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A review of local stakeholder decision-making for environmental regulation of land use

This paper analyses farmers’ decision-making with respect to nature protection. The focus is on farmers’ motives and incentives. The paper is based on literature and empirical findings from a survey in Denmark. The overall purpose of the study is to provide guidelines for organising farmers’ provision of public goods.

The public goods include e.g. to maintain extensively managed agro-ecosystems, planting of hedges and woodlands, maintaining or re-establishing ponds and wetlands, or reducing emissions of pollutants. The paper should support the design of policy strategies for the abatement of potential negative impacts of changes in climate and socio-economic drivers on agro-ecosystems which are analysed in ACCELERATES.

First, a theoretical model of farmers’ supply of public goods is presented. Based on this model a survey of farmers in Haderslev County was performed. 38 farmers were interviewed about their engagement in voluntary adoption of environmentally-friendly farming practices and activities to enhance the provision of environmental goods. Furthermore, a questionnaire sent to 200 farmers supplemented the interviews.

The analysis indicated that farmers take environmental effects into consideration in their decision-making motivated by the private utility of providing rural amenities or the benefits of improving the image of farming to the public. However, these voluntary measures only have a minor local effect and will be insufficient to protect Natura 2000 habitats.

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Reported by

Danish Research Institute of Food Economics
Rolighedsvej 23
2200 Frederiksberg
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