Project Description

Project CAMBio works in five Central American countries - Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras and Nicaragua - which comprise a territory of approximately 420,000 square kilometers  with a combined population of 33.2 million inhabitants.



The project’s activities are targeted at ensuring that Central American MSMEs progressively contribute to sustainable development and environmental protection by adopting biodiversity friendly practices in their activities and businesses. The project seeks to remove obstacles in policies and legislation to create an enabling environment for banks and businesses to catalyze biodiversity friendly investments in sectors such as organic agriculture, sustainable forestry, agroforestry, silvopastoral systems, sustainable tourism, certified aquaculture and sustainable fishery.


The project will take advantage of a growing global market for eco-friendly products as well as the demand for certified products to transform MSME production practices. This will foster both sustainable development and biodiversity conservation. An important part of the project involves developing a certification process for products such as coffee, cocoa, bananas, citrus fruits, ferns, foliage, flowers, avocados, pineapples, timber and non-timber forest products and sustainable tourism. Furthermore, the project works with partner networks in addition to its direct executors (CABEI-UNDP-GEF) to identify potential new initiatives from producer associations, cooperatives and owners of private reserves in order to  prioritize potentially bankable investments.


Because public and credit policies affect biodiversity-friendly economic activities, consumers and businesses play an important role in influencing markets. Therefore, the project will also work with Ministries of Environment, Industry, Commerce, Economy, Finance and others to improve policies and create incentive structures for MSMEs while at the same time attempting to reform the policies that marginalize green markets.


CABEI is the project’s executing agency and will provide more than  17 million dollars in credits through its regional financial network, developing new financial products designed for biodiversity friendly MSMEs. In addition, GEF funds will be used to create two support mechanisms for credit funds - a Partial Credit Guarantee Fund and a Bio-award for BF-MSEs, as well as providing technical support and business development plans for regional MSMEs to  complement the credits provided by CABEI.