Asia-Pacific report warns of unsustainable resource use trends, highlights the need for decisive action at Rio+20

Bangkok (ESCAP Strategic Communications and Advocacy Section) – United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (ESCAP), the Asian Development Bank (ADB) and the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) will launch the report Green Growth, Resources and Resilience: Environmental Sustainability in Asia and the Pacific on Thursday 16 February 2012 at the FCCT in Bangkok.

The Asia-Pacific region has made significant progress on poverty reduction, but there are new challenges relating to resource constraints, food, water and energy security. Serious concerns regarding the economic, social and environmental implications of the current economic growth paths have been expressed from many quarters, and these challenges are more serious in this region than anywhere else.

This report provides new insights into trends in resource use by the Asia-Pacific region. It also outlines key actions for bringing economic growth in closer alignment with sustainable development objectives. It underlines that “business as usual” growth strategies are no longer appropriate.

As the region prepares for the United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development (Rio +20) in Brazil in June 2012, the report will be essential reading for the preparations on the Conference's two main topics - a green economy in the context of sustainable development and poverty eradication, and the institutional framework for sustainable development.

Media representatives are cordially invited to attend:

WHAT: The launch of the report Green Growth, Resources and Resilience: Environmental Sustainability in Asia and the Pacific by ESCAP, ADB and UNEP

WHEN: Thursday, 16 February 2012, 1:00 to 3:00 pm
(light meal served from noon)

WHERE: Foreign Correspondent’s Club of Thailand
Penthouse, Maneeya Center Building, 518/5 Pleonchit Road, Phatumwan, Bangkok

WHO: Speakers include:

Mr. Bindu N. Lohani, Vice-President for Knowledge Management and Sustainable Development, Asian Development Bank
Mr. Shun-ichi Murata, Deputy Executive Secretary, ESCAP
Mr. Rae Kwon Chung, Director, Environment and Development Division, ESCAP
Dr. Young Woo Park, Regional Director for Asia and the Pacific, United Nations Environment Programme

CONTACTS:

Ms. Thawadi Pachariyangkun, Public Information Officer, ESCAP
T: (66) 2 288 1861, M: (66) 81 634 3876, E: pachariyangkun.unescap@un.org

Ms. Satwant Kaur
Regional Information Officer, UNEP
T : (66) 2882127, M : (66) 83 9086000, E : satwant.kaur@unep.org

Ms. Hitomi Rankine, Environment and Development Division, ESCAP
T: (66) 2 288 1429, M: (66) 81 807 1605, E: rankine.unescap@un.org

Mr. Jason Rush, Head, Media & Strategic Communication, ADB
T: (632) 632-4096, M: (63) (0) 920-938-6490, E: jrush@adb.org

NOTE TO EDITORS:

The upcoming United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development (UNCSD) will take place in Rio de Janeiro during 20-22 June 2012, twenty years after the historic United Nations Conference on Environment and Development held in 1992. Also known as Rio+20, it promises to be the world’s largest gathering of world leaders on sustainable development to date. The world’s governments and other stakeholders are currently engaged in negotiating outcomes and other preparations. For more information see http://www.uncsd2012.org/rio20/

Resource constraints are increasingly recognized as the source of considerable socio-economic risk. The recent report of the United Nations Secretary General’s High Level Panel on Global Sustainability of the United Nations (see http://www.un.org/wcm/content/site/climatechange/pages/gsp) underlines that by 2030, the world will need at least 50 per cent more food, 45 per cent more energy and 30 per cent more water. The report concludes that the current global development model is unsustainable.

The Asia and the Pacific region is at particular risk. The region uses three times as much resources as the rest of the world to produce one dollar of GDP (as of 2005). The regional economy’s intensive resource use can be contrasted with its low per capita use of, and access to resources, due to persistent poverty and other development gaps.

Green growth was adopted as a sustainable development strategy and as a response to growing resource constraints at the 5th Ministerial Conference on Environment and Development in Asia and the Pacific in 2005. Greening of economic growth has become the focus of growth strategies developed by the OECD and EU, as well as several countries in the region, including China.