The national BIOFIN team’s role changes in the BFP implementation stage. No longer will their primary focus be to collect and analyse data, or to generate new biodiversity finance figures. The weight of the work becomes overseeing the design and implementation of specific finance solutions and convening the required discussion space to keep the BFP and biodiversity finance as a whole at the centre of the country’s attention. While the finance solutions constitute the building blocks of the plan, BIOFIN teams need to ensure all related initiatives are well integrated and coordinated. This is about promoting a shared vision on biodiversity finance and sustaining platforms for knowledge sharing and learning, for example by organizing webinars, convening working groups or holding an annual biodiversity finance conference in the country. Enhancing national capacity on all aspects of biodiversity finance remains a core function of BIOFIN in the implementation phase as well, embracing not only public agencies but also private companies and civil society.
To enhance the impact and relevance of results, countries need to adopt a systemic approach to finance solutions. This means moving beyond one-off interventions such as carrying out a feasibility study, developing legislation or piloting a mechanism in a single location. The development or amendment of legislation, while in itself a potentially lengthy task, often requires further work to embed the changes, such as communication of the new legislative norm; training on implementation to enable the new legal regime to be enforced; amendments to institutional structures, plans and policies, including budgeting, etc. The piloting of a mechanism should not be an end in itself – lessons learnt from pilots (both successful and not successful) should inform policies or institutional changes, and successful pilots should be replicated and scaled up wherever possible.
The plan’s implementation will likely continue through multiple policy cycles. As highlighted by OECD, experience demonstrates that new policies usually need to be sustained and motivated over a longer period than may be expected, as government priorities shift. This could also happen due to high turnover of staff at government institutions, or as champions of change move on to different roles. While the focus remains on public institutions, similar considerations are valid for the private sector, where levers of competition, shareholders and management may change, and markets and regulatory frameworks could evolve in different directions. Working with the media and civil society is also critical in maintaining the momentum and influencing wider public audiences and political movements, and to ensure that the rights and interests of indigenous and vulnerable groups are addressed.
Ensuring sufficient human and financial resources are in place for implementation is necessary for both the Biodiversity Finance Plan and individual finance solutions. The Plan needs a specific budget, which may be in kind if hosted in a public agency.
Each finance solution should, to the extent possible, address major elements of sustainability from the design/feasibility stage, including activities to generate awareness, improve the institutional framework and strengthen national capacities. The plan should specify the lead/responsible agency for every solution. In many cases this agency may be public. In some cases, the lead organization could be an NGO. Lead NGOs must ensure that there is sufficient funding and capacitated staff to take on this work. Mechanisms to ensure good communication between NGOs and relevant governmental agencies are critical to the success of these finance solutions.
Box 7.3: Public–Private Partnership for the Conservation of Sailfish in Guatemala, the Implementation of a Finance Solution
BIOFIN Guatemala is developing a finance solution related to tourism and sailfish sport fishing, both relying on environmental services arising from coastal marine ecosystems. Tourism related to fishing in Guatemala is an economic activity with an important potential for growth, as demonstrated by some of its neighbouring countries. Sailfish sport fishing is a growing economic activity in the country. BIOFIN helps to ensure economic and conservation priorities are tackled in conjunction, by developing a formal public-private sector strategic alliance to better regulate and deliver financial resources for sailfish management, research and monitoring and associated biodiversity conservation activities. The government and private sector agreed to set up a financial mechanism to attract voluntary contributions (US$10/day or US$30/week) by people and companies related to sport and tourism sail fishing. It is estimated this solution will mobilize at least US$155,000/year directed to coastal marine biodiversity. BIOFIN also works on complementary aspects including the compliance of registration of sport fishing vessels and payments for fishing quotas. It is estimated these mechanisms will generate approximately US$100,000/year. The funds will be channelled through the budget of the Fishing and Aquaculture National Authority to ensure revenues are used to finance sailfish conservation and monitoring of the sailfish stock and sport fishing activities.
Finally, establishing an adequate monitoring and evaluation (M&E) framework for the implementation of the BFP will guide implementation across multiple partners and support cohesion across multiple finance solutions.