Financing biodiversity management (SEBI 025) - Assessment published May 2010
This indicator currently has a limited scope and only contains information from EU funding of projects using the LIFE financial instrument for the environment. The amount of the EU contribution per LIFE project varies significantly among Member States. Newer Member States tend to spend less money through the LIFE Nature programme (with a small number of notable exceptions). Further detail is required (e.g. on project size) in order to interpret these figures. The LIFE Nature project represents a very small proportion of the total EU budget.
European funding benefiting biodiversity may also be 'hidden' in budget lines within other policy areas, such as agriculture, rural development and research. Finally, the indicator currently does not show national funding for biodiversity.
How much public funds are being committed to conservation of biodiversity?
Percentage of total EU expenditure on the Life project from 1995 to 2006
Note: How to read the graph: In 2006, EU expenditure on the Life project represented 0.066 % of the total EU budget.
Life Nature expenditure. DG Environment of the European Commission, 2008.
Average contribution of LIFE Nature to projects in EU countries, 2000–2006
Note: How to read the graph: the EU Life contribution averaged approximately EUR 1.5 million per year for 18 Austrian projects during the period 2000-2006.
DG ENV LIFE unit.
The figures are shown for 1995 onwards because that year marked the establishment of the EU-15 and the start of implementing the Habitats Directive. It should be noted that the amounts indicated in Figure 2 represent the EU contribution (from the LIFE Programme) to the projects, not the total cost of the projects in question. LIFE tends to cover 50 - 75 % of total costs, depending on the target species and/or habitats.
Since 2000, LIFE has enjoyed a more stable budget (although there was no call in 2001) and the amount of money allocated for nature has increased under LIFE+. Private or national government spending is not covered by the indicator. Although expenditure on LIFE declined as a proportion of total EU spending between 2000 and 2006 (in part because accessions expanded the total EU budget), this has now levelled out and is set to increase.
- About LIFE projects: http://ec.europa.eu/environment/life/index.htm.
Indicator specification and metadata
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
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
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
No methodology references available.
No uncertainty has been specified
Data sets uncertainty
No uncertainty has been specified
MAIN DISADVANTAGES OF THE INDICATOR
- 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.
ANALYSIS OF OPTIONS
No other indicator was available at this stage.
LIFE project database
provided by Directorate-General for Environment (DG ENV)
Biodiversity (Primary topic)
Typology: Descriptive indicator (Type A - What is happening to the environment and to humans?)
- SEBI 025
Contacts and ownership
EEA Contact InfoKatarzyna Biala
EEA Management Plan2010 1.2.2 (note: EEA internal system)
Frequency of updates
For references, please go to www.eea.europa.eu/soer or scan the QR code.
This briefing is part of the EEA's report The European Environment - State and Outlook 2015. The EEA is an official agency of the EU, tasked with providing information on Europe’s environment.
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