On the road to Rio: European scientific community voices support for greener Green Economy

In run up to the UN Conference on Sustainable Development in June 2012 (Rio+20), the European and North-American scientific and technological community gathered in Helsinki on 12-14 October to prepare and agree upon their position and inputs for Rio. The regional workshop was organised under the auspice of the International Council for Science (ICSU) in cooperation with UNESCO.

Exploring the role of Green Economy as a driver for sustainable development was one of the key items on the agenda, with Marianne Kettunen (IEEP) facilitating the discussions on the topic. The recommendations from the meeting emphasise the value of ecosystem services in underpinning Green Economy, echoing strongly the key messages from The Economics of Ecosystem and Biodiversity (TEEB). It was also agreed that there is a need for more innovative approaches to innovation such as sustainably managed natural capital and investments in natural solutions combined with novel technologies.

The joint statement from the meeting will be published in the upcoming months and it will complement the outcomes of similar regional workshops organised around the world (Africa, Asia Pacific, Arab States and Latin-America and the Caribbean). The statement will be used to develop a global message from the scientific and technological community - one of the Major Groups participating in the UN activities on sustainable development - to Rio+20.