Governments worldwide make huge investments in AES: the European Union invests €2.5 billion in such incentives every year. AES incentives work well for individual actions, achieving environmental outcomes at the farm level. However, they are much less effective at landscape-level. This is because AES were originally designed without considering landscapes as a level of intervention.
Ambitious objectives such as the restoration of the wildlife meta-populations can be achieved only through spatial coordination of conservation efforts. It is the case of all environmental benefits that depend on spatial configuration for the supply of ecosystem services.
Therefore, it is necessary to design incentive mechanisms explicitly to boost spatial coordination of conservation efforts. Chi Nguyen et at., in their paper, do an extensive literature review on the spatial coordination incentives and their effectiveness. In particular, the authors analysed three different kinds of incentives: agglomeration bonuses, threshold bonuses and threshold payments.
Eighty-nine per cent of the 55 reviewed papers were purely theoretical, showing that in practice, spatial coordination incentives are rarely applied. However, evidence from experiments suggests that these practices can potentially encourage farmers and land managers to participate, promote spatial coordination and increase the effectiveness of the conservation actions.
Insights from Chi Nguyen et al. papers review highlights important implications for the emerging field of conservation science and ongoing efforts to improve AES design for landscape-scale ecosystem management.
Download the full-text paper here.
Chi Nguyen A., Uwe Latacz-Lohmann A.C., Nick Hanley B., Steven Schilizzi C., Sayed Iftekha. Spatial Coordination Incentives for landscape-scale environmental management: A systematic review. Land Use Policy, 2022, 114, 105936. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.landusepol.2021.105936