Reverse the decline in biodiversity

Group photo of representatives of 35 countries at the BIOFIN Conference held in Chennai, India between 6th and 8th March 2018. Picture: SUPPLIED

Biodiversity is life on Earth. Biodiversity is Nature. Biodiversity include living organisms and ecosystems which underpin human wellbeing and economies by providing the essentials for healthy and productive human life like clean air, food security and fresh water. Nature and natural ecosystems are in severe decline due to past and current human activities.

These activities are largely driven by economic growth models and heavily influenced by financial flows.

Therefore, change is needed to our economies and finances to reverse the decline in biodiversity, and to protect biodiversity and economies so that we retain the ability of the plant to support human wellbeing.

Biodiversity provides humanity with innumerable benefits.

The diversity of wild plants and animals holds the key to continue food diversity, nutrition, vitamins and economic resilience. However these benefits are mostly provided without any monetary cost and are generally taken for granted.

Therefore, advocates of increased biodiversity finance must inform decision makers how sustainably managing biodiversity and ecosystems is one of the core underpinning for economic growth, employment creation, poverty reduction and corporate profitability.

Biodiversity Finance (BIOFIN) is a UNDP managed global project in partnership with governments.

There are 30 countries participating in BIOFIN. The BIOFIN methodology provides an innovative, step-wise and adaptable approach that enables countries to:

  • ¬†Analyse the policy and institutional context for biodiversity finance;
  • Measure the current biodiversity expenditures;
  • Assess future financial needs; and
  • Identify and mobilise the resources and policies required to successfully implement the most suitable finance solutions to achieve national biodiversity plan and targets.

The first two components of the project in Policy and Institutional Review (PIR) and Biodiversity Expenditure Review (BER) have already been completed.

Engagements with stakeholders from government, statutory authorities, non-government organisations and private sector continue with the two other components including the Biodiversity Finance Needs Assessments (FNA). The first phase of the project is envisaged to be completed in July 2018.

Fiji continues to engage with the Global BIOFIN Team and other countries on regular basis to discuss the challenges and progress of the project.

A Global BIOFIN Conference was held in Chennai, India recently between 6 and 8 of March, 2018 where member countries of the project were represented and shared their experiences, findings and progress in terms of financing biodiversity.

It is hoped that at the end of the project, Fiji will be able to identify and recommend some finance solutions suitable to address the gaps and loss of its biodiversity.