Action Area


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    Biodiversity Offsets

    Measurable conservation outcome resulting from actions designed to compensate for significant residual biodiversity loss arising from project development after appropriate prevention and mitigation measures have been taken (BBOP). Offsets can, for example, deliver biodiversity benefits (e.g. reforestation) through a transaction, where offset sellers (e.g. a conservation NGO) sell offsets to developers (e.g. a mining company) who seek to compensate the residual biodiversity loss resulting from a development activity (e.g. mining). The term also encompasses wetland, species, and habitat banking.

    Biodiversity Finance Initiative (BIOFIN)

    Biodiversity is in severe decline due to a combination of conflicting private and public interests, incoherent policy and governance, and insufficient financing.


    Biodiversity prospecting or bioprospecting is the systematic search for biochemical and genetic information in nature in order to develop commercially-valuable products for pharmaceutical, agricultural, cosmetic and other applications.

    Carbon markets

    Carbon markets aim to reduce greenhouse gas (GHG, or “carbon”) emissions cost-effectively by setting limits on emissions and enabling the trading of emission units, which are instruments representing emission reductions. Trading enables entities that can reduce emissions at lower cost to be paid to do so by higher-cost emitters, thus lowering the economic cost of reducing emissions.

    Green Fiscal Policy Network

    The Green Fiscal Policy Network works to facilitate knowledge sharing and dialogue on fiscal policies for an inclusive green economy.

    Climate credit mechanisms

    Climate crediting mechanisms, like other carbon market mechanisms, enable entities, for which the cost of reducing emissions is high, to pay low-cost emitters for carbon credits that they can use towards meeting their emission-reduction obligations, or for voluntary or trading purposes. These mechanisms-e.g. the Clean Development Mechanism (CDM)-put a price on carbon, helping to internalize the environmental and social costs of carbon pollution, and permit trading, which lowers the economic cost of reducing emissions.

    Concessions (Protected Areas)


    Innovative approach for projects, organizations, entrepreneurs, and startups to raise money for their causes from multiple individual donors or investors. Four models of crowdfunding exist: donations; reward; lending; and equity.

    Debt for nature swaps

    Agreement that reduces a developing country’s debt stock or service in exchange for a commitment to protect nature from the debtor-government. It is a voluntary transaction whereby the donor(s) cancels the debt owned by a developing country’s government. The savings from the reduced debt service are invested in conservation projects

    Ecological fiscal transfers

    Intergovernmental fiscal transfers redistribute tax revenues among levels of government, from national and regional governments to local jurisdictions according to agreed principles and priorities. Integrating ecological services means making conservation indices (e.g. size/quality of protected areas) part of the fiscal allocation formula to reward investments in conservation and to incentivize the expansion of protected areas. 

    Enterprise challenge funds

    Funding instrument that distributes grants (or concessional finance) to profit-seeking projects on a competitive basis. A challenge fund subsidizes private investment in developing countries where there is an expectation of commercial viability accompanied by measurable social and/or environmental outcomes. Challenge funds can mitigate market risks, while spurring innovation to fight poverty and environmental degradation.

    Environmental trust funds

    ndependent legal entity and investment vehicle to help mobilizing, blending, and overseeing the collection and allocation of financial resources for environmental purposes. It is a country-driven solution that facilitates strategic focus, rigorous project management, solid monitoring and evaluation, and high levels of transparency and accountability. The term encompasses conservation trust funds, wildlife trusts, climate and forest funds, and other funds established to deliver environmental, social and economic benefits.