Developing countries attending the third meeting of the Conference of Parties of the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) at Buenos Aires in Argentina which ended on 15 November 1995 denounced developed countries for undermining the Convention by refusing to provide funds for its implementation. The Convention, which came into being in 1992 after several years of tough negotiations, states explicitly that developed countries shall provide new and additional funds to enable developing countries to implement its provisions to conserve and sustainably use biodiversity. It is in the South that 11 of the globe's 12 megadiversity spots are located.
Data from the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) suggests that Official Development Assistance (ODA), by far the most important source of funds for projects supporting biodiversity, has fallen from its 1992 peak of US$1.22 billion to US$269 million in 1993 and to US$208 million in 1994. Bilateral donor funding has also been significantly reduced over the same time period. This major fall-off has not been offset by funding from the Global Environmental Facility (GEF), which is the Convention's interim funding mechanism. Assistance from the GEF has fallen from US$332 million in its 1991-93 pilot phase to US$65 million in the fiscal year ending June 1995. In the year ending June 1996 it dropped further to a meagre US$23 million. As a percentage of the GEF portfolio, biodiversity projects represented 40% in the pilot phase, 45% in fiscal year 1995 and 7% in 1996.