The XXV International Congress of the Network of Environmental Funds of Latin American and the Caribbean (RedLAC 2023), held in Cusco, established a series of new challenges and commitments to mitigate the impacts of climate change at regional and global level.
Among them, the search for alliances to promote financial proposals for biodiversity conservation and the inclusion of indigenous women in access to these international funds was highlighted.
At the October 23-25 meetings, officials, business leaders and 350 climate fund management specialists from 35 countries underscored the urgent need to increase investments in conservation and promote sustainable practices.
Emphasis was placed on the importance of rapidly mobilizing these resources to the most vulnerable territories and generating impacts through projects that strengthen environmental protection.
“In the next six years, an additional US$ 70 billion must be mobilized for biodiversity conservation issues, and environmental funds are called upon to play the most important role in mobilizing these resources in the countries of the region,” said Anton Willems Delanoy, CEO of Profonanpe, the institution that organized the environmental event, the most important in the region.
In addressing the fact that not only international agencies are involved in resource management, he warned of the need to build alliances with the private sector in order to face environmental challenges.
Willems commented on the interest, for example, of the cement industry, which is committed to decarbonization and is betting on natural infrastructure projects to neutralize no less than 3.8 billion tons of carbon in Latin America.
The airline industry also seeks to contribute to biodiversity conservation projects by aligning itself with the CORSIA (Carbon Offsetting and Reduction Scheme for International Aviation) standard to limit CO2 emissions from airline flights.
Regarding the mining industry, crucial to Peru’s GDP, the sector faces the challenge of managing water and moving towards sustainable development objectives, acting as a catalyst for the sustainability of the territories.
In this context, Profonanpe and other environmental funds will play a key role in transferring information and mobilizing resources to the territory.
The executive also remarked that the Protected Natural Areas – PNAs – are the natural capital that serves to generate continuity in environmental interventions, such as conservation and ecosystem restoration projects, in addition to highlighting the role of Peru’s Natural Heritage as the strategy that will allow the NPAs to be managed as a single natural asset. These interventions are carried out in conjunction with the indigenous communities.
Indigenous communities: the Cusco Declaration
At the XXV RedLAC2023 Congress, indigenous peoples had a main section for the first time. Representatives from Peru, Chile and other regions participated, working on a declaration of Cusco. They expressed their interest in the role that environmental funds can play in mobilizing the US$ 1.7 billion announced for them at COP26.
Inclusion of women in access to funds
The event concluded with significant commitments. Among them, it was agreed to establish a working group with the Global Environment Facility (GEF) to facilitate the transfer of additional resources to the countries. This meeting, to be held before February 5 in the United States, will allow Latin American proposals to be presented to this global fund.
In addition, it was proposed to include indigenous peoples in the design and creation of projects and to strengthen their capacities to receive resources directly in the future.
Greater inclusion of women, especially indigenous women, in accessing international funds was emphasized. “They are the most affected by climate change, as they lead household activities and are impacted by decreased food security, access to water and healthy housing,” stated Willems.
It is worth noting that the participation of the Minister of the Environment, Albina Ruiz, in RedLAC2023 and her commitment to the environmental agenda demonstrated that Peru has regained its place in the climate finance discussion forums. The president of the Global Environment Facility, Carlos Manuel Rodríguez, highlighted that Peru is one of the 10 most relevant countries for the global biodiversity agenda.
Finally, it was reported that the agreements reached will be part of the discussions at COP 28 in Dubai. And it was announced that the next RedLAC event will be held in October 2024 in Saint Lucia, a Caribbean island.