The Smart Guide to multi-benefit investments in biodiversity, nature protection and green infrastructure
Client: DG REGIO
Cohesion Policy funds offer important opportunities for Member States and regions to support biodiversity and nature protection, and also to ensure that these issues are considered in all development investments. There is, however, a tendency to use these important EU public investment funds for large-scale infrastructural investments, overlooking opportunities to work with nature to provide development solutions.
To support authorities and stakeholders in better identifying, initiating and deploying investments in nature and green infrastructure, the European Commission DG Regional Policy commissioned a guidance document.
The guide served two main objectives. First, it underscored the relevance of investments in nature, biodiversity and green infrastructure in the context of regional development policies as well as the potential contribution of those investments to policy objectives in other areas (i.e. multi-benefits), with special attention to socioeconomic development. Second, providing competent authorities and stakeholders with recommendations to improve the delivery of co-funded programmes and projects in the aforementioned areas.
Milieu, with IEEP, was responsible for the preparation of the guide and a series of practical case studies illustrating the recommendations. The work involved a thorough analysis of literature and good practices on projects or programmes co-funded by Cohesion Policy in the areas of preservation and promotion of ecosystem services and biodiversity; adaptation to climate change through ecosystem-based approaches; and green infrastructure. It notably included a range of good practice examples and case studies that served to highlight the crucial interconnections existing between nature, society and the economy.
This practical document pays careful attention to the strategic, methodological and procedural aspects of setting up and implementing co-funded projects in these areas and notably includes advice on project, selection and implementation. It serves as a valuable tool for competent authorities willing to adopt an integrated approach to interventions under the 2014-2020 programming cycle, and thus to realise the full potential of Cohesion Policy investments in nature protection, biodiversity and green infrastructure.
The practical guide is available at: http://ec.europa.eu/regional_policy/sources/docgener/studies/pdf/guide_multi_benefit_nature.pdf