The eco.business Development Facility co-sponsored the biggest biodiversity festival in Colombia, ColomBIOdiversidad, for the fourth year in a row to raise awareness of the importance of protecting biodiversity and the environment. From May 21 to 31, 2020, this seventh edition of ColomBIOdiversidad took the discussion of responsible environmental practices to a place where human activity is deeply affecting ecosystems: the sea.
Colombia is the second most diverse country in the world. But, according to Envol Vert, the nonprofit organizer of the festival, it also invests comparatively little resources into protecting its wealth of plant and animal species. ColomBIOdiversidad aims to celebrate the country’s rich biodiversity and sensitize policymakers, industry, science, and the general public to the importance of conserving its natural treasures. This year’s focus on the sea investigated human impacts on marine ecosystems and how these can be mitigated. Held virtually through a series of webinars, the online event created more than 600 online interactions to discuss responsible aquaculture, investigate means to combat pollution, and explore the diversity of undersea life.
Antonio Wills, a sustainability consultant for Finance in Motion, the eco.business Fund’s advisor, participated in a virtual dialogue on “Sustainability, biodiversity, and responsible fishing.” The session focused on how to implement sustainable practices for ocean conservation, as well as responsible consumption behavior. This included emphasizing the importance of sustainability certifications, such as Aquaculture Stewardship Council and Best Aquaculture Practices, which attest that the methods involved in marine production processes are environmentally friendly and foster the conservation of mangrove forests.
Ms. Susanne Berghaus, Chairperson of the eco.business Development Facility, stated: “Colombia’s rich biodiversity is found both on land and in the plant and animal life underwater. And their health is important not only to marine ecosystems, but also to those of us on land: For example, practices such as overfishing not only disrupt delicately balanced systems and threaten the continuation of species, they also risk depleting resources for humans. The eco.business Fund has as its mission the promotion of biodiversity conservation and responsible practices. ColomBIOdiversidad is an important platform for raising awareness of the urgency of these issues, and we are proud to be able to co-sponsor such an important nationwide event.”
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 the U.K. government’s Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, Dutch development bank FMO, Austrian development bank OeEB, IDB Invest, 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.