Annexe 14 - Etude nationale Irlande

Annexe 14 - Etude nationale Irlande

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EVALUATION DES MESURES AGRO-ENVIRONNEMENTALES AGRI/ G4/ 2004 ANNEXE 14 : ETUDE NATIONALE IRLANDE Novembre 2005 Janet Dwyer and Carol Kambites, Countryside and Community Research Unit Dunholme Villa, The Park, Cheltenham, Gloucestershire GL50 2RH, UK Evaluation of agri-environmental measures - Ireland TABLE OF CONTENTS 1. AGRI-ENVIRONMENT MEASURES IN IRELAND - TERMINOLOGY.......................... 1 1.1 Terminology........................................................................................................................................ 1 1.2 Brief presentation of the Scheme ...................................................................................................... 1 1.3 Detailed description of the Measures................................................................................................ 2 1.3.1 Compulsory measures under REPS ................................................................................................. 2 1.3.2 Supplementary M ............................................................................................ 3 2. TYPOLOGY OF ACTIONS AND MEASURES ........................................................... 4 3. CONTEXT OF IMPLEMENTATION OF THE SCHEME ................................................ 6 3.1 History of the Irish approach........................................................................................... ...

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EVALUATION DES MESURES
AGRO-ENVIRONNEMENTALES


AGRI/ G4/ 2004







ANNEXE 14 : ETUDE NATIONALE IRLANDE









Novembre 2005





Janet Dwyer and Carol Kambites, Countryside and Community Research Unit
Dunholme Villa, The Park, Cheltenham, Gloucestershire GL50 2RH, UK Evaluation of agri-environmental measures - Ireland
TABLE OF CONTENTS

1. AGRI-ENVIRONMENT MEASURES IN IRELAND - TERMINOLOGY.......................... 1
1.1 Terminology........................................................................................................................................ 1
1.2 Brief presentation of the Scheme ...................................................................................................... 1
1.3 Detailed description of the Measures................................................................................................ 2
1.3.1 Compulsory measures under REPS ................................................................................................. 2
1.3.2 Supplementary M ............................................................................................ 3
2. TYPOLOGY OF ACTIONS AND MEASURES ........................................................... 4
3. CONTEXT OF IMPLEMENTATION OF THE SCHEME ................................................ 6
3.1 History of the Irish approach............................................................................................................ 6
3.2 Main aims of the AEM of the RDR in Ireland................................................................................. 7
3.3 Organisation of scheme implementation.......................................................................................... 8
3.3.1 Planning - Programming.................................................................................................................. 8
3.3.2 Implementation and control ............................................................................................................. 8
3.3.3 Monitoring and control................. 8
3.3.4 Level of development of good agricultural practice documentation................................................ 8
3.4 The level of implementation of the measures................................................................................. 11
4. ANSWER TO EVALUATION QUESTIONS ............................................................. 12
4.1 Theme nº 1: Environmental impacts of agri-environmental measures - Sub-theme nº 1:
biodiversity..................................................................................................................................................... 12
4.1.1 Q 1: To what extent have agro-environmental measures improved or maintained common
biodiversity (species richness)?..................................................................................................... 12
4.1.2 Q.2 To what extent have the agri-environment measures maintained or improved special habitats?
....................................................................................................................................................... 19
4.1.3 Q3 To what extent have the agro-environmental measures maintained or improved genetic
resources by safeguarding endangered animal and plant species? ................................................ 23
4.2 Theme nº 1: Environmental impacts of agri-environmental measures – Sub-theme nº 2:
Natural resources .......................................................................................................................................... 26
4.2.1 Q4 To what extent have agro-environmental measures maintained or improved water quality? .. 26
4.2.2 Q5 To what extent have natural resources been protected (or enhanced) in terms of the quantity of
water resources, as influenced by agri-environment measures?.................................................... 30
4.2.3 Q 6 To what extent has soil quality been maintained or enhanced, and soil erosion been prevented
by agri-environmental measures?.................................................................................................. 30
4.2.4 Q7 to what extent have agri-environmental measures protected or enhanced other environmental
assets ?........................................................................................................................................... 34
4.2.5 Q8 To what extent have agri-environmental measures preserved or improved the rural landscape?
....................................................................................................................................................... 37
4.3 Theme nº 2a: Institutional and contextual issues which determine the success of agri-
environmental policy..................................................................................................................................... 40
4.3.1 Q9 To what degree do the institutional structures and the operational methods at all levels help or
hinder the design of high quality agri-environment schemes? ...................................................... 40
4.3.2 Q 10: To what extent is funding for agri-environmental programmes and measures adequate (e.g.
with respect to the EU contribution, Member State’s budget, Regional budget, payment levels for
farmers, etc.) and how has the level of funding influenced uptake and programme quality ? ...... 44 Evaluation of agri-environmental measures - Ireland
4.3.3 Q11 To what extent are the monitoring, evaluation and supervision of the agro-environmental
measures in place in the Member States fit for the purpose? ........................................................ 45
4.3.4 Q12 To what extent have the degree of application and environmental effectiveness been
influenced by other implementation factors or other relevant factors (such as attitude towards the
agro-environment, knowledge of the agro-environment as all levels with the Member State, the
extent of GAPs, other CAP/EU measures, 5-year minimum contracts, limitation of beneficiaries
to farmers only etc.)....................................................................................................................... 47
4.4 Theme nº 2b: Economic efficiency of measures. Payment mechanism. ...................................... 50
4.4.1 Q13 : Are there examples illustrating the efficiency of design of measures and scheme approach ?
....................................................................................................................................................... 50
4.4.2 Q14: Is the present method of calculation suitable for achieving the desired environmental
outcome ? Do the payment levels reflect the costs incurred and the lost income? When there is an
incentive payment, is it justified? Can improvements in the method of calculation be suggested
which will maintain compatibility with WTO rules? .................................................................... 51
4.5 Theme nº 3: The socio-economic impact of agri-environmental measures................................. 52
4.5.1 Q 15: To what extent have agri-environmental measures provided farmers with opportunity of a
gainful activity (provision of environmental services)? To what extent have they contributed to
enhancing the image of agriculture as a provider of services to society? ..................................... 52
4.6 Theme nº 4: Objectives and targeting of agri-environmental measures 54
4.6.1 Q 16: To what extent agri-environmental measures have been designed with clear environmental
objectives? To what extent have Member states and Regions chosen to target their agri-
environmental measures to areas and topics covered by Community environmental legislation or
objectives?..................................................................................................................................... 54
5. CONCLUSION AND RECOMMENDATIONS........................................................... 56
APPENDICES .......................................................................................................... 58
Annexe 1 : Guides d'entretien pour les études nationales et régionales ................................................... 59
Annex 2 : list of people interviewed ............................................................................................................. 73
Annex 3 : Bibliography ................................................................................................................................. 74

Evaluation of agri-environmental measures - Ireland
LIST OF TABLES

Table 1. Agri-environment measures in Ireland............................................................................................................. 2
Table 2. REPS measures - typology............................................................................................................................... 4
Table 3. Definition of Good Farming Practice............................................................................................................. 10
Table 4. REPS Participants, Area and Payment from 01/01-31/12, 2004 .................................................................... 11
Table 5. Measures for biodiversity benefits in REPS................................................................................................... 14
Table 6. Main subjects on which to gather information to evaluate the effects of AEMs on ordinary biodiversity 15
Table 7. REPS Programme Indicators for biodiversity and landscape......................................................................... 17
Table 8. 21
Table 9. Main themes on which to gather information to evaluate the effects of AEMs on the biodiversity of
endangered domesticated animals. ........................................................................................................................... 24
Table 10. Main themes on which to gather information to evaluate the effects of the AEMs on water quality ........ 27
Table 11. Compulsory Measures benefiting soil protection....................................................................................... 31
Table 12. Main themes for which to gather information to evaluate the effects of AEMs on soil protection and
erosion. 32
Table 13. Soil P index levels (% of samples from REPS farms in each category) .................................................... 33
Table 14. Main themes for which to gather information to evaluate the effects of AEMs on other important
environmental goals ................................................................................................................................................. 35
Table 15. Programme Indicators relevant to landscapes............................................................................................ 38
Table 16. Main themes on which to gather information to evaluate the effects of AEMs on landscape protection .. 38
Table 17. Average Income from Agriculture (IR£) ................................................................................................... 53
Table 18. Family Farm Incomes on REPS and non-REPS Farms (euro/ha) .............................................................. 53

GLOSSARY
AEM Agri-Environment Measures
AES Agriculture and Environment Structures Office
ASI Areas of Scientific Interest
BAP Biodiversity Action Plan
CAP Common Agricultural Policy
CEQ Commission Evaluation Questions
CSO Central Statistics Office
DAF Department of Agriculture and Food, Ireland
EFNCP European Forum for Nature Conservation and Pastoralism
EPA Environmental Protection Agency, Ireland
ESA Environmentally Sensitive Area
ESU European Size Unit
FAO Food and Agriculture Organisation of the United Nations
GFP Good Farming Practice
HC Heritage Council, Ireland
HNV High Nature Value
LFA Less Favoured Area
MTE Mid Term Evaluation
NGO Non-Government Organisation
NHA Natural Heritage Area
NMAPD National Monuments and Architectural Protection Division
NPWS National Parks and Wildlife Service, Ireland
NVZ Nitrate Vulnerable Zone (designated under EU Nitrates Directive)
RDP Rural Development Plan
RDR Ruralopment Regulation
REPS Rural Environment Protection Scheme
RMP REPS Management Plans
SAC Special Area of Conservation (designated under EU Habitats Directive)
SMR Sites and Monuments Record
SoE State of the Environment
SPA Special Protection Area (designated under EU Birds Directive)
WTO World Trade Organisation

Evaluation of agri-environmental measures - Ireland
1. AGRI-ENVIRONMENT MEASURES IN IRELAND -
TERMINOLOGY
1.1 Terminology
Scheme – a package of agri-environment management measures delivered through a single
contracting system and uniform approach and delivery process

Measure – a management item/option that forms part of a ‘menu’ from which items are selected
when putting together an agreement under a scheme

Compulsory measure – a management item that every farmer who chooses to enter the scheme
must adopt, on their farm

Supplementary measure – a management item that farmers can choose to indclude as part of their
agreement alongside the compulsory measures

Category – a list of measures of a certain common type (purely used for ease of reference: similar
to group or list)

Agreement – a legal contract between a farmer and the state, to deliver various management
commitments under a scheme in return for payment

There is only one agri-environment scheme in the Republic of Ireland – the Rural Environment
Protection Scheme (REPS). It was first launched under EU Regulation 2078/92, in 1994. It is a
whole-farm scheme, which means that any farmer wishing to join the scheme must enter their
whole farm area into the scheme, and it is available to any farmer who follows the basic application
procedure (ie it is a non-competitive process).
1.2 Brief presentation of the Scheme
The Rural Environment Protection Scheme (REPS) is a scheme designed to reward farmers for
carrying our their farming activities in an environmentally friendly manner and to bring about
environmental improvement on farms. It combines environmental awareness, education and
financial incentives and is available across the whole country of Ireland.

All participants in REPS 2000 must carry out their farming activities for a five year period in
accordance with an agri-environment plan prepared in accordance with the Scheme
specifications. The plan must be specific to their own farm and be prepared by a Planning Agency
that has been approved by the Department of Agriculture, Food and Rural Development, Ireland for
preparing REPS plans.

In all plans, farmers are required to comply with eleven basic measures, plus Measure A which
apply across the whole farm. They must also pick two additional Biodiversity options from a list of
sixteen options available in order to be eligible to participate in the Scheme. In addition, there are a
small number of ‘supplementary measures’ which include support for organic farming (which pays
for conversion and continuation of organic farming) which they may choose and receive extra
payment for.

In return, the farmer will receive:
- a basic REPS annual payment of €200 per hectare for the first 20 hectares of land covered by
the agreement, then €175 per hectare for the next 20 hectares, €70 per hectare for the next 15
hectares and €10 per hectare for the remaining hectares under agreement.
- A separate payment structure exists for any Target areas, or areas of ‘special habitat’ on the
farm, defined as either eligible ‘Commonage’ (common) land, Natural Heritage Areas, Special
1 Evaluation of agri-environmental measures - Ireland
Areas of Conservation (SAC) and Special Protection Areas (SPA). The payment is tiered
according to the extent of this habitat on the farm : €242 per hectare for the first 40 hectares,
€24 per hectare for >40-80 hectares, €18 euro per hectare for >80-120 hectares and €5 per
hectare for areas over 120 hectares. The basic payment structure and that for Target areas are
not cumulative. For example, a farmer with 40 ha, of which 20 ha are Target lands will receive
the first 20 ha @ €242 per hectare, and the next 20 hectares @ €175 per hectare.
- additional payments are made for participating in ‘Supplementary Measures’, which include
more targeted actions such as Organic Farming, management for farmland birds (the
‘LINNET’ measure), the keeping of rare breeds, creation and maintenance of traditional
orchards, riparian setaside and special management for Corncrakes.
Table 1. Agri-environment measures in Ireland
Number
1 national scheme Actions
Measures 11+1 compulsory plus a selection from 6 supplementary measures and 16
management options – all are available nationally but the REPS plan should
ensure that appropriate options are chosen in appropriate situations, from an
environmental/agronomic perspective
Source : scheme literature
1.3 Detailed description of the Measures
1.3.1 Compulsory measures under REPS

1. follow a farm nutrient management plan prepared for the total area of the farm, specifying
maximum nutrient application rates and based upon soil testing and a nutrient budget that
includes the nutrient content from livestock wastes;
2. adopt an appropriate grassland management plan for the total area of the farm, specifying
the carrying capacity of the grassland in terms of stocking rates, and including
prescriptions to protect key features;
3. protect and maintain all watercourses and wells, usually by protective fencing around the
feature;
4. retain all wildlife habitats on the farm – ie do not remove or destroy them;
5. maintain all farm and field boundaries – by regular management and no deliberate removal;
6. cease using herbicides, pesticides and fertilisers in and around hedgerows, lakes, ponds,
rivers and streams, except with the consent of the Minister;
7. protect all features of historical and/or archaeological interest, as identified on the REPS
plan (will include scheduled and non-listed, newly identified features);
8. maintain and improve the visual appearance of the farm and farmyard;
9. produce tillage crops without burning straw or stubble; leaving a specified field margin
uncultivated where no nutrients or sprays are applied;
10. become familiar with environmentally friendly farming practice through attending
compulsory REPS training courses (and other means);
11. monitor and update the farm’s agri-environment plan and keep regular farm and
environmental records as prescribed by the Minister, which must be available for
inspection.
12. Measure A: the commonage or NHA de-stocking measure, which applies to areas of
commonage or designated Natural Heritage Areas, Special Areas of conservation or
Special Protection Areas as defined in specific legislation, where grazing management
plans identify an ecological need for significant de-stocking of the land in order to allow
valuable semi-natural vegetation to re-establish and thrive.
Evaluation of agri-environmental measures - Ireland
1.3.2 Supplementary Measures under REPS
Corncrake habitat: to maintain or manage land identified as suitable for breeding sites for the
corncrake, a rare bird in Ireland.

Traditional Irish Orchards: to create and maintain an orchard with specific apple varieties
traditional to Ireland.

Conservation of Rare Breeds: to rear animals of specific breeds traditional to Ireland that are in
danger of being lost to farming.

Riparian management – to protect buffer zones alongside certain designated streams, rivers and
ditches.

LINNET bird habitat management: to maintain small-scale cereal plots on grassland farms, with the
objective of providing a food source and a mosaic of habitats in order to benefit farmland bird
species that are in decline in Ireland.

Organic Farming: payments to convert land to organic production and payments to maintain land
that is already certified as organic, in organic production.

Farmers may be obliged to enter Supplementary measure A if their farm includes these kinds of
land, in which case they can only combine this with the rare breeds measure. In other cases, they
can choose any of the supplementary measures but can only receive additional payment for up to 2
of them (depending on the precise choices).

New Management (Biodiversity) Options under REPS 3
All REPS 3 agreements must include 2 of these in order to be eligible to join the Scheme with at
least one coming from category 1:

Category 1
New habitat buffers around existing valuable habitat areas (optional measure 4a)
Hedgerow restoration (option 5a), new hedgerow planting (option 5b) and stonewall restoration
(option 5c)
Green cover cropping on arable land (option 9a)
Environmental management of set-aside land (option 9b)
Wildlife corridors through arable land (option 9c)

Category 2
Extensive grassland or hay meadow management (optional measure 2)
Increased riparian zones and exclude from agricultural production a strip of land along a designated
waterway (optional measure 3)
Tree planting (option 4b): to plant new native trees singly or in groups in field boundaries or other
appropriate locations around the farm to provide habitat and landscape benefits.
A 2.5m margin around all pasture field boundaries which is unsprayed and unfertilised (option 4c)
Wider margins around archaeological sites (option 7a) and public access to sites (option 7b)
Landscape planting around farmyards (option 8a)



Evaluation of agri-environmental measures - Ireland
2. TYPOLOGY OF ACTIONS AND MEASURES
Because REPS is a multi-objective, whole farm scheme, the individual compulsory and optional
measures will normally each be designed to achieve a number of different environmental
objectives, in line with the overall aims of the scheme. Therefore there is no official typology of
actions and measures: there is simply one national multi-objective ‘action’, which is the REPS
scheme, designed to achieve improved water quality, protection of wildlife habitats, protection of
valued natural and cultural heritage and of the landscape environment (the appearance of
hedgerows etc.), keeping the countryside free of litter, and public access and enjoyment of the
countryside, as well as broader, non-environmental goals. However, from an understanding of how
the main measures are applied under the scheme, it is possible to derive a broadly appropriate
typology of REPS measures, as set out in table 2.
Table 2. REPS measures - typology
Water Historic Access/
Measure Biodiversity Landscape quality features enjoyment
Compulsory measures
1 – nutrient management plan L D L
2 – grazing maent plan D D D D
3- protect watercourses and wells L
4 – retain wildlife habitats D L L
5 – farm and field boundaries D D
6- untreated buffers L L
7- historic features L L
8- visual appearance D D
9- tillage land conditions D D D
10 – farmer training
11- record keeping L D L
A – commonage D D D D

Supplementary measures

Orchards D D L
Rare breeds D
Organics D L
Riparian zones D L
Linnet D
Corncrake D
Options under REPS 3
Extensive grass/hay D L D L
Increased Riparian zones D D L
Buffers to habitat
Tree planting D D
Wider Field margins
Hedge plant/restore D L D
Wall restore L L D D
Archaeology items L L L D L
Green cover crop D D L
Wildlife on arable/SA D L D L
Farmyard planting L L D
Key: L = minor (light green) intended performance against this goal
D = major (dark green) intenst this goal

Thus most measures should deliver biodiversity and landscape protection while around ¾ by
number should deliver enhanced water quality and just over ½ by number should protect
Evaluation of agri-environmental measures - Ireland
archaeology and historic features. However, it is important to note that because measures 1 – 11
plus measure A are all compulsory for every agreement, it is possible to say that every agreement
should include some measures that score deep green for every one of the main environmental goals
of the scheme. That means that 100 per cent of agreements should score deep green for common
biodiversity, special biodiversity, landscape, water quality, historic value and public enjoyment.
However, the precise level of benefit against each objective that will be delivered by each
agreement depends upon both the precise mix of environmental potential or existing value on each
farm as well as the quality of the REPS plan drawn up and the efficacy of the management
prescriptions applied, in each case. Since there are no sources of information which enable us to
interrogate these benefits in more detail, the summary tables used in this report for the evaluation
questions will be rather crude.
Evaluation of agri-environmental measures - Ireland
3. CONTEXT OF IMPLEMENTATION OF THE SCHEME
3.1 History of the Irish approach
The original objectives of REPS were not entirely environmental. The scheme was designed to
respond to the EU wish to achieve extensification of farming, lowering inputs and outputs, and to
maintain extensive farms in marginal areas. Nevertheless the main environmental goals could now
be identified as including water quality, biodiversity and landscape. Over time, the environmental
goals of the scheme have become more prominent than the socio-economic and agronomic ones
(source: interviews).

There were two pilot ESA schemes in Ireland under Article 19, in the period before the 1992 CAP
reforms. One of these was very successful and achieved 70% uptake, while the other was less
successful. Experience with these pilot schemes informed the development and launch of REPS.

REPS has gone through two modifications since its initial launch in 1994, following reviews. Thus
there are three successive versions of the scheme, termed REPS 1 (1994-99), REPS 2 (2000-3) and
REPS 3 (2004-) respectively. In general terms, successive versions of the scheme have attempted to
increase its environmental benefits, which has involved:
· increases in the options available to farmers,
· some increased obligations involved in joining the scheme,
· changes to other aspects of scheme design in order to increase its popularity with farmers,
including payment rate modifications and administrative simplifications.

REPS 1 mainly focused on resource and biodiversity protection, and it achieved steady growth
throughout its lifetime, attracting around 45,000 farmers into the scheme over that period. A new
element was introduced alongside the application of cross-compliance on CAP direct payments in
1996, specifically to tackle serious overgrazing problems on Ireland’s commonage (common
grazings) and on certain designated, high nature value sites (National Heritage Areas, or NHAs,
and candidate Natura 2000 sites). However, a growing awareness of the need to increase the
scheme’s ability to tackle specific environmental management issues in more tailored ways, along
with a number of other considerations, led to a decision to review the scheme during 1999. An
evaluation of the scheme was undertaken and some consultation held with key stakeholder groups
to derive recommendations for change to improve scheme performance. A new version of the
scheme was prepared, for implementing under the Agenda 2000 CAP reforms.

REPS 2 was introduced on 27 November 2000, as part of Ireland's Rural Development Plan under
EU Reg 1257/99. Funding of £1.6 billion was allocated for the scheme for the period 2000-2006
and it was projected that participation levels would rise to 70% by the end of 2006. In 2000-3,
growth in the scheme was slower than anticipated, partly due to external factors but also partly
because the payment rates for the scheme had remained the same as under REPS 1 despite
changing market and other conditions.

The view of administrators is that the REPS 2 payment levels were too low, because farmers were
still undertaking the same actions as under REPS 1 but the broader context had changed (eg cost
increases, etc), meaning that the scheme was costing them more.

Under REPS 2, participants were obliged to comply with the eleven basic measures as established
for REPS 1. Measure A (known as Supplementary Measure A under the 1994-1999 scheme) laid
down mandatory additional farming conditions for participants with land in target areas, namely
Natural Heritage Areas, Natura 2000 Sites and Commonages. A small additional payment that had
formerly been available for creating access ceased, in line with changes in the EU regulations,
while a suite of supplementary measures was introduced to encourage more targeted environmental
benefits. Some new provisions were introduced to boost participation levels: