"The State Minister for Environment, Hon. Flavia Munaaba launched the Biodiversity Finance Initiative (BIOFIN), the new global partnership seeking to address the biodiversity finance challenge in a comprehensive manner through building a sound business case for increased investment in the management of ecosystems and biodiversity" informed UNDP website on August 8, 2015.
Through BIOFIN, Uganda is undertaking an assessment of its expenditures related to biodiversity, and assesses its financial needs to reach all national biodiversity targets. This is followed by the development of a comprehensive finance strategy to ensure enough funds for conservation.
BIOFIN activities in Uganda
BIOFIN in Uganda is being led by National Environment Management Authority (NEMA) and other stakeholders including the Ministry of Finance. NEMA has strong capacity and has led the NBSAP process in the past. The national team of BIOFIN in Uganda has already started meetings with the Ministry of Finance, Planning and Economic Development. The team aims to engage the Ministry during the budgetary process.
In August 2015, the BIOFIN Uganda had its inception workshop. The meeting was well attended by participants ranging from multiple stakeholders. The work plan for the project has already been mapped out and the roles and responsibilities of different stakeholders have been agreed upon. Ministry of Finance seemed very keen about the project and emphasized the mainstreaming of biodiversity in other sectors too. BIOFIN team is determined and the NBSAP 2015 - 2020 would incorporate issues related to biodiversity financing. Work on data collection for NBSAP costing has already been started. The BIOFIN process in Uganda is centred around a number of assessements following the BIOFIN workbook:
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.
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 the recommendations of the Resource Mobilisation Strategy.
Information about the country and partnerships
Uganda has one of the highest rates of biological diversity in Africa. This is partly due to its varied geography, including Lake Victoria in the South, starting point of the Nile River, and the Rwenzori Mountains in the East, rising above 5000 Metres. More than 1,000 bird species reside in the country. Its 60 official protected areas offer protection to many endangered species, including two of the Great Apes, the Mountain Gorilla and the Common Chimpanzee.
Biodiversity Finance example
In 1994 Uganda created the Bwindi Mgahinga Conservation Trust (BMCT) with the aim to provide financing for sustainable development in Mgahinga and Bwindi protected areas. The funding has helped ecological research and monitoring, community development projects as well as park management and protection. The balanced programme approach benefits two important areas that are home for endangered mountain gorillas while improving the well-being of the communities living nearby.
BMCT is funded by local government and donors and has partnerships with companies interested in promoting their corporate social responsibility. Currently, BMCT is working in partnership with the private sector in a EUR 2.1 million project to provide safe drinking water to schools and promote sustainable use of water.
For more information about BMCT, visit www.bwinditrust.ug.