Developing a universal tax system to finance the conservation of biological resources Creating differential tax rates for biodiversity
Tax incentive and penalty schemes for biodiversity hold great potential for raising the finance necessary to address biological resource conservation. Besides systems of direct taxation on biodiversity affecting activities (penalties), there is the possibility of leveraging private financing for biodiversity through strategically targeted public policies such as differential tax rates based on environmental criteria (rewards).
The US Great Outdoor Colorado programme is financed through earmarked state lottery funds. This allows residents and visitors to support conservation through gambling. The lottery has provided US$100 million for over 800 conservation projects. There is also a proposed Colorado Wilderness Tax on non-consumptive users of natural resources which would be levied on items such as cameras, films, binoculars, and camping equipment. The revenues raised from this sales tax would be earmarked to conservation activities.
Governments could agree to levy a sales tax of 10% on exports of biological products. The revenues from this tax would be substantial and could be earmarked for national biodiversity programmes.
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