The Caribbean Development Bank yesterday joined with the world’s other Multilateral Development Banks (MDBs) in a global pledge to further mainstream nature across its policies and operations, and to scale up nature finance.
The pledge came in the joint statement “Nature, People and Planet” which was endorsed today by the heads of nine MDBs at the 26th Meeting of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCC) Conference of Parties, known as COP 26, currently underway in Glasgow.
CDB President Dr. Gene Leon noted the significance of the pledge and its commitments for the Caribbean region, stating:
“The Caribbean is among the most vulnerable regions in the world to climate-related hazards. The increasing biodiversity loss and degradation of our marine and terrestrial ecosystems has exacerbated our vulnerability to climate change and disasters. However, we know that well-designed Nature-based Solutions are effective for carbon sequestration, offer considerable potential to strengthen the natural resource base on which countless Caribbean livelihoods depend, and enhance climate resilience.”
The joint statement commits MDBs to a series of actions, focused on five pillars. These include:
Leadership: Supporting a “sustainable, inclusive, green, and resilient post-COVID recovery” by setting out institutional strategic approaches to further mainstream nature into analysis, assessments, advice, investments, and operations by 2025 and working in partnership to support reforms to redirect, repurpose, reform or eliminate environmentally harmful subsidies.
Tackling the drivers of nature loss by fostering and making ‘nature positive’ investments: developing projects, business models and financing instruments to support economic activity that seeks to reverse the drivers of nature loss and promote its protection and regeneration and developing and using innovative instruments to support nature positive investments.
Fostering national and regional level synergies: encouraging public and private sector and international organisations to work together, and supporting government clients to revise their National Biodiversity Strategies and Action Plans according to the post-2020 Global Biodiversity Framework;
Prioritising nature to guide decision making: commit to using existing and new tools to help public and private sector clients better value, sustainably manage, protect, and restore nature and its natural assets to deliver development benefits;
Reporting: aligning objectives and developing collaborative tools and methodologies for tracking ‘nature positive’ investments across portfolios and enhancing public reporting on efforts and initiatives to mainstream nature in analyses and operations.
The CDB President noted how the pledge’s commitments already align with CDB’s own focus on climate action, citing ongoing and approved nature-based interventions.
“CDB is already supporting nature-based projects, several of which have significant potential to deliver the kind of transformational change that is needed. Prominent examples include afforestation and reforestation of vulnerable watersheds in Saint Lucia being done in partnership with the Adaptation Fund; support to communities in Ile-A-Vache, Haiti, to enhance marine and coastal ecosystem resilience by implementing a sustainable fisheries programme; and a coral restoration pilot project on St. Lucia’s West Coast, in partnership with private and public sector entities and community-based groups,” he stated.
The MDBs which signed the statement are the African Development Bank Group, the Asian Development Bank, the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank, the Caribbean Development Bank, the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development, the European Investment Bank, the Inter-American Development Bank, IDB Invest, and the Islamic Development Bank. The statement is available here on CDB’s website.