Publication Details

Category Text Publication
Reference Category Journals
DOI 10.1002/pan3.10526
Licence creative commons licence
Document HORIZON 2020 Publication
Title (Primary) Adoption and potential of agri-environmental schemes in Europe: Cross-regional evidence from interviews with farmers
Author Bartkowski, B.; Beckmann, M. ORCID logo ; Bednář, M.; Biffi, S.; Domingo-Marimon, C.; Mesaroš, M.; Schüßler, C.; Šarapatka, B.; Tarčak, S.; Václavík, T.; Ziv, G.; Wittstock, F.
Source Titel People and Nature
Year 2023
Department OEKON; CLE; UPOL
Volume 5
Issue 5
Page From 1610
Page To 1621
Language englisch
Topic T5 Future Landscapes
Keywords agri-environmental policy; agri-environmental schemes; conservation; farm interviews; farmer behaviour
Horizon 2020
Project Name Behavioural, Ecological and Socio-economic Tools for Modelling Agricultural Policy
Acronym BestMap
Grant Number
Publication Date 17.08.2023
European Union (EU); Euratom
Euratom research and training programme 2014-2018
  1. In Europe and elsewhere, agri-environmental schemes (AES) are designed to reduce agriculture's impacts on the environment. Designing effective schemes requires an understanding of the reasons that drive farmers' decisions whether to adopt AES.
  2. Currently, most insights come from individual case studies or structured surveys based on predefined questions. There is a paucity of studies that do not rely on rigid preconceptions about relevant behavioural factors while also offering a geographically and socio-culturally broad perspective that can address the cultural and institutional context-specificity of behavioural studies. Also, most studies focus on the adoption decision, while implementation decisions and their consequences for the ecological effectiveness of AES remain understudied.
  3. In this article, we present the results from semi-structured farmer interviews conducted in five agricultural landscapes across Europe. The results are used to uncover reasons for AES adoption as well as the implications of AES implementation decisions for their ecological effectiveness.
  4. The main reason for AES adoption that was common across case study regions is the interplay of opportunity costs and payment levels, which has negative implications for the ecological effectiveness of AES as farmers prioritized marginal land or adopted non-additional AES. Among reasons that vary across regions, tenure relations and the role of ecological reasoning stand out.
  5. We find that AES are unlikely to trigger broader shifts towards sustainable management but there is some potential for improvement, mainly by increasing the flexibility, spatial targeting and ecological ambition of the schemes.
Persistent UFZ Identifier
Bartkowski, B., Beckmann, M., Bednář, M., Biffi, S., Domingo-Marimon, C., Mesaroš, M., Schüßler, C., Šarapatka, B., Tarčak, S., Václavík, T., Ziv, G., Wittstock, F. (2023):
Adoption and potential of agri-environmental schemes in Europe: Cross-regional evidence from interviews with farmers
People Nat. 5 (5), 1610 - 1621 10.1002/pan3.10526