Day 1, Session 2: Stories of the emerging new economy

Presenting stories of new and green economy initiatives from around the world. A grass roots approach.

Presentations, followed by roundtable discussions
Nicole Leotaud (CANARI)
Aron Belinky (Coordinator, International Processes, Vitae Civilis)
Vijay Chaturvedi (Development Alternatives)
Arturo Santos (IUCN)
Carina Millstone (Program Director New Economics Institute)

Chair: Liz Thompson (Executive Coordinator, Rio +20)

Liz Thompson: “Telling stories is an amazing tradition, it is how we pass on a sense of who we are, what we have accomplished, and what we need to accomplish, and therefore it is important that if we are going to transition to a green economy that we use part of our cultural tradition to help to do that. What are the stories that are out there at the global level, the international level, the national level, the community level, what are the things that are happening on the ground that will help shape our understanding and our experience and our potential success at transitioning to the green economy?”

Carina Millstone: “At the new economics institute we are trying to affect a transition to a new economy, a one that maximises human wellbeing within environmental limits, and we’re doing this in NYC and across the US. We’re doing it in 3 ways, one is by developing the intellectual blueprint of the economy through research, conferences and events, the second is through movement building and the other is through a demonstration project – it is all about creating projects on the ground. We are currently working with the Global Transition 2012 on an interactive global map of the green economy. We’re hoping to create a compelling vision of what a green and fair economy looks like, by showcasing 600 projects and success stories that are happening on the ground, around the world. We hope to have at least 2012 projects mapped by the time of Rio +20. The idea is to try and show that the transition takes different shapes in different places in the world. Through our map we can illustrate that the new economy requires local responses and local projects. The map is based on user-generated content, so we invite you to put your project on the map.”

Vijay Chaturvedi: “Development Alternatives: The transition to a green economy is more urgent than ever given the climate change imperative. People and nature have been silent victim of the way economies have grown.  In India, the green economy is flourishing with the widespread local enterprises that are emerging in response the need for sustainability, resource management and renewable energy.”

Nicole Leotard: – CANARI “The idea of the Green Economy Coalition was to bring voices from the south to this discussion so it wouldn’t be too northern focussed. So what did we think the green economy meant in the Caribbean context?  Equality and resilience, this is particularly so for SIDS or very vulnerable coastal islands. Over all the notion of the green economy includes the idea of resilience – self-direction, self-reliance, pro-poor and decent jobs is a real emphasis. There are many tangible opportunities for the green economy and a lot of these build on existing initiatives, such as integrated planning, scaling up best practices, and looking into how we trade.”

There are a lot of initiatives on the ground, and there was someone from Barbados who said ‘we wish to thank the world for giving our model of development a name.’ This really highlights that the green economy concept is not new, but is already happening in the Caribbean, we are already doing it.  There are a number of regional policy initiatives and institutions building that can facilitate this new economic movement, including the move to have a common economic framework for the Caribbean. Already we have national policy initiatives in Barbados and St Lucia specifically looking at the green economy policy.  Guyana has a low carbon development strategy and Dominica wants to become an organic island.

Aron Belinky: “A lot of people in Latin America are very resistant to the idea of the green economy, not because they don’t like social justice, or environmental justice, but because it has a lot of risks of commercialisation of human relations and nature. So this is something that really concerns people there and on the other hand, we need to mainstream sustainable development through the economy, whatever the colour is. So really it doesn’t matter about the colour, but it is how it works.”

Arturo Santos: “In central America we have 12 % of global biodiversity, we have a rich cultural diversity and a lot of water. But, sadly a lot of poverty exists in the same area – the economy has not prevailed in these areas, they have the means, they have the resources, but don’t have the economic power to use it. We have a battle between land users, from the drivers of deforestation to sustainable management. In the north part of Guatemala there is an economic push to deforest. Naturally under developed countries want to grow, so if we are talking about changing the economy we should be talking about investment and the approach and the sustainability within.  How can we engage local communities in to new economic scenarios that can improve their way of life? Increase the provision of goods and services linked to management and control within those communities and decrease the rate of land tenure uncertainty. It is a matter of rights; it is a matter of integrated approaches.



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Stakeholder Forum for a Sustainable Future, nef (the New Economics Foundation) and New Economics Institute are working in partnership to catalyse the Global Transition 2012 initiative.

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The first and second Global Transition Dialogues have been made possible by the generous support of the VELUX Foundations; and the broader initiative activities are made possible by the generous support of the Ford Foundation

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