Resource Mobilization for Biodiversity Conservation in the Global South

Resource Mobilization for Biodiversity Conservation in the Global South: Perspectives from Africa and China


The African CSOs Biodiversity Alliance (ACBA) in collaboration with China’s Civil Society Alliance for Biodiversity Conservation (CSABC) hosted a webinar titled Resource Mobilization for Biodiversity Conservation in the Global South: Perspectives from Africa and China, on December 14, 2021. The main goal of the webinar was to exchange perspectives on barriers to and opportunities for financing biodiversity conservation in Africa, China and more broadly in the Global South.


The webinar was moderated by Pauline Nantongo Kalunda, Executive Director of ECOTRUST Uganda and lead of the ACBA policy taskforce. The webinar had a diverse panel which comprised Dr Mohammed Bakarr, Lead Environmental Specialist at the GEF Secretariat; Mrs Malta Qwathekana, CBD National Focal Point for South Africa and Senior Policy Adviser at the Department of Environmental Affairs in South Africa; Dickson Kaelo, CEO of the Kenya Wildlife Conservancies Association (KWCA); Yimei Chen, Secretary General at Vanke Foundation and Pan Xiaolin, General Manager at China Three Gorges Corporation (Kenya).


The main outcomes from the webinar were the exchange and sharing of best practices and innovative approaches for effective conservation financing for biodiversity in China and in Africa and to explore the shifts necessary at the global, continental and more micro levels to foster sustainable financing for biodiversity conservation.


In her opening remarks, Pauline Nantongo the moderator stated that “The African CSOs Biodiversity Alliance (ACBA) works towards making a firm commitment to make its own contribution to an ambitious and successful post-2020 Global Biodiversity Framework (GBF).”

In his keynote presentation, Dr Mohammed Bakarr highlighted the contribution of the Global Environment Facility (GEF): “The Global Environment Facility (GEF) has an important role to play in the delivery of the post-2020 Global Biodiversity Framework (GBF). GEF recognizes that one of the major challenges is ensuring recipient countries can harness the opportunity for transforming key economic systems that drive biodiversity loss. While GEF mainly supports governments, we view civil society organizations (CSOs) as an important partner and hope that as the world recovers from the COVID-19 pandemic, civil society can play a key role in pushing forward the post-2020 GBF.”


Dickson Kaelo pointed out the significant efforts to address the unprecedented biodiversity loss Kenya, like its fellow African countries has been facing, especially through national parks and reserves. He added that KWCA recognizes that focusing on the tradeoffs for land use for people or for wildlife will be important to secure biodiversity. KWCA aims to pursue both stable livelihoods and stable wildlife populations as it has become clear that “ultimately, conservation is about people.”


From the Chinese perspective, Ms Yimei Chen discussed how the Vanke Foundation has supported wildlife conservation of key species in China, including snow leopards, which are one of the most successful efforts in China. “Since 2018, Vanke Foundation has strategically prioritized investing in sustainable communities. The foundation’s goals for environmental protection prioritizes waste management to address the impact on biodiversity, and measures success based on alignment with the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). As a foundation that complements Vanke, a real estate corporation, it is our foundation’s hope to contribute to the circular economy” she said.


In his presentation Mr Pan Xiaolin spoke of the China Three Gorges Corporation’s investment and contracting business which reaches 47 countries across multiple continents including Europe, North America, Africa and South-East Asia. He said that “CTGC aims to incorporate global best practice that are sustainable and socially responsible in its operations and also work to set the pace for sustainable energy with projects that stimulate local economies, improve the environment and benefit surrounding residents.’’


In the webinar’s concluding remarks, Ms Malta Qwathekana, CBD National Focal Point for South Africa and Senior Policy Adviser at the Department of Environmental Affairs pointed out that: the financing gap for biodiversity conservation is an important issue. One of the key challenges to ensuring that existing and future financing for biodiversity materializes the desired outcomes is capacity in developing countries. How these finances are spent is just as important as closing the financial gap, and the African Group of negotiators(AGN) hopes to see greater efforts to ensure that finances are deployed to those implementing on the ground, and to local actors including communities.

For more information on the webinar, please go to Box.