AfDB to launch a new initiative on integrating natural capital into development finance in Africa

The African Development Bank (AfDB), Green Growth Knowledge Platform, and other partners will launch a new initiative on integrating natural capital into development finance in Africa called the Natural Capital for African Development Finance Programme.

This initiative, is supported by the World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF), the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ) through its dedicated agency Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ), the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), the MAVA Foundation, the International Institute for Sustainable Development (IISD) and the Economics for Nature (E4N) partnership, with the goal of giving a central economic role to natural capital.

The launch of this new initiative is scheduled for 9 September 2021.

In a statement, Director of the Policy Analysis Division at the AfDB’s African Natural Resources Centre Vanessa Ushie said the inclusion of natural capital in development finance is essential for post-Covid-19 recovery.

“The Bank recognises that nature-based approaches are key to addressing biodiversity and climate emergencies. It is working to integrate natural capital into infrastructure financing, investments, and economic policies in Africa,” she said.

Participants in the launch meeting, including ministers and heads of international institutions, will discuss how to establish a common vision that embraces natural capital, particularly in the development projects and programmes of multilateral development institutions.

Dr Rabah Arezki, Chief Economist and Vice President of the African Development Bank, will give a keynote address.

Government representatives from Nigeria, Tanzania, Madagascar and Mozambique, whose countries are participating in the programme, will take part in the event

The results of a pilot infrastructure project conducted using natural capital approaches in Tanzania, with support from the African Development Bank and Germany, will be presented during this webinar.

Natural capital, which includes land or carbon storage resources such as water and fisheries, accounts for between 30 and 50 percent of the total wealth of African countries, although it is often not included in economic measures such as GDP. Moreover, international development institutions take little account of natural capital in development financing projects. In the face of climate change, natural capital is a key asset supporting inclusive and green growth.

The NC4-ADF programme, which runs from 2020 to 2022, plans to integrate natural capital approaches into development financing in Africa.

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