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E2. Expenditure on UK and international biodiversity

a. Public sector expenditure on UK biodiversity

b. Non-governmental organisation expenditure on UK biodiversity

c. UK public sector expenditure on international biodiversity

Type: Response indicator

Indicator Description

The first part of this indicator provides real-term, public sector spending on biodiversity in the UK alongside spending by non-governmental organisations (NGOs) with a focus on biodiversity and/or nature conservation. Spending is just one way of assessing the government’s commitment to biodiversity.

The second part of this indicator provides real-term UK public sector spending on global biodiversity. Funding for international biodiversity is essential for the implementation of the Convention on Biological Diversity in developing countries, along with other international biodiversity policy commitments.

Contents

  1. Summary
  2. Downloads

Summary

In 2017/18, £456 million of UK public sector funding was allocated to biodiversity in the UK; a real-term increase of 67% since the time series began in 2000/01, and real-term decreases of 16% since 2016/17 and 29% over the last 5 years (Figure E2i).

Since 2000/01, public sector funding for UK biodiversity relative to gross domestic product (GDP) has fluctuated between 0.018% and 0.038%. In 2017/18, it amounted to 0.022% of UK GDP.

Spending on biodiversity in the UK by non-governmental organisations (NGOs) with a focus on biodiversity and/or nature conservation was £239 million (net of government funding) in 2017/18. This figure represents no real-term change since 2016/17 but a 24% increase in biodiversity related spending over the last 5 years.

Figure E2i. Expenditure on biodiversity in the UK, 2000/01 to 2017/18.

A combined bar char and line graph showing how expenditure on biodiversity in the UK has changed from 2000/01 to 2017/18. The bars show real-term public sector spend on UK biodiversity from 2000/01 to 2017/18 and real-term NGO spend on UK biodiversity from 2010/11 to 2017/18. The line shows how real-term public sector expenditure on UK biodiversity has changed in relation to UK GDP from 2000/01 to 2017/18.

Notes:

  1. Deflated using UK Gross Domestic Product (GDP) deflator.
  2. Wherever possible, NGO spend is net of government funding.
  3. There may be some inconsistencies in the reporting of expenditure on UK biodiversity from one year to the next (see background section for further details).
  4. Revisions to past data series as a result of improved methodology or access to additional data mean the chart (and figures) are not directly comparable to those presented in previous publications (see background section for further details).

Source: Defra, HM Treasury.

In 2017/18, UK public sector funding for international biodiversity totalled £205 million; a real-term increase of 135% since the time series began in 2001/02. Funding for international biodiversity has also more than doubled over the last 5 years and increased by 20% in the latest year for which data have been compiled (Figure E2ii). Annual changes in this measure are influenced greatly by the irregular nature of (i) contributions to the Global Environment Facility (GEF) and (ii) other Official Development Assistance (ODA) funding (which now includes a wider range of projects as part of the 2019 update). The additional ODA data are only available from 2001/02 and therefore the time series has been shortened to ensure consistent presentation across all remaining years. Inclusion of these data has resulted in additional annual expenditure of between £13 million and £143 million across the time series (in 2017/18 prices). Step changes observed between 2011/12 and 2012/13 and between 2013/14 and 2014/15 are due to a large decrease followed 2 years later by a large increase in ODA funding for biodiversity related projects.

Figure E2ii. UK public sector expenditure on international biodiversity, 2001/02 to 2017/18.

A bar chart showing how UK public sector expenditure on international biodiversity has changed over time from 2001/02 to 2017/18. Expenditure fluctuated up and down between £68 million and £94 million during the earlier part of the time series. It then reached an initial peak of £160 million in 2011/12 before falling again in 2012/13 and 2013/14. It peaked agin at £199 million in 2014/15 before falling in 2016/17 and recovering to £205 million in 2017/18.

Notes:

  1. Deflated using UK Gross Domestic Product (GDP) deflator.
  2. There may be some inconsistencies in the reporting of expenditure on international biodiversity from one year to the next (see background section for further details).
  3. The large fluctuations between years are mostly due to the irregular nature of (i) contributions to the Global Environment Facility (GEF) and (ii) other Official Development Assistance (ODA) funding (which now includes a wider range of projects as part of the 2019 update).
  4. The step change in 2014/15 is due to increased ODA funding for biodiversity related projects.
  5. GEF and other ODA expenditure are reported by calendar year; they have been allocated to the financial year beginning in each relevant calendar year, e.g. 2017 data are included in 2017/18.
  6. Revisions to past data series as a result of improved methodology and/or access to additional data (in particular, revisions to GEF payments and the inclusion of a wider range of other ODA funding from 2001/02 onwards) mean the chart (and figures) are not directly comparable to those presented in previous publications. It also means that the 2000/01 data point has been removed from the time series to ensure consistent presentation across all remaining years.

Source: Defra, HM Treasury.

Assessment of change in public expenditure on biodiversity

 

Long term

Short term

Latest year

Public sector expenditure on
biodiversity in the UK


2000/01–2017/18


2012/13–2017/18

Decreased
(2017/18)

Non-governmental organisation
spending on biodiversity in the UK

2012/13–2017/18

No change (2017/18)

UK public sector expenditure
on international biodiversity

2001/02–2017/18

2012/13–2017/18

Increased
(2017/18)

Note: The long-term and short-term assessment of these measures is based on a 3% rule of thumb. The base years for these assessments use a 3-year average, see Assessing Indicators.

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Downloads

Download the Fiche, Datasheet and Technical Background Note from the JNCC Resource Hub

Last updated: September 2019

Latest data available: Financial year 2017/18

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Categories:

UK Biodiversity Indicators 2019

Published: .

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