DS05 - Sécurité alimentaire et défi démographique

Achieving agroecological transition through ecological compensation – CompAg

Submission summary

The CompAg project aims at defining possible means to combine the ecological compensation obligation and the related environmental added-value with the agroecological transition. The originality of the project lies in the fact that it meets two current objectives of environmental and agricultural public policies : the agroecological transition, that implies a material change in agricultural practices, and the effective implementation of ecological compensation, that aims at achieving at least no net loss of biodiversity and even net positive impacts.

In order to achieve this, the project is articulated around three analytical work packages (WP) intended to build the knowledge base needed to study the potential agricultural supply of biodiversity offsets (i.e. the assessment of ordinary nature, the analysis of individual behaviours regarding changes in practices and the conditions for institutionalizing the mechanism) ; a modeling WP synthetizing the outcomes produced in WP1 through 3, and a coordination WP. The purposes of WP1 « Scientific foundations for biodiversity offsets in agriculture and proposed bioindicators to account for ordinary nature » are i) to describe and assess the various relations among agricultural lands, ordinary nature, ecosystem functions and services, and to identify how the notion of environmental quality can be objectified in relation to farmlands, and ii) to come up with concrete methodological proposals to construct operational bioindicators at the level of which public action is carried out. The second WP entitled « Assessment of the drivers of changes in farming practices » will include surveys of a large sample of farmers (i) to identify individual and collective lock-ins and possible ways to overcome them and ii) to study the various economic constrains on agroecological transitions at the farm level and determine possible thresholds for public action. The purpose of WP3 Analysis of the institutionalisation of biodiversity offsetting projects involving agricultural stakeholders is to provide a comprehensive analysis of existing cases of biodiversity offsets in agriculture to grasp the logic behind their institutionalisation and the legal challenges they raise. WP4 « Bioeconomic modeling –offsetting policy scenarii » will develop a dynamic model of farmlands to test the impact of various public policy scenarii on the effectiveness of ecological offsets.

The French study case will be seen in the light of two foreign study cases, United States and Germany. The consortium brings together 14 research fellows in the fields of ecology, economy, sociology and law, two post-doctoral fellow (35 months), three Master students and three private partners with positions on biodiversity offsets and agroecological transition: an agro-environmental corporate design office (Agrosolutions) affiliated to the cooperative union InVIvo, the Federation of Nature Conservation (Fédération des Conservatoires des Espaces Naturels) and Terre de Liens, a social economy actor. Results of the research aim at fulfilling a current knowledge gap on the form and the expected effects of an offsetting supply of ordinary biodiversity by agricultural actors, from the point of view of environmental sciences as well as social sciences. It also aims at providing tools for the public decision-making process. Dealing with “policies supporting transitions in order to inform policy-makers in regard of a better approach of management and public policies”, CompAg is an accurate answer to one of the challenges identified by the ANR.

Project coordination

Isabelle DOUSSAN (Groupe de Recherche en Droit, Economie et Gestion)

The author of this summary is the project coordinator, who is responsible for the content of this summary. The ANR declines any responsibility as for its contents.


IODE Institut de l'Ouest : Droit et Europe
GREThA Groupe de Recherche en Economie Théorique et Appliquée
GREDEG Groupe de Recherche en Droit, Economie et Gestion
Unité de recherche Écodéveloppement
IMBE Institut méditerranéen de biodiversité et d'écologie marine et continentale
UMR LISIS Laboratoire Interdisciplinaire Sciences Innovations Sociétés
IGD Institut de géographie et durabilité - Faculté des géosciences et de l'environnement - Université de Lausanne
TdL Association Terre de Liens - PACA

Help of the ANR 294,534 euros
Beginning and duration of the scientific project: - 36 Months

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