BIOFUND mission visits the Brazilian Biodiversity Fund

In July, a delegation consisting of the Director of Programmes, the Director of Administration and Finance and the Technical Advisor of BIOFUND made a working visit to FUNBIO – the Brazilian Fund for Biodiversity – under the existing partnership between the two institutions, and so as to give continuity to the preceding visit by the Executive Director of BIOFUND to that organisation at the start of July.

This partnership with FUNBIO envisages a series of activities of technical support for BIOFUND with the aim of ensuring implementation of best practices in complying with its mission.

FUNBIO is one of the oldest environmental funds internationally, since it began its operations in 1996. It is an innovative private mechanism, set up to develop strategies that contribute towards the implementation of the Convention on Biological Diversity (CDB) in Brazil. In 21 years of operation, it has acted as a strategic partner of the public and private sectors and of civil society in conservation initiatives.

Over the two decades, FUNBIO has supported: 270 projects of 232 different institutions, 310 protected areas covering 67 million hectares; benefitting 7 biomas, and with about USD 600 million administered.

The BIOFUND visit had two goals: familiarisation with the history of the development and institutional evolution of FUNBIO, current activities, main challenges and opportunities; and sharing experience in the technical and financial area, with special stress on monitoring, disbursement procedures, accountability, financial sustainability, management of assets and institutional communication.

This exchange of experience, which lasted for about 10 days, was characterised by successive meetings with the various areas of operation of FUNBIO, where new work methods and approaches were identified, which could be adapted and adopted by BIOFUND.

Field visits were also held to the Tijuca National Park – one of the best conservation units in the country – and to two FUNBIO beneficiaries, namely the Cunhambebe State Park, resulting from the use of environmental compensation funds of Chevron (legal obligations), and BRBIO an NGO specialised in research on marine themes, particularly corals, and in raising environmental awareness. The objective of these visits was to get to know the work of FUNBIO on the ground and to explore possible opportunities for interchange between conservation areas.

In general, the visit to FUNBIO was extremely advantageous and made an impact, especially in terms of the lessons learnt about the system and structure of how FUNBIO functions and the opening of space for short and medium term partnerships.