On March 28, 2019 in Minsk, with the support of the United Nations Development Program (UNDP) in Belarus and its partners, the first in our country SDG Impact Investment Forum was held.
Impact investments are social impact investments, i.e. generating “double profits”: along with financial benefits a certain social or environmental effect is achieved. Today, such investments are becoming the global financial trend that can open up to Belarus new and unique business prospects.
The event was opened by Zachary Taylor, the UNDP Resident Representative in Belarus, who tried to reveal the importance of reformatting to achieve environmental and social results while striving for financial gain.
The basis for the event was The 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), approved by the leaders of the UN member countries in the framework of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. Marianna Shchetkina, the National Coordinator on implementation of Sustainable Development Goals, Deputy Chair of the Council of the Republic of the National Assembly of Belarus, spoke on the theme “Progress of Belarus in the implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals”.
Addressing the Forum participants Kazana-Wisniowiecki, UN Resident Coordinator in Belarus, touched on the issue of financing sustainable development goals.
Dmitry Yaroshevich, Deputy Minister of Economy of the Republic of Belarus, spoke on the benefits of investing in sustainable economic growth in Belarus.
International experts, representatives of the business community, public and state organizations spoke about the possibilities for impact investment in Belarus. The event of the three sessions allowed us to present the best foreign practice of impact investment and identify key areas for social investment in the country.
Goal 7 “Affordable and Clean Energy” among the Sustainable Development Goals was presented by the international technical assistance project “Removing Barriers to Wind Power Development in Belarus”. The project manager, Marina Belous, told about the state and prospects for the development of wind power and the project’s activities in general and delivered a presentation of the investment proposal for the construction of a 25 MW wind farm.
The forum participants were able to obtain detailed information about the possibility of impact-investing in green energy: Marina Belous told about the selected most potential sites for locating a wind farm, obtaining the necessary permits, developing pre-project documentation.
Thus, the project of construction of a wind farm with a capacity of around 25 MW, being implemented in Belarus, has reached the stage of investor selection. This process will take place in the form of an auction, preparation for which is being completed at the moment. According to the results of the auction, an investor will be selected for the further implementation of the project.
The event was also covered by correspondents from various media outlets (Belarus24 TV channel, the Belarusian portal TUT.BY, the news resource NEWS.21.BY, and others).
A full seven-hour video report of all three sessions of the forum “Discovering the Possibilities of Impact Investing in Belarus” can be seen on the UNDP YouTube channel in the Republic of Belarus at: