03.10.2011 - Natural Sciences Sector

From Green Economies to Green Societies

© UNESCO/Vytautas Knyva

In her statement on the occasion of the International UN-Water Conference ‘Water in the Green Economy in Practice: Towards Rio+20’, Gretchen Kalonji, Assistant Director-General for Natural Sciences, explains why our common efforts should lead to building green societies. ‘Green societies cannot come into being without a real paradigm-shift in the way the food-energy-water nexus is addressed’ added Ms Kalonji, ‘The ultimate goal of green economies is to make a real change in the sustainability of our economic base and pave the way to reduce poverty.’

Water contributes to the green economy. It is important for people and for the planet. This UN-Water Conference provides an opportunity to showcase water’s key role in the green economy, illustrated through specific practical examples of the use of the tools to facilitate change in different regions of the world.

The cases presented in the conference will focus on the use of specific 'tools for change' to help move towards a green growth model. They will demonstrate how investments and appropriate financing models for sanitation, drinking water services, and water resources management can support poverty reduction and growth; how investing and adopting fiscal policies for protecting the environment ensures the provision of ecosystem services that are necessary for economic development and for a more resilient economy; how to generate change through improvements in technology; what types of labour policies and reforms are necessary and what job opportunities exist within an economic model with more efficient household consumption patterns and sustainable production practices from economic sectors.

The Conference will support the process of moving to action in preparation forRio+20. The conference was organized by the UN-Water Decade Programme on Advocacy and Communication (UNW-DPAC), in cooperation with UNESCO and other partners.

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