ImpactAlpha, February 20 – German development bank KfW partnered with Conservation International and Finance in Motion to launch a fund to corral public and private capital for conservation projects in Latin America and the Caribbean.
KfW has now committed an additional $16.6 million to the fund.
Eco.business Fund has invested more than $380 million in 17 projects in seven countries, mostly focusing its efforts on sustainable agriculture and aquaculture. Its most recent investment was a $10 million loan to Banco Promerica to improve access to finance for sustainability-certified farms in Costa Rica. It has also provided loans to banking group Ficohsa in Honduras and Nicaragua to on-lend to agribusinesses adopting sustainable practices and to GNB Sudameris Bank in Colombia to provide credit to local businesses complying with international environmental sustainability standards.
Eco’s latest capital injection follows an $18 million commitment from KfW in January to the fund’s expansion to Africa.
Blended finance, like the kind eco.business Fund is bringing to Latin America and Africa, is slowly coaxing capital to climate and conservation initiatives (see, “Flexible financing gives venture capital a run for the money in Latin America”). Much more is needed, argues Laura Ortiz of impact advisory firm SVX Mexico. “Impact investing has mostly focused on social investments,” she tells ImpactAlpha. “The intersection between impact investing and climate finance is under-explored and radically underinvested.”