Step 4.2B: Classification of expenditures

In the BER, all biodiversity expenditures should be associated with biodiversity categories, organizations and economic sectors. To improve accuracy, precision, and replicability of biodiversity expenditure assessments—including for budget tagging—BIOFIN has developed an expanded set of categories. This classification can be aligned to the UN-SEEA categories as shown in the Mexico example (see Box 4.4). Table 4.1 shows the nine proposed BIOFIN categories and their relationship to the six categories originally derived from the CBD Strategic Plan. The BIOFIN categories can be subdivided further as provided in Annex II. All biodiversity expenditures also should be tagged with national biodiversity targets or strategies. These national strategies/targets are identified in the PIR and are used in parallel with the BIOFIN categories in the FNA.

Table 4.1: BIOFIN Categories

Nine BIOFIN Categories Previous BIOFIN Categories
  • Biodiversity awareness and knowledge
  • Green economy
  • Pollution management
  • Sustainable use
  • Biosafety
Sustainable use
Protected areas and other conservation measures Protection
Restoration Restoration
Access and benefit sharing Access and benefit sharing
Biodiversity and development planning and finance Enabling

Box 4.4: The Biodiversity Expenditure Review in Mexico


To produce a detailed diagnosis of biodiversity expenditures in Mexico, BIOFIN Mexico collaborated with the Steering Committee, the National Institute of Statistics and Geography (by Spanish acronym, INEGI) to take full advantage of inter-institutional synergies. BIOFIN-BER integrated innovatively with INEGI’s methodology to measure environmental and energy expenditures, including those related to biodiversity. This resulted in a BER framework to review the allocation of public, private, social resources and those derived from international cooperation.

The Mexico framework aligns with the Central Framework of the United Nations Environmental-Economic Accounting System (SEEA-CF), the international statistical standard that responds to the concepts, definitions and classifications for the compilation of Environmental Accounts; this enables the generation of internationally comparable statistics.

The measure of Environmental Protection Expenses (EPE) for the public sector is based on the Classification of Environmental Activities (CEA). The main inclusion criteria include expenditures whose purpose is the measurement, control or abatement of pollution, or the conservation and protection of the environment and natural resources.

For the calculation, the different sources of information are taken into account, depending on the level of government. In the case of the federal government, the main information source is the Public Account, which contains the "Analytical state of the exercise of the budget of expenditures in the functional-programmatic classification". The latter identifies the programmes and expenditures related to the CEA categories. In addition, other documents such as the list of investment programmes and projects, annual reports, and the official internet sites of Administrative Units, were analysed. Local governments used administrative statements, daily entries and questions about expenses.


The Environmental Protection Expense is calculated as follows:

The BIOFIN methodology helped to revise the GPAs classified in category 6 of the CEA: Protection of biodiversity and landscape. The following CEA categories were also screened for biodiversity-related expenditures:

  1. Wastewater management;
  2. Protection and remediation of soils, groundwater and surface waters;
  3. Research and development for the protection of the environment; and
  4. Other environmental protection activities.

The BER thus compiled further records of expenditures using the BIOFIN methodology, for example in programmes related to the sustainable use of biodiversity. These expenditures were later integrated as subclasses within the CEA by INEGI, resulting in a harmonized accounting of biodiversity expenditures. Moreover, the framework and calculation process was documented and systematized to allow for the management of an up-to-date database, which will ultimately deliver long-term monitoring of the country's biodiversity expenditure.