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UNDP Policy Bureau Director Highlights Importance of Holistic Approach to Development

27 March 2012: The UN Development Programme (UNDP) has published a piece on "Our Perspective," written by Olav Kjorven, Director of UNDP's Bureau for Development Policy, on the relevance of the UN Conference on Sustainable Development (UNCSD, or Rio+20), and the need to empower people and integrate environmental and social protection to ensure a sustainable future.

Olav Kjorven notes that people rioted in the streets of Nigeria when the government decided to cut its fossil fuel subsidies because of the lack of social protection. He said the lesson from this is clear, that only a holistic approach can integrate the three pillars of sustainable development, including the environment, economic and social dimensions. He further noted the need to expand energy access for the poor, support clean and renewable energy development and improve energy efficiency, stressing that this can increase education and health benefits, reduce the time women spend on domestic chores, and reduce climate impacts.

In the piece, Kjorven also highlighted the need for enhanced governance, including investments in countries' capacity, policies and institutions to promote low-carbon development and to achieve the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), while moving towards sustainable development goals beyond 2015. [UNDP Press Release]