Bhutan unveils four BIOFIN solutions to bridge finance gap for biodiversity conservation

The sustainable finance solutions, which have been identified in the national Biodiversity Finance plan - a roadmap towards a greener, safer nature and society - , will not only help Bhutan protect its rich and pristine biodiversity but also create jobs and combat climate change.

May 21, 2023

Launch of the financing solutions at the Royal Botanical Garden in Thimphu

UNDP Bhutan/Dechen Wangmo

Thimphu, 22 May 2023: The Royal Government of Bhutan in partnership with UNDP launched four Biodiversity Finance (BIOFIN) solutions today coinciding with the International Biodiversity Day. The finance solutions, aligned with the government’s priorities, are aimed at helping Bhutan to not only protect its rich, prinstine biodiversity but also let it flourish and sustain. 

UNDP supported the development of the four BIOFIN solutions through its BIOFIN- the Biodiversity Finance Initiative. BIOFIN, simply put, is about bridging the resource gap-- the chasm between the funds that countries invest yearly and the finances actually needed-- to protect and restore nature. 

At the heart of BIOFIN approach lies the creation and roll out of tailored investments and incentives that help countries to transition to a nature positive economy-- protecting and preserving nature while at the same time boosting economies. 


Lyonpo Yeshey Penjor, Minister for Agriculture and Livestock

UNDP Bhutan/Dechen Wangmo

“Such innovative finance solutions, assessed and validated in close collaboration with stakeholders and UNDP, will assist Bhutan step up conservation efforts and ensure sustainbale utilization of our biological resources,” said Lyonpo Yeshey Penjor, Minister for Agriculture and Livestock. 


Khurshid Alam, Deputy Resident Representative, UNDP Bhutan

UNDP Bhutan/Dechen Wangmo

UNDP Deputy Resident Representative Khurshid Alam congratulated Bhutan on the launch of the biodiversity finance solutions. 

Global biodiversity is in a grave crisis and commitment to build it back would require new ways of doing development and an additional finance of USD 824 billion annually. While many financial solutions for biodiversity conservation exist, most countries struggle in accessing these solutions. UNDP’s Biodiversity Finance Initiative works to address this challenge. UNDP remains committed to working closely with the Royal Government in ensuring the BIOFIN solutions launched today are successfully implemented,” he said. 

“With its extraordinary conservation efforts, Bhutan is well placed to lead mobilization of global political commitment needed to accelerate the implementation of Kunming-Montreal Global Biodiversity Framework adopted at the 15th Conference of Parties to the UN Convention on Biological Diversity (COP15) held in Montreal last December.”

Hailed as a historic achievement to guide global action on nature through 2030, the focus now is on implementation and action. 

Biodiversity finance solutions are varied. It can be public or private revenues or contributions, build around voluntary or compulsory schemes, guided by markets or regulations, available on short-or longer-term basis, and associated with particular conditions set by the finance providers.

The finance solutions consist of two different elements- a financing mechanism and a series of actions that help to either create a new mechanism or improve an existing mechanism to scale it up or make it nature positive. 

Of the four finance solutions launched today, the first and second finance solutions - Enhancing Results Based Budgeting Implementation through Ecological Fiscal Transfers and Mainstreaming Biodiversity Finance and Finance Solutions into the Local Government Plansseek to meet the financing gap for biodiversity conservation at national level through planned intergovernmental fiscal transfers. A revised budget planning will measure government allocation to ensure progress towards biodiversity conservation. The Ministry of Finance will implement these finance solutions in partnership with UNDP.

The third finance solution- Increased Revenues from Eco-Tourism Fees in Parks and Conservation Areas- will be implemented in collaboration with the Department of Tourism and the Department of Forest and Park ServicesIt will institutionalize linkage between tourism sector and Protected Areas (PAs) to ensure long-term fiscal sustainability. This will be done through a suite of biodiversity-friendly tourism product diversification and allow PAs to innovate financing mechanisms through various fees, which can be retained or ploughed back into the conservation of PAs. 

The fourth finance solution- Redesigning Human-Wildlife Conflict (HWC) Schemewill promote community-based biodiversity conservation and curb retaliatory killing of wildlife, poaching and trafficking. The Ministry of Agriculture and Livestock and the Ministry of Energy and Natural Resources  will implement this finance solution in partnership with UNDP.


Andre Seidl, Senior Technical Advisor, The BIOFIN Initiative, UNDP

UNDP Bhutan/Dechen Wangmo

The four finance solutions were developed as part of the second phase of the RGoB-UNDP BIOFIN project. Bhutan was among the first group of UNDP Global BIOFIN Initiative countries to avail partnership in 2012. 

The first phase, implemented from 2012 to 2020, mapped biodiversity finance challenge. It defined finance needs and gaps through detailed national-level assessments to determine challenges and opportunities for resource mobilization, and to build a sound business case for increased biodiversity investments. 

Since 2012, UNDP’s BIOFIN Initiative has been active worldwide to demonstrate how nature positive economies can work for people and the planet. BIOFIN is working with 41 countries, including Bhutan, implementing more than 200 biodiversity finance solutions with a total budgetary impact in the tens of millions of dollars. 

“Through the recently signed Global Biodiversity Framework and with the rollout of three Global Environment Facility (GEF) programs with provisions for the creation of biodiversity finance plans, BIOFIN anticipates an expanded coverage to 130 countries from 2023. Bhutan will be an example for all these new countries,” said Andre Seidl, Senior Technical Advisor with UNDP Global BIOFIN. 


For more information, please contact:

Ms. Dechen Wangmo, Communications Analyst, UNDP Bhutan; Email:, Mobile: 17343086