Across the OECD, farmers are voluntarily forming community‐based associations to help achieve a more sustainable agriculture. What are the reasons behind this phenomenon? How can it be encouraged? To what extent can such group‐based voluntary action
substitute for, or complement, existing agri‐environmental policy measures? In attempting to answer these questions the study looks at the recent development of landcare groups in Australia, Canada, the Netherlands and New Zealand. It also identifies
the conditions under which such groups seem to work most effectively, and the types of issues for which they are best suited. The analysis of the different national experiences leads to a number of general observations and specific policy recommendations. In so doing,
the study provides a new perspective on the role of voluntary, collective action in finding local solutions to local environmental issues.