Developing technologies for Agri-environment monitoring

Roy, D.B. ORCID:; Abrahams, C.; August, T. ORCID:; Christelow, J.; Gerard, F.; Howell, K.; Logie, M.; McCracken, M.; Pallett, D.; Pocock, M. ORCID:; Read, D.S. ORCID:; Sadykova, D.; Staley, J.T.. 2022 Developing technologies for Agri-environment monitoring. Wallingford, UK, UK Centre for Ecology & Hydrology, 149pp. (CEH Project no. 7379, Natural England Project LM04108)

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Overview of the project Approximately £400 million is invested annually in agri environment schemes in England, designed to compensate farmers for loss of production (income foregone) and additional costs, to meet environmental objectives. A further £1.8 billion in subsidies is paid to comply with environmental conditions of cross compliance and greening. In December 2019, it was estimated there were ca. 50,000 agri-environment agreements covering 1.8 million hectares. Current and previous monitoring of agri-environment schemes is diverse and varied, and conducted at scales of specific management options, whole AES agreements and 1 km squares covering multiple agreements. The Monitoring and Evaluation Programme of these schemes aims to deliver evidence to achieve the following: • Evaluate the delivery of agri-environment schemes and their effectiveness in achieving their intended policy objectives; • Inform current and future agri-environment policy, scheme delivery and development; • Fulfil domestic and European reporting requirements. The existing Monitoring and Evaluation Programme (2015-2020) for Agri-environment schemes (AES) in England includes four elements: integrated monitoring, landscape scale, thematic, and evaluation and synthesis. To date, monitoring has been primarily based on tried-and-tested approaches, which provide widely recognised metrics of quality, condition and species-resolution biodiversity data, and that have counterfactuals often derived from national monitoring schemes to enable evaluation of AES. Developing technologies will need to integrate with existing tried-and-tested approaches but offer huge potential for more extensive and efficient evaluation of AES. In this project we focus on technologies with greatest potential to deliver enhanced and more cost-effective monitoring of environmental ‘outcomes’ of direct land management and interventions, in support of the Environmental Land Management Scheme (ELMS). The technology areas covered by this project are: bioacoustics, DNA-methods, Earth Observation, computer vision and machine learning. For each technology area, the objectives were to: • Carry out horizon scanning of developing technologies which may be relevant for agrienvironment monitoring; • Review how these developing technologies could be used for Agri-environment monitoring; • Review what outputs/outcomes are relevant for the developing technology; • Propose how developing technologies could be used in existing and future agrienvironment monitoring; • Pilot or proof of concept studies to demonstrate how technology could be used for agrienvironment monitoring.

Item Type: Publication - Report (Project Report)
Programmes: CEH Topics & Objectives 2009 - 2012 > Biodiversity > BD Topic 2 - Ecological Processes in the Environment > BD - 2.4 - Estimate the impact of the main drivers and pressures on biodiversity ...
UKCEH and CEH Sections/Science Areas: Biodiversity (Science Area 2017-)
Funders/Sponsors: Natural England, Department of Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra)
Additional Information. Not used in RCUK Gateway to Research.: Freely available via Official URL link.
NORA Subject Terms: Ecology and Environment
Biology and Microbiology
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Date made live: 23 Jan 2023 14:16 +0 (UTC)

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