Collective approaches to results-based agri-environment schemes in the Netherlands

Agri-environment cooperatives in the Netherlands use results-based schemes to distribute payments to farmers according to on-farm nature conservation results. 

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Project summary: 

Farmers can play an important role in farmland conservation. However, the benefits of their work can be increased if they cooperate on habitat level and if there is more flexibility to respond to local and seasonal circumstances. Results-based agri-environment payment schemes (RBAPS) can offer many benefits for RDP stakeholders. These include more flexibility for farmers and better nature conservation outcomes, as well as improved value-for-money and visibility of RDP results.

Project results: 

160 agri-environment cooperatives were operational during the 2007 – 2013 programming period, resulting a drastic decrease in the number of applications and beneficiaries.

Studies showed that certain species responded better than others (such as the Lapwing (Vanellus vanellus) and Black-tailed Godwit (Limosa limosa) as opposed to the Redshank (Tringa tetanus).

Socio-economic results include: increased pride from farmers in their ecological achievements; increased knowledge and understanding of species for farmers.

Ecological results indicate that support for nest protection may not be sufficient on its own. ANV’s are therefore now considering new RBAPS indicators that are based on the survival rate of chicks.