Once expenditures are classified according to these categories, the amount that contributes to sustainable biodiversity management needs to be determined. For detailed expenditure data, specific activities or project/programme components can be counted as either biodiversity or non-biodiversity expenditures. This analysis requires 1) detailed expenditure data and 2) substantial time allocation for the review. When the latter is not possible, alternative approaches are available.
First, attribution approaches require the classification of “primary” and “secondary” expenditures, and then the determination of what percentage of certain expenditures should be attributed to biodiversity. Primary expenditures should be counted at 100 percent (similarly to OECD Rio Markers and SEEA). However, since even primary expenditures where biodiversity is the main intent may include nonbiodiversity spending, they may be attributed a value lower than 100 percent. Expenditures are considered “primary” on the basis of the “predominance principle” (they are predominantly for biodiversity). In the absence of mitigating information, a 100 percent value should be attributed to primary biodiversity expenditures.
In contrast and despite an increasing number of experiences recorded by BIOFIN and others, there is no international agreement on the attribution of a percentage value to secondary biodiversity expenditures. Indeed, even direct expenditures are best estimates of 100 percent intentionality. The BER should seek to attribute expenditures as accurately as possible using well-defined and transparent attribution criteria and processes. There are two potential approaches for the attribution of expenditures:
The programme approach is regarded as best practice, as it assures that budget and expenditure data are associated with specific programmes, activities, targets, and indicators. The agency-based approach cannot adequately capture either annual changes or fine details of attribution. Depending on the availability of data and the willingness of specific agencies to allow access to programmatic data, countries may use a mix of both the programme and agency approaches. Both approaches are described in more detail below.
The process of attribution is illustrated in Figures 4.4 and 4.5. Figure 4.4 identifies primary and secondary expenditures. Since most public and private expenditures will not be targeted to biodiversity, we should focus on those budgets and organizations that have been prioritized in the PIR.
Figure 4.4: Identification of Biodiversity Expenditure Within Overall Budget (Percent of Total Expenditures)
In Figure 4.5, the attribution of secondary expenditures is used to reduce the total spent on secondary actions or programmes to the amount spent on intentional biodiversity goals. Since biodiversity is not the primary objective of “secondary” expenditures, the amount of the expenditure (percent) that is intentionally and explicitly being spent on biodiversity positive goals is the result of the attribution exercise. It is important to differentiate between intent and impact. An action intended to boost agricultural production could have very positive impacts on biodiversity, but if the primary intent of the project or activity is agricultural production (or food security, etc.), the attribution remains only to the amount that was intentionally targeted at biodiversity positive outcomes. Furthermore, the “intent” must be documented (written down in policies/ budgets). This approach produces a rough estimate of the amount of money allocated intentionally to biodiversity.
Figure 4.5: Attribution of Direct and Indirect Biodiversity Expenditures
Note that the scale varies between the columns, the first column is in percentages of the national budget; the second and third columns are the percentages of the section of the national budget that supports biodiversity.
The Programme Approach
The aim is to establish a process that can be repeated periodically and produce replicable and consistent results. The system should be accurate, precise, repeatable, and defensible:
The attribution system weights expenditures by an estimate of the percentage of money spent (or budgeted) that was targeted to specific biodiversity categories. The range of attribution levels can be from 0 to 100 percent with suggested milestones at 0, 1, 5, 25, 50, 75, and 100 percent and a range of +/- 15 percent for each (see the attribution table example).
Table 4.2: Standard Attribution Table Example
|Attribution Level||Median Attribution||Range||Example Expenditures|
|Primary||100%||None||Protected area management, coral restoration, anti-poaching efforts, removal of alien invasive species (AIS). etc.|
|High||75%||+/- 15||Biodiversity-related education, private conservation measures, PES schemes|
|Medium||50%||+/- 15||Organic agriculture support, watershed management|
|Medium Low||25%||+/- 15||Sustainable wetland use, sustainable fisheries, ecosystem-based adaptation|
|Low||5%||+/- 5||Improved irrigation systems, reduction of fertilizer use, sustainable forestry|
|Marginal||1%||+/- 1||Pollution control|
|Insignificant||0||Energy sector climate mitigation|
The Agency Approach
When programmatic data is not available, the “agency” approach can be used. Each agency (organization, branch, division, etc.) is evaluated for its intended financial contribution to biodiversity. It is essential to attribute the percentage to the finest level of organization for which data are available, such as branch, division, local technical agency, etc. The finer the level of analysis, the more likely a 100 percent attribution can be adopted. Avoid attributing the percentage at the ministry level. The same attribution score should be used for all years of the assessment, unless there were significant changes to the organization. There are three ways to attribute expenditures:
Review the organization’s written or legal mandate.
Reviewing an organization’s mandate, mission statements, and annual reports helps to assign biodiversity attribution rates. Where an organization has multiple (including non-biodiversity) mandates, an estimate of the relative budget importance of the different mandates should be made. Where multiple categories are covered under an agency’s mandate, it is desirable to highlight these (i.e. a forestry department that supports sustainable use and manages protected areas).
Conduct interviews with lead staff such as directors or managers
In managerial interviews it is valuable to begin with a briefing on what biodiversity expenditures are, including the BIOFIN categories. This establishes a shared understanding of “biodiversity expenditure” before asking the interviewee to estimate the amount of their organization’s annual budget that is attributable to specific biodiversity categories or national targets. This can be a one-off discussion or a regular activity.
Conduct a comprehensive survey of employees
Questionnaires can be effective in determining attribution for certain organizations. The questionnaire should include a clear definition and explanation of biodiversity expenditures. Questions may be formulated to collect evidence on how much time employees spend in an average week on specific biodiversity work (categories); or more directly on the percentage of annual budgets that can be attributed to BIOFIN categories. In addition, a focus group discussion or survey can help to disaggregate the agency budget into personnel, operating expenditures, and capital investment. In the absence of a survey, small consultations or workshops can discuss questions and provide percent attribution results based on participants’ judgement.
Box 4.5: Example of Attribution Results from a Questionnaire Approach – the Philippines
With the knowledge that personnel expenditures comprise a significant percentage of public sector spending, BIOFIN Philippines devised a simple questionnaire to assess the share of time that can be acceptably assigned as “biodiversity-related” in each agency surveyed. The table below shows the BER analysis derived using agency data obtained through the personnel survey.
Total average appropriations of the Philippines’ Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) agencies from 2008-2013 and estimates of biodiversity spending
|Agencies of the DENR||Total appropriations, 2008-2013 in million Philippine pesos||Total biodiversity-relevant appropriations, 2008-2013 in million Philippine pesos||Biodiversity-relevant as percent of total|
BMB – Biodiversity Management Bureau
FMB – Forestry Management Bureau
ERDB – Ecosystems Research and Development Bureau
LMB – Land Management Bureau
EMB – Environmental Management Bureau
MGB – Mines and Geo-sciences Bureau
NAMRIA – the National Mapping, and Resource Information Agency
PCSD – Palawan Council for Sustainable Development
NWRB – National Water Resources Board
Box 4.5 shows how the Philippines used detailed surveys to derive expenditure attribution. Kazakhstan used a programme approach (Box 4.6) with attribution percentages from 0 to 100 percent based on biodiversity actions.
Four BIOFIN countries (Kazakhstan, Philippines, Sri Lanka and Thailand) whose BER reports provided a clear methodology on biodiversity attribution were reviewed and summarized. Using a mixture of agency and programme approaches, Annex III presents the various expenditure categories and biodiversity attribution rates. All expenditure categories are organized according to the three main CBD goals: conservation, sustainable use, and ABS; and classified using a standard range: High (90 percent to 100 percent), Medium High (50 percent to 89 percent), Medium Low (11 percent to 49 percent), and Low (10 percent and lower). The summary information shows how countries have applied the biodiversity attribution percentages, and characterizes the types of expenditures assigned the full range of expenditure rating from 0 percent to 100 percent.
Box 4.6: Example of Biodiversity Expenditure Analysis - Kazakhstan
Kazakhstan assessed its biodiversity expenditures from 2008 to 2014. The attribution of expenditures in Kazakhstan to biodiversity conservation is estimated by experts according to the “impact” that a project has on biodiversity and the Aichi objectives of the CBD. This is captured by an attribution score of 0 percent to 100 percent , with 100 percent reflecting activities which have a “direct” influence on biodiversity conservation, 90 percent to 5 percent reflecting activities with an increasingly “indirect” influence on biodiversity and 0 percent meaning no impact on biodiversity. The table below shows this approach and provides examples of categories.
Examples of Kazakhstan’s attribution of expenditures by programme of activity
|Biodiversity Relevance||% Influence on Biodiversity||Example|
|100%||Improve natural resource planning, monitoring and/or conservation|
|90%||Targeting subsidies towards biodiversity conservation|
|50%||Supporting ecological stability e.g. connectivity of habitats|
|30%||Targeting subsidies towards primary sector output|
|10%||Improving a region’s built infrastructure|
|5%||Increasing water availability|
|0%||No impact on biodiversity|
There is a distinction between the public and private sector in the attribution of expenditures. Public sector attribution is directly aligned with policy and public benefits and as such has higher attribution rates than the private sector in most categories (see table 4.3).
Table 4.3: Public and Private Differences in Attribution
|BIOFIN Categoriesz||Public versus Private|
|Biodiversity awareness and knowledge||Equivalent|
|Green economy||Public is regulatory-focused - medium or low, private mixed objectives also medium or low|
|Pollution management||Usually focused on people; public higher than private|
|Sustainable use||Public higher than private|
|Protected areas and other conservation measures||Equivalent|
|Restoration||Public higher than private|
|Access and benefit sharing (ABS)||Public mostly primary while private secondary|
|Biodiversity and development planning and finance||Equivalent|
Expenditures also can be tagged to the 20 Aichi Targets. In doing this, care must be taken to avoid attributing primary biodiversity scores to Aichi Targets such as pollution, agriculture, etc. that are secondary by their common application. Unpacking Aichi Targets into specific actions can improve the resolution and provides for a better understanding of the biodiversity intent.