Virtual In Country Training on Inclusive Green Finance for the Central Bank of Seychelles
Tuesday, 25 August 2020
Opening Remarks by Deputy Governor Jenifer Sullivan, Central Bank of Seychelles
The Deputy Executive Director of the Alliance for Financial Inclusion, Mr Norbert Mumba
Representatives from the Alliance for Financial Inclusion
Representative of the Energy and Climate Change Department
Staff Members of CBS,
It is an honour and privilege for me on behalf of the Central Bank of Seychelles to welcome you to the Inclusive Green Finance Virtual Capacity Building. I would like to express our deep appreciation of AFI’s supporting role to make organising this event a reality and to the speakers who will be sharing their insights, as well as the participants who have intentionally committed to dedicating their attention to attending this training.
The Paris Agreement of 2015 provided an impetus towards international efforts in combating climate change. The devastating impacts of climate change is being felt across all regions around the world, leading to extreme weather events, flooding and erosion, decreasing availability and quality of water resources, risks for human health, costs to society and the economy, financial implications and risks to the environment. Climate change presents unique challenges to Small Island Developing States like Seychelles, in view that its impact is exacerbated due to our small geographical area, relative isolation and exposure. As an example, a study published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences in 2014 has shown that just a one metre sea level increase in Seychelles could submerge many of the archipelago’s low-lying coraline islands and inhabited coastal areas on the inner granitic islands, resulting in up to a 70 percent loss of the country’s total land mass. Moreover, the pillars of our economy, particularly tourism and fisheries, are both susceptible to its effects. These vulnerabilities have been proven to be indisputable as we confront the effects of the COVID-19 global pandemic whereby the importance of early intervention, alignment of behaviours and policies towards a common goal and close collaboration are key.
This training underscores the commitment of the Central Bank towards broadening our understanding of Green Finance so as to make informed policy decisions that will contribute towards reducing climate risk and achieving sustainable finance. In discharging our responsibilities towards financial stability, we are in a strategic position to support the development of green finance models, thereby aligning finance with sustainable development. Green Finance is a rapidly evolving policy area that is relatively new to the Central Bank and as such we are cognisant of the challenges that we may face in the implementation of this initiative. Accordingly, this training is opportune as it will provide participants with the appropriate knowledge which will lead to the formulation of informed policy decisions addressing the 4P Framework of Inclusive Green Finance namely provision, promotion, protection and prevention.
While many colleagues have a good understanding of climate change, the concept of green finance is one that is yet to become mainstream. Over the course of this training, we will have the opportunity to understand the impacts of climate change and environmental degradation on financial stability and key policy considerations that must be made thereto. The Energy and Climate Change Department will share policies adopted by the Seychelles Government. In that respect, Seychelles has put climate change at the center of its sustainable development strategy, addressing both mitigation and adaptation measures. We look forward to the active participation of the Central Bank in contributing to these measures. The Reserve Bank of Fiji and the Central Bank of Sri Lanka will share their journeys. As island nations, they are well-placed to understand the exigencies of Seychelles, and we look forward to the insights that will be presented.
At this juncture, I would like to express a few words to the participants of this training. Colleagues, through these sessions, you will deliberate on Green Finance and work towards the formulation of an action plan outlining the development and implementation of Inclusive Green Finance in Seychelles. Whilst green finance is a new concept to the Central Bank, we need to look beyond the simpler option of relegating it to sustainable lending. We must advocate a holistic approach which includes public policies that promote a green economic transformation towards low carbon, sustainable and inclusive pathways, in close collaboration with all relevant local agencies. These principles could be considered within our fintech strategies and within our work towards modernising payment systems, amongst other initiatives. As the training unfolds, I encourage you to keep in mind that as representatives of your respective departments, your current and ongoing participation is key in the formulation of the green finance agenda going forward. I urge you to consider how to apply the principles that you will learn today in your various roles.
In concluding, I wish you all fruitful deliberations and hope that you make the most of this opportunity.