BIOFIN shares five years of experience and the road ahead at the CBD SBI 2 in Montreal

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Experts from BIOFIN shared some of the main lessons learned from the past years of the project at its side event on July 11 at the Convention for Biological Diversity's (CBD) SBI meeting. BIOFIN was recognised as an important capacity development process in more than 30 countries in mobilising resources for biodiversity conservation.

BIOFIN’s Global Manager, Onno van den Heuvel, explained how BIOFIN had evolved its foundational objective from developing a methodology for financial assessments and finance plans, towards actively supporting countries with the implementation of these plans and specific finance solutions.

"At global level we are also working on refining and developing the BIOFIN methodology, outreach activities through the BIOFIN website and we've developed the first-of-its-kind Catalogue of finance solutions for biodiversity finance," he said.

An example from Kazakhstan illustrated how they successfully enhanced legislations on several different financing mechanisms, ensuring that protected areas in the country will receive more finance, and making both biodiversity offsets and payment for ecosystem services formal policy instruments in the country. 

Crisanta Marlene Rodriguez, highlighted the Philippines had accelerated work on several policy aspects, including a recently signed law that brings over 90 protected area into the national legislation, filling a major policy gap that prevented these areas from receiving more funding.

"In South-Africa, BIOFIN and the government have developed a comprehensive finance plan with 16 different solutions being piloted, and is now building an M&E framework for the plan," said Wadzi Mandivenyi, Chief Director for Biodiversity, from the Department of Environmental Affairs. 

BIOFIN's lead expert in Mexico, Mariana Bellot said the country had developed 4 new guidelines on mainstreaming for different sectors. "Another important result is to revive a national climate change fund, that should be operational soon and has a clear focus on conservation," she said. 

Reflecting on the session, Markus Lehman from the CBD said BIOFIN as a project had come from when it started back in 2013 with only eight countries to now involve 35.

"This shows the programme responded well to the existing needs of countries. It will be also useful to start thinking further about institutionalisation of BIOFIN at a global level during the second phase," he said.

In the SBI plenary session discussions on resource mobilisation on 10 July, several countries expressed how the BIOFIN Process had been a very useful capacity development processes in their countries, calling for the initiative to scale up its work in the future. See more at http://enb.iisd.org/download/pdf/enb09707e.pdf