In this study we evaluate the consequences of regional and collective implementation of Ecological Focus Areas (EFA) according to Articles 46:5 and 46:6 of the EU Direct Payments regulation. Through broader analyses, we also consider other forms of collaboration and additional management requirements. Promoting networks of areas with an ecological focus is part of the EU’s investment in green infrastructure. Sweden does not currently allow for collaboration among farmers.
The study results are based on ecological-economic modelling, a novel workshop game with farmers and interviews with administrators. Our analyses focus on the effects on pollination and biological pest control, both of which are ecosystem services benefiting agriculture, and on transaction costs for farmers and administrators. Our results show that the current design of EFAs generates negligible environmental effects. We also find that farmers are positive to collaboration, but officials fear higher costs. However, our models show that the possibility of collaboration given the current choices of EFA measures and lack of quality requirements would not result in better environmental outcomes.
Download the report: RAPPORT 6816