The Bahrain Association of Banks (BAB), in cooperation with the Central Bank of Bahrain, organized Environmental & Social Risk Analysis (ESRA) Training Programme for its members from financial and banking institutions aiming to promote their knowledge of boosting “Green Loans”, which are loans directed to projects that preserve the environment, support the economy and achieve sustainable development.
Dr. Waheed Al Qassim, CEO of the Bahrain Association of Banks, said that this program comes within the framework of the Association’s keenness to keep pace with the Kingdom’s policy in the sectors of renewable energy and to encourage the use of clean energy to reach the goals of sustainable development compatible with Bahrain’s Economic Vision 2030, praising in this context the keenness of the Central Bank of Bahrain to direct financial and banking institutions to support sustainable development projects.
“Providing affordable green loans would encourage more Bahraini companies to adhere to governance applications and environmental conservation issues in managing their business, in light of the increasing importance of data, social analyzes, and corporate governance on financial markets in the MENA region.” Dr. Al Qassim said.
The program was organized by the UNEP Finance Initiative in collaboration with the Sustainable Development Committee of BAB which chaired by Dr. Ali Adnan Ibrahim. The Trainings were delivered by a combination of highly qualified, internationally acclaimed independent experts and seasoned practitioners from UNEP FI member institutions. A certificate was awarded to the participants upon successful completion.
For three days, the participants were introduced to how to analyze environmental and social risks in financing investment projects, in addition to exploring future steps in terms of enhancing the effective implementation of environmental and social risk analysis in the financial sector in Bahrain in general.
Dr. Ibrahim explained that the Environmental & Social Risk Analysis (ESRA) Training Programme was developed to provide lending practitioners around the world with a comprehensive set of training on how to create and effectively implement environmental and social risk management systems within their banks.
“Environmental and Social Risk Analysis” Training Program is one of the most important training courses in this field for the banking and finance practitioners around the world. The Program was born directly in response to the needs of practitioners, and all trainings under the Programme are distinctly action-oriented – strong in methodology and tools that institutions can adjust and inspire themselves from.” Dr. Ibrahim added.
The program included introducing participants to the general concept of sustainable financing and environmental and social risks in the financial sector, identifying potential environmental and social risks associated with the use of specially developed case study materials, and how some financial institutions have already developed standard policies and procedures for analyzing this new category of risks, with examples of international best practices in this field.