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Mozzato, Daniele (2019) Factors affecting adoption and continuation of environmentally friendly practices in agriculture and forestry. [Ph.D. thesis]

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Abstract (italian or english)

Agriculture and forestry can heavily affect the rural environment, especially when intensive practices are put in place. To increment environmental conservation, the EU financially supports the adoption of Environmentally Friendly Farming/Forestry Practices (EFFPs). To date, policies aimed at supporting EFFPs adoption in agriculture and forestry are however at a different development stage.
Given this, and considering the strong interconnection between conservation of the rural environment and farmers' and forest owners' choices, it is crucial that policy design takes into account the range of factors affecting EFFPs adoption by farmers and private forest owners. In the case of farmers, while the adoption factors have been largely explored (and research results have shown that the same factor may have opposite effect on the farmers' choices), research is still scarce on the factors affecting EFFPs implementation for a long time. In the case of private forest owners, the main research gap is on factors affecting their willingness to adopt of EFFPs, while those affecting productive choices are more known.
In order to contribute to fill these gaps, this PhD thesis aims to provide the state of the art on factors affecting EFFPs adoption by farmers offering some original insights. In addition, the thesis wants to explore which factors affect private forest owners' willingness to deliver Ecosystem Services (ESs) through EFFPs and to analyse the factors influencing farmers' choices on the continuation of EFFPs for a long time. Finally, the thesis attempts to provide suggestions to policy-makers in developing more effective policy instruments aimed to stimulate EFFPs implementation.
To achieve the first research objective, a qualitative meta-analysis has been carried out on the available literature. Results show that specific geographical and temporal trends help to explain most of the differences emerging in relation to the role played by several factors. These differences reflect the characteristics of the geographical context and show temporal trends linked to the different cohorts of EFFPs adopters.
To reach the second research objective, private forest owners' willingness to provide ESs by adopting EFFPs has been analysed through three different multinomial logit models. The results highlight that private forest owners' willingness increases when they have a high familiarity with the actions needed to provide the analysed ESs. It also emerges that the already high mandatory baseline imposed upon them by the strict Italian regulation framework does not seem to reduce their willingness to provide additional ESs. This should be considered in defining a clearer structure of the policy instruments and a well-defined baseline over which the additionality of forest-environmental payments has to be established.
Referring to the driving forces behind the continuation for a long time of EFFPs by farmers, the results of two diverse duration models show that farmers' choices are affected by a mix of factors evolving over time. Policy design has to take into account these time-dynamics, particularly referring to the effects of farmers' attitudes and motivations and social factors, avoiding the implementation of one-size-fits-all policies. Results place emphasis also on the positive effects played by the accumulation of experience and by the neighbourhood effect.
Finally, in fulfilment of the third research objective, the thesis concludes by delivering some suggestions to policy-makers enabling them to design more effective policy instruments. Given the different development stages achieved by policies in agriculture and forestry, no common policy recommendations are drawn for both sectors. For farmers, more mature EFFPs policies are required aiming to stimulate their participation for a long time, while for private forest owners, more structured and well-defined policy instruments to steer EFFPs adoption are needed.

Abstract (a different language)

Le attività agricole e forestali possono esercitare una profonda influenza sull'ambiente rurale, specialmente quando vengono messe in atto pratiche di gestione intensive. Di conseguenza gli agricoltori e i proprietari forestali privati possono influenzare profondamente la qualità dell'ambiente e le caratteristiche del paesaggio con le loro scelte gestionali. Allo scopo di incrementare la conservazione dell'ambiente e del paesaggio rurale, l'UE mette a disposizione aiuti economici per gli agricoltori e i proprietari forestali privati volti a favorire l'adozione di pratiche eco-compatibili (in inglese Environmentally Friendly Farming/Forestry Practices – EFFPs). Ad oggi, però, gli strumenti politici che regolano gli aiuti concessi dall'UE nei settori agricolo e forestale sono in una fase di sviluppo molto diversa, dovuta al fatto che questi strumenti hanno seguito processi di attuazione inizialmente divergenti, per poi confluire, solo di recente, all'interno dei Piani di Sviluppo Rurale.
Alla luce di ciò e considerando anche la forte interconnessione tra la conservazione dell'ambiente rurale e le scelte degli agricoltori e dei proprietari forestali privati, risulta fondamentale che la progettazione di questi strumenti politici tenga conto dell'ampia gamma di fattori che ne influenzano le scelte riguardo all'adozione delle EFFPs. Nel caso degli agricoltori questi fattori sono stati ampiamente analizzati, anche se i risultati che emergono dalla letteratura evidenziano che lo stesso fattore può avere effetti opposti. Al contrario, la letteratura scientifica è ancora carente in relazione all'analisi dei fattori che influenzano la continuazione delle EFFPs nel lungo periodo. Per quanto riguarda i proprietari forestali privati, invece, contrariamente a quanto avviene per i determinanti delle scelte produttive, il principale gap informativo riguarda i fattori che influenzano la scelta di adottare le EFFPs.
Al fine di contribuire a colmare queste lacune, questa tesi si propone di fornire lo stato dell'arte concernente i fattori che influenzano l'adozione delle EFFPs da parte degli agricoltori offrendo alcune interpretazioni originali utili a far luce su alcune evidenze contrastanti. Inoltre, la tesi si propone di analizzare i fattori che influenzano la disponibilità dei proprietari forestali privati a fornire servizi ecosistemici (in inglese Ecosystem Services – ESs) attraverso l'adozione delle EFFPs e di analizzare i determinanti che, invece, influenzano le scelte degli agricoltori in relazione alla continuazione delle EFFPs nel lungo periodo. Infine, la tesi vuole fornire alcune linee guida utili ai decisori politici per lo sviluppo di strumenti più efficaci.
Per soddisfare il primo obiettivo, la letteratura scientifica inerente al tema analizzato è stata esaminata attraverso una meta-analisi qualitativa i cui risultati dimostrano che specifici trend geografici e temporali contribuiscono a fornire una spiegazione in merito alla maggior parte delle differenze emergenti in relazione al ruolo associato ai diversi fattori. Queste differenze riflettono le caratteristiche del contesto geografico e seguono tendenze temporali legate alle diverse coorti di agricoltori che adottano le EFFPs.
Passando al secondo obiettivo, la disponibilità dei proprietari forestali privati a fornire gli ESs mediante l'adozione di EFFPs è stata analizzata attraverso tre diversi modelli logistici multinomiali. I risultati ottenuti evidenziano che la disponibilità dei proprietari forestali privati aumenta quando essi hanno un'elevata familiarità con le azioni necessarie per fornire gli ESs analizzati. Inoltre emerge che la già elevata baseline obbligatoria imposta dal rigido quadro normativo italiano sembra non ridurre la loro disponibilità a fornire ESs aggiuntivi. Ciò dovrebbe essere preso in considerazione nel definire una struttura più chiara degli strumenti politici e una baseline di riferimento ben definita sulla quale stabilire l'addizionalità dei pagamenti silvo-ambientali.
Riferendosi, invece, ai fattori determinanti per la continuazione delle EFFPs da parte degli agricoltori, i risultati di due diversi duration models mostrano che le scelte degli agricoltori sono influenzate da un insieme di fattori che evolvono nel tempo. La progettazione degli strumenti politici deve, quindi, tenere in considerazione queste dinamiche temporali, con particolare riferimento agli effetti delle attitudini e delle motivazioni degli agricoltori e dei fattori sociali, andando ad evitare l'implementazione di strumenti indifferenziati. Oltre a ciò, i risultati ottenuti mettono in evidenza l'effetto positivo dell'esperienza maturata nel tempo e dell'imitazione tra agricoltori.
Infine, in risposta al terzo obiettivo, la tesi propone alcune linee guida utili ai decisori politici per la progettazione di strumenti più efficaci. Tuttavia, data la diversa fase di sviluppo raggiunta dagli strumenti politici che supportano l'adozione delle EFFPs nei settori agricolo e forestale, non è possibile fornire raccomandazioni comuni: se per gli agricoltori sono necessari strumenti politici più maturi che mirino a stimolare la continuazione delle EFFPs nel lungo periodo, per i proprietari forestali privati occorrono strumenti politici più strutturati e ben definiti per incoraggiare l'adozione di questo tipo di pratiche.

EPrint type:Ph.D. thesis
Tutor:Gatto, Paola
Supervisor:Defrancesco, Edi and Bortolini, Lucia and Pirotti, Francesco and Pisani, Elena and Sartori, Luigi
Ph.D. course:Ciclo 31 > Corsi 31 > LAND, ENVIRONMENT, RESOURCES, HEALTH (LERH)
Data di deposito della tesi:28 March 2019
Anno di Pubblicazione:07 March 2019
Key Words:environmentally friendly practices, forest owners' and farmers' behaviours agri-environmental schemes, ecosystem services, multinomial logit, longitudinal analysis
Settori scientifico-disciplinari MIUR:Area 07 - Scienze agrarie e veterinarie > AGR/01 Economia ed estimo rurale
Struttura di riferimento:Dipartimenti > Dipartimento Territorio e Sistemi Agro-Forestali
Codice ID:11865
Depositato il:08 Nov 2019 10:26
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