The African Development Bank (AfDB) and the Green Growth Knowledge Platform (GGKP) have been awarded a two-year, CHF 241,875 ($273,439) grant from the MAVA Foundation to mainstream natural capital in development finance in Africa.
MAVA, a philanthropic foundation, promotes the conservation of biodiversity and advocates for sustainable economies in the Mediterranean, West Africa and Switzerland. The grant will support activities to develop a business case for natural capital among multilateral development banks, scale up the application of natural capital in infrastructure finance, integrate green growth and natural capital in African sovereign credit ratings, and build the capacity for adoption of natural capital approaches in decision-making through a Natural Capital Academy.
Natural capital is the stock of renewable and non-renewable natural resources, such as plants, animals, air, water, soils and minerals that combine to provide benefits to people and support life.
Nature-based solutions are emerging as essential climate-change mitigation and adaptation strategies in Africa, with a growing recognition that protecting ecosystems could provide at least a third of the climate mitigation needed by 2030 under the Paris Climate Agreement.
The Manager of the Policy Analysis Division in the African Natural Resources Centre of the African Development Bank, Vanessa Ushie, noted that: “the natural capital mainstreaming initiative offers a strategic opportunity for the AfDB to embed nature and natural capital at the heart of decision-making on development planning, investments, and infrastructure finance in Africa.”
According to a statement, the case for centering natural capital in investment decisions on the continent is clear. It noted that in most African countries, natural capital accounts for between 30 and 50 per cent of total wealth. In sub-Saharan Africa, over 70 per cent of people depend on forests and woodlands for their livelihoods, it stated.