Institutional Settings Surrounding Agriculture and Biodiversity: Challenges, Potentials and Obstacles of a Contract-based Nature Protection Scheme in the Rhine-Sieg District of Germany

Darya Hirsch, Angela Turck, Wiltrud Terlau


Contract-based nature protection schemes are a voluntary mechanism, with a limited contract duration, that aim to raise the acceptance of biodiversity conservation practices in agriculture among farmers and other land users. The purpose of this paper is to analyse the institutional settings of contract-based nature protection based on the– “Institutions of Sustainability” (IoS) framework in the German Rhine-Sieg district, and to outline the way in which policy measures should be designed to encourage farmers to participate in contract-based nature protection programmes. This was achieved by answering research questions to identify the challenges, potentials and obstacles of a contract-based nature protection scheme in different “sub-arenas” as defined in the IoS framework. Qualitative research methods were used as the methodology. The analysis shows that main constraints for sufficient implementation of contract-based nature protection schemes are the limited consideration of the impact of climate change during the contract period, the limited consideration of regional conditions as regards the measures taken on the ground and an inflexible contract duration.


Agri-environment schemes; Payment for Ecosystem Services (PES); institutional analysis; Institutional Analysis and Development (IAD) framework; Institutions of Sustainability (IoS) framework

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ISSN 1869-6945


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