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Nature and its role in the transition to a Green Economy

AUTHORS: Patrick ten Brink – Leonardo Mazza – Tomas Badura – Marianne Kettunen – Sirini Withana

There is growing recognition among policy-makers and private sector decision-makers that the current model of economic growth is socially, environmentally and economically unsustainable. This has sparked a renewed focus on the need for the international community to make a committed transition towards a ‘green’ economy in order to ensure a sustainable and desirable future that promotes social equity, poverty eradication and human well-being. This focus has been complemented by the increasing appreciation of biodiversity and ecosystem services and the economic value of nature, including its intrinsic value. These two threads are closely interrelated as healthy and resilient ecosystems are necessary for long-term socio-economic development and efforts to build a green economy should be based on a sound appreciation of the value and role of nature in this transition.

This paper aims to contribute to the Rio+20 agenda by highlighting the role of nature in the transition towards a green economy in the context of sustainable development and poverty eradication. By showing a range of case examples from around the world, the paper highlights the fundamental importance of recognising and responding to the role of nature in the context of green economy transitions. It also identifies the necessary tools for the transition, which are grouped into six building blocks that will underpin a successful transition.

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