Towards a British Ecosystem Services Policy

Brexit requires the UK government to develop its own policy for the governance of rural land. This policy should adopt an ecosystems approach to be better targeted, integrated, collaborative and devolved. A British Ecosystem Services Policy would support delivery of a full range of ESs to be provided by both landholders and other organisations and individuals who can contribute effectively. It would be implemented by developing Payment for Ecosystem Services (PES) schemes where feasible but also through a series of procurement funds administered at national and local levels. Landholders and others could tender to deliver services, potentially assembling a portfolio of service provisions. Funds would monitor the outcomes, costs revealed through tendering and the effectiveness of alternative delivery methods in order to feedback into future arrangements. However, at this stage we lack governance structures for full implementation. Initially, policy can support an extended agri-environment programme, doing more to promote collective initiatives, PES and devolved decision-making, while reducing some levels of direct policy payments. While a full BESP is a longer term goal, it is critical to embark in this direction in order to avoid path dependency trapping policy into a direct substitute for a flawed CAP

Issue Date:
Apr 25 2017
Publication Type:
Conference Paper/ Presentation
Record Identifier:
Total Pages:
JEL Codes:
Q18; Q24; Q28

 Record created 2017-07-06, last modified 2018-01-23

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