Agri-environment schemes have now been in operation for over two decades, and a range of different approaches are adopted across Europe. Many changes have taken place in the types of schemes supported and the approaches adopted to monitoring and evaluation. Past evaluations have highlighted both successes and perceived failures, and there has on occasion been controversy about the value of the agri-environment approach to environmental conservation on farmland. Nevertheless, such schemes continue to be the major vehicle for achieving environmental objectives in the agricultural context, and budgets are now higher than ever before. Major changes have occurred following the most recent CAP reforms, and monitoring and evaluation data are now becoming available giving early indications of performance. At the same time, new prescriptions continue to be developed and incorporated as schemes are reviewed and revised.
Themes to be explored at this conference will include the development of agri-environment policy, the rationale behind the current schemes, the science underpinning the options, implementation at field, farm and landscape scales, the assessment and evaluation of the outcomes, and the implications for future developments. A particular emphasis will be placed on the collection and assessment of evidence for success (or otherwise) of agri-environment schemes in achieving their objectives, and how this could be improved. Of specific interest will be the nature and early results from evaluation of new agri-environment schemes established following the 2005 CAP reform, but the scope will also include earlier AES and comparisons between them. Both monitoring of direct benefits and socio-economic evaluations may be included. In addition, papers describing underpinning research will also be welcomed. Keynote speakers will be invited to set the policy context.
The conference will be of interest to delegates from the across Europe, including policy makers, agricultural and landscape ecologists, advisers, agricultural land managers, and all those involved in research, development, implementation and evaluation of agri-environment schemes.
On the second day of the conference there will be a field trip to The Game & Wildlife Conservation Trusts Allerton Project farm at Loddington, Leicestershire.
Papers and posters from the conference will be reproduced in a volume of Aspects of Applied Biology, which will be available to delegates at the conference.
Registration fees for the whole conference are as follows:
AAB/BES Members £260
AAB/BES Retired Members £210
AAB/BES Student Members £150
Non Members £310
Student Non Members £180
1 and 2 day registrations are also available online.