Rio+20, 20 - 22 June 2012
Rio De Janeiro, Brazil

UNEP Side Events Highlights June 13th

Rio20 Microsoft
Concept of the UNEP Pavilion in Athelete's Park

June 13th saw the opening of the UNEP Pavilion in Athlete's park in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, in parallel with the UN Conference on Sustainable Development (UNCSD or Rio+20) with three side events on Eye On Earth: The Road To Rio And Beyond, Green Economy In Action: Success Stories From Developing Countries, and Measuring Progress Towards A Green Economy For Sustainable Development

Dr Joerg Meyer-Ries from the German Environment ministry facilitated UNEP's 'measuring progress' event, with Ms. Alessandra Alfieri from the United Nations Statistical Division; Prof. José Rafael Almonte from the Ministry of Planning and Development, Dominican Republic; Ms. Myriam Linster of the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD); Mr. Jakub Wejchert, European Commission, and Prof. Wang Yi of the Chinese Academy of Sciences. 

Mr Sheng Fulai of UNEP presented a proposed approach to measuring green economies, focusing on three components: a) indicators to substantiate environmental and natural resource challenges and for setting policy targets; b) indicators for measuring policy interventions such as green investment and subsidy reform; and c) indicators of policy impacts on broader social and economic well-being (such as access to clean energy and water, exposure to pollutants, green jobs, and value added of environmental goods and services). 

Prof. José Rafael Almonte emphasized the importance of covering poverty issues in green economy indicators while Prof. Wang Yi described its approach consisting of both environmental and natural resource and economic indicators, highlighting emerging strategic industries such as renewable energy, low carbon vehicles, new materials, and bio technology. 

UNSD introduced the System of Environmental-Economic Accounting (SEEA) as an international statistical standard, OECD introduced its green growth concept and related indicators emphasizing the consistency with UNEP's approach, and the European Commission described its Beyond GDP initiative and emphasized the importance of political discourse on goals and targets in order for the work on indicators to be meaningful. In questions and answers, three issues were raised. The first is the need to look not only efficacy, but sufficiency. The second is the need for a small set of very basic indicators to described major environmental challenges such as biodiversity. The third is the importance to address inclusiveness in indicators. 

Meanwhile the Rio Conventions Pavilion also opened, and the third meeting of the Preparatory Committee (PrepCom) began, where seven "splinter" groups continued negotiations on the draft Rio+20 outcome document.