Changing Development Patterns to Sustain Economic Growth focus of Regional Forum

Participants from across the Asia-Pacific region are gathering at the UN offices in Bangkok to discuss – among other issues - the idea of development through Green Growth, a regional strategy which brings together economic growth and environmental sustainability objectives and fosters socially inclusive and sustainable development.

The United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (ESCAP) is gathering government representatives from throughout the region for the First Session of the ESCAP Committee on Environment and Development in Bangkok, 2-4 December 2009.

Participants will address, review and discuss trends and progress in the field of environment and development, the provision of water, energy, transport, sanitation services and housing in an environmentally sustainable and socially inclusive manner, highlighting implementation programs.

On 2 December the meeting will open at 9:30 with a keynote address delivered by Mr. Nurgali Sadvakasovich Ashimov, the Minister of Environment of Kazakhstan, followed by a panel discussions, entitled “High-level Panel on Key Challenges, Opportunities and the Way Forward in the Area of Environment and Development”

The Panel, will consist of Professor Ryokichi Hirono, credited with establishing the Asian Development Bank, Ms Syeda Rizwana Hasan, a lawyer and Chief Executive Director, Bangladesh Environmental Lawyers Association (BELA), Ms Akansha Chaurey, Director, Decentralised Energy Solutions of TERI (The Energy and Resources Institute, of India) and Ms Mary Jane Ortega former Mayor of San Fernando La Reunion City and Secretary General of City Net - a Network committed to helping local authorities improve the lives of citizens and create the urban sustainability. The panel will be moderated by Ms Anasuya Sanyal, Chief, Indochina Bureau of Channel News Asia.

On 4 December, from 08:45 to 11:00 a side event will take place called the “Bazaar of Ideas: Applying the Green Growth approach for basic service delivery and poverty reduction.” The Bazaar provides a platform for member states and development partners to showcase concrete examples of applying Green Growth for basic service delivery and poverty reduction in the form of innovative ideas, practices, approaches or policies.

Media is invited to attend the opening session of the Forum at 9:00 AM on 2 December 2009, United Nations Conference Centre. In order to facilitate your entrance to the UN Conference Centre, please kindly register in advance by sending your name and the news organization you represent to: unisbkk.unescap@un.org.