UNEP Publishes Report on the Role of Ecosystems in Developing a Sustainable Economy

15 December 2010: The UN Environment Programme has released the second issue of its Policy Series on Ecosystem Management. The newest issue, titled "The role of ecosystems in developing a sustainable ‘Green Economy,'" discusses how investments in ecosystems can result in benefits at the local and global levels, while at the same time enhancing people's livelihoods.

The paper's key messages include: ecosystems provide extensive benefits for supporting and enriching people's well-being; ecosystem benefits are not adequately valued or accounted for in national accounts and decisions; carefully designed response policies for climate change presents an opportunity to get the valuation process right by investing in both adaptation and mitigation; ecosystem-based adaptation can help lead to societal transformational change; embracing and capturing economic values of ecosystem services in mainstream decision making tools and indicators, for example a national income and growth matrix, can help in designing effective policies for sustainable growth and societal well- being; investing in a new development model using small-scale fiscal stimulus that mobilizes the untapped potential of local people is imperative for unleashing a low carbon and Green Economy; and the current economic model driving the world economy is not sustainable, so there is a need for a new approach to economic development where ecosystems are the underpinning foundations. [The Paper]