Description of valuation study conducted – SUPPLY
Drained and agriculturally used peatland areas are one major GHG source and make up 5 % of overall German GHG emissions. These emissions are mainly driven by the water level and its respective land management. Currently, most peatlands in Germany are managed as grassland (53 %) and about 20 % as cropland. A reduction of GHG emissions from peatlands can be reached through a) improved water table management and water logging, as the emission is lowest with a water table just below the surface, and b) extensive management.
To compensate for profit loss and forgone income a new agri-environmental and climate protection measure for peatland protection through water logging (Moorschonende Stauhaltung) on grasslands was established. The aim is on the one hand to protect and re-establish peatlands and to keep water in the landscape system, but on the other hand to allow farmers to manage their land, and to maintain their business activities. Until now, only limited knowledge and experiences are available about the measure uptake, effectiveness and optimal measure design.
With our study we try to answer, which factors influence the willingness of farmers to participate in an agri-environmental measure designed for climate friendly peatland management targeted at reducing GHG emissions and improving habitat quality. We further investigate how important cooperation, coordination and neighbouring effects are.
We carried out a Choice Experiment to access farmers’ willingness to accept (WTA) participation in AES or PES-like Schemes and the influence of an opportunity for collaboration (at landscape level). The precise number, of surveys sent, is not known, but we approached more than 3,000 farmers (3,000 questionnaires sent to farmers in 3 German Federal States Mecklenburg-Vorpommern, Brandenburg and Sachsen-Anhalt; plus online version distributed via farmer associations of Niedersachsen, Schleswig-Holstein, Mecklenburg-Vorpommern, Brandenburg, and Sachsen-Anhalt). Farms included in the paper based survey where selected spatially. Farms that lay within areas with a high share of organic soils/peatland (area selected if: peatland area > 1000 ha AND > 20% of postal code area OR > 5000 ha.
PG valuation results – SUPPLY
The estimates are based on the Discrete Choice Experiment with 137 farmers of Northern Germany that manage peatland. We investigated their willingness to accept (WTA) to participate in the AES for climate friendly peatland management. The financial compensation is calculated as 550 €/ha*a.
About 15 t CO2-Eq/ha*a emissions could be avoided, assuming an improvement from drained intense grassland management (~25 t CO2-Eq/ha*a emissions) to extensive wet grassland management (~10 t CO2-Eq/ha*a) through the AES (Drösler et al. 2011, Joosten et al. 2013). Hence, for the payment of 550 €/ha*a 15 t CO2-Eq/ha*a could be avoided, which equals 37 €/t CO2-Eq.
Please bear in mind that this is an average estimate under several assumptions. For example excluding all respondents from the calculations that always choose the opt-out option (about one fourth) and would not participate in the AES anyway, reduces the necessary payment to 390 € /ha*a and would result in 26 € / t CO2-Eq. Also the particular biophysical characteristics of locations are not reflected. Other authors have named more optimistic estimations of the tons of CO2-Eq of emissions that could be avoided through optimized peatland management (28 t CO2-Eq. for Havelluch region by Schaller 2014) and hence would also reduce the price per t CO2-Eq.
Considering support in the cooperation and communication with neighbouring land managers reduces the necessary payment to about 510 € / ha*a, because the willingness to participate in the AES rises when support for cooperation is offered.
Drösler, M., Adelmann, W., Augustin, J., Bergman, L., Beyer, C., Chojnicki, B., Förster, C., Freibauer, A., Giebels, M., … & Wehrhan, M., 2013. Klimaschutz durch Moorschutz. Schlussbericht des BMBF-Vorhabens: Klimaschutz – Moornutzungsstrategien 2006 – 2010. Arbeitsberichte aus dem vTI-Institut für Agrar relevante Klimaforschung 04/2011. (http://edok01.tib.uni-hannover.de/edoks/e01fb13/735500762.pdf)
Joosten, H., Brust, K., Couwenberg, J., Gerner, A., Holsten, B., Permien, T., Schäfer, A., Tannenberger, F., Trepel, M. & A. Wahren (2013) MoorFutures. Integration von weiteren Ökosystemdienstleistungen einschließlich Biodiversität in Kohlenstoffzertifikate. BfN-Skripten 350, Bonn – Bad Godesberg.
Schaller, L. (2014) Dissertation: Landwirtschaftliche Nutzung von Moorflächen in Deutschland – Sozioökonomische Aspekte einer klimaschonenden Bewirtschaftung. Technische Universität München.