To secure the provision of agri-environmental public goods such as biodiversity, in many cases, government intervention is necessary. Government intervention means taxpayers cover parts of the costs for the provision. Thus, it is necessary to examine the distribution of burdens for the provision among stakeholders. Environmental reference levels are defined as the minimum level of environmental quality that farmers are obliged to provide at their own expense. By applying the reference level framework established by OECD to some cases in some countries (Australia, Japan, the Netherlands, the United Kingdom and the United States) this paper examines the distribution of burdens for providing agri-environmental public goods. This paper found several patterns of the reference levels. They should be clearly defined so as to clarify the extent to which farmers and other stakeholders should bear the costs.


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