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UNEP Issues Brief on Ecosystem Management and the Green Economy

Restoring the Natural Foundation to Sustain a Green Economy28 November 2011: The UN Environment Programme (UNEP) has released the sixth issue in its Policy Series on Ecosystem Management, titled "Restoring the natural foundation to sustain a Green Economy: A century-long journey for Ecosystem Management,” which focuses on key actions for the transition period of the next 20 years, after the UN Conference on Sustainable Development (UNSCD, or Rio+20).

The series seeks to facilitate dialogue on policy issues related to ecosystem management, and to contribute to the climate discourse by demonstrating the role of ecosystem management in underpinning climate change adaptation and in transitioning to a green economy. The latest brief of the series discusses key solutions using the ecosystem management approach to tackle today's pressures and climate change challenges.

Key recommendations from the issue brief include: deliberate and targeted application of the ecosystem management approach will be essential to ensure a sustainable flow of ecosystem goods and services, and are a necessary part of the development of the green economy; ecosystem management must meet the needs of the poor, especially those in developing countries who are highly dependent on ecosystem goods and services and are most vulnerable to changes induced by environmental degradation, climate and societal change; it is important to focus on what is incrementally achievable in order to move forward; valuation and environmental accounting can help improve the economic structure and decision making that has led to the non-rational use of resources; new systems of governance of global public goods and institutional structures will be required to link ecosystem services into the green economy; and efforts and funds focused on the transition can be amplified by building market mechanisms and leveraging the private sector in order to increase resources and expertise available. [Publication: Restoring the Natural Foundation to Sustain a Green Economy]