Istanbul and Geneva – 23rd November 2023

A year ahead of CBD COP16, UNDP BIOFIN and UNEP FI accelerate their efforts to help 136 Global South countries align private and public finance with nature goals

Following the adoption of the Kunming-Montreal Global Biodiversity Framework (GBF), countries around the world are updating their National Biodiversity Strategy and Action Plans (NBSAPs), while the private financial sector is called on to play a significantly greater role in funding conservation, restoration, and benefit sharing linked to biodiversity. By CBD COP16¹, all Parties to the Convention must come prepared with updated national targets and should have an indication of how their targets can be financed. Parties in the Global South² face unique circumstances in financing their nature and development goals in tandem, coupled with the need to grow their domestic financial services for greater inclusion and diversification. 

Today, UNEP FI and UNDP BIOFIN, supported by the Global Environment Facility³, released a briefing note on how the NBSAP review can successfully engage public and private finance simultaneously. This will help prepare financial institutions to play their role in contributing to the goals and targets of the NBSAP in their respective countries. 

The briefing note is the first deliverable from a strengthened alliance between UNEP FI and BIOFIN to specifically leverage private finance to implement national NBSAP targets. The partnership draws on UNEP FI’s extensive membership from the private financial sector worldwide and BIOFIN’s established methodology and engagement in countries. BIOFIN has long promoted engagement with private finance, has had some initial engagements with private financial institutions, and is now further expanding this workstream by teaming up with UNEP FI’s global network of banks, insurers, and investors, which now represents a significant proportion of the world’s private capital. 

Together, BIOFIN and UNEP FI will strengthen support for countries via a Public-Private Community of Practice for Nature and Development Finance – this will bring together public and private actors to share thought-leadership and practice on emerging topics and challenges including debt sustainability, debt for nature conversions, the biodiversity credit markets, nature-based solutions in the voluntary carbon market, sustainability-linked bonds and loans, and impact finance. 

The collaboration will include a webinar series aimed at public officials to help better understand the possible application of private finance to their NBSAP review and implementation. The first webinar will take place on 5 December at 14:00CET (Register here). It will focus on an introduction to the topic and take feedback from countries regarding their main challenges and interests in this regard.

In-person Community of Practice roundtables will take place alongside regular UNEP FI regional and global roundtables, BIOFIN conferences, and other events where key public and private actors are present. Additional efforts will include an updated BIOFIN e-learning module aimed at government focal points responsible for biodiversity finance plans and delivery. The Community of Practice will also draw and catalyze applied research and thought leadership on topics such as financial product innovation and financial de-risking for nature. It will serve to amplify existing efforts such as the wider GEF Early Action Support project to support countries revising their NBSAPs, implementation of the final recommendations from the Taskforce on Nature-related Financial Disclosures (TNFD), engagement of private finance in the BIOFIN Financial Resources (FIRE) database, the development of sustainable finance taxonomies in several countries, the NBSAP Accelerator partnership, and the Biodiversity Credit Alliance.

¹Scheduled for Mon, Oct 21, 2024 – Fri, Nov 1, 2024, Venue to be determined.
²Referring here to the ‘GEF-eligible’ countries listed
³Specifically the GEF-7 Early Action Support project Component 4 which is jointly implemented by UNDP and UNEP.