$8 million pledge from Switzerland will support the IDB’s Amazon Initiative
The Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) and the government of Switzerland today announced a partnership to stimulate sustainable and inclusive development in the Amazon region through the IDB’s Amazon Initiative.
The Swiss State Secretariat for Economic Affairs (SECO) will contribute CHF 8 million (approximately $8 million) to the Amazon Bioeconomy and Forest Management Multi-Donor Trust Fund, a core source of financing for the IDB’s work in this region. Through this contribution, Switzerland joins the governments of Germany and the Netherlands as the fund’s newest donor.
The fund seeks to boost resource mobilization from the public and private sectors in support of the Amazon, with a focus on three lines of action:
- Assisting Amazonian countries in reducing pressure on forest ecosystems through improved environmental governance and sustainable economic alternatives based on the bioeconomy to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from the land-use sector.
- Empowering small- and medium-scale land users, particularly indigenous peoples and local communities, to conserve and sustainably use forests by promoting the bioeconomy and protecting and restoring forest areas.
- Developing normative frameworks and scaling up economic solutions with the public sector, private sector, and civil society actors to significantly reduce deforestation and ecosystem degradation from domestic and international commodity supply chains, improving the livelihoods of small- and medium-scale farmers.
The announcement was made by IDB President a.i. Reina Irene Mejía and Ambassador Dominique Paravicini at the Swiss State Secretariat for Economic Affairs (SECO) in the context of COP27, the UN Climate Change Conference, in Egypt this month.
“The Amazon region plays a critical role in creating a sustainable future for Latin America, the Caribbean, and our entire planet. We are honored to partner with Switzerland, a country that has taken exemplary steps on climate action to help ensure the sustainability of this unique region,” said Mejía. “Our joint work will benefit indigenous communities, families, and bio-businesses through development models based on forest conservation, natural wealth, and cultural heritage,” she added.
“The Fund will reinforce SECO’s engagement with the private sector, facilitate synergies with other landscape initiatives and provide entry points for the discussion on sustainability in the Amazonian region, also in view of deepening Switzerland’s trade relations with Mercosur countries,” said Ambassador Dominique Paravicini. “The Fund targets the protection of biodiversity, climate mitigation and adaptation measures, it addresses the challenges for vulnerable populations and just transition and gives particular attention to gender and diversity aspects. Furthermore, through the promotion of the bioeconomy, it puts sustainable and inclusive development at the heart of the initiative and proposes a programmatic approach for tackling the issues at the regional and landscape level”.
The IDB’s Amazon Initiative was established in response to the request of the eight Amazonian countries for a focused effort aimed at promoting sustainable development models based on the region’s human capital, biodiversity, and cultural heritage.
The initiative, which currently has $340 million in pledged funds, is being implemented in close coordination with the Amazonian countries and the Amazon Cooperation Treaty Organization (ACTO). The IDB’s Amazon Unit leads internal and external strategic coordination and implementation of the initiative’s financial instruments.
The partnership also includes IDB Invest, the IDB’s multilateral investment institution for the private sector, and IDB Lab, the IDB’s innovation laboratory.
Providing 35-40% of Latin America’s fresh water, the Amazon is critical to ecosystems worldwide, regulating air quality, storing carbon emissions, and regulating nutrient and hydrological cycles for South America. The Amazon region is also home to more than 30 million people, including approximately 1.5 million indigenous people and more than 5 million Afro-descendants.
About the IDB
The Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) 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. Access our virtual tour.
About the Swiss State Secretariat for Economic Affairs (SECO)
SECO is the Swiss Confederation’s center of expertise for all core economic policy issues, including economic cooperation and development. Its mandate is to facilitate economic growth and sustainable prosperity in its partner countries. Thereby it ensures that all segments of the population benefit from such growth and that it does not compromise the well-being of future generations. This reduces poverty and fragility. It also mitigates global risks such as economic and financial crises and climate change. The multilateral engagement of SECO contributes to overcoming global challenges in the areas of finance and trade, migration, climate change, the environment, and water. It enables SECO to participate in the international dialogue and reach a higher leverage. Visit our website.
Daniel Hincapié Salazar
Amazon Coordination Unit