Info Service on Biodiversity and Traditional Knowledge (Oct14/04)
9 October 2014
Third World Network
"Final" targets for resource mobilisation remain elusive
Published in SUNS #7890 dated 9 October 2014
Beijing, 8 Oct (Chee Yoke Ling*) -- Developing countries are pressing
for final targets for resource mobilisation to implement the Convention
on Biological Diversity (CBD) for which funding remains elusive after
more than 20 years.
The 12th Meeting of the Conference of the Parties (COP) to the CBD
is meeting in Pyeongchang, Republic of South Korea from 6 to 17 October
Pinning down final numerical and time bound targets for mobilising
finance will be a central issue at the meeting.
The first report of the High Level Panel on global assessment of resources
for implementing the CBD's Strategic Plan for Biodiversity 2011-2020
(co-sponsored by India and the United Kingdom) estimated that a range
of USD 150 to 440 billion annually is required to implement the Strategic
A team of five experts commissioned by the CBD Secretariat that conducted
a needs assessment for the sixth replenishment of the Global Environment
Facility (GEF) estimated that between USD 74 billion and 191 billion
will be necessary to assist GEF-eligible countries in activities eligible
for GEF funding to achieve the Aichi Biodiversity Targets (adopted
by the COP in 2010), over the period 2014- 2018.
These findings were presented to COP11 in 2012 in Hyderabad, India.
The second report of the High Level Panel presented to the ongoing
COP12 reiterates that estimates at global, regional and national levels
all point to a substantial gap between the investments needed to deliver
biodiversity targets and the resources currently allocated.
This is true for all of the Aichi Targets. It referred to a 2012 review
that estimated current levels of global funding for biodiversity at
between USD 51 and 53 billion annually, compared to estimated needs
of USD 300 to 400 billion annually.
Although the developed country Parties have legally committed to provide
new and additional financial resources to meet the full incremental
cost of implementing the CBD, this commitment, as with other environmental
treaties, has not been honoured. A regular argument used now is the
current economic condition of developed countries.
(Article 20.2 of the CBD that entered into force in 1993 reads: "The
developed country Parties shall provide new and additional financial
resources to enable developing country Parties to meet the agreed
full incremental costs to them of implementing measures which fulfil
the obligations of this Convention".)
A COP decision in 2012, whereby developing countries in good faith
expect developed country Parties to agree to establish final resource
mobilisation targets at the Pyeongchang meeting, now faces unravelling
as most developed countries are backtracking. (The CBD COP meets every
There has been a strategy for resource mobilisation in existence since
2008 under the CBD, but it lacks concrete targets.
At the COP10 meeting in Nagoya, Japan in 2010, three major decisions
were adopted as a package: the Nagoya Protocol on access and benefit-sharing,
the revised and updated Strategic Plan for Biodiversity (2011-2020)
with 20 targets (the Aichi Biodiversity Targets), and the implementation
plan for the Strategy for Resource Mobilisation in support of the
achievement of the CBD objectives (with no concrete targets).
A proposal from the Group of 77 and China for numerical targets and
timeline to mobilise financial resources was rejected by developed
countries at COP10.
Aichi Target 20 reads as follows: "By 2020, at the latest, the
mobilization of financial resources for effectively implementing the
Strategic Plan for Biodiversity 2011-2020 from all sources, and in
accordance with the consolidated and agreed process in the Strategy
for Resource Mobilization, should increase substantially from the
current levels. This target will be subject to changes contingent
to resource needs assessments to be developed and reported by Parties."
As a reluctant compromise to conclude the Nagoya COP10 package, developing
countries agreed to defer resource mobilisation targets setting to
the next COP meeting in 2012.
After intense negotiations, a decision was eventually adopted at COP11
in 2012 (Hyderabad, India) on "preliminary targets" because
developed countries still refused to have final targets.
Accordingly, developed country Parties agreed to double the total
biodiversity-related international financial resource flows to developing
countries, in particular least developed countries and Small Island
Developing States, and countries with economies in transition, by
2015 and at least maintaining this level until 2020.
It was agreed that the preliminary baseline figure is the average
annual spending on biodiversity between 2006 and 2010.
All Parties also agreed to substantially increase domestic biodiversity
expenditures. Specifically, there will be an endeavour for 100% but
at least 75% of Parties to have included biodiversity in their national
priorities or development plans by 2015 and to have made appropriate
domestic financial provisions for this.
A roadmap was also agreed to, whereby COP12 would review progress
towards the achievement of the Aichi Target 20 "with the aim
of adopting the final target for resource mobilization", building
upon the financial resource flow responding to the above preliminary
The review of the achievement of these targets would continue at subsequent
COPs until 2020.
However, backtracking by many developed countries started almost immediately.
At the final plenary of COP11 itself in 2012, Australia, Canada and
Japan expressed disagreement with the decision in their closing plenary
statements when the decision was formally adopted after more than
12 hours of marathon negotiations on the final day and night.
Negation of the COP11 decision continued at the meeting of the Ad
Hoc Open-ended Working Group on Review of Implementation of the Convention
(WGRI) that took place on 16-20 June 2014 in Montreal, Canada.
Developed countries did not agree on the setting of "final"
targets as required by the COP11 decision.
Thus, the WGRI recommendation 5/10 in a draft decision on "Resource
Mobilization" for negotiation at COP12 in Pyeongchang (UNEP/CBD/COP/12/1/Add.
2/Rev. 1) contains a bracket around the word "final" in
the subsection on targets for resource mobilisation. There are two
Option 1 essentially turns the preliminary targets in the decision
of COP11 into final targets. Option 2 is where the dilution and even
reversal of the preliminary targets is played out.
First, developed countries want to restrict the targets "to significantly
reduce the gap between identified needs and available resources"
whereas their CBD commitment is to finance "agreed full incremental
Secondly, in addition to public sector financing in international
financial resources flows, developed countries seek to extend sources
to include the private sector and "as appropriate through new
and innovative financial mechanisms".
The latter is very controversial already in the COP meetings as these
include highly questionable market mechanisms that can undermine the
CBD objectives and provisions.
At the COP12 Working Group plenary discussion on 7 October on this
agenda item, Kenya, speaking for the African Group (supported by countries
including South Africa, the Philippines, Liberia, Namibia, Ethiopia,
India, Malaysia and Egypt) expressed its support for option 1 of the
draft text which calls for adoption of the final targets for resource
mobilisation, under Aichi Target 20 of the Strategic Plan for Biodiversity
2011-2020, using average annual biodiversity funding for the years
2006-2010 as a baseline, in accordance with the preliminary targets
of the COP11 decision.
Malaysia stressed that the resource mobilisation target needs to be
finalised, and while it is important to increase domestic funding,
common but differentiated responsibilities should be taken into account
when dealing with mobilisation of financial resources.
Hence, according to Malaysia, the discussion on domestic resources
should not divert from the commitment of developed countries under
India said the Global Monitoring Report of Resource Mobilization presents
a comprehensive account of biodiversity financing, and pointed to
the fact that the annual cost of ice cream industry is USD 70 billion
and it's growing at 3 to 4% per annum while here we are struggling
to get funding for USD 50 billion per annum.
It said that the time has come to walk the talk. In 2010, at Nagoya,
the biodiversity strategic plan was adopted and all of us know that
resource mobilisation was kept aside and the responsibility came to
us in 2012 (COP11), when in our wisdom we had decided that the international
financial flows would be doubled. For now, there's no doubling whatsoever.
India said that is not the way we set our targets. It added that to
do something, international flows need to be doubled as promised -
the Nagoya protocol is entering into force (on 12 October), there
are the Aichi Targets and so the financial needs have to be met as
set out in Article 20 of the Convention.
Argentina said that the agreement that we had in Nagoya and Hyderabad
are not sufficient. Parties need the relevant means for implementation
in order that they are able to deal with the increased costs of the
biodiversity strategic plan.
It said the strategy for mobilisation of resources is important for
the achievement of the strategic plan and it is fundamental to find
a final target that responds to the needs of developing countries.
Argentina also said that all innovative financial mechanisms must
Bolivia also warned against the transferring of responsibility related
to finance from the public sector to the private sector. It proposed
the establishment of a mechanism for monitoring, reporting and verifying
to ensure that financial resources from developed to developing countries
is taking place.
Developed countries such as New Zealand suggested instead the review
of progress towards the final targets, rather than the targets themselves,
while Canada supported a target for domestic resource mobilisation
from all sources.
The Republic of Korea wants to have a target by 2020, but said that
this should be for all options on the table and hoped that COP12 will
provide an opportunity to have a mechanism to achieve these targets.
Some countries in their statements provided figures on how much they
are already providing for biodiversity conservation from their own
domestic sources. For example, Brazil said it has provided around
USD 2.4 billion of its domestic resources for biodiversity conservation
using the 2010 exchange rate.
Costa Rica said that 80% of its resources invested in ecological restoration
have come from national resources.
The Philippines said its government budget allocation has tripled
for the biodiversity sector, since the Aichi Targets were adopted
in 2010, though it also said that it is still not enough to support
all efforts for biodiversity conservation.
A contact group has been set up and begins negotiations today (8 October).
(* With inputs from Zhu Zhenyan in Pyeongchang, Republic of Korea.)