Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Sourcing funding for biodiversity work

Fiji - image courtesy of Ms. Suzy Lyons

By Justine Mannan journalism student at FNU.

6 December 2013, Suva Fiji - A lack of funding for biodiversity work in the Pacific is a major hurdle for countries trying to safeguard their environment but a five-year-old initiative is helping address this gap.

A funding partnership called LifeWeb Initiative was launched in 2008 at the 9th Conference of the Parties of the Convention on Biological Diversity.

LifeWeb Initiative works to facilitate financing to conserve biodiversity, secure livelihoods, and address climate change.

Mr. Charles Besançon, the LifeWeb Initiative Coordinator, made a case for how to secure funding for natural solutions to biodiversity challenges during a presentation at this week’s 9th Pacific Islands Conference on Nature Conservation and Protected Areas.

He added: “The donors want to ensure these projects are really important to government and must be submitted by governments, however the reality is many projects are written by NGOs, budgets are constructed by NGO partners and the implementers of the projects are also NGOs. Governments must take ownership of the process, it must endorse and they must actually submit the projects.”

Some larger projects which require more than one donor are put on roundtables where LifeWeb organises events and funds for participants.

“The potential recipient talks about what their needs are and donors present what their interests are in funding and developing partnerships right there on the spot,” Mr. Besançon added.

“Donors want to know that the projects that you are proposing are not just a stand-alone, that they are actually important to a country, they are a priority and there are many ways to demonstrate that they are a priority. It can appear in your national biodiversity strategy and action plan (NBSAPs), and in your research plan, national adaptation plan - these are the things the donors will be interested to know,” Mr. Besançon said.

LifeWeb Initiative partners include Australian Aid, Japan International Corporation Agency (JICA), New Zealand Aid Programme, Critical Ecosystem and many more.

Justine Mannan is a member of the Media Team providing coverage of the 9th Pacific Islands Conference on Nature Conservation and Protected Areas from 2 to 6 December in Suva, Fiji.  This is a partnership between the Fiji National University (FNU), University of the South Pacific (USP), SPREP and Pacific Islands News Association (PINA) whereby a team of 10 journalism students are mentored by senior reporters as they cover the conference.  This activity is  funded by the Pacific Assistance Media Scheme (PACMAS).

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