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GPS Seminar Series

June 21, 2022-June 29, 2024


GPS Seminar Series

The Global Program on Sustainability (GPS) Seminar Series shares the latest knowledge on how policy makers and the financial sector can integrate environmental sustainability considerations into decision making. Knowledge sharing and learning are central to GPS' goals, and these virtual sessions present an opportunity to highlight real-life case-studies, ongoing work and lessons learned from countries that are beginning to look beyond GDP and traditional financial metrics to account for environmental risks and opportunities.

  • GPS Seminar Series information


    The World Bank is supporting the Government of Nepal’s transition towards Green, Resilient, Inclusive Development (GRID) through a strategic forest landscape program with over US$100m of financing plus additional budget support through the Programmatic GRID Development Policy Credit Series. Together, the forest program encompasses a set of projects, policy and carbon financing, and advisory services. Under this strategic forest landscape program, the World Bank through the support of GPS is working towards bridging the gap in robust evidence on the biophysical conditions and economic contributions of forests at national and subnational levels, which is critical to Nepal’s transition towards federalism in the forest sector and GRID.

    As part of the ongoing GPS Seminar Series, this hybrid Brown Bag Lunch (BBL) will feature guest speakers from the Government of Nepal, specifically from the National Statistics Office (NSO), Ministry of Forests and Environment (MOFE), and the Forest Research and Training Center (FRTC), who will share their experience in producing policy-relevant forest data to support evidence based sustainable forest management in Nepal. Two major activities are being implemented as part of these advisory services: (i) Production of subnational biophysical forest extent and condition statistics through the FTRC under the leadership of MOFE to support planning at the national, provincial, and municipal levels; and (ii) Collection and analyses of nationally representative official household data related to forest-based livelihoods in collaboration with the NSO. Among many policy uses, one important contribution of the improved forest data will be equipping the devolution of forest royalties from federal to provincial and municipal governments with refined data to better reflect the performance of provinces and municipalities in terms of forest management and forest livelihood dependency.

    Guest speakers:

    • Toyam Raya, Secretary, Nepal National Statistics Office (NSO)
    • Badri Raj Dhungana, Joint Secretary & Chief of Planning, Nepal Ministry of Forests and Environment (MOFE)
    • Tirtha Raj Chaulagain, Director, Nepal NSO
    • Bimal Acharya, Senior Remote Sensing Officer, Nepal Forest Research and Training Center (FRTC)


    Moderator: Jihae Kwon

    11:00-11:05 – Welcoming remarks, Bekele Ambaye Shiferaw, Senior Environmental Economist & Program Coordinator of GPS, World Bank

    11:05-11:10 – Importance of forests for GRID in Nepal, Badri Raj Dhungana, Joint Secretary & Chief of Planning, Nepal Ministry of Forests and Environment (MOFE) 

    11:10-11:15 – Introduction of GPS-supported activities in Nepal, Soumya Balasubramanya, Senior Economist, World Bank

    11:10-11:25 – Enabling federalism in the forest sector: production of subnational biophysical forest indicators, Bimal Kumar Acharya, Senior Remote Sensing Officer, Nepal Forest Research and Training Center (FRTC)

    11:25-11:40 – Interface of households and forests: first forest module of the Nepal Living Standards Survey, Tirtha Raj Chaulagain, Director, Nepal National Statistics Office (NSO)

    11:40-12:10 – Q&A

    12:10-12:15 – Closing remarks Toyam Raya, Secretary, Nepal NSO

  • GPS-Seminar-Series-and-AFR-CoP

    The use of water in human activity is increasing around the world. Compounding the problem of increased water use is that the availability of water is changing due to climate change, historical overuse of groundwater, and declining water quality. Understanding the uses and values of water and how these are changing over time should lead to more effective water policy and management.  

    The World Bank has a long-standing interest in the valuation of natural capital and in using national wealth as a measure of progress. Water is a vital part of natural capital, but including water as one of the assets recorded in the wealth of nations is yet to occur. While it is known that some physical water stocks are being depleted (e.g. groundwater) or degraded (e.g. by pollution), the cost of this is not recognized in the estimates of national wealth in any country. 

    This webinar will provide an understanding of the conceptual and data challenges of valuing water as a natural capital asset for The Changing Wealth of Nations (CWON) and identify key action items for systematic data collection.

  • REACH and FAB: A performance-linked financing framework for measuring impact and setting targets


    Performance-linked financing instruments, such as sovereign sustainability-linked bonds (SLBs), have gained wide popularity in the corporate market, but greenwashing concerns and the lack of additionality have hampered their uptake in the sovereign space. To overcome these stumbling blocks, we need ensure that the instruments use the right performance metric and set the right targets. The REACH framework (Relative Evaluation And benCHmarking) describes the requirements for the key performance indicator (KPI) to ensure (a) that the issuer has strong incentives to perform, and (b) that the investor has credible impact to report. The FAB matrix (feasibility and ambitiousness matrix) helps identify targets that are both feasible and ambitious. It recommends staying away from targets that are low hanging fruits and long shots. We illustrate the REACH framework using Brazilian deforestation and FAB matrix using Senegalese education.



    Fiona Stewart.jpg

    Fiona Stewart, Lead Financial Sector Specialist, Finance, Competitiveness & Innovation, World Bank

    Fiona Stewart works for the World Bank's Global Capital Markets, Non-bank Financial Institutions group, which provides policy advice on pension reform to governments around the world. Previously, she worked for the OECD’s Financial Affairs Division for eight years and led the Secretariat of the International Organisation of Pension Supervisors (IOPS), an international body representing over 70 countries, dedicated to cooperation and research on pension supervisory issues. Prior to working at the OECD, Fiona worked in the pension fund industry. As head of American Express Asset Management in Japan she was responsible for investing $2bn in Asian equity markets, and, as part of an international team, for managing $20bn globally. She holds degrees from Oxford and Johns Hopkins Universities and a Chartered Financial Analyst qualification. She also served on the advisory board of one of the OECD’s own pension funds.


    Dieter Wang
    Dieter Wang, Sustainable Finance Specialist Consultant, World Bank

    Dieter Wang is a sustainable finance specialist at the World Bank's Finance, Competitiveness & Innovation Global Practice (GP). He first joined the Bank in 2018 and has since worked with different units, such as Environment & Natural Resources; Fragility, Conflict & Violence; Macroeconomics, Trade & Investment, and Development Economics. During his time, he has led and contributed to modelling efforts on sustainable finance, sovereign ESG, credit ratings, natural capital, and other financial/stochastic modeling tasks. He applies econometrics and machine learning to various datasets, ranging from financial Bloomberg data to geospatial satellite data, and likes to tell their stories with compelling visualizations. Dieter has a PhD in financial econometrics from the Tinbergen Institute/VU Amsterdam with an MPhil in economics from the Tinbergen Institute and a B.Sc. from the University of Tübingen. Previously, he held visiting positions at Columbia Business School and the research department of the Dutch Central Bank.



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Enabling evidence-based sustainable forest management for GRID in Nepal

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About the GPS Program

The Global Program on Sustainability (GPS) promotes the use of high-quality data and analysis on natural capital, ecosystem services, and sustainability to better inform decisions made by governments, the private sector, and financial institutions.