The poorest will feel the devastation first – and worst.
45% of the global population live in rural areas of developing countries where income and sustenance are generated from the land.
GDP in some of these regions is set to shrink by between 6 – 9% as our ecosystems begin to fail. Recent polling suggests that people in developing G20 countries are more concerned about pushing nature to its limits, with alternatives to irreplaceable natural assets largely unaffordable to the poorest people.
Publicly-funded development institutions designed to alleviate poverty are subsidising the destruction of nature that people living in poverty depend upon.
Development Finance Institutions (DFIs) are government-owned banks funded by taxpayer money. They have a specific mandate from the governments that fund them to tackle poverty with sustainable development at the core of their decision making. Nearly a third of DFI funding is dependent upon vulnerable nature, which is around US$3.1 trillion dollars of assets. This means that should the ecosystems fail, so too will the economic benefits of the investment.
Governments providing finance to these banks are complicit whether they are aware of it or not.
June 2021 G7 leaders signed the 2030 Nature Compact. This was the first time the G7 had given such prominence to the biodiversity crisis, acknowledging that this crisis is inextricably linked to the climate crisis and that we need more nature-positive action. At the UN Climate Summit COP26 in November 2021, a group of multilateral DFIs signed a group statement, agreeing to ‘set out strategic approaches to mainstream nature into analysis, assessments and advice by 2025’. With the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) just around the corner, these public statements from the leaders of the largest development donors in the world have yet to be matched with adequate action from representatives that have direct control over the policies and practices of the development banks.
We are calling for:
Development banks to assess and disclose their impact on nature and exclude all finance for new projects linked to deforestation, industrial livestock and fishing overfishing, fossil fuels and other forms of ecosystem destruction.
Donor Governments use their Shareholder and Director positions to mandate the development banks they fund to stop providing finance to intermediaries, companies and projects that destroy nature.