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The Australian Government is seeking to use corporate information technology to bolster the country’s response to natural disasters, such as the recent floods in South Australia, through a program called Biodiversity Finance Solutions. This effort involves utilizing existing information technology to facilitate better financial flows between government departments, third parties involved in natural disasters, and even between private sectors and the government. One specific program that is currently underway involves leveraging the existing database resources of the Australian Tax Office to improve the identification and dissemination of financial flows associated with disasters, which could help expedite government response times and better prepare affected individuals and communities for future risks and needs. According to the Australian Government’s Department of Industry, Biodiversity Finance can help alleviate some of the stress related to natural disasters and strengthen response methods after events.
In the past, there was a lack of coordination and messaging between public and private sectors. As such, there was not enough data available for disaster analysis and risk mapping. Through a variety of sources, including bank statements, public archives, insurance reports, and the Web, a greater number of financial flows can be identified and analyzed. The goal of this approach is to provide an improved and more accurate depiction of financial flows that are related to natural disasters, particularly in terms of loss of life and damage. The financial flows associated with natural disasters will be useful in assisting with recovery efforts and in the monitoring and evaluation of progress following disasters. Through a diversity of financing tools, the Australian Government is leveraging its biodiversity finance solution to improve the identification and dissemination of accurate and up-to-date information regarding water, land, and wildlife conservation in Australia.
One component of the Australian Government’s Biodiversity Finance Solutions strategy is the establishment of an Integrated Resource Management System (IRMS). IRMS will foster greater efficiency across all aspects of Australian environmental and conservation efforts, including enforcement of laws that mandate compliance with those laws. It will also facilitate coordination among various entities involved in the monitoring, assessment, protection, and recovery of Australia’s unique ecosystems. In doing so, it allows for the accurate assessment and reporting of the costs and benefits of natural resource management activities. The integrated management system will provide a reliable source of budget analysis and monitoring of resources and ensure greater efficiency in implementing legislation related to the sustainable use of natural resources.
Other aspects of the biodiversity finance water use policy focus on the implementation of technical and procedural guidelines for the management of natural resources. These guidelines will require adherence to professional standards of practice. It is expected that these guidelines will support a more efficient use of management funding. In addition to facilitating improved decision making regarding resource allocation, they will also assist in identifying and monitoring potential risks and opportunities.
One key component of Australia’s Biodiversity finance strategy is the establishment of an effective floor plan for resource use. This includes both long term and short term plans for use of existing assets and would include processes for resource assessments and collection of data that are necessary for a well-informed decision regarding resource usage. A strong floor plan would serve as an effective mechanism for aligning the existing management processes, policies, and practices with overall environmental objectives. It would also contribute towards reducing the cost and risk associated with the use of assets.
Financial instruments for biodiversity finance can be categorized into two main categories: natural capital and tangible assets. Examples of tangible assets are forests, lakes, land and wildlife, etc. As natural capital, these resources can be utilized for a variety of purposes including: enhancing the yield from agricultural production, hydropower generation, soil enhancement, etc. The costs and benefits associated with each of these activities would be reflected in the value of the returns to borrowers of these natural assets.
For this reason, it has become increasingly important for corporations to gain access to up-to-date and accurate information relevant to their strategic priorities, as well as information regarding resource use cases that may affect their operations in various localities. A mobile finance solution can provide the necessary information in this respect by facilitating access to accurate and up-to-date financial data that can be used in decision making processes. This information can help in optimizing current and future corporate investments, in particular in those areas that have the greatest potential for achieving positive returns.