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Microfinance for Ecosystem-Based Adaptation (MEbA)

As of: October 2020

Objective and activities

In Latin America, the implementation of adaptation strategies at the local level is difficult, because to date there have only been a handful of approaches aimed at achieving this goal. This is why smallholders in particular are strongly affected by the impacts of climate change. Therefore, the project seeks to support the development and dissemination of microfinance products such as small loans, which are used for climate change adaptation in the affected regions. To this end, it is building up know-how on ecosystem-based adaptation (EbA) in the microfinance institutions (MFIs). Using the instruments that have already been developed, the MFIs autonomously grant loans that enable investments in EbA and increase the income of the borrowers. The project, implemented by the United Nations Environment Programme Panama, is also working with governments and development banks to create a favourable environment for the expansion of the approach.

State of implementation/results

  • The project supports several microfinance institutions (MFIs) in Colombia and Peru in adapting their portfolios to climate risks and developing microfinance products for ecosystem-based adaptation
  • The project promotes a lively exchange about microfinance for climate adaptation measures, for example by carrying out an annual workshop at which the microfinance institutions as well as government representatives and other partners can share their knowledge
  • The project also works at international level to disseminate and mainstream the newly created financing mechanisms, by producing materials that can be exchanged with microfinance institutions in other regions, as well as with investors and governments
  • Demonstration farms established to showcase eligible adaptation measures
  • As of December 2018, 12,825 microcredits with a volume of 17,2 Million USD (15 Million Euro) have been disbursed by partner MFIs as private investments for the implementation of ecosystem based adaptation measures
  • In addition, more than 10,000small-scale farmers have been sensitized on climate change issues while more than 3,000 have received some level of training regarding EbA methods (including 719 trained in project-financed EbA farms)
  • Some 1,300 MFI staff members have been sensitized on key aspects of the MEbA project
  • During the United Nations Environment Assembly (UNEA 4) in Nairobi, on March 13, 2018, BNP Paribas and UN Environment announced the partnership to increase access of small-scale farmers to climate adaptation finance
  • The MEbA team supported the organization of the 1st Climate Finance Forum in Ecuador in October 2018 in which the MEbA concept was presented as an alternative for sustainable adaptation finance and two partner MFIs (Bancamía and Fondesurco) showcased their experience
  • The project’s website is constantly updated with pictures (…), current results (…) client stories from the field (…), events (…), publications and communication tools (…) developed by the project
  • The main project materials are currently being translated into French for replication in Africa

Project data

Benin, Colombia, Costa Rica, Dominican Republic, El Salvador, Madagascar, Peru, Senegal

Implementing organisation:
United Nations Environment Programme (UN Environment) - Panama

Partner institution(s):
  • Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development - Colombia, Ministry of Environment (MINAM) - Peru, Ministry of Environment and Sustainable Development (MADS) - Colombia
  • Frankfurt School of Finance & Management gGmbH,Netherlands Development Finance Company (FMO)

BMU grant:
4.882.952,00 €

01/2012  till  12/2020



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