Contracts2.0 will work to deliver the following results:
Inventory and SWOT analysis of existing contractual models
Based on existing knowledge, tools and literature reviews, as well as case study analysis, Contracts2.0 will collate the outcomes of existing AECM and Payments for Ecosystem Services schemes (considering features such as single or combined public goods, contract features, socio-economic context) and carry out a SWOT (Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats) analysis. The results will offer guidance to policy makers and inspire interested actors regarding the possibilities and usefulness of these approaches in their specific contexts.
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Catalogue of factors facilitating and hindering existing models
Contracts2.0 will inform policy makers and other actors interested in using and adapting one or more of the four approaches about key factors that facilitate or hinder the implementation on the ground. The catalogue will build on a review of international experience as well as the ex-post-analysis of case studies around Europe considering different social, environmental, economic and institutional framework conditions.
Set of design principles for innovative contracts
Contracts2.0 will establish 11 so-called ‘contract innovation labs’ (CILs) in nine EU countries. In these labs a broad variety of stakeholders, experts and scientists will co-design novel and improve existing contract-based approaches. In cooperation with action partners, selected contractual models (at least five) will be tested in practice in the CIL case study countries. Tested approaches will be evaluated in regard to their environmental effectiveness, economic viability and longevity. Based on this work, a set of general contractual design principles will be co-developed which can guide the contractual design of novel AECM considering result-based, collective, land tenure and value chain approaches.
Recommendations for an enabling policy framework for novel contract-based approaches and appropriate agri-environmental policies
In parallel with the interactive development and testing of novel contractual models in the CILs, Contracts2.0 will establish nine so-called ‘policy innovation labs’ (PILs). In these PILs a broad variety of national authorities, other stakeholders, experts, and scientists will collaborate to identify enabling policy framework conditions and provide guidelines on how current policies can be adapted to provide this supporting environment. A specific focus will be on guidelines for how to design European and national RDPs within the CAP enabling the implementation of novel contract models and how publicly financed policy instruments can be combined with private incentive-based instruments.
User-group targeted communication and dissemination materials and formats to inform and enhance uptake of novel contract-based approaches
To improve the understanding of how public policies, private actors and civil engagement can support farmers to provide environmental public goods to society, Contracts2.0 will develop and distribute a set of tailor-made communication and dissemination materials through appropriate communication channels for the a wide audience. Targeted user groups include
a) local and regional stakeholders directly linked to activities in the nine EU countries where the CILs/PILs are established,
b) policy makers at the upper national and EU level,
c) the scientific community, and
d) the general public including consumers and food industry.
Materials include written (e.g. flyers, manuals, publications), audio (e.g. podcasts) and video (short movies, webinar recordings) materials. Communication formats encompass activities related to the CILs/PILs, webpages, use of social media, event organization, and media presence. Contracts2.0 will coordinate its communication and dissemination activities with the Agricultural European Innovation Partnership (EIP-AGRI) and their operational groups in the different countries as well as with the Committee of Professional Agricultural Organisations (COPA), including COGECA, to stimulate a wide interest for the novel contract-based solutions.
New alliances and innovation networks for ongoing improvement of rural development instruments
The CILs/PILs established by Contracts2.0’s in nine EU countries will bring together relevant stakeholders to jointly work on novel contract design and testing as well as deriving recommendations to allow for an enabling policy environment to increase their uptake and implementation. Thereby groups of actors are brought together which most likely would not have cooperated otherwise, resulting in new alliances between public, private and civil society actors in support of the basic idea of EIP-AGRI.
The innovation labs and their runtime over four years will create an operational hub for continued communication and deliberation among practitioners, policy actors and scientists. Immediate benefits include building social capital and long-lasting relations of trust between actors. The activities in the innovation labs will thus very likely continue beyond the lifespan of the project in most case study countries, thereby contributing further to the improvements of rural development instruments for an increased provision of environmental public goods.