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Project examples supported by the Natural Capital Financing Facility (NCFF) include:
- Green infrastructure (e.g. green roofs, green walls, ecosystem-based rainwater collection/water reuse systems, flood protection and erosion control)
- Payment for ecosystem services (e.g. programmes to protect and enhance forestry, biodiversity, to reduce water or soil pollution)
- Biodiversity offsets / compensation beyond legal requirements (e.g. compensation pools for on-site and off-site compensation projects)
- Pro-biodiversity and adaptation businesses (e.g. sustainable forestry, agriculture, aquaculture, eco-tourism)
- Nature-based solutions for adaptation to climate change
List of NCFF projects
For an overview of all projects financed under the NCFF, please click here.
In February 2021 the NCFF provided a EUR 4.5 million loan to the Belgium Société Publique de gestion de l’eau (SPGE). The loan will be used for the application of nature-based solutions for water treatment, increased retention of storm water and the protection of natural habitats. The loan will in particular improve wastewater treatment with the objective to reach river water quality suitable for the reestablishment of the Pearl Mussels, (Margaritifera margaritifera). The Pearl Mussle was once common in Europe, but more than 95% of the total number have disappeared over the past hundred years. In Belgium, there are only a few remaining populations, found in very clean watercourses in the Rulles, Sûre, Vierre and Our basin. The NCFF loan will support the reestablishment of the mussle. The project is part of the investment programme 2019-2021 of Société Publique de Gestion de l'Eau, a public-sector entity in charge of wastewater collection and treatment in the Walloon Region (Belgium).
This is the first NCFF operation that supports a Biodiversity Offseting scheme. The operation consists of a EUR 5 million loan to the French CDC Biodiversité, a subsidiary of the Caisse des Dépots, who will use the loan for the rehabilitation and management of conservation sites around France. The rehabilitation and management of conservation sites will allow CDC Biodiversité to generate offset credits (Unités de Compensation) for clients which are required to offset their impacts on certain habitats and species as a condition of a planning permission. This EIB loan will enable CDC Biodiversité to support investment in new sites, while keeping its existing sites, some of which have high ecological value, and make the necessary investments to register and market the credits of those sites to comply with regulatory requirements in France.
The city of Athens is the first local authority to benefit from the NCFF programme in urban renewal and regeneration projects integrating nature-based solutions. A €5 million NCFF loan is financing the integration of green-blue components into the restoration of public squares, parks and streets, including the revitalization of Lycabettus hill, an urban forest that has been a notable part of Athens landscape for centuries, where soil and biodiversity will be stabilized through upgraded water management and erosion control systems. The NCFF loan is complemented by half a million-worth technical assistance (TA) grant for re-designing selected urban spaces. This NCFF TA is linked to another TA package that supports Athens to integrate climate mitigation and earthquake resilience measures in public and listed buildings, and provided by the European Investment Advisory Hub under URBIS. The NCFF operation contributes to reduce urban heat islands, increase natural water infiltration, improve biodiversity and improve overall attractiveness of the affected neighborhoods, making Athens a more resilient city combating climate change. The NCFF loan is attached to an existing 50€ million EIB loan. Both loan operations coupled with the TAs from NCFF and URBIS aim at supporting Athens to implement its Resilience Strategy for 2030.
The first project supported by the NCFF, signed in April 2017, was a EUR 6 million loan to Rewilding Europe Capital. It will provide support for over 30 nature-focused businesses across Europe. The comeback of iconic and threatened European wildlife species such as the European bison, brown bear, black vultures as well as pelicans and white-tailed eagles of the Danube and Oder Delta, to name a few, could also benefit from the investments.
White pelicans, Pelecanus onocrotalus, Danube delta rewilding area, Romania
Copyright: Staffan Widstrand / Rewilding Europe
The SLM Silva Fund is a specialised fund focusing on sustainable forestry in Ireland. The strategy of the fund is to acquire semi-mature plantations and to transition these forests to ‘Continuous Cover Forestry’ or ‘Close to Nature’ management, an alternative to the widely-used single-species clear fell-replant system. Continuous Cover Forestry maintains permanent forest cover and promotes a mixed forest structure. It is a commercially viable management model which promotes biodiversity, soil health and landscape value. The fund has now reached its first close and is initiating its investment period.
This operation consists of on-lending EUR 15m to the Croatian Bank for Reconstruction and Development (HBOR) through a so-called ‘multi beneficiary investment loan’. HBOR, with its special local expertise and understanding of the Croatian market, will provide smaller loans to projects investing into the area of conservation, restoration and nature-based adaptation, such as eco-tourism, sustainable agriculture and forestry or green infrastructure for cities. The operation is particularly important in Croatia given its rich biodiversity and significant contribution to the Natura 2000 network.
“Nature is essential for our lives, and our economy. The rewilding Europe project will be the first of many that the Natural Capital Financing Facility will assist in our plans to create rural jobs and protect nature”
Karmenu Vella, European Commissioner for Environment, Maritime Affairs and Fisheries
|Name of Direction
Operation Final Recipient
|SLM SILVA FUND LP||
1st Floor, 118 Lower Baggot Street
|City of Athens||
Municipality of Athens
|Szczecin Affordable Housing||
|Société Publique de Gestion de l'Eau (SPGE)||
SPGE – Direction Financière
|Name of Financial Intermediary||Address||Amount Signed
Rewilding Europe Capital
6525 ED Nijmegen
HBOR (CROATIAN BANK FOR RECONSTRUCTION
Strossmayerov trg 9