About this Project
In 2014 the European Commission (DG Environment) put out a call for projects to develop and implement pilot agri-environment schemes where the payments are related to concrete results on the ground (e.g. habitat quality, presence of indicator species) rather than solely being based on adherence to prescribed actions (e.g. grazing dates, livestock density limits).
Project partners and funding
Our team (a consortium from Ireland, the UK and Spain) were successful in securing €1.4 million over 3.5 years across 3 pilot areas (Leitrim and The Shannon Callows, Ireland; Navarra, Spain). This is one of only two successful projects across the EU and places the proposed project areas at the centre of the development of results based agri-environment schemes in Europe. The project partnership consists of the:
- European Forum on Nature Conservation and Pastoralism (EFNCP),
- Institute of Technology Sligo,
- BirdWatch Ireland,
- Gestión Ambiental de Navarra (GAN),
- National Parks and Wildlife Service
- High Nature Value Services Ltd (delivering the BurrenLife Programme).
The project is 70% funded by the EU Commission with co-funding provided by project partners listed above, and with the support of The Heritage Council, The Department of Agriculture Food and the Marine and Teagasc.
This project runs for 3.5 years (January 2015 – June 2018) and will work in 3 pilot areas:
- Lowland semi-natural grasslands in County Leitrim, Ireland
- The Shannon Callows, Ireland
- Mediterranean upland areas of Navarra, Spain
The specific objectives of the project, as set out by the European Commission, are:
- To promote the design, development and use in rural areas of result-based remuneration schemes to conserve and enhance biodiversity;
- To increase the understanding of factors that contribute to the success or failure of such schemes;
- To identify opportunities and conditions for increasing the use of such schemes in the EU and in particular in the context of the CAP;
- To explore the potential for such schemes to be applied widely in the rural countryside and beyond grasslands, e.g. for the protection and enhancement of pollinators and soil biodiversity;
- To demonstrate the potential of these schemes to achieve the ecological results they are designed for by developing, testing and applying widely appropriate monitoring to verify the ecological results achieved;
- To promote and increase awareness and better understanding of the benefits of results based remuneration schemes particularly within the rural community.
These objectives are to be achieved largely through the design, set-up, management and monitoring of pilot results-based remuneration schemes applied on working farms. The Commission expects that comprehensive pilots of results-based remuneration schemes will be conceived, designed, implemented, monitored, assessed and reported upon within the duration of the grant in the three pilot areas. This will include outreach strategies at project level, including materials to disseminate project results to stakeholders, the general public, and throughout the EU via the EU platform
This project is geographically targeted at areas where this pilot can achieve the greatest potential. It specifically requires the input and participation of farmers; and will address both environmental and agricultural considerations.
Read more about Results-based schemes in Europe on the DG Environment website.