are a funding mechanism aiming to provide financial support to farmers to contribute to the protection or enhancement of biodiversity, soil, water, landscape, or air quality, or climate change mitigation or adaptation. A bundle of measures or options usually makes up a scheme. In the European Union this is an important part of the second pillar of the Common Agricultural Policy and implemented via the Rural Development Programmes of individual member states or regions.
Synonym: Agri-environment measures
See also: Agri-environmental schemes (AES), Payments for Ecosystem Services (PES)