The Millennium Ecosystem Assessment provided a conceptual framework that facilitated a comprehensive understanding of the values of biodiversity to society beyond its existence value. Numerous organizations and projects have used this conceptual framework to estimate the value of biodiversity to society through the goods and services it provides, including the Wealth Accounting and the Valuation of Ecosystem Services (WAVES) partnership, The Natural Capital Project, and the Biodiversity Finance Initiative (BIOFIN), and numerous GEF-funded projects. Read more+
Although a number of approaches are currently being used to recognize, demonstrate and capture the value of biodiversity and ecosystem services, a mismatch remains between valuation and development policy and financing. Valuation is not leading to the development of policy reforms needed to mitigate the drivers of biodiversity loss and encourage sustainable development through the better management of biodiversity and natural capital, nor is it triggering changes in the use and scale of public and private finance flows on the scale necessary to address threats. Policy and finance reforms must accompany valuation so that the finance and development decisions that impact natural ecosystems and biodiversity include incentives and price signals that result in more cost effective and sustainable biodiversity management.
What We Do
The GEF created a programming opportunity to address this challenge. GEF investments will complement the work undertaken in our biodiversity mainstreaming projects and will pilot national-level interventions that link biodiversity valuation and economic analysis with development policy and finance planning. Read more+
The outcome from these projects will be biodiversity valuation that informs policy instruments and fiscal reforms designed to mitigate perverse incentives leading to biodiversity loss. These may be linked to larger policy reforms being undertaken as part of the development policy dialogue, development policy operations or other efforts. It will also include specific support to reform finance flows, for instance through public expenditure reviews, and to operationalize innovative finance mechanisms such as payments for ecosystem services, habitat banking, aggregate offsets and tradable development rights and quotas.
Results | FY 2014
This is a new programming area for the GEF starting in 2014 and the first projects are only now being presented for financial support.
The Mexico Environmental Services Project, strengthened and expanded two national payment for environmental services (PES) programs in Mexico — the PSAH (Payments for Hydrological Environmental Services Program) and the CABSA (Program to Develop Environmental Services Markets for Carbon Capture and Biodiversity and to Establish and Improve Agroforestry Systems). The project supported species and habitat conservation on 644,600 ha of land under the national PES program and another 2.5 million ha of land has been brought under PES contracts. Finally, an endowment fund was established in CONAFOR with $21.5 million, which will ensure sustainability and continued payments for the provision of biodiversity services.