The ecological network Natura 2000 is one element of the common European Union policy regarding biodiversity protection. National implementation of Natura 2000 differs across the European Union. Ecologically valuable forest ecosystems are often within private lands. The aim of this paper is to assess the implementation of the compensation mechanism developed through adapted management of private forests by using the Natura 2000 payments’ measure of the European rural development programmes for the financing period 2007–2014. The econometric Heckman selection model was used to assess the drivers influencing the implementation of the payments measure. Data sources include European and national statistics and expert knowledge. The results show that the countries with the highest proportion of forest cover in Natura 2000 protected areas are the least paid for compensation, and the implementation apparently does not follow the needs of private forests (assuming from the share of private forests in the country). The state of progress in designating Natura 2000 sites can be an important driver for increasing the probability of Natura 2000 payments for those countries accessing the European Union after 1995. Other evidence includes that national economic development is not observed to be significant in explaining the implementation of Natura 2000 payments. The drivers affecting the implementation of Natura 2000 payments are more focused on increasing the competitiveness of the forest sector than supporting environmental sustainability.
The nexus between climate change, ecosystem services and human health: Towards a conceptual frameworkPublished: 01 September 2018 by Elsevier BV in Science of The Total Environment
This paper addresses the impact that changes in natural ecosystems can have on health and wellbeing focusing on the potential co-benefits that green spaces could provide when introduced as climate change adaptation measures. Ignoring such benefits could lead to sub-optimal planning and decision-making. A conceptual framework, building on the ecosystem-enriched Driver, Pressure, State, Exposure, Effect, Action model (eDPSEEA), is presented to aid in clarifying the relational structure between green spaces and human health, taking climate change as the key driver. The study has the double intention of (i) summarising the literature with a special emphasis on the ecosystem and health perspectives, as well as the main theories behind these impacts, and (ii) modelling these findings into a framework that allows for multidisciplinary approaches to the underlying relations between human health and green spaces. The paper shows that while the literature based on the ecosystem perspective presents a well-documented association between climate, health and green spaces, the literature using a health-based perspective presents mixed evidence in some cases. The role of contextual factors and the exposure mechanism are rarely addressed. The proposed framework could serve as a multidisciplinary knowledge platform for multi-perspecitve analysis and discussion among experts and stakeholders, as well as to support the operationalization of quantitative assessment and modelling exercises.
This study analyses the linkages between private forest owners' perceptions of forest management, and their affinity for subsidies, in a range of European countries. Society increasingly requires the provision of ecosystem services from forests, but the willingness of forest owners to redirect management goals from wood production to the provision of public goods is crucial for sustaining ecosystem services. EU incentives in the forestry sector are still mainly oriented towards an anthropocentric vision of forest management. Forest owners and managers are diverse, and although many efforts have been made to understand the role of forest subsidies in private forest management, it is still necessary to analyse the different perspectives on forest subsidies with a regional comparative approach. This paper explores European private forest owners' affinity for subsidies – through survey data at European level—and estimates an ordered probit model to (i) analyse how private forest owners in Europe respond to subsidies in forestry, including regional differences in terms of affinity for subsidies, (ii) characterize the factors that influence these responses and (iii) discuss lessons learned related to forest owners' attitudes on subsidies and the implications for introducing similar kind of incentives such as payments for ecosystem services. Simulations were conducted to examine the potential effects of changes in property fragmentation or the time allotted to forest activities. Forest owners with an utilitarian view of forest management, bigger forest holdings, full or part-time farmers and forest owners from East Europe are most in favour of forest subsidies. Property fragmentation and absenteeism decreases affinity for subsidies.
Forest ownership is changing in Europe. Reasons include recent institutional changes in Eastern Europe, changing lifestyles of non-agricultural owners and afforestation. At present, there is little comparative analysis across Europe, and the implications that these changes have for forest management and for the fulfilment and redefinition of policy objectives have not been addressed systematically. This paper has been developed in the framework of a European research network on forest ownership change, based on conceptual work, literature reviews and empirical evidence from 28 European countries. It aims to provide an overview of the state of knowledge, to discuss relevant issues and provide conceptual and practical foundations for future research, forest management approaches, and policy making. In particular, it discusses possible approaches for classifying forest ownership types and understandings of “new” forest ownership. One important insight is that the division into public and private forests is not as clear as often assumed and that an additional category of semi-public (or semi-private) forms of forest ownership would be desirable. Another recommendation is that the concepts of “new forest owners” vs. “new forest owner types” should be differentiated more consciously. We observe that, in research and policy practice, the mutual relations between forest ownership structure and policies are often neglected, for instance, how policies may directly and indirectly influence ownership development, and what different ownership categories mean for the fulfilment of policy goals. Finally, we propose that better support should be provided for the development of new, adapted forest management approaches for emerging forest owner types. Forest ownership deserves greater attention in studies dealing with forest policy or forest management.
Understanding private forest owners’ conceptualisation of forest management: Evidence from a survey in seven European co...Published: 01 August 2017 by Elsevier BV in Journal of Rural Studies
<strong>Mapping coffee producers’ transition to cocoa as a response to global change: smallholders’ water ne...Published: 22 November 2016 by MDPI AG in The 1st International Electronic Conference on Water Sciences
<p>Coffee producers in Mesoamerica are already facing some of the expected challenges arising from pressures derived by climate change, principally lowered water supply. Some farmers have implemented strategies of adaptation based on crop diversification, being the introduction of cocoa one of the main alternatives. The focus of this research is to analyse coffee producers’ perceptions on changing from coffee to cocoa as an adaptation strategy. This research tries to find the factors that smallholders take into account when facing the decision of introducing cocoa. Here we simulate the farmers’ response to climate factors and water needs, also considering its relationship with humankind, specially through variables related to economic and social development. Farmers’ perceptions were extracted via a specifically designed questionnaire applied to 219 small coffee producers in the departments of Esteli and Jinotega in Nicaragua. A Multivariate probit econometric model was estimated to analyse diversification through three simultaneous equations—for climatic, economic and social development drivers. Marginal effects of these drivers were calculated and used to simulate farmers’ response to global change scenarios. Regional distribution of crop diversification probability was mapped considering different global change scenarios. The importance of climatic factors over the decision process is, as data shows, higher than social and economic issues. The environmental implications of this change, such as deforestation, have also been discussed.</p>
Climate change and drought effects on rural income distribution in the Mediterranean: a case study for SpainPublished: 15 June 2016 by Copernicus GmbH in Natural Hazards and Earth System Sciences
This paper examines the effects of climate change and drought on agricultural incomes in Spanish rural areas. Present research has focused on the effects of these extreme climatological events through response functions, considering effects on crop productivity and average incomes. Among the impacts of droughts, we focused on potential effects on income distribution. The study of the effects on abnormally dry periods is therefore needed in order to perform an analysis of diverse social aspects in the long term. We estimate crop production functions for a range of Mediterranean crops in Spain and we use a measure of the decomposition of inequality to estimate the impact of climate change and drought on yield disparities. Certain adaptation measures may require a better understanding of risks by the public to achieve general acceptance. We provide empirical estimations for the marginal effects of the two impacts considered: farms' average income and income distribution. Our estimates consider crop production response to both biophysical and socio-economic aspects to analyse long-term implications on competitiveness and disparities. As for the results, we find disparities in the adaptation priorities depending on the crop and the region analysed.
Exploring coffee farmers’ awareness about climate change and water needs: Smallholders’ perceptions of adaptive capacityPublished: 01 January 2015 by Elsevier BV in Environmental Science & Policy
Do Water Rights Affect Technical Efficiency and Social Disparities of Crop Production in the Mediterranean? The Spanish ...Published: 03 November 2014 by MDPI in Water
The coming agenda for the European Common Agricultural Policy includes more incentives for the environmental compliance of farmer’s activities. This will be particularly important in the case of water risk management in Mediterranean countries. Among the new challenges is the need to evaluate some of the instruments necessary to comply with the Water Framework Directive requirements that emphasize the management of water demand to achieve the environmental targets. Here we analyze the implications of changing water rights as a policy response to these challenges. We analyze two important aspects of the decision: (i) the effects on the crop productivity and efficiency and (ii) the effects on the rural income distribution. We provide the empirical estimations for the marginal effects on the two considered aspects. First, we calculate a stochastic frontier production function for five representative crops using historical data to estimate technical efficiency. Second, we use a decomposition of the Gini coefficient to estimate the impact of irrigation rights changes on yield disparity. In our estimates, we consider both bio-physical and socio-economic aspects to conclude that there are long term implications on both efficiency and social disparities. We find disparities in the adaptation strategies depending on the crop and the region analyzed.
Central and Eastern European countries are a hotspot area when analyzing the impacts of climate change on agricultural and environmental sectors. This paper conducts a socio-economic evaluation of climate risks on crop production in Hungary, using panel data models. The region has a special location in the Carpathian basin, where the spatial distribution of precipitation varies highly from humid conditions in the western part to semiarid conditions in eastern Hungary. Under current conditions, crop systems are mainly rainfed, and water licences are massively underexploited. However, water stress projected by climate change scenarios could completely change this situation. In the near future (2021–2050), most of the crops examined could have better climatic conditions, while at the end of the century (2071–2100), lower yields are expected. Adaptation strategies must be based on an integrated evaluation which links economic and climatic aspects, and since the results show important differences in the case of individual systems, it is clear that the response has to be crop and region specific.
Exploring public support for climate change adaptation policies in the Mediterranean region: A case study in Southern Sp...Published: 01 May 2013 by Elsevier BV in Environmental Science & Policy
The effects of climate change on agriculture are often characterised by changes in the average productivity of crops; however, these indicators provide limited information regarding the risks associated with fluctuations in productivity resulting from future changes in climate variability that may also affect agriculture. In this context, this study evaluates the combined effects of the risks associated with anomalies reflected by changes in the mean crop yield and the variability of productivity in European agro-climatic regions under future climate change scenarios. The objective of this study is to evaluate adaptation needs and to identify regional effects that should be addressed with greater urgency in the light of the risks and opportunities that are identified. The results show differential effects on regional agriculture and highlight the importance of considering both regional average impacts and the variability in crop productivity in setting priorities for the adaptation and maintenance of rural incomes and agricultural insurance programmes.
The effects of climate change will be felt by most farmers in Europe over the next decades. This study provides consistent results of the impact of climate change on arable agriculture in Europe by using high resolution climate data, socio-economic data, and impact assessment models, including farmer adaptation. All scenarios are consistent with the spatial distribution of effects, exacerbating regional disparities and current vulnerability to climate. Since the results assume no restrictions on the use of water for irrigation or on the application of agrochemicals, they may be considered optimistic from the production point of view and somewhat pessimistic from the environmental point of view. The results provide an estimate of the regional economic impact of climate change, as well as insights into the importance of mitigation and adaptation policies.
From climate change impacts to the development of adaptation strategies: Challenges for agriculture in EuropePublished: 30 November 2011 by Springer Nature in Climatic Change
This study links climate change impacts to the development of adaptation strategies for agriculture in Europe. Climate change is expected to intensify the existing risks, particularly in southern regions, and create new opportunities in some northern areas. These risks and opportunities are characterised and interpreted across European regions by analysing over 300 highly relevant publications that appeared in the last decade. The result is a synthesis of the reasons for concern for European agricultural regions. The need to respond to these risks and opportunities is addressed by evaluating the costs and benefits of a number of technical and policy actions. The results highlight the importance of enhanced water use efficiency as a critical response to climate risks and the need for a more effective extension service. These results aim to assist stakeholders as they take up the adaptation challenge and develop measures to reduce the vulnerability of the sector to climate change.
Looking into the future of agriculture raises three challenging questions: How can agriculture deal with an uncertain future? How do local vulnerabilities and global disparities respond to this uncertain future? How should we prioritise adaptation to overcome the resulting future risks? This paper analyses the broad question of how climate change science may provide some insights into these issues. The data provided for the analysis are the product of our new research on global impacts of climate change in agriculture. The questions are analysed across world regions to provide some thoughts on policy development.
The economic value of drought information for water management under climate change: a case study in the Ebro basinPublished: 02 March 2011 by Copernicus GmbH in Natural Hazards and Earth System Sciences
Crop yields response to water pressures in the Ebro basin in Spain: risk and water policy implicationsPublished: 09 February 2011 by Copernicus GmbH in Hydrology and Earth System Sciences
This study links climate change impacts to the development of adaptation strategies for agriculture on the Mediterranean region. Climate change is expected to intensify the existing risks, particularly in regions with current water scarcity, and create new opportunities for improving land and water management. These risks and opportunities are characterised and interpreted across Mediterranean areas by analysing water scarcity pressures and potential impacts on crop productivity over the next decades. The need to respond to these risks and opportunities is addressed by evaluating an adaptive capacity index that represents the ability of Mediterranean agriculture to respond to climate change. We propose an adaptive capacity index with three major components that characterise the economic capacity, human and civic resources, and agricultural innovation. These results aim to assist stakeholders as they take up the adaptation challenge and develop measures to reduce the vulnerability of the sector to climate change.
Climate change and agricultural adaptation: assessing management uncertainty for four crop types in SpainPublished: 28 October 2010 by Inter-Research Science Center in Climate Research