Mainstreaming Blue Nature-Based Solutions into Infrastructure Finance

The 2020 IUCN/BNCFF Report “Toward Sustainable Blue Infrastructure Finance” argued persuasively that MDBs will need to play a key role in integrating Nature-based Solutions into their infrastructure finance approaches if we want to succeed in effectively protecting biodiversity and in making sure that blue natural capital is maintained.


Presenting three case studies, this new report looks at efforts by different Multilateral Development Banks (MDBs) to transform their coastal infrastructure project portfolios through strengthening their Nature-based Solutions (NbS) components. The report also further investigates how MDBs can incentivize NbS-focused investments for governments and the private sector to show which pathways for mainstreaming blue natural capital can be productive.


The challenge – to swiftly move away from a business-as-usual financing approach largely tailored to generating and perpetuating infrastructure that is both grey and vulnerable, towards blue finance solutions – is massive. It is hoped that the examples of the case studies and the lessons drawn from them can assist both a wider number of MDBs as well as other key infrastructure stakeholders to engage with this challenge. The broader ambition is to show that the optimal integration of NbS into infrastructure is not only necessary to avoid biodiversity collapse but also contributes to the financial resilience of the project itself. The economic case for investment into infrastructure asset resilience could not be stronger.

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Full report