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Nature and its role in the transition to a green economy

There is growing recognition among policy-makers and private sector decision-makers that the current model of economic growth is socially, environmentally, and economically unsustainable.

This has sparked a renewed focus on the need for the international community to make a committed transition towards a “green” economy in order to ensure a sustainable and desirable future that promotes social equity, poverty eradication, and human well-being (UNEP 2011). This focus has been complemented by the increasing appreciation of biodiversity and ecosystem services (MA 2005) and the economic value of nature, including its intrinsic value (TEEB 2008, 2010a and b, 2011, 2012a and b).

These two threads are closely interrelated as healthy and resilient ecosystems are necessary for long-term socio-economic development and efforts to build a green economy should be based on a sound appreciation of the value and role of nature in this transition. This paper contributed to the discussions at the Rio+20 Conference and will contribute to its follow-up by highlighting the role of nature in the transition towards a green economy in the context of sustainable development and poverty eradication.

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