Sustainable Finance for Peace

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Written by Nam Nguyen. Image credit: CIAT

CGIAR FOCUS Climate Security explores the role of climate and food systems for lasting peace. We do this through multidisciplinary research and by building strong networks with partners who want to contribute directly or indirectly to climate security and peacebuilding. Find out more and read all our latest stories. This blog post is one part of the 6-outputs from the CGIAR Climate Security Webinar Series. You can view the full webinar discussion here. The webinar is also available in podcast format from the UN Global Dispatches Podcast website.

In our third Webinar of the 6-part series on Climate Security, we were joined by:

  • Adhiti Gupta, Manager, Market Acceleration & Design Funding, Convergence Blended Finance
  • Ania Maria Wanda Grobicki, Deputy Director for Adaptation, The Green Climate Fund
  • Giovanni Grandi, Senior Officer, Private Partnerships and Finance for Development, Italian Agency for Development Cooperation
  • Serena Guarnaschelli, Partner and Innovative Finance Advisory, KOIS
  • Alberto Millan, Sustainable Finance Advisor, CGIAR Research Programme on Climate Change and Food Security (CCAFS)

The Sustainable Development Goals had set up ambitious goals to end poverty, hunger and provide a strategic framework for a transition towards peace and prosperity by 2030. Five years after their adoption, funding resources are falling remarkably short – with an enormous gap of 2.5 trillion dollars annually to sufficiently fund the development of green infrastructure, energy, food security, agriculture, rural livelihoods, climate change adaptation and mitigation, health and education[1].

Indeed,  if we were to align just a proportion of the resources invested daily in capital markets, including resources from institutional investors, banks, retail investors and private philanthropy, etc., this would catalyse significant progress towards achieving the SDGs.  It is worth highlighting that from the private sector perspective, there also has been increasing interest to expand the scope of traditional corporate social responsibility initiatives towards generating more pronounced economic, social and government (ESG) outcomes.

Flows of sustainable private finance can be leveraged for establishing the conditions for peace.  Most conflict-affected populations currently reside in climate-vulnerable regions exposed to increasing levels of rainfall variability and climate shocks, such as droughts and floods. This threatens food security and income generation activities for those residing in these fragile regions. These factors, coupled with increasing economic pressures and institutional fragility,  aggravates community tensions and instability within these complex environments. In these situations, addressing essential securities and basic needs are priorities to establish strong foundations for sustainable livelihoods and peace. To address this, one possible pathway is to coordinate integrated collaborations across multidisciplinary and crosscutting perspectives, leading to effective designing of interventions that generate net gains across environmental, social and governance outcomes.

Contributions of the CGIAR

Aligning humanitarian, development and peace objectives requires new partnerships. The CGIAR can play two advisory roles, one as a partner to address the needs of the private sector and attracting financing, and the other as a partner that can provide extensive experience in identifying and scaling climate-smart agri-business models, while building the resilience of local communities to the impacts of climate variability and change.

The CGIAR can support the co-design of innovative investment solutions with finance institutions. Leveraging our expertise on the field, we are able to provide advisory services to identify investable opportunities to build the capacity of investees and develop science-based ESG frameworks to ensure effective impact monitoring. Where information gaps exist, we can utilize our scientific expertise to conduct cutting-edge research to understand the nexus between humanitarian, development, peace and investment objectives.

For smallholder farmers residing in regions prone to or emerging out of conflict, it is critical to establish a basis of self-sufficiency and favourable market condition. Through spatial targeting and adequate assessments of risks (i.e. climate vulnerability, land degradation, financial risks), especially of the business-enabling environment, the CGIAR can identify locations where impacts can be best delivered. Informed by this targeting, the CGIAR is fully capable of acting as a catalyst with the private sector to identify barriers and investment opportunities at farm, landscape, value chain and policy levels. Ideally, these identified business operations can generate financially attractive returns, maintain security objectives, and preserve natural capital.

If you are in a hurry, watch our short 2-minute highlight of the webinar discussion:


[1] United Nations Conference on Trade and Development. SDG Investment Trends Monitor, 2019.

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