World Video | Defence | Foreign Affairs | Natural Events | Trade | NZ in World News | NZ National News Video | NZ Regional News | Search

 

Balance Between Trade And Natural Resources Needed

UN Environment Head Calls For Better Balance Between Trade And Natural Resources

New York, Sep 27 2006 2:00PM

Better balance is needed between liberalizing trade and protecting natural resources, the head of the United Nations environment agency has said, warning that such “natural capital” is being exhausted at an alarming rate and calling for “intelligent globalization that guarantees sustainability for future generations.

“Money may make the world go round. But we know what makes a significant amount of that money is natural capital – the goods and services provided by nature. We also know… that a great deal of this capital is being run down,” Achim Steiner, Under-Secretary General and Executive Director of the UN Environment Programme (UNEP) told the World Trade Organization (WTO) yesterday.

“It is clear that a better balance is needed that capitalizes on the benefits of trade liberalization with the absolute necessity of maintaining and re-investing in the global natural resource base… what we really need is ‘intelligent’ rather than benevolent globalisation – one that produces sustainable markets through sustainable trade.

He acknowledged that the challenges of making international trade work sustainably for everyone is a key goal of the WTO, as well as for UNEP, while also emphasizing that environmental policy, far from being a brake on trade, is “emerging as a powerful new force generating new kinds of trading opportunities.”

Citing various examples of environmental agreements, including the Kyoto Protocol on Climate Change, he said that these were expanding the notion of trade as a powerful force for sustainable development, pointing out for example that the Kyoto agreement has triggered new flows of funds from developing to developed countries.

“Poverty is not only a challenge to the environment and sustainable development; it is an obstacle to trade. So environmental treaties like Kyoto can, by bringing development and wealth to the poor, create billions of new consumers on continents like Africa, Asia and Latin America who can genuinely participate in the global marketplace.

Mr. Steiner also highlighted the sustainability and trade aspects of other initiatives, as well as raising the possibility of payments for ecosystem services, noting that some economists argue that the amount of carbon removed from the atmosphere by tropical forests may be worth up to hundreds of billions of dollars per year but the countries whose forests remove this pollution are paid nothing.

“So why do we not pay communities in the tropics for maintaining forests and the ecosystem services they provide in terms of carbon removal? Could we extend payment for ecosystem services further or develop flexible trade-related mechanisms – like those developed for Kyoto – further to more sustainably manage other natural resources."

Ends

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
World Headlines

 

Gordon Campbell: Is This Guy The World’s Most Dangerous Thirtysomething?

Saudi Arabia has long been regarded as a pillar of stability in the Middle East, and is the essential caterer to the West’s fossil fuel needs. It is also the country that gave us Osama Bin Laden, al Qaeda, and 15 of the 19 terrorists who carried out the 9/11 attacks... More>>

ALSO:

Non-Binding Postal Vote: Australia Says Yes To Same Sex Marriage

Binoy Kampmark: Out of 150 federal seats, 133 registered affirmative totals in returning their response to the question “Should the law be changed to allow same-sex couples to marry?”. More>>

ALSO:

Bonn Climate Change Conference: Protecting Health In Small Island States

The vision is that, by 2030, all Small Island Developing States will have health systems that are resilient to climate change and countries around the world will be reducing their carbon emissions both to protect the most vulnerable from climate risks and deliver large health benefits in carbon-emitting countries. More>>

ALSO:

Camp Shut Down: Refugees Must Be Rescued From Manus

On 31st October 2017, the detention centre on Manus Island in which the Australian Government has been holding more than 700 refugees was closed, leaving those living there in a desperate situation. More>>

ALSO:

EARLIER:

Rohingya Muslims Massacred: Restrictions On Aid Put 1000s At Risk

Amnesty: The Myanmar authorities’ restrictions on international aid in Rakhine state is putting tens of thousands of lives at risk in a region where mainly Rohingya people are already suffering horrific abuses from a disproportionate military campaign. More>>

ALSO:

 
 
 
 
 
 
  • Pacific.Scoop
  • Cafe Pacific
  • PMC