The Political Economy of Biodiversity Policy Reform

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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.



More ambitious policies for biodiversity conservation and sustainable use are necessary to stem the global decline in biodiversity. However, progress on scaling up biodiversity policies, and the reform of policies that are harmful to biodiversity, has not been as rapid or effective as needed. As countries strive to implement more ambitious and cost-effective biodiversity policies, policy makers often encounter a number of barriers. These may include concerns about potential competitiveness impacts or distributional issues, and the influence of vested interests or the political and social acceptability of reform. Greater insights are needed into how policy decisions are made, in whose interests and how reform is promoted or obstructed and why – in other words, understanding the political economy of biodiversity policy reform.


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