BIOFIN started in the Philippines in 2014. The United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), together with the Biodiversity Management Bureau (BMB) of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) and the Department of Finance (DoF), implement BIOFIN in the country. Under the project, the financial needs assessment of the Philippine Biodiversity Strategy and Action Plan (PBSAP) was updated and the financial needs for its implementation until 2030. Currently, the Philippines is implementing several finance solutions involving the national agencies, local government units, the private sector, civil society organizations, and the citizenry to mobilize resources for the PBSAP.

The Philippines is among the 17 megadiverse countries with 228 recognized key biodiversity areas home to 855 globally important species of flora and fauna. The benefits and services that biodiversity provides cannot be overemphasized as Filipinos largely depend on it. It is therefore imperative that measures to conserve these are established, and this is what the PBSAP 2015-2028 puts in place. To implement the PBSAP,  PhP 24-billion (USD$ 530 million) is required annually. However, the current level of spending on biodiversity is only at PhP 5 billion (USD$ 100 million) per year, which leaves an 80% financing gap. BIOFIN identifies, access, combines and sequences various sources of biodiversity funding to meet national needs and targets.

Key Results

BIOFIN has mobilized:

  • USD$ 10 million for 107 legislated protected areas by advocating for increased financing at the House of Representatives
  • USD$ 300,000 for reforestation by partnering with Mynt, creator of GCash and the biggest mobile wallet in the country, through its GCash Forest app and the Corporate Social Responsibility program of partners such as the World Wildlife Fund (WWF)
  • Php 1.6 million (USD$ 32,000) through the Together for Tamaraws Crowdfunding Campaign for conservation communities affected by the COVID-19 pandemic
  • USD$ 60,000 allocation at the Provincial Development and Physical Framework Plan 2020-2022 for Negros Oriental’s proposed priority biodiversity programs and activities
  • Php 20 million (USD$ 400,000) from 2020-2022 for Negros Occidental province’s Southwestern Negros Key Biodiversity Area (KBA)

BIOFIN had the following policies officially adopted: 

  • Biodiversity Management Bureau Technical Bulletin 2021-05 Guide in the Formulation of Local Biodiversity Strategy and Action Plan
  • Department of Environment and Natural Resources Administrative Order 2022-04 Enhancing Biodiversity Conservation and Protection in Mining Operations
  • Joint Declaration among the Department of Environment and Natural Resources, Department of Tourism and Department of the Interior and Local Government in support of the celebration of the Year of the Protected Areas campaign

BIOFIN also worked on the following:

  • Three biodiversity indicators proposed for inclusion in the Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG)’s criteria for the Seal of Good Local Governance, a local governance performance metrics. This means that LGUs will have to include biodiversity activities in their regular programs to be able to qualify as recipients of the Seal
  • Four (4) tourism products for marine protected areas in Mindoro Oriental and 3 tourism products for Sibalom Natural Park
  • Capacity-building training for NGO partners in engaging the private sector and for protected area staff that yielded favorable results i.e., firm commitments from several private sector representatives and Protected Areas Finance Plans (PAFP) with corresponding Investment Programs. The BMB-DENR further committed to including the PAFP development module in their PA Academy curriculum and using it to improve the existing PA management plan preparation process
Finance Solutions
Key Documents
Policy and Institutional Review (PIR)

Results of the PIR showed that while Philippines has several laws and policies in place for biodiversity, there is still a need to address those with negative impact and promote those with positive impact on biodiversity conservation and restoration. Resource mobilisation opportunities from selected policies such as the Energy Regulation 1-94 as amended; Malampaya Fund; Motor Vehicle User’s Charge; Mining Taxes & Royalties and Fees from Mining were examined.

Expenditure Review (BER)

From 2008-2013, the baseline financing for biodiversity was estimated at Php 5B (USD 110 million) among national agencies contributing to the 20 Aichi Targets, non-core agencies, and local governments. This represents 0.08% of GDP and 0.31% of the national budget for this period of analysis. Within this period, the budget of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) was observed to be increasing at the rate of 23% per year. The biodiversity budget has been increasing at a faster rate of 34% per year for the same period, although its contribution to total budget is less than 20% of the total. Increase in funding can be realised by realignment of budgets coupled with effective mainstreaming among core and non-core biodiversity agencies. Comprising an average of 4% of the 20% development fund representing share of national taxes, local governments contribute Php 0.5B (USD 13 million) based on protected areas expenditures alone.

Needs Assessment (FNA)

The total estimated cost of implementing the PBSAP from 2015-2028 ranged from PhP334 billion or USD 7.4 billion (low) to PhP388 billion or USD 8.6 billion (high) with an annual requirement of Php 23.9 billion (USD 530 million). The projected appropriations of the government agencies for this period is only USD 1.5 billion versus the USD 4 billion estimated cost of activities identified in the PBSAP. 

Finance Plan (BFP)

BIOFIN’s Finance Plan is targeting to raise PhP20 billion by 2020 by implementing the following solutions: a) consolidation, mainstreaming, and formalising the PPBER process through biodiversity tagging; b) increasing funding of local governments through realignment, increased access to earmark funds, or generation of revenues on site; and c) private sector engagement.