Study on Governance Mechanisms and Modes of Ecosystem Services in Bulgarian Farms
Agricultural ecosystems of different types and their specific “agro-ecosystem” services are among the most widespread in the world. Nevertheless, in Bulgaria, like in many other countries, there are few studies on the specific mechanisms, modes, factors, and efficiency of agro-ecosystem survives governance. This article tries to identify and assess the governance mechanisms and modes of diverse ecosystem services in Bulgarian farms. Firstly, it identifies the type, amount, and importance of various ecosystem services maintained and “produced” by agricultural holdings. The study has found out that country’s farms provide a great number of essential ecosystem services among which provisioning food and feed, and conservation of elements of the natural environment prevail.
Secondly, it identifies and assesses the efficiency and complementarities of specific modes and mechanisms of governance of ecosystem services used by farms. The study has found out that a great variety of private, market, collective, public and hybrid modes of governance of farm activity related to agro-ecosystem services are applied. There is significant differentiation of employed managerial forms depending on the type of ecosystem services and the specialization of holdings. Furthermore, management of agro-ecosystem services is associated with a considerable increase in production and transaction costs of participating farms as well as big socio-economic and environmental effects for holdings and other parties. The factors that mostly stimulate the activity of agricultural producers in Bulgaria for protection of (agro)ecosystems services are participation in public support programs, access to farmers' advice, professional training, available information, and innovation, received direct subsidies from EU and national government, personal conviction and satisfaction, positive experience of others, long-term and immediate benefits for the farm, and integration with suppliers, buyers, and processors.
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