Biodiversity Finance Initiative
Jan 29, 2016
Available evidence and the decisions adopted by Parties to the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) indicate that a significant gap remains in finance for biodiversity management, for countries to drastically scale up their efforts and achieve the 20 Aichi Targets defined in the CBD’s Strategic Plan for 2011-2020. A preliminary assessment recently conducted under the auspices of the High-level Panel on Global Assessment of Resources for Implementing the CBD Strategic Plan estimated that the global investment required ranges between 130 and 440 billion US$ annually. While useful, this and similar other global estimates are based on extrapolations sensitive to the underlying assumptions. To define biodiversity finance needs and gaps with greater precision and determine related challenges and opportunities for resource mobilisation, detailed national-level (bottom-up) assessments are therefore required.
In this context, UNDP in October 2012 launched the Biodiversity Finance Initiative – BIOFIN, as a new global partnership seeking to address the biodiversity finance challenge in a comprehensive manner – building a sound business case for increased investment in the management of ecosystems and biodiversity.
Who manages BIOFIN
BIOFIN is managed by the UNDP Ecosystems and Biodiversity Programme, in partnership with the European Union and the Governments of Germany and Switzerland, who support the initiative with a total of USD 15 million (as of May 2014 – further support is being sought). The Global Environment Facility is a further partner financing parallel in-country projects in support of the revision of National Biodiversity Strategies and Action Plans (NBSAPs).
Aim of BIOFIN
BIOFIN aims to develop a methodology for quantifying the biodiversity finance gap at national level, for improving cost-effectiveness through mainstreaming of biodiversity into national development and sectoral planning, and for developing comprehensive national resource mobilising strategies. BIOFIN will thus provide a framework for undertaking 'bottom-up' analyses of the biodiversity finance gap and resource mobilization strategies, through a transformative process led by national stakeholder
BIOFIN works along two main axes:
I) Globally-led development of a new methodological framework
An entirely new methodological framework is being developed and piloted for undertaking national-level “bottom-up” analyses of the finance-relevant enabling context; for determining the current / baseline investment in biodiversity; for quantifying the full cost of meeting national biodiversity conservation targets and the resulting finance gap; and for assessing the suitability of financial mechanisms and developing national resource mobilisation strategies that are fully appropriated by national governments and other key in-country stakeholders. The methodologies applied in the project will be refined through regional and global learning, and made available more widely.
II) Adaptation and implementation of this new methodological framework at national level
To help countries increase the importance attributed to biodiversity and in consequence bridge the financing gap, the work at national level will be led by Ministries of Finance, Economics or Planning and the Ministry of Environment.
India and BIOFIN
As one of the 17 megadiverse countries in the world with over 45,000 species of plants and 91,000 species of animals, India’s economy and the livelihoods of hundreds of millions of people, many of them poor, depend on preventing biodiversity loss and environmental degradation.
Four of the 34 globally identified biodiversity hotspots are represented in India: the Himalaya, Indo-Burma, the Western Ghats – Sri Lanka and Sundaland. India is also an acknowledged centre of crop diversity and harbours hundreds of varieties of crop plants such as rice, maize, millets etc.
As an obligation under CBD, India prepared the National Biodiversity Action Plan (NBAP) in 2008. Thereafter, India has developed 12 National Biodiversity Targets (NBTs) in consultation with concerned ministries/departments, using the Strategic Plan and its 20 Aichi targets as the framework, and has included these in NBAP Addendum 2014 to NBAP 2008.
Implementation of BIOFIN in India would be country driven and would build on the activities already undertaken for assessing funding for biodiversity as a part of preparing NBAP Addendum 2014.
BIOFIN provides a systematic and flexible approach to identify and mobilise the financial resources needed for implementing the NBAP and making progress towards achieving the NBTs. Through implementation of BIOFIN, it is expected to further enhance awareness and sensitisation about significance of biodiversity in development sectors, thereby, inter alia leveraging existing resources to contribute more towards biodiversity, and reducing the financial gap in achieving the NBTs.
Biofin in India will be implemented at the national level, and also be piloted in four states – Gujarat, Kerala, Punjab and Uttarakhand.
BIOFIN in India is led by the Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change (MoEFCC). The initiative is hosted by the National Biodiversity Authority (NBA), working with four relevant State Biodiversity Boards, with technical assistance from Wildlife Institute of India (WII) and National Institute of Public Finance and Policy (NIPFP). UNDP India manages the programme under the guidance of MoEFCC. A Steering Committee with representatives of relevant ministries will oversee the programme and a Technical Advisory Group will provide technical guidance.
Recently in January 2016 The Environment Ministry started a two-day National Stakeholder Consultation Meeting on Biodiversity Finance Initiative to conserve India’s biodiversity. This National Stakeholder meeting has been organized to understand the BIOFIN project and to seek professional inputs from experts of various fields in strengthening the biodiversity conservation efforts in the country
India updated its National Biodiversity Action Plan (NBAP) and also developed 12 National Biodiversity Targets in 2014. As part of the exercise of updating NBAP, the Ministry had undertaken an assessment of budgetary allocations and expenditures related to biodiversity conservation in India through Ministry’s core biodiversity related programmes and non-core programmes as well as indirect peripheral funding from budgetary resources of other Government of India Ministries/Departments towards programmes that have some bearing on biodiversity conservation.
Source: UNDP, www.cbd.int, pib