Economics, Trade and Incentive Measures

Positive Incentive Measures


A positive incentive measure is an economic, legal or institutional measure designed to encourage beneficial activities. Positive incentive measures include for instance incentive payments for organic farming, agricultural land set-aside schemes as well as public or grant-aided land purchases or conservation easements, and payments for ecosystem services. The Conference of the Parties (COP) decided at its ninth meeting to put more emphasis on, inter alia, "studies on approaches to develop markets and payment schemes for ecosystem services at local, national and international levels, their advantages as well as limitations and risks, and their potential implications for biodiversity and indigenous and local communities."

Overview of Activities by the Convention and Partners

Target 18 of the Kunming-Montral Global Biodiversity Framework calls to "identify by 2025, and eliminate, phase out or reform incentives, including subsidies, harmful for biodiversity, in a proportionate, just, fair, effective and equitable way, while susbstantially and progressively reducing them by at least 500 billion US-dollars by 2030, starting with the most harmful incentives, and scale up positive incentives for the conservation and sustainable use of biodiversity."

Earlier work of the Convention, under Aichi Biodiversity Target 3 of the Strategic Plan for Biodiversty for the 2011-2020 period, included milestones for implementing Aichi Biodiversity Target 3 (see Annex I of the decision) and modalities for its effective implementation, as contained in the pertinent document.

COP 13 called upon Parties to apply measures for the implementation of Aichi Biodiversity Target 3 taking into account, as a flexible framework, the milestones adopted by the Conference of the Parties at its twelfth meeting.

Noting the essential role of regulation and the complementary role of market-based instruments, the COP encouraged Parties and other Governments to promote the design and implementation, in all key economic sectors, of positive incentive measures for the conservation and sustainable use of biodiversity that are:

  • effective,
  • transparent,
  • targeted,
  • appropriately monitored,
  • cost-efficient as well as
  • consistent and in harmony with the Convention and other relevant international obligations, and that
  • do not generate perverse incentives,

taking into account, as appropriate:

  • the range of positive incentive measures identified in the report for policy-makers of the TEEB initiative,
  • the polluter pays principle and the associated full-cost recovery principle, as well as
  • the livelihoods of indigenous and local communities.

CBD Technical Series no. 56 provides earlier lessons learned and good practices cases in promoting positive incentive measures.

The OECD database on policy instruments for the environment (PINE) contains a wealth of searchable information on positive inventive measures for biodiversity.