One of the main limitations of traditional agri-environmental policies is that the related measures are usually targeted to individual farms, leading to single and disconnected actions. In order to increase the effectiveness of its environmental action, the cap 2014-2020 has tried to stimulate collective approaches in different ways, both in the context of the greening of direct payments and of the voluntary agri-environmental schemes (aes) of rural development policies. Nevertheless, in Italy so far there have been only a very limited number of attempts to implement collective agri-environmental strategies. The overall objective of this paper is exploring and analysing the attitudes of the Italian stakeholders towards the implementation of agri-environmental collective actions, in order to identify, on one side, the main limitations that are preventing their adoption and, on the other side, to co-design possible solutions and practical actions to stimulate collaborative projects. Data were collected during the first National Forum dedicated to agri-environmental issues, organised by the Italian National Rural Network, by using a participatory approach. The research has identified three main challenges that the Italian agricultural system needs to face in order to enhance and spread the adoption of collective agrienvironmental projects: (i) designing policies that are more effective in supporting the early stages of collective actions (network setting and project development); (ii) a better identification and involvement of intermediate institutions in projects’ coordination and implementation; (iii) improving specific assistance to local farmers for collective projects as well as spreading knowledge amongst other rural stakeholders.
Keywords: Agri-environmental policies, collective actions, participatory methods, Italian stakeholders.
Jel Code: Q18, Q58