Greening Economies in Europe
Danube-Carphatian Programme Office (DPCO)
The first pilot took place in Oas Gutai plateau (Romania) and targeting landscape degradation as the main environmental problem afflicting the area. The PES scheme raised awareness and channels financial support from local guesthouses and tourism operators into local conservation.
The second pilot was at Ciocanesti fishpond (Romania) and set out to secure financial resources for the management of vegetation and water in the fish farm basins to improve the quality of the local environment that’s important for rare and protected birds.
The third pilot is situated in Persina Nature Park (Bulgaria) and is a private-funded PES scheme based on the potential for economic efficiency derived from the wetland local biomass into bio-pellets and bio-briquettes.
The fourth and final pilot is located in Rusenski Lom Nature Park (Bulgaria) and featured the introduction of payments for cultural ecosystem services to generate income from tourism users of the park.
► Read more about GE projects in DPCO
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Work has been delivered in the form of annual seminars to boost thought leadership and stakeholder engagements aiming to provide practical solutions. The main outcome of the green economy work so far was the high level seminar “Green economy – now or never” in Autumn 2014.
The event was attended by 150 executives and managers from across the private and public sectors as representatives from academia. It aimed to create a positive momentum and feeling of urgency around the subject. The next event was held in November 2015 where a series of practical solutions were put forward including the carbon footprint investment challenge which saw 18 major in-country institutional investors targeted.
The challenge is about committing investors to disclose the carbon footprint of their portfolio. This builds on earlier work by the WWF network with the longer-term aim of making the Finnish investment community more receptive to progressive fossil-related investment initiatives.
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To that end, WWF France works for instance on sustainable finance (transparent standards for green bonds and disclosure of climate Risk exposure by asset owners and managers), on innovative financing mechanisms (such as Payment for Environmental Services), promotes greener economic models with its partners, influences private and public investment and tax policies.
► Visit WWF France website
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Despite the current economic and social crisis weakening the prospects for alternative approaches on a broad range of economic development aspects, WWF Greece believes that sustainable production practices actually offer short- to mid-term options for overcoming the present crisis.
As such, WWF Greece is following a twin track approach. First, the local team began introducing the notion of green economy to the public in 2013 via an accessible blueprint for the transition to a more sustainable future.
A year later, WWF Greece held a conference which further expanded upon the dialogue on green economy and built on the results of advocacy since the launch of the blueprint.
Second, WWF Greece’s work targets specific production sectors to promote greener policies and applications on the ground. The team’s main focus is on energy and fisheries with a more cursory focus on forestry and agriculture.
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It does not work any other way round. Wise words from the Living Planet Report (2014). There is a big need for sustainable economic models and for investment plans in line with science in order to enable good lives for all within the safe operating space of a stable and resilient planetary system. Increased awareness and acceptance among key stakeholders, both within the public and the private sector, will be crucial to accomplish this.
One focus for the sustainable economy work therefore is on awareness raising on how our savings impact climate change and what is needed in order to align investment portfolios with the climate science. Another focus is, as part of the WWF Baltic Ecoregion Programme (hosted by WWF Sweden), and in close cooperation with WWF’s Marine team, ongoing efforts to promote and enable a shared understanding about what characterizes a sustainable Blue Economy, and to help ensure that the economic development of the ocean contributes to true prosperity, today and long into the future.
For this purpose WWF has developed a set of principles for a sustainable Blue Economy based on a global consultation process. The Principles for a Sustainable Blue Economy are fully in alignment with the Sustainable Development Goals, and especially SDG 14 — which calls for conserving our oceans and seas and using them sustainably for economic prosperity.
► Visit WWF Sweden website on Sustainable Economy (in Swedish)
► Visit the WWF Baltic Ecoregion Programme website on a Sustainable Blue Economy
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