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Financing for Natural Capital in Africa

Written by Laetitia Pettinotti, Joseph Feyertag, Judith Tyson


Natural capital spans a spectrum of landscapes from pristine or largely untouched ecosystems underpinned by biodiversity, such as rainforests or remote grasslands, to heavily managed agricultural landscapes. Almost all African countries face elevated, high or very high risk from climate change and biodiversity loss. Exposure to physical risks is particularly high and loss of ecosystems threatens livelihoods at large but particularly those relying on the agricultural sector, the most important sector for many African economies.

The volume of finance directed at natural capital maintenance and enhancement to tackle these issues is insufficient for Africa. The reality of not meeting this finance gap is stark and would accelerate the decline and potential collapse of ecosystems and the economic sectors that depend on those ecosystems. Greater mobilisation of finance for natural capital in the region rely on improved global and domestic governance of financial flows using nature aligned standard metrics; scalable and replicable investments at landscape scale; leveraging of carbon funds and pledges; funds aggregating small-holder loans into securitisation-based bonds to attract green finance and impact investors; holistic and clustered interventions to address the multi-dimensional issues of natural capital.