• Overview

Panama, 22 March 2019.- The European bank BNP Paribas and UN Environment signed a partnership to increase access of small-scale farmers to climate adaptation finance, focusing initially in two countries: Colombia and Senegal.

BNP Paribas will co-finance technical assistance to a microfinance institution in each country, with the aim of developing products and services for investment in ecosystem-based adaptation activities, improving the income and resilience of small-scale farmers to climate change effects.

Signed in Nairobi, Kenya, on the sidelines of the fourth UN Environment Assembly, the new partnership will be implemented under the umbrella of a project called Microfinance for Ecosystem-based Adaptation (MEbA), carried by UN Environment since 2012 in Colombia and Peru and, since 2018, in six Latin American and three African countries.

Climate change is among the main obstacles to ensure the well-being of present and future generations. The contribution of the agricultural sector has been clearly identified as both a key driver of climate change and the main driver of biodiversity loss.

On the other hand, agricultural activities are highly sensitive to climate risks. This is especially true for small-scale farmers who rely on stable climate conditions and healthy ecosystems to secure their livelihoods. Climate impacts and ecosystem degradation from unsustainable practices are threatening food security and rural economies around the world.

Adapting to these challenges requires the engagement of key stakeholders in innovative ways. Partnerships with development finance institutions and commercial banks, such as BNP Paribas, are key to increase access of small-scale farmers to adaptation finance under improved conditions and with products and services adjusted to their needs.

“Partnerships are critical to unlock new capital for sustainable investment and to upscale sustainable business models”, stated Leo Heileman, UN Environment Regional Director for Latin America and the Caribbean.

“BNP Paribas is delighted to join this coalition. Thanks to this initiative, small-scale farmers will have access to innovative finance solutions, contributing to a resilient agriculture”, said Antoine Sire, Director of Company Engagement Department of BNP Paribas.

Funded by the Federal Ministry of Environment, Nature Conservation and Nuclear Safety of Germany (BMU), and executed with the support of YAPU Solutions, MEbA provides technical assistance to 13 microfinance institutions to autonomously promote products and services oriented to ecosystem-based adaptation (EbA).

So far, nearly 13,000 loans have been disbursed equivalent to US$ 17 million and more than 9,000 small-scale farmers have been made aware of EbA methods. Considering BMU’s investment in the project of € 5 million, this sustainable finance facility is leveraging funds in the order of 3:1.

For more information:

Please visit MEbA website: http://unepmeba.org/en/.

Or contact UN Environment Regional Communication Unit for Latin America and the Caribbean: [email protected], +507 305-3182.