Compensation payments for habitat heterogeneity: Existence, efficiency, and fairness considerations
Compensation payments for voluntary conservation measures have become an important tool for biodiversity conservation worldwide. Each year substantial financial resources are spent on such measures, particularly in the context of agri-environmental schemes. In Europe, a debate has started on whether this money is spent effectively. In response to this debate it has been suggested that a portfolio of measures leading to habitat heterogeneity be implemented. Although payments for heterogeneous conservation measures have been analysed in the literature, it has never been questioned that payments can be designed in a way that encourages enough land users to carry out each conservation measure within a portfolio of measures. The purpose of this paper is to demonstrate that such payments do not always exist. Moreover, in cases where payments for habitat heterogeneity exist the payment scheme may require overcompensation of the land users, posing a limit to both efficiency and fairness considerations.
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