Historically, Mexico’s natural resources have benefited all the population by bringing essential goods in the form of food, construction materials and traditional medicine among others. But in recent decades, a growing economic activity based on heavy extraction of such resources and a lack of coordination among public policies have caused an increased pressure over the country’s biodiversity.
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Natura 2000 is the world's largest coordinated network of protected areas, established by two pieces of EU environmental legislation: the so-called Birds and Habitats Directives. The Natura 2000 network now comprises over 27000 sites across the 28 EU Member States. It covers over million km², more than 18% of the EU terrestrial area and over 4% of the marine area where EU Member States have national jurisdiction. The EU Birds and Habitats Directives and Natura 2000 are the cornerstone of the EU biodiversity policy and the backbone of its Green Infrastructure.
Biodiversity offsets offer a promising option for promoting the conservation and sustainable management of natural ecosystems on an expanded scale. In an era of often flat--and sometimes declining--governmental support for conservation in general and protected areas in particular, biodiversity offsets can provide an underutilized opportunity to mobilize substantial new funding. This funding can come from public infrastructure accounts (such as for dams and roads) as well as from the private sector (including extractive industries).
Under-funding of protected areas is a universal challenge. The UNDP supported GEF financed project “Strengthening Governance and Financial Sustainability of the National Protected Area System” sought to improve the financial sustainability of the Ukraine’s national protected area system. To do this, the project: a) developed a comprehensive national strategy for protected area financing, b) introduced business planning for protected areas and piloted options for PA revenue generation.