One of the results of the Ministerial Conference is the “Cape Town Action Pathways Towards 2030” document, which outlines the key policy messages that emerged from discussions and the pathways to support countries in advancing sustainable and inclusive economies. The messages highlight the need to reinvigorate our economies, shifting from linear economic models of production, consumption and investment towards circular economies; it recommends to anchor green strategies and policies in long-term development frameworks, focusing on economic, social and political inclusion to ensure that no one is left behind in accessing equitably the benefits and opportunities arising from economic, social and environmental progress. The third element relates to the Future of Work in a changing climate, for which we must reorganise our economies towards a greater resource efficiency, sustainability and resilience. In addition, the document acknowledges the importance of strengthening partnerships and multilateralism to sustain a collective vision to transform economies and societies.
The 3rd PAGE Ministerial Conference took place on 10-11 January 2019 in Cape Town, South Africa. Over 500 leaders and innovators from the government, private and the civil society sectors from more than 50 countries- met to discuss on the Policies and Strategies to advance Inclusive and Sustainable Economies.
The week in Cape Town featured a series of global events around Green Economy. It opened on 8 January with the Green Economy Coalition Global Meeting where delegates debated and made policy recommendations to achieve equitable, inclusive, and people-focused economies. The meeting was then followed by a lively debate entitled what makes your country wealthy? organized by the Green Economy Coalition and the Green Growth Knowledge Platform in partnership with CNBC Africa.
It was an inspiring week as we saw thoughtful leaders and committed delegates reflecting, discussing and working to solve the urgent challenges of collective concern. This blog post by Steven Stone offers an insightful reflection on the key take-home messages from Cape Town. The first unedited photos of the event can be found here and in the app of the event, available for android and iPhone.
Kumi Naidoo, Amnesty International’s Secretary General, will participate in the PAGE Conference. On 9 January at 18:00 Mr. Naidoo will participate in the media debate “What Makes Your Country Wealthy”. On 10 January in the morning Amnesty’s Secretary General will join the Keynote Conversation on Economic and Social Inclusion, together with the Barbados Minister of Environment H.E. Trevor Prescod, the UN Executive Director Ms Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka and BUSA’s CEO Tanya Cohen.
Kumi Naidoo is a South African-born human rights activist of Indian descent. Naidoo was the first African head of Greenpeace, serving as its International Executive Director from 2009 to 2015. After battling apartheid in South Africa in the 1970s and 1980s through the Helping Hands Youth Organisation, Naidoo led global campaigns to end poverty and protect human rights. He has served as the Secretary-General of the Global Call to Action Against Poverty and of Civicus, an international alliance for citizen participation, from 1998 to 2008. Recently, he led the Global Call for Climate Action, which brings together environmental aid, religious and human rights groups, labour unions, scientists and others and has organised mass demonstrations around climate negotiations.
Has national ‘wealth’ has been miscalculated for decades? Could some countries be wealthier than previously understood because of their natural and social assets? And where will this take business in the 21st century?
On the 9th January 2019, Africa’s largest business television network, CNBC, broadcasted a live television debate: What makes your country wealthy. Hosted by CNBC News Anchor Nozipho Mbanjwa, the debate will bring together four leaders from politics, business, and NGOs to ask – have we been getting “wealth” wrong all these years? The debate will take place in Cape Town, South Africa, on the eve of the UN PAGE Ministerial Conference.
Until recently, a country’s ‘wealth’ has been understood in narrow terms (e.g. GDP). Evidence now shows that nature is essential for economies and people to continue to generate wealth. Even by very conservative estimates, the World Bank this year showed that over 50% of Africa’s wealth is generated from nature – or ‘natural capital’. Yet, our environment is under severe pressure – over 60% of our global ecosystems are degraded and we have lost up to 60% of our wildlife since 1970.
Now governments and corporations are starting to account for wealth in rather different terms. For the first time, natural and social capital is being quantified alongside productivity. The approach could revolutionise what it means for a country or a business to be wealthy and profitable. It has the potential to overhaul historic divisions between rich and poor countries, or profitable and unprofitable companies, as credit rating agencies and investors shift behaviour.
Supported by the Green Economy Coalition and the Green Growth Knowledge Platform the debate will feature some of the foremost thinkers on development, business, and environmental protection, exploring one of the central issues of our time.
When and Where: 6:00pm on 9th January 2019 at the International Conference Centre, Cape Town, South Africa.
Sofia Alroth, Chief Environmental Economist at the World Bank, will give her views on ways to mainstream natural capital and strategies at the PAGE Ministerial Conference in Cape Town.
Sofia is a Senior Environmental Economist at the World Bank, and part of the secretariat for WAVES – Wealth Accounting and the Valuation of Ecosystem services. WAVES is a global partnership dedicated to mainstreaming natural capital accounting (NCA) into development planning, and is working with developing countries to build capacity and develop policy-relevant natural capital accounts. Sofia is managing the Policy and Technical Experts Committee (PTEC), which supports WAVES in developing methods for ecosystem accounting and demonstrating policy uses of natural capital accounting, and is a focal point for the South East Asia and the Pacific region. She also manages WAVES’s interaction with private sector natural capital accounting.Previous to joining the World Bank, Sofia was head of the Environmental Economics unit at the Swedish EPA.
Kimmo Tiilikainen, Finnish Minster for Housing, Energy and the Environment, has confirmed his participation in the PAGE Ministerial Conference in January 2019. Minister Tiilikainen is invited to speak on the topic of policies and strategies for sustainable consumption and production. Minister Tiilikainen assumed office in 2015. He holds a Master of Forest Science and Agriculture.
UN Assistant Secretary General and Chief Economist Elliott Harris confirms participation in the PAGE Ministerial Conference. Mr. Harris is invited as a keynote speaker on strategies to unlock finance for sustainability.
United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres appointed Elliott Harris of Trinidad and Tobago in March 2018 as Assistant Secretary-General for Economic Development and Chief Economist in the Department of Economic and Social Affairs.
Mr. Harris brings over 25 years of international experience in the fields of international economics and development policy analysis, coupled with knowledge of the United Nations system, multilateral and inter–agency coordination processes. He has extensive experience in the design of macroeconomic policies and its application as a central instrument for the reduction of poverty and for resilient and sustained economic development. His work in the field of economics also focuses on the macroeconomic linkages with global social and environmental policies.
June 14, Port Louis, Mauritius – The budget speech delivered by the Prime Minister of Mauritius last month reveals the key axes on which his government believes will be critical for transforming Mauritius into a high-income country. The 2018-2019 national budget, entitled Pursuing our Transformative Journey, follows a decidedly green economic model; that is, one that emphasizes strategies that promote inclusiveness and environmental protection as a means for achieving economic growth. At the centre of several of these strategies are key recommendations and insights that are consistent with PAGE’s green economy analyses and assessments.
Under the Mauritius Marshall Plan for Poverty – a plan that PAGE contributed to developing – a Social Register was developed to indentfy individuals vulnerable to falling into extreme poverty. Under the 2018-2019 budget, the Prime Minister announced that 6,400 individuals who are on the Social Register will receive a monthly subsistence allowance. The government’s decision to provide subsistence payments to individuals on the Social Register is a continuation of a policy embarked upon in the 2017-2018 national budget.
Sheltered Farming Scheme
The government intends to provide marketing, technical and financial assistance to set up 100 farms over the next two years under a Sheltered Farming Scheme. This assistance will be given by the Economic Development Board to new ‘agripreneurs’ to market their products both domestically and abroad. The Food and Agricultural Research and Extension Institute (FAREI) will provide technical assistance and mentoring to young graduates and SMEs that are developing agri-projects. Financial assistance from the government will come in the form of access to finance from the Development Bank of Mauritius and Maubkan at a discounted rate, while all income derived from these projects will be exempted from tax for the first 8 years. These three forms of assistance are consistent with recommendations made in the country’s PAGE supported Green Economy Assessment regarding linking sustainable agriculture producers to the markets, investing in research and extension for smart agriculture and developing incentives for conversion of land from conventional to sustainable agriculture.
Other budgetary measures
The government aims to encourage the emergence of Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) with the introduction of a Certification Scheme to provide technical assistance to SMEs and cooperatives for accreditation to international standards and certifications. As recommended in the Green Economy Assessment, participation in international standards regimes, such as ISO standards, is important to increase the competitiveness of Mauritius’ companies for export opportunities.
Financial incentives will be provided to manufacturers to promote the recycling of water bottles. Waste management was identified as an influential sector for greening Mauritius’ economy in the green economy assessment. PAGE has supported policymakers in this sector by conducting an Industrial Waste Assessment that recommends actions for waste management.
Mauritius and PAGE
Mauritius joined the PAGE partnership in 2014 to support the country’s ambition to become an inclusive high-income country by 2030. At the request of the government, PAGE supported a Green Economy Assessment to inform possible pathways for Mauritius’ transition to a green economy. This study examined greening initiatives and opportunities in seven key sectors of the Mauritius economy, such as agriculture, manufacturing and waste, while suggesting potential actions for a green economy transition.
PATHWAYS FOR GROWTH IN MAURITIUS:
- Building skills of youth for the future of work
- Private investment, innovation and forth industrial revolution
- Import substitution/ export-led production
- Investing strategically in modern infrastructure
- Protecting and enhancing the natural environment
- Investing in health, housing, sport and education
- Promoting an inclusive and caring society