Curitiba, Brazil, 23 March
2006 – The International Finance Corporation, the private arm of the
World Bank, launched today a Web-based guide to help companies operating
in emerging markets understand, manage, and benefit from biodiversity.
The launch takes place on the occasion of the eighth
meeting of the Conference of the Parties to the Convention on Biological
“Emerging markets hold the majority of the world’s most significant biodiversity
assets,” said Richard Caines, Manager of IFC’s Environment and Social
Development Knowledge & Innovation Group, responsible for the guide.
“Through this guide, we aim to provide information that will contribute
to a sustainable use of these resources by the private sector.”
The guide provides an overview of issues surrounding biodiversity, including
its importance to society and the relationship of biodiversity to business.
Through examples and links to other information, this Web-based tool helps
businesses understand both how they can manage the business risks from
biodiversity issues, and how they can capitalize on business opportunities,
such as new markets, that are associated with biodiversity maintenance
The guide features sector-specific biodiversity issues for 10 major industry
sectors, as well as several case studies on how companies (including a
number of IFC clients) have addressed biodiversity issues in their business
The guide can be found at: www.ifc.org/BiodiversityGuide
The International Finance Corporation is the private sector arm of the
World Bank Group and is headquartered in Washington, D.C. IFC coordinates
its activities with the institutions of the World Bank Group but is legally
and financially independent. Its 178 member countries provide its share
capital and collectively determine its policies.
The mission of IFC is to promote sustainable private sector investment
in developing and transition countries, helping to reduce poverty and improve
people’s lives. IFC finances private sector investments, helps clients
improve social and environmental sustainability, and provides technical
assistance and advice to governments and businesses. From its founding
in 1956 through FY05, IFC has committed more than $49 billion of its funds
and arranged $24 billion in syndications for 3,319 companies in 140 developing
countries. IFC’s worldwide committed portfolio as of FY05 was $19.3 billion
for its own account and $5.3 billion held for participants in loan syndications.
For more information, visit www.ifc.org.
IFC and Biodiversity
IFC works with financial institutions and directly with companies involved
in ecotourism, agribusiness, extractive industries, and other activities
that may have an impact on biodiversity. As a multilateral finance institution
with a development mandate, IFC is able to pioneer new business models
and approaches to biodiversity protection by taking calculated risks and
working with diverse stakeholders in addition to the private sector.