REPORT OF THE INTERNATIONAL TECHNICAL EXPERT WORKSHOP ON IDENTIFYING, ACCESSING, COMPILING AND AGGREGATING DOMESTIC AND INTERNATIONAL BIODIVERSITY-RELATED INVESTMENTS AND IMPACTS
INTRODUCTION The Conference of the Parties to the Convention, at its twelfth meeting, adopted a set of targets for resource mobilization, with a view to achieving an overall substantial increase in total biodiversity‑related funding for the implementation of the Strategic Plan for Biodiversity 2011–2020 from a variety of sources (decision XII/3, paragraph 1). In paragraph 24 of the same decision, the Conference of the Parties adopted a financial reporting framework, intended for use by Parties for providing baseline information and reporting on their contribution to reach the global financial targets above, and, in paragraph 25, invited all Parties as well as other Governments to report thereon by 31 December 2015.
In paragraph 32 (b) of decision XII/3, the Conference of the Parties requested the Executive Secretary to initiate technical work, in close cooperation with Parties as well as relevant international organizations, such as the United Nations Development Programme and the World Bank, by organizing a technical expert workshop on identifying, accessing, compiling and aggregating domestic and international biodiversity-related investments and impacts, with a view to:
Presenting, sharing and reviewing experiences;
Assessing experiences and methodologies applied in other sectors with a view to identifying opportunities for methodological transfer;
According to paragraph 32 (c) of the decision, the report of the meeting is to be made available as an element of voluntary guidance for Parties, with a view to facilitating:
Financial reporting on domestic expenditures; and
The development of national finance plans (or resource mobilization strategies).
The workshop was organized by the Secretariat of the Convention on Biological Diversity (SCBD), in close cooperation with the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), through its Biodiversity Finance Initiative (BIOFIN). It was hosted by the Government of Mexico, with financial support provided by the European Union as well as, through the UNDP-BIOFIN Initiative, by the Governments of Germany and Switzerland. The programme of the workshop was structured into sessions on methodologies for assessing international and domestic biodiversity-related investments and impacts. The session on domestic investments and impacts was further divided into methodologies for ex post assessment, such as public expenditure reviews, and ex ante assessment, such as methodologies for costing national biodiversity strategy and action plans. Each of the resulting three sections provided overview presentations of important (emerging) methodologies, developed under relevant international organizations, as well as presentations on national approaches and experiences. Break out groups provided opportunities for more in-depth exchange of information and experiences on issues that were identified to be of critical importance in plenary.
In the light of the mandate and objective of the workshop, the following lead questions were suggested for the production of the envisaged output of the workshop:
What are the main methodologies (and associated definitions) available, including from other sectors?
What is their respective scope and what are important common features and critical differences?
What are the main challenges faced in using the methodologies and are some methodologies better suited to particular circumstances and, if so, to which ones?
What are possible areas of convergence towards (elements of) a common methodology (and associated definitions)?
What are remaining critical (data and methodological) gaps and challenges and what would need to be done to address these?
Who should be responsible for, or lead, further methodological development, with what resources? What next steps?
As requested by the Conference of the Parties, this report provides voluntary guidance to Parties in meeting their financial reporting obligation by the end of 2015, and in developing their national resource mobilization strategies (See annex IV).
In order to assist the workshop in its deliberations, a collection of material, prepared with support provided by the UNDP BIOFIN initiative, was circulated before the workshop. This document included succinct summaries of pertinent methodologies and approaches, based on input from Parties as well as relevant partners, and provided elements of an analysis of these, structured as appropriate along common themes. The report will be finalized after the workshop, based on its discussions and conclusions as well as the continued interaction with participants, and its release, in a practical and easily accessible format, is planned for late summer/early fall 2015.
Experts nominated by the following Governments attended the meeting: Benin, Cuba, Denmark, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Germany, Guatemala, India, Kenya, Maldives, Mexico, Norway, Peru, Philippines, Republic of Moldova, South Africa, Switzerland and Uganda. A representative of the European Union, presented by video link. A number of United Nations organizations as well as relevant international and national organizations were also represented. The list of participants is provided as annex II to the present report.
Mr. Victor Lichtinger, national coordinator for the thirteenth meeting of the Conference of the Parties to the Convention on Biological Diversity (COP 13) welcomed participants and expressed his pleasure that the Government of Mexico was hosting the workshop. He underscored that achieving the Aichi Biodiversity Targets required substantial increases in national budgets and investments for biodiversity conservation, as well as enhanced efficiency and effectiveness of their use. The challenge for many countries was that they did not yet measure and track the funds that were spent on biodiversity and, as a result, did not possess a solid understanding of how specific national and sectorial economic and social policies directly or indirectly impacted biodiversity. In this context, Mr. Lichtinger expressed his hope that the present workshop would contribute to the success of COP 13 by building capacities for measuring the volume and nature of national biodiversity-related investments in order to assess gaps, funding needs and prioritize investments.
Speaking on behalf of Mr. Braulio Ferreira de Souza Dias, Executive Secretary of the Convention, Mr. Ravi Sharma, Principal Officer, thanked the Government of Mexico for graciously accepting to host the workshop, confirming its commitment to the issue of resource mobilization. Mr. Sharma expressed his appreciation to the European Union and UNDP-BIOFIN for their financial support, and highlighted the significant contribution of the BIOFIN initiative to the substantial preparations of the workshop.
Introducing the context of the workshop, Mr. Sharma pointed to the recent agreements on resource mobilization for the implementation of the Strategic Plan for Biodiversity, by the Conference of the Parties, at its eleventh and twelfth meetings, as major achievements under the Convention. He also referred to the ongoing United Nations discussions on Financing for Development and on means of implementation for achieving the Post-2015 Sustainable Development Goals, which may culminate in the agreement of a Roadmap at the Addis Ababa Conference on Financing for Development, to take place in July 2015. This process could unfold political momentum towards a common methodology for reporting on resource mobilization by countries.
Mr. Sharma briefly outlined the resource mobilization targets, to be met by the end of 2015 at international and domestic levels. Recognizing that the achievement of the resource mobilization targets required great effort, Mr. Sharma emphasized the timeliness of the workshop and its task to provide further guidance on accessing and interpreting national level data for submission of the financial reporting framework. Mr. Sharma concluded by informing participants that the CBD Secretariat would undertake capacity‑building and technical support to countries with a view to further assisting them in using the voluntary guidance. It would also collaborate with other partners to organize further pertinent workshops, including on sharing of experiences in applying methodologies to assess the contribution of collection action by indigenous peoples and local communities to biodiversity conservation and resource mobilization.1
Speaking for the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and its BIOFIN initiative, Mr. Yves de Soye congratulated the Government of Mexico for its decision to host the workshop, noting the established capacity of the country in this field and its seamless fit into its preparations for the upcoming COP Presidency. Mr. de Soye stated that UNDP considered biodiversity a key element of sustainable development and, in this regard, underlined the importance of addressing the challenge of mobilizing resources for biodiversity.
Mr. Luis Villanueva, senior negotiator with the COP-13 preparatory team, welcomed participants and presented the context of the workshop within the larger objectives of COP-13, whose agenda would be heavily focused on biodiversity mainstreaming. He explained that, in order to elevate biodiversity within public policy agendas, Governments needed to understand the positive social and economic impacts of investing in biodiversity, such as on poverty alleviation, food security, human health and employment creation. He also emphasized the importance of achieving or enhancing the cost‑effectiveness of policies through mainstreaming, for instance, by removing or redesigning government policies and incentives that had negative impacts on biodiversity.
Mr. Sharma subsequently invited participants to nominate a chair for the workshop. Mr. Francis Ogwal (Uganda) proposed Mr. Luis Villanueva (Mexico) which was seconded by Mr. Damodaran (India).
The Chair invited workshop participants to introduce themselves, highlighting their respective affiliation and expertise with regard to biodiversity-related investments and impacts, as well as their expectations for the workshop.
Mr. Markus Lehmann, economist with the CBD Secretariat, presented a brief overview of the global context of the workshop, its objectives and programme, highlighting the focus of each of the three days of the workshop: (day 1) international funding streams; (day 2) domestic funding streams, ex post assessments; and (day 3) funding streams, ex ante assessments. Mr. Lehmann also stated that significant time would be allocated to break out discussions to address some of the common methodological questions and themes: (a) conceptualizing/defining “biodiversity related investment”; (b) attributing coefficients to “indirect” biodiversity activities; (c) private sector, including NGOs and businesses; (d) expenditures on the subnational level; (e) biodiversity-harmful expenditures; and (f) assessing impacts in a finance context. He highlighted the importance of presenting and assessing experiences in applying pertinent methodologies, and of identifying options for convergence towards common methodologies.