Making Bird Numbers Count: Would Dutch Farmers Accept Result-Based Meadow Bird Conservation Scheme?


Under existing agri-environmental schemes (AES), management contracts typically operate on actions taken by farmers, reimbursing costs incurred without considering actual environmental improvements. The potential enhancement lies in result-based schemes, offering payments based on outcomes to boost cost and ecological effectiveness.

This study explores farmer receptiveness to a theoretical meadow bird management scheme with outcome-based payments. Developed collaboratively with a Dutch farmer collective, the scheme is a hybrid, combining result-based and action-based elements.

Through a discrete choice experiment, farmers were presented with either a collective bonus tied to nature conservation success or an individual bonus for measures contributing more to conservation. Results indicate a high acceptance rate (75%) for the hybrid scheme; while a €1000/farmer collective bonus was viewed positively, a latent class analysis reveals varied responses among farmers.

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