|Overview : |
The Biodiversity Finance Initiative (BIOFIN) is implemented by the United Nations Development Programme, with financial support from the European Commission and the Governments of Germany, Switzerland, Norway and Flanders. This global initiative is envisioned to transform the way in which biodiversity finance is mobilized allowing for greater resources to be enacted as required within the Aichi Targets defined in the CBD’s Strategic Plan (2011 – 2020). Over the past nine years, the UNDP Global BIOFIN team together with 39 countries have been involved in developing and piloting the BIOFIN methodology which is continuously refined through national, regional and global learning.
In South Africa, the BIOFIN programme is implemented at a national level by the UNDP in partnership with the Department of Forestry, Fisheries and Environment (DFFE). South Africa initiated its BIOFIN programme in 2015 and has met several envisioned goals including the undertaking of a Policy and Institutional Review (PIR), Financial Needs Assessment (FNA), Biodiversity Expenditure Review (BER) and Biodiversity Financial Plan (BFP). Within the Biodiversity Finance Plan, 16 financial solutions were identified as being instruments that could be developed or refined to increase financial flows earmarked for biodiversity protection. As part of Phase II implementation, eight priority finance solutions have been identified for implementation.
Biodiversity stewardship is an approach to securing land in biodiversity priority areas through entering into agreements with private and communal landowners. Often, these agreements are to establish protected areas. Biodiversity stewardship is a mechanism that facilitates the protection of certain critical ecosystems in the country, greatly contributes to the National Protected Areas Expansion Strategy targets and secures ecological infrastructure that provides a host of ecosystem services like water provision. Biodiversity Stewardship can be used to meet several other environmental goals which includes ecosystem restoration and climate change adaptation. In addition, biodiversity stewardship can also support the implementation of national development initiatives like the biodiversity economy and contributes to rural development by stimulating rural economies linked to protected areas under biodiversity stewardship.