Eastern Europe and Central Asia aim for cleaner and productive future Fri, May 25, 2012

25 May 2012, Moscow, the Russian Federation - On the final run up before world leaders gather in Brazil for the "Rio + 20" U.N. Conference on Sustainable Development, Moscow takes leadership and fosters discussions on sustainable development in the region of Eastern Europe and Central Asia.

Today, the Civic Chamber of the Russian Federation and United Nations agencies hosted the first international Civic Forum for Sustainable Development. The forum gathered more than 100 experts and development champions, representatives of civil organizations, business and government structures from seven countries to discuss how to meet the needs of the current generation without depleting natural resources for future generations.

"Sustainable development will require a partnership among many actors to take it forward - governments, the private sector and civil society and across borders. The colleagues and experts gathered here are committed to taking this agenda forward together. Russia today is among the countries for which the sustainable development agenda proves to be the most challenging goal." says Vladimir Zakharov, Director of the Institute for Sustainable Development and organizer of the event, presenting the report "Towards a Green Economy in Russia".

At the Civic Forum, two reports on sustainable development were presented to the Russian speaking world.

Joint UN report "From Transition to Transformation: Sustainable and Inclusive Development in Europe and Central Asia" analyses the region including former Soviet republics and calls for a transformation to integrated policy making, where social equity, economic growth and environmental protection are approached together. Experts urge the region to remove fossil fuel subsidies, invest in 'green' jobs, and establish social protection floors to ensure a sustainable future.

While the pan-European countries have seen a rapid economic growth in the last decades, social inequalities have persisted. Almost 30% of the people living in the region are considered poor or vulnerable, and this is expected to increase by about 5 million people for every 1% decline in GDP. Child poverty is higher than poverty among adults in almost all countries in Eastern Europe and Central Asia. Many countries are running on a "biocapacity deficit", meaning they use more resources than they have in their territories.

From Transition to Transformation builds on available analysis to give countries a blueprint of sustainable development models, with practical implications and case studies from throughout the pan-European region. The report finds that sustainable development can increase competiveness, on the one hand, while lowering the incidence of cardiovascular and respiratory disease on the other. Russia, for example, could double its GDP by 2030 while keeping its GHG emissions close to 1990 levels. A sustainable transformation would also improve health - One fifth of the disease burden across Europe could be prevented by reducing air, water and chemical


The UNEP report "Green Economy" compiled in collaboration with economists and experts

worldwide, demonstrates that the greening of economies is not a drag on growth but rather a new

engine of growth; that it is a net generator of decent jobs, and that it is also a vital strategy for

the elimination of persistent poverty. The report's key conclusion - investing two per cent of

global GDP across ten key sectors can kick-start a transition towards a low carbon, resource

efficient Green Economy. These two per cent, currently amounting to an average of US$ 1.3

trillion a year would grow the global economy at around the same rate if not higher than those

forecasted, under current economic models.

The Moscow Civic forum is a contribution of governments, experts, researchers and

development practitioners ahead of the 'Rio+20' U.N. Conference on Sustainable Development

June 20-22 in Brazil where more than 110 heads of state, along with thousands of

parliamentarians, mayors, UN officials, CEOs, and civil society leaders will come together to

discuss and shape new policies and measures to promote prosperity, reduce poverty and advance

social equity and environmental protection.

Click here to download the 2 reports:

UN report in Russian: "From Transition to Transformation: Sustainable and Inclusive

Development in Europe and Central Asia"


UNEP's Green Economy Report in Russian:


For more information, please contact:

In Moscow: Elena Surovkina, +7 (495) 787 21 00, ext. 22 07, Cell. +7 903-129-46-49,


In New York: Assel Tleof: + 1 212 906 5354, assel.tleof@undp.org

In Geneva: Isabelle Valentiny: +41 79 251 82 36, isabelle.valentiny@unep.org

comments powered by Disqus