The eco.business Development Facility sponsored virtual trainings in Granada and Rivas, Nicaragua, on 16-17 April 2020 as part of its sustainable cattle ranching project with Lafise Bancentro in Nicaragua. In the training sessions, cattle producers learned how to utilize satellite imagery data to implement sustainable practices that support the preservation of natural resources on or near their farms, such as forests.
Due to the global coronavirus pandemic, the eco.business Development Facility conducted these workshops online. The new, digital format of the training underscored the central role that technology has already been playing in the project overall: With the help of satellites that continuously report on changes in land use, the project team was able to analyze 178 cattle ranches and prepare 96 management reports. In this online workshop, cattle producers were then taught how to use this data to mitigate environmental risks: For example, by identifying potential forest loss in advance, farmers can respond with preventative measures, such as rotational grazing to avoid depletion of vegetation.
The project is part of a national initiative entitled “Cattle Ranching with Zero Deforestation.” Driven by the Nicaraguan Foundation for Economic and Social Development (FUNIDES), the initiative aims to link key stakeholders in the Nicaraguan cattle sector and promote the uptake of sustainable practices for cattle producers. The eco.business Development Facility and Lafise Bancentro are participating in the initiative through this comprehensive project.
Karim ould Chih, Chairperson of the eco.business Development Facility, stated: “Financing measures that reduce the environmental risks of cattle ranching contributes to the sustainability of one of the fastest-growing agricultural activities in Latin America. Especially now, as the world faces an unprecedented pandemic, ensuring food security is vitally important and we aim to continue this project virtually. Going forward, the results of this pilot project in Nicaragua will now inform our future strategy for responsible cattle farming – contributing to the preservation of biodiversity and natural resources in the region.”
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.
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.
For more information please visit www.ecobusiness.fund and follow us on Twitter @ecobusinessfund.