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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
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 03
2013

Financing Agricultural Growth in Africa

Posted by: Elizabeth Israel

Elizabeth Israel

 

Rockefeller Foundation Blog


 

 

Excerpted from This is AfricaDownload the full report.

Whether it is traditional bank lending or private equity, and from major agribusiness to microfinance, one theme stands out — a change in mindset is needed, in which African agriculture is seen as a business opportunity, not a charity sector.

“What we have seen is a shift towards agricultural development as an engine of economic growth so that agriculture can provide the resources for other sectors as well – for education, for health, for overall advancement,” says Gary Toenniessen at The Rockefeller Foundation. “And that requires private sector involvement to a much greater degree. If all you are trying to do is provide food relief, then that goes through governments and UN agencies. But if you really want economic growth then you need a private sector that is working across the agricultural value chain.”  

Sep 26
2011

Wangari Maathai... Nobel Laureate and Green Belt Movement Founder

Posted by: Elizabeth Israel

Elizabeth Israel
We cannot tire or give up. We owe it to the present and future generations of all species to rise up and walk!”
Wangari Maathai (1940-2011)  
Kenyan Environmentalist and Nobel Laureate 
  Wangari Maathai
Wangari Maathai. Courtesy of the Green Belt Movement

Wangari Maathai is best known for founding the Green Belt Movement in Kenya in 1977. The initiative empowered rural women by getting them engaged in management and protection of forests. Over the past three decades, the Green Belt Movement has planted tens of millions of trees across Kenya and trained thousands of women in agroforestry, bee-keeping, and other sustainable livelihoods.   For her efforts, in 2004 Maathai became the first African woman to win the Nobel Peace Prize. The award further boosted her status as one of the most prominent voices in the increasingly global movement to involve local communities in the management and conservation of forests. 

Read Entire Article...Courtesy of www.mongabay.com 
September 26, 2011

Jun 30
2011

Cracking the Nut Conference: GreenMicrofinance Joins "Financing Climate Smart Agriculture" Panel

Posted by: Elizabeth Israel

Elizabeth Israel

The Cracking the Nut Conference in DC last week was excellent!   The aim was to accelerate the impact of the world’s leading rural and agricultural development and finance leaders by uniting them in a collaborative pursuit of learning, leverage and large scale change. The conference is named "Cracking the Nut," as rural and agricultural finance have long been tough nuts to crack. 

Downloadable Brochure

GreenMicrofinance was invited to join others during the Financing Climate Smart Agriculture Panel 

Facilitator: Mark Wenner (Inter-American Development Bank)
Panelists: Ademola Braimoh (World Bank), Elizabeth Israel (Green Microfinance), 
Chandula Abeywickrama (Hatton National Bank, Sri Lanka)

Photos
Panel Introduction (Mark Wenner)
Opening Remarks  (Ademola Braimoh) 
Panel Discussion (Mark, Chandula, Ademola, Elizabeth) 

Ademola Braimah, Senior Natural Resource Management Specialist at the World Bank, shared in his presentation that 
Climate Smart Agriculture Offers Triple Win

  • Climate-Smart Agriculture (CSA) addresses the challenges of food security, and climate mitigation and adaptation together, rather than in isolation.
 The CSA transition requires
  • Transformations in the management of soil, water and genetic resources to ensure higher productivity.

  • Maximizing synergies and minimizing trade-offs between productivity and emissions per unit of agricultural product.
Jun 30
2011

Climate-Smart Agriculture: The future of global food security

Posted by: Elizabeth Israel

Elizabeth Israel

The Future of Global Food Security

Climate change has pronounced effects in agriculture, such as shifts in temperature and precipitation patterns, and prevalence of pests and diseases. Developing countries that get by with minimal productivity and limited technology are in danger of enduring lower and erratic production, aggravating both the farmers’ livelihood and the population’s food supply.

Conservation agriculture is the core of climate-smart agriculture for both mitigation and adaptation. (Photo credit: Creative Commons)

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 13
2010

Direct Seeding Nitrogen-Fixing Trees...made easy and reliable for farmers

Posted by: Elizabeth Israel

Elizabeth Israel
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.”

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