Nature in the transition to a Green Economy
The green economy in the context of sustainable development was one of the main issues discussed at the June Rio+20 UN Conference on Sustainable Development. Countries agreed to consider green economy as one of the important tools available for achieving sustainable development.
Shortly before the Rio conference, IEEP published the paper ‘Nature and its role in the transition to a Green Economy – A contribution to Rio +20’, which was presented in Rio at a Roundtable on Nature and its role in the Transition to a Green Economy hosted on June 18 2012 by the International Society for Ecological Economics.
Commissioned by UNEP, the paper integrates insights gained through the TEEB initiative with the body of work around the green economy. It provides evidence of nature’s role in underpinning economic growth, human development and well-being and highlights the instrumental role it has played in building today’s economic system. It illustrates why the conservation and restoration of natural capital should be considered a key element in the transition to a green economy. The paper also argues that, given human and societal well-being’s dependence on nature, efforts to conserve, restore and sustainably use natural capital can improve human well-being, support livelihoods and increase socio-economic and intergenerational equity. In addition, healthy and resilient ecosystems may contribute to delivering development goals such as poverty eradication.
By showing a range of examples from around the world, the paper highlights the fundamental importance of recognising and responding to the role of nature in the context of economic decision making. It also identifies the necessary tools to help us with a successful transition to the green economy, grouped into six building blocks.
The main paper’s executive summary, ‘Nature and its role in the transition to a Green Economy – A contribution to Rio +20’, can be downloaded here. The main paper itself is currently being finalised and will be published later this year.