In the quest to ensure Zambia's biodiversity finance plan truly reflects the financing issues affecting key biodiversity sectors, BIOFIN-Zambia developed the documentary above titled "Biodiversity financing landscape in Zambia".
In the documentary, biodiversity loss in key biodiversity sectors such as forestry, fisheries, water, and wildlife his highlighted and proposed measures that will raise revenue for the sectors as well as other regulatory measures that would provide a platform for private sector involvement in biodiversity conservation.
Zambia is an important country for biodiversity with 20 national parks, eight Ramsar wetland sites, 42 important bird areas and eight major fishery areas. But biodiversity loss has reached unprecedented levels largely driven by economic drivers such as agriculture expansion which accounts for over 70% of forest cover loss.
Jean Kapata, the Minister of Lands and Natural Resources in Zambia said that there are many challenges the country faces in conserving its biodiversity and adequate finance for its institutions is a major factor.
“We have inadequate capacity to enforce the laws we have put in place and this is largely due to low staffing levels in the institutions coupled with inadequate financial resources due limited resources envelope and competing needs in the country,” she said.
Through BIOFIN, the country has a much clearer picture of the financial situation affecting biodiversity and natural resources. By working across all nations ministries that have interests in biodiversity and natural resources, the picture shows large gaps in budgetary allocations to environment protection and also the finance released is far below that which is budgeted for. It is estimated that over 70% of all funds for environment protection in Zambia comes from other donor countries through their overseas development assistance (ODA).
This has stimulated an agenda within Zamia to implement financing solutions that will increase and better manage finances towards conservation and natural resource management.
For example in the water sector, regulation and legislative reform is taking place to replace outdated water tariff and other regulations. Now commercial users of water will pay fees and charges for ground water as well as surface water. Money that can be used for increased conservation of waterbodies and watershed ecosystems that can ensure continued development in a more sustainable way.
Similar solutions are being driven in the wildlife, fisheries and forestry sectors and are detailed in the video.
This information is currently being profiled by the BIOFIN Zambia team as the starting point in the development of Zambia's finance plan scheduled for late April 2018.