AFD Awards $3.5 Million Loan For Environmental Businesses In Developing World

9 July 2009

Arlington, VA/Paris, France - The French Development Agency (Agence Française de Développement) signed a $3.5 million agreement on July 7 for an expansion of an innovative fund supporting green businesses.

Verde Ventures at Conservation International (CI) invests in some of the most biologically rich and threatened ecosystems on the planet. It provides loans to small- and medium-sized businesses that create economic opportunities while contributing to local development and the conservation of natural resources for future generations.

This agreement makes CI the first nongovernmental organization to receive a loan from AFD, and further expands a long-term partnership between the two.

“AFD is at the forefront of the idea that development and conservation are not incompatible ideas but instead tightly related to the well-being of future generations,” said Niels Crone, CI Chief Operating Officer.

“CI is one of our most effective and innovative partners with government, civil society and the private sector,” said Jean-Michel Severino, AFD Chief Executive Officer.

Since 2000, Verde Ventures has supported enterprises contributing to the protection of more than 300,000 hectares of important lands and 191 globally threatened species and benefiting more than 40,000 local people in 13 countries. The investments have been mainly in sustainable coffee, cocoa and ecotourism to date, and new sectors are being explored.