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Smith, Laurence and Inman, Alex and Xin, Lai and Haifang, Zhang and Zhiwen, Wang and Meng, Fanqiao and Zhou, Jianbin and Burke, Sean and Rahn, Clive and Siciliano, Giuseppina and Surridge, Ben (2016) Mitigation of diffuse water pollution from agriculture in England and China, and the scope for policy transfer. SAIN.

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Abstract

• To mitigate diffuse water pollution from agriculture (DWPA) in China, the right mix of complementary policy approaches is needed. • The public agricultural extension service is relatively well resourced and is the primary means available to mitigate DWPA. The extension service needs re-orientation and re-skilling to help farmers maintain and increase agricultural productivity whilst balancing this with environmental protection. A new ethos of input use efficiency and environmental stewardship of natural resources is needed, based on 2-way knowledge exchange with farmers. Four policies to achieve this are: 1. A ‘reference level’ of enforceable regulation for all large commercial farms is needed. This can be transposed from existing laws with appropriate variation by farming system and region. Intensive livestock units have the greatest potential to cause significant pollution and take first priority. Resources for monitoring and enforcement of regulation are limited, but as land transfer and farm consolidation continue in accord with local needs, regulations for use of manure and chemical fertiliser in arable systems can be developed for large farms. 2. For small farms monitoring and enforcement of regulations is difficult. Simple, locally well-adapted guidelines are needed. Adoption by farmers must be achieved through an accredited advisory and voluntary approach developed by the public agricultural extension service and its wider agricultural knowledge and innovation systems partners. 3. Targeted incentive payment schemes should be used strategically to protect water resources from DWPA in key locations. For example, payments for retirement, or low intensity use, of vulnerable land adjacent to watercourses or in aquifer recharge zones used for water supply. 4. To support these approaches more applied research is needed to build an accessible and comprehensive knowledgebase. This should span, for example, from methods for public participation, through design of regulation and incentive payments, to design and costing of farm best management practices and estimation of modelling coefficients empirically derived for conditions in China. • None of these approaches are completely absent from China and attempts at international policy transfer or ‘lesson-drawing’ must consider what can be better developed rather than what could commence. Innovation in farmer participation, advice provision, design of incentive schemes, data sharing and applied research are leading examples.

Item Type: Monographs and Working Papers (Discussion Paper)
SOAS Departments & Centres: Departments and Subunits > Interdisciplinary Studies > Centre for Development, Environment and Policy
Legacy Departments > Faculty of Law and Social Sciences > School of Finance and Management > Centre for Development, Environment and Policy (CeDEP)
Date Deposited: 22 Oct 2016 13:34
URI: http://eprints.soas.ac.uk/id/eprint/23164

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