UNEP-WCMC welcomes launch of Global Biodiversity Framework Fund, but calls for greater ambition to deliver finance for nature

The UN Environment Programme World Conservation Monitoring Centre (UNEP-WCMC) has welcomed the recent launch of a critical global fund for nature, while urging more donors to come forward and deliver on their commitments from the UN Biodiversity Conference in December 2022.

The new Global Biodiversity Framework Fund (GBFF) was launched last week at the Global Environment Facility’s (GEF) seventh Assembly in Vancouver, Canada. Representatives of 185 countries ratified the fund, the creation of which was agreed in principle with last year’s adoption of the Kunming-Montreal Global Biodiversity Framework (KM-GBF) and related package of decisions, including on finance. 

A press conference to launch the GBFF on 24 August, with Carlos Manuel Rodríguez, CEO of the GEF (left), and Canada’s Minister of Environment and Climate Change Steven Guilbeault and Minister of International Development Ahmed Hussen (Image: IISD/ENB | Angeles Estrada)

The fund will play an essential role in helping distribute the vital resourcing needed to meet the targets and goals of the KM-GBF, with the framework itself stipulating major financing for nature from all sectors.

Target 19 of the KM-GBF calls for a mobilisation of at least USD 200 billion per year by 2030, including a doubling of international financial flows from developed to developing countries by 2025, rising to at least USD 30 billion/yr by 2030.

For the GBFF to become operational, it needs initial contributions of USD 200 million from three donors by December 2023. As part of the GBFF launch, two donor countries pledged approximately USD 160 million: 200 million Canadian dollars from Canada and an initial pledge of 10 million pounds from the United Kingdom.

Turning the commitments made at COP15 last year into reality will require staying on track with the financing targets laid out in the KM-GBF, and developed country donors – alongside the private sector and civil society – coming forward with the financing that is still required to enable the GBFF to start disbursing funds to developing countries.

’Ambition’ was the buzzword of the COP15 UN Biodiversity Conference and the Kunming-Montreal Global Biodiversity Framework – and now we need to see the rhetoric of ambition translated into urgent action and funding to deliver on the commitments by governments.

The launch of the Global Biodiversity Framework Fund and the first pledges we’ve seen from Canada and the United Kingdom are a good start, but they need to be amplified with critical urgency to ensure the fund is able to deliver for developing countries. To safeguard biodiversity – and our very future – we must mobilise hundreds of billions year-on-year, and the resourcing of the GBFF is a real and transparent measure of the international ambition for nature.

Governments in developed countries need to be taking the lead in mobilising resources, including through major financial commitments to the new fund. To achieve the vital ambitions of the KM-GBF, financial support for developing countries needs to flow urgently.

Neville Ash, Director of UNEP-WCMC

UNEP-WCMC continues to provide technical support to the Parties and Secretariat of the Convention on Biological Diversity, alongside our many partnerships with policymakers and businesses to support urgent action for nature, and to track progress towards the ambitions of the KM-GBF. We look forward to seeing the new fund becoming fully operational, and seeing its resourcing grow in line with the crucial sums needed for the effective and equitable implementation of the KM-GBF.

Main image: Adobe Stock

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