Taken from http://www.newenergyworldnetwork.com

The World Bank has urged economic ministries to do more to protect natural resources, pledging to increase its financial support for climate change mitigation at United Nations (UN) talks in Japan this week and announcing a partnership with the South Korean government to tackle climate change to reduce the risk of natural disasters.

The bank this week announced that it will sign an agreement with the government of South Korea later this year to form a long-term partnership on using climate change mitigation as a key tool in natural disaster risk reduction.

World Bank sector director for sustainable development, John Roome, said the agreement will provide a framework for a longer term partnership with Asian countries.

He also said the bank plans to address climate-related disaster risk through its investment activities, financial services, and by making a disaster risk reduction and climate change adaptation a strategic priority in country assistance strategies.

At the opening of the UN Conference of the Parties convention on biological diversity in Nagoya this week, World Bank president Robert B Zoellick announced the bank will increase funding to protect natural resources in key areas including climate change mitigation and agriculture.

Highlighting the potential of the private sector as a strong ally, he also called for biodiversity to be shouldered by ministries concerned with economic growth, infrastructure and overcoming poverty, as well as by environment and forestry ministries.

‘I want the World Bank Group to show what can be done. We will increase financing of ecosystem and biodiversity services through our projects in a wide range of sectors – including infrastructure, agriculture, climate change, and policy lending operations,’ said Zoellick. ‘The buffering capacity of our environment is dwindling as climate change accelerates.’

Over the last 20 years, World Bank support for biodiversity conservation has totalled more than $6bn in more than 120 countries.

This has been provided through the World Bank working with developing countries, the Global Environmental Facility (GEF), environmental organisations, foundations, and many donor countries.

The World Bank is due to announce a Global Partnership for Ecosystems and Ecosystem Services Valuations and Wealth Accounting on Thursday in order to take steps in making countries recognise the currency of their resources.

‘The world must do more to save its forests and seas as their rapid destruction is a threat to poor people whose livelihoods depend on the continued existence of fragile ecosystems,’ said Zoellick.