Engaging Local Private and Public Actors in Biodiversity Conservation: The role of agri-environmental schemes and ecological fiscal transfers

Rui Santos, Paula Antunes, Irene Ring, Pedro Clemente

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

Biodiversity conservation policies have relied on regulatory approaches, such as the designation of protected areas, which have generally been insufficient to ensure long-term conservation. This is partially explained by the mismatch between those who bear the costs of and those who benefit from conservation. While local actors, private and public, face management and opportunity costs due to conservation policies, the benefits reach beyond local borders. In this paper, we argue that a successful biodiversity conservation policy mix should include economic instruments directed at public and private local stakeholders. These instruments should be mutually reinforcing and target decision processes regarding land-use zoning and land management practices. To illustrate our argument, we focus on European agri-environmental measures (directed at private landowners) and ecological fiscal transfers (for local governments). We describe each of these instruments and derive main lessons from their implementation. Finally, we present proposals for linking them to reinforce their individual contributions to the overall goal of halting biodiversity loss, taking the Portuguese case as an example.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)83-96
Number of pages14
JournalEnvironmental Policy and Governance
Volume25
Issue number2
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2015

Keywords

  • landowners
  • local governments
  • agri-environmental measures
  • biodiversity conservation
  • ecological fiscal transfers
  • economic instruments

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