UN Stresses Need for Incorporation of Environmental policies into Development

Delegates from countries across the Asia-Pacific region agreed on the need to integrate environmental sustainability into development policy, including through Green Growth.

This was one of the outcomes of the first session of the United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (ESCAP) Committee on Environment and Development, which ended today in Bangkok. The three-day meeting drew together delegates from across the region to review current issues in the field of environment and development including presentations on real world projects.
The final day of the meeting brought together 10 successful ongoing Green Growth projects from throughout the region at an event called the “Bazaar of Ideas.”

“The projects that delegates were presented with today are examples of how communities and governments can embrace long term sustainable development that is environmentally responsible,” said Mr. Shaoyi Li, officer in Charge of the Environment and Development Division of ESCAP. “Each of these projects could be replicated elsewhere in the region.”

The Green Growth initiative is a regional strategy which brings together economic growth and environmental sustainability objectives and fosters socially inclusive and sustainable development.

The examples ranged from projects that demonstrated that poverty and pollution need not go hand in hand, to projects showing how an environmentally friendly industry can make strong profit.

One project presented from Thailand was the Eco-Village, where all resources – solid, liquid and gas – are recycled and reused. This includes sequestering CO2 emissions for the growth and production of algae biomass which is then used to generate energy and produce fertilizer. This process, which targeted reducing the village’s overall energy consumption by 40 per cent, now produces excess energy which is sold for a profit.

The Committee concluded by recommending that ESCAP give strong focus in the coming year to sustainable development including through Green Growth. It also recommended that regional cooperation be enhanced to make suitable technology accessible to developing countries and to strengthen existing programmes for sub-regional environmental cooperation.

For more information please go to: http://www.unescap.org/esd/