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Nov 21
2013

UNDP Clean Start - Microfinance Opportunities for A Clean Energy Future

Posted by: Elizabeth Israel

Elizabeth Israel

 

Clean Start

This publication is part of the CleanStart agenda to improve understanding and awareness of the potential of microfinance to stimulate the adoption of sustainable clean energy while drawing attention to the knowledge and skills needed to add clean energy financing to lending portfolios. 

 

 The purpose of this publication is to provide a methodological guide to expanding access to clean energy for poor people and micro-entrepreneurs through microfinance and strengthened energy value chains. This guide is intended to support consultation processes that the UN Capital Development Fund (UNC DF) and the United Nations Development Programme (UN DP)/Global Environment Facility (GEF ) are undertaking in CleanStart countries. It may also serve as a useful tool for broader consultations by others seeking to advance the Rio+20 commitments on energy. 

Sep 04
2013

Microfinance Needs Better Policies to Safeguard the Environment

Posted by: Elizabeth Israel

Elizabeth Israel
Hult Social Entrepreneurship By Hult Social Entrepreneurship | May 6th, 2013

Many see microfinance as a solution to poverty.  It may be a powerful tool, but what can it do to finally build the sustainable economy we desperately need?  

microfinance

 Of what use will microfinance be if it contributes to the environmental degradation that aggravates inequality and poverty?  

There is no shortage of policies that govern the environment and policies that regulate the microfinance sector.  Many microfinance institutions have their own internal environmental policies. Voluntary policies are nice, but there is a lack of action on the part of government to impose sustainable practices in the microfinance sector, but, it isn’t for a lack of ideas for such policies.   

Read Entire Article: 

Thank you for the mention of GreenMicrofinance in the article, Mariana Gerard, Charles Ojei, Windhi Trianugrayati, Jacquelyn Pinckney, Sovanlyna Phin, and Samuel Benoit. The authors are Master of Social Entrepreneurship candidates at Hult International Business School.   http://www.hult.edu/

"A 2006 roundtable convened by the Wharton Environmental Management Program and Green Microfinance concluded that while microfinance institutions (MFIs) can do much, they cannot do it all by themselves.  They concluded that governments need to provide an infrastructure in which sustainable activities have market value."
Mar 07
2011

Ecological Sustainability, Peace and Social Justice are Inextricably Connected

Posted by: Elizabeth Israel

Elizabeth Israel

              Haiti 2010
  2010 Haiti...today moving towards Ecological Sustainability! 

Roy Morrison is Southern New Hampshire UniversityDirector of the Office of Sustainability.   He recently completed work including,  Seven Postulates for An Ecological Civilization  - published by Center for Ecozoic Studies Monthly Musings / February 28, 2011 - not on-line)

Roy talks on how Ecological Sustainability, Peace, and Social Justice are inextricably connected.    Some of his key points support GreenMicrofinance's mission. 
         
*   An ecological democracy pursues sustainability in all aspects of life. 

*   We must build the road as we travel towards an ecological civilization and those who would realize and maintain it, must pursue sustainability as their ongoing goal and guide. 

*   An ecological civilization is characterized by the ongoing pursuit of sustainability in the economic, ecological, and social realms.  Success in all three realms is completely interdependent. We cannot succeed in one without succeeding in the others.  

*    Economic growth must mean ecological improvement.

 *   We have the technological, economic, political and philosophical means for an ecological turn. Our challenge is to decide to employ them for ecological ends. 

*   A fundamental marker of progress toward an ecological civilization will be measured by a progressive annual decrease in global carbon emissions, and an annual increase in global economic output that leads to ecological improvement.

*   A global sustainable order requires technical assistance and transfer of resources and capital from rich to poor to make possible a sustainable global convergence. 

*    Without justice and fairness and sustainability for all, there ultimately will be sustainability and prosperity for no one. 

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 08
2009

CGAP Report on Microfinance and Climate Change

Posted by: Elizabeth Israel

Elizabeth Israel

Congratulations GGAP on a MUST READ!

...for the April 2 Report on Greening Microfinance: Clients and the Climate of Change

With environmental challenges-from drought to flooding-disproportionately affecting poor people's livelihoods, microfinance institutions have a strong incentive to mitigate the risks of climate change while helping their clients adapt to that change, argues Paul Rippey, the author of the latest report from CGAP on microfinance and climate change.

...to Paul Rippey, on the well-written article,  Microfinance and Climate Change: Threats and Opportunities.   Great work, Paul!

"Within microfinance, the word ‘sustainable' has tended to be used in a very narrow way, mainly referring to institutions that are financially viable," says Rippey. "But just as many MFIs have added social performance to their bottom line, they should also consider how their actions-and those of their clients-can help combat climate change."

Thank you, CGAP, for making mention of GMf in the Report and as an Additional Resource on your Feature page.  

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