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France, IDB Promote the Conservation and Restoration of Tropical Forests in Latin America

The Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) and France are pleased to announce the financing of new projects that will provide benefits for livelihoods, economic recovery, and the conservation, preservation and restoration of tropical forests in Latin America as part of France's participation in the Alliance for the conservation of rainforests. 

As part of its contribution to the IDB’s Natural Capital Lab, France has endorsed this year four new projects totaling $2,900,000 in French Funding. These projects, which will be designed and approved by the IDB in the first quarter of 2022, will leverage an additional $850,000 in IDB funding, and $300,000 from executing partners.

Latin America and the Caribbean is a biodiversity powerhouse, hosting 40% of the world's biodiversity, 30 percent of the freshwater, and almost 50 percent of the world's tropical forests. Natural capital is critical in post-COVID-19 recovery for the region as it creates jobs, generates income, leverages private-sector investment, and acts as vital climate mitigation and resilience infrastructure.

“We are very excited about the renewed level of cooperation and are pleased that the IDB can support the goals of the Alliance for the Conservation of Rainforests.  These innovative finance projects each demonstrate how the sustainable management and conservation of nature can create jobs, and have tremendous benefits for the climate and people. These projects clearly show how we are mainstreaming biodiversity across the Bank’s departments to bring actionable results home, and I am incredibly proud of the IDB team and our French counterparts,” stated IDB President Mauricio Claver-Carone. “I look forward to finding even more ways to work together and prioritize positive business-friendly climate action.”

The IDB has redoubled its effort on climate change and biodiversity in the last year, which constitute a core pillar of the Bank’s Vision 2025 for the recovery of the region. At the UN Climate Change Conference COP26, the IDB announced a new ambitious target of 40 percent, roughly $24 billion, of green financing  that includes commitments to biodiversity financing. The IDB also led a group of Multilateral Development Banks in developing the Joint Statement for Nature, People and Planet to mainstream nature across their policies and boost nature finance. 

The specific projects endorsed by France announced to receive funding are:

(BO-T1369) Program for Conservation and Sustainable Biotrade in the Bolivian Amazon – BioEconomy Fund:  Support to the IDB Lab EcoMicro Program in Bolivia, to include natural capital valuation and develop the Bioeconomy in the country. This investment will create the first privately led Bioeconomy Blended Finance Fund in Bolivia, focused on indigenous and rural community initiatives. Financial intermediaries and businesses will receive training on alignment to the Paris Agreement.  

(CO-T1638) Scaling the Habitat Bank Program in Colombia: Habitat Banks are a private sector outcomes payment solution to nature compensation and restoration, which has had proof of concept in a regulated market in Colombia. This project will support the Ministry of Environment of Colombia to update the policy to facilitate scaling and additional investment in the model based on lessons from the successful pilot funded by IDB Lab in 2016. This project will be jointly developed with the French Development Agency.

(HO-T1391) Support Efforts for the Conservation and Restoration of the Natural and Cultural Capital of Ciudad Blanca in Honduras:  Strengthening of local capacities and development of financial mechanisms to assist in the conservation of Ciudad Blanca in the Mosquitia region, the second largest continuous forest area in Latin America after the Amazon. This area, one of 25 global biodiversity hot spots, is key to reconnect the Jaguar Corridor in Latin America and has an exceptional archeological value. This region is also home to indigenous communities being displaced by climate change.

(RG-T4005) Science, Technology and Innovation to Protect the Biodiversity of the Amazon Basin: Contribute to protect the Amazon through (i) biodiversity research aimed at discovering properties of commercial value in nature, and (ii) the incubation of science-based startups that use or transform renewable resources into bio-based products in a sustainable fashion. Discoveries arising from biodiversity research may be used by firms to develop new or better biobased products, who together with the incubated startups will be candidates to apply to innovation and bioeconomy funding programs, some of which supported by IDB investment programs, and to become suppliers of value chains.

These four new projects complement  projects approved in the last year by the NCL using French Funds such as: (RG-G1033) Amazonia Regenerate Accelerator And Investment Trust (Bolivia, Brazil, Colombia, Ecuador, Guyana, Peru And Suriname), designed with IDB Lab,  and PE-L1258: Program to Promote Sustainable Financing in the Peruvian Amazon Region  (Biobusiness Program) designed with IDB, which totaled $7M in French Funding, $22M from the IDB and $7,487,000 in counterpart leverage.

About the Natural Capital Lab

Created by the IDB in 2018, this risk-tolerant hub was funded through a combination of IDB Group resources and Donor funds, including France, the founding partner of the Natural Capital Lab. Natural Capital Lab Program aims at driving innovation for the IDB Group in the biodiversity, conservation, landscape, regenerative agriculture, and marine ecosystem finance spaces. It seeks to bridge the gap between traditional environmental and financial actors from the public and private sectors to incubate, accelerate, and scale new solutions and to mainstream natural capital across sectors.  In December 2020, the Natural Capital Lab worked with IDB and IDB Lab to approve two projects with a $7 million French contribution to support bioeconomy projects in Peru, and in the Amazon

About the IDB

The Inter-American Development Bank is devoted to improving lives. Established in 1959, the IDB is a leading source of long-term financing for economic, social and institutional development in Latin America and the Caribbean. The IDB also conducts cutting-edge research and provides policy advice, technical assistance and training to public and private sector clients throughout the region.