Intergovernmental fiscal transfers to support local conservation action in Europe

Christoph Schroeter-Schlaack, Irene Ring, Thomas Koellner, Rui Ferreira dos Santos, Paula Antunes, Pedro Clemente, Raphael Mathevet, Maud Borie, Malgorzata Grodzinska-Jurczak

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21 Citations (Scopus)


Against the background of ongoing biodiversity loss and ecosystem degradation, there is a need for more conservation efforts at all governance levels that also take into account the needs of subnational governments, cities and other local authorities. This paper presents a rationale for including ecological indicators in intergovernmental fiscal transfers that redistribute public revenue from national and regional state governments to decentralised governments. Although recommended for introduction in a number of European countries (such as Germany and Poland), to date only Portugal and to some extent France have implemented fiscal transfers for biodiversity conservation in Europe. In this paper we provide, first, a review of existing and proposed schemes across Europe, classifying them in relation to the stages of a policy cycle. Second, we identify critical design features of ecological fiscal transfers (EFT) in order to develop recommendations for improving existing or introducing new EFT schemes.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)98-114
Number of pages17
JournalZeitschrift fur wirtschaftsgeographie
Issue number2-3
Publication statusPublished - 2014


  • ecological fiscal transfers
  • policy cycle
  • biodiversity conservation
  • Europe
  • Portugal
  • France
  • Germany
  • Poland

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