Step 4.4B: Biodiversity spending in the national context

This section examines the partition of biodiversity expenditures in national and BIOFIN categories and among different organizations. It also identifies what percentage of expenditures are directed at biodiversity as compared to other areas and sectors. Finally, it explores how well expenditures are aligned with stated government policies regarding biodiversity.

The analysis should begin with a review of biodiversity spending in terms of primary and secondary expenditures. This can be presented in the form of a simple graph over time. These outputs can then be divided into biodiversity expenditures by institution, national biodiversity targets and BIOFIN categories. If SDG and national development targets were also tagged to expenditures, they can also be examined. This analysis should include not only public sector but also NGOs, other civil society groups, donors and the private sector. Graphics that show how biodiversity expenditures are partitioned among the public sector, civil society, donors, and private companies can be presented as pie charts.

We can examine trends from various angles: for example, Figure 4.6 shows the Philippines’ spending evolution from 2008 to 2013. Biodiversity expenditures increased over time, but they remain a small share of the total environmental budget and have grown less than total budgets. The ability to depict medium- to long-term trends is why BIOFIN recommends a time series of expenditures covering at least five years.

Following this basic descriptive presentation, biodiversity expenditures can be analysed relative to line ministries and national budget spending. These graphs and tables present the percent of biodiversity expenditures relative to the budgets of line ministries and sector-based GDP. Multiple graphs could compare biodiversity spending in natural resource-based ministries (environment, forestry, fisheries, agriculture, energy, water, tourism) with each ministry’s total budget, along with its contribution to GDP or job creation.

Figure 4.6: Relative Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services Spending – the Philippines (Million Pesos)

By comparing biodiversity and public expenditures, we can discern how much money is budgeted for different sectors and how biodiversity fits into the bigger picture. How does biodiversity expenditure in the forestry sector compare with the contribution of forestry to GDP? How does spending compare to the priorities in the national development plan, green economy plans, etc.?

The presentation of the analysis should also be adapted to decision makers’ needs. For example, if the protected areas system is very important for tourism or watershed management, it would be beneficial to conduct a separate targeted analysis of the revenues and expenditures for the PA system.

The analysis of ODA, private and civil society expenditures can follow a similar pattern, but with a more limited focus on the aggregated amounts. It is also insightful to compare international, national and local expenditures, keeping in mind that different data sources may be based on different parameters that reduce their comparability.