A multi-actor dialogue on scaling up biodiversity finance, organised by SwedBio in collaboration with international partners.
Under the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD), the Aichi Biodiversity Targets have been developed to halt the loss of biodiversity, to ensure that by 2020 ecosystems are resilient and continue to provide essential services, thereby securing the planet’s variety of life, and contributing to human well-being and poverty eradication.
To facilitate the achievement of the Aichi Biodiversity Targets, the Parties to the convention have adopted a strategy to enhance funding for biodiversity – both international and domestic direct funding and innovative financing mechanisms such as; tax reforms and eliminating harmful subsidies; payment for ecosystem services, biodiversity offsets; and green markets.
The issue of innovative finance mechanisms for biodiversity turned out to be the most difficult points for negotiations at the tenth meeting of the Conference of the Parties to the Convention on Biological Diversity (COP 10) in Nagoya, Japan in 2010. For the first time in the history of CBD, a whole decision was deleted in the last hours of a COP. Parties could not reach agreement because on the one hand, some Parties considered that the institutional frameworks, regulations of markets and safeguards were not elaborated upon enough; while on the other hand, a lack of trust and an absence of dialogue between actors with different political views prevailed.
The Quito Dialogue
To break the deadlock, SwedBio offered to co-organise a multi-actor dialogue. Norad in Norway promised to contribute with a science-based background report to the meeting. In March 2012, seven months before the next COP, a Dialogue on Scaling up Biodiversity Finance was held in Quito, Ecuador, organised by SwedBio with the help of IUCN-Sur. The dialogue was convened by the governments of Sweden, Ecuador, Norway, India and Japan together with the CBD Secretariat, and co-chaired by India and Sweden.
The intention of the seminar was not to draft formal recommendations but to enhance the understanding of various perspectives on financing for biodiversity, including the role and nature of innovative financial mechanisms, and thereby prepare for the up-coming negotiations at COP 11 in Hyderabad, India. It gathered around 80 participants, nominated via the CBD Secretariat from Parties and Non-parties, and ranging from governmental negotiators to members of civil society organisations, academia, indigenous peoples, business and intergovernmental institutions. The agenda included keynote presentations, case studies and round table discussions.
Created better atmosphere and trust for negotiations
Areas of convergence that were identified and generated through the Quito dialogue included: the need for country-specific financing mechanisms and policies; safeguards and appropriate governance structures to avoid unintended outcomes. Fiscal reforms, particularly green tax reforms and removal of so-called perverse subsidies, were considered promising, as were green markets.
The co-chairs’ report from the meeting became an official information document to the CBD negotations and the Quito dialogue was referred to in the negotiation texts. At COP 11 several negotiators referred to the Quito dialogue and said that not only did it reform the discussion with valuable content and a better understanding of opportunities and challenges with different financial mechanisms, but it also created a better atmosphere of trust for the negotiations.
More detailed elaborations of the seminar discussions and outcome are available in the Co-chairs’ summary report (pdf, 2.7 MB).
Quito II Dialogue
Following the success of the 2012 Quito dialogue, countries and other actors wanted SwedBio to co-organise a second dialogue, as part of the preparations for COP12 in the Republic of Korea in October 2014. Read more about the Quito II Dialogue here.