Designing an Expert-Led Bayesian Network to Understand Interactions between Policy Instruments for Adoption of Eco-Friendly Farming Practices

28 Pages Posted: 24 May 2022

See all articles by Helen J. Mayfield

Helen J. Mayfield

Queensland University of Technology

Rachel Eberhard

Queensland University of Technology

Chris Baker

affiliation not provided to SSRN

Umberto Baresi

Queensland University of Technology

Michael Bode

affiliation not provided to SSRN

Anthea J. Coggan

Government of the Commonwealth of Australia - CSIRO (Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation)

Angela J. Dean

University of Queensland

Felicity Deane

Queensland University of Technology - Faculty of Law

Evan Hamman

Queensland University of Technology - Faculty of Law, Students

Diane Jarvis

James Cook University

Barton Loechel

Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation

Bruce M. Taylor

affiliation not provided to SSRN

Lillian Stevens

Queensland University of Technology

Karen Vella

Queensland University of Technology

Kate J. Helmstedt

Queensland University of Technology

Abstract

Governments employ a range of policy instruments to encourage landholders to adopt land management practices that reduce the environmental impacts of agriculture. While the impact of policy instruments may be well-theorised, their implementation in diverse contexts and landholders’ complex behavioural responses makes measurement and prediction of adoption rates difficult, constraining the ability of governments to select the optimal combination of policy instruments. We used a participatory modelling approach to incorporate expert knowledge into a Bayesian network model exploring the effect of different policy combinations on the adoption of sustainable farming practices in the Great Barrier Reef catchment, Australia. The model integrates policy instruments including regulating farming practices, offering financial incentives, and facilitating extension programs to educate and assist farmers. This revealed that the effectiveness of an instrument for policy adoption was expected to vary depending on which other instruments are implemented, the characteristics of the land managers, the surrounding social context, and the practice itself. This approach demonstrates the utility of Bayesian networks in integrating high-level multi-disciplinary knowledge to address complex environmental policy decisions such as water quality management in the Great Barrier Reef.

Keywords: Environmental policy, Bayesian networks, Great Barrier Reef, agricultural practices, socio-ecological systems, Participatory modelling

Suggested Citation

Mayfield, Helen J. and Eberhard, Rachel and Baker, Chris and Baresi, Umberto and Bode, Michael and Coggan, Anthea J. and Dean, Angela J. and Deane, Felicity and Hamman, Evan and Jarvis, Diane and Loechel, Barton and Taylor, Bruce M. and Stevens, Lillian and Vella, Karen and Helmstedt, Kate J., Designing an Expert-Led Bayesian Network to Understand Interactions between Policy Instruments for Adoption of Eco-Friendly Farming Practices. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=4118347 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.4118347

Helen J. Mayfield (Contact Author)

Queensland University of Technology ( email )

2 George Street
Brisbane, 4000
Australia

Rachel Eberhard

Queensland University of Technology ( email )

Chris Baker

affiliation not provided to SSRN ( email )

No Address Available

Umberto Baresi

Queensland University of Technology ( email )

149 Victoria Park Rd
Kelvin Grove, 4059
Australia

Michael Bode

affiliation not provided to SSRN ( email )

No Address Available

Anthea J. Coggan

Government of the Commonwealth of Australia - CSIRO (Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation) ( email )

41 Boggo Rd
Dutton Park, Queensland
Australia

Angela J. Dean

University of Queensland ( email )

St Lucia
Brisbane, 4072
Australia

Felicity Deane

Queensland University of Technology - Faculty of Law ( email )

Level 4, C Block Gardens Point
2 George St
Brisbane, QLD 4000
Australia

Evan Hamman

Queensland University of Technology - Faculty of Law, Students ( email )

Brisbane
Australia

Diane Jarvis

James Cook University ( email )

Cairns, 4878
Australia

Barton Loechel

Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation ( email )

Bruce M. Taylor

affiliation not provided to SSRN ( email )

No Address Available

Lillian Stevens

Queensland University of Technology ( email )

2 George Street
Brisbane, 4000
Australia

Karen Vella

Queensland University of Technology ( email )

2 George Street
Brisbane, 4000
Australia

Kate J. Helmstedt

Queensland University of Technology ( email )

2 George Street
Brisbane, 4000
Australia

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