Greening Human Development
Within the Framework of the Conference on Sustainable Development, UNDP supports national and local efforts towards greening human development and sustainable materials management. UNDP works with developing countries and countries with economies in transition to address unsustainable management approaches, as well as unsustainable consumption and production patterns including resource efficiency, design and material choices, which are considered among the root causes for resource depletion, waste generation and pollution, ultimately impeding sustainable human development.
The concept of green development focuses primarily on the intersection between environment and economy and the ways in which a resource efficient development can accelerate progress in the context of sustainable development and poverty alleviation.
The Rio Conference on Environment and Development (1992) and the Johannesburg World Summit on Sustainable Development (2002) enhanced appreciation of the importance of healthy ecosystems and a healthy environment to achieve improvements for present and future generations. However, despite progress, it has become apparent that a global economy based on current patterns of consumption and production is placing heavy stresses on many ecosystems and on critical life-support systems. Developing countries and countries with economies in transition now face the challenge to continue to raise their people’s living standards while containing increases in their footprints, recognizing that poverty alleviation remains a priority (UNCSD 2011).