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02.11.2012 / Project - News

Handbook on Financing biodiversity in the context of the EFRD published

Practical guidance based on the lessons learned from SURF Nature project (ERDF Interreg IVc)

As the preparations for the new funding period 2014-2020 are starting in earnest with a new regulatory framework for Cohesion Policy, Regions are requested to decide how they will shape their Operational Programmes by the beginning of 2013. Biodiversity is often overlooked in the use of European Regional Funds, yet, as our project demonstrates, it has a lot to offer and the return on investment can be huge: recent Commission studies suggest that investing in Natura 2000 may generate up to €200-300bn of benefits per year for an annual investment of only around €5.8bn for proper management and implementation.

This and further evidence presented in this handbook make a clear case to use European Regional Development Funds for Biodiversity. Although the European Funding Regulations already allow for this, it is up to Europe’s Regions and Managing Authorities to make sure that biodiversity is integrated in their various Operational Programmes in terms of priorities, measures, and financial allocations.