The Wetland Book pp 2149-2155 | Cite as

Securing Multiple Values of Wetlands: Policy-Based Instruments

  • Patrick ten Brink
  • Daniela Russi
  • Andrew Farmer
Reference work entry


Interest in the use of market-based instruments (MBIs) has increased in recent years, partly to improve economic incentives to address environmental problems, and partly due to insufficient public funding available for environmental policies. In this context, MBIs can represent a useful complement to more classical public policies as they do not require high amounts of public funding (e.g., private payments for ecosystem services (PES), offsetting) or reduce government expenditures (e.g. reform of environmentally harmful subsidies). MBIs should be seen as a complement and not a substitute to environmental regulation. They are appropriate instruments only in specific contexts and for specific environmental challenges. Their effectiveness depends very much on instrument design, institutional context and complementarity with environmental regulation. A range of MBIs can be employed to protect or improve the state of wetlands, including changes in resource prices; removal of environmentally harmful subsidies; entrance fees to protected areas; pollution charges, liability, and compensation requirements for pollution incidents; PES programmes; water funds; access and benefit sharing programmes to ensure that countries and communities providing genetic materials or associated traditional knowledge receive related economic benefits; offsets and habitat banking; environmental/reverse auctions for land use and water protection. Which instrument mix is best, depends on the specific problem and the country context, including regulatory and institutional environment.


Resource pricing Environmentally harmful subsidies Protected area entrance pricing Pollution charges, liability, and compensation requirements Payments for ecosystem services (PES) Water funds Access and benefit sharing Offsets and habitat banking Environmental/reverse auctions for land use and water protection 


  1. CBD. Decision X/2 on strategic plan for biodiversity 2011–2020. Montreal: Secretariat of the Convention on Biological Diversity; 2010. Accessed 14 Oct 2014.Google Scholar
  2. CEC. Communication from the Commission to the European Parliament, the Council, the Economic and Social Committee and the Committee of the Regions. Our life insurance, our natural capital: an EU biodiversity strategy to 2020. COM; 2011.Google Scholar
  3. GWP, INBO. A handbook for integrated water resources management in basins. Global Water Partnership and International Network of Basin Organizations; 2009. Available at:
  4. IEEP, Milieu. The guide to multi-benefit cohesion policy investments in nature and green infrastructure. A report for the European Commission. Brussels: Institute for European Environmental Policy and Milieu, Ltd; 2013. Available at:
  5. Kettunen M, ten Brink P, editors. The social and economic benefits of protected areas: an assessment guide. Abingdon/New York: Earthscan from Routledge; 2013.Google Scholar
  6. Pollard SR, Kotze DC, Ferrari G. Valuation of the livelihood benefits of structural rehabilitation interventions in the Manalana Wetland. In: Kotze DC, Ellery WN, editors. WET outcome evaluate: an evaluation of the rehabilitation outcomes at six wetland sites in South Africa., WRC report No TT 343/08. Pretoria: Water Research Commission; 2008.Google Scholar
  7. Ramsar. The Ramsar List of Wetlands of International Importance. 11 Sept 2014.
  8. Russi D, ten Brink P, Farmer A, Badura T, Coates D, Förster J, Kumar R, Davidson N. The economics of ecosystems and biodiversity for water and wetlands. London/Brussels/Gland: IEEP/Ramsar Secretariat; 2013. Available at: Scholar
  9. TEEB. The economics of ecosystems and biodiversity in national and international policy making. London: Earthscan; 2011.Google Scholar
  10. ten Brink P, Mazza L, Badura T, Kettunen M, Withana S. Nature and its role in the transition to a green economy. Bonn/Brussels: The Economics of Ecosystems and Biodiversity (TEEB); 2012. Available at: Scholar
  11. UNEP-WCMC, IEEP. Incorporating biodiversity and ecosystem service values into NBSAPs. Guidance to support NBSAP practitioners. Cambridge/Brussels: United Nations Environment Programme/Institute for European Environmental Policy; 2013. Available at: Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V., part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Institute for European Environment Policy (IEEP)BrusselsBelgium
  2. 2.Institute for European Environmental Policy (IEEP)LondonUK

Personalised recommendations