State and Efficiency of Management of Agro-Ecosystem Services – The Case of Bulgaria
This paper incorporates New Institutional Economics and analyzes the state and efficiency of management of agro-ecosystem services in Bulgaria. Firstly, it presents framework of analyses of management of agro-ecosystem services including: definition of agro-ecosystem services and its management; specification of management needs and spectrum of governing modes (institutions, market, private, public, hybrid); assessment of efficiency of different form of management in terms of potential to protect eco-rights and investments, assure socially desirable level of agro-ecosystem services, minimize costs, coordinate and stimulate eco-activities, meet preferences and reconcile conflicts of related agents. Secondly, it identifies and assesses the management of agro-ecosystem services in Bulgaria. Transition and EU integration have brought about significant changes in the state and management of agro-ecosystems services in the country. Newly evolved market, private and public governance have led to a significant improvement of a part of agro-ecosystems services introducing modern eco-standards and public support, enhancing environmental stewardship, disintensifying production, recovering landscape and traditional productions, diversifying quality, products, and services. At the same time, the novel eco-management is associated with new challenges such as unsustainable exploitation, lost biodiversity, land degradation, water and air contamination. Moreover, implementation of EU common policies would have no desired impact on agro-ecosystem services unless special measures are taken to improve management of public programs, and extend public support to dominating small-scale and subsistence farms.
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