Nov 07, 2019

First published by our media partner MicroCapital

As a proud co-organiser of the EUR 100,000 European Microfinance Award (EMA), e-MFP leverages European Microfinance Week to spot-light the theme of the Award each year. With EMA 2019 focused on Strengthening Resilience to Climate Change, the many ways that financial inclusion stakeholders are helping vulnerable populations adapt to climate change are at the forefront of the European Micro­finance Week programme. If your work involves addressing climate change through financial inclusion, #EMW2019 is not to be missed!

The opening plenary, titled Strengthening Resilience to Climate Change, features the three finalists for EMA 2019: APA Insurance of Kenya, ASKI of the Philippines and FDL of Nicaragua. Representatives of these organizations will present the challenges and takeaways from their work in climate resilience, as well as the broader role the sector can (and must!) play in this critical arena. The plenary will open with a keynote speech by Tim McDonnell, journalist and National Geographic Explorer, who will share images and stories on the human effects of climate change – particularly on forced migration. In addition to the plenary, there will be five other climate change sessions:

The session Challenges of Climate Change & Opportunities for Financial Inclusion will present the landscape of climate change, its impact and challenges, as well as the strategies that the financial inclusion sector is developing to tackle them. A represen­tative of MicroSave Consulting will moderate the discussion, with Microinsurance Network staff addressing the role of insurance in adapting to climate change; a representative of Rare discussing an innovative technology solution for fisheries; an expert attending from Agronomika Finance Corporation of the Philippines, a semi-finalist for EMA 2019; and a representative from the Luxembourg Ministry of Foreign and European Affairs reviewing the role that financial inclusion can play in the global climate-change agenda.
The session titled Leveraging Data to Promote Climate-resilient Agriculture will illustrate an innovative way to employ climate-change resiliency as a dimension in risk and process manage­ment for agriculture finance, as well as in product design. Led by Yapu Solutions and the NpM Platform for Inclusive Finance, this session will showcase: (1) the role played by Ecuadorian network RFD in supporting an IDB EcoMicro project; (2) the "Microfinance for Ecosystem-based Adaptation" program, which is underway in nine countries in the LAC and SSA regions; and (3) "Geodata for Inclusive Finance and Food," a project addressing the use of agricultural data by FSPs to improve access to finance by smallholders.

At the Climate Disaster Relief for Sustainable Resilience session, representatives from Oxfam Novib and VisionFund Inter­national (VFI) will present two disaster-preparedness cases. The first is VFI's and Global Parametrics' use of climate index insurance as part of ARDIS (the African and Asian Resilience in Disaster Insurance Scheme). The second is the "B-Ready" program of Global Parametrics, Oxfam Novib and PLAN, which combines digital weather fore­casting with risk modelling technologies to create an early warning system that can be used to trigger pre-disaster cash transfers.

The discussion titled Strengthening Resilience to Climate Change: The Role of Financial Regulators will focus on how regulators and policymakers are seeking to boost the ability of financial markets to cope with climate-related risks. Moderated by a representative from GIZ and featuring speakers from AFI, Bank Al  Magrib of Morocco and several regulators, the session will cover models for managing systemic climate-related risks, as well as policies that financial inclu­sion stakeholders can support to strengthen the resilience of the sector's clients, and hence the sector as a whole.

Finally, the session Investing in Climate Change Resilience will focus on the role of investors in increasing the resilience of vulnerable populations. This discussion – moderated by BNP Paribas with repre­sentatives from UNEP, Grassroots Capital Management and Blue­Orchard – will focus on Latin America, where climate change is reducing stability in several countries, leading some investors to pull back. Social investors have a crucial role to play in filling this vacuum.

The winner of EMA 2019 will be announced at a ceremony on November 21 at the European Investment Bank, with a keynote from Sunita Narain, Director General of India's Centre for Science and Envi­ron­ment. Plenty more information on the sessions, speakers and various organisa­tions working in climate-change resilience can be found on the European Microfinance Week 2019 and European Microfinance Award 2019 websites. We encourage you to join us in Luxembourg from November 20 through November 22 or to keep an eye out on the e-MFP website – and via our media partners such as MicroCapital – to follow what's going on in this most important area of financial inclusion. See you in Luxembourg!

This feature was written by Gabriela Erice, the Senior Microfinance Officer at e?MFP, and Sam Mendelson, the Financial Inclusion Specialist at e-MFP.

Share this Story: