The Asian Development Bank (ADB) and other leading multilateral development banks (MDBs) have affirmed their commitment to mainstreaming nature into their policies, analysis, assessments, advice, investments, and operations.
In a high-level joint statement launched at COP26 in Glasgow, Scotland on Tuesday, they pledged to work together to support a sustainable, inclusive, green, and resilient post-Covid-19 recovery that upholds each bank's respective environmental, climate, economic, gender, social, and institutional sustainability standards, supporting green growth and jobs.
It is estimated that at least 28% of the $11.2 trillion in development finance institution investments in 2019 are highly exposed to the risks of biodiversity loss and ecosystem degradation.
The MDBs agreed to better work to understand this risk and tackle the drivers of nature loss and climate change by fostering and making "nature-positive" investments.
The statement recognises the critical role nature's ecosystems and biodiversity play in supporting the planet and people's health, well-being, and livelihood, says a press release.
"The Asian Development Bank recognises that protecting nature is essential to addressing climate change and building prosperity for all," said ADB President Masatsugu Asakawa, adding, "We endorse this common agenda to mainstream nature across our operations."
The statement was also endorsed by the African Development Bank, Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank, Caribbean Development Bank, European Bank for Reconstruction and Development, European Investment Bank, Inter-American Development Bank, Islamic Development Bank, and World Bank Group. They have agreed to work together to consider a common approach to defining nature-positive finance, building on the MDB climate finance tracking methodology.
In his remarks at the MDBs' roundtable discussions in Glasgow, the ADB president said nature-positive investments will be key in contributing to ADB's recently announced ambition to provide $100 billion in cumulative climate financing from 2019–2030, including $34 billion dedicated to climate adaptation and resilience.
The joint statement supports the need to better value nature so that natural capital is given weight equal to that of other measures of national wealth, such as gross domestic product, exports, and government revenues.
The ADB is developing a regional Natural Capital Lab to serve as a platform for evolving and sharing methods for valuing biodiversity and ecosystems and for building knowledge, capacities, and alliances across the region.
The lender is committed to achieving a prosperous, inclusive, resilient, and sustainable Asia and the Pacific, while sustaining its efforts to eradicate extreme poverty. Established in 1966, it is owned by 68 members – 49 from the region.