The Political Economy of Biodiversity Policy Reform

image of The Political Economy of Biodiversity Policy Reform

This report provides insights on the political economy of biodiversity related policy reforms. It draws on existing literature and four new case studies covering the French tax on pesticides, agricultural subsidy reform in Switzerland, EU payments to Mauritania and Guinea-Bissau to finance marine protected areas via conservation trust funds, and individually transferable quotas for fisheries in Iceland. Each case study focusses on the drivers of reform, the types of obstacles encountered, key features of the policy reform, and the lessons learned from the reform experience.



Agricultural subsidy reform in Switzerland

This chapter analyses the reform of agricultural subsidies in the Swiss Agricultural Policy 2014-17. From a political economy perspective, it examines how the direct payments system for farmers was reformed to better target policy objectives, including for biodiversity. The case study draws lessons learned for overcoming barriers to reform, including the importance of seizing windows of opportunity, building an alliance of economic and ecological interests, engaging a broad range of stakeholders and devising politically and socially acceptable compromises, including the use of transition payments to offset negative distributional impacts.


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