San José Costa Rica – November 28, 2016 – The Ministry of Environment and Energy (MINAE), the National Forestry Financing Fund (FONAFIFO), and the Global Green Growth Institute (GGGI), hosted an international experts consultation workshop on integrated ecosystem investment that provided solid insights to strengthen Costa Rica’s Environmental Bank Foundation in San José, Costa Rica.
The Paris Agreement sent a strong, unprecedented, and timely message that land-use is a critical sector for the new global climate regime. However there is a gap in terms conservation finance needed per year and current capital invested. The land-use sector has successfully attracted public investment through REDD+, but questions still remain regarding how to unlock the potential for private investment to bridge the financing gap and how to scale this not only forestry but also for entire landscapes.
The GGGI policy analysis publication analyzes the success of the Costa Rican Payment for Ecosystem Services scheme and explores potential global best practices based on lessons learned in Costa Rica. Many of the themes from this publication were discussed during the workshop, which was organized with the aim of initiating collaboration between the Environmental Bank Foundation (FUNBAM) and GGGI. This workshop provided a forum for experts to discuss and share knowledge on developing business models and financing mechanisms for the integrated ecosystem investment.
“Costa Rica is glad to host and lead this workshop, which contributed to generating innovate ideas and practices on integrated ecosystem investments”, said Edgar Gutiérrez-Espeleta, Costa Rica’s Minister of Environment and Energy and President of the United Nations Environment Assembly. “This workshop gathered and mobilized a group of like-minded officials, organizations, and experts with the aim of advancing sustainable ecosystem management in Costa Rica and beyond.”
Mahua Acharya, the Assistant Director-General of GGGI, shared Mr. Gutiérrez-Espeleta’s enthusiasm and believed this workshop helped to promote innovative ideas for attracting financing. “There is enough capital out there, the key is to find and apply business models that fulfill the goals of investors as well as ecosystem management,” said Ms. Acharya. “The public and private sectors need to put their heads together, think creatively, and step outside of their comfort zones.”
Costa Rica will continue collaborating with GGGI to develop finance mechanisms that promote sustainable practices in the land-use and forestry sector. The Ministry of Environment and Energy and the National Forestry Financing Fund will be working together with GGGI to develop innovative bankable projects through national financing vehicles. During this workshop, GGGI started to engage Banco Nacional, the Ministry of Finance, and other key finance players in Costa Rica to discuss potential opportunities to scale and strengthen FUNBAM as a national financing vehicle.