Luxembourg, 06 July 2023 - The eco.business Fund has released its Impact Report for 2022, titled ‘Conserving Biodiversity,’ which focuses on the fund’s commitment to this critical component of its mission. The fund aims to achieve its impact goals fundamentally based on biodiversity conservation, climate change adaption, and the responsible use of natural resources through a unique combination of investment and technical assistance. On this note, the eco.business Fund ended 2022 with a cumulative USD 752 million in funding, up from USD 597 million the previous year. Of this, USD 306 million was sourced from private investors, demonstrating the overall attractiveness of the fund.
The report highlights the fund’s work to preserve biodiversity hotspots in 15 Latin American and sub-Saharan African countries, particularly in the agricultural sector.“ In 2022, we disbursed more than 17,300 sub-loans through our 40 partner institutions to support sustainable business and consumption practices,” said Michael Evers, the fund’s chairperson.
Since its inception, the eco.business Fund has helped place 1,094,000 hectares of farmland under sustainable management and has stored 6.3 million tons of CO2 through agroforestry activities. “In this way, we have positively impacted biodiversity and climate-change mitigation, helping to protect and restore ecosystems,” Mr. Evers stated. The fund has also boosted job creation, supporting 816,000 jobs indirectly to date by investing in financial intermediaries and businesses that have introduced sustainable measures.
Milestone year for biodiversity
It was a milestone year for biodiversity, with countries worldwide committing to specific targets to halt and reverse ecosystem degradation at the United Nations Biodiversity Conference in Montreal, Canada, in December 2022. Some 188 countries committed to a Global Biodiversity Framework that will guide global action on biodiversity conservation, including putting 30% of the planet and 30% of degraded ecosystems under protection by 2030.
“This landmark achievement is a positive step forward and aligns with the eco.business Fund’s mission to contribute to biodiversity conservation, facilitate the sustainable use of natural resources and foster climate change mitigation,” commented Evers.
Financing alone is not enough to ensure a sustainable development towards green economies. Therefore, the fund is also deploying technical assistance to its investees. Through its Technical Assistance Development Facility, the fund has carried out more than 120 projects to date. These projects range from creating green financial products to measuring the impact of sustainable practices in protected agriculture. For instance, in the case of Family Bank in Kenya, a USD 10 million loan was enhanced by training and capacity building - both working to support sustainable agricultural producers.
The fund also participated in a ground-breaking ecoacoustics pilot project in El Salvador in which researchers measured and analyzed the human impact on the environment in coffee plantations. “Research projects like this are becoming more relevant,” commented Evers, “as consumers are increasingly interested in the ecological footprint of their consumption, as well as credible impact measurements of endemic species with a high conservation value.”
Evers thanked the fund’s partners for their ongoing support. “As we look to the future, we are encouraged by our aim to protect the diversity of life on earth while contributing to sustainable and equitable socio-economical improvements,” he concluded.
To read the full Impact Report, click here.
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 in Latin America, the Caribbean, and sub-Saharan Africa. By providing financing for business practices that conserve nature and foster biodiversity, the fund seeks investments with both environmental and financial returns. The eco.business Fund provides financing through three avenues: local financial institutions that are committed to the fund’s mission and which have the capacity to reach its target group; directly to its target group (i.e. companies and producers); and in the case of sub-Saharan Africa, to real sector intermediaries. The fund supports sustainable operations in the sectors of agriculture, fishery (including aquaculture), forestry and tourism. Target beneficiaries are those that hold an eligible sustainability certification or those taking out a loan to make eligible sustainable investments in their operations.
Operating together with each of the two sub-funds, are two development facilities that provide high-impact technical assistance to investment partners and final borrowers.
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).
The sub-fund for sub-Saharan Africa was formally launched in 2020 with initial funding from BMZ. The sub-fund for Latin America and the Caribbean has received funding from the European Commission as well as from numerous other prestigious development finance institutions and institutional investors.
Media contact eco.business Fund
Phone: +49 69 271 035 742