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The Government has announced a new ‘International Biodiversity Fund’ from UK Overseas Development Assistance (ODA), starting with an initial injection of funding of £220 million for endangered animals such as the black rhino, African elephant, snow leopard and Sumatran tiger, with promises of more funding to come. The fund will aim to reduce biodiversity loss by backing projects aimed at halting species and habitat loss, as well as scaling up the UK’s Darwin Initiative that aims to support locally based projects that protect the environment.

The Government has also announced a new ‘Biodiverse Landscapes Fund ‘, and increased funding for the ‘Forest Governance Markets and Climate programme’ and the ‘Just Rural Transition initiative.’

Commenting, Ryan Shorthouse, director of Bright Blue, said:

The UK spends much less on global conservation through its Overseas Development Assistance than comparable countries such as the US and Germany. Poverty alleviation and sustainable communities should go hand-in-hand. The Government is right to gradually increase its international aid resources on improving biodiversity in developing countries, and we look forward to promised further announcements.”

Last year, Bright Blue published a report, Saving global nature: greening UK Official Development Assistance, that called for at least £1 billion per year be made available from existing UK Overseas Development Assistance (ODA) for global conservation through creating a ‘Global Nature Conservation Fund’. The report also called for the Darwin Initiative to have its funding increased to at least £100 million per year.