WP 1 – Policy analysis

Lead: IfLS, input on relevant policy measures and standards in partner countries and case
study areas by Agroscope, BOKU, UFZ, UPM, IMDEA, VU

Within TALE, work package 1 “Policy analysis” assesses the institutional framework impacting on agricultural land use, biodiversity conservation and the supply of selected ecosystem services in the TALE case study regions. The aim of this exercise is to identify and understand institutional structures, to identify policy strategies and examples for “good practice” or innovative policy measures and thus to lay the foundation for policy recommendations in connection with land use scenarios in TALE.

While sectoral legislation is setting the mandatory baseline, various measures of the agricultural policies of the EU and of Switzerland aim at providing incentives for an environmentally sound management in particular via direct payments with attached environmental conditions and agri-environment climate measures (AECM) and comparable payments in Switzerland. Advice and extension services can help to reach environmental objectives in agriculture for example by increasing the acceptance of policy measures and/or implementing them more effectively. Land use planning is particularly noticeable in the Dutch case study. Some rather innovative approaches, such as collective action and result-oriented schemes, for both of which several examples are present in the case study regions, require high commitment from farmers and willingness to communicate and to learn and are thus bound to have lasting effects on environmental awareness.

The way agri-environmental policies are designed and who influences this process and the way they are implemented on the ground certainly affect their effectivity and efficiency. The governance structures in the TALE case study regions vary and mainly depend on the overall state structures in the specific nations, especially regarding the division of power between the central government and the regions.

Overall, the analysis shows that the EU and Switzerland have developed elaborate systems of policy instruments aiming at making agricultural land use more environmentally friendly. The measures all support, to a stronger or lesser degree, a “land-sharing” approach. However, various target areas are regulated or supported with a different intensity. In order to increase their effectiveness and also their efficiency, good practice examples should be shared and adopted more frequently.