7.1.1 Normative framework

The Policy and Institutional Review (PIR), the Biodiversity Finance Plan, and certain finance solutions should already contain recommendations for the amendment and enhancement of specific policies and regulatory frameworks. Follow-through is required next. The continuous mapping of the policy development cycle and stakeholders’ engagement should have similarly provided critical insight to propose reforms to the policy landscape. The profound understanding of a country’s political economy is necessary to identify where policies stand in their approval trajectory, who the main actors are, and where opportunities for engagement exist. (See Figure 7.1).

Systematization of the PIR: The PIR analysis is not likely to require frequent updating. It can be revisited every five years in conjunction with the update of the Biodiversity Finance Plan. Governments are advised to maintain an active database of the country’s existing biodiversity finance solutions.

Amending Legislation in Kazakhstan

Kazakhstan successfully responded to regulatory framework gaps identified in the policy and institutional analysis. As a result, three legislative areas were enhanced in 2017:

  • The approval of the first legislation on biodiversity offsets;

  • The introduction of the concept of ecosystem services in national law; and

  • The amendment of the protected area law, explicitly requiring funding to be allocated in line with protected area management plans.

Figure 7.1: National Policy and Planning Cycles

The lessons learned from mainstreaming biodiversity into national policies demonstrated the need to address the entire spectrum of a country’s planning cycle, including laws, national development strategies, national biodiversity plans, sectoral strategies and subnational plans. This is not only about influencing macro-level planning, but working on the preparation and design of the underlying policy documents and budget proposals. Change can be achieved even in the early stages of the BIOFIN Process: Malaysia has integrated biodiversity finance elements into the 11th Malaysia Plan, while Fiji has helped to develop a results-based framework for the National Biodiversity Strategy and Action Plan.

The Biodiversity Finance Plan’s chances of success can be increased by formally adopting the plan as a public document. In an ideal scenario, the plan becomes a new national policy, anchored in national legislation. At a minimum, the plan should be formally adopted through a government order after being validated through a wide stakeholder consultation process. To achieve this, it is necessary to focus on the institutionalization process of the plan from the beginning. The plan can be informed by a political road map that proactively tends towards its institutionalization, and empowers an institution (or a coalition of institutions) to take ownership and leadership in steering implementation. The Ministry of Finance can provide stronger policy leverage if it has a leading role. Countries may also opt to keep this role with environment ministries to ensure a clear biodiversity focus.

As detailed in Chapter 6, the first step is about clarifying ownership of the Plan by national institutions. However, since the solutions will be implemented by different stakeholders, there should be considerations both at the plan and solution level. The most likely scenario is an overarching institution or a coalition of institutions accepting global ownership of the BFP. The Ministry of Finance is often the most suitable institution to play this important role, along with the ministry responsible for the environment or planning. The finance plan should also specify the lead/responsible agency within government for individual solutions.

Systemization of the BFP: It is advisable to update the plan at least once in five years. The update should focus on the design of new or significantly amended finance solutions, and ensure that the revised suite of finance solutions forms a comprehensive and complementary package.