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Financing biodiversity management

Indicator Specification Created 26 Feb 2007 Published 21 May 2010 Last modified 04 Sep 2015, 06:59 PM
Topics: ,
Indicator codes: SEBI 025

Assessment versions

Published (reviewed and quality assured)


Justification for indicator selection


  • Policy relevance: The level and development through time of financial means for Biodiversity management from the EU budget is immediately perceptible, and is the direct outcome of policy decisions.
  • Biodiversity relevance: specifically indicates spending on biodiversity.

Scientific references

  • No rationale references available

Indicator definition

The indicator is a compilation of the value for the specific types of expenditure for biodiversity from the EU budget. Once this value has been obtained, it can then be expressed as a ratio in terms of the overall EU budget, in addition to its expression in absolute terms, which would be calculated in reference to an initial value for the euro to be determined as the baseline expenditure for biodiversity.

Income foregone as a result of any of the above circumstances is also a value that has to be included in the calculation as far as this is compensated from the EU budget.

The EU processes at present do not provide readily/publicly available data which breaks down their expenditure -- so it is, for instance, not possible to find out what proportion of the agri-environment budget has been spent on biodiversity. However, this data can be made available in future, at which point a baseline year can be chosen and accommodation made for the expansion of the EU and associated changes in budget streams.


percentage of total EU expenditure for Life Nature project
average contribution of Life Nature to projects (in euro)

Policy context and targets

Context description

The purpose of the indicator for financing biodiversity management is to obtain a value that embraces both what has been done in favour of biodiversity as well as what that has not been done, the latter in order to avoid damage to biodiversity. Considering what has not been done refers, inter alia, to the legislation that specifically prohibits action, and that subsequently may entail income foregone for a party thus constrained. To simplify, these two categories of action are addressed separately.

Actions to maintain and enhance biodiversity

The expenditure that is normally considered as beneficial for biodiversity should:

1. add to the territory that is reserved for nature conservation;

2. manage the territory that has been set aside for nature conservation;

3. promote conservation measures to maintain and restore nature generally, including research;

4. protect the diurnal or seasonal migration pathways for species;

5. regulate land use, when the corresponding impacts are positive for the state of biodiversity.

Actions to protect and restore biodiversity

The expenditure that is associated with avoiding (continued) harm to biodiversity should:

1. compensate for past or future disruption to the state of natural habitats;

2. reintroduce species in a habitat where their numbers have declined below a satisfactory level for maintaining a viable population or community;

3. forbid certain uses of biodiversity (notably species capture - in all manners - or harvesting);

4. monitor species population levels and area of natural habitat;

5. regulate land use, when the corresponding impacts would have been negative for the state of biodiversity; these include cross-compliance measures applied to agricultural (and forestry) practices.

Income foregone as a result of any of the above circumstances is also a value that has to be included in the calculation, as far as this is compensated from the EU budget.

Within the EU budget, the appropriate budget lines are:

Title 05 -- agriculture
05 04 01 07 -- agri-environment (former system)
05 04 01 08 -- agri-environment (new system)

Title 07 -- environment
07 03 03 01 -- LIFE III (nature protection)
07 03 03 02 -- Natura 2000 preparatory action

Relation of the indicator to the focal area

Biodiversity funding at the EU level is an indication of the relative and absolute degree of resource transfer from the public sector for the benefit of maintaining or enhancing the state of biodiversity, or to avoid damage and disruption to ecological conditions.


No targets have been specified

Related policy documents

No related policy documents have been specified

Key policy question

How much public funds are being committed to conservation of biodiversity?


Methodology for indicator calculation

The indicator contains information from EU funding of projects using the LIFE financial instrument for the environment.

Methodology for gap filling


Methodology references

No methodology references available.

Data specifications

EEA data references

  • No datasets have been specified here.

Data sources in latest figures


Methodology uncertainty

No uncertainty has been specified

Data sets uncertainty

No uncertainty has been specified

Rationale uncertainty


  • The indicator presents only EU budget financed activities. National contributions (which are for example in the Netherlands up to 85 % of the total expenditure) are not included. The picture is thus far from complete.
  • The construction of the indicator from elements in the EU budget runs up against the lack of direct relationship between a budget line and the particular aspect of the indicator being investigated. Each of the EU budget lines retained, for instance, may cover several of the aspects of the indicator; conversely, some aspects may be covered in a budget line that is not easily identified for its relevance for biodiversity financing.


No other indicator was available at this stage.

Further work

Short term work

Work specified here requires to be completed within 1 year from now.

Long term work

Work specified here will require more than 1 year (from now) to be completed.

Work description

SUGGESTIONS FOR IMPROVEMENT Include national expenditure as well as private donations. Work is ongoing on a coding system that will determine EU Member State spending levels on biodiversity. In addition, more detailed information will be provided on other funding instruments such as the agro-environment schemes, broader rural development, also including Natura 2000 payments, Structural Funds, RTD, and LIFE+. The improvement of the indicator depends on more accurate accounting system within the EU that would allow tracking the disbursement of funds according to the legal instrument authorising the activity. According to the EU Headline Indicator, resource transfers also need to be included (funding to biodiversity in economic and development cooperation).

Resource needs

No resource needs have been specified


Not started


2099/01/01 00:00:00 GMT+1

General metadata


Indicator code
SEBI 025
Version id: 1
Primary theme: Biodiversity Biodiversity


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Frequency of updates

Updates are scheduled every 5 years


DPSIR: Response
Typology: Descriptive indicator (Type A - What is happening to the environment and to humans?)
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European Environment Agency (EEA)
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