Sustainable Development in Action – Issue 2, Volume 1The latest issue is now available on the Sustainable Development Knowledge Platform website. The newsletter aims to highlight the work carried out by Member States, the UN, Major Groups and other relevant stakeholders in implementing sustainable development and leading the way to the Future We Want. You can find it at the link HERE.
This joint ILO/UNEP study shows that, if accompanied by the right policy mix, a green economy can also create more and better jobs, lift people out of poverty and promote social inclusion. It also demonstrates that employment and social inclusion must be an integral part of any sustainable development strategy.
You can download the free e-book HERE.
A green economy is necessary if sustainable development is to be realized. However, as this report emphasizes, a green economy can also, if accompanied by the right policy mix, create more and better jobs, lift people out of poverty and promote social inclusion. In fact, the growth model of the past few decades has been inefficient, not only economically, but also from environmental, employment and social perspectives. It overuses natural resources, is environmentally unsustainable and has failed to meet the aspirations of a large proportion of society seeking productive, decent work and dignified lives. A new development model – one which puts people, fairness and the planet at the core of policy-making – is urgently needed, and is eminently achievable. More fundamentally, this report demonstrates that employment and social inclusion must be integral parts of any sustainable development strategy and must be included in policies that address climate change and ensure the preservation of the environment. In particular, the report assesses the sectoral, employment and income implications of the transition to a green economy. It highlights the necessary conditions, policy prescriptions and good practices required to ensure that the green economy is characterized by gains in job quality, reductions in poverty and improvements in social inclusion.
Photo credits: Nektarina Non Profit
Posted by Yula Pannadopoulos
Continuing on last week’s post, today I’ll be sharing more links on UNEP resources.
In the past couple of days I explored their Resource Efficiency Programme, and I found it absolutely great – the content they shared and the way they have presented it.
Here is what they say about the programme on UNEP’s website:
UNEP works to promote resource efficiency and sustainable consumption and production (SCP) in both developed and developing countries. The focus is on achieving increased understanding and implementation by public and private decision makers, as well as civil society, of policies and actions for resource efficiency and sustainable consumption and production. This includes the promotion of sustainable resource management in a life cycle perspective for goods and services.A key approach to UNEP’s work on resource efficiency is the life cycle perspective. By reducing the environmental impact of goods and services at every stage, from raw material extraction and transportation to manufacturing, distribution, use and disposal, we can achieve more wellbeing with less material consumption. This enhances our potential to meet human needs while respecting the ecological carrying capacity of the Earth. This is closely related to the decoupling concept used in UNEP: decoupling economic growth from resource use and environmental degradation – or doing more and better with less. Reforms in government policies, changes in private sector management practices and decisions, and increased consumer awareness are needed to achieve decoupling. It is very worth while going through their Multimedia and Publications pages as well. ==== PS : Interested in our blog post from the past week? Check it out : The World Economic Forum and Sustainability – any connection?
Posted by Yula Pannadopoulos
This January we are talking about green economy in the context of sustainable development (and poverty eradiction), and today I would like to share some resources that you might finds useful.
In the past two weeks we shared two interesting posts:
- Teaching and learning about green economy and sustainable development, and
- Think, Eat, Save – Global campaign to change the culture of food waste
The Think.Eat.Save. Reduce Your Foodprint campaign is in support of the SAVE FOOD Initiative to reduce food loss and waste along the entire chain of food production and consumption – run by the FAO and trade fair organizer Messe Düsseldorf – and the UN Secretary General’s Zero Hunger Challenge. The new campaign specifically targets food wasted by consumers, retailers and the hospitality industry.The campaign harnesses the expertise of organizations such as WRAP (Waste and Resources Action Programme), Feeding the 5,000 and other partners, including national governments, who have considerable experience targeting and changing wasteful practices. Think.Eat.Save. aims to accelerate action and provide a global vision and information-sharing portal (www.thinkeatsave.org) for the many and diverse initiatives currently underway around the world. Worldwide, about one-third of all food produced, worth around US$1 trillion, gets lost or wasted in food production and consumption systems, according to data released by FAO. Food loss occurs mostly at the production stages – harvesting, processing and distribution – while food waste typically takes place at the retailer and consumer end of the food-supply chain. “In a world of seven billion people, set to grow to nine billion by 2050, wasting food makes no sense – economically, environmentally and ethically,” said UN Under-Secretary-General and UNEP Executive Director Achim Steiner. “Aside from the cost implications, all the land, water, fertilizers and labour needed to grow that food is wasted – not to mention the generation of greenhouse gas emissions produced by food decomposing on landfill and the transport of food that is ultimately thrown away,” he added. “To bring about the vision of a truly sustainable world, we need a transformation in the way we produce and consume our natural resources.” “Together, we can reverse this unacceptable trend and improve lives. In industrialized regions, almost half of the total food squandered, around 300 million tonnes annually, occurs because producers, retailers and consumers discard food that is still fit for consumption,” said José Graziano da Silva, FAO Director-General. “This is more than the total net food production of Sub-Saharan Africa, and would be sufficient to feed the estimated 870 million people hungry in the world.” “If we can help food producers to reduce losses through better harvesting, processing, storage, transport and marketing methods, and combine this with profound and lasting changes in the way people consume food, then we can have a healthier and hunger-free world,” Graziano da Silva added. The global food system has profound implications for the environment, and producing more food than is consumed only exacerbates the pressures, some of which follow:
- More than 20 per cent of all cultivated land, 30 per cent of forests and 10 per cent of grasslands are undergoing degradation;
- Globally 9 per cent of the freshwater resources are withdrawn, 70 per cent of this by irrigated agriculture;
- Agriculture and land use changes like deforestation contribute to more than 30 per cent of total global greenhouse gas emissions;
- Globally, the agri-food system accounts for nearly 30 per cent of end-user available energy;
- Overfishing and poor management contribute to declining numbers of fish, some 30 per cent of marine fish stocks are now considered overexploited.
- Shop Smart: Plan meals, use shopping lists, avoid impulse buys and don’t succumb to marketing tricks that lead you to buy more food than you need.
- Buy Funny Fruit: Many fruits and vegetables are thrown out because their size, shape, or colour are deemed not “right”. Buying these perfectly good fruit, at the farmer’s market or elsewhere, utilizes food that might otherwise go to waste.
- Understand Expiry Dates: “Best-before” dates are generally manufacturer suggestions for peak quality. Most foods can be safely consumed well after these dates. The important date is “use by” – eat food by that date or check if you can freeze it.
- Zero Down Your Fridge: Websites such as WRAP’s www.lovefoodhatewaste.com can help consumers get creative with recipes to use up anything that might go bad soon.
- Other actions include: freezing food; following storage guidance to keep food at its best, requesting smaller portions at restaurants; eating leftovers – whether home-cooked, from restaurants or takeaway; composting food; and donating spare food to local food banks, soup kitchens, pantries, and shelters.
- Retailers can carry out waste audits and product loss analysis for high-waste areas, work with their suppliers to reduce waste, offer discounts for near-expiration items, redesign product displays with less excess, standardize labelling and increase food donations, among other actions.
- Restaurants, pubs and hotels can limit menu choices and introduce flexible portioning, carry out waste audits and create staff engagement programmes, among many other measures.
- Supermarkets, hotels, restaurants, companies, cities and countries will be able to use the website to pledge to measure the food they waste and put in place targets to reduce it.
By Yula Pannadopolous
Information is great, but summarized, digested information is even better. It helps us focus, it helps us learn.
During the implementation phase of this project we will publish over 20 different publications, and this year we start with five:
- Sustainable Living
- The History of Sustainability
- Sustainable Schools
- Sustainable Cities
- Sustainable Food