Fiscal incentives for biodiversity conservation: the ICMS Ecologico in Brazil


M. Grieg-Gran

Type of Document:
Research Report


International Institute for Environment and Development (IIED)

Date of Publication:

Place of Publication:
London, UK


Abstract: This paper evaluates an innovative tax revenue-sharing scheme in Brazil, designed to promote the conservation and management of protected areas. Known as the ‘ICMS Ecologico’, the scheme was introduced by the state of Parana in Brazil and subsequently by several other states. The scheme aims to compensate municipal governments for the loss of potential tax revenue from the designation of protected areas (mainly by the state and federal government). It is also intended to have an incentive effect, encouraging both better management of existing protected areas as well as the designation of new conservation areas. The paper examines the experience with the ICMS Ecologico in the states of Minas Gerais and Rondonia, two states which present a marked contrast in terms of land use, population density and forest resources. It considers the extent to which the compensation and incentive objectives have been achieved in the two states. The distributional impact of the ICMS Ecologico is also examined through an analysis of the characteristics of the counties which are winners or losers under the scheme.

Table of Contents:

1. Introduction 2. Principal Characteristics of the ICMS Ecologico 3. The Compensation Impact of the ICMS Ecologico 4. The Distributional Effect of the ICMS Ecologico 5. The Incentive Impact of the ICMS Ecologico 6. Perspectives on the ICMS Ecologico 7. Conclusions 8. References 9. Personal Communication

Additional Bibliographic Information

Environmental Economics Discussion Paper 00-01

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