Press Releases

IFC, Union for Ethical BioTrade Encourage Businesses to Protect Biodiversity in Latin America

In Sao Paulo, Brasil:
Renato Guimaraes, IFC
Phone: +5511 5185 6335 / 9321 3455

Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, June 18, 2012—IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, and the Union for Ethical BioTrade today announced an agreement at the Rio+20 Conference to increase private sector awareness of biodiversity and strengthen market frameworks for protecting it in Latin America.

In addition to aiding environmental conservation, the partnership will help preserve natural-resource assets that are critical to the sustainable development of high-poverty regions such as the Amazon forest, Cerrado savannas, and Caatinga drylands.

The joint program is part of IFC’s $1.9 million BioTrade Initiative, developed with financing from the governments of Denmark and the Netherlands, to promote systematic integration of biodiversity concerns into business models, supply chains, and local or regional development strategies. During a Rio+20 side event organized by the ISEAL Alliance, a global association for sustainability standards
, the program was highlighted as a successful example of innovative standards and tools in sustainable development.  

The program will focus on approaches to protecting biodiversity and the long-term health and economic success of communities that depend on it. It will develop verification systems to increase private sector adoption of environmentally friendly sourcing standards; bring together key associations, policymakers, and players from the pharmaceutical, food, and cosmetics sectors to enhance biodiversity protection frameworks; and map biodiversity markets in Brazil, Peru, and Colombia to spur private sector financing and innovation in biodiversity preservation.

IFC Brazil Country Manager Loy Pires believes the program illustrates the importance of businesses taking action toward creating a more sustainable future. “The private and public sectors need to work hand-in-hand to promote sustainable development for the benefit of communities and businesses, and to safeguard the environment’s natural assets for future generations,” he said.

Raising awareness is key to attaining these public-private environmental goals. The Union for Ethical BioTrade’s 2012 Biodiversity Barometer shows that 94 percent of Brazilians want more information about businesses’ sourcing practices.

“This high awareness, in combination with the importance of Brazilian markets, is already driving changes in business practices,” said Rik Kutsch Lojenga, Executive Director of the Union for Ethical BioTrade. “In an increasingly globalized market, these changes are felt way beyond Brazil and accelerate wider transformation toward a greener economy.”

About IFC

IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, is the largest global development institution focused exclusively on the private sector. We help developing countries achieve sustainable growth by financing investment, providing advisory services to businesses and governments, and mobilizing capital in the international financial markets. In fiscal 2011, amid economic uncertainty across the globe, we helped our clients create jobs, strengthen environmental performance, and contribute to their local communities—all while driving our investments to an all-time high of nearly $19 billion. For more information, visit

About The Union for Ethical BioTrade

UEBT is a not-for-profit association, which aims to ensure that sourcing practices promote biodiversity conservation, respect traditional knowledge, and ensure all contributors along supply chains are paid fair prices. UEBT has over 40 members, including important brands in the cosmetics industry, such as Natura and Centroflora in Brazil and Weleda in Switzerland.

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