2.4.2 Establishing the BIOFIN coordination and management framework

The primary and ultimate national BIOFIN governing body is the National Steering Committee. The Committee is the formal decision-making body for BIOFIN. It guides the country strategy and actions. It requires the representation of key line ministries and is ideally anchored in the finance or planning ministry. Further members include other relevant ministries (e.g. agriculture), finance experts, and representatives from the private sector, civil society and academia. The Committee should be chaired by a senior government representative.

The effectiveness and the degree of involvement of the Committee in the BIOFIN Process are directly correlated. Costa Rica has been exemplary in having three Vice Ministers (Finance, Planning and Environment), enabling direct linkages with national policy development. In Sri Lanka, the State Secretary of Finance chairs the Committee, and the Central Bank is closely involved.

The Steering Committee should plan to meet at least once per quarter. Countries that enter the finance plan implementation stage need to revisit the composition, ensuring representation of the institutions and actors with a lead role in the realization of the planned finance solutions.

Figure 2.7: Blueprint for a Steering Committee

Scope: The Committee provides strategic guidance to the BIOFIN Process, facilitating both the alignment with, and feeding into national policy processes. It formally endorses workplans and validates reports from national teams. It debates the specific national objectives and targets the country pursues through BIOFIN. To be effective, the Committee needs to have a clear mandate and terms of reference, ideally captured through a formal Memorandum of Understanding or ministerial order. Since BIOFIN requires a thorough review of expenditure priorities and the collection of voluminous data sets, some of which may be proprietary, the Steering Committee can facilitate access to the information and provide subsequent guidance on its use (both generated data and source information).

Technical Working Group: Supplementing the Steering Committee, countries can form a technical working group (composed of technical officers and other experts in the field), to review the BIOFIN technical outputs. This group should also adopt specific terms of reference specifying its composition, mandate and frequency of meetings. Existing working groups working on relevant themes can be used and expanded to limit the number of existing structures.

Countries involved a wide range of experts in these working groups. Botswana included the Ministry of Finance and Economic Development, WAVES (World Bank), The NGO Kalahari Conservation Society, the Department of Water and a state organization called Statistics Botswana. Zambia mobilized the Bankers Association of Zambia, the National Farmers Union, WWF and the University of Zambia for the group.

Conservation licence plates feature wildlife images. They are sold at a higher price (an additional US$15-60 per year, with lower prices for renewal). The funds are used for wildlife conservation and other green causes.

Example: Plates are widely sold in different states in the USA and Canada. The state of Maine raised more than US$40 million since 1994. Malaysia and Thailand are piloting their introduction to conserve tigers.