To preserve and promote biodiversity in agricultural landscapes, public payment schemes
are often used to motivate farmers to carry out conservation actions. The outcomes of such conservation actions can vary depending on target species, land productivity, landscape context, and more. Because resources to conservation are limited, it is important that farmers implement conservation actions that have a high potential to be cost-effective in terms of maximizing conservation outcomes given payments.
Conventional payment schemes are comparatively simple to implement but they cannot incentivize cost-effective conservation since they lack a mechanism to reward farmers for improving conservation outcomes. Alternative schemes that adjust payments based on conservation outcomes provide farmers with incentives to maximize conservation outcomes, e.g., through spatial targeting, which has repeatedly shown to lead to more cost-effective conservation.