Navigating the intersection of resilience, innovation, and sustainability in Southern Africa
By Ms. Boitumelo Mosako, CEO of the Development Bank of Southern Africa (DBSA)
In the arid landscapes of southern Africa, water scarcity and climate change cast a looming shadow over the region's sustainability. As we stand at the crossroads of environmental challenges, the Development Bank of Southern Africa (DBSA) charts a visionary course to establish water as an asset class. This strategic move is not just about closing the financial gap but transforming the water sector, attracting private sector capital, and fortifying resilience.
Establishing water as an asset class - a strategic imperative
The challenges posed by water scarcity and climate change require innovative solutions that transcend traditional funding mechanisms. Part of the answer lies in establishing water as an asset class, a transformative endeavour that beckons private sector capital and ensures sector resilience. At the DBSA, we recognise the imperative of this approach and draw inspiration from successful initiatives like the Climate Finance Facility (CFF), Embedded Generation Investment Programme (EGIP), and the Water Reuse Programme.
A programmatic approach - lessons from success
Our journey to transform water into an investable asset class is anchored in a programmatic approach, a proven path to success demonstrated by our experiences with CFF, EGIP, and Water Reuse Programme. Key insights include the importance of a structured framework, comprehensive risk mitigation, incentivising investment through tailored incentives, and the power of data-driven decision-making. These principles provide a clear roadmap as we embark on this transformative journey.
Water as an asset class - paving the way forward
By establishing water as an asset class, we lay the foundation for a sustainable and resilient water sector. Private sector investment is not just a means to bridge the financial gap; it brings expertise, innovation, and efficiency to the forefront. Our commitment at the DBSA is unwavering. Collaborating with private sector partners, government institutions, and communities, we aspire to secure a brighter and more sustainable future for all.
Nature finance - a symbiotic relationship with climate resilience
In the dynamic landscape of climate change finance, the integration of nature and climate emerges as a beacon of innovation. Nature finance, often an unsung hero, extends beyond carbon sequestration to encompass sustainable management and restoration of ecosystems. At the DBSA, we recognise the symbiotic relationship between nature and climate, embarking on a transformative journey to seamlessly integrate nature finance into our climate finance portfolio.
The imperative of climate resilience - a holistic approach
Climate resilience takes centre stage in municipal planning, creating strong, adaptive communities capable of withstanding climate-induced shocks. Nature finance becomes climate finance as it goes beyond carbon sequestration, contributing to water resilience, biodiversity conservation, and community empowerment. Our vision at the DBSA involves a paradigm shift in how we perceive and deploy financial resources, encompassing holistic project assessment, innovative financing mechanisms, strategic partnerships, and capacity building.
Challenges and the road ahead - a call for collaboration
While the integration of nature finance is promising, challenges persist. Standardised metrics, robust monitoring frameworks, and understanding the social dimensions of nature-based solutions are paramount. The road ahead necessitates collaboration, innovation, and a steadfast commitment to integrating nature into our climate resilience narrative. As the DBSA leads this transformative journey, we invite global partners to join us in this pioneering endeavour, where the flourishing of nature becomes synonymous with climate resilience.
Enhancing access to climate and nature finance for African cities - a municipal call to action
Urban areas find themselves at the frontline of climate challenges, where the impacts are immediate and pressing. Municipalities, the cornerstones of climate resilience, play a crucial role in crafting resilient urban environments. However, the challenge lies in securing significant funding for resilience-building projects. The DBSA, fully committed to this cause, recognises that climate resilience is not just about reacting to crises but proactively preparing for them.
Conclusion - a resilient and sustainable future beckons
In conclusion, as we stand at the crossroads of water scarcity and climate change, the DBSA's vision emerges as a beacon of hope. By establishing water as an asset class and integrating nature finance into climate strategies, the DBSA is not only addressing the challenges of today but also building a legacy for generations to come. The commitment to resilience, innovation, and sustainability, in collaboration with private sector partners, government institutions, and communities, ensures a brighter and more sustainable future for southern Africa.
This collective journey toward a resilient and sustainable future invites stakeholder, partners, and the global community to join hands with the DBSA. By pioneering innovative, collaborative solutions, we lay the foundation for a climate-resilient, prosperous Southern Africa where the flourishing of nature becomes synonymous with climate resilience.