Bhutan’s Integrated Approach to SDG Implementation
While BIOFIN was designed for biodiversity conservation, we can take a similar approach to additional SDGs. While BIOFIN analysis already touches on other interlinked thematic areas such as climate change, poverty reduction and gender, BIOFIN-like exercises aiming to collect expenditures and financing needs for other SDGs can be easily combined or coordinated. In this way data collection is streamlined and management costs reduced.
The most linear example is the parallel conduction of Climate Public Expenditures and Institutional Review (CPEIR), which took place in several BIOFIN countries. Follow-up work, particularly on budget tagging, can also be aligned. The Governance of Climate Change Finance website provides a summary of climate related work in Asia and the Pacific.10
Bhutan is an example. The Royal Government has prioritized three SDGs: SDG 1 (End poverty), SDG 13 (Combat Climate Change) and SDG 15 (Protect Ecosystems and Biodiversity). This allows for a closer look at how the BIOFIN Process could be expanded to respond to government priorities and cover for SDG 1 and SDG 13 considerations. The government decided to coordinate assessments for SDG 15 (BIOFIN) and SDG 13 (CPEIR), while mainstreaming poverty reduction considerations across both. BIOFIN Bhutan is implemented by the Gross National Happiness (Planning) Commission, Ministry of Agriculture and Forests, National Environment Commission, Ministry of Finance, and other conservation partners. The team was led by Lam Dorji, former Secretary of the Ministry of Finance.