Pitch for the planet: Time to reinvent finance

8 Mar 2023
Joëlle Welfring, Minister for the Environment, Climate and Sustainable Development of the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg

LUXEMBOURG CITY, Luxembourg (7 March 2023) – With its long history of funding fossil fuels and other polluting industries, the finance sector has been a major driver of the climate and biodiversity crises – but it can also be an important part of the solution.

Over 4,500 participants from 156 countries gathered online and in Luxembourg to address that crucial question at the 6th GLF Investment Case Symposium, ‘GLF–Luxembourg Finance for Nature: What comes next?’. Organized by the Luxembourg–GLF Finance for Nature Platform, a partnership between the Government of Luxembourg and the Global Landscapes Forum, the event gathered powerful voices to bring financing for nature to the mainstream.

“The role and potential of private finance to mitigate these crises and in driving change is imperative and indispensable,” said Joëlle Welfring, Minister for the Environment, Climate and Sustainable Development of the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg.

“Whereas governments must become bolder and more ambitious in their decision making and in the delivery of financial means and enabling environments, the private sector must play a critical role when it comes to directing finance flows towards a more sustainable, biodiversity-friendly, climate-neutral and just pathway,” Welfring added.

The Government of Luxembourg has earmarked EUR 790 million by 2030 for the implementation of its biodiversity strategy. This includes not only restoring streams and managing nature reserves at the national level but also promoting biodiversity projects at the international level, such as in Senegal.

Throughout the day, speakers emphasized that there is no shortage of opportunities to invest in nature, but rather a disconnect between international financiers and local climate solutions.

“Indigenous Peoples receive less than 1% of climate finance, even though many studies have demonstrated that the most effective way to protect biodiversity is by securing Indigenous lands,” said Aldo Soto, Managing Director and Co-founder of Amazonia Impact Ventures. “Smallholder farmers in developing countries receive only 1.7% of climate finance, yet they are the ones who feed the world – 80% of Latin America’s food comes from them.”

To bridge this divide, the event showcased a variety of investable nature-based projects and initiatives from across the Global South, as well as new innovative finance solutions designed to catalyze green investments. For instance, three projects based in Guatemala, Ghana and South Africa pitched their work to investors in a Dragons’ Den-format session and will receive technical assistance from the Landscape Finance Lab to deepen their impact.

“It is not just about mobilizing finance: it is about inclusive finance and ensuring that everyone has access to it,” said Éliane Ubalijoro, the incoming CEO of CIFOR-ICRAF. “By harnessing local, national and regional markets through developing collectives, identifying new markets and diversifying revenue streams, we can change the still-dominant globalized North-South trade model.”

“I am positive that by facilitating knowledge sharing between financiers, Indigenous Peoples, global leaders and local communities, and supporting women, we can overcome our greatest challenges.”

On the screen: Éliane Ubalijoro, incoming CEO of CIFOR-ICRAF, during the closing plenary



About the GLF
The Global Landscapes Forum (GLF) is the world’s largest knowledge-led platform on integrated land use, connecting people with a shared vision to create productive, profitable, equitable & resilient landscapes. It is led by the Center for International Forestry Research-World Agroforestry Centre (CIFOR-ICRAF), in collaboration with its co-founders UNEP and the World Bank, and its charter members. Learn more at www.globallandscapesforum.org.

This symposium was made possible thanks to the generous funding of the government of the Grand Duchy Of Luxembourg, through the Ministry for the Environment, Climate and Sustainable Development and the Ministry of Finance; the International Climate Initiative’s funding, with the support of the Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation, Nuclear Safety, and Consumer Protection (BMUV) and the Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation (BMZ) of Germany; FOLUR (Food System Land Use and Restoration); the Impact Program GEF (Global Environment Facility); and the Madagascar Protected Areas and Biodiversity Fund (FAPBM).

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