Research Topics in Agricultural and Applied Economics

Volume: 3

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Governing of Agro-Ecosystem Services in Bulgaria

Pp. 94-129 (36)

Hrabrin Bachev

Abstract

This paper incorporates interdisciplinary New Institutional and Transaction Costs Economics and analyzes the governance of agro-ecosystem services in Bulgaria. Firstly, it presents a comprehensive framework of analyses of environmental governance including: definition of agroecosystem services and governance; specification of governance needs and spectrum of governing modes (formal and informal institutions, market, private, public and hybrid forms); assessment of efficiency of different modes of governance in terms of their potential to protect diverse eco-rights and investments, assure a socially desirable level of agro-ecosystem services, minimize overall costs, coordinate and stimulate eco-activities, meet individual and social preferences and reconcile conflicts of related agents etc. Secondly, it identifies and assesses the governance of agro-ecosystem services in Bulgaria. It proves that post-communist transition and EU integration brought about significant changes in the state and the governance of agro-ecosystems services. Newly evolved market, private and public governance has led to a significant improvement of the part of agro-ecosystems services introducing modern eco-standards and public support, enhancing environmental stewardship, disintensifying production, recovering landscape and traditional productions, diversifying quality, products and services. At the same time, the novel governance is associated with new challenges such as unsustainable exploitation, lost biodiversity, land degradation, water and air contamination etc. Moreover, it demonstrates that implementation of the EU common policies would have no desired impact on agro-ecosystem services unless special measures are taken to improve management of public programs, extend public support to dominating small-scale and subsistence farms.

Keywords:

Agro-ecosystem services; environmental management; market, private, public and hybrid governance; eco-impact of EU policies; Bulgaria.

Affiliation:

Institute of Agricultural Economics, 125 "Tzarigradsko shose" Blvd, Blok 1, 1113 Sofia, Bulgaria