Argentina is one of the latest countries where BIOFIN was approved for its implementation. The programme is currently in the methodology phase and officially started in March 2022. Until December 2024, BIOFIN Argentina will be working towards developing sub-national Biodiversity Plans in the Provinces of Misiones and Chaco.
Argentina is a megadiverse country, and BIOFIN has developed a sub-national strategy focusing on the Provinces of Misiones and Chaco, which are rich biodiversity-wise.
Argentina is one of the countries with the greatest biogeographical diversity in the world. It has 18 ecoregions: 15 continental, 2 marine and 1 in Antarctica. They harbour a great diversity of species, eight of which have been classified as having the highest priorities for worldwide conservation.
Misiones preserves 52% of Argentina´s biodiversity and hosts one of the world's biodiversity hotspots, the Atlantic Forest. It is also the only carbon-negative province in the country.
Chaco is part of the Gran Chaco Americano. This ecosystem constitutes the largest forest mass in South America, after the Amazon. The wide variety of environments that it presents, such as forests and shrublands, grasslands, savannahs, estuaries, and wetlands, translate into a vast diversity of plant and animal species that make this region a key area for the conservation of biodiversity.
BIOFIN Argentina is implementing a hybrid methodology: Subnational – National and Analytical – Pragmatic approach. Political governance and articulation between national and sub-national authorities regarding natural resources management is of the utmost importance in Argentina since provinces have control of their natural resources under national legislation. The analytical-pragmatic approach is important because it allows working on a good diagnosis of the national and provincial situation while identifying financial solutions already being implemented in the territory. This generates support from the program to improve its effectiveness.
Furthermore, it is interesting to note that BIOFIN has already identified some innovative initiatives as potential financial solutions for both provinces and at national scale. Chaco is working on an innovative financing mechanism to promote investment in nature and social development in the "Impenetrable Chaqueño" region. They are also working on a new provincial budget with an environmental perspective for 2023. Misiones has been working and moving forward on a REDD+ initiative, as well as in the development of a carbon market. At national scale, discussions were held on the potential implementation of a debt-for-environmental share swap. Work is also being done on the possibility of quantifying the country's ecosystem services and being able to add them to the national accounts.
The National Steering Committee was created and held the first and second working session, formally starting activities in April 2022 with the participation of main stakeholders; National Ministry of Economy, National Ministry of Environment and Sustainable Development: National Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Sub-national Ministry of Climate Change from Misiones, and Sub-national Secretary of Environment and Sustainable Territorial Development from Chaco.
BIOFIN Argentina core team is fully operational with the National Coordinator, Senior Financial Lead and a Finance Project Assistant. Moreover, the consultants for the Policy and Institutional Review (PIR) and the Biodiversity Expenditure Review (BER) also carry out the corresponding diagnoses, analyses and reports.
In terms of the institutionalization of the program in the country, it is worth mentioning the creation of an External Financing Work Group of the Sub-national Ministry of Climate Change from Misiones together with the National Ministry of Environment and Sustainable Development, with BIOFIN as part of the agenda.
BIOFIN Argentina expects to:
- Complete PIR, BER and FNA by 2023
- Complete BFP by 2024
- Work along with national and subnational authorities in enhancing current finance solutions during the process
This is planned to be finalised by 2024.