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Policy Brief
Growing a green economy in Africa: why forests matter
United Nations Environment Programme

There is economic potential in African forests but it is threatened by an increasing demand for forest products, and by encroachment from other sectors. The Briefing explores the potential of a ‘green economy’ approach to the forest sector, which seeks to improve human wellbeing and social equity while reducing environmental risks and ecological scarcities. Interventions across Africa that aim to conserve, enhance and restore natural capital||increase resource efficiency||or promote sustainable consumption, show how forests could help drive a green economy transformation. Our scenario analysis indicates that a selection of such interventions, when scaled up, could help to meet increased demand for timber while enabling sustainable forest management. But scaling up of promising interventions will require action to create an enabling environment.


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2015

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Policy Brief
Green economy: green economy in the European Union
United Nations Environment Programme

A range of elements of the green economy concept are relatively well integrated in EU strategic documents, such as Europe 2020 and the Resource Efficiency Roadmap although the focus in the EU is arguably on achieving green/sustainable growth, rather than achieving a green economy. Some key elements of the green economy, most notably the aim for absolute decoupling between value creation (growth) and resource use, to grow within limits and stay below critical environmental thresholds, while largely absent from the Europe 2020 strategy and the Resource Efficiency Roadmap, are more fully addressed by sector specific strategies and policies such as the biodiversity strategy. In eight of the ten sectors identified as key for a transition to a green economy (agriculture, buildings, energy supply, fisheries, forestry, industry, tourism, transport, waste management, water) the EU already has a policy framework in place which would provide a basis for measures to make these sectors more sustainable. Forestry and Tourism issues fall primarily under Member State competence.


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2012
Policy Brief
Green economy: what do we mean by green economy?
United Nations Environment Programme

Reinvigorated by the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), a global discussion and national activities on green economy transitions have regained momentum since 2008. The increase in interest is, among other things, due to our growing understanding of the similarity and interlinkages between many of the recent financial, economic, environmental and social crises. The 2008 global financial crisis focused attention not only on the financial losses, and implications for economies, jobs and housing, but also raised questions as to the fundamental imbalance in our economies. The choice of capital allocation - investment in property, fossil fuels and financial assets, rather than in measures to encourage resource efficiency - has created destructive imbalances. A further common element to all these crises is the focus of decision making on short time horizons and trust in what has often proven to be an incomplete evidence base including a lack of proper accounting, for example as regards the cost of climate change and biodiversity.


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2012
Policy Brief
Climate change challenges for Africa: evidence from selected EU-funded research projects
United Nations Environment Programme

Africa, while currently responsible for a negligible amount of total global greenhouse gas emissions, is under significant threat from climate change. Changes in precipitation levels, likely increase in temperature extremes and rising sea levels will have a wide range of direct and indirect impacts on Africa. In order to adapt to these future climate challenges, it is important for decision makers in Africa to help reduce the negative consequences for society and, in particular, to protect vulnerable groups. Referring to sound research, it is necessary to understand what the future changes to the climate are likely to be, how impacts will be distributed across different regions, the direct and indirect impacts of these changes, and the appropriate adaptation responses to these impacts. Past and ongoing projects funded through the EUs Research Framework Programmes are contributing to this understanding thus helping to improve the capacity of African institutions to make informed decisions for future adaptation to climate change.


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2012

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