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Asia Pacific Position Paper Towards Rio2012 (Agreed Ad Ref 18/07/2011)

Asia Pacific Position Paper Towards Rio2012 (Agreed Ad Ref 18/07/2011)

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Published by ECO Singapore

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Categories:Types, Research
Published by: ECO Singapore on Jul 21, 2011
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial


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1. In recent years, the Asia-Pacific region has experienced robust economic growth. However, keychallenges remain in ensuring that negative environmental and social consequences arevigorously tackled and that economic opportunities benefit all.2. Severe and pressing issues which have arisen as consequences include climate change,biodiversity loss, energy and food security, natural resource management, natural disaster risksand deforestation. The transition to a green economy, revision of institutional frameworks onsustainable development and enabling of low-carbon solutions to energy issues are thereforecentral to address these interconnected challenges.3. It is our firm belief as Asia Pacific youth, that Rio+20 marks an important milestone for theglobal community to critically reassess our collective commitment towards sustainabledevelopment and to implement the reforms that are necessary to transform our societies andeconomies. The decisions made at Rio+20 will have potentially widespread implications for theAsia-Pacific region. It is us, the youth, who will lead the new era in effecting change, establishingeconomic structures and the preservation of our natural environment.4. Therefore, it is crucial that we effectively and strongly participate in decision making processesthrough the provision of important perspectives, thereby taking ownership of the trajectory of theAsia-Pacific's development path leading to a more sustainable future.5. Keeping in view the diversity of the Asia-Pacific region, this paper sheds light on the mostpragmatic recommendations made by youth, as vital change makers, to address our regionalproblems.
Green Economy to Eradicate Poverty
6. The United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) defines a green economy to be “one thatresults in improved human well-being and social equity, while significantly reducing environmentalrisks and ecological scarcities.” We, the youth of Asia Pacific, call for action at all levels towardsthe implementation of a green economy. We believe that it will address the problems we face inthe region. With respect to problems of human welfare and equity, progress has been relativelyslow. As for environmental problems, the region faces threats such as deforestation, pollution andimpacts of climate change. Given that all countries face shared issues, we reaffirm the importancefor nations to synchronize their national interests with that of regional goals and help each other progress towards achieving a green economy.7. The Green Economy to Eradicate Poverty is an approach of three integrated sectors; Planet,People and Profit. The Asia Pacific region is more vulnerable towards the impact of climatechange; therefore, urgent adaptations and actions to protect the environment have become anutmost priority. The world is faced with a dual challenge: climate change and poverty. If thecurrent generation does not adequately address these, the planet in 2050 could becomeunbearable for human habitation. Every person on the planet has the right his or her share of consumption and production opportunities; right to access his or her share of resources and theright to live a life of dignity and quality. This will minimize ecological scarcities and environmentaldegradation. Horizontal economic growth will develop the quality of life, ensuring social equity andthe right to equitably meet developmental and environmental needs of present and futuregenerations. Therefore, we need to take leadership in designing a better world where equity, well-being, happiness, prosperity and peace for all is assured.8. About 1.4 billion people in developing countries live under US$1 a day (World Bank, 2008). Arecent study shows that in the Asia-pacific region, yields in 2050 for wheat will decline by 50%from 2000 due to climate change (IFPRI, 2009). We need to alter the current trickle downapproach to actual action to alleviate poverty. Food security can best be achieved via a greeneconomy.9. The benefits of a green economy can be seen in the three sectors which are environment,economy, and society. It increases the resilience capacity of the ecosystem and quality of life aswell as creates employment and business opportunities. Although it is difficult to shift to a greeneconomy as there are short-term costs involved, we can take strategic steps to minimise thesecosts in view of the long term benefits.10. The upcoming Rio+20 summit could be our last chance to save the planet. The world does nothave the luxury to wait; steps must be taken to provide international policies and an actionableframework to transit to a green economy
in the future.
Poverty11. Barring a few outliers
the Asia Pacific region has seen a significant amount of economicgrowth in the recent past. However, the standard of living of the lower strata in their respectivesocieties has changed little, if not worsened. The promise of growth has often resulted in a massinflux to urban areas, creating slums, while corporate and urban oriented policies have meant thatrural areas, and areas most in need of government help have been neglected. Thus, the poverty

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