The Environmental Colours of Microfinance

PRESS RELEASE: Environmental Colours of Micro Finance

We are pleased to invite you to visit the Environmental Colours of Micro Finance (http://www.soc.titech.ac.jp/icm/environ/). Environmental Colours is dedicated to promoting sound environmental practices in support of micro and small scale entrepreneurial activity.

Rapid population growth, resource depletion, wide spread poverty and a breakdown in basic services and infrastructure in many urban centres of developing countries have made it imperative that more attention be paid to promoting new patterns of economic activity that can create employment in urban and rural communities in an environmentally sustainable matter.

New practices and attitudes related to the environment, entrepreneurship, the workplace, community and technology must be promoted. The role of Environmental Colours will be to provide an Internet resource that highlights new innovations and established practices that can contribute to a new relationship between small scale economic activity and the environment.

The good people at Environmental Colours are encouraged by a number of trends. The emergence of the practise of micro finance has opened up an entirely new dimension in how to assist the poor in initiating economic activities for their own benefit. The renewed emphasis on participatory development is setting new codes of practise for development projects that allows us to tap into previously under utilised sources of knowledge and skills. Improvements in technology and a better understanding of how to promote technological innovations are another positive development. Scale neutral technology in such areas as renewable energy and agriculture are creating new possibilities. Although not traditionally focused on small scale economic activity, the field of occupational health and safety offers great insight on how improvements can be made in the workplace to improve safety standards and protect the environment. Donor agencies such as CIDA are placing a greater emphasis on developing practical tools that will ensure that all small scale development activity are properly managed from an environmental standpoint.

These are the sorts of forces that will shape the content of Environmental Colours. Developing, and improving upon Environmental Colours will be an ongoing process. Presently, the main content of Environmental Colours is derived from the "Environmental Sourcebook for Micro Finance Institutions" and the "Environmental Assessment Manual for Community Development Projects." The core text has been enhanced by internet links and case studies. We would appreciate your feedback and suggestions on how Environmental Colours can be improved upon in all areas including interesting internet links, photos and project and technology profiles. The content of Environmental Colours will be updated on a regular basis.

Please feel free to contact Hari Srinivas (hsrinivas@gdrc.org) and Dean Pallen (dean_pallen@ccigate.acdi-cida.gc.ca) if you have questions or contributions to make to Environmental Colours.

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Hari Srinivas - hsrinivas@gdrc.org
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