BIOFIN activities in Ecuador
BIOFIN commenced activities in Ecuador in 2013, with the inception workshop which took place at the end of that year. From early 2014, analytical work took off to map the country's drivers of biodiversity loss and related policies and institutes. In September 2015, steering committee meeting was convened. It summarized the progress of BIOFIN and made discussions on how to align their recommendations into the public policy management.
In the future BIOFIN plans to support the Ecuadorian government in the implementation of several mechanism of resource mobilization. It aims to improve the management of sectoral policies and further increase the funding for the National Biodiversity Strategy. In general, activities follow as:
1. Biodiversity Finance Policy and Institutional Review (PIR)
Public and Institutional Review was completed in 2014. Through this process, the national BIOFIN Team mapped the impact of economic sectors on biodiversity, identified the main financing mechanisms being used and reviewed which subsidies have an impact on biodiversity. Two workshops and 30 interviews were conducted in this regard. The PIR also reviewed the overall financing architecture for biodiversity in the country and generated specific recommendations for an improved institutional framework.
2. Biodiversity Expenditure Review
Biodiversity Expenditure Review has been started. Reports from public and agricultural sectors have been completed and work is in progress for renewable and non-renewable sector. The limitation of Through the Biodiversity Expenditure Review, the national BIOFIN team assesses which expenditures national stakeholders incur towards biodiversity, from both national and international resources, including the public and private sector. This helps the country generate national level expenditure data on biodiversity.
3. Biodiversity Finance Needs Assessment
Detailed calculations will be made to find out how much it would cost to complete all activities and reach all goals of the National Biodiversity Action Plan. Based on this, the national finance gap for biodiversity will be calculated. The work has started late 2014.
4. Biodiversity Finance Plan
Under this component BIOFIN will develop a strategy to mobilize potential finance actors and mechanisms to reach national biodiversity targets.
To start soon.
5. Implementing the Biodiversity Finance Plan
The scope of activities shall be defined by the recommendations of the Resource Mobilisation Strategy.
To start soon.
Information about the country and partnerships
Lending its name for being located around the equator, Ecuador is one of the world's true biodiveristy hotspots. Being the smallest of the 17 so-called megadiverse countries, it has a higly varied geography and a large number of habitats. Its territory includes the famous Galapagos Islands, known for its unique population of endemic species, the Coastal region, being the agriculture heartland, the Andes Mountain Range and the Western part of the Amazon Basin. The Ecuadorian Amazon is the site of the Yasuni National Park, home to a wealth of biodiveristy and geodiversity, including large oil reserves. Ecuador has the 3rd highest number of amphibian species in the world and protected areas cover around 14% of the territory. Through an amendment in 2008, the constitution uniquely has a separate chapter granting official legal rights to nature, creating the foundation for an alternate development trajectory.
Biodiversity Finance example in Ecuador
Established in 2000 by the municipal government, in partnership with a non-governmental organization, the Fund for the Protection of Water (FONAG) - a financial mechanism regulated by the Securities Market Law of Ecuador, has mobilized resources to finance critical hydrological ecosystem services, including land acquisition for key hydrological functions. By 2009 FONAG had received more than US$7 million allowing a significant contribution to finance programmes in Quito targeting water conservation, communication, environmental education, forestry, etc.The fund has covered over 65,000 ha of watersheds and benefited the communities living in the surrounding area through capacity building and development of sustainable agriculture practices.