by: United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP)
The ‘Green Growth, Resources and Resilience’ report by ESCAP, ADB and UNEP focuses on environmental sustainability in Asia and the Pacific region. It is the sixth report of a series published every 5 years on the state of the environment in Asia and the Pacific, this time high the issues of green growth, resource efficiencies and limitations, a resilience to global turbulence in markets and ecosystems.
The report begins by stating that economic growth has been the main reason behind lifting more than 500 million people out of poverty in the region over the last 20 years but this socio‐economic progress has come at the expense of the environment due to unsustainable and inequitable growth patterns.
The concept of green growth is explored in detail and strategies to respond to the mounting challenges to sustainable development in the region are analysed. Green Growth is defined in report as “economic progress that fosters environmentally sustainable, low‐carbon and socially inclusive development”. This definition differs from that of the World Bank by assuming the green growth inherently involves social inclusiveness.
The publication identifies several strategies for green growth including: 1) A supportive economic incentives framework at the heart of successful green growth initiatives, 2) Infrastructure investments guided by the principles of sustainability, accessibility, and social inclusiveness 3) “Natural infrastructure” providing valuable but undervalued economic inputs, and 4) Sustainable agriculture as a critical aspect of maintaining and building natural capital.