14 Nov, 2022
The Islamic Development Bank Institute (IsDBI), the knowledge beacon of IsDB Group, joined the international community in accelerating its efforts to provide innovative, knowledge-based solutions to combat climate change in IsDB member countries.
Dr. Areef Suleman, Director of Economics Research and Statistics, and Mr. Syed Faiq Najeeb, Senior Islamic Finance Specialist, represented the IsDBI at COP27. They showcased IsDBI’s knowledge products and solutions by participating as speakers and moderators in four high-profile events at the 2022 United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP27), held at Sharm El Sheikh, Egypt, from 6-18 November 2022.
Dr. Suleman shared the IsDBI’s latest insights from its flagship study, “Reaching the SDGs: Progress of the IsDB Member Countries 2022,” at the United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) Pavilion during the UNESCO-UNESCWA High-Level Thematic Session of the COP27.
He stressed the importance of timely data, technical capacity, and multisectoral partnerships, which he noted are the foundations that will fuel robust, evidence-based integrated solutions. The High-Level Thematic Session included other panelists from UNESCWA, UNESCO, and the African Development Bank.
Dr. Suleman also moderated a high-level panel titled “Knowledge for Climate Action: Leveraging Data and Technology to Support Policy Making” at the IsDB Group Pavilion, a joint event of the IsDBI and the Global Partnership for Sustainable Development Data (Global Partnership). He emphasized the importance of data during the session with his contention that “Data is the new oil, and like oil, to extract real value, it has to be refined.
Dr. Suleman and Dr. Claire Melamed, CEO of the Global Partnership, shared insights from the latest IsDBI-Global Partnership joint knowledge and capacity development initiatives.
IsDBI and the Global Partnership collaborate with national governments in developing pathways for producing timely, inclusive, and safely governed environmental data to inform the unique challenges faced by governments today. Satellite imagery is used to develop up-to-date data for national governments, informing agriculture, deforestation, and water security policies that reach the most marginalized.
Other panelists in the event were high-level delegations from Somalia and Suriname. Both panels expressed eagerness toward the joint IsDBI-Global Partnership program to upgrade their respective country’s capacity using the latest data solutions.
Mr. Najeeb moderated two Islamic finance events: “Scaling up Islamic Finance for Climate Action in MENA,” hosted by the IsDB Group Pavilion, and “Unlocking Islamic Climate Finance in Joint ADB and IsDB Countries,” hosted at the Joint MDBs Pavilion.
Mr. Najeeb shared the IsDBI’s work in advocacy and development of policy standards that encourage the uptake of climate financing and investments by institutions offering Islamic financial services. He set the stage for further discussions by highlighting that Islamic Finance principles are not only aligned with climate action but are also natural enablers of the SDGs. Financial inclusion, poverty, environment, and quality of life and well-being are among the impact areas of Islamic Finance.
The stellar lineup of speakers in both Islamic Finance events included representatives from the United National Development Program (UNDP), Asian Development Bank (ADB), United Nations Environment Programme Finance Initiative (UNEPFI), Islamic Corporation for the Development of the Private Sector (ICD), Al Baraka Bank Egypt, and the Global Alliance for Banking on Values. The events also included keynote remarks from the senior management of the IsDB, UNEFPI, and the ADB.
The IsDBI was lauded by panelists and participants for its endeavors to develop impactful, innovative, knowledge-based solutions. These solutions aim to facilitate progress toward achieving the goals and targets of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.