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IDB Lab Unveils Initiative to Promote Sociotechnological Innovation to Protect Biodiversity
Press Releases IDB Lab Unveils Initiative to Promote Sociotechnological Innovation to Protect Biodiversity May 29, 2024

To protect biodiversity and promote an inclusive nature-based economy and future, IDB Lab, the innovation laboratory of the Inter-American Development Bank Group (IDB Group), is launching NaturaTech LAC.

At the launch event, which was attended by key stakeholders, regional leaders from Latin America and representatives of indigenous groups, the NaturaTech LAC Award was announced, which will support pioneering solutions leveraging technology with purpose for biodiversity conservation. The winners of this award will be announced in Cali, Colombia, in October 2024, in the context of the United Nations Biodiversity Conference, COP16, highlighting the alignment of the initiative with global environmental commitments.

The call for proposals is open until August 15, 2024.

Other projects of the initiative were also announced, such as the NaturaTech Studio, a socio-technological innovation incubator for community projects, bio-businesses and startups; the next generative AI tool for nature-based solutions; and a regional learning program integrating digital technologies and traditional knowledge, among others.

The initiative is part of the Green Entrepreneurial Engine, the IDB Lab-led approach to promote innovation in climate and nature. Co-led with C Minds' Future of Earth Lab, NaturaTech LAC is funded by the French government (through the IDB's Natural Capital Lab), Climate Collective, and the Amazon Bioeconomy and Forests Management Multi-Donor Trust Fund (AMDTF), among others. A growing list of strategic partners, such as the Stockholm University Resilience Center, are also collaborating, amplifying its impact throughout the region.

This initiative fosters sustainable, innovative and regenerative finance, the use of cutting-edge technologies, and inclusive strategies to improve biodiversity conservation and regeneration actions in Latin America and the Caribbean.

NaturaTech LAC's systemic approach seeks to discover and support innovative applications of pioneering technologies with a social justice philosophy, as well as reliable digital infrastructures for biodiversity conservation and regeneration. It also aims to expand the knowledge of green sector professionals and decision-makers through training programs in emerging technologies and promote cross-border collaboration and public-policy innovation to improve the flow of resources, tools and inputs.

"Digital technologies have enormous potential to address the biodiversity loss facing the Latin American and Caribbean region," IDB Lab CEO Irene Arias Hofman said. "By leveraging these technologies, such as the use of MRV (measurement, reporting and verification) over blockchain networks to improve the reliability and transparency of biodiversity conservation funding programs, IDB Lab and NaturaTech LAC will promote new economic paradigms that place value on natural capital and have a positive impact on poor and vulnerable communities, as well as indigenous peoples."

Constanza Gómez Mont, founder of C Minds and director of NaturaTech LAC, said, "The urgency of the work on climate change and biodiversity makes it clear that we cannot consider technological, ecological, social, economic and cultural innovations in isolation. We are excited to co-lead this transformation rooted in purposeful technology, ancient wisdom and collective action. Given its global significance, Latin America and the Caribbean has a very relevant opportunity to propose new paths that could inspire the rest of the world.”

Endowed with a wide multiplicity of ecosystems, species and genetic diversity, the Latin American and Caribbean region is key to conservation efforts, global environmental stability and biological variability, as it is home to 40% of the world's biodiversity, 30% of its water and 50% of its tropical forests.

To learn more about NaturaTech LAC and about joining this initiative, visit naturatech.org.

Publication Date

About IDB Lab

IDB Lab is the innovation and entrepreneurship laboratory of the Inter-American Development Bank Group. Its purpose is to find new ways to boost social inclusion, environmental action and productivity in Latin America and the Caribbean. IDB Lab leverages funding, knowledge and connections to support early-stage entrepreneurship, foster the development of new technologies, activate innovative markets and energize existing sectors. www.bidlab.org

About C Minds

C Minds is an action tank that promotes the responsible development, use and research of pioneering technology for impact in Latin America. We achieve our purpose through the design of digital policy and ethical frameworks, as well as deployment initiatives that leverage new technologies, such as artificial intelligence (AI) and virtual and augmented reality (VR/AR), to advance the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). www.cminds.co/

Contacts

Maria De Gador Manzano Guillen

Communications Lead Specialist

gadorm@iadb.org
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