Mexico City. - To convene a dialogue on the importance of investing in Mexico's biodiversity, and develop solutions to finance its conservation and sustainable use for the benefit of society, the United Nations Development Program (UNDP) in Mexico, through the Biodiversity Finance Initiative (BIOFIN) organized the “Financing Solutions for Biodiversity” forum.
The event was attended by the UNDP Country Director in Mexico, Ms. Katyna Argueta; the Acting Deputy Director of the Office of the President of the Republic, Mrs. Paulina Terrazas; the General Director of International Financial Institutions of the Ministry of Finance and Public Credit (SHCP), Mrs. Camila Zepeda; and the Director of Satellite Accounts of the National Institute of Statistics and Geography (INEGI), Mr. Raúl Figueroa.
Mexico adopted the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and committed to address the challenge to end poverty, protect the planet and guarantee that all people enjoy peace and prosperity. In this regard, the UNDP Country Director highlighted that, among the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDG), numbers 14 'Life under the sea' and 15 'Life on Earth', play a particularly important role in the agenda because they stand to the natural capital base upon which our existence and well-being depend.
The achievement of the SDG requires the collaboration of governments, the private sector, and society to ensure compliance. In this sense, BIOFIN seeks to strengthen the links and cooperation between the social, economic, financial and business dimensions; working with a wide diversity of actors and partners.
During his intervention, Mr. Figueroa stressed the importance of having a robust and reliable information system that links the conservation of biodiversity with indicators of social and economic development for decision-making. This will contribute to design, develop and evaluate public policies from a holistic perspective. He highlighted the close collaboration and coordination between INEGI's work on environmental accounts and the work developed by BIOFIN Mexico throughout these past years.
In a second moment, the National Coordinator of BIOFIN in Mexico, Mrs. Mariana Bellot Rojas, presented the results obtained during the first three years of the project, among others:
- Expenditure on conservation and sustainable use of biodiversity for the last ten years, grew from MXN $6.6 billion in 2006 to MXN $20.3 billion in 2014.
- However, as of 2015, the government budget has decreased and stagnated at 0.09 as a percentage of the GDP. This figure places Mexico below the average of BIOFIN countries in Latin America, which is 0.14%.
- Mexico's financing needs to comply with national and international commitments amount to $8.6 billion additional annual pesos by 2020.
She also stressed that to increase resources for biodiversity it is essential to reduce the economic costs generated by the impact of productive activities on the environment, spending more efficiently, align budget programs and public policies, and diversify sources of financing to include public, private, financial, social and international sectors.
During the second half of the event, the "Innovative financing solutions for biodiversity" discussion panel was held, where participants discussed the opportunities that exist to develop innovative financing instruments in topics such as:
1. Integration of biodiversity in strategic sectors,
2. Climate finance and biodiversity,
3. Sustainable businesses and impact investments,
4. Financial mechanisms for conservation and,
5. Contributions of the financial sector to environmental sustainability.
Mrs. Paulina Terrazas stressed that the multi-sectoral nature of the SDG obliges us to address the development agenda in an integral manner, taking advantage of the co-benefits between policies that are apparently unrelated. The three dimensions of development (social, economic and environmental) make it possible to integrate the conservation of biodiversity through knowledge networks and policy groups that transcend governmental transitions, such as the National Council for the 2030 Agenda.
The event also counted with the participation of the Director General of MEXICO2, Mr. Eduardo Piquero; and the GEF Project Coordinator for the implementation of the National Biodiversity Strategy, Mrs. María Zorrilla; as well as more than 70 specialists, government officials from various agencies, representatives of civil organizations for the conservation of biodiversity, as well as members of international funding and cooperation agencies for sustainable development.
The results and reports of the BIOFIN Mexico project can be consulted here.