Financing of biodiversity: a challenge that advances

Biodiversity conservation contributes directly to the achievement of sustainable development goals and is a concrete action to face the climate emergency. This includes stopping species loss, managing invasive alien species, effectively conserving protected areas and promoting both coordination and participation of society in these matters; activities that require financing.

What scenario are we in? On a global scale, we are far from reaching the desired budget for 2030, close to 967,000 million dollars per year; also far from covering the conservation costs of endangered species, which reach 1,000 million dollars for every 0.5% of the species, according to estimates. In Chile, important marine and terrestrial surfaces have been designated for conservation through Marine Parks and National Parks, among other figures. However, the budget is insufficient and the allocation of resources depends largely on revenue collection.

According to data from the Wildlife Conservation Society, in the marine field, public resources cover only 1.7% of the operational budget; In the terrestrial space, the protected areas, which cover a little more than 1/5 of the country, allocate a large part of the budget to tasks related to the attention of visitors and the collection of income. An example is our Juan Fernández Archipelago National Park, world-renowned for its level of endemism, but without the adequate budget for its conservation, due to the low arrival of visitors and low collection. What happens then outside of parks of this magnitude? Draw your conclusions.

Recent analyzes show that 8 of the 125 terrestrial ecosystems in the country do not present any type of protection, nor budget, and 61% of the ecosystems are not correctly represented in protected areas. This evidence shows the need for greater resources and new mechanisms to access them, which must be more agile, flexible and integrated into a major national strategy.

A relevant advance was the creation of the first environmental fund for the conservation of biodiversity, which replicates the successful model developed in 19 countries in Latin America and the Caribbean, which has managed to channel more than 1.4 billion dollars in the last 30 years. years. This proposes a complementary financing mechanism taking international experience, which places us at the height of the challenges, but we must go for more. The sustainable development goals and the climate emergency need concrete actions, permanent financing and an organized and integrated civil society in decision-making.

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