T19 (National Biodiversity Finance Plan): How to Use GEF Funding
This page aims to provide information regarding the development and implementation of national biodiversity finance plans or similar planning instruments for recipient Parties and relevant stakeholders, including how to access funding of the Global Environment Facility in this regard. It is a work in progress and will be updated as necessary.
There have been increases in domestic resources for biodiversity in some countries, with resources remaining broadly constant for others over the past decade. Financial resources available for biodiversity through international flows and official development assistance has roughly doubled. However, when all sources of biodiversity finance are taken into account, the increase in biodiversity financing would not appear to be sufficient in relation to needs. Moreover, these resources are swamped by support for activities harmful to biodiversity. Progress on identifying funding needs, gaps and priorities and the development of national financial plans and assessments of biodiversity values has been limited to relatively few countries. Reported actions included: Efforts to increase domestic biodiversity financing; Organizing partnerships and programmes; Undertaking tax reforms and putting in place incentives to provide funding to biodiversity projects, such as a tourism tax to fund the operation of protected areas.
Financial support of the Global Environment Facility to national biodiversity financial planning
GEF-financed projects related to financial resources
- Amazon, Congo, and Critical Forest Biomes
- Food Systems
- Eliminating Hazardous Chemicals from Supply Chains
- Net Zero Nature Positive Accelerator
- Circular Solutions to Plastic Pollution
- BDFA: Objective One
- BDFA: Objective Three
- BDFA: Inclusive Conservation Initiative
- CCFA: Objective 1.4
- Blended Finance Global Program/NGI
- GEF Small Grants Programme
During the fifth and sixth replenishment periods, the Global Environment Facility provided financial support to the revision and updating of national biodiversity strategies and action plans in support of the Implementation of the CBD 2011-2020 Strategic Plan, including the preparation of a strategy for resource mobilization for the implementation of the national biodiversity strategies and action plans with a baseline assessment of existing biodiversity finance, in many recipient Parties.
During the seventh replenishment period, the Global Environment Facility approved in 2022 a set of global biodiversity framework early action support grants to fast-track readiness and early actions to implement the post-2020 Global Biodiversity Framework by providing financial and technical support to GEF-eligible Parties to the Convention on Biological Diversity in their work to review and align their national targets, national biodiversity strategies and action plans, policy frameworks, monitoring frameworks and finance with the Global Biodiversity Framework. These early action grants include a component to enable recipient Parties to define biodiversity finance gaps and identify opportunities for resource mobilization through the following actions:
- Conduct a biodiversity expenditure review, assessing spending related to biodiversity across all sectors (e.g., energy, transport, infrastructure, agriculture, forestry, fisheries, extractive industries);
- Develop a cost estimate for KM-GBF-related actions in the GBF-aligned national biodiversity strategies and action plans, generating costing projections of new and updated GBF activities, and calculating national financing gap;
- Identify, review and prioritize biodiversity-harmful subsidies, analyzing existing finance mechanisms, including why they are not working, and what key constraints and obstacles are;
- Develop a plan for domestic resource mobilization /biodiversity finance plans, and a national action plan to fill the finance gap for the Kunming-Montreal Global Biodiversity Framework by 2030, and a clear monitoring system for finance and national reporting on finance;
- Undertake other early actions related to biodiversity finance, such as conducting feasibility analyses of finance mechanisms, and/or early implementation of specific finance solutions.
For the eighth replenishment period (Annex I to Summary of Negotiations of the Eighth Replenishment of the GEF Trust Fund, GEF/C.62/03, June 15, 2022), objective 3 of the biodiversity focal area strategy will seek to increase mobilization of domestic resources for biodiversity, in in parallel to the revision of national biodiversity strategies and action plans and also leveraging synergies in domestic resource mobilization to support implementation across multilateral environmental agreements. The program will support three complementary components in each national-level country project. National projects focused on the development of domestic resource mobilization plans (or updates of existing plans) to support implementation of Kunming-Montreal Global Biodiversity Framework would be entirely funded through the biodiversity focal area set-aside. Implementation of these plans would be funded by the STAR.
(1). Diagnostics and planning (funded by the biodiversity set aside):
policy and institutional review analyzing the root causes of biodiversity loss, identifying and costing harmful subsidies, capacity needs assessment; expenditure review assessing spending related to the biodiversity, across all sectors (e.g., energy, transport, infrastructure, agriculture, agriculture, forestry, fisheries, extractive industries); assessment of the national financial needs to implement the Kunming-Montreal Global Biodiversity Framework; the development and adoption of national domestic mobilization plans that set out a coherent and comprehensive national approach to domestic mobilization for biodiversity, including a mix of priority finance solutions.
(2). Early implementation (funded through each country’s STAR),
including the prototyping and piloting of priority measures or mechanisms identified in the domestic resource mobilization plans. Countries will be encouraged to use the many possibilities offered in GEF-8 to implement their domestic resource mobilization priorities in full, such as through biodiversity mainstreaming interventions to reduce or redirect financial flows harmful to biodiversity, or the development of payment for ecosystem services, access and benefit sharing, offset schemes or other relevant financing mechanisms to generate new resources.
(3). Capacity building and institutional set-up for implementation and monitoring (funded through each country’s STAR)
: National project investments will support the development of capacity and expertise of staff responsible for domestic resource mobilization implementation, monitoring and reporting (e.g. green budget tagging) to increase transparency and accountability on environmental spending, including biodiversity spending (e.g. Green Budgeting Statement accompanying the budgets). Projects will also help establish national-level platforms to foster a whole-of-government approach and multi-stakeholder coordination to support implementation.
At its first meeting of the GEF-8 cycle, the Council of the Global Environment Facility approved the Umbrella Programme to Support Development of Biodiversity Finance Plans (Algeria, Armenia, Bahrain, Cabo Verde, Cameroon, Comoros, Dominican Republic, Haiti, Honduras, Jordan, Lao PDR, Maldives, Morocco, Palau, Panama, Samoa, Sao Tome and Principe, Serbia, Solomon Islands, Sudan, Suriname, Timor Leste, Uruguay, Vanuatu, Venezuela, and Zimbabwe), with the following components:
Component 1. National biodiversity finance policy and institutional reviews:
This component will carry out a comprehensive analysis of the policy and institutional landscape, identify the most relevant stakeholders, map subsidies positive and harmful to biodiversity, identify barriers in the national budgeting process, and produce an inventory of existing finance solutions. The process will start with a national platform for improved coordination between line ministries, most notably Ministries of Finance and Environment. Subsequently, the second primary axis of partnerships to strengthen will be with the private sector and civil society. The policy and institutional analysis will be based on a clear sequence to:
- Identify the major drivers of biodiversity change;
- Relate these to existing policies;
- Map responsible institutions and agencies for those policies and use them as the starting point for further analysis.
A second chain of analysis will create a full inventory of all existing financing mechanisms/solutions in the country, highlighting opportunities for improvements. The budgetary process and subsidies positive and harmful to biodiversity will be examined in detail. The expected Outcome is that national biodiversity-related policy and institutional framework analyses are completed, including recommendations to optimize the current institutional structure and finance solutions.
Component 2. National biodiversity expenditure reviews conducted across all relevant sectors:
This component will assess spending related to biodiversity across all relevant sectors to determine the biodiversity relevance of major programmes and organizations. This includes activities to determine accurate attribution levels and efforts to identify challenges for financial delivery. All public and private biodiversity related budget and expenditure data of the country will be collected. For these expenditures the biodiversity relevance will be determined through a system of co-efficient or attribution rates, thus including indirect expenditures, when biodiversity is not the primary objective. This component will provide insights into the extent of biodiversity mainstreaming into sectors and policies, identify issues of delivery, and underscore the role of various public agencies in biodiversity management. The expected Outcome is that national expenditure related to biodiversity across all relevant sectors is quantified and a synthesis with current and future trends is communicated to stakeholders for feedback. Under this component, countries that are more advanced in national environmental accounting can opt for further support in the development of natural capital accounting, using existing methodologies by UNSD, The Natural Capital Project and others as key baseline data.
Component 3. National assessments of the financing required to achieve the Global Biodiversity Framework targets:
This component will revisit the country’s national Biodiversity Strategy and Action Plan to calculate how much finance is required to achieve all biodiversity goals. A key outcome under this component will be an assessment of the financial needs required to achieve the GBF targets at national level, including policies that define the national biodiversity needs, priorities, and costs of their activities vis-á-vis the targets of the GBF. Activities required to achieve these goals will be prioritized from the perspective of cost-effectiveness and will include detailed costing information. As most biodiversity plans have a limited range of activities, the scope of the financial needs assessment can be expanded to include additional policies such as national development plans and sectoral plans related to biodiversity.
Component 4. Development of national biodiversity finance plans:
The national BFP summarizes all findings and recommendations of previous assessments, identifying the optimal mix of prioritized finance solutions and elaborating a business case for their adoption. The BFP will outline a range of financing options considered to have the strongest finance potential, feasibility, and biodiversity impact. All solutions will be “homegrown” and supported by a unique business case and operational plan. The plans will focus on long term sustainable financing, based on all possible public and private, national, international, traditional, and innovative sources of funds. This intervention will follow a multi-dimensional approach to working with the private sector, including actions to facilitate investments with a positive biodiversity impact, to generate additional funds for biodiversity conservation, and to develop green finance policies that reduce the negative impacts of existing investments. Civil society organizations including women’s groups will also be engaged. A wide number of financing mechanisms will be considered including actions to facilitate investments with a positive biodiversity impact, to generate additional funds for biodiversity conservation through Corporate Social Responsibility, to deploy effective offsetting mechanisms, and to develop green finance policies that reduce the negative impacts of existing investments. The completed BFPs will be reviewed and validated by diverse stakeholders including women and minorities to ensure they are well-grounded and accepted.
Component 5. Global knowledge and technical assistance platform:
A global knowledge sharing and technical support platform will be established to share knowledge and experiences across participating countries and with the participation of partner organizations. The platform will offer dedicated expert technical advice to support processes and address technical financial issues. This will enable beneficiaries in countries to participate in recurring virtual and onsite trainings, experience sharing, and benefit from tailored knowledge products and best practices. The platform will consolidate global finance sources and mapping of available financial sources for biodiversity, including the development of an impact investment and private sector knowledge and capacity development stream to facilitate the creation of national impact investment platforms and related project pipelines. This platform will be one of the most essential resources and act as an experience sharing mechanism for participating countries as well as other countries with similar experiences. Each country will benefit from an initial training on the full methodology for key stakeholders, on the job support for national teams and peer review for outlines, draft, and final versions of each product. The platform will share guidance on gender mainstreaming in line with experiences in gender-positive practices from different countries.
Component 6. Project monitoring and evaluation plan:
The project will implement an M&E Plan that adheres to GEF and UNDP requirements, enables effective evaluation of project progress and impact, reflects the needs of women, indigenous peoples, and other vulnerable groups, and will effectively monitor social and environmental safeguards risks. These activities will ensure that the project monitoring system operates effectively, systematically provides information on progress, and informs adaptive management to ensure that the intended outcomes are achieved.