LDN Fund momentum presented at One Planet Summit

LDN Fund pre-closing pictures
Picture above: co-partners, EIB, AFD, UNCCD and Mirova at the first closing of the LDN Fund investment.

New York - Yesterday, partners of the LDN Fund met in New York to provide an update on the progress of the Land Degradation Neutrality Fund. The LDN Fund was showcased last year at the One Planet Summit as a transformative contribution in the global fight against climate change.

The objective of setting up an investment vehicle that combines public and private finance to support sustainable land use projects worldwide led to the creation of the Land Degradation Neutrality Fund project.

Nine months after the first One Planet Summit, the initiative is ready to be implemented. The Fund is in a position to close and become operational in the coming weeks. This was made possible through an innovative risk mitigation feature that catalyzed private finance.

The feature includes US$15 million in first loss funding from the Luxembourg-EIB Climate Finance platform (EUR5 million), Agence Française de Développement (EUR 7 million) and Natixis (EUR1 million).

The Total Foundation contributed US$5 million demonstrating the engagement and key role of philanthropic resources in catalyzing more capital in favor of the SDGs. IDB Invest, the private sector arm of the IDB Group, provided a guarantee of US$15 million for LDN Fund investments in land restoration projects in Latin America and the Caribbean.

The European Investment Bank and Agence Française de Développement are acting as anchor investors, but other public and private investors have confirmed their investments: Fondaction, BNP Paribas Cardif, Garance, Fondation de France and Natixis. The corresponding commitments amount to up to US$100 million.

"About 10 projects - like sustainable forestry production in Africa or restoration of coffee farms in Latin America – will be financed by the LDN Fund in 2019.  These are innovative investments to restore degraded land, and so much more," Monique Barbut said.

"They will help fight climate change in the most hands on way imaginable because soil captures carbon. Communities will bounce back better if there are droughts or flashfloods because healthy soils also store more water. These investments will help farmers boost food production. And generate thousands of good jobs and opportunities in rural areas. This is how sustainability, stability and security will be achieved. Where the land flourishes again, so will the people. No-one should be left behind," she added.

By helping to tackle land degradation, the LDN Fund will help to fight climate change, increase the resilience of rural communities and contribute to the Sustainable Development Goals led by the United Nations.

Meanwhile below are the Executive Secretaries of the three sister Rio Conventions on Desertification (Monique Barbut, below center), Climate Change (Patricia Espinosa, below left) and Biological Diversity (Christiana Pasca Parma below right) at the One Planet Summit in New York yesterday.