Finance in Motion, KfW and the US non-governmental organization Conservation International (CI) together founded the eco.business fund. The fund enables businesses in Latin America to make investments that contribute towards preserving biodiversity and the sustainable use of natural resources – for example, in agriculture, forestry and fishing, as well as in eco-tourism.
The Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ) provides seed capital of EUR 17 million that KfW incorporates in the fund. CI together with Finance in Motion will also invest in the fund at the start of 2015. The eco.business fund is launched as a public-private partnership (PPP) and allows the various investors to invest in capital tranches with a diversified risk-return profile. With this structure, public as well as private funds can be mobilized for protecting biodiversity.
“Latin America is one of the regions with the most abundant wealth of biodiversity. However, these valuable resources are seriously threatened by human activities. Linking the preservation of biodiversity with an economic approach is new territory for Latin America and the right approach in view of the great challenge and considerable financial requirement.”
— Dr Norbert Kloppenburg, Member of the Executive Board of KfW Group
“The continent finds itself in a prolonged phase of economic growth and stability. One of the roles of the eco.business fund is to strengthen the role of local financial intermediaries in promoting environmentally-friendly manufacturing processes. In the long term, the application of such methods will be essential for securing sustainable economic growth and prosperity.”
— Sylvia Wisniwski, Managing Director of Finance in Motion
“Conservation International (CI) has long been committed to supporting environmentally responsible businesses that provide jobs and help secure human well-being. eco.business builds on this experience. Targeting small and medium-sized businesses that deliver environmental, socioeconomic and financial benefits is vital to the reduction of poverty and development of healthy, sustainable communities.”
— Jennifer Morris, chief operating officer of Conservation International
Besides the fund, a development facility is also created, which will provide specialist support to the financial intermediaries and their customers. This should secure the sustainable implementation of the fund's investments. The Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development plans up to EUR 3 million for this purpose. Both the fund as well as the development facility are open to further investors to participate in the development policy direction of "eco business".