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In Western and Central Europe, habitat and species diversity is declining due to agricultural intensification and land abandonment in marginal areas. To counteract the negative impacts of modern agricultural land use on species and habitat diversity payment schemes have been developed which compensate farmers for carrying out land use measures which have a positive impact on biodiversity. Such payments are often developed in the context of agri-environment schemes. Important criteria for the design of such payment schemes are that they are effective and cost-effective. With effective we mean that goals of the regulator are actually achieved (for example, the conservation of certain endangered species). With cost-effective we mean that these goals are achieved for as little financial resources spent on payment schemes as possible or alternatively formulated; that the available budget is spent in a way that maximizes the level of goal achievement. In view of many alternative conservation measures and goals as well as spatially and temporally differentiated effects of measures on costs and biodiversity, identifying effective and cost-effective payment schemes is a complex task which requires scientific decision support. Against this background the software Ecopay was developed as decision support. Ecopay serves to design effective and cost-effective payments for measures to conserve biodiversity in grasslands. The software is based on an ecological-economic modeling approach. ... [Information of the supplier]
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