THE WORLD BANK
The World Bank lends some $2 billion each year for formal education projects. While some of these supports environmental education, very little is directly or explicitly directed at biodiversity education.
Development of biodiversity education in the informal sector has been tackled by the Bank, as one of the implementing agencies of the Global Environment Facility and through loans projects.
To date, the Bank has managed nearly 200 biodiversity conservation projects, and many of these have education and awareness components. However, to date, there has been no assessment of the effectiveness of the different types of approaches supported. Biodiversity education is also financed through the use of bilateral trust funds. For example, Dutch funds were used to produce 26 local language focal guides across East Asia, to groups from birds to flowers, turtles to traded species.
Biodiversity training and the World Bank Institute - Fiscal Year 2001
Various training programmes and expert consultations over the past year have suggested the following areas as necessary foci for future training programmes by the Environment and Natural Resources Division of the World Bank Institute:
- Linkages between biodiversity and development;
- Regional framework and cooperation;
- Information and knowledge dissemination.
Training on biodiversity conservation over fiscal year 2001 will range from general discussions of the overall importance and value of biodiversity (via Internet seminars) to more specialized and detailed aspects of biodiversity conservation (through courses). The Bank is a major financier of biodiversity projects but there is perceived to be insufficient understanding or appreciation of the need to stem biodiversity loss. To address this, training over fiscal year 2001 will focus on identifying the role of biodiversity in providing: (a) ecosystem services; and (b) reducing vulnerability and maintaining livelihoods. The training modules developed under this programme would be used for staff and for client training, focusing on economic policy makers from client countries and the senior management of the World Bank. In addition, the training material will be made available to other training programmes on sectors such as forestry, rural development etc., where the impact of land-use policies on biodiversity is critical.
The training will identify negative consequences and trade-offs in projects such as road building or hydro projects. This is an area of particular relevance to task managers and staff working on infrastructure projects as well as for staff working on disaster mitigation, fiscal management, etc., where biodiversity issues may be significant. Incentives and disincentive systems that promote biodiversity loss while encouraging growth and the options and synergies between development and conservation will be central to the training programme. Analytical tools to understand and evaluate alternatives/options and resources, obtain information on best practice and achieve development through conservation will be used.
Products for fiscal year 2001
- A flexible training programme on biodiversity conservation and use will be developed and used either on its own or aspects of it may be incorporated within other training programmes where the focus may be on other sectors but impacts on biodiversity may be significant.
- Regional training for South and East Asia will be offered, in cooperation with partners such as the IUCN.
- Case-studies that exemplify key aspects of conservation will be collated and disseminated via training courses and Internet seminars.