The Biodiversity Finance Initiative
Thailand is very rich in biodiversity, with estimates showing between 6-10 per cent of all known species living in the country. In particular in the last 60 years economic and infrastructural developments have put pressure on biodiversity and ecosystems, as the forest coverage decreased from 53 to 32 per cent. At the same time the countries' landscapes and nature started to attract millions of tourists. To safeguard the nation's biodiversity, the protected area system was expanded significantly, now covering one fifth of the country.
In October 2012 UNDP launched the Biodiversity Finance Initiative – BIOFIN, as a new global partnership seeking to address the biodiversity finance challenge in a comprehensive manner – building a sound business case for increased investment in the management of ecosystems and biodiversity, with a particular focus on the needs and transformational opportunities at the national level. BIOFIN aims to develop a methodology for quantifying the biodiversity finance gap at national level, for improving cost-effectiveness through mainstreaming of biodiversity into national development and sectoral planning, and for developing comprehensive national resource mobilising strategies. BIOFIN will thus provide a framework for undertaking 'bottom-up' analyses of the biodiversity finance gap and resource mobilization strategies, through a transformative process led by national stakeholders.
1. Biodiversity Finance Policy and Institutional Review (PIR)
Through this process, the national BIOFIN Team maps the impact of economic sectors on biodiversity, identifies the main financing mechanisms being used and reviews which subsidies have an impact on biodiversity. The PIR also reviews the overall financing architecture for biodiversity in the country and generates specific recommendations for an improved institutional framework. Work started early 2015.
2. Biodiversity Expenditure Review
Through the Biodiversity Expenditure Review, the national BIOFIN team assesses which expenditures national stakeholders incur towards biodiversity, from both national and international resources, including the public and private sector. This helps the country generate national level expenditure data on biodiversity.
3. Biodiversity Finance Needs Assessment
Detailed calculations will be made to find out how much it would cost to complete all activities and reach all goals of the National Biodiversity Action Plan. Expected to start in 2016.
4. Biodiversity Finance Plan
Under this component BIOFIN will help develop a strategy to mobilize potential finance actors and mechanisms to reach national biodiversity targets. To start late 2016/early 2017.
5. Implementing the Biodiversity Finance Plan
The scope of activities shall be defined by the recommendations of the Finance Plan. To start in 2017.
- A baseline status of policies, institutions, expenditures related to biodiversity conservation and sustainable utilization in Thailand;
- A preliminary cost estimate for biodiversity investment in the next five years;
- Development of Resources Mobilization strategy for Biodiversity Conservation.
In addition, the BIOFIN expects increased awareness and evidence-based demonstration on the significance of biodiversity as a foundation to economic growth, security, and well-being in as well as increasing south-south exchanges among BIOFIN countries (currently 30 countries around the world).
For more information on BIOFIN globally, please visit www.biodiversityfinance.net