South Africa ranks as the third most biodiverse country in the world. It is recognised for high levels of endemism and is home to over 95,000 known species. The country also boasts a diverse range of biomes, from forests to deserts, estuaries and marine systems. Biodiversity, ecological infrastructure, and associated ecosystem services act as an invaluable foundation for South Africa’s economy. From tourism to fishing, farming and industry, the products and services provided by nature support people’s wellbeing, livelihoods, jobs and security.
BIOFIN in South Africa is implemented by the national Department of Environmental Affairs, in collaboration with the UNDP Country Office, the SANBI, SANParks, National Treasury and Statistics South Africa
South Africa has prioritised 15 finance solutions, which collectively aim to address the three main areas of work:
- Protected areas;
- Ecosystem restoration; and the,
- Sustainable utilisation of biodiversity.
These are the finance solutions that are currently being implemented by the South African country office:
- FS 1: Growing protected area own revenue;
- FS 2: Reform of property rates legislation, interpretation and application to protected areas;
- FS 3: Building a sustainable financing model to adequately fund the biodiversity stewardship programmes;
- FS 4: Institutional support for biodiversity tax incentives;
- FS 5: Improved biodiversity offsets modality for protected area expansion;
- FS 6: Development and implementation of a voluntary market-based certification scheme in the wildlife sector;
- FS 7: Developing and promoting an online Biodiversity Economy Investment Portal;
- FS 8: Improve the effectiveness of permits;
In 2021 and 2022 the BIOFIN South Africa project received funding to undertake two additional studies. Although these two are not full finance solutions, for the purpose of project management and reporting they have been informally dubbed
- FS 9: The impact of subsidies and incentives on the biodiversity of South Africa
- FS 10: Nature Financial Disclosure Readiness Policy and Institutional Review
The BFP presents a suite of finance solutions designed to address the finance gap in a comprehensive and complementary manner. Some 15 finance solutions have been prioritised, clustered around ecosystem restoration, protected area expansion and management, and the sustainable use of biodiversity. The BFP is currently awaiting ministerial approval.