Submitted by International Finance Corporation
WASHINGTON, D.C.- July 17, 2007 "“ The expansion of agriculture is the leading cause of habitat loss around the world and one of the greatest threats to global biodiversity. IFC and the Global Environment Facility, with other donors and partners, will launch an initiative in the third quarter of 2007 to promote best environmental and social practices in the production and overall supply chain of four commodities: palm oil, cocoa, soybeans, and sugarcane.
The initiative, the Biodiversity and Agricultural Commodities Program, recently obtained final approvals from IFC and the Global Environment Facility.
The program will offer advisory services for projects involving the private sector that support adoption of better management practices at the production level, increase the demand for biodiversity-friendly products, and improve financial institutions' ability to support adoption of biodiversity-friendly practices. The program will also support multistakeholder initiatives that create sustainable markets for agricultural commodities.
The program management unit will send out requests for project proposals in September/October 2007.
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The International Finance Corporation, the private sector arm of the World Bank Group, is the largest multilateral provider of financing for private enterprise in developing countries. IFC finances private sector investments, mobilizes capital in international financial markets, facilitates trade, helps clients improve social and environmental sustainability, and provides technical assistance and advice to businesses and governments. From its founding in 1956 through FY06, IFC has committed more than $56 billion of its own funds for private sector investments in the developing world and mobilized an additional $25 billion in syndications for 3,531 companies in 140 developing countries. With the support of funding from donors, it has also provided more than $1 billion in technical assistance and advisory services.
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