Published Monday, 29 June 2015

Tracking biodiversity expenditure in the EU budget 

The European Commission is in the process of developing a methodology to track biodiversity related expenditure in the EU budget. This effort is similar to the parallel process for tracking the EU’s climate related expenditure.

Tracking of biodiversity expenditure is important for monitoring the EU’s financial support to achieving the set conservation objectives, and is also needed to fulfill the Union’s international commitments. The UN Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) requires the parties to the Convention to report on domestic and international biodiversity related financing flows.

IEEP in collaboration with ICF International prepared a study to support the Commission in considering how the methodology for tracking biodiversity related expenditure could be further elaborated and refined over the period of the 2014-2020 Multiannual Financial Framework (MFF).

The study consists of two parts. Part I proposes a common definition for EU biodiversity expenditure, as well as a typology of expenditure categories that have biodiversity as a primary or significant objective. Part II provides detailed advice on the tracking methodology for particular EU funds, including the Common Agricultural Policy, Cohesion Policy, European Maritime and Fisheries Fund, Horizon 2020 and LIFE.

While some types of expenditure that contribute to biodiversity conservation on land or at sea are easily recognisable, the first part of the study also identifies certain types of expenditure for which the tracking exercise can be challenging. Moreover, the study concludes that the tracking methodology needs to be adaptable to different levels and stages of the EU budget cycle, moving from estimated and planned contributions to capturing real expenditure.

The study is also available on the European Commission’s website.

For more information on tracking biodiversity expenditure and IEEP’s work on biodiversity financing, please contact Marianne Kettunen ( and Andrea Illes (