The Biodiversity Finance Initiative (BIOFIN)

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Project title:  The Biodiversity Finance Initiative (BIOFIN)

Location: Sri Lanka

Duration: August-December 2017

Project background: 

Biodiversity is in severe decline worldwide and this can be attributed to many causes, most of which stem from conflicting private and public interests, ineffective policy and governance and insufficient financing. Out of the global annual biodiversity financing need of between US $150 and US $440 billion, it has been found that only US $52 billion is being spent per year. This funding gap is hindering the achievements of the Convention on Biological Diversity and the Sustainable Development Goals in both developed and developing countries. However, this gap is not due to a shortage of liquidity in the world, but rather to a lack of investment from countries in biodiversity. A paradigm shift is required towards new investment and fiscal policy that better incorporates the economic value and financial benefits of biodiversity and sustainable development.

The Biodiversity Finance Initiative (BIOFIN) is a UNDP-managed global partnership that supports countries to enhance their financial management for biodiversity and ecosystems. Over 30 countries have signed on to the initiative, as did Sri Lanka in the year 2016, with the partnership of the Ministry of Environment and Ministry of Finance. Each country conducts detailed national level assessments to develop a biodiversity finance plan, drawing on quantitative and qualitative data, innovative methodologies and global and national expert input.

The role of IUCN in the BIOFIN project in Sri Lanka involves the technical assistance to UNDP in data collection, modelling and analysis related to key detailed national level assessments in order to produce a Biodiversity Finance Plan for Sri Lanka. This involves:

  • Completion of the Biodiversity Expenditure Review: in which data collection and analysis of all biodiversity expenditures of the public and private sectors, donors and NGOs is carried out.
  • Completion of the Finance Needs Assessment: in which a reliable estimate is made of the country’s financial needs required to achieve biodiversity targets.
  • Contribution to the overall Biodiversity Finance Plan: in which the resources and policies required to implement the most suitable finance solutions are identified and mobilised. 

Objectives of the project: The overall aim of the initiative is to develop a Biodiversity Finance Plan for Sri Lanka, based on the National Biodiversity Strategic Action Plan and other key national documents, to meet financing national biodiversity targets. 


  • Data collection, modelling and analysis of data related to meeting national biodiversity targets of Sri Lanka
  • Biodiversity expenditure review
  • Biodiversity financial needs assessment
  • Environmental economic valuation review 

Donors: UNDP

Partners: Ministry of Mahaweli Development and Environment; Ministry of Finance

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