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New reports by Bio* project team on biodiversity and financing

25 July 2022
International and transnational cooperative initiatives contribute to biodiversity protection and financing. Bio* project team releases two reports about biodiversity initiatives and biodiversity financing.

A growing number of international and transnational cooperative initiatives, including thousands of state, non- and sub-state actors, engage in governance for biodiversity beyond the Convention on Biological Diversity. While this trend provides new opportunities for effective governance beyond the formal international regime, there is a need to better understand key characteristics of this new institutional landscape for governing biodiversity. To address this gap, the Bio* project team creates and analyses a third edition of database containing 388 international and transnational cooperative initiatives (ICIs) for biodiversity.

The first Bio* report presents an updated overview of the landscape of the 388 ICIs, examining the actor constellations, temporal dynamics of the initiatives and their governance functions, among others. The results indicate that the landscape of international biodiversity governance is dominated by public initiatives, but the number of hybrid ICIs, involving public, private and civil society actors, is increasing. The ICIs are predominantly involved in information sharing and networking activities. They focus on sustainable use of biological resources and key themes such as forests, marine and agriculture areas which is also reflected in the industry sectors addressed by the ICIs. The main SDGs addressed by ICIs relate to terrestrial biodiversity, climate change and responsible production and consumption. Even though most of the ICIs operate on a global level, their actions focus on areas with biodiversity hotspots such as Sub-Saharan Africa, East Asia and the Pacific as well as Latin America and the Caribbean. Most of the headquarters are, however, located in Europe and North America. Finally, a majority of ICIs have established monitoring frameworks. Almost half of them publish progress reports and around one third conduct internal verification. At the same time, more sophisticated accountability mechanisms, such as external verification or sanctions, are implemented by lower numbers of ICIs.

The second Bio* report focuses on the role played by ICIs as sources of finance for halting biodiversity loss. In this report, the Bio* team analyses types of sponsors supporting ICIs, the ICIs with a financing function, and their contribution to financing flows. In particular, the report examines different types of financial initiatives and their potential to contribute to halting biodiversity loss through a set of illustrative case studies. The findings show that almost half of the initiatives do not disclose their sponsors. Out of those that provide this information on their website, the majority has hybrid sponsors. The majority of financing initiatives are led by public actors followed by hybrid ICIs. Some financing ICIs combine their function with other activities, most often with information sharing & networking and operational activities. Most financing ICIs operate globally, but also focus on regions of biodiversity hotspots. Thematically, they most often work on forest biodiversity, followed by agricultural and marine biodiversity. The ICIs score well when it comes to monitoring, reporting, and external verification. Additionally, almost half of the financing ICIs have at least three out of seven accountability mechanisms analysed in this study. For the three illustrative cases of the financing flows, the report features hybrid ICIs being the &Green Fund, the Global Alliance for Banking on Values, and the Global Fund for Coral Reefs. They differ as it comes to sources of funding and main beneficiaries, but all cooperate with a broad range of sponsors from both public and private domain.

These analyses provide a better understanding of the institutional landscape for governing biodiversity including non- and sub-state actors and the role of international cooperative initiatives in financing biodiversity. The reports not only provide insights into the status quo but also point towards the implications for the CBD and policy debate. They offers useful insights for policy makers, environmental organisations or researchers.

Authors: Katarzyna Negacz, Max de With, Matilda Petersson, Oscar Widerberg, Marcel Kok, Philipp Pattberg

Technical Reports:

Bio*: Mapping the landscape of international and transnational cooperative initiatives for biodiversity

The role of international cooperative initiatives in financing biodiversity