The green economy: Environmentalists discuss its value

 Discussions on the Pacific region’s conservation approach in the global “green economy” debate will be high on the agenda this week as the Pacific Islands Roundtable for Nature Conservation (PIRNC) convenes its 14th annual meeting in Suva.


This meeting will shape an understanding on the role of conservation in the developing Green Economy framework in the lead up to the UN Conference on Sustainable Development (otherwise referred to as Rio+20), which is set to take place in June 2012.

The green economy debate has been on-going at the global level,” says Taholo Kami, PIRNC Chair person and Regional Director for IUCN Oceania Regional Office. “Conservation players in the Pacific need to decide how we can approach this concept in a practical manner and ensure recognition of the essential role of healthy ecosystems as the foundation for economic growth

Rio+20 is envisaged to mark a new era on economic and environmental cooperation. Its agenda will largely focus on the Green Economy concept which is hoped to ensure that economic growth is environmentally as well as socially sustainable. Payments for ecosystem services fall under this concept along with “green technologies” (such as renewable energy), organic agriculture and eco-tourism.

The PIRNC meeting this week will develop further the role of engagement of conservation organizations as well as community groups  in the Green Economy discussions.

This concept is not new but reinforces the sustainable development agenda,” says Etika Rupeni, PIRNC Coordinator. This week we intend to strengthen our understanding of the Green Economy as well as discuss the opportunities, the challenges and strategies we can use to localize the concept

PIRNC is a coalition of nature conservation players and exists to improve collaboration and coordination of conservation actions at the regional as well as country level. Given the geographical isolation of Pacific Island Countries, the PIRNC ensures that duplication of efforts are minimized and are strategically aligned to the regions goals under the Action Strategy for Nature Conservation in the Pacific Islands Region (2008-2012).

The four day meeting will take place on 26-29 July and will include panel discussions and presentations on sea-bed mining, tourism and oceanscape.

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