The UK’s Overseas Development Assistance

Joined up financial solutions for nature, people and climate

Support for nature, people and climate

Locals fishing near the harapan rainforest, alongside herons and other birds

We need coherent solutions to tackle the interconnected problems of poverty, nature loss and climate change. Currently the UK Government offers crucial support through Overseas Development Assistance (ODA) for implementing UN targets addressing all three crisis areas. The RSPB is working with a range of partners, including the Catholic Agency for Overseas Development (CAFOD), to ensure that finance committed under ODA delivers joined up solutions for people, nature and climate change.

Making ODA fit for purpose

Lady pulling grasses at Gola rainforest

In 2019 we published a joint report which set out the key principles and priorities needed to ensure ODA funded projects achieve sustainable development outcomes. The RSPB and CAFOD also commissioned research assessing whether UK ODA spend on agriculture is contributing to sustainable development. Both clearly indicated that currently ODA is not doing enough or reaching its potential to jointly tackle poverty, climate change and biodiversity loss.

Read the reports arrow-down-simple-blue arrow-down-simple-blue

Nature positive ODA

Children gathered in front of a school building in Gola rainforest

The last few years have seen several countries commit 30% of their climate finance (through ODA) to nature based solutions. The UK Government has also committed £3bn of international climate finance for nature. We will continue to work with partners to make sure that all ODA delivers for nature, climate and people, and that the finance committed to nature is used where it is needed most.

International Finance Institutions (IFIs)

Large areas of burned-down trees following a forest fire

IFIs are spending billions of dollars on development projects around the world, which often have damaging consequences for nature. A significant proportion of UK aid money is channelled through the World Bank and other IFIs. The RSPB is advocating for clearer accountability in the flow of international finance and for banks to strengthen their social and environmental safeguards to address these issues.


Image © Bruce Liggitt