Ecosystem management pivotal for a green economy
By Yue Fenghua, Cong Fangjun (chinadaily.com.cn)
The day-long forum brought together a wide range of experts from across the world, including Sir Crispin Tickell from the United Kingdom, Julia Marton-Lefevre, Director General of the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN), Professor Richard Odingo from Kenya, Arthur Hanson, International Chief Advisor of the China Council for International Cooperation on Environment and Development (CCICED), Bj.rn Roland Stigson, President of World Business Council for Sustainable Development (WBCSD), Lars-Erik Liljelund, Executive Director of The Foundation for Strategic Environmental Research and Franz Tattenbach, President of the International Institute for Sustainable Development (IISD) Through intensive discussions, participants of the Forum reached the following conclusions:
-The Earth's ecosystems are the natural foundation of human civilization. A robust, healthy and sustainable ecosystem is a prerequisite to secure the development of a Green Economy.
-Ecosystems have been profoundly degraded over the last 50 years and pressure on them continues unabated. Some of the key ecological processes have exceeded their thresholds, which may lead to the collapse of some vulnerable ecosystems. This poses threats to lives, livelihoods and economic development and demands urgent action.
-Concrete evidences show that ecosystem management can halt and reverse this increasing degradation of ecosystems. It can also provide economic and job opportunities, particularly for developing countries.
-There is clear evidence that many key issues of the Green Economy development are critical for addressing ecosystem management.
-There are already ecological networks, mechanisms, methods and tools in place to promote the role of ecosystem management for development of the Green Economy.
Based on the key findings reflected through an issues paper, the Forum has proposed the following recommendations to be acted on at the Rio+20 summit:
1. Political commitment at the highest level is urgently needed if ecosystem management is to have the adequate weight it deserves in the Rio+20 arrangement;
2. Political support and appropriate governance structures are needed for improved synergies between ecosystem management and the Green Economy in developing Rio+20 policy frameworks;
3. Adequate financial, technological and knowledge resources must be allocated, including in national policy-setting, awareness-raising, capacity-building and planning and practices, particularly in developing countries;
4. Building capacity and ecological infrastructure in developing countries, such as Africa, is a prerequisite for enhancing ecosystem management and promoting the Green Economy.