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					   The English Environmental
Stewardship Entry Level Scheme
             (ELS)



    Dr. Stephen Chaplin, Natural England

  mailto:stephen.chaplin@naturalengland.or
                    g.uk
Background
•   Environmental Stewardship (ES) - new agri-environment scheme launched in mid-
    2005, scheme operating for nearly 3 years.

•   Replaced previous English agri-environment schemes.

•   Has entry-level (ELS) and higher-level (HLS) elements – focus here on ELS
    component. Entry-level also has an organic strand.

•   ELS Payment for public goods based on income foregone. Currently funded through
    the RDPE mainly under Article 39 of 1698/2005

•   Just completed a review to:
     – Check that ES is delivering its stated objectives
     – Ensure that it delivers good value for money
     – Take account of emerging new policy priorities
 ELS and HLS Compared

ELS                                              HLS

Untargeted non-competitive scheme which aims     Discretionary, more complex management,
for a high level of uptake across the country.   targeted towards specific types of landscape and
Land managers receive payment for simple         features which are considered particularly
effective environmental management               valuable.


5 yr agreements                                  10 year agreements, sit above an ELS agreement


Intensity £30ha/yr                               Intensity ~£200ha/yr

No Capital works                                 Capital works programmes

Coverage - Budget for ~7m ha                     Coverage – Budget for ~1.9m ha

Predominantly maintenance of existing            Considerable scope for major change in
features/management practice and minor           management and restoration of features.
adjustments to management practice
Environmental Stewardship in the wider context



    Environmental
    benefit &             HLS            Environmental
    complexity                           Stewardship (NE)

                       ELS/OELS

                                                   Single
                   Good Agricultural and
             Environmental Condition (GAEC)
                                                   Payment
             as a cross-compliance condition       Scheme
                of Single Payment Scheme           (RPA)

                    Number of agreements
ELS – How it works
Over 60 options to choose     •   Each management option has a points
 from divided into groups:        allocation (per ha/per m) based on the
                                  income foregone calculation, for
•   Boundary Management           example:
•   Trees and Woodland
•   Historic and Landscape
    Features
•   Buffer strips and field
    margins
•   Arable Land
•   Range of crop types
•   Soil Protection
•   Lowland Grassland
•   Uplands                   •   Each farm is given a total points target
                                  based on 30 points per hectare.
                              •   They then have a free choice from the list
                                  of options to achieve their target.
Scheme Effectiveness
Overall the ELS scheme has:
• High level of uptake - ELS
  currently 4,394,466 ha
  (~51% agricultural land)
• Good set of generic options,
  that are widely accessible
  geographically/by farm type
  etc where the relevant
  feature/management practice
  exists.
• Option egs.
• Evidence from initial
  evaluation suggests most
  options are delivering the
  environmental benefits that
  were intended, but limited
  additionality in some cases.
Scheme Targeting
•   ELS is largely untargeted geographically (unlike HLS).
    Geographically specific guidance is provided to try and influence
    option choice, but not requirement of the scheme.
•   This has resulted in:
     – Significant sectoral (and associated geographical) variations
        in level of ELS Agreement Uptake.
     – Low uptake of certain options.
     – A significant proportion of agreement holders are choosing a
        very limited number of options, resulting in imbalanced
        agreements (particularly balance between field boundary and
        in-field options, but also balance across scheme objectives)
     – The choice of options often doesn’t match well with the
        identified priority options for a given area

•   More detail on subsequent slides.
Sectoral (and associated geographical)
variations in level of ELS Agreement Uptake
    Particularly Important because:
    • UELS predicated on ELS membership –                                                    Geographical Variations in ELS uptake (by JCA)
      low level of uptake in uplands
    • Classic Scheme Renewals – often in
      uplands
    • Commodity prices – potential impact on
      high uptake areas

               Sectoral Variations in ELS Uptake


                                                                     Large (>150ha)
                                                   Medium (50-
                                                     149ha)
           Small (<50ha)

       Other

               Horticulture

                      Specialist Poultry
                              Lowland Beef and
                                   Sheep
                                 Upland Livestock

                                 Specialist Pigs

                                                     Dairy

                                                                 Mixed

                                                                     General Cropping

                                                                         Cereals



0        10             20                 30            40               50            60
                                     % Area
Balance of options within ELS agreements



                               Analysis shows that many ELS agreements
                               are focused around a very limited number of
                               options:
                                   –    The 6 most popular options in the
                                        scheme (including the compulsory
                                        FER) account for 49% of all points
                                        scored. The 20 most popular options
                                        account for 90% of all the points
                                        scored within the scheme. The
                                        remaining 42 options account for only
                                        10% of the points scored within the
                                        scheme.
                                   –    15% of all ELS agreements score
                                        more than 70% of their points from
                                        lowland grassland options, with 9%
                                        scoring over 90% of their points from
                                        this option group.
                                   –    6% of all ELS agreements score 70%
                                        or more of their points from
                                        boundary options.
                                   –    Combining boundary and lowland
                                        grassland options together - 40% of
                                        all ELS agreements score more than
                                        70% of their points from boundary
                                        and lowland grassland options alone,
                                        including almost 20% who score in
                                        excess of 90% of their points from
                                        these two option groups.
                                   –    Following ELS option maps adjacent
                                        farms in the same JCA.
What would the effect be on the effectiveness of ELS
and HLS if there was no SPS (1)?

                            •   Recent modelling work of CAP Reform
                                scenarios based on English farm
                                business survey data (FADN)
                                suggested the following:
                                 – Many positive environmental
                                    consequences
                                 – However, significant changes to
                                    farming systems – eg rotation
                                    simplification, livestock
                                    extensification and associated
                                    implications especially for
                                    landscape that would require
                                    additional interventions through
                                    the schemes (ELS higher
                                    intensity, HLS higher coverage)
                                 – Also significant risk of ‘land out of
                                    production’ both in uplands and
                                    lowlands – although lowlands
                                    could see reintroduction of
                                    extensive livestock.
What would the effect be on the effectiveness of ELS
and HLS if there was no SPS (2)?
•   Scenario   A – Baseline (to 2015), incorporates know policy changes.
•   Scenario   B – Removal of decoupled support.
•   Scenario   C – Removal of tariff barriers and other trade restrictions
•   Scenario   D – B and C together.




•   Reform scenario B would increase the cost of ELS agreements in SDA areas (by 2.1%) and
    would decrease the cost (by 0.3%) in non-SDA areas. Also, the unit cost of most HLS options
    would increase (by 1-9%). While the prices of many farm commodities is predicted to increase,
    the loss of the Single Payment would lead to extensive restructuring and a significant increase
    in ‘land out of agriculture’, with a resulting increase in the need for targeted HLS uptake.
•   Reform scenario C would reduce the cost of ELS agreements in SDA and non-SDA areas (by
    up to 3.3%) and also the unit cost of most HLS options (by 1-13%). Retention of the Single
    Payment limits the extent of restructuring with the increase in ‘land out of agriculture’ less than
    under Scenario B. However, the overall impact is expected to be an increase in the Pillar II
    budget requirement.
•   Reform scenario D would reduce the cost of ELS agreements in SDA and non-SDA areas (by
    1.2-4.5%) and also the unit cost of most HLS options (by 1-36%). Loss of the Single Payment
    and lower commodity prices will lead to substantial restructuring with a significant increase in
    ‘land out of agriculture’ (15% in the lowlands and perhaps more in the LFA). As such, the
    overall impact is expected to be a significant increase in the Pillar II budget, despite the lower
    unit cost of options.
Looking to the EU Budget Review – How appropriate
is EU wide funding for AES?
Looking to the EU Budget Review – How appropriate
is EU wide funding for AES?

Test                                  ELS

Is there a clear market failure?      Yes

Are there transboundary impacts on    Most (but not all) ELS interventions are locally focused and arguably don’t require
a scale that merits EU intervention   co-ordinated EU wide intervention.
What is the case that some form of
EU, as opposed to domestic, level     There is currently no explicit focus on providing the necessary connectivity across the
action is needed to effectively       EU to enable the natural environmental to effectively respond to locked-in climate
conserve the natural environment in   change impacts
Europe?

Level of Preferences – Would an       Very limited evidence exists on ‘level of preference’ for the natural environment – i.e.
individual MS provide the optimal     to what extent do EU citizens value a high quality natural environment in England?
level of the good or service?

Proportionality – What and how        What - ELS is incentive based mechanism. Could regulation or advice or other
much EU level action is needed? Is    mechanisms achieve this? Balance between different mechanisms.
spending the right intervention?      Proposing to increase advice provision within ELS.
What are our expenditure
requirements for the natural          How much - There is insufficient funding for environmental land management
environment ?                         objectives and the conservation and enhancement of the marine environment within
                                      the EU. For Financial Perspective 2007–2013, axis II needs estimated at circa £5 bn
                                      in England. Allocated funding was £2.9 bn. Still room for a ‘reform dividend’ if
                                      unproductive income support payments were to be discontinued.


                                      Allocations are not based on sound and objective criteria, e.g. Pillar II allocations
                                      based on historical receipts rather than on UAA or conservation need.
Value for money – is the money        ELS fixed price scheme, tendering/reverse auctions could be more efficient?
that is being spent spent on the      High (and increasingly volatile) commodity prices highlight limitations of an income
right things and in the right way?    foregone approach.
                                      Evidence base on environmental outcomes (and their associated value) is weak.
Future Development of ELS


•   Changes to ELS options (revised options, prescriptions and new
    options) to improve option effectiveness.
     – about 25 changes to make existing options and prescriptions
        more demanding;
     – about 20 changes to make existing options and prescriptions
        more flexible; and
     – develop and introduce a number of new options.
•   Develop and pilot an ELS capital works proposal
•   A full scheme payment review is required.
•   The existing geographical targeting guidance for ELS should be
    reviewed to explore ways that it can be made more effective.
•   Develop a significantly enhanced, geographically differentiated,
    programme of advice to support ELS delivery.
•   Develop, test and implement a geographically differentiated
    single-split list approach based on a minimum specified
    proportion of agreement points coming from 1 or more options on
    the list.
3 recommendations for other MS

• Low intensity high uptake schemes such as ELS have
  considerable potential to deliver benefits over large areas.
• Schemes of this type have to strike a difficult balance
  between the complexity of management
  options/prescriptions required to achieve demonstrable
  environmental outcomes and secure high levels of scheme
  uptake.
• Ensure that you have a comprehensive monitoring strategy
  in place, based on extensive agreement level research, to
  demonstrate that intended environmental outcomes are
  being achieved.
More information

• Scheme booklets can be found at
  http://www.defra.gov.uk/erdp/schemes/els/handbook/default.htm




• mailto:stephen.chaplin@naturalengland.org.uk
How it works (3)
•   Associated with each option is a management prescription:




•   Applicants draw their selected options on a base map that is provided as
    part of the application process and this forms the agreement.
ELS – Agreements Example, Nr Bridlington, East
Yorkshire. Holderness JCA.

				
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