Case Study #4

Cooperative results-based bird conservation contracts

The scheme aims to conserve and enhance the population of certain species of ground-nesting birds, mainly on permanent pasture. Contracts are arranged between farmers and the nature conservation agency. The scheme provides an interesting test case in several respects: First, it pays farmers based on observed environmental outcomes without exposing participants to the risk of failure. Second, in terms of agency it is administered through a private nature conservation organization with the help of conservation volunteers. Third, the direct engagement with the conservation volunteers and the joint problem solving approach seems to have increased the confidence of farmers in nature conservation agreements and has acted as a stepping- stone to greater engagement in nature conservation. Finally, the conservation volunteers were assumed to foster spatial coordination of conservation activities across different farm holdings. EFFECT will test the contract design through in depth-interviews with farmers to assess the success factors and identify possible difficulties and inefficiencies. In addition, discrete choice experiments will be carried out with farmers to assess alternative contract designs and delivery modes, focusing on spatial coordination of conservation efforts and the role of non-monetary motivations for scheme uptake. We will work with KUNO organization (Kulturlandschaft nachhaltig organisieren), a registered non-profit organization in charge of administering the scheme on behalf of the state government. Schleswig-Holstein State Agency for Agriculture, Environment and Rural Areas is the practice partner for this case study.