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Towards an agri-environment index for biodiversity conservation payment schemes

Author

Listed:
  • Markus Groth

    () (Leuphana Universität Lüneburg, Lehrstuhl für Nachhaltigkeitsökonomie, Germany)

  • Franziska Dittmer

    () (Leuphana Universität Lüneburg, Lehrstuhl für Nachhaltigkeitsökonomie, Germany)

Abstract

The aim of the paper is to give suggestions about how an agri-environment index can be designed by taking into account specific ecological and economical factors that reflect benefits and costs of biodiversity conservation. Main findings are that the general structure of an agri-environment index is recommended to be a benefits-to-cost ratio, whereby the conservation benefits are accounted for by the following factors which evaluate i) certain criteria that value the ecological quality of a site and point out its significance for biodiversity conservation (Conservation Significance Factor), ii) a criterion that reflects the connectivity of the site which is an important factor for species migration (Connectivity Factor) and iii) criteria that estimate the potential biodiversity outcomes induced by specific management actions (Conservation Management Factor). The Cost Factor reflects the amount of money that the landholder demands as compensation payment for his conservation services. The paper points out that an agri-environment index is a promising approach to encourage and compensate farmers for biodiversity-friendly management actions. Thereby, an improvement of the effectiveness and efficiency of European conservation payment schemes is a decisive contribution to biodiversity conservation in agricultural landscapes.

Suggested Citation

  • Markus Groth & Franziska Dittmer, 2010. "Towards an agri-environment index for biodiversity conservation payment schemes," Working Paper Series in Economics 185, University of Lüneburg, Institute of Economics.
  • Handle: RePEc:lue:wpaper:185
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Uwe Latacz-Lohmann & Carel Van der Hamsvoort, 1997. "Auctioning Conservation Contracts: A Theoretical Analysis and an Application," American Journal of Agricultural Economics, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association, vol. 79(2), pages 407-418.
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    Keywords

    agri-environmental policy; biodiversity benefits index; biodiversity conservation; ecosystem services; environmental benefits index; rural development;

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