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publication August 5, 2021

Unlocking Nature-Smart Development



  • Biodiversity and ecosystem services loss is a development issue: the risks associated with the global decline of nature negatively impact economies and are likely to affect the poorest countries the most.
  • A new World Bank approach paper, Unlocking Nature-Smart Development, proposes six global response areas that can set economies on more sustainable pathways: (1) engaging economic and financial decision makers; (2) integrating nature and nature-based solutions into sector investments; (3) enhancing local benefits of conserving and sustainably managing nature; (4) mobilizing finance for nature; (5) developing metrics and decision support tools; and (6) partnerships.
  • The World Bank Group actively supports client countries transition to a greener, more resilient economy through investment in conservation, policy dialogue, financial innovation, and support for integration of nature-smart practices in sectors such as transport, agriculture, forestry, fisheries, and coastal zone management.

Unlocking Nature Smart Development: An Approach Paper on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services book cover
Unlocking Nature Smart Development: An Approach Paper on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services

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This publication was prepared by the Environment, Natural Resources and Blue Economy Global Practice of the World Bank. 

Unlocking Nature-Smart Development: An Approach Paper on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services is one of a series of papers by the World Bank Group that outlines the development challenges and opportunities associated with blue and green biodiversity and ecosystem services. The paper makes the case that the rapid global decline in nature is a development issue and proposes six global response areas intended to guide governments and inform broader discussions on how to integrate nature into development agendas. As countries prepare to formulate a set of new biodiversity targets at the fifteenth meeting of the Conference of the Parties to the Convention on Biological Diversity, this paper also offers insights that could inform the design and implementation of the post-2020 global biodiversity framework, as well as the World Bank Group’s ongoing support to this agenda.

INFOGRAPHIC: Global Response Areas for Nature-Smart Development