Biodiversity Finance Initiative (BIOFIN)

Biodiversity Finance Initiative (BIOFIN)

A global partnership that supports countries to enhance their finance management for biodiversity and ecosystems. 

Photo: Vladimir Valishvili/UNDP

Summary

Biodiversity finance is the practice of raising and managing capital and using financial incentives to support sustainable biodiversity management. The Biodiversity Finance Initiative (BIOFIN), a global partnership launched by UNDP and the European Commission, supports countries to enhance their financial management of biodiversity and ecosystems. Forty countries (Argentina, Belize, Brazil, Bhutan, Botswana, Cambodia, Chile, China, Colombia, Costa Rica, Cuba, Ecuador, Egypt, Fiji, Gabon, Georgia, Guatemala, India, Indonesia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Malaysia, Madagascar, Malawi, Mexico, Mongolia, Mozambique, Nepal, Peru, Philippines, Seychelles, South Africa, Sri Lanka, Rwanda, Thailand, Tanzania, Uganda, Uzbekistan, Vietnam and Zambia) have already started a national BIOFIN process.

Activities

The Biodiversity Finance Initiative (BIOFIN) makes use of three detailed country-level assessments to develop a biodiversity finance plan, drawing on qualitative and quantitative data, innovative methodologies, and global and national expert input. It aims to develop a methodology for quantifying the biodiversity finance gap at the national level, for improving cost-effectiveness through mainstreaming of biodiversity into national development and sectoral planning, and for developing comprehensive national finance plans. BIOFIN will thus provide a framework for undertaking “bottom-up” analyses and resource mobilization strategies, embedded in a transformative process led by national stakeholders, aimed at allowing countries to implement their National Biodiversity Strategy and Action Plans (NBSAPs) and achieve national biodiversity targets. BIOFIN will feed into the development of NBSAPs, while the NBSAP projects in turn will provide a platform for integration into decision-making processes.

The BIOFIN methodology includes the following five technical steps:

The Biodiversity Finance Policy and Institutional Review (PIR) – Analyses the policy and institutional context for biodiversity finance in the country, to establish the baseline for the BIOFIN Process. This analysis examines the relationship between the state of nature and a country’s fiscal, economic, legal, policy, and institutional framework.

The Biodiversity Expenditure Review (BER) – Uses detailed data on public, private, and civil society budgets, allocations and expenditures to inform and promote improved biodiversity policies, financing, and outcomes.

The Financial Needs Assessment (FNA) – Makes a comprehensive estimate of the financial resources needed to achieve the national and subnational biodiversity targets articulated in national biodiversity plans and other key national planning instruments. The assessment clarifies the “costable actions” in these instruments and links them to biodiversity results; generates budgetary data that can be used to advocate for biodiversity investments; helps prioritize biodiversity strategies and actions based on biodiversity and cost criteria; and estimates unmet biodiversity financing needs.

The Biodiversity Finance Plan (BFP) – Is the guiding document for implementing the most optimal finance solutions to reach national biodiversity targets. It uses the evidence gathered throughout the entire BIOFIN Process to prioritize the most feasible and impactful finance solutions. The plan is a national document engaging the public sector, private sector, and civil society.

Implementing Finance Solutions – Guides countries on how to continue the BIOFIN Process once the Finance Plan concludes.  

During the BIOFIN phases I and II, five priority finance solutions have been piloted:

  1. Improving state budget justification capacity at the Ministry of Environmental Protection and Agriculture (MEPA).
  2. Improving Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) quality, expertise and effectiveness.
  3. Improving ecotourism offerings in state forest areas.
  4. Building country capacity for fundraising for priority nature conservation and management objectives.
  5. Reviewing and updating existing fees and quota systems for the use of natural resources.

During extended BIOFIN phase II, the following priority finance solutions will be piloted:

  • Measuring and addressing potential adverse impacts on biodiversity from agricultural subsidies
  • Develop cost-effective and sustainable timber management to increase the National Forest Agency resources and finance forest conservation.
  • Support post-COVID financial recovery in rural areas of Georgia through sustainable use of Non-Timber Forest Products (NTFPs).
  • Support the new post-2020 National Biodiversity Strategy and Action Plan (NBSAP) through updating the Finance Needs Assessment and Biodiversity Finance Plan.

Results so far

By 2019, Georgia has completed the Biodiversity Finance Policy and Institutional Review (PIR), the Biodiversity Expenditure Review (BER), the Financial Needs Assessment (FNA) and the Biodiversity Finance Plan (BFP). On May 29, 2019, the Biodiversity Finance Plan was officially adopted by the Ministry of Environmental Protection and Agriculture of Georgia, by Ministerial Order.

After piloting finance solutions, the following results were achieved:

  • Starting from 2019, the state budget allocations for Forest and Biodiversity Department has increased from 100,000 GEL to 400,000 GEL annually. In total, the biodiversity-related annual state budget allocations have been increased by 620,000 GEL (around 240,000 USD).
  • The first-ever specific biodiversity-related guidelines for Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) reports were prepared and an online tool was developed for the application of the checklists during the monitoring and inspection.
  • A 5-year eco-tourism development plan was elaborated for the Borjomi Municipality state forest. The plan is being successfully replicated by the National Forestry Agency for larger forest areas of Georgia.
  • Different tools and mechanisms were elaborated to create innovative fundraising techniques to raise money for the Tbilisi Zoo conservation efforts.
  • The Fundraising Action Plan for rehabilitation of the 3 endemic endangered species (Tur, Bezoar Goat and Deer) and captive bears was developed.
  • Based on the survey of currently non-regulated and commercially used Non-Timber Forest Products (NTFPs), the list of most commercially viable species was prepared.
  • The natural resource usage fees and regulatory fees were defined for all priority species. Relevant amendments to the Georgian legislation were drafted.
  • The socio-economic analysis and justification of benefits provided by new regulation of the long-term sustainable resource use were prepared.

Contact information

Project address

6 M. Gelovani Avenue
Tbilisi 0159 Georgia

Contact persons

Tornike Phulariani
Project National Coordinator in Georgia
tornike.phulariani@undp.org

Gigla Ramishvili
Project Administrative/Finance Assistant
gigla.ramishvili@undp.org

Nino Antadze
UNDP Environment and Energy Team Leader in Georgia
nino.antadze@undp.org

Status Ongoing
Start date April 2016
End date December 2023
Focus area Environment & Energy
Implementing partners Ministry of Environmental Protection and Agriculture of Georgia. Ministry of Finance of Georgia
 
Donors Governments of Germany, Switzerland, Norway and Flanders. European Union
Budget USD 1,205,000