High-level Forum on Ecosystem Management Sends Input to Rio+20

UNEP - CAS18 November 2011: The High-level International Forum on Ecosystem Management and the Green Economy, hosted by the UN Environment Programme (UNEP) in collaboration with the Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS), has issued a communiqué recognizing the role of ecosystem management in the transition to a green economy and recommending actions to be taken at the UN Conference on Sustainable Development (UNCSD, or Rio+20).

The Forum took place in Beijing, China, on 18 November 2011, with participation from over 200 experts, scientists and officials, including heads of UN and other international organizations, government leaders, ministers and parliamentarians, business leaders and representatives of civil society.

The resulting three-page communiqué conveys key messages to Rio+20, including: that a robust, healthy and sustainable ecosystem is a prerequisite for the development of a green economy; the need to restore degraded ecosystems, for example through market-based mechanisms such as Payments for Ecosystem Services (PES); the need for political commitment to expedite the capacity-building process on ecosystem management, to enable cooperation among countries; that high-level commitment is needed to ensure that ecosystem management is adequately reflected in Rio+20 discussions; that clear linkages should be established between ecosystem management and the green economy in developing Rio+20 policy frameworks; and that in the outcome of Rio+20, adequate financial, technological and information resources be allocated to support ecosystem management, including in national policy-setting and awareness-raising, capacity building, planning and practices, particularly in developing countries.

UNEP prepared an issues paper for the Forum, titled “Securing a Green Economy Through Ecosystem Management.” The paper assesses a range of issues centered on how improved ecosystem management could support the greening of economies. This paper includes a short introduction, analysis of the five main issues, conclusions and recommendations.

Another outcome of the Forum was the launch of a joint UNEP and CAS programme on the proper management of ecosystems in developing countries, the International Ecosystem Management Partnership (IEMP). With a focus on Africa, the initiative will synthesize the science of ecosystem management for government decision makers through monitoring, capacity building and policy. The IEMP is UNEP's first South-South cooperation programme to promote sustainable development through sharing best practices and technology among developing countries. [UNEP Press Release, 17 November] [UNEP Press Release, 18 November] [UNEP Press Release on IEMP Launch] [Forum Communiqué] [UN Press Release] [Forum Documents] [Publication: Securing a Green Economy Through Ecosystem Management]