From BIOFIN: Demand is high for investment in biodiversity, but finance gaps remain

“Representatives from across Europe, Asia and Pacific are encouraging increased investment in nature from both the public and private sectors, with emerging data revealing that significant finance gaps remain for countries to achieve their biodiversity targets.

As the host country for the 5th Biodiversity Finance Regional Dialogue for Europe, Asia and Pacific, held this week, Thailand has vast natuInral resources and rich biodiversity. But the country’s economy relies heavily on nature in sectors such as tourism, food production and spa and herbal medicine.

“The value of the bio-economy stands at 3 trillion Thai baht (almost US$100 Billion) or 21% of the country’s GDP,” said Chakkrit Parapantakul, the Deputy Permanent Secretary of the Thailand Ministry of Finance.

“Biodiversity finance is a key element in achieving sustainable economic development. Thailand is converting to the bio-economy and circular economy and much of the economy is already bio-based,” he said.

The Biodiversity Finance Initiative (BIOFIN) has revealed that biodiversity-related expenditure in Thailand is estimated US$330 million or 0.5% of the overall budget or 0.1% of GDP. It needs at least US$924 million to achieve its national biodiversity targets by 2021 – at least three times higher than the current expenditures.

Renaud Meyer, Resident Representative for UNDP Thailand, said countries such as Thailand have made tremendous progress in human development.

“But it also raises the level of challenge for the environment. Do we think of the consequences of our development on the environment? We need to find solutions to finance the biodiversity costs, that will preserve our way of life – but the highest cost is the cost of in-action,” he said.

In Indonesia – the largest economy in South East Asia, the government with UNDP and others have developed a Green Sukuk – an Islamic Bond, to mobilise finance for biodiversity-related projects.

“In a Sukuk or Islamic bond, interest returns to investors are prohibited. Investors gain returns through the government leasing back underlying assets sold to investors. The Green Sukuk Indonesia is the world’s first Islamic green sovereign bond,” said Dwi Irianty HadiningdyahDirector of Islamic Financing, Directorate General of Budget Financing and Risk Management, Ministry of Finance of Indonesia.

Nearby in the Philippines, a partnership between BIOFIN, WWF and the fin-tech company, GCash is mobilising funds to protect and restore the Ipo Watershed – an important water source for the capital, Manila. Gcash mobile money users are rewarded for using the app through virtual tree planting, which is matched and funded by Gcash and will result in the planting of 365,000 trees in the restoration of the watershed.

“We didn’t have a difficult time convincing Gcash and other companies, said Anabelle Plantilla, Project Coordinator from BIOFIN Philippines. “The private sector is open in terms of listening to the science because they want their programs to have an impact,” she said.

Mabel Niala, Head External Affairs, GCash Philippines said that the use of the app and the Gcash Forest initiative was suitable for use by self-described ‘lazy environmentalists’, due to how easy it is to use and contribute to the reforestation project.

“We’ve already reached 1 million users who have used the app and earned points to plant a ‘virtual tree’ – we will then work with partners to plant the real trees in the Ipo Watershed area,” she said.”

The article is available in its entirety on BIOFIN’s Website.

BIOFIN - #KeepThemWild: Corporate Social Responsibility Program fundraiser held in the Philippines

Story from BIOFIN:

Quezon City, Philippines (13 April 2019) – To raise funds for the refurbishment of homes for confiscated illegally-traded and surrendered wildlife, BIOFIN Philippines together with the Coffee Bean and Tea Leaf, Faber-Castell, Wildlife Rescue Center (WRC) of Biodiversity Management Bureau, Haribon Foundation and the Ninoy Aquino Parks and Wildlife Center organized a fund-raising event called #KeepThemWild.  It served as an eye-opener and a learning activity that provided artistic inspiration to participants in painting their own canvas tote bags to shed light on the state of wildlife at the WRC and raise funds for their maintenance.

For more information on this innovative fundraising effort please see the full story on the BIOFIN website.

Photo sources from story on BIOFIN site.

Video on Biodiversity Finance for a Sustainable Future in Viet Nam

A new video explains how many of the finance solutions recommended through BIOFIN in Viet Nam are practical ways to build on existing structures for better financial management supporting future work on biodiversity. These include partnerships with social organisations and business communities, payment for forest environmental services, reduced emissions from deforestation and forest degradation (REDD+), result-based budgeting, entrance fees, eco-tourism fees, and natural resources and environmental taxes and fees. Watch the full video here.

Recap from CBD COP 14 - "Finance as the Foundation for the post-2020 New Global Deal for Biodiversity"

Finance leaders gathered in November in Egypt to debate the past, present and future of financing conservation during a parallel event of the High Level Segment of the CBD COP 14. The event brought together a diverse range of leaders who are forging a new path for a post-2020 framework for biodiversity conservation – dubbed ‘the New Deal for Nature’. Read the full story from BIOFIN here.

Biodiversity Finance Online Open Course

Do you need to make a stronger business case for biodiversity conservation? Do you want to become more skilled at developing financially sound and politically feasible solutions to conservation and development challenges? Do you need to know how to develop an effective biodiversity finance plan? Do you want access to more tools to assess the policy, institutional, and economic context for biodiversity finance, and to conduct a financial needs assessment to achieve a country’s biodiversity goals? 

BIOFIN is offering a FREE seven-week Massive Open Online Course (MOOC) called Biodiversity Finance. It will be facilitated in English, French, Spanish and Russian, and will run from 15 April to 31 May 2019. The course is aimed at conservation planning and biodiversity finance practitioners and policymakers, but is open to everyone.

View the full invitation here, or click here to register.

BIOFIN Webinar - Privately Protected Areas: A finance solution for private sector engagement in conservation

This April 23rd, at 9:00am EST, BIOFIN will host a webinar discussing Privately Protected Areas as a solution for private sector engagement in conservation. Through attendance in this webinar, participants will be able to understand what a PPA is, how it leverages private sector investment into biodiversity conservation, in which contexts it can be implemented, and how to build a successful model of PPA.

A full description of the webinar is available here, and for registration please click the button below.

BIOFIN Webinar - Private Lands Conservation Series, Part 1: Conservation easements, the USA case

Mon, Dec 4, 2017 - 9:00am EDT

BIOFIN is launching a series of webinars on private lands conservation that will feature examples such as conservation easements, customary and collective property conservation, and Private Protected Areas (PPAs). This first session will focus on conservation easements in the US. Conservation easements are legally binding agreements between private landowners and non-profit land trusts or government to protect conservation values of a property. The webinar speaker, Andrew Seidl, is a co-author of the study and a professor in the Department of Agricultural and Resource Economics at CSU as well as a Senior Technical Advisor for BIOFIN.

The Webinar will focus on the main lessons learnt from the mechanism's evolution and implementation in the US. The strengths, weaknesses and risks will be presented as well as relevant examples of implementation and the return on investment of such mechanism for the region of Colorado. 

Further information on the webinar is available here, and the link to register is here.

BIOFIN Seeking Applicants for Consulting Contract

BIOFIN is looking for applicants for a consulting contract dealing with the preparation of a Biodiversity Finance Plan (BFP) in Georgia. The expert chosen will be responsible for preparation of BFP following the guidance provided by the current version of the BIOFIN Workbook and in close collaboration with the BIOFIN National Team. The work will take place over 6 months and be mostly home-based with two five day business trips to Georgia.

For a full description of the opportunity please visit the UNDP Jobs site. Applicants must submit materials before the 16th of August, 2017.

BIOFIN Seeking Services of a Consultant on Sustainable Finance

The UNDP-managed Biodiversity Finance Initiative – BIOFIN ( is seeking the services of a Consultant on Sustainable Finance.  BIOFIN works in 30 countries globally and was designed to assess–at national level–the biodiversity enabling context, biodiversity expenditures, biodiversity finance needs, and to establish an engagement process for the adoption and implementation of a Biodiversity Finance Plan.  BIOFIN is working with the CFA to revise and update the CFA Guide for Conservation Finance first developed over 15 years ago. 
With this call, UNDP is seeking the services of a Consultant, with a focus on researching biodiversity and sustainable finance, as well as, to provide support on related knowledge management and advocacy tasks. The consultant will be hosted within the Sustainable Development Cluster team in New York. For additional information on the scope of activities please visit the BIOFIN website (see above) and the Financing Solutions for Sustainable Development Platform (

For further information on the position please see the posting on the UNDP site. Applicants must have all necessary materials submitted by July 17th, 2017.