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Mozambique 2020 © Yann Macherez_1
As from 2021, the NGO WCS will be financed and supported by FFEM and AFD during the COMBO+ project. Following on from the COMBO project, which FFEM supported from 2015 to 2019, and its remarkable impacts, achieved in just 4 years, this second phase aims to consolidate the operability of Avoid - Reduce - Compensate and extend the approach to two Asian countries.

Renewable and non-renewable natural resources and their respective ecosystems are today under unprecedented pressures because of economic globalisation and the strong growth seen in many Global South nations, To limit the environmental impact of the extractive industries and major development works, most countries have put in place legislation which requires project sponsors (public or private) to propose measures to mitigate their impacts. These measures take the form of a Mitigation Hierarchy (MH) with three levels: Avoid, Reduce - Restore and Compensate. While most countries have binding legislative frameworks which are enforced, the lack of precise definitions - in particular for ecological compensation - has to date considerably limited their application. COMBO+ aims to strengthen this regulatory and institutional framework by improving MH implementation.

This project fits perfectly with FFEM’s innovation mandate, since it looks at the institutionalisation of the Mitigation Hierarchy of impacts in public policy, their participative roll-out on the ground, their upscaling and the diffusion of good practices internationally”, explains Stéphanie Bouziges-Eschmann, FFEM Secretary-General.

The competent Ministries and authorities from six countries - Madagascar, Uganda, Guinea, Mozambique, Laos and Burma - will be supported in defining and implementing public policies aiming for no net loss of biodiversity, or even a net gain in biodiversity, at regional scale. Application of the “polluter pays” principle, to provide financial compensation measures financed by developers and project owners, will aim to better manage the social and environmental impacts of development and infrastructure projects. The global objective is to better reconcile economic development with ecosystem protection, while ensuring that each development project involving the private sector can ultimately contribute directly to national biodiversity goals.