Sandra Gostkowski
Institut für Marktanalyse


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38116 Braunschweig
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Innovative contract solutions for the delivery of agri-environmental benefits (CONSOLE)



CONtract SOLutions for Effective and lasting delivery of agri-environmental-climate public goods by EU agriculture and forestry

The society requires intensified efforts from farming and forestry in order to better protect nature, environment and climate. We investigate what could be the contribution of novel voluntary measures.

Background and Objective

The current agri-environmental measures allow little flexibility to farmers with regard to the implementation. Furthermore, the intended environmental effects are not always reached. The research project CONSOLE aims to identify pathways for a more effective and lasting environment and climate protection. CONSOLE stands for „CONtract SOLutions for Effective and lasting delivery of agri-environmental-climate public goods by EU agriculture and forestry“.

Result-based approaches, land tenure arrangements, collective implementation as well as value chain-based remunerations will be considered. It is likely that they will increasingly be used in future instead of today’s dominating action-oriented agri-environmental measures. Novel contract solutions will be developed in collaboration with practitioners, decision-makers from policy and business, NGOs and other stakeholders based on the experiences gained in 13 countries. Possibilities how to better align the economic interests of farmers and foresters with the environmental expectations from society will be demonstrated. Novel approaches are intended to strengthen entrepreneurial freedom and self-responsibility of farmers and foresters.

A variety of contractual options will be assessed regarding their suitability and acceptability. The following environmental aspects will be looked at, individually or in combination: biodiversity, water, soil, air, climate and landscape. Simulations and modelling will be used to estimate the ecologic potential and economic viability of these innovative contract solutions. Different socio-economic, environmental policies as well as the post-2020 CAP will be taken into account.


The Thünen Institute is responsible for the German contribution to the CONSOLE project. The main working steps are as follows:

  • drafting a systematic description of German case studies
  • surveying German actors with a standardized approach across the EU
  • conducting a feasibility study taking into account economic and social influencing factors as well as environmental and climate effects
  • running simulation calculations to assess the potential of innovative contract solutions
  • developing an EU-wide Community of Practice with German participation
  • preparing guidelines for agri-environmental contracts with national, EU-cofinancing as well as private contracts

Expected Results

  • A catalogue showcasing successful experiences and good practices in contracting and cooperation models for environmental and climate protection
  • Assessment of novel contract solutions in view of their ecological, socio-economic, legal and technological aspects
  • A comprehensive guide for the design and implementation of improved voluntary measures
  • Documentation, training and supporting materials

Our Research Questions

Which promising contract solutions do already exist? How can innovative contractually agreed measures contribute to an improved and lasting delivery of agri-environment climate public goods in agriculture and forestry on a voluntary basis? How should they look like?

Preliminary Results

The factsheets of the six German CONSOLE case studies are available under this link.

Links and Downloads


Involved Thünen-Partners

Involved external Thünen-Partners

  • Alma Mater Studiorum – University of Bologna - Coordination
    (Bologna, Italien)
  • Regione Emilia Romagna
    (Bologna, Italien)
  • Consorzio di Bonifica della Romagna Occidentale
    (Lugo, Italien)
  • Universität für Bodenkultur
    (Wien, Österreich)
    (Brussels, Belgien)
  • European Landowners Organization
    (Brüssel, Belgien)
  • Sdruzhenie Asotsiatsiya Na Agroecologichnite Zemedelski Proizvoditel
    (Sofia, Bulgarien)
  • Institute of Agricultural Economics
    (Sofia, Bulgarien)
    (Seville, Spanien)
  • Asociación Agraria Jovenes Agricultores de Sevilla - ASAJA
    (Seville, Spanien)
  • Universidad Politecnica de Madrid
    (Madrid, Spanien)
  • Natural Resources Institute Finland (LUKE)
    (Jokioinen, Finnland)
  • Assemblée des Régions Européennes Fruitières Leguminières et Horticoles
    (Bordeaux, Frankreich)
  • Association TRAME
    (Paris, Frankreich)
  • Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique - CNRS
    (Rennes, Frankreich)
  • INRA
    (Rennes, Frankreich)
  • University College Cork
    (Cork, Irland)
  • University of Pisa
    (Pisa, Italien)
  • Farmers' Parliament - ZSA
    (Riga, Litauen)
  • Stichting VU
    (Amsterdam, Niederlande)
  • Stichting het Wereld Natuur Fonds - WWF
    (Zeist, Niederlande)
  • Warsaw University of Life Sciences - SGGW
    (Warschau, Polen)
  • University of Leeds
    (Leeds, Großbritannien (Vereinigtes Königreich))

Funding Body

  • European Union (EU)
    (international, öffentlich)


5.2019 - 4.2022


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