India need to allocate more funds to conserve biodiversity: Experts

The third edition of global conference on biodiversity finance is underway in Mamallapuram with officials, experts and private sector from 35 countries converging to rake-up the financial allocations for biodiversity protection, besides finding sustainable ways to co-exist with nature.

Published: 07th March 2018 02:40 AM  |   Last Updated: 07th March 2018 05:44 AM   |  A+A-

Experts deliberating during third edition of global conference on biodiversity finance by BIOFIN in Mamallapuram on Tuesday | d sampathkumar

By Express News Service

CHENNAI:The third edition of global conference on biodiversity finance is underway in Mamallapuram with officials, experts and private sector from 35 countries converging to rake-up the financial allocations for biodiversity protection, besides finding sustainable ways to co-exist with nature.Organised by The Biodiversity Finance Initiative (BIOFIN) of United National Development Programme (UNDP), the conference underlined that ecosystem destruction and large funding gaps were crippling efforts to sustainable management.

Though the Union environment minister Harsh Vardhan was scheduled to be at the conference, he couldn’t come due to parliamentary works. However, his recorded message reinforced India’s commitment to protect its biodiversity. However, experts opine that there have been large financing gaps in conservation.

A preliminary assessment by High-Level Panel on Global Assessment of Resources for Implementing the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) Strategic Plan for 2011-2020, estimated that the global investment required sums between 130 and 440 billion US$ annually. However, the current global expenditure for biodiversity conservation is 52 billion US$ annually, according to a report from the Global Canopy Programme.

“India spends about $2 billion per year on biodiversity conservation but the country requires between US$ 5-15 billion more every year to meet its targets,” remarked Yuri Afanasiev, United Nations Resident Coordinator for India. “BIOFIN has highlighted our challenge of building partnerships across sectors, countries, ministries, UN conventions and agencies, and through blended finance and the harmonisation of policy, “he said.

But Namita Vikas, Chief Sustainability Officer, Yes Bank in India, said investments in this critical area need to be accelerated. “Roping in the private sector and the quantum of investment are so huge that multi-actor action is needed and mainstream finance players need to be  brought in. ,” she said.

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