South Africa

BIOFIN activities in South Africa

The BIOFIN Project Leader has been appointed within the Department of Environmental Affairs, working closely with the UNDP country office. It is believed that this model will best support the process of directly integrating resource mobilisation strategies into government. The BIOFIN project leader worked closely with the development of the revised NBSAP for 2015 – 2025, and is currently engaging on issues related to tax incentives, biodiversity offsets, and sustainable funding for protected areas. The project leader has already participated in numerous workshops, which are proving useful for the project.

A report was produced by the project leader for the Department of Environment, titled Sustainable Financing Models and Strategies for Management Authorities of State-owned Protected Areas. BIOFIN aims to utilize this report for the resource mobilizaion of South Africa's protected areas. The BIOFIN team is also engaging with a project for municipal infrastructure grants. The team aims to access the funds for developing ecological infrastructure. A national steering committee has been formed, with representation from UNDP, National Treasury, The South Africa National Biodiversity Institute (SANBI), South African National Parks (SANParks), Statistics South Africa and the Department of Environmental Affairs. 

The revised NBSAP has already been finalized and submitted to the Deaprtment of Environment for approval. BOIFIN has made significant contributions into the NBSAP aimed at resource mobilization. A spreadsheet on costable units for prioritized actions in NBSAP has already been completed by the NBSAP consultants, supported by BIOFIN project leader. BIOFIN will utilize this while costing the NBSAP will is planned to start soon. The recruitment of remaining team members, completion of Policy and Institutional Review and commencement of Biodiversity Expenditure Review are in the pipeline for the future. 

BIOFIN Project Leader interview. read here

1. Biodiversity Finance Policy and Institutional Review (PIR)

Through this process, the national BIOFIN Team maps the impact of economic sectors on biodiversity, identifies the main financing mechanisms being used and reviews which subsidies have an impact on biodiversity. The PIR also reviews the overall financing architecture for biodiversity in the country and generates specific recommendations for an improved institutional framework.

2. Biodiversity Expenditure Review

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. The NBSAP is currently under development.

4. Biodiversity Finance Plan

Under this component BIOFIN will develop a strategy to mobilize potential finance actors and mechanisms to reach national biodiversity targets.

5. Implementing the Biodiversity Finance Plan

The scope of activities shall be defined by recommendations of the Resource Mobilisation Strategy.  


Information about the country and partnerships

Country information: 

South Africa is one of the world's 17 megadiverse countries, home to over 95,000 species. It's wildlife and national parks draw millions of tourists to the country each year. Besides the 19 official national parks, a wide number of private reserves operate. Significant work has been carried out in South Africa to assess the value of ecoystem services. Further information on South Africa's biodiversity can be found in the 5th National Report to the CBD (2014).

Biodiversity Finance example in South Africa: Under the National Parks Act of 1976 in South Africa, private lands located next to national parks can be nominated as “contracted national park” by the national government. The practice allows the South African government to expand biodiversity management within the area without having to purchase or expropriate land.

Participating land owners have full access to wildlife population allowing them to explore and develop tourism enterprises, However, they are required to follow rules such as removing all fences within the reserve and are not allowed to hunt, kill or make use of any resource from the land without prior authorization. The objective is to promote and conserve biodiversity through responsible tourism and generate revenues to finance expenses derived from the preservation management activities in the area. To learn more about environment conservation and tourism in South Africa, visit:

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Report from the Field