The 2025 Environment Plan
How might we develop incentives to use Natural Capital as tradable assets together with agri-environment services that can be provided by farmers to the Government to ensure Britain has a sustainable future in farming.
How might we…
Reward land-owners and managers to farm in a sustainable way?
Offer advice and incentives in the form of an ‘Agreement’ (a contract) to provide services in the exchange for grants and capital funding?
Provide capital injections to support medium and long-term strategic goals and measure the outcomes?
Provide regular payments that are tiered/sliding based on goals achieved?
Identify and encourage a single activity with multiple outcomes? (I.e. Reducing pesticides, helps birds, insect life and water purity?)
Create a scoring system based on achieving goals and receiving funds?
Achieve favourable conditions for sites of special interests?
Technology and the internet are making its impact and presence known to farmers, according to the industry’s largest independent study of how farmers run their farms.
How might we… teach basic skills to land managers to use digital services to ensure ELMS is widely adopted by 100% of land managers?
How might we… create a tendering process to enable small, medium and large Land Managers/Owners to bid for ELMs funding to provide services based on prioritised initiatives?
1.1 Key Principles
- Is simple and straight forward to understand
- Is accessible for all
- Widens and increases participation
- Delivers valuable environmental improvements countrywide
- Streamlines the application process to lower barriers
- Ensures key stakeholders are represented in co-design
- Incorporates plans based on evidence and outcomes
- Incorporates enhanced support and continued funding for technical advice for projects
2.1 Behaviour change
- Imbue a sense of scheme member ownership through plan based approach
- Encourage wide participation
- Encourage local engagement on the benefits being provided to the local and wider community
- Inspire prospective scheme members to improve the environment and maximise positive outcomes; both economic and environmental.
- Encourage prospective scheme members to collaborate to deliver landscape scale benefits
- Pass responsibility for how best to achieve environmental benefits to scheme members
3.1 Characteristics of new scheme
- Adaptive and flexible system
- Move from prescription to evidence-based, expert advice
- Minimal bureaucracy
- Wider eligibility and land use type represented
- Proportionate and risk-based monitoring and inspecting
- Detailed, accessible and salient guidance on how specific environmental benefits can and have been achieved mate available freely to scheme members
- Improve the experience of applying g SHOr support.
- Ensure the quality and integrity of information throughout the application processes for scheme members’ plans
- Ensure stated environmental benefits are understood and achieved with minimum cost.
- Implement and collect financial penalties for any deviation from detailed, measured requirements.
4.1 The online application process
- Online application needs to be intuitive and clear where information is collected once and used as needed throughout the process.
- Scheme member appoints an accredited professional to audit them to confirm plan is being implemented as intended, with auditor details appearing on the application
- Automate processes with smart tools and calculators within the applications processes to work out annual payments and include it in their application form
- Applicants to confirm that a plan is in place for the year ahead
- Applicants need to confirm they have drawn upon the available advice
- Applicants need to agree to requirements, such as preventing water pollution, improving water quality, improving soil quality
- Applicants need to have benefited from expert input and said accredited expert needs to attest that they have done so and that the plan should produce the stated benefits (and how this will be measured/monitored)
5.1 Post successful online application process and requirements
- Scheme member plans to be logged on freely accessible on-line site when application is submitted
- Place scheme member in control of what and how they deliver environmental benefits
- Scheme member accountable for the actions they take in achieving environmental benefits
- Scheme member responsible for sustainable land management
- Scheme members subject to unannounced audits/inspections
- Scheme members need to demonstrate full compliance with scheme requirements and regulatory base
- Scheme member agreement confirmed and payments triggered on receipt of application and confirmation that the various elements are included and that the plan is available on the on-line site (payments may be staggered across the year)
- Where flagrant failings are uncovered, scheme member suspended. Payments only resume where suspended scheme member demonstrates full compliance with terms of their application or latest plan for three consecutive years