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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 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
Sep 05
2013

Farming in Africa

Posted by: Elizabeth Israel

Elizabeth Israel

IF POTENTIAL were edible, Africa would have the best-fed people on earth. 

The vast continent has 60% of the world’s uncultivated arable land, most of it unfarmed. The land already under cultivation, mostly by small farmers, could produce far more. Crop yields in Africa are between one-third and one-half of the global average. The quality of soil is often poor, because of overfarming, but that could be fixed by fertilisers. With the right know-how and inputs, Africa’s farmers could double productivity.

Read entire article...Economist 

 

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. 

Sep 03
2010

Power to the People...technology and development

Posted by: Elizabeth Israel

Tagged in: Technology , Solar , Poverty , Investments , Energy

Elizabeth Israel

Power to the People

Energy in the Developing World

Sept. 2 2010 THE ECONOMIST 

Technology and development: A growing number of initiatives are promoting bottom-up ways to deliver energy to the world’s poor .


Around 1.5 billion people, or more than a fifth of the world’s population, have no access to electricity, and a billion more have only an unreliable and intermittent supply. Of the people without electricity, 85% live in rural areas or on the fringes of cities. Extending energy grids into these areas is expensive: the United Nations estimates that an average of $35 billion-40 billion a year needs to be invested until 2030 so everyone on the planet can cook, heat and light their premises, and have energy for productive uses such as schooling. On current trends, however, the number of “energy poor” people will barely budge, and 16% of the world’s population will still have no electricity by 2030, according to the International Energy Agency....The developing world has an opportunity to leapfrog the centralised model, just as it leapfrogged fixed-line telecoms and went straight to mobile phones.


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.

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