President Biden announced the Americas Partnership Fund for Nature at the Leaders’ Summit of the Americas Partnership for Economic Prosperity (Americas Partnership). The Fund aims to catalyze investment in the Western Hemisphere’s vast natural capital and unlock nature-based solutions (NBS). Under this initiative, the ultimate goal is to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, protect ecosystems, boosting job creation and prosperity, and safeguard lives and livelihoods from the impacts of climate change.
The Americas Partnership Fund for Nature will support partner countries in Latin America and the Caribbean with technical cooperation to mainstream climate, biodiversity, natural capital, and nature-based solutions (NBS) into economic development plans and investments. Investor demand and interest in nature-based solutions has been growing steadily in recent years. However, many innovative projects and transactions do not materialize due to a shortage of early-stage grant funding.
To address this critical bottleneck, the Fund for Nature will provide grant financing for technical cooperation, including analytics, project design, capacity building, and natural capital valuation. The outcomes of these grant projects will support the financing of nature-based solutions through innovative transactions and instruments, including debt-for-nature, debt-for-climate swaps, and sustainability-linked bonds.
The Fund for Nature is a partnership with the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB), which will house this initiative. The IDB has displayed bold leadership in nature-positive finance by spearheading development of the Joint Statement by multilateral development banks on Nature, People, and Planet as well as co-leading the banks’ Working Group on Nature. The IDB has also established a Natural Capital Lab Program and demonstrated its capacity to innovate in nature-based solution financing. The Fund for Nature will build on existing and ongoing IDB efforts in partner countries in Latin America and the Caribbean to value ecosystems, adopt supportive policies and regulations, and launch pilot projects.
We expect the Fund for Nature will mobilize significant capital from public and private investors. Current finance flows to nature-based solutions amounted to $154 billion in 2022, according to the United Nations. Yet, these investments need to quickly double to meet key climate and biodiversity objectives.
In this context, the Americas Partnership Fund for Nature will test new, private sector-focused approaches to natural capital finance and enable projects to achieve scale by linking them to IDB finance, other international funding sources, and private investors and financial institutions. For example, this new Fund could support innovative NBS projects similar to the recently-launched Galápagos Marine Bond, which will generate an estimated $323 million for marine conservation in Ecuador, or the Belize Blue Bond debt conversion, which unlocked $180 million for ecosystem conservation in that country.
We will work with other donor governments to join and contribute to this effort. The Government of Canada has agreed to coordinate financing from its recently-established Nature Based Solutions Program at the IDB to complement and magnify support from the Americas Partnership Fund for Nature. Canada’s Program focuses on strengthening the policy environment and enabling conditions to encourage the adoption of nature-based solutions in Latin American and Caribbean countries, including Americas Partnership members, to mitigate the impacts of climate change, promote resilience, and safeguard biodiversity.
The Fund for Nature embodies the Americas Partnership’s ongoing commitment to advance climate action, protect biodiversity, create jobs, and mobilize sustainable investment in the hemisphere.