Promoting sustainable business, banking and finance for the bio-economy in Ecuador

signing Ecuador
signing Ecuador

The United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) through the Biodiversity Finance Initiative (BIOFIN) has joined the Sustainable Finance Protocol, led by the Ecuadorian Association of Private Banks (ASOBANCA). The protocol promotes sustainability initiatives into the business, banking and financial sectors for the development of innovative green credit lines that promote the bio-economy, the protection of biodiversity and the reduction of greenhouse gases, among other actions.

Mónica Andrade, UNDP’s Head of the Environment and Energy Department said the inclusion of UNDP in the Protocol as a strategic partner enhances the execution of joint actions to support actors and policies in the financial sector that affect environmental and climate governance in the country.

“Simultaneously, this alliance promotes the achievement of the SDG’s of the 2030 Agenda, through action lines proposed by BIOFIN,” she said.

Julio José Prado, Executive President of ASOBANCA; David Gray, Chairman of the Ecuadorian Sustainable Finance Committee; Marcelo Mata, Minister of Environment; and Mónica Andrade attended a signing ceremony in late May, formally bringing UNDP into the Sustainable Finance Protocol.

Marcelo Mata,  who was an honourable witness to this initiative – pioneering the collaboration between banks, international organisations and the National Government in joint efforts towards more sustainable and environmentally conscious economic development.

"As an environmental authority, we support these initiatives that promote the conservation of biodiversity as a strategy that will allow us to capitalise on the emerging challenges posed by a co-design of a development model based on the sustainable use of resources," the Minister said.

Julio José Prado said that in the two years that the Sustainable Finance Protocol has been active, they have managed to foster capacities in the banking system to promote the creation of products and services related to sustainable finance.

“Dozens of alliances appeared among the signatories, but the most important thing is that financial sustainability has become a strategic business catalyser. With UNDP joining, it strengthens this Protocol and helps us to successfully move towards the global objectives of sustainable banking in the framework of the Sustainable Development Objectives,” he said.

The Protocol has been signed voluntarily by 13 banks which are part of ASOBANCA. Sustainable finance generates business, development and investment opportunities, where Banking has the possibility of creating specialised credit lines for sustainable development.

One of the first action under this partnership led by BIOFIN and ASOBANCA in early June was to create a space where stakeholders could exchange experiences and identify potential offers and demands in the field of green credits in the country.

More than 40 representatives of the industrial and banking sectors identified green financial opportunities they could access and generated proposals to strengthen this sector in a more sustainable way. At the same time, they analysed new lines of green credit that need improvement to achieve the national goals for the reduction of greenhouse gases and the conservation of biodiversity.

"UNDP-BIOFIN has supported at a national, regional and global level, the incorporation of biodiversity and sustainable finance into the business, banking and financial environment, as an indivisible component to help achieve our global commitments and goals, which include the 2030 Agenda," said Fernando Andrade, Coordinator of BIOFIN in Ecuador.

This new alliance between UNDP and the banking and financial sector in Ecuador was celebrated during the International Day of Biodiversity in late May and also marks World Environment Day 2019 on June 5th

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