Lack of biodiversity conservation funding

Lack of resources for supporting biological diversity projects
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.

1. Developed countries are not complying with their commitments under the Convention of Biological Diversity, as established in Article 20(2) and thus they are hindering the implementation of the Convention. At the same time they are not permitting developing countries to comply with their commitments. The European Union (EU) acknowledged in their closing statement that adequate funding was necessary to fully implement national strategies, which they saw as crucial to the attainment of the objectives of the Convention. Why then are they not coming out with funding, if they are genuine in their concern?< 2. The commitment embodied in 15(6) of the CBD to carry out research in partnership with countries which have provided genetic resources, ie. the South is interpreted by the USA in such a way that they are demanding a one sided North-South exchange in which the South is expected to give its genetic resources but cannot expect anything in exchange.

3. The First World's support for the Green Revolution and plant monocultures for grains, timber, and other crops undermines biodiversity in Third World countries. By forcing Third World farmers and governments to use the new Green Revolution hybrid seeds, pesticides, fertilizers, and herbicides from global agricultural companies, First World countries are undermining biodiversity, replacing local seeds and strains of plants with global hybrids. First World countries force Third World countries to use these hybrid seeds and chemicals by threatening to deny development loans to countries to refuse to use these Green Revolution seeds. As a result, we are witnessing the spreading growth of global monocultures and the increasing control over seeds and crop strains by global agricultural companies.

(E) Emanations of other problems