How can mainstream finance contribute to the goals of biodiversity restoration and protection?



    • UNIVERSITY OF LIMERICK (Ireland)
    • STICHTING NATURALIS BIODIVERSITY CENTER (The Netherlands)
    • GOETEBORGS UNIVERSITET (Sweden)
    • THE QUEEN’S UNIVERSITY OF BELFAST (United Kingdom)
    •  UNIVERSITEIT MAASTRICHT (The Netherlands)
    • RAINNO IDIOTIKI KEFALAIOUCHIKI  (Greece)
    • IST-ID ASSOCIACAO DO INSTITUTO SUPERIOR TECNICO (Portugal)
    • SARAJEVSKA REGIONALNA RAZVOJNA AGENCIJA SERDA (Bosnia Erzegovina)
    • UNIVERSITA DEGLI STUDI DI PADOVA (Italy)
    • Deloitte & Touche (Ireland)
    •  The Institute of Bankers in Ireland
    •  SUSTAINABILITY LITERACY TEST (France)
    • INTERNATIONAL LIFE SCIENCES INSTITUTE (Belgium)

Nature is essential for human existence, and the quality of life in our societies depends directly and indirectly on the natural environment, its biodiversity, and ecosystem services. 

 On the other hand, the globalised financial system seeks to optimise financial return without considering its secondary impacts, contributing to large-scale biodiversity loss and bringing our biosphere closer to collapse. Yet, our daily lives are directed by financial institutions and markets. Corporate financing choices, lending and insurance products, public enterprise investment, and asset management impact the products we consume, where and how we live, our access to energy, food, and transportation services, and where we keep our savings. Financial institutions and intermediaries use decision-making tools and instruments to direct and redirect the flow of capital within a networked financial system. 

 The EU Green Deal and the Sustainable Finance Taxonomy (SFT) provide a starting point for limiting negative impacts and redirecting financial flows to nature-positive economic activities.

The project

In this sense, the project BioFin will use a multi-actor approach to create impact through a science-led dashboard for nature-positive financial decision support. The NBS Dashboard provides a cohesive structure to categorise NBS and guide suitable governance structures and associated financial instruments and business. It will provide a unifying technology and framework to identify drivers and implementation gaps for the SFT (Sustainable Finance Taxonomy), challenge existing theories and practices which currently constrain investment in Nature-Based Solutions (NBS) and activate novel business models and approaches that can redirect the flow of finance towards the protection and restoration of biodiversity.

Built with and for six key groups: ecologists, data scientists, financial and accounting experts, citizens, providers of nature-based solutions (NBS) as well as investors (financial institutions, non-financial companies (NFCs), State-Owned Enterprises (SOEs), the Dashboard will help actors navigate large-scale financing challenges and to develop, replicate, scale-out and strengthen NBS-investment, creating a more sustainable, resilient and healthy planet and supporting the EU’s biodiversity restoration ambitions.

Our contribution

 Etifor will contribute to developing the interactive Nature-Based Solution Dashboard in the project.  Specifically, Etifor will help enrich the panel of best practices (“learning cases”), enabling their replicability, with three projects that involved the development of innovative financial mechanisms:

  • BIOCLIMA, a public-private partnership model for supporting investments in protected areas in Lombardy;
  • LIFE Brenta 2030, which saw the result of a PES (Payment for Ecosystem Services) for biodiversity protection and water resource conservation
  • Assistance to the development of Sustainability Credits in the context of the Tuscan-Emilian Apennine Park.