Vienna / Nairobi, 19 November 2012 - Efforts by developing countries in the ‘global south’ to tackle degraded habitats, promote the sustainable use of natural resources, and support renewable energy are the focus of a week-long event in Vienna, which starts today.
The past decade has seen the growing prominence of South-South cooperation in which developing countries exchange and share resources, technology, and knowledge, to support sustainable development.
The Vienna Expo is being held under the overarching themes of renewable energy and climate change. UNEP will lead a ‘Solutions Exchange Forum’ at the event, to showcase innovative, sustainable and replicable solutions being implemented by communities across the globe.
Speakers from Brazil, China, Costa Rica, Colombia and South Africa will share their innovative solutions at the Forum.
Similar case studies are also available on UNEP’s South-South Cooperation Exchange Mechanism - an online database that aims to strengthen partnerships between sustainable development projects in developing countries.
Governments, NGOs, research centres, civil society, academics, and others working on environmental issues in developing countries can submit content to the database and share their expertise and experiences with peers.
The first online portal of its kind, the South-South Cooperation Exchange Mechanism also includes multimedia updates, a discussion forum, and other interactive features.
Examples include ongoing efforts to support the environment of the Coral Triangle - a geographical term that refers to the tropical marine waters around Indonesia, Malaysia, Papua New Guinea, the Philippines, the Solomon Islands and Timor-Leste.
Also known as the "Amazon of the seas", the reefs, which cover 5.7 million square kilometers of ocean waters, are home to more than 2,000 marine species and sustain the lives of 120 million people.
But unsustainable fishing practices, and rising ocean temperatures leading to coral bleaching, are among the major threats to this vital ecosystem.
To meet these challenges, the World Wildlife Fund (WWF) launched the Coral Triangle programme in 2007. The initiative uses regional platforms to bring countries together in an example of South-South Cooperation in order to strengthen protective action in the area. Today, the international network of countries forming a part of the Coral Triangle can be used to persuade governments, businesses and local populations to transform their behaviour in order to make coastal livelihoods more sustainable, while supporting biodiversity.