Rio+20 Preparatory Meeting held in Apia
Rio+20 Preparatory Meetings in the Pacific was held in Apia from 21 to 23 July 2011 to raise awareness of and discuss the theme of Rio+20 "Green economy in the context of sustainable development and poverty alleviation". It was organised by the Government of Samoa, UN and SPREP and brought together experts, NGOs, Ministers in the field of environment of Pacific small islands countries, as well as representative of regional organisations and UN agencies. The Meetings began with an Open Forum which was followed by a Ministerial Meeting. UNESCO made two presentations on "Education for Sustanable Development (ESD)" with the aims of achieving transformation of values, behaivours and institutional framework for sustainable devlopment as well as "Communication and Culture" for people-centered development at the Open Forum.
An integrated and inclusive approach was identified as a key to the green economy in blue world in the Pacific. "Pacific Islands have to identify a suitable approach to involve all the sectors, communities and organisations for the sucsessful implementation of green economy in their islands", said Mr. Taulealeausumai Laavasa Malua, CEO for Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment of Samoa.
Mr Feiloakitau Tevi, General Secretary of the Pacific Council of Churches said, "Some of the solutions can be found in our traditional lifestyles. We just need to revisit, capture and share suitable traditional knowledge and lifestyles. We also need to include the large informal sector that makes up an average of 60% of all Pacific islands economies."
At the community level, empowering the villages to conduct green initiatives will strengthen the livelihoods for both present and future generations. The sustainable management of oceans and the conservatin of its biodiversity and fisheries resourcs are also important for the Pacific region. At the government level, ownership of development projects is crucial for leadership in identifying how the green growth approach can be integrated in national plans, policies and strategies. The Meeting thus underlined the necessity of taking a multi-stakeholder approach in partnership with village communities, government, private sector and development partners.