Software-based decision support tool for determining cost-effective compensation payments for conservation measures in a changing environment

In order to stimulate conservation in agricultural landscapes programmes have been developed (e.g. in the context of agri-environmental schemes) with which farmers are compensated for carrying out agricultural activities in a biodiversity-enhancing manner. An important requirement for the design of such programmes is that they are cost-effective, i.e. that for existing financial resources the conservation output is maximised. The aim of the SOKO Bio project was to develop a software-based decision support tool based on an ecological-economic modelling procedure to design cost-effective compensation payments for measures to conserve endangered grassland species in the German Federal States of Saxony and Schleswig-Holstein. The software should be able to (I) estimate the effects of selected measures on endangered grassland species in the two federal states for varying budgets, (II) estimate the cost-effectiveness of existing or planned compensation programmes and (III) define management objective functions (e.g. survival probability of various selected species) and maximise them for selected budgets. The software should be easily adaptable to changing economic and ecological circumstances (e.g. climate change).

Kick-off meeting: Karin Johst, Frank Wätzold, Melanie Mewes, Martin Drechsler, Astrid Sturm,
Jochen Bellebaum, Hermann Hötker und Tobias Meier

Partners from nature conservation:
Stiftung Naturschutz Schleswig-Holstein
Saxon State Ministry of the Environment and Agriculture -- State Office for the Environment and Geology
Michael-Otto-Institut im NABU
Förderverein "Naturschutz im Peenetal e.V."

Sponsored by: Deutsche Bundesstiftung Umwelt
Funding period: 01.11.2008-31.1.2012