Ecuador is considered one of the most biodiverse countries in the world (one of the 17th most diverse), due to the high diversity of their natural species. The country has around 23.056 taxonomic species of animals and plants reported, which constitutes the 6,1% of all species reported worldwide. This biodiversity richness is determined by its geographical, atmospheric and climatic location and conditions and represents an important economic and commercial source, especially for the communities living and relying on this mean. Besides that, the country's economy is based on non-renewable resources such as oil, and on traditional agriculture such as the production of bananas, shrimps, cocoa, flowers and fisheries. These activities may endanger the highlighted biodiversity richness of the country, which makes necessary to look for new alternatives on sustainable development that support the protection and conservation of biodiversity in the country.

As part of this effort, the United Nations Development Programme, through BIOFIN is working in coordination with  the Ministries of Environment and Water, Finance, and the National Secretariat for Planning and Development. BIOFIN in Ecuador has analyzed the legal and institutional framework, reviewed biodiversity expenditures from the public and private sector, as well as identified funding needs and the financial gaps to implement measures and actions until 2021. On this basis, the resource mobilization plan identifies different financial sources, modalities and mechanisms that can contribute to fulfill the national objectives related to the sustainable management of biodiversity.

In this context, Ecuador is boosting a "bioeconomy" policy that will allow the country to build a more sustainable economy based on innovation and circularity. Therefore, BIOFIN has played an important role by developing and implementing financial solutions that tackle strategic processes, instruments and initiatives on this matter; such as: corporate social responsibility, private financial sector engagement, efficiency of public expenditures and sustainable entrepreneurship. 

Within this framework, the National Strategy of Biodiversity 2015 - 2030 was elaborated by the Ecuadorian Government in order to plan integrated actions that contribute to the more accurate management and use of the natural resources within a sustainable development framework. Then, in order to support the implementation of the National Strategy of Biodiversity and its Action Plan for 2016-2021 (NBSAP), the Government of Ecuador together with the BIOFIN initiative developed a Biodiversity Finance Plan (BFP) to mobilize financial resources that will contribute to increase investments from  the public and private sector at the national level, as well as from international cooperation. This Action Plan is looking to meet the objectives of knowing, valuing, protecting, restoring and using biodiversity in a sustainable way in Ecuador.

Furthermore, additional support has been given to the Ecuadorian government to build the Organic Environmental Code which is the legal instrument that unifies and updates all the environmental regulation of the country. Furthermore, BIOFIN has supported the creation and operation of the Fund for Sustainable Environmental Investments (FIAS for its Spanish acronyms) in order to access and better manage international cooperation donations for biodiversity conservation. Finally, important assistance was given to identify a raw water tariff that promote the mobilization of resources for biodiversity conservation from local governments. 

Key Results

  • Biodiversity Finance Plan (BFP) to mobilize financial resources that will contribute to increase investments from the public and private sector at the national level, as well as from international cooperation.
  • Social Responsibility and Sustainability Investment Fund, included in the National Environment Fund, which facilitates the business sector investments in biodiversity
  • Promotion of financial mechanisms for protected areas and surrounded areas, such as technical advice for entry fees and water tariffs; involvement of private protected areas; identification of tourist services related to protected areas; crowdfunding campaigns for the Galapagos Islands; among others.
  • Facilitation of national processes for inclusive finances such as the National Roundtables on Sustainable Finances and Bio-Economy.
  • Designing and application of green credit lines within the popular and solidarity economy in more than 500 Credit Union of Ecuador.
Finance Solutions
Key Documents