Thursday, October 25, 2007


     Bangkok, Oct. 25. 2007 (ANTARA) - An ESCAP official said from the viewpoint of protection of the environment and implementation of sustainable development, the quality of economic growth was more important than  its number or percentage.
     "Economic growth has to be green. The quality of economic growth is the matter, not its number. Focusing on the percentage of economic growth is wrong," Rae Kwon Chung, Director of the Environment and Sustainable Development Division of ESCAP (UN Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific), said when speaking a seminar themed  "Back to Our Common Future" here on Friday.

      But unfortunately, Chung said, many Asian countries had copied the US in appreciating economic growth mainly in terms of  percentage. He noted that Bangkok had copied the US in developing its transportation infrastructure which had led to traffic jams.
      He said  sustainability was achieved by integrating the environment into development.
      "Sustainability is the most important thing," he said quoting the "Our Common Future" report produced by the World Commission on Environment and Sustainable Development or also known as the Brundtland Commission.
     However, he regretted that the Our Common Future report had failed to recommend strategies to implement sustainable development.
     He said  for the sake of sustainable development, it was  important to manage demand, and not to increase supply.
     "Demand management is important, in addition to leadership for the environment," he said at the one-day seminar organized by the United Nations Environment Program (UNEP) regional office in Bangkok.
      Meanwhile,   Regional Director of UNEP for Asia and the Pacific Surendra Shrestha said in his remarks at the seminar which coincided with the launching of UNEP's 4th Global Economic Outlook (GEO-4): 'Environment for Development' was to commemorate the 20th anniversary of the Our Common Future report which was published for the first time in 1987.
      The GEO-4 described the changes since 1987, assessed the current state of the global atmosphere , land, water and biodiversity and identified priorities for action.   
     He said  the environmental awareness of the world community and their leaders had improved a lot but the actions were not adequate.
     GEO-4 emphasized that "Our Common future depends on our actions today, not tomorrow or some time in the future."
(T. F001/A/HAJM/A/E002)

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