New UN report says Asia-Pacific countries must transform relationships between economy, society, and environment to achieve 2030 Agenda

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  • 2016•04•04     Bangkok

    Megatrends that are influencing the future of the Asia-Pacific region such as urbanization, economic and trade integration, rising incomes and changing consumption patterns must be better managed in order to make them deliver for, rather than undermine, achievement of the 2030 Agenda on Sustainable Development, according to a new United Nations report.

    The Transformations for Sustainable Development: Promoting Environmental Sustainability in Asia and the Pacific report was launched on 3 April 2016 by Dr. Shamshad Akhtar, United Nations Under-Secretary-General and Executive Secretary of the United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (ESCAP), along with representatives from the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), the United Nations University (UNU), and the Institute for Global Environmental Strategies (IGES). UNU-IIGH’s Jose A. Puppim de Oliveira advised on the conceptual framework for the report, and was lead author of a chapter about the state of the environment and the required transformations.

    The report aims to support Asia-Pacific governments as they begin efforts to achieve the 2030 Agenda over the next 15 years. The report represents the combined forces of the four institutions to bring multidisciplinary thinking into the implementation of the 2030 Agenda in the region.

    Prof. Anthony Capon, Head of the UNU International Institute for Global Health based in Kuala Lumpur, outlined that there was a pressing need to build knowledge and capacity across the region to improve decision-making for sustainable development in all sectors.

    The urgency of making the transformations identified in the report between economy, society, and environment will not only rely on funding or technology but on the capacity of governments to foster social, economic and technological innovations.

    Last year’s adoption of the Paris Agreement and the Sustainable Development Goals could help transform development patterns for the foreseeable future in Asia. But for this transformation to materialize, Asia’s policymakers will need to fundamentally alter investment flows, provisions of social justice, economic structures and patterns of resource use. This timely report offers a cutting-edge assessment of how Asia’s policymakers can harness changes to these four areas to make the region better for all.

    The report is the latest in a series of reports on environmental sustainability by ESCAP and partners produced every five years since 1985. The report aims to bring emerging issues and future challenges to the attention of policymakers and other stakeholders across the region.