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The project “Enhancing South-South Cooperation – Building the Capacity of Developing Countries to Promote Green Economies” is based on the often-articulated wish of developing countries to exchange and share good practices with other countries of the South. 

This project aims at showcasing national-level initiatives to achieve a low-carbon and resource-efficient economy, and seeks to build participant countries’ capacities related to the development and implementation of green economy indicators supporting such a transition.

The outcome document of the United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development (Rio+20) highlighted the importance of a green economy as one vehicle for achieving sustainable development. Entitled “The Future We Want,” the document also acknowledged the existing different approaches, visions, models and tools to achieve sustainable development in accordance with each country’s context and priority.

In February 2013, the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) Governing Council took note, with appreciation, of different pathways for reaching a resource efficient, low carbon and socially inclusive economy. It requested UNEP to “collect such initiatives, endeavors, practices and experiences on different approaches, visions, models and tools, and to disseminate them, and facilitate information sharing among countries, so as to support them to promote sustainable development and poverty eradication”.

In this perspective, the project provides a forum to share the South’s various experiences and national-level initiatives for transitioning to resource efficient, low carbon and socially inclusive economies. The project also addresses the use of indicators for green economy policy making, implementation and evaluation. Through this knowledge exchange platform, it aims to raise awareness of different concepts and, at the same time, inspire and support the participant countries of the ASEAN region in pursuing their pathways to sustainable development.

Four unique national initiatives are highlighted in this project – all taking place in countries in the South, at different stages of implementation: Bolivia’s Vivir Bien (Living Well), China’s Ecological Civilization, South Africa’s Green Economy and Thailand’s Sufficiency Economy. A brief overview of each country’s approach that guides its sustainable development initiatives and policy making can be found in the project brochure. The summaries of the different approaches have been prepared in close cooperation with the respective governments and entirely reflect their views.

In its later stages, the project will support an in-depth analysis of the underlying concepts of the respective initiatives and their integration in the national policy framework. It will also address the challenges related to a transition to a low carbon and resource efficient economy, as well as the impacts achieved by implementing the different concepts at the local level.