Understanding the effectiveness of policy instruments to encourage adoption of farming practices to improve water quality for the Great Barrier Reef

Eberhard, Rachel, Coggan, Anthea, Jarvis, Diane, Hamman, Evan, Taylor, Bruce, Baresi, Umberto, Vella, Karen, Dean, Angela J., Deane, Felicity, Helmstedt, Kate, and Mayfield, Helen (2021) Understanding the effectiveness of policy instruments to encourage adoption of farming practices to improve water quality for the Great Barrier Reef. Marine Pollution Bulletin, 172. 112793.

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Abstract

Governments in Australia and internationally are experimenting with policy instruments to facilitate the adoption of farming practices with reduced environmental impacts. The Great Barrier Reef (Australia) is one such case, where sustained efforts over 20 years have yielded insufficient progress towards targets to reduce the impacts of agriculture on water quality in downstream marine ecosystems.

We present a critical review of policy instruments as implemented in Great Barrier Reef catchments. We catalogue the evolving mix of policy instruments employed in reef programs, and examine evidence of the effectiveness of agricultural extension, financial incentives, and direct regulation of farming practices. There is little robust evidence to assess instrument effectiveness, in part due to the evolving mix of the instruments employed, weak program evaluation and heterogeneity of agricultural enterprises. We identify the need to improve the understanding of instrument fit to landholders and enterprises. We recommend a modelling approach to clarify pathways to impact and guide improved policy evaluation.

Item ID: 69095
Item Type: Article (Research - C1)
ISSN: 1879-3363
Keywords: Adoption; Agricultural practice; Effectiveness; Great Barrier Reef; Policy instrument; Policy mix; Water quality
Copyright Information: © 2021 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
Funders: Queensland Government (QG), Australian Research Council (ARC)
Projects and Grants: QG Reef Water Quality Program, ARC Fellowship DE200101791
Date Deposited: 24 Aug 2021 01:32
FoR Codes: 38 ECONOMICS > 3801 Applied economics > 380105 Environment and resource economics @ 100%
SEO Codes: 19 ENVIRONMENTAL POLICY, CLIMATE CHANGE AND NATURAL HAZARDS > 1902 Environmental policy, legislation and standards > 190205 Environmental protection frameworks (incl. economic incentives) @ 100%
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