Biodiversity & Ecosystem Services Program

Biodiversity & Ecosystem Services

About the Program

Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services Program

The Latin American and Caribbean region is home to 40% of the biodiversity on earth and unique ecosystems which can support and foster sustained economic growth if properly managed.


To help the region protect and use this natural capital to generate social and economic development, the Biodiversity and Ecosystems Services (BES) Program supports countries by:

  • Integrating the value of biodiversity and ecosystem services into key economic sectors
  • Protecting priority regional ecosystems
  • Supporting effective environmental governance and policy
  • Creating new sustainable development business opportunities

To accomplish these goals, the BES program focuses on four lines of action:

Additional Information:

If you are interested in Reading more about the program, our document for the Establishment of the BES Program and the Multidonor Fund will give you a history of how the BES program was established and includes other important topics such as objectives, vision, and components. Additionally, our overview document will allow you to have a summary of who we are, what we do, and how to engage with us. The fact sheets provide information on how to mainstream biodiversity and ecosystem services into key economic sectors. Finally, the trailer of our video and our Newsletter can give you additional information of the program.

Why Ecosystems Matter for Development?

Latin America and the Caribbean possess complex and varied terrestrial, freshwater, coastal, and marine ecosystems that are home to a vast array of birds, mammals, plants, and amphibians. Some of the region’s richest ecosystems are:

  • the Amazon,
  • the Pantanal,
  • the Chaco,
  • the Cerrado,
  • the Tropical Andes,
  • the Mesoamerican Barrier Reef,
  • the Guiana Shield,
  • and the Caribbean Large Marine Ecosystem.

This wealth of biodiversity and ecosystems generate important life-supporting benefits for people including: food, shelter, clean water and air, flood mitigation, disease and pest control, breathtaking landscapes, and sacred places. These benefits, also known as ecosystem services, directly support sectors such as agriculture, fisheries, forestry and tourism, which together account for:

  • 15% of the region’s gross domestic product
  • 17% of its labor force
  • 50% of total exports

News, Events & Publications

BIO Blog

Natural Capital Blog

With economics as a lens, this blog is a forum for reflection on the role of Natural Capital* as the basis for sustainable economic growth and development; it showcases best practice for mainstreaming ecosystem services into policy and decision-making that span all productive sectors of the economy, and; it discusses how market-based approaches and innovative governance structures can enhance resource use efficiency and conservation.