Economy for a Living Planet Forum gathers thinkers and policymakers to consider the path forward | WWF
Economy for a Living Planet Forum gathers thinkers and policymakers to consider the path forward

Posted on 13 June 2017

Sofia – The international ‘Economy for a Living Planet’ Forum brought together national policymakers, international economists, sustainable development experts, business and public sector leaders from around the world to consider how the world can transition from current political and economic crises to a green economy.

Marco Lambertini, Director-General of WWF-International, discussed the key findings of the 2016 Living Planet Report in a video message. The Living Planet Index reveals that global populations of fish, birds, mammals, amphibians and reptiles declined by 58 per cent between 1970 and 2012. Lambertini highlighted that the latest edition of WWF’s Living Planet Report raises questions regarding the enormity of the current situation and how we can start to put it right.

Karmenu Vella, European Commissioner for Environment, Maritime Affairs and Fisheries, set the European context of leadership on sustainable development and the need to engage partners and organizations, working together in and out of the European Parliament and within member states to achieve the ambitions of Agenda 2030 and the Paris Agreement. In a video message, Vella mentioned that Bulgaria should not forget the EU funds and noted that the Forum's host city of Sofia gets its naturally purified water from two protected areas - Rila National Park and Vitosha Nature Park.

Deon Nel, WWF Global Conservation Director, drew from the wide experience of the WWF network and highlighted the value of working together on the current and emerging planetary challenges, through safeguarding ecosystems and communities across borders.

Takayoshi Kato, Policy Analyst at the Environment Directorate of the OECD, presented the OECD’s work on climate financing and the recent report “Financing Climate Action in Eastern Europe, the Caucasus and Central Asia” with relevant examples from this region. 

Philippe Pypaert, Programme Specialist in Environmental Sciences, UNESCO, highlighted the role of natural and cultural heritage, whose preservation is not only a focus for the international community, but also an important enabler for the transition to a green economy.

Ana Bachurova, Associate in European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD’s) Energy Efficiency & Climate Change, showcased the bank’s important work assisting governments and business of Central and Eastern Europe to meet international standards and commitments on sustainable development and innovation, mitigation and adaptation to climate change.

Luca Etter, Senior Policy Advisor at the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC), presented how partnerships between multilateral development organizations, governments and businesses effectively address the complex challenges of green economy transition.

Guido Broekhoven, Regional Manager China-Africa Trade WWF EPO Office, presented the perspectives for the biggest multilateral finance project in development – the Belt and Road Initiative, sponsored by China to bring not only development but sustainable growth to Asia and Europe, and the challenges that need to be addressed.

Demetres Karavellas, CEO of WWF-Greece, presented the groundbreaking "Less Debt More Earth" concept, a proposal for restructuring sovereign debt, which may solve major developmental and environmental challenges in Europe and across the globe.

Julio Tresierra, WWF Programme Manager in Cuba, highlighted the role of ecosystem services for livelihood and economic development and the history of ecosystem-based solutions in generating income and growth for communities.

Emily McKenzie of the Natural Capital Project presented the project concept - the biggest international collaboration of researchers, conservationists and business on nature-based solutions. McKenzie highlighted the ways in which protecting natural capital yields improves livelihoods and regional economies.
Toma Belev of the Linking Nature Protection and Sustainable Rural Development Project, discussed the potential for local green development in economically challenged areas. The EU-awarded Best European Natura 2000 project “For the Balkan and people”, in which he was involved, paved the way for innovative green development policies and management approaches.
In a video message, Pascal Canfin, CEO of WWF-France, presented the work of the WWF European offices together with the European Commission and key partners on transforming the financial system to enable significant investment in green economy innovations and solutions
The main goal of the conference was to highlight the new role and responsibility of re-ordering economic blocs (the EU and EEA), upper middle-income countries (in Central and Eastern Europe, Africa, America and Asia) and international development institutions to deploy innovative financing instruments to address our planet’s pressing challenges.
The forum affirmed that when there is so much that seemingly divides the world, the shared aspiration for sustainable development unites us.
More about the forum “Economy for a Lining Planet”:  
Philippe Pypaert, Programme Specialist in Environmental Sciences, UNESCO
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