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Regional seminar promotes a progressive green growth agenda
In a post-Rio+20 context, the MENA region needs to consider how the transition to a green economy can best be implemented through sustainable development programmes and strategies, and identify which regional mechanisms and initiatives can help build the capacity of governments to develop national policies and leverage financial resources and green technologies.
To further support regional and national stakeholders in the drafting and implementation of such policies, the United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Western Asia (UN-ESCWA) recently organised a regional seminar titled “Lessons Learnt and Best Practices of the Regional Project on Strengthening the Capacities in the Arab Region to Support Green Production Sectors”, hosted in Muscat, Oman on December 2-4, 2014.
Stefania Romano, Senior Expert for the Italian Ministry for Environment, Land and Sea (IMELS) and Chief of Operations for the CEO Platform for Green Growth in MENA, was invited to speak at the regional seminar. The CEO Platform, which engages business leaders to drive a progressive green growth agenda across the region and to contribute to global policy discussions, is a manifestation of how regional experiences involving ‘green SMEs’, ‘green trade’ and ‘green support’ institutions can greatly assist the region in making the structural changes necessary to build a greener economy.
Recognising the need for system change, courageous institutional and business leadership and guidance, and the return to a human value-based economy, Romano drew attention to the many paths and opportunities before the participants, while stressing the importance of striving for common, reachable objectives that shy away from the refrain of “grow now, clean up later.”
The seminar also introduced a novel project called “Building Capacities in Developing Appropriate Green Technologies for Improving the Livelihood of Rural Communities in the ESCWA Region”, which marks another step in the transition towards an economy that should: generate new job opportunities in green sectors; support the integration of policies targeting water, energy and food security; mobilise adequate financial resources; and facilitate technology transfer.