The design of efficient public policies that aim to improve the provision of ecosystem services faces the problem that many ecosystem services are only apparent at spatial levels beyond the level at which they are managed. This makes it impossible to measure the contribution of individual resource managers to the provision of these services, as is the case in landscapes managed by private landowners such as farmers. As a consequence, the magnitude of the public support associated with the implementation of a policy cannot be specified down to the level of the individual manager/land owner. In this situation, institutional arrangements among resource managers are needed to determine how the public support defined at the higher level can be fairly distributed. This paper proposes a financial compensation arrangement among resource managers in a landscape, based on the Kaldor–Hicks criterion leading to a Pareto-optimal improvement, and explores the institutional requirements for the effective implementation of this arrangement. The proposed arrangement is illustrated with a case study in a woodland landscape in The Netherlands. The results show that private benefits among farms differed considerably due to biophysical, ecological and geographic differences among the farms. The financial compensation arrangement could contribute to improved equity among natural resource managers, which has been proposed as a key requirement for implementation of effective governance of environmental changes. The discussion addresses the institutional requirements of the proposed arrangement for governance structures that effectively deal with biophysical and socio-economic scale mismatches in sustainable use of natural resources.
Carmen Carmona-Torresa, Carlos Parra-Lópeza, Department of Agricultural Economics and Sociology, Institute of Agricultural Research and Training (IFAPA), Granada, Spain
Jeroen C.J. Grootb Biological Farming Systems Group, Wageningen Centre for Agro-ecology and Systems Analysis (WaCASA), Wageningen University, Droevendaalsesteeg , The Netherlands; Department for Sustainable Management of Resources, Radboud University Nijmegen, The Netherlands
Walter A.H. Rossing Biological Farming Systems Group, Wageningen Centre for Agro-ecology and Systems Analysis (WaCASA), Wageningen University, Droevendaalsesteeg , The Netherlands;
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