Over-exploitation of natural resources, the extinction of animal and plant species, destruction of natural environments, climate change, pollution: the pressures on biodiversity are increasing and its degradation continues, with a considerable impact on populations and economies. The Covid-19 crisis has cast our relationship with nature into even sharper relief, and calls on us to alter our course of action.

A priority just as crucial as the climate, protecting biodiversity is central to AFD's actions. To halt the loss of biodiversity and protect ecosystems, AFD is supporting the restoration and sustainable management of natural areas, with and for the benefit of local populations. AFD integrates this dimension in all its development policies.
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biodiversite dolphin carbet martinique
sea, waves, ocean, biodiversity

Protecting and restoring biodiversity 

Banc d'Arguin National Park, Mauritania, protection of biodiversity, protected area

Protecting and restoring biodiversity 

It is a general aim of the AFD group to take action in favor of biodiversity: we support its restoration when ecosystems have been degraded and its protection when they are under threat. To secure these initiatives over the long term, AFD backs actions dedicated to defining, extending and managing marine and terrestrial protected areas, such as the Mohéli National Park in the Comores, Assam in India or the Indo-Burma Hotspot.

Because the protection of natural areas is indissociable from the well-being of the people that depend on it and from their capacity to manage resources together, AFD encourages responsible, participatory land use planning. The projects funded involve and directly benefit local populations: in China, the restoration of the Qixian wetlands provided sanitation solutions whilst encouraging the development of ecotourism. In Mozambique, the development of the Limpopo National Park increased tourism and improved the living conditions of the inhabitants of the support zone.

We also contribute to international funds such as the Blue Action Fund dedicated to the conservation of the oceans, or Bacomab, which guarantees the integrity of the marine and coastal protected areas of Mauritania.

AFD is also a member, together with KfW, of the Clean Oceans Initiative launched in 2018 by the European Investment Bank (EIB). The objective is to finance projects to reduce plastic waste in rivers and oceans.

Using ecosystems sustainably and enhancing them

logging Gabon, biodiversity

Using ecosystems sustainably and enhancing them

To ensure the sustainability of actions aimed at protecting biodiversity, the AFD group promotes better management of natural areas, sustainable methods of using resources (forests, fishing, agriculture, hunting) and enhancing the value of products from these uses. AFD therefore supports, at national or regional level:

  • sustainable management of forests with forest policies that enable the protection of ecosystems, the renewal of exploitable species and the fair division of forestry products, such as in Turkey to integrate biodiversity in forest policy, or in Gabon to promote sustainable forest management;
  • more responsible fishing industries to limit overfishing and illegal fishing, with fishery development policies based on scientific data on fish stock dynamics, long-term management and the sharing of advantages between the different stakeholders in the sector.
  • an agriculture that is more respectful of the environment, resilient to climate change and less dependent on chemical inputs: adoption of agricultural and aquaculture production methods that are more ecologically intensive, use less fossil energy and make the best possible use of resources.

Integrating biodiversity in all our activities

Wastewater Treatment Plant, Jodhpur, India, Biodiversity Protection

Integrating biodiversity in all our activities

To foster virtuous forms of economic, sanitary and social development, AFD intends to take greater account of biodiversity in all its activities. Since 2013, ecological impact has been one of our criteria in awarding funding for projects.

Biodiversity issues are cross-cutting issues. Our objectives: to ensure that projects linked to other spheres of intervention (energy, water, sustainable cities, transport, sport, etc.) do not cause any net loss of critical habitat biodiversity and that they produce co-benefits in terms of biodiversity.

Taking better account of biodiversity in our activities also implies increasing financial commitments. AFD's Biodiversity Intervention Framework 2013-2016 set a target of committing €160 million a year to biodiversity. The Interministerial Committee for International Cooperation and Development (CICID), for its part, set a new target in 2018 of €320 million a year.

In 2018, the amount of funding devoted to our biodiversity activities reached €446 million, a substantially larger sum than that of 2017 and the new target set by the CICID.

Acting with all biodiversity stakeholders

National Oceanography Center INDESO, Indonesia, Oceans Protection

Acting with all biodiversity stakeholders

In the countries where it operates, the AFD group acts with all the stakeholders concerned by the protection of biodiversity. We therefore offer States, ministries, local authorities and civil society:

  • decision-making tools and support with formulating national sector strategies and with setting up information systems on the status of resources and control systems;
  • capacity building programmes so that stakeholders have the skills and resources they need for their tasks, such as for example concerning the management of shared waters in the Democratic Republic of the Congo. 

The private sector must also take account of biodiversity and reduce the damage caused to ecosystems by its activities. AFD:

  • mobilizes companies in major sectors (industry, forestry, agriculture, transport) to find economically viable solutions that take better account of the natural capital;
  • offers green credit lines to help companies to come into line with environmental standards or to fund ecotourism projects or eco-industries (Sunref programme).

Reinforcing international mobilization

One Planet Summit, climate, biodiversity

Reinforcing international mobilization

International mobilization is indispensable to achieve the Aichi Biodiversity Targets and the Sustainable Development Goals (SGDs). AFD acts in partnership with all the key organizations: International Union for Conservation of Nature (UICN), Institute for Sustainable Development and International Relations (IDDRI), NGOs like WWF France and Conservation International, Wildlife Conservation Society, etc. Not forgetting the French Facility for Global Environment (FFEM), a preferred partner of AFD for biodiversity funding.

To better meet the needs of its partners, AFD supports the internationalization of French expertise in the areas of conservation and sustainable management or exploitation of natural areas and resources. We have, for example, initiated a partnership between the national parks of Xianju in China and the Ballons des Vosges in France in order to share the French model of national park management.

million euros invested in biodiversity in 2022
new projects funded in 2022
million hectares will benefit from biodiversity conservation/restoration programmes

Encroachment of crops into natural areas, non-sustainable agricultural and forestry practices, climate change, urban expansion… These factors are leading to a loss of biodiversity that is spreading throughout the planet. It is hastening nature's capacity to contribute to the well-being of populations and the rich variety of human life on Earth. According to the Intergovernmental Science-Policy Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services (IPBES), a sixth mass extinction is underway. The 20 Aichi Biodiversity Targets, adopted in 2010, will not be met. 

This decline in biodiversity directly affects more than 3.2 billion people. The annual cost in terms of the loss of services rendered by nature to economies is estimated at over 10% of world GDP. In view of this alarming situation, biodiversity is becoming an issue as crucial as climate change. It is now at the center of the negotiations concerning the achievement of the targets set by the Paris Agreement or Agenda 2030.

To reverse the trend, major changes and a mobilization at national and international level have become essential. The international agenda is also accelerating: the COP15 of the Convention on Biological Diversity will take place in Montreal in December 2022 and will give rise to a new global framework, with ambitions equivalent to those of the COP21 for the climate. A framework to halt the loss of biodiversity, to involve States and guarantee the necessary transitions in terms of land use planning, sustainable production methods and increased investment in favor of a "pro-nature" economy.

For the AFD group, conservation and the sustainable development of ecosystems are factors that can drive inclusive, sustainable growth. The protection of biodiversity must therefore be taken into account in all our activities. In 2022, AFD committed €736 million to biodiversity and the sustainable management of natural resources.

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