For its second phase, the Combo+ biodiversity conservation and regeneration program will intervene at the regulatory and institutional levels. Benefiting four African countries, Combo+ is being implemented by the American conservation organisation Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS), with funding from the French Development Agency (AFD) and the French Global Environment Facility (FGEF).
The Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS) and its partners will launch the second phase of the programme, called Combo+, for “Conservation, Minimisation of Impacts and Biodiversity Offsets”, in 2021. In addition to the four African countries (Madagascar, Uganda, Guinea, and Mozambique) that benefited from the first phase of the programme (between 2016 and 2020), the second phase of Combo+ includes two new countries in Southeast Asia, Laos and Myanmar.
The financing agreement for this phase was recently signed by the Director General of the French Development Agency (AFD), Rémy Rioux, in the presence of the Secretary General of the French Global Environment Facility (FGEF), Stéphanie Bouziges-Eschmann, and WCS President Cristián Samper. AFD and FGEF are each contributing 2 million euros to the project out of a total budget of 10 million euros. “This project is fully in line with the FGEF’s innovation mandate, as it aims to institutionalize the impact mitigation hierarchy in public policies, to implement it in the field in a participatory manner, to scale it up and to disseminate good practices internationally,” explains Stéphanie Bouziges-Eschmann, the FGEF’s Secretary General.
The levers of action for phase 2 of Combo+
Phase 2 of the Combo+ programme targets the regulatory and institutional frameworks dedicated to biodiversity, as well as the technical and human resources needed to enforce them. The aim is to provide the governments of the six beneficiary countries with legislative instruments that oblige public or private actors to carry out environmental assessments of their projects, including measures to avoid and reduce impacts on ecosystems. And as a last resort, the programme supports the various actors in compensating for the environmental impacts of economic development projects. “With this project, we are truly responding to the challenges of integrating biodiversity into the economies of countries where conservation issues are essential,” explains Aurélien Guingand, project team leader at AFD.
The French bank also took the opportunity of signing the financing agreement for the second Combo+ to renew its multi-thematic partnership with WCS. In the new approach of their collaboration, the two institutions will focus on innovative financing mechanisms for biodiversity conservation. In particular the “avoid-reduce-compensate” sequence, but also on support to protected areas, the fight against poaching, modalities for climate/biodiversity convergence of development policies and projects, or the One Health approach.