Leveraging Climate Finance through Sustainable Livestock in Colombia

Bogotá, Colombia; August 2021 – Within the framework of the Norway-GGGI-Colombia Green Growth Programme Phase II, the Global Green Growth Institute (GGGI) and the Earth Innovation Institute (EII) carried out the webinar “Challenges and financing opportunities for the transformation of the Colombian livestock sector”. This event aimed to present to public and private actors linked to the livestock sector the lessons learned from the Instrument for Sustainable Productive Transformation (ITPS) – a financial instrument for small livestock holders supported by GGGI in Phase I, and discuss the barriers, needs, opportunities, and next steps for its implementation and scaling up.

GGGI Country Representative Pablo Martínez highlighted in the opening that the financial sector in Colombia has all the potential to leverage resources and promote practices that consolidate its natural potential and to generate opportunities that help reduce deforestation. Mr. Martínez also pointed out the importance of opening spaces to discuss different sector perspectives to “contribute to the path in which we have been working to achieve the goals set, particularly those of the Paris Agreement.”

Accompanying the event was Ángelo Quintero, Director of Innovation, Technological Development and Sanitary Protection at the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development (MADR), providing context on livestock in Colombia and taking the chance to present the Policy Guidelines for Sustainable Bovine Livestock 2020-2050. Throughout Phase I and II of the Green Growth Program, GGGI has supported the MADR to create these policy guidelines. Director Quintero highlighted three challenges that the agricultural sector is facing regarding livestock: 1. The productive reconversion of livestock systems, 2. How resilient these systems are to climate change, and, 3. Having livestock systems that reduce deforestation, greenhouse gas emissions and support carbon neutrality by 2050.

EII’s National Program Coordinator in Colombia, María Adelaida Fernández, presented the lessons learned from the design and implementation of the ITPS. This is an agri-environmental incentive developed in 2019 jointly with GGGI, Visión Amazonía, Finagro and Banco Agrario, to support small producers in the reconversion of their beef and dairy cattle systems.  It includes benefits such as low interest rates, incentives provided to farmers to dedicate hectares of their land for conservation areas, and technical assistance.

Based on this experience and other credit line cases, Ms. Fernández moderated a first panel participated by Visión Amazonía, Partnerships for Forests, Finagro, and GGGI. The panel discussed financing as an enabling mechanism for the livestock sector, the main challenges to implementing sustainable livestock models, the conditions to increase investment flow, and the steps to follow in financing for these models.

Lastly, Juan Pablo Bustamante, Senior Officer at GGGI Colombia, moderated a second panel where experts from FEDEGAN and CIALTA S.A. participated. They addressed the needs and barriers faced by private-sector actors to access financial instruments that promote the transformation of livestock systems. Additionally, as part of the closing section, the Fundación Universitaria del Área Andina presented its academic offer related to sustainable livestock.

The event emphasized opportunities for improvement to generate greater demand for the discussed instruments and the priority role of first-tier financial institutions. Therefore, the commercial offer of this type of instrument must be increased for the financial sector to be the ally that cattle ranchers need to achieve a sustainable, productive transformation.

Find the full webinar here. (Available in Spanish)