Green and social finance has grown rapidly in recent years, especially in the private sector. As economies across Asia and the Pacific work to recover from the COVID-19 pandemic, how can governments nurture green and social finance to ensure that the recovery is inclusive, resilient, and sustainable?
The Asian Development Bank (ADB) explored these issues in a recent report forecasting the drivers and impacts of green and social finance and its prospects in the region.
The ADB North American Representative Office has partnered with the University of Waterloo, MEDA (Mennonite Economic Development Associates), and the International Development Research Centre (IDRC) to bring you a webinar to explore the report’s findings.
This event is free to anyone.
This webinar will feature:
- A presentation by Yasuyuki Sawada, Chief Economist for the ADB;
- Followed by a discussion featuring: Bhim Adhikari, Senior Program Specialist of IDRC; Jessica Villanueva, Director, Impact Investing, and Daniel Fuentes, Senior Project Manager, LEAP, of MEDA.
Dr. Sawada's full presentation can be found here in PDF format.
Moderating the discussion is:
- Olaf Weber, Professor, School of Environment, Enterprise and Development, and Research Chair in Sustainable Finance at University of Waterloo
With introductory remarks by:
- Jean Andrey, Dean, Faculty of Environment at University of Waterloo
Yasuyuki Sawada is the chief spokesperson for ADB on economic and development trends and leads the Economic Research and Regional Cooperation Department (ERCD), which publishes ADB's flagship knowledge products. Previously, Dr. Sawada was professor in the faculty of economics at the University of Tokyo, Japan, and he also previously worked at the ADB Institute in Tokyo and served as a consultant for various projects at the World Bank Group. His full biography can be found here.
Jessica Villanueva: Impact Investment Technical Director for Mennonite Economic Development Associates
Jessica Villanueva’s expertise developed by working in more than 20 emerging market economies with emphasis in business development, conservation finance programs and agribusiness investment projects in Latin America, Africa and Asia. Jessica is supporting MEDA providing business expertise and technical assistance to unlock capital as necessary to address systemic gaps and enable markets to thrive sustainably. Through MEDA Risk Capital Fund, investing and catalyzing capital to create gender-equitable markets (primarily agricultural markets) that lead to more sustainable and inclusive economic growth for all.
Daniel Fuentes: Senior Project Manager, LEAP for Mennonite Economic Development Associates
Daniel Fuentes is Senior Project Manager of MEDA’s Trading Up—a blended finance partnership between Global Affairs Canada, MEDA, Sarona Asset Management, and The University of Waterloo—where he manages the internal and external resources and relationships to meet the Project goals. Daniel is also a part of MEDA’s Partnerships & Business Development team targeting Central America and South East Asia regions. He also provides technical support to projects regarding the role that investments of MEDA’s own Risk Capital Fund can play in the organization’s projects.
Olaf Weber: University Research Chair in Sustainable Finance for The School of Environment Enterprise and Development at Waterloo
Olaf Weber’s research and teaching interests address the connection between financial sector players, such as banks and sustainable development and the link between sustainability and financial performance of enterprises. His research focus is on the impacts of the financial industry on sustainable development, the role of voluntary and regulatory mechanisms for the financial sector to become more sustainable, social banking and impact investing, the materiality of sustainability risks and opportunities for investors and artificial intelligence as a tool to analyze environmental, social, and governance (ESG) performance.
Bhim Adhikari: Senior Program Specialist at Canada’s International Development Research Center (IDRC)
Works specifically on environment, climate change and sustainable development issues. Over the past 25 years, he has worked with several international organizations and academic institutions, including the United Nations agencies. His research appointments include a Research Fellow at the School of Environment and Sustainability, University of Michigan, USA; visiting Research Fellow at the Asian Development Bank Institute (ADBI) in Tokyo, Japan; and an UK Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC) Postdoctoral Fellow at the University of York.
Jean Andrey has served as dean of the Faculty of Environment since 2014 and has been a member of the Faculty since 1989. She was recently re-appointed to a two-year term from July 1, 2020 to June 30, 2022. Dr. Andrey’s research is concerned with the implications of climate change for transportation infrastructure and operations, and is highly regarded as a teacher and mentor to undergraduate and graduate students alike.
This event is co-hosted by the University of Waterloo School of Environment, Enterprise and Development (SEED), International Development Research Centre (IDRC), and Mennonite Economic Development Associates (MEDA).