On 3-4 October, the Ministerial Dialogue on “Green Economy and Inclusive Growth” is taking place in New Delhi. The event, organized by UN DESA and the Indian Government, is focusing on sustainable development initiatives in the lead up to next year’s UN Conference on Sustainable Development in Rio de Janeiro.
UN DESA’s Under-Secretary-General and the Secretary-General of Rio+20, Sha Zukang, emphasised that Rio+20 must be about integration, implementation and coherence, and must “mobilize renewed political commitment for sustainable development.” Mr. Sha noted that the New Delhi meetings will help to sharpen focus on one of the two major conference themes, namely the green economy in the context of sustainable development.
Ministers, high level officials, senior policy advisors, and experts in relevant fields will consider the current structures linking food and energy security to the green economy, and will discuss ways that international cooperation works towards sustainable development.
Mr. Sha commented on the importance of food production saying “to tackle the food and nutrition challenge, the best agricultural science will need to be wedded to the best traditional knowledge. And the outcome needs to benefit smallholders, especially women farmers.” Sustainable agricultural practices are a crucial aspect of development goals, and given that the world population will grow by two billion by 2050, food security is at the forefront of discussions.
Energy security is also a priority. The great economic leaps made by developing countries raise the possibility that environmental damage may occur as an unwelcome by-product. Electricity and fuel for cooking and heating are needed to eradicate poverty, and the search for clean energy sources is therefore also under discussion in New Delhi.
Meetings in preparation for Rio+20 continue this month in Warsaw, Poland and Ramat Gan, Israel, where linking green economy initiatives and poverty eradication will be further discussed.