Providing incentives to farmers for biodiversity conservation

Promoting biological resource conservation with financial incentives to agriculture
In-situ conservation of local species, varieties and domestic animal breeds requires an adequate system of economic and social incentives, combined with increased consumers awareness.
The factors behind the decline of biodiversity can be understood by considering the incentives and disincentives facing a country or an individual farmer with regard to sustainable use of genetic resources.

The European Biodiversity Strategy states that " biodiversity concerns will be integrated in the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) reform process announced in Agenda 2000". The strategy stresses the need "to encourage the ecological function of rural areas", "to integrate biodiversity objectives into the relevant instruments of the CAP" and "to promote farming methods enhancing biodiversity, by linking agricultural support to environmental conditions where appropriate".

The reformed Swiss agricultural policy contributes to biodiversity conservation and sustainable use by providing direct payments to farmers that apply biodiversity-sound management practices. The Swiss Foundation for the Conservation of Cultural Landscapes, financed by federal, cantonal, communal and private donations also supports specific nature and landscape conservation projects.

The cirl bunting [Emberiza cirlus] was threatened with extinction in the UK because of a decrease in suitable habitat. The Countryside Stewardship Scheme paid farmers to retain cereal stubble and to establish grass margins around arable fields, which resulted in a marked recovery of the species. Similarly, skylarks [Alauda arvensis] favour the edge of a field rather than crops, which suggests that agri-environment schemes could be designed to support this species. Other UK schemes have been successful in retaining habitat that might have otherwise been destroyed, such as wet grassland that could have been ploughed for cereal production.

Type Classification:
E: Emanations of other strategies
Related UN Sustainable Development Goals:
GOAL 2: Zero HungerGOAL 7: Affordable and Clean EnergyGOAL 8: Decent Work and Economic GrowthGOAL 15: Life on Land