Resource mobilisation for the biodiversity strategy
Title: Resource mobilisation for effective implementation of the updated biodiversity strategy in Namibia
Commissioned by: German Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation, Building and Nuclear Safety (BMUB)
Lead executing agency: Ministry of Environment and Tourism (MET)
Overall term: 2014 to 2017
Namibia's rich biodiversity and stunning scenery attract more than a million tourists every year. Namibia is taking a pioneering role in environmental protection on the international stage: the country has signed all key international environmental agreements, is actively involved in the corresponding negotiation processes and is also a leading nation among the Parties to the Convention on Biological Diversity.
Namibia adopted its second national biodiversity strategy in 2015. However, a review of the first strategy revealed that most targets could not be met due to a lack of adequate financing. Additional resources must be mobilised, especially from other ministries and the private sector, to make the second biodiversity strategy a success. To this end, decision-makers must be made aware of the importance of nature for society. Up until now, there has not been sufficient information to clearly demonstrate the value of nature, ecosystems and their services in Namibia.
The Ministry of Environment and Tourism as the lead ministry and other stakeholders are able to independently mobilise additional funding for biodiversity conservation. To this end, the economic value of nature, its ecosystems and their services are documented and integrated into national accounting and governmental action.
The project focuses on three priority areas to achieve the project objective:
Natural capital accounting
Compelling arguments must be put forward to convince decision-makers to make additional resources available. The information base must therefore be strengthened. Data from environmental -economic accounts and ecosystem accounts are key. Both information systems are based upon international standards and guidelines aiming to add environment aspects (natural capital accounting) to national accounts and thus also to gross domestic product as the key indicator of progress. The provision of this data is also gaining importance as part of work to monitor the UN's Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). The project is working with the World Bank's Wealth Accounting and the Valuation of Ecosystem Services (WAVES) project on natural capital accounting. The project's methodological approach is based on The Economics of Ecosystems and Biodiversity Initiative (TEEB) and recommendations and standards from the United Nations Statistical Commission.
To mobilise additional financial resources, an expenditure report will first be drawn up documenting all public and private funding spent on conserving biodiversity in Namibia. This figure will be compared with the funding needed to implement the biodiversity strategy in order to determine the shortfall. To make up this financing shortfall, tangible steps will be put in place to introduce economic financing tools, for instance individual elements of ecological finance reform. These steps may include introducing taxes, duties or charges or even phasing out environmentally harmful subsidies. The results of these undertakings will be incorporated into a resource mobilisation strategy. At the methodological level, the project works closely with the United Nations Development Programme's Biodiversity Finance Initiative (BIOFIN).
The project supports the establishment of a network of environmental economists that offers customised training sessions to develop environmental economic expertise in Namibia. The training of environmental economists at Namibian universities is also to be enhanced.