Green projects ‘key to future prosperity’ says top UN official

GREEN economy and finance hold the key to preserving the environment for future generations, according to a top UN official.

The crucial role to be played by the private sector was also highlighted by UN Environment acting executive director Joyce Msuya.

She was delivering a lecture, ‘Prosperity in the Age of Environmental Instability’, hosted by the Bahrain Centre for Strategic, International and Energy Studies (Derasat) at its premises in Awali yesterday.

The Tanzanian microbiologist and environmental scientist met top officials during her two-day visit to Bahrain to discuss air quality, climate change and waste management.

She hailed Bahrain as an example for other nations to learn from.

“Bahrain has done quite well in reclaiming land and planning for cities to mitigate some of the climate change effects,” she said.

“We are also trying to develop innovative partnerships; I signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) with Al Baraka Bank which has four sustainable development goals (SDGs) as part of its corporate social responsibility programme.

“Our job is to work with them to develop capacity and partner with them to do much more for sustainable green financing.

“I’m pleased to say that Al Baraka Bank will make a pledge to finance renewable and energy efficiency projects through its subsidiaries in 16 countries.”

On the occasion, Al Baraka Group president and chief executive Adnan Yousif said the group intended to finance environmental projects worth more than $197 million during 2019-2020 in countries the bank operates in.

“We expect our collaborative effort will help reduce carbon emissions in these countries.

“We also hope this financing pledge will encourage other banks to similarly finance renewable and energy efficiency projects.”

Ms Msuya pointed out that though nations had agreed to achieve the SDGs by 2030 progress has been slow due to lack of funding.

“If you look at the progress of SDGs at the moment we are lagging behind and if you look at the drivers of why we are lagging behind there are variations from one country to another.

“But one of the cross cutting variables is lack of sufficient financing to respond to the needs and that’s where green financing comes in.

“If we partner with other banks or the private sector they can help fill the financing gap to stimulate the achievement of SDGs.”

She predicted a very promising future for the Bahrain Economic Vision of 2030 and praised the kingdom’s initiative of linking heritage, environment and education for children.

“Bahrain has been working with us, the UN Environment Programme, for quite some time now – our regional office is located in Bahrain under the Supreme Council for Environment (SCE),” she told the GDN on the sidelines of the lecture.

“I came first to say thank you to the leadership because they have supported our regional presence.”

Meanwhile, the UN Environment West Asia Regional Representative Director of West Asia Office Sami Dimassi highlighted the importance of Ms Msuya’s visit in reaffirming the role that Bahrain plays globally and regionally with regard to the UN Environment Programme.

“We believe that Bahrain is a very positive and strong player and partner within the GCC context,” he said.

“The MOU signed with Al Baraka Bank is the first we are signing with a bank; it is a regional scope MOU as Al Baraka is headquartered here but covers the whole region.”

He also revealed another key MOU was signed with the Bahrain University as an additional means of capacity-building and outreach.

It will provide strategic support to youth in education and through the partnership periodic joint seminars and workshops will be implemented on different environmental issues in addition to training workshops on key regional environmental issues such as renewable energy, water scarcity, and food security.

In addition, key joint academic research on key environmental issues in Bahrain and the region will be conducted.

Present were Derasat officials, SCE officials, ambassadors, academics and experts in the field.

Source: http://www.gdnonline.com/Details/540330

 

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