Biodiversity conservation in Latin America gets a boost with USD 25 million from OeEB
The eco.business Fund in Latin America and the Caribbean has received a second investment from Oesterreichische Entwicklungsbank AG (OeEB), the Development Bank of Austria, in the amount of USD 25 million to promote business practices that support biodiversity conservation, encourage the sustainable use of natural resources, and contribute to climate change mitigation and adaptation.
Similar as for its first investment in the Fund in September 2017, OeEB’s second contribution will be split with USD 12.5 million in subordinated notes and USD 12.5 million in senior shares, bringing the bank’s cumulative investment to USD 50 million. The eco.business Fund invests predominantly in qualified financial institutions in Latin America that, in turn, provide financing to businesses using environmentally sustainable practices in the sectors of agriculture, forestry, fishery and aquaculture, and sustainable tourism. As a leading climate finance provider, OeEB focuses mainly on low and middle-income countries – including Central America – which makes the investment a natural fit in supporting the transition towards a green economy.
Chairman of the eco.business Fund Board, Dr. Jens Mackensen, said: “We are very pleased to be continuing this successful partnership with OeEB, a bank that is dedicated, as we are, to protecting biodiversity and supporting the sustainable use of natural resources. This reaffirmed commitment demonstrates the fund’s ability to attract capital from both public and private investors, which unleashes amplified funding to generate positive impact in the region.”
“Protecting biodiversity and encouraging sustainable business practices is essential in order to keep ecosystems healthy, to fight climate change and to reduce poverty. OeEB has been contributing to sustainable development worldwide for over 11 years now. In doing so, we have anchored climate protection as one of our key strategic goals. The eco.business Fund is therefore an excellent partner for us and we are proud to continue to work together towards a greener future”, says Sabine Gaber, member of OeEB’s executive board.
About the eco.business Fund
The eco.business Fund aims to promote business and consumption practices that contribute to biodiversity conservation, to the sustainable use of natural resources, and to mitigate climate change and adapt to its impacts. By providing financing for business practices that conserve nature and foster biodiversity, the fund seeks investments with both environmental and financial returns. The fund mainly provides loans to qualified financial institutions that on-lend the money to eligible borrowers, which include holders of recognized certifications or those making improvements in line with conservation and biodiversity goals. The fund supports sustainable operations in the sectors of agriculture, fishery (including aquaculture), forestry and tourism.
An impact investment fund advised by Finance in Motion, the eco.business Fund was initiated by Germany’s KfW Development Bank and Conservation International with financial support from the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ). It has received further donor support from the European Commission. The fund’s additional investor base comprises IDB Invest, a member of the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) Group, the U.K. government’s Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, Dutch development bank FMO, Austrian development bank OeEB, and institutional investors such as sustainable banking institution ASN Bank, German ethical bank GLS Bank, Calvert Impact Capital, and Raiffeisen Bank International. Finance in Motion, a leading impact investing company, is also an investor.
Operating hand-in-hand with the eco.business Fund, the eco.business Development Facility provides high-impact technical assistance to financial institutions and final borrowers.
Oesterreichische Entwicklungsbank AG (OeEB) has been operating as the Development Bank of Austria since March 2008. It specializes in the provision of long-term finance for the implementation of private sector projects in developing countries which create sustainable development.
Additionally, OeEB provides technical assistance, which can be used to enhance the developmental impact of projects.
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