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Public Incentives Harmful to Biodiversity

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This consultation encountered difficulties associated with identifying a number of subsidies that are neither reported or spelled out, assessing those characteristics that are harmful to biodiversity and characterising measures that need reform. Despite the quality of the contributions and the commitment of the rapporteurs, the work that has been conducted cannot be deemed to be genuinely complete. Nonetheless, the group strived to reach pragmatic recommendations which, if applied, would reduce harm to biodiversity.

The group therefore ruled out overly general considerations on current modes of development from its scope of analysis. It also strived not to develop issues linked to non- financial forms of intervention by public authorities, although such issues are frequently raised during debates.

On the other hand, the group strove to address the issue in a broad sense and with a positive spirit, which consisted of never deeming a subsidy to be unwarranted and therefore easily eliminated. Occasionally, government incentives do indeed constitute direct support for activities that, when carried out, can harm biodiversity. In such cases, the group, rather than aiming to eliminate them, sought to reorient them toward less harmful practices, keeping support sum constant. It tackled the issue starting with the major causes of anthropic pressure on biodiversity, an approach commonly used in international circles. Furthermore, it would appear that measures which today play a role in harming biodiversity are often the result of choices inherited from the past, when the issue was not adequately recognised.

Public Incentives Harmful to Biodiversity. Report of the commission chaired by Guillaume Sainteny

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