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Evaluation of M&E/counterfactuals project - LM04102

The purpose of agri-environment schemes is to maintain and enhance the natural environment, and schemes principally focus on biodiversity and water quality, as well as supporting resource protection, the historic environment, landscape character, and climate change adaptation & mitigation. Appropriate counterfactuals are required to robustly attribute environmental changes to AES implementation, within the context of the scheme objectives. The aim of this project therefore, is to identify counterfactual approaches/methods which enable observed environmental changes to be robustly attributed to the implementation of agri-environment schemes, and to consider the practical application of these approaches for future monitoring and evaluation e.g. in Environment Land Management (ELM).
The objectives of this project are to:
1. Review approaches to counterfactuals within agri-environment monitoring & evaluation, building on the findings of existing studies.
2. Define what constitutes a ‘counterfactual’ in the context of agri-environment.
3. Assess the feasibility of different counterfactual approaches to agri-environment monitoring & evaluation at the feature/parcel-scale, including the implications of a high uptake of ELM, resulting in few areas not falling under a scheme.
4. Identify the main research gaps and/or where further testing is required to enable robust conclusions to be drawn.
5. Recommend counterfactual approaches for future application in agri-environment monitoring & evaluation at the feature/parcel-scale, with a particular focus on implications for ELM.
Project Documents
• FRP - Final Report : LM04102_AES_Counterfactuals   (2551k)
• TPS - Two Page Summary : LM04102_Counterfactuals_TPS   (260k)
Time-Scale and Cost
From: 2019

To: 2020

Cost: £41,560
Contractor / Funded Organisations
British Trust For Ornithology (BTO)
Environmental Impact              
Environmental Stewardship              
Wildlife Management