Contribution Earth Security Initiative (ESI)

Project completed

The ESI is an independent think tank which aims at catalyzing the global financial and industry sectors to define and leverage global finance innovations that contribute directly to cooperation between different sectors and countries for sustainable water management and poverty alleviation. This SDC contribution will promote the development of new financial mechanisms aligned with sustainable development policy objectives and priorities of developing countries to the benefit of society and natural resources.

Country/region Topic Period Budget
Water resources conservation
Water diplomacy and security
01.10.2018 - 30.09.2021
CHF  1’565’000
Background By 2030, over 40% of the world’s population will be living in severely water-stressed river-basins. Transboundary tensions over water are expected to rise sharply in the coming decades. This will be aggravated by climate change, by the growing demands for energy, agriculture and other industries, and the degradation of natural ecosystems. Therefore, ensuring water security through cooperation depends on transboundary and trans-sectoral dynamics. This includes public sector action, but also the private - and particularly the mainstream private financial sector - to take into account sustainable water and ecosystem management and cooperation.
Objectives To catalyze innovations in business and finance mechanisms that incentivise cooperation between different sectors and countries on water and inter-related themes of climate adaptation, ecosystem resilience and pro-poor development.
Target groups governments, basin organisations, private financial sector.
Medium-term outcomes
  • Global analysis that applies a private sector oriented quantitative SDG-based index has facilitated the practical integration of the value of cooperation on water and related thematic areas between different sectors and countries into financial, business and policy decision-making
  • A range of innovative new mechanisms to integrate cooperation between sectors and countries on water and related thematic areas into financial, business and policy decision-making in collaboration with these actors are identified, and environmental, social and governance (ESG) principles and relevant SDGs are applied by investors
  • Governments, multilateral institutions and related actors are sensitized to integrate cooperation between sectors and countries on water and related thematic areas, into financial and business sector decision-making

Expected results:  

  • Global Analytical Knowledge Products and policy dialogues at global and regional levels
  • Innovative new initiatives integrating (transboundary) cooperation on water and related themes into decision-making and mobilizing new financial resources created

Results from previous phases:  

  1. An easy-to understand analytical tool for decision-making, providing the evidence that the private sector needs to engage more on development policy priorities (the Earth Security Index). The framework uses official country data to represent priorities on the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
  2. An action-research method to effectively engage the global financial sector and key industries to understand the links of development problems to core business issues and validates with banks practical proposals for cross-sector cooperation, while building the relationships and aligning interests to drive outcomes in those proposals.

Directorate/federal office responsible SDC
Credit area Development cooperation
Project partners Contract partner
International or foreign NGO
Private sector
  • Other international or foreign NGO North
  • Foreign private sector North

Other partners
Germany (BMU)
Coordination with other projects and actors Geneva Water Hub, Strategic Foresight Group, IUCN, UNESCO, UNECE Transboundary Water Convention; Multilateral Development Banks (e.g. World Bank, ADB, AfDB, AIIB)
Budget Current phase Swiss budget CHF    1’565’000 Swiss disbursement to date CHF    1’358’434
Project phases Phase 99 01.09.2018 - 31.03.2024   (Current phase) Phase 3 01.10.2021 - 31.03.2025   (Current phase)

Phase 2 01.10.2018 - 30.09.2021   (Completed)

Phase 1 01.05.2014 - 30.09.2018   (Completed)