Written evidence, Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs - IBC0001

 

Information provided further to the oral evidence session with Lord Goldsmith of Richmond Park on 15 June.

 

  1. Which stakeholders Defra is working with on the issue of digital sequence information, including whether this includes the Wellcome Trust.

 

Defra is working with a range of stakeholders on the issue of DSI and hosts regular dialogues through the UK ABS Stakeholder Forum. The last Forum, held in April, was attended by more than 50 stakeholders with representation from academia, NGOs, trade and industry associations, and individual companies from sectors including pharmaceutical, biotechnology and cosmetics. The Wellcome Sanger Institute is a member of the Forum, along with others including the BioIndustry Association, Syngenta, GSK, and AstraZeneca.

 

 

  1. An outline of the international funding commitments on biodiversity over the next few years.

 

In 2019, the Prime Minister launched the UK’s International Biodiversity Fund and committed £220 million to tackle the urgent problem of biodiversity loss. This includes scaled up funding for the UK’s Darwin Initiative, work to tackle the Illegal Wildlife Trade, and the new Biodiverse Landscapes Fund. Some of this work will also contribute to meeting the UK’s recent commitment to spend at least £3bn, drawn from our existing commitment of £11.6bn of ICF funding, to deliver benefits for nature, from 2021/22 – 2025/26.

 

For this financial year (2021-2022), Defra’s budget has been set at £92 million. This will continue to support the delivery programmes aimed at addressing biodiversity loss, including those mentioned above.

 

 

  1. Further information on the World Bank’s objections to the Government’s intent to align its ODA spending with nature.

 

The Governments intent, as laid out in its response to the Dasgupta Review, is to take steps to integrate nature into its Official Development Assistance (ODA), ensuring that all new UK bilateral aid spending does no harm to nature. This is a step towards delivering on our commitment in the Integrated Review to investing in nature and a nature-positive economy. Multilateral Development Banks (MDBs) play a hugely important role in this transition and we are working closely with the MDBs, including with the World Bank, to maximise the synergies of climate and biodiversity finance and to promote funding that has co-benefits for climate and nature. We are encouraging all MDBs to sign a joint statement committing them to mainstream nature across their operations.