BLUE PLANET PRIZE WINNERS CALL FOR TRANSFORMATIONAL CHANGE TO ACHIEVE SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT
A group of the world’s leading scientists and experts in sustainable development today have called for urgent changes to policies and institutions to enable humanity to tackle environmental crises and improve human well being.
The group all past winners of the Blue Planet Prize gathered in London to finalize a paper that will be launched at the UN Environment Programmer’s Governing Council meeting in Nairobi on 20-22 February.
In a press briefing on Friday 10 February at the International Institute for Environment and Development, co- author Bob Watson unveiled the paper’s main conclusions and recommendations.
The paper will emphasize transformational solutions to key environment and development challenges. It highlights the policies, technologies and behavior changes required to protect the local, regional and global environment, stimulate the economy and enhance the livelihoods of the poor.
The paper Environmental and Development Challenges: The imperative to act comes ahead of the Rio+20 conferences in Brazil in June, which marks the 20th anniversary of the historic UN Conference on Environment and Development (Rio Earth Summit).
“The challenges facing the world today need to be addressed immediately if we are to solve the problem of climate change, loss of biodiversity and poverty,” says Bob Watson, who is the Chief Scientific Adviser to the UK government’s Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra), a Blue Planet Prize winner in 2010 and a co-author of the new paper.
Achim Steiner, UN Under-Secretary General and UNEP Executive Director, said:
“The paper by the Blue Planet laureates will challenge governments and society as a whole to act to limit human-induced climate change, the loss of biodiversity and the degradation of ecosystem services in order to ensure food, water energy and human security. I would like to thank Professor Watson and colleagues for eloquently articulating their vision on how key development challenges can be addressed, emphasizing solutions; the policies, technologies and behaviour changes required to grow green economies, generate jobs and lift people out of poverty without pushing the world through planetary boundaries.”