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Programme of Work on Incentive Measures

Article 11 of the Convention states: "Each Contracting Party shall, as far as possible and as appropriate, adopt economically and socially sound measures that act as incentives for the conservation and sustainable use of components of biological diversity."

In Article 11 of the Convention, the international community acknowledged the importance of incentive measures in achieving the conservation and sustainable use of biological diversity.

In 2000, at its fifth meeting, the Conference of the Parties to the Convention adopted a programme of work on incentive measures which spells out a number of targets as well as the activities required from Parties, other governments, international organizations and the Secretariat to achieve these targets.

The expected results of the work programme are:

  1. The assessment of representative existing incentive measures, review of case studies, identification of new opportunities for incentive measures, and dissemination of information, through the clearing-house mechanism and other means, as appropriate;
  2. The development of methods to promote information on biodiversity in consumer decisions, for example through eco-labeling, if appropriate;
  3. The assessment, as appropriate and applicable to the circumstances of Parties, of the values of biodiversity, in order to better internalize these values in public policy initiatives and private-sector decisions;
  4. A consideration of biodiversity concern in liability schemes;
  5. The creation of incentives for integration of biodiversity concerns in all sectors.

Importantly, the Conference of the Parties decided to integrate actions on incentive measures in thematic work programmes and to ensure synergy with activities on sustainable use, noting that incentive measures are essential elements in developing effective approaches to conservation and sustainable use of biological diversity especially at the level of local communities.

The programme of work was reviewed by the Conference of the Parties at its ninth meeting, in 2008. Noting the importance of incentive measures for achieving the objectives of the Convention, the Conference of the Parties recognized the ongoing relevance of the programme of work, and emphasized that incentive measures should:

  1. Contribute to the conservation of biological diversity and the sustainable use of its components and not negatively affect biodiversity and livelihoods of other countries;
  2. Contribute to sustainable development and the eradication of poverty;
  3. Take into account national and local conditions and circumstances;
  4. Be consistent and in harmony with the Convention and other relevant international obligations.

The COP decided to put more emphasis on:

  1. The assessment of the values of biodiversity and associated ecosystem services, as one important basis for public awareness campaigns and policy action;
  2. The development of methods to promote science-based information on biodiversity in consumer decisions, for example through eco-labelling, as appropriate;
  3. The provision of guidance on promotion of biodiversity-based products that are produced in a sustainable manner as alternative sources of income at a local level, including within community-based conservation programmes;
  4. Studies on approaches to develop markets and payment schemes for ecosystem services at local, national and international levels, their advantages as well as potential limitations and risks, and their potential implications for biodiversity and indigenous and local communities;
  5. Analysis of the effects of different incentive measures and the impact on biodiversity across different groups in different geographical areas and over time;
  6. Methods for assessing the effectiveness of incentive measures, including positive incentive measures and the removal of perverse incentive measures.

The COP also decided to put more emphasis on the implementation of the programme of work through enhanced sharing of information on good practices, lessons learned, difficulties encountered, and other practical experience on its implementation, as well as assessments, studies, analyses, and capacity building.

  • United Nations
  • United Nations Environment Programme