GOB and UNDP Host the Biodiversity Finance Initiative (BIOFIN) South-South Cooperation Print E-mail
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Thursday, 18 May 2017 00:00

The BIOFIN South-South exchange was held on May 10 and 11, 2017 at the Biltmore Plaza and included the participation of persons from both the private and public sectors. Participants hailed from Guatemala, Colombia, and Costa Rica. Through the exchange, Belize stakeholders gained insight on finance modalities developed by targeted BIOFIN countries, as well as their experience in the implementation of BIOFIN assessments. Belize signed to the global BIOFIN in December 2015. The global partnership responded to an indication of the persistence of significant gaps in the financing of biodiversity management.

On the local level, BIOFIN’s purpose was to provide a space to discuss with key stakeholders in recognizing the benefits of biodiversity beyond its beauty. According to Christian Salazar-Volkmann, UNDP Resident Representative, the small fiscal space puts a pressure on the environment and it is BIOFIN’s goal to intervene. The South-South cooperative focuses on capacity building to achieve the agenda of the Horizon 2030, Belize’s sustainable goals and economic growth.

The governments of Germany, Norway, and Flanders have dedicated US$28 million after an assessment of the resources between the 30 BIOFIN countries. The BIOFIN project brings together the ministries of finance, economic development, and of the environment who all recognize biodiversity as an economic asset rather than an asset of aesthetics. Their purpose remains to guide in determining appropriate financing. According to Hon. Omar Figueroa, Minister of State in the Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries, Forestry, the Environment, Sustainable Development & Climate Change, considered that of the funding dedicated to Belize’s BIOFIN project, agriculture should be a focus due to its biodiversity and aid in feasible sustainable financing, especially given that the government cannot close the financial gap on its own. The plan will be tailor made to suit Belize’s needs.

Belize was founded on its biodiversity and even now, fishermen and farmers continue to depend on it to secure their livelihood. Programme Analyst at UNDP in Belize, Diane Wade-Moore, explained the appropriateness of BIOFIN now: it speaks directly to the national development goals and targets poverty and hunger on a large scale. Hannah St. Luce-Martinez, National BIOFIN Coordinator, also spoke of the timeliness of the project which will take on an expenditure review, a financial assessment, effective realligning and implementation of priority actions for Belize’s $530,000 2015-2018 project. Dr. Andrew Seidl, Colorado State University, explained that the global gap is somewhere between $150-$440 billion/year and can be closed by improving on systems that already work and implementing policies to our law to make the most of out bio-diverse riches.

Last Updated on Thursday, 18 May 2017 13:14