The BIOVAL project is a joint project of EUFJE, IMPEL and ENPE and intends to create a non-binding, practical instrument to value ecological damages in court.
BIOVAL focuses not on sanctioning, but on financial restoration.
Similar instruments are used to assess compensation amounts health, material, economic, and ecological damages.
For example, the Belgian "Indicative Table" for human and material damage’ that was set up by judges and is accepted and used as the standard in all Belgian courts for many years.
As another example, hunting laws in multiple Spanish regions include compensation amounts when certain animals are illegally killed.
In Finland, a price list for fauna and flora exists that is used to calculate the compensation.
While valuing fauna and flora in monetary terms is a complex challenge, we still consider it a useful exercise. The major advantages of using such a valuation instrument in administrative, civil or criminal procedures would be the greater legal certainty and the shorter case duration. It may also lead to more equal treatment of similar cases assessed in different contexts (different regions, different courts, different procedures...). Initially, the scope of the BIOVAL project will be limited to the valuation of wild fauna / vertebrates.
In a first stage, we tried to find and examine existing price list systems in EU Member States.
An online survey of our members was organised, focusing on 3 species: wolf, starling and red kite.
In 2021 and 2022, after a tender, we asked the Flemish Institute for Nature and Forest Research (INBO) to examine existing price list systems and propose criteria and a possible methodology for valuing ecological damage to vertebrates.
After the draft report was presented during an expert workshop in April 2022 and in June 2022, INBO is reworking its proposal, taking into account the feedback we received from network members and other experts.
On 18 November 2022 we plan a second expert workshop (please save the date, Brussels/online). We would like to finalise the methodology and develop an online tool in 2023 and disseminate it in 2024.