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CRUSA Forum analyzes finance opportunities for development works

CRUSA’s first forum on “Options for Development Financing: An Action Proposal from Civil Society” was aimed at analyzing innovative financing alternatives and investment instruments available in the market for boosting high-impact initiatives in Costa Rica.

During the forum, Myrtille Danse, director for Latin America of the Humanist Institute for Cooperation with Developing Countries (HIVOS), talked about the transformation of donor organizations that are now using different forms of financing such as crowdfunding and impact investments. She also explained how corporate social responsibility (CSR) programs are also evolving towards the consolidation of broader ranging, higher-impact public-private associations.

In the course of the forum, a partnership was formed by HIVOS and CRUSA to strengthen civil society organizations through a program that would incorporate best practices for fundraising, administrative management and finance mechanisms for development.

Innovation also has its challenges

A panel discussion was held during the forum for analyzing the importance and challenges of innovation in the use of investment instruments.

According to the panelists, the country should start considering non-traditional financing alternatives for future projects. Marcela Román of the Lincoln Institute of Land Policy sparked strong public interest when she spoke about legal instruments for land management (added value) that can mobilize financial resources and bring benefits for users of urban construction projects and municipalities, as a source of funds for local projects.

For his part, Ronald Vargas of the Banco Nacional spoke about his work in the financial structuring of large-scale projects such as new fire stations and, more recently, in financial mechanisms for generating more revenue for the National System of Conservation Areas.  He also assessed other innovative mechanisms that would require changing the financial and securities market sector to make it a more active participant in the financing of services and works needed by the country.

Ernesto Moreno of Yuxta Energy spoke from the viewpoint of companies applying the B System, referring to an economic approach that creates integrated value by promoting organizational forms that can be measured in terms of individual, societal and environmental well-being. As part of his presentation, he showed this video on the role of companies in fostering integrated development.

From the securities market standpoint, Antonio Pérez, director of the Costa Rican securities market and member of CRUSA’s Investment Committee, spoke about green bonds as a debt instrument used for obtaining capital to finance projects that generate specific environmental benefits. He also noted another opportunity for organizations represented by other tradable instruments on the securities market which prioritize social and environmental over exclusively financial returns.

The panel was moderated by Federico Villalobos, an expert on infrastructure and public and private project financing and management, who gave his views and expanded on the key aspects in the panelists’ experiences.