CAMBio Rewards Biodiversity-Friendly Enterprise in Guatemala
29 May 2012: As executor of the Central American Markets for Biodiversity (CAMBio) project funded by the Global Environment Facility (GEF), the Central American Bank for Economic Integration (BCIE) gave the "Bio Award" to Génesis Empresarial ("Business Genesis") for its work fostering micro, small and medium-sized enterprises (SMMEs) in Guatemala that contribute to biodiversity conservation.
Under the seven-year, US$30 million CAMBio project implemented by the UN Development Programme (UNDP) and executed by BCIE, capital is provided to intermediary financial institutions with capacity to provide financing to SMMEs in Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras and Nicaragua. Access to financing is conditional on a series of requirements relating to care of biodiversity and environmental sustainability. As a further incentive for biodiversity-friendly goods and services, the Bio Award refunds 20% of the principal portion of a loan granted by an intermediary financial institution, with 70% of the refund given to the loan recipients and the remaining 30% given to the financial institution.
Working with CAMBio, Génesis Empresarial has granted over 4,000 loans totaling more than US$3.1 million in funding for biodiversity-friendly SMMEs, mostly for productive sectors in agro-forestry such as cardamom, coffee and cocoa. In the process it has helped promote soil conservation, waste reuse to generate compost, and the protection of forest cover and watersheds. In presenting the Bio Award, CAMBio Regional Coordinator Yuri Zenteno Linares praised Génesis Empresarial as a strategic ally in promoting biodiversity conservation and expressed the hoped it would inspire other entrepreneurs to get involved in biodiversity-friendly enterprises.
Other CAMBio partners in Guatemala recognized for their contributions to biodiversity conservation have included the Asociación Ayúdense y Nosotros Les Ayudaremos ("Help Yourself and We Will Help You Association" - AYNLA), la Asociación de Desarrollo Integral Rural (Association for Integrated Rural Development - ASDIR), and the Asociación de Desarrollo Integral Cuenca del Lago de Atitlán (Association for the Integrated Development of the Lake Atitlán Basin - ADICLA). [BCIE Press Release (in Spanish)]