The Biodiversity Finance Initiative (BIOFIN)

Photo: John MacKinnon, UNDP.

National governments have demonstrated clear commitment to fulfilling their mandates for biodiversity conservation and sustainable use in ways that are compatible with national development goals, and to finding a diverse range of funding sources for biodiversity management. UNDP believes that a transformation is needed in the way that biodiversity finance is planned and managed, in order to unlock resources to meet the Aichi Targets defined in the Convention on Biological Diversity’s (CBD) Strategic Plan 2011-2020 in a manner that promotes sustainable development and the eradication of poverty.

The global Biodiversity Finance Initiative (BIOFIN) is managed by UNDP, in partnership with the European Union and the Governments of Germany and Switzerland. The $8.5 million initiative was launched in October 2012 and will run for three years, with further support being sought to extend it. An additional $3.1 million in finance is provided through several Global Environment Facility-financed UNDP-managed projects working in pilot countries to support governments to revise National Biodiversity Strategies and Action Plans (NBSAPs), to ensure sustainable financing of Protected Areas, and to establish Payments for Ecosystem Services mechanisms.

Guided by a steering committee representing the partners, 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 stakeholders.

Working with a global technical unit managed by UNDP, 12 countries are currently involved in developing and piloting the new methodology, which will be refined through regional and global learning, and made available more widely. These countries are Botswana, Chile, Costa Rica, Ecuador, Indonesia, Kazakhstan, Malaysia, Peru, Philippines, Seychelles, South Africa and Uganda. As additional resources are leveraged, a broader group of countries can be supported.

BIOFIN also ties in with the development of the new generation NBSAPs to identify national strategies and priority actions, since these will feed into the BIOFIN process in the pilot countries. The tools developed through BIOFIN will be applied in the 42 countries that UNDP is supporting to undertake new generation NBSAPs, and will be made available to all 193 CBD Parties through the NBSAP Forum coordinated by the CBD Secretariat, UNDP and UNEP World Conservation Monitoring Centre.