Classification of policy instruments
There are many possible classifications of (environmental) policy instruments. The following classification is based on Juerges and Hansjürgens (2018).
Regulatory instruments: also command-and-control instruments; legally binding standards for soil management practices based on international, supra-regional, national, or subnational laws. Typically, the individual land user (e.g. farmer) is the addressee of regulatory instruments.
Example: binding limits on fertilisation according to the EU Nitrate Directive (included in Common Agricultural Policy [CAP] cross-compliance standards)
Planning instruments: legally binding standards for soil use or protection-based spatial planning (e.g. land-use plans defining areas with a priority for soil protection). Planning instruments usually have a local or regional scope.
Example: German communal landscape plans
Economic instruments: financial incentives for certain soil management practices, for example based on subsidies, taxes, or tradable permits.
Example: Agri-Environmental and Climate Measures of the CAP
Informational instruments: awareness raising instruments; provision of information about impacts on soils of specific soil management practices, for example via soil information web-portals or certification schemes.
Example: EU organic food label
Co-operative instruments: based on participation of stakeholders in decision-making, for example based on round-table meetings. The implementation of co-operative instruments is often voluntary (e.g. voluntary agreements of stakeholders to adopt specific soil management practices).
Policy mix: combination of multiple instruments in a ‘thematic package’. Ideally, there should be one instrument per specific policy goal (Tinbergen rule).
Example: EU Common Agricultural Policy