Located in tropical Southeast Asia, Thailand has land area of 513,120 square kilometers, a population of 68 million, and a population density of 132 persons per square kilometers. With per capita income of 5,720 USD, Thailand is an upper middle income country and has been since 2011. While Thailand’s economy relies largely on the industrial and service sectors, agricultural activities remain an important part of the country for historical and employment reasons. (World Bank, 2017). The purpose of BIOFIN in Thailand is to support the Royal Thai Government (RTG) in translating the National Economics and Social Development Plan, especially on the sustainable utilization of natural resources as a foundation to green growth and inclusive development, into actual implementation with financial strategies with regard to the Integrated National Biodiversity Plan.
Prioritised Finance Solutions
1. Realignment of Local Government Budgets for Biodiversity
2. Direct Biodiversity Fees
3. Conservation Themes Products
4. Biodiversity Offsetting
5. Nutrient Trading
6. Greening Commodities (e.g regenerative Rubber & Sustainable Standards)
7. Sustainable Business and Biodiversity Impact Investment
The purpose of the integrated Policy and Institutional Review (PIR) report is to provide an overview of the policy and institutional context that concerns the management and utilization of Thailand’s biodiversity resources. The report is structured around four main ecosystems in Thailand, namely, terrestrial ecosystem, wetland ecosystem, coastal and marine ecosystem, and urban biodiversity. The specific policies and legal contexts with economic implications that drive both positive and negative trends in biodiversity and ecosystems in the country have been identified. The final Section summarizes preliminary policy recommendations and possible biodiversity finance solutions that will guide Thailand to further its Biodiversity Finance Plan.
This report summarizes current findings from the budget expenditure review that was conducted as part of BIOFIN’s overall assessment of Thailand’s current biodiversity policy environment and investment status. BIOFIN’s conceptual model views the integration of biodiversity investment and resource mobilization into public and private decision making and financing, as being based on a three-part process: 1) A review of current policy practice, biodiversity and ecosystem trends, relevant actors and current expenditures (Policy and Institutional Review in Workbook 1A, 1B and Expenditure Review in Workbook 1C); 2) Costing for the implementation of national biodiversity strategies and actions (Workbook 2); and 3) Identification of potential finance actors, mechanisms, revenue and feasibility (Workbook 3). The process evolves around national biodiversity strategies and action plans that aim to synthesize the root causes of biodiversity and ecosystem pressures, generate public awareness, and identify potential drivers of changes and financing solutions. The resource mobilization plans aim to achieve a better investment state by generating sufficient public and private responses in order to close the biodiversity financing gap.
The purpose of this report is to present the preliminary estimates of financing needs for biodiversity conservation for Thailand. The results are based on three sources of information namely (i) National Biodiversity Strategic Action Plans (NBSAP) (ii) the budget estimate of MONRE and (iii) BIOFIN Thailand estimates of financing needs for coastal and marine ecosystems. It has been the intention of BIOFIN Thailand that more in-depth estimates for financing needs for terrestrial and inland wetland ecosystems similar to the details for coastal and marine ecosystems. This would, however, require additional time to collaborate with the line agencies responsible for these ecosystems, namely the Department of National Park Wildlife and Plants (DNP), the Royal Forestry Department (RFD) and the Office of Natural Environmental Policy and Planning (ONEP). It was thus decided that, parallel to the work undertaken on the pilot studies, we will be continuing with the work on costing selected measures for terrestrial and inland wetland ecosystems with the aim that by the end of 2018, we will have clearer ideas of measures required to improve the two ecosystem. Until these are available and accessible, the estimates in this report should be considered as the lower bound estimates of what will be required. Moreover the figures on overall financing needs have been revised and slightly differ from the sum reported in the BIOFIN Regional Workshop in Kazakhstan in April and this is due to different time period for cost estimates of coral reefs and seagrass restoration.
The Biodiversity Finance Plan for Thailand is a commitment to establishing the necessary policy reforms and financing priorities to secure Thailand’s biodiversity for future generations. The Plan looks forward to delivering a prioritised set of ‘finance solutions’ – seizing this opportunity as the Royal Government of Thailand embarks on its 20-year National Strategy to explore a wide range of financing options, including the introduction of innovative market-based mechanisms for sustainable financing of biodiversity. We will take action on a number of fronts, looking to join up strategies and develop policies in a way that increases the diversity of financial instruments in order to be more resilient, while integrating biodiversity outcomes and sustainable development. Put together, these actions will help to close the large national biodiversity financing gap that has been identified thanks to the BIOFIN process in Thailand.
Building on the business case for biodiversity, Thailand aims to fill the financing gap for biodiversity by delivering the right right scale and mix of financing solutions, enhancing traditional finance mechanisms and introducing innovative financing mechanisms for resource mobilisation. The Finance Solutions are:
1. User charges
2. Conservation trust fund
3. Conservation license plates
4. Sustainability standards: products and processes
6. Biodiversity offsets
7. Nutrient trading
8. Biodiversity impact investing
10. Realignment of local government budgets for biodiversity