Agreement between EIB and Natural Capital Financing Facility
The European Investment Bank and the European Commission have agreed on a loan arrangement with Rewilding Europe Capital in order to support businesses with nature-focused initiatives. The Natural Capital Financing Facility (NCFF), which was created by the EIB and the Commission, is backing the loan of €6 million. The NCFF will primarily focus on projects regarding biodiversity and climate adaptations, and support them financially. Rewilding Europe Capital is the first rewilding business in Europe and it focuses on providing loans to new and developing businesses. The movement of Rewilding Europe is to raise awareness of sustainably focused businesses while supporting them by partnering with enterprises that are able to give them loans.
Rewilding Europe Capital was founded in 2013 and has been successful, having given 420,000 euros in loans to 16 different enterprises. The ‘rewilding areas’ that REC has focused on are Portugal, Croatia, Italy, Romania, Bulgaria, Germany/Poland, and Sweden. Rewilding Capital Europe has a goal of reaching between 20 and 30 new loans to businesses across Europe. This includes 38 sites that are part of Natura 2000, which is a ‘network’ of environmentally protected areas in the world. 18% of land in the EU is comprised of the Natura 2000 areas. Natura 2000 supports the Birds Directive and the Habitats Directive, which both value the protection of endangered species.
The total budget the NCFF has sums to €100-125 million until 2019, with an additional €50 milllion that will come from the European Commission. Karmenu Vella specified that the rewilding project will the beginning to many new projects focused on sustainability and she is looking forward to the future, “Nature is essential for our lives, and our economy. The recent successful evaluation of the EU nature directives illustrated this.” The agreement between the EIB, the Commission, and the NCFF will certainly have positive affects on European sustainability initiatives.