Financial Mechanism and Resources

World Bank Group and International Monetary Fund

World Bank
Climate change Bonds Blue Economy Sustainable Development
Memorandum of Cooperation (02 May 1997)
Climate Change
On 15 January 2019, the World Bank launched the "Action Plan on Climate Change Adaptation and Resilience: Managing Risks for a More Resilient Future", and intended to ramp up direct adaptation climate finance to reach $50 billion over FY21–25 — an average of $10 billion a year — more than double what was achieved during FY15-18. The document includes:
  • Objective 1: Boost adaptation financing. Ramping up World Bank Group financing commitments; Diversifying adaptation financing instruments; Mobilizing private sector finance
  • Objective 2: Drive a mainstreamed, whole-of-government programmatic approach. Providing upstream support to ministries of finance and planning; Ensuring systematic climate risk management across all sectors; Scaling up support to social resilience, focusing on the most vulnerable populations; Prioritizing cross-cutting solutions to catalyze impacts on a large scale
  • Objective 3: Developing a new rating system. Implementing the WBG Adaptation and Resilience Action Plan
The document cited the following evidence of the need for action:
  • The consequences of a 2°C warmer world will be far greater than that of a 1.5°C warmer world (IPCC 2018. Global Warming of 1.5°C. An IPCC Special Report on the Impacts of Global Warming of 1.5°C above Pre-Industrial Levels and Related Global Greenhouse Gas Emission Pathways, in the Context of Strengthening the Global Response to the Threat of Climate Change, Sustainable Development, and Efforts to Eradicate Poverty), and the world is not on track to meet either target.
  • As many as 4 billion people already live in regions that experience severe water stress for at least part of the year (Mekonnen and Hoekstra 2016. “Four Billion People Facing Severe Water Scarcity.” Science Advances 2(2)).
  • Disasters triggered by weather- and climate-related hazards cost the global economy $320 billion in losses in 2017 alone (Low 2018). Repeated disasters slow down the development of infrastructure systems and reduce the productivity of local economies.
  • By 2030, without climate action, more than 100 million people will be pushed into poverty by climate change impacts, primarily in Sub-Saharan Africa and South Asia (Hallegatte et al. 2017. Unbreakable: Building the Resilience of the Poor in the Face of Natural Disasters. Climate Change and Development Series. Washington, DC: World Bank).
  • By 2050 as many as 143 million people could become climate migrants in just three regions (Sub-Saharan Africa, South Asia and Latin America), with individuals, families and even whole communities forced to seek more viable and less vulnerable places to live (Rigaud et al. 2018. Groundswell: Preparing for Internal Climate Migration. Washington, DC: World Bank).
By 2025, WBG funding will aim to deliver, among other things:
  • Disaster risk management: Expand access to high-quality hydrometeorological data and early warning systems for an additional 250 million people in at least 30 developing countries, and support 100 agencies with improved meteorological, hydrological, and/or flood forecasting systems.
  • Water security: Support at least 100 river basins with climate-informed management plans and/or improved river basin management governance and provide at least 15 million people with improved flood and drought risk management infrastructure.
  • Coastal resilience: Support at least 20 countries to adopt measures to increase their resilience to climate-related shocks and stressors in coastal areas.
  • Human development: Support at least 20 climate hot-spot countries with human development engagements (education; health, nutrition, and population; social protection and jobs) to effectively implement climate-resilience strategies.
  • Financial protection: Support at least 20 countries in their efforts to respond early to and recover faster from climate and disaster shocks with additional financial protection instruments, and reduce climate-related risks through financial sector regulatory reforms.
  • Forests and integrated landscape management: Support interventions through an integrated landscape management approach for avoiding deforestation and promoting landscape restoration or sustainable forest management for 120 million hectares of forests in 50 countries.
Its diversified financing instruments include:
  • development policy finance (policy-based lending to support climate adaptation policy reforms);
  • performance-for-results loans (loans that provide incentives for cross-sectoral solutions by emphasizing results);
  • multi-phased programmatic approaches that support longer-term planning horizons;
  • regional adaptation projects that address transboundary issues;
  • resilience bonds (to directly raise capital for resilience investments);
  • market-based insurance products; and
  • contingent and other “insurance-type” financing options (such as Catastrophe Deferred Drawdown Options and products to be delivered and scaled up by the new Global Risk Financing Facility).

Ahead of UNFCCC COP24 in December 2018, the WBG announced a major new set of climate targets for 2021-2025, doubling its current 5-year investments to around $200 billion in support for countries to take ambitious climate action, with a strong focus on increasing adaptation; leveraging private sector finance and supporting increased systemic climate action at the country level. The $200 billion across the Group is made up of approximately $100 billion in direct finance from the World Bank (IBRD/IDA), and approximately $100 billion of combined direct finance from the International Finance Corporation (IFC) and the Multilateral Investment Guarantee Agency (MIGA) and private capital mobilized by the World Bank Group.
Results-Based Climate Finance in Practice: Delivering Climate Finance for Low-Carbon Development. World Bank Group; Frankfurt School of Finance and Management. World Bank, Washington, DC. May 2017. This report reviews 74 results-based climate financing (RBCF) programs implemented in developing countries and finds that RBCF can: facilitate carbon pricing and market building, support host countries' policy processes to achieve their NDCs, and leverage private sector activity and financing.
Carbon Tax Guide: A Handbook for Policy Makers. Partnership for Market Readiness (PMR) 2017. World Bank, Washington, DC. By February 2017, some 24 countries and subnational jurisdictions— spanning a diverse range of developed and developing countries across five continents—had adopted or were scheduled to adopt a carbon tax.

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World Bank, Impax Asset Management Partner on Bonds to Highlight Gender Equality and Women’s Empowerment, 4 March 2019. Impax Asset Management is the sole investor in the US$4 million, three-year bond, which highlights Sustainable Development Goal 5—to achieve gender equality and empower all women and girls. Globally, countries are losing $160 trillion in wealth because of differences in lifetime earnings between women and men.
In December 2018, the World Bank issued Sustainable Development Goals Index-Linked Bonds for Retail Investors in Hong Kong and Singapore, and raised US$3.52 million.
In April 2018, World Bank issued its first Hong Kong dollar green bond, and raised HKD 1 billion.
World Bank Launches SDG-Linked Bonds
Green Bond Impact Report, Financial Year 2016. Since 2005, IFC has invested more than $15 billion in long-term financing for renewable power, energy efficiency, sustainable agriculture, and green buildings, with an additional $10 billion in core mobilization. World Bank pledged to step up the Group’s investments in climate to 28% of annual commitments and leverage an additional $13 billion of private sector co-financing by year 2020. In FY16, new Green Bond financed commitments were close to $1 billion in 35 projects across 22 countries, including 16 new markets such as Bangladesh, Cambodia and China. Investments in green banking and green buildings represent the two largest sectors, amounting to 59% of the Green Bond financed projects.
Climate Finance in 2014. The World Bank Group’s focus on climate change has resulted in significant financing to support low-emissions and resilient development. Some recent highlights include:
  • The World Bank Group provided a total of $11.3 billion in lending with mitigation and adaptation co-benefits in FY14 ($11.9 billion in financing including MIGA).
  • The World Bank (IBRD/IDA) committed $8.8 billion.
  • The World Bank’s fund for the poorest countries, International Development Association (IDA), maintained a steady commitment to climate action, with about $5 billion committed in FY14.
  • In FY14, there were 224 World Bank Group climate investment projects in over 77 countries.
  • The World Bank and the IFC are among the world’s largest issuers of green bonds. To date, the World Bank Treasury has issued more than $8.2 billion in green bonds in 18 currencies since 2008. The IFC has issued $3.7 billion in green bonds.

A study in 2010 on Financing the Response to Climate Change, by Hugh Bredenkamp and Catherine Pattillo, IMF Staff Position Note, 25 March 2010, SPN10/06. The Green Fund would use an initial capital injection by developed countries in the form of reserve assets, which could include SDRs, to leverage resources from private and official investors by issuing low-cost “green bonds” in global capital markets.
Status and tends in external debt burden and debt relief including Heavily Indebted Poor Countries (HIPCs) Initiative and Paris Club, status and trends in debt relief for nature and debt conversion bonds

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Blue Economy

WB & UNDESA: The Potential of the Blue Economy: Increasing Long-term Benefits of the Sustainable Use of Marine Resources for Small Island Developing States and Coastal Least Developed Countries. World Bank, Washington DC. The Sunken Billions Revisited: Progress and Challenges in Global Marine Fisheries. The proportion of fisheries that are fully fished, overfished, depleted, or recovering from overfishing increased from just over 60 percent in the mid-1970s to about 75 percent in 2005 and to almost 90 percent in 2013. The analysis reveals economic losses of about $83 billion in 2012.

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Sustainable Development

Hitting the Trillion Mark: A Look at How Much Countries Are Spending on Infrastructure. The paper identifies three possible proxies for infrastructure investments: two are variants on gross fixed capital formation from national accounts system data following the 2017 ADB study and one is based on fiscal data from the World Bank’s BOOST database. The authors also employ several transformations to derive a lower-bound estimate for infrastructure investments in low-and middle-income countries of 3.40 percent of their gross domestic product, a central estimate of around 4 percent, and an upper-bound estimate of 5 percent for 2011. Corresponding absolute amounts are US$0.82 trillion, US$1.00 trillion, and US$1.21 trillion, respectively with East Asia and the Pacific accounting for 55 percent of infrastructure investments and Africa 4 percent. The public sector largely dominates infrastructure spending, accounting for 87–91 percent of infrastructure investments, but with wide variation across regions, from a low of 53–64 percent in South Asia to a high of 98 percent in East Asia. Given the absence of fiscal or national accounts data capturing investments in infrastructure, estimates such as ours are likely to be the best available in the near future.
Atlas of Sustainable Development Goals 2017: From World Development Indicators. World Bank Atlas;. Washington, DC: World Bank.
Regulatory indicators for sustainable energy 2017: a global scorecard for policy makers. Covering energy access, energy efficiency and renewable energy. SubSaharan Africa is the world’s least electrified continent, where 600 million people still live without electricity. As many as 40 percent of Sub-Saharan African countries surveyed by RISE have barely taken any of the policy measures needed to accelerate energy access, compared to less than 10 percent of Asian countries. Exceptions include Kenya, Tanzania, and Uganda which have strong policy frameworks.

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Biodiversity Offsets: A User Guide, October 2016. Preparing and Implementing Biodiversity Offsets: Step 1—Estimate Residual Biodiversity Losses from the Original Project; Step 2—Select the Offset Activities and Conservation Site(s); Step 3—Prepare the Biodiversity Offset Project Component; Monitor Implementation of the Biodiversity Offset Activities and Results.
High and Dry: Climate Change, Water, and the Economy, Water Global Practice. Water scarcity, exacerbated by climate change, could cost some regions up to 6% of their GDP, spur migration, and spark conflict, in regions where it is currently abundant - such as Central Africa and East Asia - and scarcity will greatly worsen in regions where water is already in short supply - such as the Middle East and the Sahel in Africa.
State and Trends of Carbon Pricing 2016. Washington, DC: World Bank. About 100 Parties —accounting for 58 percent of global GHG emissions—planning or considering carbon pricing initiatives. About 40 national jurisdictions and over 20 cities, states, and regions are putting a price on carbon, with a total coverage of around 7 gigatons of carbon dioxide equivalent (GtCO2e) or about 13 percent of global GHG emissions. The share of global emissions covered by carbon pricing initiatives has increased threefold over the past decade. Observed carbon prices span from less than US$1/tCO2e to US$131/tCO2e with about three quarters of the covered emissions priced below US$10/tCO2e. The total value of ETSs and carbon taxes in 2016 is just under US$50 billion, remaining at 2015 levels.
Forward Look – A Vision for the World Bank Group in 2030, prepared by the World Bank Group for the October 8, 2016 Development Committee meeting: establishing a sustainable concessional financing facility.
Managing Coasts with Natural Solutions: Guidelines for Measuring and Valuing the Coastal Protection Services of Mangroves and Coral Reefs, WAVES Technical Report, January 2016. The proportion of the world’s gross domestic product (GDP) annually exposed to tropical cyclones has increased from 3.6 percent in the 1970s to 4.3 percent in the first decade of the 2000s (UNISDR 2011). Insurers have paid out more than $300 billion just for coastal damages from storms in the past 10 years, which often goes toward rebuilding similar coastal infrastructure that is still vulnerable to coastal storms and flooding.
Global Economic Prospects, January 2015: Having Fiscal Space and Using It. Washington, DC: World Bank
Private Financing for Sustainable Forest Management and Forest Products in Developing Countries: Trends and drivers. Washington, DC: Program on Forests (PROFOR). by Tuukka Castrén. the required funding for SFM is in the order of US$70–160 billion per year globally. At present, official development assistance disbursements to forestry cover about 1 percent of the estimated total financing needs for SFM, and other available public sector financing sources barely double that amount. Total private sector plantation investments in developing countries are estimated at US$1,763 million in 2011, excluding investments in Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation (REDD) and landscape restoration. Investments by households and communities as well as by most of the small and medium forest enterprises (SMEs) are not included. Most of the investments are in industrial pulpwood production. Investments in Latin America account for a large majority of the global total amount—US$1,464 million (83 percent)—while investments in Asia and Oceania are estimated at US$279 million (16 percent). Estimated annual average private investments in plantation forests in Africa are very small in comparison, at about US$20 million, or 1 percent of the total value.
Business Climate for Forest Investments: A Survey. August 2014. Washington, DC: Program on Forests (PROFOR). Most of the interviewed stakeholders see the investment climate only as one key factor influencing decision making. However, there are gaps or deficiencies in how well the publicly available and regularly updated indicators describe the business or investment climate relevant for forest investors. The main gaps of the existing instruments are linked to the instruments’ capability to assess technical, physical, and social characteristics of the forest sector, as well as some forest-sector-specific governance issues related, for example, to the security of land tenure, land policies and regulation, and various administrative requirements and corruption in the forest sector.
Outlook for Remittance Flows 2012-14
Diaspora for Development in Africa
Leveraging Migration for Africa: Remittances, Skills, and Investments
Biodiversity Roadmap. The purpose of this Roadmap is to outline strategic priority actions for the World Bank Group (WBG) to support its clients in their quest to eliminate extreme poverty by 2030 and boost shared prosperity through the conservation and sustainable use of biodiversity. To maximize impact, the WBG will focus its investments in biodiversity in four key areas: (1) addressing policy failures; (2) enhancing environmental governance and public sector capacity; (3) building resilience through investing in natural infrastructure across landscapes; and (4) generating financial flows. ƒƒ The WBG proposes a series of concrete institutional steps to support clients in developing solutions based by: (1) mainstreaming biodiversity across sectors; (2) engaging upstream in investments; and (3) leveraging its knowledge and skills across the whole WBG.
Review and Update of the World Bank Safeguard Policies. On July 30, 2014 the World Bank Board’s Executive Committee on Development Effectiveness (CODE) authorized the release of a proposal document for consultation purposes to seek feedback on its content. It has not endorsed the content of the draft, and CODE and the Board will consider the proposed document following such consultations. A background paper was developed for CODE’s discussion of the proposed framework

Rethinking the Role of the State in Finance, Global Financial Development Report 2013. Washington, DC: World Bank. Benchmarking financial systems around the world; the state as regulator and supervisor; the role of the state in promoting bank competition; direct state interventions, the role of the state in financial infrastructure
WBG Agriculture Action Plan 2013-2015. "The World Bank Group’s Agriculture Action Plan for Fiscal Years 2013-15. In combination with the FY2010-12 Agriculture Action Plan, it will result in a continuous six year period of operationalizing the World Development Report 2008: Agriculture for Development. The Agriculture Action Plan FY2013-15 outlines the continuation of a scaled-up World Bank Group commitment to agriculture and related sectors, projected at between $8 billion to $10 billion annually over the next three years. Scaled-up support is needed to meet the World Bank Group goals of reducing poverty, increasing shared prosperity, and promoting environmental sustainability. The predominant focus continues to be on raising agricultural productivity and resilience, especially for smallholder farmers. More emphasis will be given to: climate-smart agriculture, private sector responses, longer-term risk management, gender mainstreaming, nutrition, and landscape approaches to farming and to land use more generally. The approach addresses an evolving and volatile context with a long-term focus on growth and sustainability, and the mix of our support across and within countries will continue to be guided by the strategic insights in the World Development Report 2008: Agriculture for Development.
Projects (2013)
Annual Report (2013)
WAVES program annual report 2013
The WAVES Partnership: processes and emerging results, by Valerie Hickey, The World Bank
Joint Report on MDB Climate Finance 2012
Environment Strategy 2012-2022: Toward a Clean, Green Resilient World (2012), Assessing the environmental co-benefits of climate change actions, The Role of Biodiversity and Ecosystems, Strengthening Environmental Institutions and Governance, Valuing Ecosystem Services, Financing Environmental Services in Developing Countries
Enhancing Carbon Stocks and Reducing CO2 Emissions in Agriculture and Natural Resource Management Projects (2012)
Natural Capital, Ecological Scarcity and Rural Poverty (2012)
Ecosystem Services and Green Growth (2012)
The new Environment strategy (2012-2022) recognizes that despite the progress made in reducing global poverty, there has been significantly less progress in managing the environment sustainably. Pollution, overexploitation of fish stocks, biodiversity loss, and overuse of water and land increasingly threaten countries' development efforts. The immediate and long-term consequences of climate change, from a warmer planet to more-acidic oceans, further threaten progress on poverty reduction and development. The current economic model, driven by unsustainable patterns of growth and consumption, is clearly putting too much pressure on an already stretched environment. Current unsustainable and inefficient growth patterns highlight the need for inclusive green growth.
Joint MDB Report on Adaptation Finance 2011
Joint MDB Report on Mitigation Finance 2011
(2011) Preliminary Estimates of Diaspora Savings (2011)
Biodiversity, Ecosystem Services, and Climate Change: The Economic Problem (2010)
Triangular Cooperation: Opportunities, risks, and conditions for effectiveness (2010)
Financing environmental services in developing countries, by Klas Sander and Matthew Cranford. 2010 environmental strategy analytical background papers. Washington, DC: World Bank.
Biodiversity Funding at the World Bank, Environment Matters 2009. Between 1988 and 2009, the WBG approved 624 projects in more than 122 countries and in 60 multicountry efforts. These projects were funded through almost $2 billion in loans and over $1.4 billion in Global Environment Facility (GEF) resources. In addition, they leveraged more than $2.9 billion in cofinancing, resulting in a total investment portfolio exceeding $6.5 billion. 2008
Global Monitoring Report 2008 - MDGs and the Environment: Agenda for Inclusive and Sustainable Development
Biodiversity, Climate Change, and Adaptation: Nature-Based Solutions from the World Bank Portfolio (2008)
Global Public Goods: A Framework for the Role of the World Bank (2007)
Global Public Goods: A Framework for the Role of the World Bank
Guidelines for “Pro-Poor” Payments for Environmental Services, by Stefano Pagiola, Environment Department, World Bank, April 2007. Poverty cannot be used as a criterion for participation. Keep transaction costs low. Devise specific mechanisms to counter high transaction costs. Ensure that the social context is well understood.
Mainstreaming conservation in infrastructure projects: case studies from Latin America. Projects that overlook or underestimate natural habitats issues often face costly construction delays and increased environment-related economic losses.
The Nexus Between Infrastructure and Environment: From the Evaluation Cooperation Group of the International Financial Institutions. Evaluation Brief 5, June 2007, The World Bank, Washington, D.C.
Estimating the opportunity costs of REDD+
At Loggerheads? Agricultural Expansion, Poverty Reduction, and Environment in the Tropical Forests. Kenneth Chomitz. World Bank Policy Research Report. Washington, DC: World Bank. Almost 70 million people—many indigenous—live in remote areas of closed tropical forests. Another 735 million rural people live in or near tropical forests and savannas, relying on them for much of their fuel, food, and income—or chopping them down for crops and pasture. The U.S. Conservation Reserve Program pays farmers to revegetate erosion-prone land. Wu, JunJie. 2000. “Slippage Effects of the Conservation Reserve Program.” American Journal of Agricultural Economics 82 (4): 979–92. Wu (2000) found leakage of about 20 percent in terms of area and 9–14 percent for erosion prevention. In other words, for every 5 hectares of land put into the program, 1 hectare of forest was converted to agriculture outside it.
The Distributional Incidence of Residential Water and Electricity Subsidies
Environmental fiscal reform: What Should Be Done and How to Achieve It
Financing the Development Agenda (2005)
Moving Forward Financing Modalities toward the MDGs (2005)
World Bank Global Economic Prospects 2006 on international remittances and migration, go to the website on remittances
Estimating the Cost of Environmental Degradation: A Training Manual (2005)
Financing Modalities Toward the Millennium Development Goals
Financing Modalities toward the Millennium Development Goals: Progress Note (2004)
How much is an ecosystem worth? Assessing the economic value of conservation, October 2004
Assessing the Economic Value of Ecosystem Conservation, Environment Department Paper No. 101, October 2004
Status and Evolution of Environmental Priorities in the Poverty Reduction Strategies: An Assessment of Fifty Poverty Reduction Strategy Papers, by Jan Bojö and Rama Chandra Reddy, The World Bank Environment Department, November 2003. The results show (a) considerable variation across countries, (b) an average level of mainstreaming that is still low, and (c) a strong tendency for full PRSPs to better integrate environmental factors than interim PRSPs.
Public Environmental Expenditure Reviews (PEERS): Experience and Emerging Practice, Swanson, AuPhil; Lundethors, Leiv. May 2003, Environment Strategy Papers series ; no. 7. Washington, DC: World Bank. It reviews the OECD pollution abatement and control (PAC) framework and the related definitions of environmental expenditure developed with Eurostat; the OECD Development Assistance Committee (OECD/DAC) Creditor Reporting System (CRS); and other international classifications —the System of Integrated Environmental and Economic Accounting (SEEA), the Classification of Environmental Protection Activities and Expenditure (CEPA), and the Classification of the Functions of Government (COFOG). The report concludes by recommending consideration of a general definition based on the internationally accepted OECD/Eurostat definition of environmental protection activities, supplemented by reference to selected natural resource management activities.
Water Resources Sector Strategy 2003. This is an official webpage of the WBG devoted to the Water resources. The Water Strategy for the WB was developed in 2003. As of today the WBG in water sector is focused on the following topics: Ensuring poor people are included, Deliver Cutting-Edge Knowledge, and Securing sustainable financing for the Water sector
On Financing Global and International Public Goods (2001)
Study on financing global and international public goods
The Domestic Benefits of Tropical Forests: A Critical Review, 1998.
Roads and the Environment, a Handbook, edited by Koji Tsunokawa and Christopher Hoban
World Bank study on trust funds for biodiversity conservation. This study identified issues and options in the design of GEF supported trust funds, see the full paper. Featured GEF-supported funds include: Belarus - Belovezhskaya Primeval Forest Foundation; Bhutan Trust Fund for Environmental Conservation (BTF); Bolivia - Cuenta Fiduciaria para el Sistema Nacional de Areas Protegidas; Brazil Biodiversity Project; Congo Wildlands Protection Trust Fund; Eastern Europe - Foundation for Eastern Carpathian Biodiversity Conservation (Slovak, Poland and Ukraine); Fondo Nacional para les Areas Protegidas por el Estado (FONANPE); Lao PDR Wildlife and Protected Areas Conservation Project; Peru Trust Fund for Conservation Units; Seychelles Island Foundation; Uganda - Mgahinga and Bwindi Impenetrable Forest Conservation Trust (MBIFCT); Ukraine Danube Delta Biodiversity Trust Fund. Other funds include: Belize - Protected Areas Conservation Trust (PACT); Colombia – Ecofondo; Dominican Republic - Fondo Integrado Pro Naturaleza (Pronatura); Guatemala - Fideicomiso para la Conservacion en Guatemala (FCG); Honduras - Fundacion VIDA; Indonesia - Indonesian Biodiversity Foundation (IBF); Jamaica - Environmental Foundation of Jamaica (EJF) and National Park Trust Fund; Mexico - Fondo Mexicano Para la Conservacion de la Naturaleza; Panama - Fundacion Natura; Papua New Guinea - National Conservation Trust Fund; Philippines - Foundation for the Philippine Environment, Inc.; Sri Lanka - Wildlife Trust of Sri Lanka
Debt-for-Nature Swaps
Environmental Accounting for Sustainable Development 1989
The Multilateral Debt Relief Initiative, Weiss, Martin A.
Global Tiger Initiative (GTI), Critical Ecosystem Partnership Fund (CEPF), Save Our Species Program, International Consortium on Combating Wildlife Crime (ICCWC), Global Partnership for Oceans (GPO), Wealth Accounting and Valuation of Ecosystem Services (WAVES)
OP 4.01 - Environmental Assessment; OP 4.03 - Performance Standards for Private Sector Activities; OP 4.04 - Natural Habitats; OP 4.07 - Water Resources Management; OP 4.09 - Pest Management; OP 4.10 - Indigenous Peoples; OP 4.36 - Forests; OP 4.37 - Safety of Dams; OP 7.50 - Projects on International Waterways
The World Bank’s Approach to Global Programs: An Independent Evaluation
How Public-Private Partnerships Can Aid Conservation
Growing Aquaculture in Sustainable Ecosystems
Biodiversity and National Accounting
The Domestic Benefits of Tropical Forests: A Critical Review
The Sunken Billions: The Economic Justification for Fisheries Reform
Assessing the Economic Value of Ecosystem Conservation
How Much an Ecosystem Worth? Assessing Economic Values of Conservation
Capitalizing on the Bio-Economic Value of Multi-Purpose Medicinal Plants for the Rehabilitation of Drylands in Sub-Saharan Africa

International Development Association (IDA)
A record $52 billion for the 17th replenishment of the International Development Association (IDA) (December 2013)
Strengthening support for regional projects : background note 2013
IDA at Work: Protecting National and Global Resources

International Finance Corporation (IFC)
Creating Markets for Climate Business. Annual global investment in climate business solutions is over $1 trillion, and is accelerating. The combined markets for renewable energy ($297 billion), energy storage ($2.5 billion), green buildings ($388 billion), climate-smart urban transport ($288 billion), water recycling ($23 billion), and municipal waste management ($160 billion) are today worth more than $1.1 trillion.

Investment Project Commitments
The Equator Principles III
IFC's updated Sustainability Framework (2012)
The Business Case for Sustainability (2012)
IFC Performance Standards on Environmental and Social Sustainability - Effective January 1, 2012
Performance Standards on Environmental and Social Sustainability, January 1, 2012. The Performance Standards are directed towards clients, providing guidance on how to identify risks and impacts, and are designed to help avoid, mitigate, and manage risks and impacts as a way of doing business in a sustainable way, including stakeholder engagement and disclosure obligations of the client in relation to project-level activities. In the case of its direct investments (including project and corporate finance provided through financial intermediaries), IFC requires its clients to apply the Performance Standards to manage environmental and social risks and impacts so that development opportunities are enhanced.
IFC Sustainability Framework - Effective January 1, 2012. IFC’s Sustainability Framework articulates the Corporation’s strategic commitment to sustainable development, and is an integral part of IFC’s approach to risk management. It consists of: the Policy on Environmental and Social Sustainability, which defines IFC's commitments to environmental and social sustainability; the Performance Standards, which define clients' responsibilities for managing their environmental and social risks; the Access to Information Policy, which articulates IFC's commitment to transparency.
Public Private Equity Partnerships: Accelerating the Growth of Climate Related Private Equity Investment (2011)
Climate Finance: Engaging the Private Sector (2011)
Biodiversity and Agricultural Commodities Program (BACP)

International Monetary Fund (IMF)
Annual Report 2013: Promoting a More Secure and Stable Global Economy
Environmental Tax Reform: Principles from Theory and Practice to Date (2012)
Government Finance Statistics: Compilation Guide for Developing Countries (September 2011); Government Finance Statistics Manual
Trade Integration and Political Turbulence: Environmental Policy Consequences (2001)
IMF and the Environment, History
The Macroeconomic Effects of Environmental Taxes: a Closer Look at the Feasibility of “Win-Win” Outcomes (1998)
Optimal Fiscal Policy and the Environment (1998)

Sector Profiles

Sustainable Development. The World Bank Group integrates the principles of sustainable development into its work with clients across all sectors and regions. Those principles are also at the heart of the World Bank Group’s mission statement released in 2013 and are aligned with its overarching goals to end extreme poverty and promote share prosperity: “Ending extreme poverty within a generation and promoting shared prosperity must be achieved in such a way as to be sustainable over time and across generations. This requires promoting environmental, social, and fiscal sustainability. We need to secure the long-term future of our planet and its resources so future generations do not find themselves in a wasteland. We also must aim for sustained social inclusion and limit the size of economic debt inherited by future generations.”
Environment at the WBG. The webpage provides an overview of the WBG acitivities, strategy, programs and projects in Environment.
WB Biodiversity - status. The World Bank works with countries to put policies in place so that biodiversity is valued as a key driver of sustainable development. We help countries improve their administration to better conserve and sustainably use their biodiversity. We invest in those aspects of biodiversity and ecosystem services—such as watershed management and protected areas—that help countries achieve their development goals. We also help countries find ways to generate revenues from biodiversity—including through tourism or payments for environmental services—that will cover the cost of managing their biodiversity and improve economies.
Oceans: Sector Results Profile and Relevant Documents . World Bank investments between 2007 and 2013 have supported developing coastal and island countries in improving the health of their ocean environments, and enhancing the value of ecosystem services they provide to local and global economies. These investments focus on strengthening country institutions for managing ocean resources and use, in particular the transition to more sustainable fisheries, establishing coastal and marine protected areas, waste management and infrastructure, and implementing integrated coastal and marine ecosystem management.
WB Water Sector page
Natural Capital Accounting. The World Bank Group leads a partnership to advance natural capital accounting internationally. The Wealth Accounting and the Valuation of Ecosystem Services (WAVES) partnership aims to promote sustainable development by ensuring that natural resources are mainstreamed into development planning and national economic accounts. WAVES has the following objectives:
  • Help countries adopt and implement accounts that are relevant for policies and compile a body of experience.
  • Develop an ecosystem accounting methodology.
  • Establish a global platform for training and knowledge sharing.
  • Build international consensus around natural capital accounting.
The Program on Forests. The Program on Forests (PROFOR) was created in 1997 to support in-depth analysis, innovative processes and knowledge-sharing and dialogue, in the belief that sound forest policy can lead to better outcomes on issues ranging from livelihoods and financing, to illegal logging, biodiversity and climate change. Since 2002, the program has been managed by a core team based at the World Bank, with support from multiple donors. PROFOR encourages a big-picture approach to forest conservation and management in developing countries, with a particular focus on four themes: Livelihoods, Governance, Financing Sustainable Forestry Management, Cross sectoral work.
Regional Forest Law Enforcement and Governance (FLEG) Initiatives. Ministerial forest law enforcement and governance initiatives created the political “space” at national and regional levels to address the complex and politically sensitive issues related to illegal logging. Co-hosted by both “producer” and “consumer” governments and the World Bank, and in partnership with major stakeholders from civil society and the private sector, these ministerial-level political processes have aimed to mobilize international commitment from both producer, consumer and donor governments to increase efforts to combat illegal logging as well as the associated trade and corruption in the forest sector.
The first regional Ministerial Conference on Forest Law Enforcement and Governance (FLEG) took place in the East Asia and Pacific region in September 2001 in Bali, Indonesia. Subsequently, a ministerial process was instigated in Africa (Ministerial Conference, October 2003, Yaoundé, Cameroon) and Europe and North Asia (Ministerial Conference, St. Petersburg, Russia, November 2005).
Fish to 2030. This report analyzes global prospects for fisheries and aquaculture. The World Bank Group (WBG) Agriculture Action Plan 2013-15 summarizes critical challenges facing the global food and agriculture sector. An ever-increasing global population necessitates adequate food and nutrition for the growing population through increased production and reduced waste. Production increase must occur in a context where resources necessary for food production, such as land and water, are even scarcer in a more crowded world, and thus the sector needs to be far more efficient in utilizing productive resources. The important issues addressed herein are: 1) health of global capture fisheries; 2) the role of aquaculture in filling the global fish supply - demand gap and potentially reducing the pressure on capture fisheries; and 3) implications of changes in the global fish markets on fish consumption, especially in China and Sub-Saharan Africa.
Disaster Risk Management. Over the past 10 years, the World Bank has emerged as the global leader in disaster risk management (DRM); supporting client countries to assess exposure to hazards and address disaster risks. It provides technical and financial support for risk assessments, risk reduction, preparedness, financial protection, and resilient recovery and reconstruction. The Bank’s DRM portfolio has grown about 20 percent annually for the last five years to US$5.3 billion in FY14. In providing support for DRM, the World Bank promotes a comprehensive, multi-sector approach to managing disaster risk.
The Global Facility for Disaster Reduction and Recovery (GFDRR), a growing partnership of 41 countries and seven international organizations, is the World Bank’s institutional mechanism for DRM. A new World Bank-GFDRR DRM Hub in Tokyo was established in February 2014 under a $100 million DRM program supported by Japan. The Hub will help to match relevant expertise with World Bank DRM operations and clients.
Biosafety in Action. For as little as 4 million dollars from a GEF Grant, during a period of 4 years, four countries (Brazil, Colombia, Costa Rica, Peru) worked together to strengthen the technical and decision-making capacity for biosafety risk assessment and management in their countries. In the process, the importance of working on biosafety was demonstrated, increasing awareness in the region.

Portfolio Results

Environment Projects and Programs. Environment and natural resource management activities are being integrated into projects across the World Bank Group. Over the past decade (2004-13), the World Bank committed loans for US$31.8 billion, from which IDA’s contribution was US$7.7 billion, to support investment in environment and natural resource management.
Biodiversity Projects and Programs. The World Bank is one of the largest international financiers of biodiversity conservation with a portfolio of 243 projects worth over US$1.1 billion in the 10 years from FY2005 to 2014. These projects have been undertaken in 74 countries with the majority in Africa and the Latin America and Caribbean region.
Water Sector Projects and Programs. The World Bank is the largest external source of financing for water projects, which totaled US$7.5 billion in FY11, comprising 53% for water supply and sanitation, 12.5% for irrigation and drainage, 23.5% for hydropower, and 9.9%for flood protection. The Water practice includes World Bank operations, the Water unit, the Water and Sanitation Program, the Water Partnership Program, the Cooperation in International Waters in Africa, and the Southern Africa Water Initiative.
Agriculture Projects and Programs. The World Bank Group's work in agriculture is focused on five areas: raising productivity; helping farmers reach markets; reducing risk, vulnerability and inequality; improving incomes off the farm; and making agriculture more environmentally sustainable. In 2013, the Bank Group had $8.1 billion in new commitments to agriculture and related sectors.
World Bank Carbon Funds and Facilities (Forest, BioCarbon Fund, etc). The Forest Carbon Partnership Facility assists developing countries in their efforts to reduce emissions from deforestation and forest degradation and foster conservation, sustainable management of forests, and enhancement of forest carbon stocks (all activities commonly referred to as "REDD+") by providing value to standing forests. Since its creation in 2004, the BioCarbon Fund has allocated resources to projects that transform landscapes and directly benefit poor farmers. It was the first carbon fund established in the world to focus on land use.
Housed within the Carbon Finance Unit of the World Bank, the BioCarbon Fund is a public-private sector initiative mobilizing financing to help develop projects that sequester or conserve carbon in forest and agro-ecosystems. It has been a pioneer in this sector, developing the infrastructure needed to pilot transactions and paving the way for the growing land-use carbon market established to date.
For more information about the BioCarbon Fund T1 and T2, download the BioCarbon Fund brochure (PDF). If you are interested in information about the new BioCarbon Fund Initiative for Sustainable Forest Landscapes (ISFL), please visit

WB-GEF Program, including BD highlights

The World Bank Group's Global Environment Facility Program. The World Bank Group-Global Environment Facility (GEF) Program is one of the institution’s largest and longest standing trust-funded programs. Since 1991, when the World Bank helped to establish the GEF, it has integrated global environmental benefits across the Bank programs through more than 790 investment projects and programs in 120 countries (pdf) spanning every region of the world.
Highlights From Inside The GEF-5 WBG-GEF Program. This document attempts to provide a flavor of the richness of the program's impacts and results, and touches upon the features it draws from the WBG's unique institutional capacity, which helps define the WBG-GEF program's specific approach in assisting countries to make the best use of their GEF funds. The program aims to turn collective challenges into opportunities for change and transformation along a more sustainable economic development path, working with partners to innovate to increase impact at the global, regional, and national levels.