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Green Economy moves forward in Haiti

Last September Haiti´s Ministries of Environment and Agriculture and the UNEP (United Nations Environment Programme) held a workshop in Port-au-Prince to certify the discoveries of an exploratory study on the green economy potential of the agricultural sector in the South Department of Haiti. Through a green economy approach, the main value chains (mango, honey, cashew, castor oil and cocoa) would help to reinforce the system of the protected areas, which would consequently ensure health, productive ecosystems and promote sustainable economic development. Many suggestion were made during the workshop, for example expanding the study to additional varieties of value chains and considering the potential of organic certification.

The report will be presented also at the 3rd Conference of Green Economy in the Caribbean. It is part of the UNEP project “Advancing Caribbean States´ Sustainable development through Green Economy (GE)”. This project aims to establish a regional green network between the Caribbean countries: Jamaica, Haiti, and Saint Lucia. It has three main goals:
– Creating a national Green Economy knowledge and network platforms and a regional Green Economy network in order to share different experiences and best practises;
– Defining local policies of Green Economy investment options based on quantitave assessment in Haiti, Jamaica and Saint Lucia;
– Developing and support a regional centre of excellence on Green Economy and producing a capacity-building materials tailor-made for policymakers in the region.
Using at best the surrounding ecosystem and environment in order to reinforce sustainable economic development but at the same time respecting it and not exploiting it is one of the core characteristic of the Blue Economy policy. May Haiti and its new Green Economy approach inspire other countries in the world to follow its lead.

Sources:

“South Department Agriculture Report Validated in Haiti”, http://www.unep.org/greeneconomy/Default.aspx?tabid=1060568

“Advancing Caribbean States´ Sustainable Development through Green Economy”, http://www.greengrowthknowledge.org/project/advancing-caribbean-states%E2%80%99-sustainable-development-through-green-economy

Picture by USAID U.S. Agency for International Development (link: https://www.flickr.com/photos/usaid_images/5102599107/ )

Blue Economy calls for joint strategy with UNEP

Blue Economy calls for joint strategy with UNEP

Blue Economy Press RELEASE 
1332519231 Blue Economy calls for joint strategy with UNEP We Blue

When the heads of governments and nations meet in Brazil in June this year to discuss about a globally sustainable development, the question about defining a sustainable economy will also come up. It has taken a long time before governments have agreed about the basic guidelines of the term “Green Economy”. For more than a decade, the “green movement” has been shaped without a unifying political image, leading to the present, multifaceted term of the Green Economy. Some prefer to call it “greenwashing”.

Slowly a consensus has been found that the Green Economy’s aim is a “naturally supportable economy of low emissions”. Of course a constituting policy of regulation is necessary to follow this path, which supports businesses orientated towards innovation and reduces emissions of pollutants into the environment. In spite of all the progress which has been reached concerning this subject, we know that the Green Economy is only a step of transformation towards a change of paradigms in the social and economic development.

On February 10, 2012, a UNEP press communication stated:

“Mediterranean countries and the European Union meeting in Paris have called for a “blue” economy to be set up to safeguard and promote a clean, healthy, productive Mediterranean environment.”1

The creator of the term “Blue Economy”, Prof. Gunter Pauli, is delighted that UNEP and the Mediterranean countries have adopted his term Blue Economy for an undoubtedly positive initiative to protect a clean, healthy and productive Mediterranean environment. With the report “Green Economy in a Blue World” the United Nations are pointing out the potential of the Oceans: Economy and Protection of the Environment do not need to oppose each other.

Achim Steiner summarizes the results as follows: “An expansion of green investment in marine and coastal resources as well as a reinforcement of international cooperation within management of cross-frontier ecosystems are essential if the transition to a CO2-reduced and resource efficient green economy is meant to become a reality.”2

Even so, we should not forget that the Report to the Club of Rome “The Blue Economy” which features a hundred examples and envisions the possibility of creating 100 million jobs, is setting an even more challenging objective. Since 2010, Blue Economy is successfully presenting one innovation per week including market data and indications regarding its potential to thousands of entrepreneurs, inspiring them for imitation worldwide.

Sustainable business in the spirit of the Blue Economy makes it possible to respond to the basic needs of all without exploiting the natural resources, but also without a need to renounce to commodities. In contrast to the Green Economy, the Blue Economy stands for a new way of designing businesses, a new market-oriented business model, sustainable businesses and sustainable growth. Blue Economy stands for making the good more accessible and the bad more expensive. Blue Economy stands for clean water, clean air and for Planet Earth.

The term Blue Economy means: Using available resources in cascading systems, the waste of one product becomes the raw material for a new cash flow. In this way jobs are created, social capital is built and the income increases – without further exploiting and damaging the environment, but rather conserving and improving it. This makes sustainable growth possible. The present global economic system can be transformed into a sustainable development by innovations and entrepreneurship. Innovations and better livelihoods are promoted by demand, by means of the free market and by education instead of inhibiting them with subsidies and social barriers.

The key is a holistic view of things, it is about intelligent synergies and connections of different levels (cascades) within (eco)systems which might not be visible at first sight. Now we need to search for dialogue in order to promote a holistic understanding of an interrelated world of production, integrating the basic resource of water as a pillar for plants, animals, algae and bacteria.

In the sense of a partnership between ecologically oriented initiatives worldwide before the Rio+20 Summit, we offer the attractive term Blue Economy as a basis for a commonly and mutually consistent communication.

 

source:

http://www.sxc.hu/photo/882672

Countries Call for Blue Economy to Protect the Mediterranean

Countries Call for Blue Economy to Protect the Mediterranean

Mediterranean countries and the European Union meeting in Paris have called for a “blue” economy to be set up to safeguard…. 

viewimage Countries Call for Blue Economy to Protect the Mediterranean We Blue

Paris, 10 February 2012 Mediterranean countries and the European Union meeting in Paris have called for a “blue” economy to be set up to safeguard and promote a clean, healthy, productive Mediterranean environment.

The call came as the issued their closing communique -the Paris Declaration -as the 17th Conference of the Contracting Parties (COP17) to the Barcelona Convention for the Protection of the Marine Environment and the Coastal Region of the Mediterranean and its Protocols drew to an end after three days of talks in Paris this week.

In his opening speech, France’s Ambassador for the Environment, Jean-Pierre Thébault, who chaired the meeting, said: “In this very symbolic year for the environment, I express the wish that the Mediterranean Action Plan remains ambitious and leads by example, showing the way towards Rio+20”.

The Paris Declaration reflects this ambition.

The 22 countries want a “blue” economy, a version of the Green Economy that is applied to seas and oceans, and hope to see a strategic policy framework adopted at the UN Conference on Sustainable Development (Rio+20) in Brazil in June.

The world’s marine ecosystems provide essential food and livelihoods to millions of people. UNEP’s research shows how a switch to the more sustainable Green Economy model could unlock the vast potential of the marine-based economy and at the same time significantly reduce ocean degradation while alleviating poverty. UNEP defines the Green Economy as one that results in improved human well-being and social equity, while significantly reducing environmental risks and ecological scarcities.

“The time has come for us to rethink how we manage our oceans,” said Achim Steiner, executive Director of UNEP and Under Secretary General of the UN. “They are a key pillar for many countries of their economic and social development, and are vital in the fight against poverty. But too many of these essential natural resources are being degraded by unsustainable use, putting the ecosystems services they provide, such as food security and climate regulations for instance, at risk.

“Management decisions and investments that put the well-being of the oceans are essential if we are to continue to profit from this rich natural resource. A ‘blue’ economy in the Mediterranean and elsewhere would be a big step on the right path.”

The meeting welcomed the progress that had been made in 2011 in reinforcing the fight against deterioration of the Mediterranean sea with the entry into force of the Integrated Coastal Zone Management (ICZM) protocol and the Protocol for the Protection of the Mediterranean Sea against Pollution resulting from Exploration and Exploitation of the Continental Shelf and the Seabed and its Subsoil (the “Offshore” Protocol).

These two-world first protocols recognize the Mediterranean environment as a critical and shared resource, and promote and promote a co-operative and holistic approach to its management.

In the Paris Declaration, the Contracting Parties also:

-Reaffirmed their political commitment to the sustainable development of the Mediterranean Sea and its coastal zones through an ecosystem approach to the management of human activities.

-Agreed to develop a coherent, well-managed network of marine protected areas in the Mediterranean, aiming for a target of 10 per cent of marine protected areas by 2020.

-Decided to intensify their efforts to curb marine pollution from land-based sources, such as mercury, Persistent Organic Pollutants and marine litter, by adopting legally binding measures, and reduce pollution from offshore and marine-based activities though regional action plans.

-Adopted the action plan for the implementation of the Integrated Coastal Zone Management Protocol, and encouraged all Contracting Parties to ratify it.

-Agreed to work to protect the conservation and sustainable use of marine biodiversity in areas beyond national jurisdiction through the implementation of existing instruments and through the development of a multilateral agreement under the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea.

-Supported the preparation by 2014 of a report on the state of the marine environment, including from a socioeconomic perspective.

Editor’s notes

The Barcelona Convention entered into force in 1978, after Mediterranean countries and the European Community had, three years earlier, adopted the Mediterranean Action Plan, the first-ever Regional Seas Programme under the umbrella of the United Nations Environment Programme. The convention was amended and renamed in 1995; and that version came into force in 2004.

The 22 Contracting Parties to the Barcelona Convention are: Albania, Algeria, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia, Cyprus, Egypt, the European Union, France, Greece, Israel, Italy, Lebanon, Libya, Malta, Monaco, Montenegro, Morocco, Slovenia, Spain, Syria, Tunisia and Turkey.

UNEP hosts the Coordinating Unit for the Mediterranean Action Plan of the Barcelona Convention. For more information, please see www.unepmap.org.

Achim Steiner, UNEP Executive Director

Achim Steiner, UNEP Executive Director

The ideas you are about to encounter are among the most tantalizing prospects for realizing a low carbon, resource-efficient…. 
1312992758 Achim Steiner, UNEP Executive Director We Blue

The ideas you are about to encounter are among the most tantalizing prospects for realizing a low carbon, resource-efficient, and competitive economy in the 21st century. Some of the greatest opportunities for jobs will come from replicating the waste free efficiency of ecosystems.

The Blue Economy demonstrates that we can find ways of utilizing physics, chemistry, and biology with renewable materials and sustainable practices just as ecosystems do. This is no longer the realm of science-fiction; it is actually happening here and now.

The world has been racked by food, fuel, environmental, financial, and economic crises. Ecosystem and biodiversity loss has led to an emerging climate crisis and a looming natural-resource calamity. A Blue Economy, able to deal systematically with these many challenges, and ready to seize the manifest multiple opportunities, is now essential.