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Finance for nature: bridging the blue-green investment gap to inform the post-2020 global biodiversity framework

The Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) is dedicated to promoting sustainable development. It recognizes the conservation and management of biological diversity is an integral part of the development process and is not simply a matter of protection. A revised and updated ten-year Strategic Plan for Biodiversity was adopted at the 10th Conference of the Parties (COP) in 2010. This plan provides an overarching framework on biodiversity for the entire United Nations system and all other partners engaged in biodiversity management and policy development.

COP15 in 2020 is expected to update the Convention’s strategic plan and adopt a post-2020 global biodiversity framework for the next decade. Among the primary and persistent challenges of the CBD Strategic Plan has been in fulfilling the promise of Target 20 on resource mobilization or, essentially, financing the plan.

In recent years, a great deal of progress has been made at adapting traditional tools to the specific requirements of green and blue finance. International and national public and private sector initiatives, academic researchers and implementing organizations are developing, testing and adapting finance tools to bridge the local, national and global biodiversity investment gap.

This  Ecosystem Services Special Issue hopes to highlight current work in the measurement and implementation of biodiversity finance solutions globally.

Exploring the rise of expenditure reviews as a tool for more effective biodiversity conservation and the protection of ecosystem services  (OA article)

How much money is being spent on conserving biodiversity? Is it enough? Who is funding national biodiversity conservation and what sort of actions receive the most funding? How can we find synergies between the financing of biodiversity and of ecosystem services? Historically these sorts of questions have been hard to answer.

The introduction of the Convention on Biological Diversity’s Resource Mobilisation Strategy with new requirements to monitor finance for biodiversity is, for the first time, driving efforts to track finance for conservation through National Biodiversity Expenditure Reviews (NBERs). In theory, this can help inform strategies to upscale resources for biodiversity conservation.

However, NBERs also present methodological challenges, while their value remains untested. Using Ireland as a case study, this paper explores the uses of NBERs, examines their methodological challenges and discusses their potential implications for national biodiversity strategies.

The findings reveal that the process of tracking financial flows requires the division of biodiversity finance in a way that may not reflect its complex character. Moreover, the focus on allocation and distribution of finance can be at the expense of understanding the effectiveness of biodiversity spending. Nevertheless, in the context of the promotion of market-based approaches, providing an evidence base for whether, where and when resource mobilisation is needed can be argued to be a step in the right direction.

MORE from the special issue

  1. Exploring the rise of expenditure reviews as a tool for more effective biodiversity conservation and the protection of ecosystem services, Morrison Rachel, Bullock Craig, Lynn Deirdre, (Open Access  see Above )
  2. Impact investment in marine conservation,Nicolas Pascal, Angelique Brathwaite, Annabelle Bladon, Joachim Claudet, Eric Clua, 
  3. Certification and labeling for conservation of ecosystem services in the Pampa Biome: Case study of the Aliança do Pastizal scheme, Alexandre Altmann, Airton Guilherme Berger Filho,
  4. Finance for nature: Bridging the blue-green investment gap to inform the post-2020 global biodiversity framework,
     Andrew Seidl, Paulo A.L.D. Nunes,
  5. A real options framework for reducing emissions from deforestation: Reconciling short-term incentives with long-term benefits from conservation and agricultural intensification, Alexander Golub, Diego Herrera, Gabriela Leslie, Breno Pietracci, Ruben Lubowski,
  6. Financing mechanisms to bridge the resource gap to conserve biodiversity and ecosystem services in Brazil,
     Carlos Eduardo Frickmann Young, Biancca Scarpeline Castro,
  7. Finance for nature: A global estimate of public biodiversity investments, Andrew Seidl, Kelvin Mulungu, Marco Arlaud, Onno van den Heuvel, Massimiliano Riva,
  8. When are payment for ecosystems services suitable for coral reef derived coastal protection?: A review of scientific requirements, Angelique Brathwaite, Nicolas Pascal, Eric Clua, 
  9. How can National Forest Funds catalyse the provision of ecosystem services? Lessons learned from Costa Rica, Vietnam, and Morocco, Ludwig Liagre, Davide Pettenella, Alex Pra, Felipe Carazo Ortiz, Alberto Garcia Arguedas, Cuong Nguyen Chien,