Technical insights from Effect


Case Study #5: Biodiversity Offsetting

pdf - 610.15 KB - 03/12/2021

CASE STUDIES — EFFECT Stakeholder Engagement: results. This paper has been prepared as part of EFFECT UK Case Study #5 Biodiversity Offsetting to explore farmers, land managers and environmental advisors’ perspectives on various aspects of the Environment Bill and associated 25 Year Environment Plan. We undertook an online survey to assess:

  • The strengths and weaknesses of the current AES
  • The new AES proposed under the Environment Plan
  • Perspectives on biodiversity net gain
  • The design and implementation of biodiversity offset markets

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Forest ecosystem services in Romania: Orchestrating regulatory and voluntary planning documents


— Romania has traditionally dealt with forest ecosystem services (FES) using a regulatory process of designing forest management plans (FMPs). We set an analytical framework to assess the integrated approach between FMPs, Natura 2000 biodiversity conservation network, and the forest certification system.

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Enhancing Spatial Coordination in Payment for Ecosystem Services Schemes with Non-Pecuniary Preferences

pdf - 878.48 KB - 17/11/2021

— The environmental benefits from Payment for Ecosystem Services (PES) schemes can often be enhanced if private land managers are induced to enrol land in a spatially coordinated manner.

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Standardized response signatures of functional traits pinpoint limiting ecological filters during the migration of forest plant species into wooded corridors


— Tree-lines and alleys are expected to operate as migration enhancing corridors for habitat-demanding species, but their functionality is limited by the set of ecological filters. We use multiple plant traits related to dispersal and establishment to identify the limiting filters for forest plants in the rural landscape of Estonia.

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Habitat and host specificity of epiphytic lichens in a rural landscape: cultural heritage habitats as refugia


— Research to investigate the habitat and host specificity of epiphytic lichens colonization of ten common tree species in three contrasting habitat types across 19 Estonian landscapes.

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Incentivising biodiversity net gain with an offset market

pdf - 3.43 MB - 08/07/2021

— We investigate the use of private funding for biodiversity conservation through an offset market. The environmental objective is to increase some measure of biodiversity in a region (“net gain”) despite the loss of land for new housing. Farmers create biodiversity credits by changing their land management, then sell these credits to housebuilders who are required to more-than offset the impacts of new house building on a biodiversity. A general result is established for the impacts on price and quantity in the offset market as the net gain target is make more ambitious. Combining an economic model of market operation with an ecological model linking land management to bird populations, we then examine the impacts on equilibrium price and quantity of offsets as the target level of net gain is increased for a case study site in Scotland. Changes in the spatial pattern of gains and losses in our biodiversity index are also shown.

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Nature based solutions for climate adaptation: Paying farmers for flood control


— Climate change is expected to lead to more frequent and severe fluvial flood events in Northern Europe. Nature Based Solutions are increasingly recognised as a natural insurance against flood risks in vulnerable areas. This requires collaboration at landscape scale between providers and beneficiaries of flood control. In particular, mechanisms to incentivise owners of land could potentially offer cost-effective ways to reduce damage to urban infrastructure. We conduct a choice experiment among farmers located in the vicinity of a river to assess their willingness to accept a contract that would allow a local Danish municipality to periodically flood farmland to reduce urban flood risks. Results indicate that farmers on average are hesitant about entering into abatement contracts, especially if they have prior experience of crop losses due to extreme weather events. If they were to agree on a contract they would prefer a separate compensation for lost crops; a collective negotiation and higher rather than lower yearly payments. Surprisingly, data did not show a significant preference for or against a requirement to grow flood resistant crops. The results suggest that a contract with a separate damage compensation and based on individual negotiation would on average require an annual payment of 290Euro/ha for farmers with no prior experience of crop losses and 469Euro/ha for farmers who have experienced crop losses. The paper discusses the potentials and limitations of landscape scale Nature Based Solutions for climate adaptation.

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Long-term effect of different management regimes on the survival and population structure of Gladiolus imbricatus in Estonian coastal meadows

pdf - 1.94 MB - 14/10/2019

ACADEMIC PAPER — The article raises the problem of time-scale for evaluation of contract effect. It occurs that the positive/negative effect of short term contracts might be overstated because ecosystems and species therein can have differences in the short- and long-term reactions on applied treatments. A case study on grassland management is here presented: a very positive restoration contract results in the first few years, followed by an unsuccessful continuation of the same management under contract umbrella of the agri-environmental support scheme. So, the paper show that the long-term evaluation of contracts is vital.

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