The Climate Investment Funds (CIF) will extend $350 million in financing and other support for nature-based solutions in nine countries including Zambia under its Nature, People and Climate Investment platform.
The beneficiary countries are: the Dominican Republic, Egypt, Fiji, Kenya, and the Zambezi River Basin Region, comprising Zambia, Malawi, Mozambique, Namibia and Tanzania.
They were announced during the global climate summit (COP27) that took place in Sharm el-Sheikh, Egypt.
The Nature, People and Climate program deploys nature-based solutions that acknowledge linkages among land use, climate-change mitigation and adaptation, and the improvement of the sources of livelihoods of rural communities and Indigenous people.
It covers sustainable agriculture, food supply, forests, resilient coastal systems and efforts to empower indigenous people and local communities.
As a next step, the participating countries will develop investment plans in collaboration with a number of partner multilateral development banks.
The platform also works with multilateral development banks to de-risk and scale investment based on a systems-level rather than a project-level approach.
The Funds’ CEO Mafalda Duarte said that fifty five developing countries applied to participate in the program over the past few months, underscoring the urgent demand for climate finance.
“I extend our gratitude to Italy, the United Kingdom and Sweden for the incredible partnership. Congratulations to these countries. We cannot wait to get going and this is only the beginning. We will also be supporting Ethiopia, Rwanda, Namibia and Brazil for investment plan preparations, in anticipation of receiving further contributions,” Duarte said.
In opening remarks, Italy’s Special Envoy for Climate Change, Ambassador Alessandro Modiano, said: “Humanity is facing a dual threat: climate change and biodiversity loss. The two are a dire consequence of human activity and economic progress at the expense of nature,” he said.
A panel discussion followed the announcement.
The panelists were Egypt’s Minister of International Cooperation Rania Al-Mashat; the Zambian Minister of Green Economy and Environment Collins Nzovu; the Netherlands’ Climate Envoy Prince Jaime de Bourbon de Parme; and African Development Bank Vice President of Agriculture, Human and Social Development Beth Dunford.
Dunford highlighted the importance of supporting farmers to adopt nature-based solutions.
“For agriculture to prosper, we need to have healthy ecosystems that can be boosted by farmers. Supplying this technology and information will also help them adapt and make them climate resilient,” she said.
Minister Al-Mashat thanked Climate Investment Funds on behalf of her country. “We have a lineup of priority projects on adaptation and mitigation. These funds will help us implement these plans,” she said.
Minister Nzovu applauded the effort put in by organizations and partner countries to come together to help African countries in need of climate finance.
“Africa needs to adopt nature based solutions so that we can provide our own food and water and be self-sufficient as a continent,” he said. “There is a need for awareness for not only politicians but also citizens to understand why their countries are sending funds to other countries.”
According to the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP),(link is external) annual nature investments from G20 nations alone need to increase by an additional $165 billion per year, an increase of 140 percent from existing levels, to realize biodiversity, land restoration and climate targets by 2050.