Evaluation of agri-environmental and forestry schemes with multiple objectives
Mortimer, S. R., Mauchline, A. L., Park, J., Finn, J., Edwards, D. and Morris, J. (2010) Evaluation of agri-environmental and forestry schemes with multiple objectives. Eurochoices, 9 (1). pp. 48-53. ISSN 1478-0917
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To link to this article DOI: 10.1111/j.1746-692X.2010.00149.x
The evaluation of EU policy in the area of rural land use management often encounters problems of multiple and poorly articulated objectives. Agri-environmental policy has a range of aims, including natural resource protection, biodiversity conservation and the protection and enhancement of landscape quality. Forestry policy, in addition to production and environmental objectives, increasingly has social aims, including enhancement of human health and wellbeing, lifelong learning, and the cultural and amenity value of the landscape. Many of these aims are intangible, making them hard to define and quantify. This article describes two approaches for dealing with such situations, both of which rely on substantial participation by stakeholders. The first is the Agri-Environment Footprint Index, a form of multi-criteria participatory approach. The other, applied here to forestry, has been the development of ‘multi-purpose’ approaches to evaluation, which respond to the diverse needs of stakeholders through the use of mixed methods and a broad suite of indicators, selected through a participatory process. Each makes use of case studies and involves stakeholders in the evaluation process, thereby enhancing their commitment to the programmes and increasing their sustainability. Both also demonstrate more ‘holistic’ approaches to evaluation than the formal methods prescribed in the EU Common Monitoring and Evaluation Framework.