Fresh water is a rare and threatened resource but ideas exist to open the investment tap to finance sustainable water projects said experts of the World Wildlife Fund (WWF), one of the world’s leading conservation organisation at an EIB Institute seminar.

More than half of the world’s wetlands –acting as natural sponges to prevent floods- have disappeared since 1900, and fewer than 70 of the world’s 177 longest rivers remain free of man-made obstructions.

“We have to find creative ways to involve the financial markets in financing sustainable projects and to leverage capital to increase impact” said Philipp Wagnitz, WWF Director International Freshwater Resources and Keiron Brand, WWF Bankable Initiatives Advisor.

They pointed to WWF’s pipeline of bankable projects (using blended finance, with a positive environmental impact and generating a positive return for certain stakeholders) around the world quoting the examples of Kafue Flats (Zambia) and Haringvliet (Netherlands).

This was the first of a series of seminars that the EIB Institute is organising together with the EIB Corporate Responsibility Department. It will host key representatives from important Civil Society Organisations that the EIB Group engages with on a broad range of sustainability topics.

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