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NEWS: World’s environment ministers said to back Rio+20 ‘green economy’ agenda

The Environment News Service reports, “Environment ministers from around the world ended their annual meeting (on February 22) by promising to make the upcoming UN Conference on Sustainable Development, Rio+20, a success. The ministers and representatives from nearly 150 countries were attending the 40th anniversary United Nations Environment Programme Governing Council and Global Ministerial Environment Forum, which opened Monday at UNEP Headquarters in Nairobi.”

“During their three-day meeting, the environment ministers focused on the twin themes of Rio+20 – a Green Economy and an institutional framework for sustainable development. President of the UNEP Governing Council Federico Ramos de Armas, who heads Spain’s Environment Ministry, said the Green Economy is widely viewed by ministers as a way to achieve sustainable development, poverty eradication and decent job creation ‘by increasing resource efficiency, supporting the shift to sustainable consumption and production patterns and facilitating low carbon development.'”

“Over 100 countries, including members of the African Union and the European Union, have (also) backed the upgrading of UNEP to a specialized agency of the United Nations as one of the Rio+20 outcomes. …Kenya’s President Mwai Kibaki told delegates Monday that his government supports the transformation of UNEP into a specialized UN agency for the achievement of green development. He asked them to support the ‘African position and endorse the transformation of UNEP into a specialized organization based here in Nairobi.'”

“Delegates (at the UNEP Governing Council meeting) stressed there should be a clear decision on the institutional framework for sustainable development and international environmental governance (at the Rio+20 Earth Summit, June 20-22).”

UN World Environment Day, June 5
“Three weeks in advance of the Rio+20 conference, on June 5, Brazil will host the UN’s annual World Environment Day. This year’s theme, ‘Green Economy: Does it include you’ invites everyone to assess where the Green Economy fits into their daily lives and evaluate whether development towards a Green Economy can deliver the kinds of social, economic and environmental outcomes needed in a world of seven billion people.”

The Council of Canadians has been raising concerns about the green economy agenda being advanced at Rio+20. We have argued that it promotes the commodification of nature, as well as the development of major dams, water privatization, and an undermining of the UN-recognized right to water and sanitation. For that commentary, please go to http://canadians.org/rio20.

The full report noted above can be read at http://www.ens-newswire.com/ens/feb2012/2012-02-22-03.html.