- Date submitted: 1 Nov 2011
- Stakeholder type: Major Group
- Submission Document: Download
- Additional Document:
Realising a green economy, especially in the context of sustainable development and poverty eradication, will not be possible if humanity continues to consume more biological resources than the Earth can provide each year. Sustainable development can only occur when all humans can have fulfilling lives without degrading the planet. But nations cannot plan for what they do not measure. Living well within the means of one planet will require better indicators of progress than a fixation on Gross Domestic Product.
Therefore, the outcomes of Rio+20 should include:
· A commitment by all countries and international institutions to annually track and report national and global levels of natural resources and their consumption rates, both total and per capita, as part of standard economic and social welfare statistics
· Similar agreement to prioritise national and international policies that most contribute to achieving annual natural resource consumption rates smaller than those resources? annual regeneration rates
The concepts of Ecological Footprint and biocapacity present one way to monitor these trends. They are a transparent and rigorous standard for natural resource accounting, supported by continual improvements to their scientific methodology, and reviewed on an ongoing basis by an independent committee of scientific researchers and practitioners from throughout the world. Additional independent reviews of the Ecological Footprint and biocapacity methodology have been conducted by numerous governments, universities, and research institutes. Much progress has also been made to harmonize them with the United Nations System of Integrated Environmental and Economic Accounting (SEEA).
The United Nations Development Programme, and several countries, are already beginning to implement the above recommendations, using Ecological Footprint and biocapacity as part of their set of indicators. It is in the self-interest of the rest of the world?s governments to follow their lead, in pursuit of a green economy.