Linking financial services to biodiversity conservation

Involving financial institutions in the sustainable use of biological resources
The financial services sector harbours key skills, technologies and economic resources which could contribute to biodiversity conservation. As the most important contributor of private sector credit, the signals they send to their clients about the relationship between environmentally-sound management practices and credit lending rates is critically important for biodiversity finance. This is especially true in the context of globalization, since banks and other financial intermediaries are inextricably linked through international lending and investment practices to activities that can degrade biodiversity.
The UNEP Statement by Financial Institutions on the Environment and Sustainable Development commits more than 100 of the world's largest financial institutions to incorporate environmentally-sound practices into their external and internal operations.

The International Finance Corporation (IFC) - the private sector investment bank within the World Bank Group - has begun to co-finance biodiversity-linked enterprises in sectors such as forestry, agriculture, tourism and wildlife use. One programme has focused on small and medium-sized enterprises which generally do not have access to long-term capital. Additionally the IFC is setting up a private venture capital fund for biodiversity enterprises in Latin America. This fund will start up with a base of US$ 20-50 million from various sources including the GEF, the IFC, the government of Brazil and Switzerland and other private sector sources. The IFC experience indicates that the major challenge is not finding the money, but rather finding viable biodiversity projects in which to invest.

Sustainable development
Type Classification:
G: Very Specific strategies