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BIOFIN

The Biodiversity Finance Initiative (BIOFIN) is a UNDP-managed global partnership to develop and implement an evidence-based methodology that supports countries to identify biodiversity priorities, cost and mobilize resources for those investments. The methodology, described in the 2016 Workbook , provides an innovative, step-by-step and adaptable approach that enables countries to:

• Analyse the policy and institutional context for biodiversity finance;

• Measure current biodiversity expenditures;

• Assess future financial needs; and

• Identify and mobilize the resources and policies required to successfully implement the most suitable finance solutions to achieve national biodiversity plans and targets.

BIOFIN has outlined its conceptual framework based on four kinds of finance results. In order to identify the mix of finance solutions that is the most effective for a country:

• Generate revenues, i.e. any existing or innovative mechanism or instrument that can generate and/or leverage financial resources to allocate to biodiversity.

• Realign current expenditures, i.e. any measure that can reorient existing financial flows towards biodiversity.

• Avoid the need for future biodiversity expenditures, thus freeing up future resources for investment in other areas.

• Deliver financial resources more effectively and efficiently, i.e. any measure or instrument that can enhance cost-effectiveness and efficiency in budget execution, achieve synergies and/or favour a more equitable distribution of resources.

The project is active in 30 countries. Selected work from Guatemala, Peru, the Philippines, and Seychelles is highlighted:

• In Guatemala BIOFIN is working on a number of financing mechanisms for biodiversity: with the Ministry of Finance, the project is helping to reform land fees to protect nature; the possibility of attracting donations from FONTEPETROL- an oil revenue fund - to restore protected areas is being explored. Feasibility studies will support the establishment of private-public partnerships in high-end sustainable tourism, e.g. catch and release sailfish. BIOFIN Guatemala is also helping indigenous women to more effectively commercialize endemic medicinal plants.

• In the Philippines BIOFIN is reviewing-among other financing instruments-legislation to direct a share of the proceedings of the Malampaya fund to conservation. The BIOFIN initiative is supporting the Government to tag biodiversity expenditures in the national budgeting system. The project is also experimenting the creation of a “market place” to facilitate the private financing of biodiversity projects.

• In Peru, the Ministry of Finance has recognized conservation, restoration and sustainable use of biodiversity and ecosystem services as drivers for development. A set of interrelated finance solutions were pursued to establish biodiversity as a public investment category. The Ministry of Finance and the Ministry of Environment, with the support of BIOFIN, produced a set of policy guidelines related to public investment in biodiversity. BIOFIN is now developing pilot investment projects to apply the new guidelines to biodiversity conservation.

• In the Seychelles BIOFIN has engaged private and public stakeholders in the tourism sector to make the case for biodiversity finance as this sector is intrinsically dependent on biodiversity and the preservation of natural assets.