NDF - Financing for climate change and development projects

How to support sustainable urbanization

Photo (from left): Pasi Hellman, Managing Director, NDF; Ester Rodriguez Fernandez, IDB Partnerships Office in Europe; Ellis J. Juan, ESCI Coordinator, IDB; Leena Klossner, Deputy Director, NDF; and Aage Jørgensen, Country Program Manager, NDF.

NDF hosted an event where Ellis Juan from the Inter-American Development Bank discussed the Emerging and Sustainable Cities Initiative (ESCI) in Latin America with Nordic experts on development and climate finance.

Latin America is undergoing rapid urbanization and in 2014 more than 80% of the population are living in cities. This development trend creates tremendous challenges on individual cities. The Inter-American Development Bank launched in 2011 the Emerging and Sustainable Cities Initiative (ESCI). This initiative assists emerging cities in dealing with the challenges of rapid urbanization and climate change while making the city environmentally, urban and fiscally sustainable. At present 30 cities form part of ESCI and it is planned that by end 2015 there will 50 Latin-American cities participating.

NDF arranged on 24 March 2014 a seminar where ESCI Coordinator Ellis Juan presented the program and discussed urban challenges with an audience consisting of professional staff from Nordic Development Fund (NDF), Nordic Investment Bank (NIB), Nordic Environment Finance Corporation (NEFCO), and Finnish Environment Institute (SYKE).

ESCI is a technical assistance program providing direct support to local governments in their sustainable development plans and execution. ESCI employs a multidisciplinary approach to address the challenges faced in fast growing emerging cities in Latin America. The approach includes an analysis of the: (a) environmental and climate change sustainability, (b) urban sustainability, and (c) fiscal sustainability and governance.

Nordic Development Fund was the first co-financier to join the Emerging and Sustainable Cities Initiative. NDF finances technical studies and action plans for Cochabamba (Bolivia), Managua (Nicaragua), and Tegucigalpa (Honduras). At present, NDF is preparing further support to the same cities to make the identified priorities into bankable projects.

The general ESCI coordinator Mr. Ellis J. Juan is a former Deputy Minister from Venezuela, who in the period 2008-12 was Country Representative for the Inter-American Bank in Mexico. He is an infrastructure finance specialist with more than 20 years of experience from World Bank, IDB and private sector entities.

More information:
NDF C40: Climate Change and Sustainable Cities in Latin America
IDB: Emerging and Sustainable Cities Initiative
Managua Action Plan (in Spanish)
Action Plan for Cochabamba (in Spanish)