eco.business Fund receives EUR 85 million from BMZ for biodiversity conservation in Latin America and sub-Saharan Africa
Luxembourg, 22 March 2021 – The eco.business Fund has received an investment of EUR 85 million from its strategic partner, the German Federal Ministry of Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ) via KfW Development Bank. The investment will contribute to the fund’s mission of conserving biodiversity, promoting the sustainable use of natural resources, and mitigating and adapting to climate change in Latin America and sub-Saharan Africa.
The BMZ and eco.business Fund have joined forces for positive environmental impact since the fund’s establishment in 2014. The fund employs a blended finance structure to mobilize private investments for sustainable development by leveraging capital from impact-oriented public entities such as the BMZ. EUR 62 million of the capital will be invested in Latin America and the Caribbean, while the remaining EUR 23 million will go toward sustainable production and consumption practices in sub-Saharan Africa. In addition, the BMZ has provided EUR 1 million and EUR 2 million for capacity-building activities through the fund’s Development Facilities in Latin America and sub-Saharan Africa, respectively, for technical assistance to augment the impact of the fund’s investments.
To date, the eco.business Fund has assets under management of EUR 398 million. It has contributed to over 270,000 hectares of farmland under sustainable management, and 8.3 million tons of CO2 stored by agroforestry activities. After more than five years of generating positive environmental impact in Latin America, the fund’s expansion to sub-Saharan Africa at the beginning of 2020 aims to replicate and scale this success in another region where people and the ecosystems that support them are especially vulnerable to the effects of climate change.
Dr. Jens Mackensen, Chairperson of the Board of Directors of the eco.business Fund, stated: “We are grateful for the strong partnership of BMZ over the years. Their continuous support shows a deep commitment to our shared goal of pursuing more sustainable business practices in some of the world’s most biodiverse places, and even more so now as businesses struggle financially to preserve their operations in light of the COVID-19 crisis. This new boost of capital will go a long way in greening the economies in both Latin America and sub-Saharan Africa in these turbulent times, while promoting biodiversity conservation in both regions.”
Parliamentary State Secretary Norbert Barthle, stated: “The eco.business Fund has proven effective as a vehicle for generating positive impact in some of the world’s most biodiverse regions. Protecting biodiversity and ensuring the responsible use of our planet’s rich natural resources are key priorities for the German Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development. We are proud to have been supporting this innovative fund from the beginning. It is our conviction that communities, countries, industries, and investors must all join forces if we are to achieve sustainable development.”
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 ASN 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 Facilities provides high-impact technical assistance to financial institutions and final borrowers.
For more information please visit www.ecobusiness.fund and follow us on Twitter @ecobusinessfund.
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