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Mainstreaming and Safeguarding Biodiversity in Multilateral Development Bank Finance

Multilateral development banks (MDBs) finance public and private sector investments in countries around the world in nearly all sectors, but particularly in infrastructure for transportation, energy, and water. While development projects are intended to provide socioeconomic benefits, they can result in environmental harm, including the conversion and degradation of habitats and loss of biodiversity, if not properly designed and managed. The MDBs have developed environmental and social safeguard policies in order to reduce the adverse impacts and manage the risk of these investments. This presentation discusses how banks and borrowers implement mainstreaming and safeguard processes from project conceptualization and design through preparation and execution, with a focus on biodiversity. The presentation will highlight the challenges and opportunities for enhancing the effectiveness of biodiversity mainstreaming and safeguarding through improved collection, sharing, and analysis of biodiversity information. 

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About the Speaker

Dr. Robert Langstroth serves as Senior Biodiversity Specialist in the Environmental and Social Safeguards Unit of the Inter-American Development Bank in Washington, DC. Dr. Langstroth is a specialist in the biogeography and ecology of Latin America and is an expert practitioner in the application of multilateral development bank standards and policies relating to biodiversity, especially the International Finance Corporation’s (IFC) Performance Standard 6 (PS6) and the Inter-American Development Bank’s (IDB) Directive B.9. Dr. Langstroth has supported lenders and project sponsors in the implementation of biodiversity mitigation plans for major development projects and in the identification and delineation of critical habitats using PS6, B.9, and KBA. Dr. Langstroth also serves on the Key Biodiversity Areas (KBA) Consultative Forum, where he represents the IDB, and as the IUCN Red List Taxonomic Authority for the Liolaemidae, a speciose family of Andean and Patagonian lizards. 

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