Official launch this Wednesday (22/03/2023) in Niamey of the Biodiversity Finance Initiative in Niger (UNDP-BIOFIN).
BIOFIN aims to support countries in developing and implementing a biodiversity finance plan for a sustainable future. While the economic value of natural assets represents nearly US$24 trillion, it has been estimated that the financial needs to preserve biodiversity are between US$599 and US$824 billion, while only US$143 billion is currently invested per year. In most countries, such as Niger where it is estimated that more than 70 protected areas have lost much of their biological diversity, the financial gap in the biodiversity sector remains unknown. Even though Niger is home to more than 1,400 plant species, about 130 species of mammals and more than 150 reptiles and amphibians.
The BIOFIN approach is to reduce the financial needs for biodiversity by avoiding future expenditures and making project/program implementation more efficient, and to increase resources by generating revenues and realigning existing expenditures.
This workshop which took place under the chairmanship of the Secretary General of the Ministry of Planning, the Ambassador of the Kingdom of Belgium in Niger and the Deputy Resident Representative of the UNDP saw the participation of high level executives of the different sectoral ministries, UNDP staffs and civil society actors.
Thus, it was confirmed by the UNDP Deputy Resident Representative that "Biodiversity is one of the major concerns of the Government in order to face development challenges" and that "it is important for us to mobilize the appropriate resources in order to act together to preserve it".
First, the officials publicly launched the BIOFIN Niger program, making the country the 41st member state of this global initiative. This marks the willingness of the Niger government to meet the targets set by the new global biodiversity framework (CBD COP 15 Kunming-Montreal) that was adopted in Montreal in December 2022.
Following this, participants listened carefully to the various presentations on the expected outcomes of the BIOFIN process:
- Create a dialogue on biodiversity financing to improve budget planning, resource mobilization and biodiversity management
- Better understand the economic and financial drivers affecting biodiversity
- Enable targeted recommendations for government and private sector actions to mainstream biodiversity
- Determine the baseline level of biodiversity-related spending for the country and track biodiversity in budgets
- Identify specific financial needs for national implementation of the CBD strategic plan (New Global Biodiversity Framework Kunming Montreal)
- Develop and implement a range of financing solutions
At the end of the presentations, a debate took place among the experienced participants from different backgrounds with the objective of improving biodiversity financing in Niger in a sustainable way.
A committee, composed of a chairperson and three rapporteurs, led the discussions and recorded all relevant proposals in a report that will be finalized and adopted by the BIOFIN Initiative in Niger.
Thus, the alignment of financing solutions with major national and regional initiatives, such as the Great Green Wall, the National Adaptation Plan, etc., were put forward. Financing solutions related to wildlife image rights, water tariffs and biodiversity offsets by private companies were also discussed.
BIOFIN's activities will be conducted in close collaboration with all partners, including the Executive Secretariat of the National Environment Council for Sustainable Development (CNEDD) of Niger and the Capacities for Biodiversity and Sustainable Development (CEBioS) program of the Royal Belgian Institute of Natural Sciences, which have accompanied the launch of the initiative in the country.
Family photo with partners at the BIOFIN Niger launch workshop, 22/03/2023, UNDP photo