BIOFIN Finance Specialist
BIOFIN Finance Specialist has been closed on 21 Oct 2019.
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United Nations Development Programme
Preliminary top-down estimates of the global financial gap for biodiversity range from US$ 100 to US$400 billion annually and detailed bottom-up assessments in participating BIOFIN countries validate this significant financial need and have helped identify finance solutions required to achieve the Aichi Targets and biodiversity related SDGs. In recent decades, biodiversity finance tools and solutions have demonstrated their importance for achieving biodiversity and sustainable development goals. But since countries have not approached the issue of biodiversity finance in a comprehensive manner, the choice and adoption of finance solutions has remained experimental and opportunistic. Improved choice, design and implementation of effective well-tailored finance solutions will strengthen a countries’ chances of achieving national and global biodiversity targets.
The Biodiversity Finance Initiative – BIOFIN – is a global programme that developed, piloted, and is continuously improving a methodology to measure existing biodiversity expenditure levels, assess future financial needs, and design comprehensive plans to use finance tools and solutions that increase financing, effectiveness and efficiency of biodiversity management in 30 countries. BIOFIN’s first phase (2012-2018) enabled full assessments and initial implementation of finance plan elements in target countries. Significant enhancement and scaling up of finance solutions is required in all countries to address the biodiversity finance challenge. BIOFIN’s second phase enables the 30 countries to complete the design and implementation of priority finance solutions and will allow a further 15 countries to undertake the assessments as well as create and implement their biodiversity finance plan. At the central level, knowledge management platforms will be expanded, and additional guidance produced for most valuable finance solutions.
Malawi is participating for the first time in the BIOFIN process. Several studies will be conducted leading to the production of the Malawi Biodiversity Finance Plan. The Finance Specialist is expected to contribute to the production of three of these reports, the Biodiversity Expenditure Report and the Finance Needs Assessment and the Biodiversity Finance Plan.
- Biodiversity Finance Policy and Institutional Review (PIR). The PIR enables participating countries to analyse current policies, institutions and existing finance mechanisms and tools associated with biodiversity and ecosystem services in order to evaluate their impact and effectiveness and to understand key entry points and opportunities for effecting change. The first step includes identifying the existing national vision and key trends for biodiversity and sustainable development financing and mapping sectoral interactions with biodiversity and ecosystem services. The PIR includes an inventory of existing financing mechanisms used for biodiversity, key subsidies that affect biodiversity, biodiversity related revenues and all associated laws and regulations. It explores how finance and economics can be used to address the main drivers of biodiversity loss. The PIR process is used to further clarify relevant stakeholders and their specific mandates, institutional arrangements and capacity related to the NBSAP and biodiversity finance. Existing economic valuation studies are reviewed and integrated into the analysis. Policy recommendations, including possible reforms of harmful subsidies and other incentives that contribute to continued biodiversity loss, can be incorporated in PIR and national planning strategies. Stakeholder engagement is ensured through a consultation workshop in the early stages and a validation workshop at the end to discuss the complete findings and recommendations.
- Biodiversity Expenditure Review (BER). The Biodiversity Expenditure Review helps countries to establish a firm baseline of historic and current biodiversity expenditure levels and future projections in comparison to the underlying institutional and policy vision and framework. The expenditure review is conducted with the public, private, and civil society institutions identified under the inception phase and the PIR. For each relevant biodiversity finance actor, budget, allocation and expenditure data are collected for the past 5-7 years. For each budget or expenditure, the percentage that can be attributed to biodiversity and the target area of the expenditure is determined. The analysis will explore the relation of biodiversity expenditures to overall government budgets, stated policy objectives, GDP and jobs, NBSAP strategies and themes, etc. Historic trends are analysed, and projections can be made about future financing under a business as usual scenario. The final report will provide very specific recommendations on (i) key sources of financing, (ii) possible re-alignment of expenditures; (iii) allocation or absorption issues; (iv) and other insights generated from the review. Stakeholder engagement is ensured through a consultation workshop in the early stages and a validation workshop at the end to discuss the complete findings and refine recommendations.
- Financial Needs Assessment (FNA). The FNA is a detailed realistic costing of key biodiversity policies and plans – generally focused on the National Biodiversity Strategy and Action Plan (NBSAP). This involves an estimation of the financial needs and a prioritisation of actions for biodiversity management across all sectors of government, NGOs and can include private sector investments. Existing financing for specific actions will be compared to estimated needs to develop a projected financing gap. The methodology includes reviewing and refining actions defined in the NBSAP and other major policies that require costing. For each of these costable actions, specific budget elements are calculated based on existing government budget categories and units. Stakeholder engagement is ensured through a consultation workshop in the early stages and a validation workshop at the end to discuss the complete findings and final recommendations.
- Biodiversity Finance Plan (BFP). The Biodiversity Finance Plan is a national strategy and plan for financing biodiversity addressing all possible dimensions of finance, including resource mobilisation, improving impact delivery, avoiding future expenditures and re-aligning expenditures towards biodiversity goals. The national experts will work closely with the global team to review a wide range of possible finance solutions and establish an agreed upon approach to prioritise based on a variety of characteristics of each solution, including the financing potential, the legal context and socio-economic/gender impacts, while mapping barriers that currently prevent further financing. For a selected number of the most promising financing mechanisms a more detailed feasibility study will be carried out. A large national workshop involving a wide variety of stakeholders should be organised as a key element of the consultation process followed by a smaller workshop planned at the end to validate the strategy and its recommendations.