Banco do Brasil to host Biodiversity for Banks workshop in São Paulo

20 January 2012

Banco do Brasil will host the second Biodiversity for Banks (B4B) workshop on 22 and 23 March 2012.  The Equator Principles Association, World Wildlife Fund (WWF) and the Business and Biodiversity Offsets Program launched the pioneering training program in late October 2011 to help banks incorporate the value of nature into their lending decisions. More than 20 banks from 15 countries met in late October at the WWF headquarters in Washington D.C. as part of an inaugural training workshop. Now the B4B program hits the road with the next stop being São Paulo, Brazil.

The environmental agenda is becoming increasingly relevant in Brazil and worldwide. Following this trend, the Brazilian finance sector is seeking to apply the best international practices within its lending portfolio and its social and environmental performance. This makes sense, considering that a growing share of its resources is destined to economic sectors that present significant social and environmental risks. Based on these considerations and as part of its Água Brasil program, Banco do Brasil has the pleasure of extending an invitation to Brazil´s banking community, to attend a workshop on Biodiversity for Banks.

The B4B program is designed to help financial institutions overcome the challenges of incorporating risks associated with biodiversity and ecosystem services – all of the valuable resources provided by nature including safe drinking water – into their lending decisions.

The B4B training program includes a web-based resources, a training course delivered during regional workshops, a training manual, and a series of case studies across sectors and geographies. Regional workshops are open to any financial institution and are currently being scheduled for 2012 with plans for São Paulo, Johannesburg, Singapore, London, and Beijing.

The complete workshop schedule is available on the B4B resources page on the Equator Principles website.

About Equator Principles Association

The Equator Principles are a credit risk management framework for determining, assessing and managing environmental and social risk in project finance transactions. Currently 73 adopting financial institutions in 27 countries have officially adopted the EPs.

About Business and Biodiversity Offsets Program

The Business and Biodiversity Offsets Program (BBOP) is a partnership of over 75 leading companies, governments, conservation experts and financial institutions worldwide that is exploring and testing biodiversity offsets. BBOP has developed a set of consensus principles for best practice on biodiversity offsets and will be publishing a draft standard on biodiversity offsets in January/February 2012. The group has developed practical guidelines on biodiversity offset design and implementation for project planners in companies, governments, conservation groups and communities; and a portfolio of pilot projects around the world that aim to demonstrate ‘no net loss’ of biodiversity and livelihood benefits in the context of particular development projects. BBOP is a program of Forest Trends, which provides the BBOP Secretariat with partner WCS.  See: www.­forest-­trends.­org/­biodiversityoffs­etprogram/

About World Wildlife Fund

WWF is the world’s leading conservation organization, working in 100 countries for nearly half a century. With the support of almost 5 million members worldwide, WWF is dedicated to delivering science-based solutions to preserve the diversity and abundance of life on Earth, halt the degradation of the environment and combat climate change. Visit www.worldwildlife.org to learn more.

About the Água Brasil Program

This program consists of a partnership between the Banco do Brasil, the Banco do Brasil Foundation, WWF-Brasil and the National Water Agency. Its goal is to contribute to improving water quality and increasing natural vegetation cover through demonstration projects involving sustainable agriculture in rural areas, integrated management of solid waste and responsible consumption in urban centers. The Program is currently under implementation in five cities and eight micro-basins, and beginning in 2013 will expand to include another six micro-basins in Brazil. With the support of WWF-Brasil, the Banco do Brasil is developing a series of initiatives designed to improve its tools for analyzing credit and to increase its portfolio of social and environmental products and services.