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Biofin ‘to make up shortage’

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The Ministry of Environment hosts a workshop on The Biodiversity Finance Initiative - Biofin - in Cambodia on Thursday. Ministry of Environment

Biofin ‘to make up shortage’

A ministry of Environment official said last week that the Biodiversity Finance Initiative (Biofin) will help make up the shortage of finance for expenses on managing natural resources in Cambodia as the current expenditures exceeded the existing budget.

Biofin is a global collaborative partnership to develop and implement an evidence-based methodology that improves biodiversity outcomes using finance and economics.

Managed by the UN Development Programme (UNDP), the initiative was developed in response to the need for better information on current expenditure and financing needs and for the formation of a comprehensive methodology that helps countries develop resource mobilisation strategies and solutions.

Thirty-five counties are currently implementing the Biofin methodology, with Cambodia participating last year by implementing a new financing method to conserve and manage biodiversity in a sustainable manner.

Tin Ponlok, the Ministry of Environment’s secretary-general at the General Secretariat of the National Council for Sustainable Development, said there was a budget shortage in conserving the natural resources in the Kingdom during a consultation workshop on Biofin.

“Usually, the expenses to manage natural resources always exceeded the resources we have, so the implementation of Biofin will [help us] find the methods to make up the budget shortage and will lead to an effective action plan in managing those natural resources,” he said.

Held on Thursday, the workshop was aimed at disseminating Biofin information for the beneficiaries, giving instructions on assessment methods of the project and consulting with the relevant parties in order for all stakeholders to prepare an action plan for future cooperation on the initiative’s implementation.

Ponlok said natural protected and conserved biodiversity areas currently account to 41 per cent of Cambodia’s total land.

On its Facebook page, the Ministry of Environment recently wrote that Cambodia had received financing support from the UNDP to implement the initiative for a period of five years from 2018 to 2022.

UNDP representative, Jessica Alvsilver, said the whole idea of Biofin was to find solutions using the economic and financial means to achieve the Kingdom’s biodiversity and development objectives.

“There is a need for all stakeholders and all actors to contribute and participate in conserving biodiversity. This is not for nature. This is for all humans, economic entities and governments. In other words, it is for the people of Cambodia,” she said.

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