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Motivations for swiss lowland farmers to conserve biodiversity: Identifying factors to predict proportions of implemented ecological compensation areas

Gabel, Vanessa M.; Home, Robert; Stolze, Matthias; Pfiffner, Lukas; Birrer, Simon and Köpke, Ulrich (2018) Motivations for swiss lowland farmers to conserve biodiversity: Identifying factors to predict proportions of implemented ecological compensation areas. Journal of Rural Studies, 62, pp. 68-76.

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Document available online at: https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0743016717307313


The global loss of biodiversity is one of the major environmental threats of our time (Rockstrom et al., 2009) and agriculture is one of the main drivers of the global biodiversity decline (Benton, 2007; Kleijn et al., 2009; Pereira et al., 2010). Agricultural landscapes were formerly rich in biodiversity, which has been attributed to mosaic style landscapes and low-intensity production systems that provided a wide variety of interlinked habitats (Edwards et al., 1999). Economic pressure has led to declining species richness as agricultural production has become more intensive (Robinson and Sutherland, 2002), with an associated reduction of habitat-providing landscape elements (Billeter et al., 2008). Despite the objective of promoting biodiversity, which has been included in Swiss agricultural policy since 1990, many of the threatened species continue to decline (Lachat et al., 2010).Due to the large proportion of farmed land, the behavior and the decision-making of farmers in respect to conservation and sustainability issues have an extraordinary influence on biodiversity (Lokhorst et al., 2011; Stoeckli et al., 2017). Rands et al. (2010) argue that, if biodiversity decline is to be halted, biodiversity must be viewed as a public good and this view must be integrated into policy. Encouraging farmers to preserve or enhance biodiversity is often achieved through agri environmental schemes that provide financial rewards to enhance biodiversity (Burton and Paragahawewa, 2011). Most agri-environmental schemes are based around principles in which subsidies, or compensation payments, are linked to the farmer's compliance with a set of environmental measures, with subsidies paid in exchange for proof of ecological performance (PEP) (Kleijn and Sutherland, 2003).

EPrint Type:Journal paper
Keywords:Department of Socio-Economic Sciences, Policy, Innovation in Agriculture, Sustainabilty Assessment, Biodiversity, Agroecology, 25017
Subjects: Environmental aspects > Biodiversity and ecosystem services
Food systems > Policy environments and social economy
Research affiliation: Switzerland > FiBL - Research Institute of Organic Agriculture Switzerland > Sustainability > Biodiversity
Germany > University of Bonn > Institute of Organic Agriculture
Switzerland > Other organizations
Deposited By: Gabel, Vanessa
ID Code:33645
Deposited On:02 Aug 2018 09:10
Last Modified:14 Feb 2019 10:39
Document Language:English
Refereed:Peer-reviewed and accepted

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