an analytical assessment of resourcesconsumed by the research units and a cost estimation for the measurement of six biodiversity-relatedparameters: farm habitats, vegetation, wild bees and bumblebees, spiders, earthworms and farm man-agement. Thereafter, we estimate a standardised cost for an ordinary measurement of the six parametersat farm-scale. In doing so, we highlight the cost differences between three strategies involving differentpotential actors (professional agencies, farmers, volunteers). This analysis demonstrates that producingreliable data on monitoring costs requires a large sample pool of farms and farm types, as was the casein the BioBio project. The cost standardisation allowed us to estimate a cost for biodiversity monitoringranging between D 2700 and D 8200 per farm, depending on the chosen strategy.
    Ecosystem Services and Opportunity Costs Shift Spatial Priorities for Conserving Forest Biodiversity
    Schroter, M. ; Rusch, G.M. ; Barton, D.N. ; Blumentrath, S. ; Nordén, B. - \ 2014
    PLoS ONE 9 (2014)11. - ISSN 1932-6203 - 12 p.
    protected areas - trade-offs - rich forests - conservation - landscapes - strategies - payments - benefits - science - norway
    Inclusion of spatially explicit information on ecosystem services in conservation planning is a fairly new practice. This study analyses how the incorporation of ecosystem services as conservation features can affect conservation of forest biodiversity and how different opportunity cost constraints can change spatial priorities for conservation. We created spatially explicit cost-effective conservation scenarios for 59 forest biodiversity features and five ecosystem services in the county of Telemark (Norway) with the help of the heuristic optimisation planning software, Marxan with Zones. We combined a mix of conservation instruments where forestry is either completely (non-use zone) or partially restricted (partial use zone). Opportunity costs were measured in terms of foregone timber harvest, an important provisioning service in Telemark. Including a number of ecosystem services shifted priority conservation sites compared to a case where only biodiversity was considered, and increased the area of both the partial (+36.2%) and the non-use zone (+3.2%). Furthermore, opportunity costs increased (+6.6%), which suggests that ecosystem services may not be a side-benefit of biodiversity conservation in this area. Opportunity cost levels were systematically changed to analyse their effect on spatial conservation priorities. Conservation of biodiversity and ecosystem services trades off against timber harvest. Currently designated nature reserves and landscape protection areas achieve a very low proportion (9.1%) of the conservation targets we set in our scenario, which illustrates the high importance given to timber production at present. A trade-off curve indicated that large marginal increases in conservation target achievement are possible when the budget for conservation is increased. Forty percent of the maximum hypothetical opportunity costs would yield an average conservation target achievement of 79%.
    Community Monitoring of Carbon Stocks for REDD+: Does Accuracy and Cost Change over Time?
    Brofeldt, S. ; Theilade, I. ; Burgess, N.D. ; Danielsen, F. ; Poulsen, M.K. ; Adrian, T. ; Nguyen Bang, T. ; Budiman, A. ; Jensen, J. ; Jensen, A.E. ; Kurniawan, Y. ; Laegaard, S.B.L. ; Mingxu, Z. ; Noordwijk, M. van; Rahayu, S. ; Rutishauser, E. ; Schmidt-Vogt, D. ; Warta, Z. ; Widayati, A. - \ 2014
    Forests 5 (2014)8. - ISSN 1999-4907 - p. 1834 - 1854.
    local people - forests - implementation - conservation - tanzania - payments
    Reducing emissions from deforestation and forest degradation in developing countries, and the role of conservation, sustainable management of forests, and enhancement of forest carbon stocks in developing countries (REDD+) is a potentially powerful international policy mechanism that many tropical countries are working towards implementing. Thus far, limited practical consideration has been paid to local rights to forests and forest resources in REDD+ readiness programs, beyond noting the importance of these issues. Previous studies have shown that community members can reliably and cost-effectively monitor forest biomass. At the same time, this can improve local ownership and forge important links between monitoring activities and local decision-making. Existing studies have, however, been static assessments of biomass at one point in time. REDD+ programs will require repeated surveys of biomass over extended time frames. Here, we examine trends in accuracy and costs of local forest monitoring over time. We analyse repeated measurements by community members and professional foresters of 289 plots over two years in four countries in Southeast Asia. This shows, for the first time, that with repeated measurements community members’ biomass measurements become increasingly accurate and costs decline. These findings provide additional support to available evidence that community members can play a strong role in monitoring forest biomass in the local implementation of REDD+.
    Household-level effects of China’s Sloping Land Conversion Program under price and policy shifts
    Komarek, A.M. ; Shi Xiaoping, ; Heerink, N.B.M. - \ 2014
    Land Use Policy 40 (2014). - ISSN 0264-8377 - p. 36 - 44.
    conservation set-aside - western china - ecosystem services - green program - grain - impact - agriculture - livelihoods - payments - food
    This study examined how agricultural households involved in China's Sloping Land Conversion Program (SLCP) could respond to expected changes in environmental and livestock policies and changing commodity prices. We calibrated a farm household model using 2009 survey data collected in northeast Gansu Province, China, and examined the responses of four different household groups. Household groups were distinguished based on the resources they possessed for either cropping, livestock husbandry or off-farm employment. We also calculated the opportunity cost of converting sloping land from grain crop production to perennial grass production and included the net value of the replacement crop in these calculations. Our model simulations indicated that subsistence-oriented households were most likely to participate in the SLCP, and that SLCP payment reductions could have large negative income effects for this group. Reductions in SLCP payments increased income inequality among households in the study area. Migration- and cropping-oriented households have fewer incentives to participate in the SLCP. With rising commodity prices, SLCP payments need to rise to avoid that subsistence-oriented households reconvert their land from perennial grasses to annual grain crops. Local government policies related to livestock production are being devised in Gansu as a method to lift incomes, and these policies could also have positive environmental benefits by increasing grass production on sloping land. The introduction of these livestock promotion policies had modest income effects but did not alter the area grown with grasses under the SLCP.
    Water for forests to restore environmental services and alleviate poverty in Vietnam: a farm modeling approach to analyze alternative PES programs
    Damien, J. ; Boere, E.J.M. ; Berg, M.M. van den; Dang, D. ; Cu, T.P. ; Affholder, F. ; Pandey, S. - \ 2014
    Land Use Policy 41 (2014). - ISSN 0264-8377 - p. 423 - 437.
    sustainable land-use - ecosystem services - southeast-asia - agricultural intensification - payments - impact - issues - deforestation - technologies - population
    Most forested areas in South East Asia are located in mountainous areas, where they are reservoirs of biodiversity and have important watershed regulating functions. However, the continuing provision of these environmental services may be jeopardized by land use changes. To re-establish natural or productive forests, programs are being proposed in which participating farmers can set aside some of their cultivated sloping land and receive payment for maintaining the newly forested land. This paper compares two types of payments for ecosystems services (or PES)-type programs designed to favor reforestation by farming households: “Payments for forests” (PFF) and “Terraces for forests” (TFF). Both programs involve setting aside sloping land for reforestation but differ in the type and amount of compensation offered. PFF offers annual payments per area of retired land. TFF offers to cover the cost of converting a certain amount of a farm's sloping land into terraces, combined with annual payments per unit area of retired land. The main objective of the paper is to compare the two types of programs in terms of cost-efficiency – can we get the same amount of forest at lower cost? – and equity – will the poorest farmers participate? Using mathematical programming, we developed a set of farm models corresponding to typical farms in a mountainous district in Northern Vietnam. We simulated participation rates of different types of farms in the two types of PES programs. For each PES, we assessed the amount of land converted into forest, the cost of the program, and its impacts on land use and household revenues, at individual farm and village level. Results of our simulations showed that increasing access to irrigated terraces as a way of compensating for converting land to forest increased the participation of the poorest farmers and was more cost efficient than pure cash payments. This suggests that existing PFF programs are biased against the smallest landholders in the region whereas they could be transformed into win–win programs likely to increase forested areas and reduce inequalities among farm households. Our paper demonstrates that PES schemes, when fine-tuned to the South East Asian context, could not only be used to restore ecosystem services, but also to alleviate poverty.
    Options for a national framework for benefit distribution and their relation to community-based and national REDD+ monitoring
    Skutsch, M. ; Turnhout, E. ; Vijge, M.J. ; Herold, M. ; Wits, T. ; Besten, J.W. den; Balderas Torres, A. - \ 2014
    Forests 5 (2014)7. - ISSN 1999-4907 - p. 1596 - 1617.
    environmental services - brazilian amazon - payments - deforestation - conservation - carbon - challenges - poverty - mexico - biodiversity
    Monitoring is a central element in the implementation of national REDD+ and may be essential in providing the data needed to support benefit distribution. We discuss the options for benefit sharing systems in terms of technical feasibility and political acceptability in respect of equity considerations, and the kind of data that would be needed for the different options. We contrast output-based distribution systems, in which rewards are distributed according to performance measured in terms of carbon impacts, with input-based systems in which performance is measured in term of compliance with prescribed REDD+ activities. Output-based systems, which would require regular community carbon inventories to produce Tier 3 data locally, face various challenges particularly for the case of assessing avoided deforestation, and they may not be perceived as equitable. Input-based systems would require data on activities undertaken rather than change in stocks; this information could come from community-acquired data. We also consider how community monitored data could support national forest monitoring systems and the further development of national REDD+
    Benefits of investing in ecosystem restoration
    Groot, R.S. de; Blignaut, J. ; Ploeg, S. van der; Aronson, J. ; Elmqvist, T. ; Farley, J. - \ 2013
    Conservation Biology 27 (2013)6. - ISSN 0888-8892 - p. 1286 - 1293.
    ecological restoration - south-africa - biodiversity - payments - services - opportunities - conservation - metaanalysis - indonesia - working
    Measures aimed at conservation or restoration of ecosystems are often seen as net-cost projects by governments and businesses because they are based on incomplete and often faulty cost-benefit analyses. After screening over 200 studies, we examined the costs (94 studies) and benefits (225 studies) of ecosystem restoration projects that had sufficient reliable data in 9 different biomes ranging from coral reefs to tropical forests. Costs included capital investment and maintenance of the restoration project, and benefits were based on the monetary value of the total bundle of ecosystem services provided by the restored ecosystem. Assuming restoration is always imperfect and benefits attain only 75% of the maximum value of the reference systems over 20 years, we calculated the net present value at the social discount rates of 2% and 8%. We also conducted 2 threshold cum sensitivity analyses. Benefit-cost ratios ranged from about 0.05:1 (coral reefs and coastal systems, worst-case scenario) to as much as 35:1 (grasslands, best-case scenario). Our results provide only partial estimates of benefits at one point in time and reflect the lower limit of the welfare benefits of ecosystem restoration because both scarcity of and demand for ecosystem services is increasing and new benefits of natural ecosystems and biological diversity are being discovered. Nonetheless, when accounting for even the incomplete range of known benefits through the use of static estimates that fail to capture rising values, the majority of the restoration projects we analyzed provided net benefits and should be considered not only as profitable but also as high-yielding investments.
    Unravelling property relations around forest carbon
    Mahanty, S. ; Dressler, W.H. ; Milne, S. ; Filer, C. - \ 2013
    Singapore Journal of Tropical Geography 34 (2013)2. - ISSN 0129-7619 - p. 188 - 205.
    papua-new-guinea - environmental services - cambodia - deforestation - payments - offsets - access
    Market-based interventions to Reduce Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation (REDD+) enable the carbon stored in land and forests to be traded as a new and intangible form of property. Using examples from Cambodia, the Philippines and Papua New Guinea, we examine the property negotiations underpinning this new forest carbon economy. We show that the institutions and land use negotiations needed to ‘produce’ forest carbon interact recursively with existing property claims over land and forests. Even where customary rights are formally recognized (PNG, Philippines), claims to forest carbon are still complicated by ambiguities and complexities surrounding rights to forested land. Meanwhile the new value attached to forest carbon can stimulate efforts to appropriate land and forest resources associated with it, creating new power relations and property dynamics. This interplay between forest carbon and underlying contested property claims in rural forest settings creates an unstable basis for forest carbon markets and raises questions about future access to forested land.
    All-in-Auctions for water
    Zetland, D.J. - \ 2013
    Journal of Environmental Management 115 (2013). - ISSN 0301-4797 - p. 78 - 86.
    experimental economics - laboratory experiments - multiunit demand - prospect-theory - market - design - institutions - payments - rights - rules
    This paper proposes a novel mechanism for reallocating temporary water flows or permanent water rights. The All-in-Auction (AiA) increases efficiency and social welfare by reallocating water without harming water rights holders. AiAs can be used to allocate variable or diminished flows among traditional or new uses. AiAs are appropriate for use within larger organizations that distribute water among members, e.g., irrigation districts or wholesale water agencies. Members would decide when and how to use AiAs, i.e., when transaction costs are high, environmental constraints are binding, or allocation to outsiders is desired. Experimental sessions show that an AiA reallocates more units with no less efficiency that traditional two-sided auctions.
    Exploring co-investments in sustainable land management in the Central Rift Valley of Ethiopia
    Adimassu Teferi, Z. ; Kessler, A. ; Stroosnijder, L. - \ 2013
    International Journal of Sustainable Development and World Ecology 20 (2013)1. - ISSN 1350-4509 - p. 32 - 44.
    soil conservation - leadership - policy - accountability - challenges - payments - services - view
    In Ethiopia, not only farmers but also the public and private sector partners are still hesitant to invest in sustainable land management (SLM). This study focuses on the Central Rift Valley and explores the potential for co-investments in SLM, where public and private sector partners support farmers with material, capital, knowledge, etc. A survey revealed current bottlenecks for co-investments and requirements needed to collaboratively invest in SLM. It covered 165 public sector partners (micro-, meso- and macro-level institutions) and 42 private sector partners (banks, exporters and local traders). Results for the public sector show a gap between macro- and micro-/meso-level actors concerning co-investments in SLM. Macro-level institutions do not acknowledge the bottlenecks identified by micro- and meso-level institutions (e.g. lack of accountability, top-down approaches and lack of good leadership). Similarly, opinions on requirements for co-investments in SLM differ considerably, showing that bridging the institutional micro–macro gap is crucial to co-investments. Most factors are related to the wider governance context and to different perceptions among micro- and macro-level actors as to the critical pre-conditions to co-investment in SLM. Improving governance at all institutional levels, capacity building and enhancing a common understanding on barriers to SLM is required. Results for the private sector reveal that economic bottlenecks limit possibilities to co-invest in SLM, and that enabling policies in the public sphere are required to trigger private investments. Hence, the potential for co-investments in SLM is available in Ethiopia at micro- and meso-level and within the private sector, but profound commitment and fundamental policy changes at the macro-level are required to exploit this potential.
    Quantitative simulation tools to analyze up- and downstream interactions of soil and water conservation measures: Supporting policy making in the Green Water Credits program of Kenya
    Hunink, J.E. ; Droogers, P. ; Kauffman, J.H. ; Mwaniki, B.M. ; Bouma, J. - \ 2012
    Journal of Environmental Management 111 (2012). - ISSN 0301-4797 - p. 187 - 194.
    land-use change - management-practices - sediment yield - model - swat - runoff - evapotranspiration - catchment - payments - services
    Upstream soil and water conservation measures in catchments can have positive impact both upstream in terms of less erosion and higher crop yields, but also downstream by less sediment flow into reservoirs and increased groundwater recharge. Green Water Credits (GWC) schemes are being developed to encourage upstream farmers to invest in soil and water conservation practices which will positively effect upstream and downstream water availability. Quantitative information on water and sediment fluxes is crucial as a basis for such financial schemes. A pilot design project in the large and strategically important Upper-Tana Basin in Kenya has the objective to develop a methodological framework for this purpose. The essence of the methodology is the integration and use of a collection of public domain tools and datasets: the so-called Green water and Blue water Assessment Toolkit (GBAT). This toolkit was applied in order to study different options to implement GWC in agricultural rainfed land for the pilot study. Impact of vegetative contour strips, mulching, and tied ridges were determined for: (i) three upstream key indicators: soil loss, crop transpiration and soil evaporation, and (ii) two downstream indicators: sediment inflow in reservoirs and groundwater recharge. All effects were compared with a baseline scenario of average conditions. Thus, not only actual land management was considered but also potential benefits of changed land use practices. Results of the simulations indicate that especially applying contour strips or tied ridges significantly reduces soil losses and increases groundwater recharge in the catchment. The model was used to build spatial expressions of the proposed management practices in order to assess their effectiveness. The developed procedure allows exploring the effects of soil conservation measures in a catchment to support the implementation of GWC.
    REDD+ in the context of ecosystem management
    Hein, L.G. ; Meer, P.J. van der - \ 2012
    Current Opinion in Environmental Sustainability 4 (2012)6. - ISSN 1877-3435 - p. 604 - 611.
    greenhouse-gas emissions - environmental services - developing-countries - forest degradation - tropical forest - deforestation - implementation - indonesia - payments - biodiversity
    The design and implementation of REDD+ projects requires understanding the local ecological, economic and social context. This paper analyzes how REDD+ influences the context of ecosystem management, from both a conceptual and an ecosystem-scale perspective. We analyze how REDD+ changes the economic interests in ecosystem management for different stakeholders, and present a case study demonstrating the economic benefits of sustainable forest use versus oil palm plantation in Indonesia. We also analyze the economic costs of carbon emissions from land use conversion, and show that in Kalimantan, Indonesia, net revenues from REDD+ need to be US$ 3/ton CO2 to allow sustainable forest use to compete with oil palm on peat, and US$ 7/ton CO2 for mineral soil. Subsequently we present four insights from our ecosystem analysis relevant for REDD+.
    Economic Governance to Expand Commercial Wetlands: Within- and Cross-Scale Challenges
    Blaeij, A.T. de; Polman, N.B.P. ; Reinhard, A.J. - \ 2011
    Ecology and Society 16 (2011)1. - ISSN 1708-3087 - 13 p.
    ecosystem services - environmental services - distance-decay - valuation - payments - conservation - netherlands - information - management - benefits
    Commercial wetlands are defined as wetlands directed by an entrepreneur with the intention of making a profit. The combination of ecosystem services that commercial wetlands can provide seems to be an attractive societal perspective. Nevertheless, these wetlands are not developed on a large scale in the Netherlands. This paper discusses different types of economic governance that could facilitate the development of new commercial wetlands and addresses challenges that have to be overcome. We conclude that developing governance solutions that address ecosystem services with different scales is crucial for the introduction of commercial wetlands. Also, distinct and autonomous property rights of entrepreneurs need to be addressed.
    Financial consequences of cross-compliance and flat-rate-per-ha subsidies: The case of olive farmers on sloping land
    Graaff, J. de; Kessler, A. ; Duarte, F. - \ 2011
    Land Use Policy 28 (2011)2. - ISSN 0264-8377 - p. 388 - 394.
    production systems - conservation - payments - future
    Under the past Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) olive oil subsidy regime, farmers were eligible for subsidies on the basis of amount of olive oil produced. This led to an intensification of production and negative environmental effects on sloping land, such as loss of biodiversity and more soil erosion. In 2004 the olive and olive oil regime changed, with integration of support to olive farmers in the Single Payment Scheme (SPS). From 2006 to 2013 farmers receive a constant amount of subsidies, based on the average amount they received in the 4-year reference period 1999–2002. On the basis of data from detailed agro-socio-economic surveys in five olive production areas on sloping land in Southern Europe, this paper shows financial results for four major types of olive groves: traditional, organic, semi-intensive and intensive. It shows that without subsidies only intensive farms are now financially viable, and that traditional and organic farms, even with present subsidies, have to deal with returns to labour below local wage rates. With the SPS cross-compliance it has become obligatory for farmers to comply with erosion control and other environmental requirements. Although this does not entail very high costs, this paper shows that cross-compliance hits in particular the traditional farms on sloping and mountainous land, where additional measures are most required and where olive groves are already not financially viable. The paper then analyses the alternative of paying all olive farmers a flat-rate-per-ha for the services they provide. This is based on the common feeling that farmland has multiple functions and that farmers in the EU should become increasingly rural land managers, being responsible for maintaining the various agro-ecosystem functions (e.g. agricultural production, biodiversity, erosion control, maintaining water quality). With a simple example, we show how such a proposal could work out for the four types of olive groves on sloping and mountainous land. Calculations are first based on a continuation of the present budget and thereafter on a lower budget (85% of present) to accommodate European tax-payers. With such a system financial results for traditional and organic olives groves will improve to such an extent that returns to labour are about equal to local wage rates, even with cross-compliance expenses And that will redress the trend towards abandonment of these olive groves.
    The Road to Sustainability Must Bridge Three Great Divides
    Aronson, J. ; Blignaut, J.N. ; Groot, R.S. de; Clewell, A. ; Lowry II, P.P. ; Woodworth, P. ; Cowling, R.M. ; Renison, D. ; Farley, J. ; Fontaine, C. ; Tongway, D. ; Levy, S. ; Milton, S.J. ; Rangel, O. ; Debrincat, B. ; Birkinshaw, C. - \ 2010
    Annals of the New York Academy Of Sciences 1185 (2010). - ISSN 0077-8923 - p. 225 - 236.
    ecosystem services - social-sciences - economic-growth - south-africa - ecology - policy - valuation - payments - working - world
    The world's large and rapidly growing human population is exhausting Earth's natural capital at ever-faster rates, and yet appears mostly oblivious to the fact that these resources are limited. This is dangerous for our well-being and perhaps for our survival, as documented by numerous studies over many years. Why are we not moving instead toward sustainable levels of use? We argue here that this disconnection between our knowledge and our actions is largely caused by three "great divides": an ideological divide between economists and ecologists; an economic development divide between the rich and the poor; and an information divide, which obstructs communications between scientists, public opinion, and policy makers. These divides prevent our economies from responding effectively to urgent signals of environmental and ecological stress. The restoration of natural capital (RNC) can be an important strategy in bridging all of these divides. RNC projects and programs make explicit the multiple and mutually reinforcing linkages between environmental and economic well-being, while opening up a promising policy road in the search for a sustainable and desirable future for global society. The bridge-building capacity of RNC derives from its double focus: on the ecological restoration of degraded, overexploited natural ecosystems, and on the full socio-economic and ecological interface between people and their environments
    Impact of CAP Subsidies on Technical Efficiency of Crop Farms in Germany, the Netherlands and Sweden
    Xueqin Zhu, Xueqin ; Oude Lansink, A.G.J.M. - \ 2010
    Journal of Agricultural Economics 61 (2010)3. - ISSN 0021-857X - p. 545 - 564.
    agricultural policy - distance functions - productivity growth - dairy farms - reform - decomposition - uncertainty - payments - support - england
    This paper analyses the impacts of CAP reforms, particularly subsidies on technical efficiency of crop farms. An output distance function is employed and estimated together with an inefficiency effects model to capture the effects of CAP subsidies and farmer characteristics on farm efficiency. The model is applied to FADN data (period 1995-2004) of crop farms in Germany, the Netherlands and Sweden. The study shows that the 10-year average technical efficiency is 64% in Germany, 76% in the Netherlands and 71% in Sweden. The average annual changes in technical efficiency are 0.1%, 0.4% and 2.3%, respectively. The share of crop subsidies in total subsidies has a negative impact on technical efficiency in Germany but a positive impact in Sweden, although insignificant in the Netherlands. The share of total subsidies in total farm revenues has negative impacts on technical efficiency in all three countries, consistent with income and insurance effects. Positive (negative) change in technical efficiency is mainly attributable to farm size (degree of specialisation) in Germany, and degree of specialisation (degree of subsidy dependence) in the Netherlands and Sweden
    Minimum-data analysis of ecosystem service supply in semi-subsistence agricultural systems
    Antle, J.M. ; Diagana, B. ; Stoorvogel, J.J. ; Valdivia, R.O. - \ 2010
    The Australian Journal of Agricultural and Resource Economics 54 (2010)4. - ISSN 1364-985X - p. 601 - 617.
    carbon sequestration - kenya - sustainability - efficiency - payments - policies - design - model
    Antle and Valdivia (2006, Australian Journal of Agricultural and Resource Economics 50, 1–15) proposed a minimum-data (MD) approach to simulate ecosystem service supply curves that can be implemented using readily available secondary data and validated the approach in a case study of soil carbon sequestration in a monoculture wheat system. However, many applications of the MD approach are in developing countries where semi-subsistence systems with multiple production activities are being used and data availability is limited. This paper discusses how MD analysis can be applied to more complex production systems such as semi-subsistence systems with multiple production activities and presents validation analysis for studies of soil carbon sequestration in semi-subsistence farming systems in Kenya and Senegal. Results from these two studies confirm that ecosystem service supply curves based on the MD approach are close approximations to the curves derived from highly detailed data and models and are therefore sufficiently accurate and robust to be used to support policy decision making
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