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Funding

‘Investing in biodiversity pays off’

Whether investment in the environment pays off has been a moot point for some time. The environment fulfils a number of functions that can in part be converted directly into cash. According to typical calculations, every euro invested can produce a two-fold return for society. However, it should be considered that the returns do not always benefit the investor! In that case new financing structures are sometimes needed to bring various target groups together. So how can you finance your BAP?

Existing options

Existing sources of financing such as subsidies and funds can sometimes be used. A few examples include:

  • INTERREG programme (European subsidy scheme in which parties from various countries cooperate on projects in the area sustainable use of land and regional development)
  • National subsidy schemes
  • Private Funds (equity funds providing donations to foundations and associations for general non-profit community projects)

Red and green arrangements

The red-for-green financing arrangements involve funding green areas from the returns of real estate development (red areas).

Another example is the red-with-green approach, where real estate expansion into the countryside (such as the construction of a business park or sports fields) is compensated by improving spatial quality elsewhere. This improvement must relate to the countryside (not urban developments) and can present opportunities for a BAP. A green fund is sometimes set up to achieve these improvements, and the local authority is the designated contact point for this purpose.

Public private partnership

The government and the private sector both make use of an area’s services and share responsibilities for the management and maintenance. Establishing public private partnerships not only broadens support for a BAP, it also offers new sources of financing. Public private partnerships often allow access to new sources of finance at an earlier stage as these types of arrangement combine various networks.

 

New financing constructions

The regional account

A regional account allows various actors (authorities, businesses, citizens) to deposit funds. The bank then agrees to hand over a percentage of the total amount of interest to a regional development fund, or landscape fund. This offers the possibility of generating funds for regional nature conservation through other means than government resources, such as the proceeds of public initiatives.

 

The landscape auction

The landscape auction offers consumers and businesses the opportunity to ‘adopt’ a landscape element such as a hedge, orchard or pond and take responsibility for its management and maintenance. The landscape auctions are held on the internet and on location.