Targeting of Ecosystem Goods and Services:Directing Agri-Environmental Policy Innovation
There has been active development and implementation of agri-environmental policies dealing with the provision of ecosystem goods and services over the years. However, these policies have often not been directed towards certain lands with the greatest potential for producing environmental benefits and those areas where the benefits are greater relative to cost. The limited budgets allocated to agri-environmental programs, and the often large and heterogeneous nature of agricultural landscapes, makes policy efficiency an important consideration. Incorporating targeting mechanisms in the design of agri-environmental policy instruments could improve the efficiency of such policies. This thesis illustrates the efficiency gains from policy targeting, by applying three targeting protocols and a hybrid method using representative wildlife habitat conservation policy approaches that set-aside land from crop production by purchasing or leasing land. The GIS land selection models developed for this research assessed the net benefits for wildlife based on the opportunity cost of idling land from agricultural production. As indicated by the results, policy delivery using targeting mechanisms selectively enrolls significantly greater areas of wetlands and natural vegetative cover. Thus, targeted policy enrolled land will provide greater wildlife habitat and other environmental benefits compared to the baseline landscape which represents a non-targeted land enrollment and hence increase the environmental benefits of the program for a given budget.
DegreeMaster of Science (M.Sc.)
DepartmentBioresource Policy, Business and Economics
CommitteeSchoney, Richard; Bell, Scott
Copyright DateApril 2013
Agri-environmental Policy, GIS