Title: The cost of policy simplification in conservation incentive programs
Authors: ARMSWORTH Paul R.ACS SZVETLANADALLIMER MartinGASTON Kevin J.HANLEY NickWILSON Paul
Citation: ECOLOGY LETTERS ONLINE vol. 15 no. 5 p. 406 - 414
Publisher: JOHN WILEY AND SONS
Publication Year: 2012
JRC N°: JRC73857
ISSN: 1461-0248
URI: http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/j.1461-0248.2012.01747.x/pdf
http://publications.jrc.ec.europa.eu/repository/handle/JRC73857
DOI: 10.1111/j.1461-0248.2012.01747.x
Type: Articles in Journals
Abstract: Incentive payments to private landowners provide a common strategy to conserve biodiversity and enhance the supply of goods and services from ecosystems. To deliver cost-effective improvements in biodiversity, payment schemes must trade-off inefficiencies that result from over-simplified policies with the administrative burden of implementing more complex incentive designs. We examine the effectiveness of different payment schemes using field parameterized, ecological economic models of extensive grazing farms. We focus on profit maximising farm management plans and use bird species as a policy-relevant indicator of biodiversity. Common policy simplifications result in a 49–100% loss in biodiversity benefits depending on the conservation target chosen. Failure to differentiate prices for conservation improvements in space is particularly problematic. Additional implementation costs that accompany more complicated policies are worth bearing even when these constitute a substantial proportion (70% or more) of the payments that would otherwise have been given to farmers.
JRC Institute:Institute for Prospective Technological Studies

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