Incentives for private land conservation

To many, the first thing that comes to mind when thinking of incentives are financial tools. However at the ELCN's workshop on the subject in Madrid, Spain, from 5-7 November, it turned out the motivations were manifold, ranging from conservation ideals to sentiment and tradition. Interestingly, studies have shown that financial motivations often rank at the bottom of the list of reasons why landowners get engaged in private land conservation. During the workshop this was confirmed with both the results of a global level scientific research and a practical example from Burren in Ireland. 

The workshop has further examined and compared various tools for creating such incentives: fiscal tools that reward conservation on private land, technical / structural incentives, and legal incentives. It has presented some of best-practice examples of incentivising private land conservation, but it has also touched upon the potential areas of conflict (e.g. national subsidies for conservation and state-aid). 

By learning about examples from outside of Europe (i.e. tax incentives and ballot measures in the United States), the workshop provided the opportunity to discuss if similar incentive mechanisms could potentially work in Europe as well, and whether a network such as ELCN could help to realise this. 

The workshop was hosted by LIFE ELCN project partner Fundacion Biodiversidad at their premises in Madrid, Spain, and was attended by 39 participants from 12 countries.

Please find more information and downloads at our dedicated event page.