September 1, 2015

New Project: Evaluating the $30 million CAMBio program

Lucila FernandezEcoAgriculture Partners

EcoAgriculture Partners will be the lead evaluator of a six-year, $30 million GEF/UNDP program implemented in five Central American countries using local bank credit to finance the transition to biodiversity-friendly agriculture and enterprises.

From July to December 2015, we will be working alongside program stakeholders, including the Central American Bank for Economic Integration, the United Nations Development Program, and local partners, to produce a comprehensive assessment of the project’s impact on biodiversity on the farm and in the landscape.

CAMBio (Mercados Centroamericanos para la Biodiversidad) sought to develop financial mechanisms, delivered through national financial institutions, to encourage adoption of biodiversity-friendly practices by farmers, livestock producers, tourism operators and other small and medium-sized enterprises.The specific objective was to remove barriers in banking, business and the enabling environment to catalyze biodiversity-friendly investments in micro-, small- and medium-sized enterprises (MSMEs) in Central America.

Focused on impacts

Our evaluation will focus on determining the impact of these financial mechanisms on catalyzing positive improvements in biodiversity and rural livelihoods in the participating countries. Interviews, key informant consultations, literature review, spatial analysis and focus groups will provide insight on the observed changes in the landscape. This research will complement a CAMBio Final Evaluation, to be submitted to the Global Environment Facility (GEF) and the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), that will focus on the effectiveness of the implementation of the project.

The analysis will serve as a baseline for future projects seeking to enable biodiversity-friendly practices in agricultural landscapes, as well as provide recommendations for financing conservation projects. EcoAgriculture Partners’ evaluation will give a rounded view of how innovative finance mechanisms can enable investments with positive impacts on biodiversity conservation and the improvement of rural livelihoods.

Look for study in early 2016

The comprehensive assessment will be made public in early 2016. For more information on this project, contact the project manager Lee Gross at lgross@ecoagriculture.org.

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