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Biodiversity loss is a serious global environmental problem. Economic instruments in biodiversity policies can contribute towards reconciling the conservation costs encountered at local level with the benefits of biodiversity conservation at higher levels of governance, from regional and national levels up to the global level. This paper outlines the theoretical foundations of fiscal transfers in conservation policies and also offers a concise account of existing international experience and future prospects. The recently amended Portuguese Local Finances Law (LFL) of 2007, with its groundbreaking new article on the promotion of local sustainability, is analyzed in terms of the significance of fiscal transfers for municipal budgets.
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