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Sep 27
2013

U.N. climate change report points blame at humans

Posted by: Elizabeth Israel

Elizabeth Israel

The world's getting hotter, the sea's rising and there's increasing evidence neither are naturally occurring phenomena.

So says a report from the U.N. International Panel on Climate Change, a document released every six years that is considered the benchmark on the topic. More than 800 authors and 50 editors from dozens of countries took part in its creation.

 

  • Man-made climate change is almost certain
  • Climate change is already affecting extreme weather
  • The last 30-year period is "very likely" the warmest in the last 800 years
  • Sea level rise will increase due to warming oceans and loss of ice
  • Even if we end emission tomorrow, climate change could continue for centuries


Why the IPCC Report Matters..the most scrutinised document in the history of science it. tiny.cc/htm23w

 

Watch this video

Sep 16
2013

GMf Advocates for Impact Investing: Investment with a Triple Bottom Line

Posted by: Elizabeth Israel

Elizabeth Israel

GreenMicrofinance has been advocating for "Triple Bottom Line Investments" since 2004.  Today we see the importance of agriculture, biofuels, and clean energy as all having potential for "impact investing".  

Please see our publications on our on-line library.     

The following article may be of interest.    

In Mexico, investment with a social conscience

The latest trend in financing boasts a double or triple bottom line: returns, plus a solution to social or environmental problems.

“Impact investing” is the new buzzword in social development, an unlikely marriage between old-fashioned philanthropy and venture capitalism. The investment model, which considers the social and environmental benefits of a business venture on equal terms with its capacity to deliver return on investment, is being hailed as a way to direct more capital to solving problems in impoverished and marginalized communities.

Link to Article at Smart Planet

Photo: Flickr/David Flores


 

 

Sep 13
2013

GreenMicrofinance Promotes Green Microfinance

Posted by: Elizabeth Israel

Elizabeth Israel

GreenMicrofinance

We at GreenMicrofinance™ (GMf™) have been promoting environmentally sustainable microfinance since 2002. 


GMf is a pioneer advocate for the accommodation of sustainable environmental practices within the financial sector, which distinctly involves micro, small and medium enterprises.

Guiding Principles 
http://www.greenmicrofinance.org/Resource-Library/Guiding-Principles/Guiding-Principles
GreenMicrofinance Publications
http://www.greenmicrofinance.org/Activities/GMf-Publications/GMf-Publications

Zimbabwe: Microfinance Goes Green 

It is wonderful to read the Zimbabwe Association of Microfinance Institutions are hosting the Green Microfinance Conference 2013.

http://allafrica.com/stories/201309130727.html
Dec 04
2009

Carbon-Neutral Biofuels - Addressing Climate Change and Microfinance

Posted by: Elizabeth Israel

Elizabeth Israel

USAID MicroLinks Note from the Field

Honduras: Blending Finance, Technology, and Training to Encourage Responsible Growth


La Mosquitia, one of the last remaining tropical forest areas left in Central America, is the most impoverished region in Honduras. Local communities, including the indigenous Miskito (or Mosquitia) people, have struggled to keep alive their distinctive cultural heritage while dealing with the threats of environmental and economic uncertainty.

Through a carbon-neutral biofuel initiative,  the MOPAWI (from Mosquitia Pawisa) seek to generate equitable social development through sustainable microenterprise  utilizing palm oil  that is used for a variety of purposes.   This approach will provide financial, social, and environmental returns in order to:

  • Increase local employment while decreasing out-migration;
  • Lower the cost of production and with lower agricultural labor;
  • Reduce waste and increase product yield; and,
  • Decrease emissions and deforestation.

“The beauty of this enterprise,” says David Hircock, Senior Advisor for Estée Lauder, “is the multidimensional, entrepreneurial approach. Many elements of this approach can bring much-needed cash into the economy and also negate the need for cash. For example, the indigenous community may not need to purchase diesel. Additionally, the enterprise incorporates important elements affecting local security issues, such as food, water, land and economics. Perhaps most importantly, this enterprise could show that the Mosquitia people are integral to the sustainable development of the area and local economy of Puerto Lempira, whereas at the moment they are so often marginalized. Now they can have a much-needed voice.”

Oct 21
2009

"Microfinance and Climate Change" USAID Forum Summary by Betsy Teutsch

Posted by: Elizabeth Israel

Elizabeth Israel

Microfinance and Climate Change: Can MFIs Promote Environmental Sustainability The Summary was authored by our own Betsy Teutsch, GreenMicrofinance, Director of Communication.  Great work, Betsy!

This report summarizes key themes and “lessons learned” from the “Microfinance and Climate Change: Can MFIs Promote Environmental Sustainability?” Speaker’s Corner, held November 18-20, 2008.  Nearly 200 participants from over 40 countries participated in this discussion hosted by GreenMicrofinance, allowing participants to connect and learn about each other's activities.

Energy-Efficient Cookstove

Aug 26
2009

Energy Meeting Women's Needs!

Posted by: Elizabeth Israel

Elizabeth Israel


Why Women's Rights Are the Cause of our Time
New York Times Magazine
August 23, 2009

WHY DO MICROFINANCE organizations usually focus their assistance on women? And why does everyone benefit when women enter the work force and bring home regular pay checks? One reason involves the dirty little secret of global poverty: some of the most wretched suffering is caused not just by low incomes but also by unwise spending by the poor — especially by men. Surprisingly frequently, we’ve come across a mother mourning a child who has just died of malaria for want of a $5 mosquito bed net; the mother says that the family couldn’t afford a bed net and she means it, but then we find the father at a nearby bar. He goes three evenings a week to the bar, spending $5 each week.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Reflection on the NY Times Article....

WHY IS MICROFINANCE AND THE ENVIRONMENT important to women today?  How can micro-finance be used for Energy Meeting Women's Needs?   

Jun 22
2009

A Good Read - Portfolios of the Poor

Posted by: Elizabeth Israel

Tagged in: Poverty , Microfinance , Impact , Environment

Elizabeth Israel

 

(Please see Sarah Ban's blog post on June 18!)

Portfolios of the Poor How the World’s Poor Live on $2 a Day

By Daryl Collins, Jonathan Morduch, Stuart Rutheford, & Orlanda Ruthven
Princeton University Press

Indispensable for those in development studies, economics, and microfinance, Portfolios of the Poor will appeal to anyone interested in knowing more about poverty and what can be done about it.

Jun 13
2009

Nobel Laureate 2006, Dr. Muhammad Yunus Joins Dr. William Yager at Microcredit Summit Colombia!

Posted by: Elizabeth Israel

Elizabeth Israel

MICROCREDIT SUMMIT CAMPAIGN CARTAGENA, COLOMBIA

GreenMicrofinance has organized  four panels for the Microcredit Summit Campaign...
from Halifax, Chile, Bali and now Colombia! 
GreenMicrofinance appreciates the support of USAID, microLINKS, and the Microcredit Summit Campaign in collaborating with us over the past years in promoting 'environmentally sustainable microfinance'.




 
GreenMicrofinance Director, Dr. William Yager, joined Dr. Muhammad Yunus, Nobel Laureate 2006,  on a panel focused on "microfinance and the environment" at the Microfinance Summit in Cartagena Colombia.  Dr. Yager, with the support of USAID, was one of the 1,000 delegates attending the Summit.

 

 Dr. Yunus chaired the panel, entitled "How MFIs and their Clients can have a Positive Impact on the Environment!"  
Dr. Yager commented on the environmental risks facing microfinance clients.  With a new paradigm shift, he emphasized that paying attention to the environment = enhanced productivity
Dr. Yunus closed the session with the following key points:   
 

  • Global Warming was created by us, we can solve it just by stopping what we are doing wrong.

  • The Poor are not the cause of Global Warming, they are the victims.

  • Technology is key. 

  • Government can do more harm: Subsidies stifle creativity and market sustainability, taxing ecological solutions.

               City Dump  - Guatemala                                                                   Hotel Waste Bio-gas Plants - India

Nobel Laureate 2006
Microcredit Summit Webcast - Colombia
microLINKS Blog - Colombia

Jun 09
2009

Microcredit Summit Opening Plenary: Ingrid Munro - a connection with a child!

Posted by: Elizabeth Israel

Tagged in: Poverty , Microfinance , Impact , Environment

Elizabeth Israel

During the Opening Plenary at the Microcredit Summit in Colombia, Ingrid Munro, Founder and Managing Trustee of Jamii Bora in Kenya, shared that her institution, founded together with 50 beggars, is currently celebrating its tenth anniversary.   Their mission is to assist their members to get out of poverty and build a better life for themselves and their families. By being a member of Jamii Bora, you get access to a ladder -which you can use to climb out of poverty. While Jamii Bora provides the ladder, the borrowers do the climbing themselves.  She went on to share the inspiring stories of many of Jamii Bora's clients, who having started as beggars now own multiple businesses, are employers, and are helping others climb out of poverty.

One of Jamii Bora's key rules is that they love every member.   It doesn't matter where you come from; what matters is where you are going. They do not accept excuses; the way to hell is paved with excuses.   Jamii Bora doesn't only seek to lift people barely above the poverty line; it seeks to inspire its members with the confidence they need to reach to the sky and beyond.                                                                        

Posted Mon, 06/08/2009 by Lisa Laegreid microLINKS

Elizabeth Israel interviewed Ingrid in Bali in 2008. Dan Lundmark captured on film.  See blog entry My Chat with Ingrid Munro. Since then Elizabeth's and Thomas' new grandchild, Pooja, was adopted by their son and his wife (and 2 children) in Vermont; two years ago she was six years old, homeless, found wandering on the streets of Delhi.

Apr 18
2009

"On Thin Ice" ...climate change and glaciers!

Posted by: Elizabeth Israel

Elizabeth Israel

Namaste!   My four children have all graduated from Woodstock School located in the Himalyan mountains in northern India during the time we lived in rural Nepal.  Over a span of 7 years various family members trekked and enjoyed these majestic mountains.

It was with great interest I watched "On Thin Ice", this one-hour PBS special on NOW.  It is an alarming  report on glaciers.  

http://www.pbs.org/now/shows/516/index.html

Seventy-five percent of the world's fresh water is stored in glaciers, but scientists predict climate change will cause some of the world's largest glaciers to completely melt by 2030. What effect will this have on our daily lives?

Environmentalist Conrad Anker, one of the world's leading high altitude climbers, warns, "We can't take climate change and put it on the back burner. If we don't address climate change, we won't be around as humans."

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