Sourcebook for sustainable finances for biodiversity, ecosystems and protected areas in the Western Balkans
Biodiversity requires systematic solutions and diverse mechanisms that enable retainment and reinvestment of funds into conservation. This new sourcebook deals with a range of additional financial instruments that may support planning and thinking about financing biodiversity, ecosystems and protected areas as investments in sustainable development.
The publication offers an insight into financial mechanisms, which have been demonstrated as the most effective or useful in practice, and which appear to hold the greatest potential and opportunity to be used to strengthen conservation and sustainable development in the Western Balkans, in addition to the standard public budget channels. However, public budget support needs to be enhanced and supplemented.
There is little doubt that the public budget should form the core of conservation financing in the Western Balkan economies – as in other parts of the world. It remains a basic responsibility of the government, as well as a stated commitment, to ensure that biodiversity, ecosystems and protected areas are maintained and adequately funded.
Yet, across the region, biodiversity tends to be given a low priority compared to other sectors and policy goals. It is of utmost importance that officials recognize that such actions as of national public interest and make the case for biodiversity to encourage businesses for new biodiversity-sustainable business opportunities.
In addition, there is significant potential in attracting new funding by joining forces at the regional level. The European Green Deal and the Green Agenda for the Western Balkans is to be the one of the ways to push the environmental agenda forward.
Seeking to equip the public sector environmental and economic planners with information about sustainable financing approaches, instruments and real-world case studies, the aim behind the sourcebook is also distil concrete lessons learned and recommendations about needs, opportunities and ways forward in enhancing the financial sustainability of biodiversity, ecosystems and protected areas in the Western Balkans.
The regional technical, scientific and civil society platforms, in particular the Biodiversity Task Force for South East Europe (BDTF SEE), and Expert Group on Ecosystems Services Assessment and Valuation (ESAV EG), as well as the BIMR and BioNET platforms, immensely assist the process of development of the sourcebook by framing the needs and selecting the most applicable sustainable finances mechanisms for biodiversity, ecosystems and protected areas in the Western Balkan regional context. The BDTF SEE is composed of nominated representatives of governments of the Western Balkans, where the Serbian Ministry of Environmental Protection is participating with its experts in biodiversity and related intervention fields, Ms. Jelena Ducic and Ms. Snezana Prokic, who were deeply involved in this process. Vast contributions were also received from other relevant organisations working in the region, in particular the International Union for Nature Conservation – Regional Office for Eastern Europe and Central Asia (IUCN ECARO), also acting as the BDTF Secretariat.
The BDTF SEE endorsed and put forward the decision to Regional Working Group on Environment, as well as to oversee on recommendations and implement pilot projects from the field.
The sourcebook is available in English and local languages in order to make it easier for use in the daily work of planners, practitioners and future biodiversity-based entrepreneurs. It includes a glossary of terminology with definitions.
The authors of the sourcebook are Mr. Mladen Lazić and Ms. Lucy Emerton. The publication was produced within the Open Regional Fund for South-East Europe – Implementation of Biodiversity Agreements (ORF BDU) project, commissioned by the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ) and implemented by the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ).