The new Global Biodiversity Fund to restore nature worldwide by 2030 is officially launched

  • Representatives of 185 countries have formally agreed to launch a new fund to increase investment in countries to achieve targets set out in the global biodiversity framework.
  • So far, Canada and the United Kingdom have announced initial contributions to kick-start the fund’s capitalization, contributing $146.8m (CAD 200m) and $12.58m (£10m) respectively.
  • Targets include about 20% of the funds to support indigenous and local work to protect and conserve biodiversity, and at least 36% of the Fund’s resources to support the most vulnerable people, small island developing states and least developed countries.
  • Some human rights and environmental activists are calling for more contributions needed to run the fund and for a strict commitment to allocating funds to indigenous groups.

Yesterday, representatives of 185 countries formally agreed to launch a new fund to increase investment in achieving key global biodiversity targets.

The new Global Biodiversity Framework Fund (GBFF) was endorsed at the seventh meeting of the Global Environment Facility (GEF) in Vancouver, Canada, with wildfires in British Columbia as a backdrop. This comes after global delegates at the United Nations Conference on Biodiversity (COP15) last December in Montreal committed themselves to achieving a set of targets that were signed into a global biodiversity framework. This framework is designed to help halt and reverse biodiversity loss and put nature on a path to recovery by 2030.

The fund will mobilize and accelerate investment from governments, philanthropies, and the private sector to support countries in conserving and sustaining wild species and ecosystems whose health is threatened by wildfires, floods, extreme weather, and human activity, including unsustainable industrial agriculture. consumption and production pressures, and urban sprawl.

According to an in-depth assessment by the Intergovernmental Science-Policy Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services, or IPBES, in 2019, one million species of plants and animals face extinction.

“The establishment of this Biodiversity Fund is a game-changer for countries’ ability to protect and restore nature and ensure its sustainable use,” Carlos Manuel Rodriguez, CEO and President of the Global Environment Facility, said at a meeting last month.

Parrots fly over the rainforest in Peru.
Parrots fly over the rainforest in Peru. Photo by Rhett A. Butler/Mongabay.

So far, two countries have announced initial contributions to begin capitalizing the fund and supporting industrialized developing countries experiencing budgetary constraints, many of which are among the most biologically diverse in the world. This included $146.8m (CAD$200m) from Canada and $12.58m (£10m) from the UK.

Canada’s Minister for International Development also announced that the country will provide an additional $16.75 million (CAD 22.8 million) to fund the project. The eighth replenishment of the resources of the Global Environment Facility To support global efforts to address the triple planetary crisis of climate change, biodiversity loss, and pollution.

Up to 20% of GBF funds are intended to support local and indigenous action to protect and conserve biodiversity, and at least 36% of GBD resources are intended to support the most vulnerable people and small island developing and least developed states. countries. About 25% of the funding will be delivered through selected international financial institutions to leverage resources through private sector participation and ensure policy simplification.

Indigenous organizers around the United Nations Convention on Biological Diversity, known as the International Indigenous Forum on Biodiversity (IIFB), have welcomed the goal of allocating 20% ​​of the funds to Indigenous Peoples and Local Communities (IPLCs). Indigenous organizations frequently report being marginalized in receiving biodiversity and climate funds.

“The approval of this Trust Fund with a specific commitment to indigenous peoples and local communities motivates us and gives us hope for support for efforts to conserve biodiversity at the local level,” said Lucy Molinke, co-chair and member of the International Forum on Biodiversity. From the Indigenous Peoples Advisory Group of the Global Environment Facility, speaking at the Assembly.

The Global Biodiversity Framework adopted in Montreal last year recognizes the role and rights of indigenous peoples and local communities in conserving biodiversity in their lands and territories. Many of the targets also highlight their full and equitable participation in decision-making in the implementation of the framework.

Cocoa product from the Manikuri River Sustainable Development Reserve. Blending the knowledge of traditional and indigenous communities with science and technology is key to the sustainable development of a vibrant economy in the Amazon region, which recent research indicates could generate billions of dollars. Image © Nilmar Lage / Greenpeace.

This fund also provides increased support to least developed countries and small island developing countries, which are among the regions most vulnerable to the impacts of biodiversity loss and climate change.

To achieve the ambitious biodiversity targets, countries need a significant increase in resources, as recognized by COP-15 and in the relevant decisions on resource mobilization and the financial mechanism. The Montreal Agreement seeks to raise international financial flows from developed to developing countries to at least $20 billion annually by 2025 and to at least $30 billion annually by 2030. However, this is far less than the total you would like Some industrially developing countries. Some parties like the Democratic Republic of the Congo claim a total of $100 billion annually.

Agreeing on these financial matters, from the amount of money to be allocated to how it should be distributed, was the most difficult part of the negotiations in Montreal.

David Cooper, Acting Executive Secretary of the Convention on Biological Diversity, said in a statement that the Global Fund for Biological Diversity will provide an opportunity to receive funding from all sources, and to disburse it quickly through streamlined procedures.

Additional resources will need to be mobilized from domestic sources at all levels of government, the private sector and innovative mechanisms.

“And we are off to a good start. We are now calling for more pledges from countries and other sources so that the first projects under the new fund can be launched next year before CBD16 (the next UNCBD) .”

While some human rights and environmental activists welcome the first commitments to the Global Fund for Global Finance, they say contributions to date are $40 million less to run the fund. Initial contributions to the GBF Fund are set at $200 million from at least three donors by December 2023, while current contributions from Canada and the United Kingdom total approximately $160 million.

Coral reefs at Marsa El Gozlany site, Sharm El-Sheikh, Egypt
Coral reefs at Marsa El Gozlany site, Sharm El-Sheikh, Egypt. Image by Renata Romeo/Ocean Image Bank

Avaaz, a global human rights group, said in a statement that the GEF Council should also take immediate action to allocate these funds to indigenous groups to continue biodiversity conservation. In addition, these pledges should turn any “ambitious” share of funding for Indigenous groups into a firm target of the agreed share of 20%.

The seventh General Assembly of the Global Environment Facility ends on August 26, and the commissioners can meet again in four years.

Over the past three decades, the GEF has provided more than $22 billion and mobilized $120 billion in co-financing for more than 5,000 national and regional projects.

Banner image: Lemur leaf frog in Costa Rica. Photo: Rhett Butler/Mongabay.

With record pledges of $5.3 billion, the GEF aims to provide more flexible environmental financing

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