Although industrial economies remain at the heart of the world’s sustainability challenges, emerging economies are playing an increasingly prominent role in influencing global sustainable development.
South-South cooperation has emerged as one of the key tools for countries to overcome shared challenges in making their economies greener and more inclusive. Since 2013, UNEP has been helping to facilitate South-South cooperation on inclusive green economy and supporting governments and policy makers to learn about the multiple pathways to sustainable development that countries are pursuing around the world.
One of UNEP’s recent projects, Enhancing South-South Cooperation – Building the Capacity of Developing Countries to Promote Green Economies, showcased four national-level sustainable development initiatives that are related to Green Economy: China’s Ecological Civilization, Bolivia’s Vivir Bien (Living Well), Thailand’s Sufficiency Economy, and South Africa’s Green Economy transition.
These four approaches were shared at the 2013 Global South-South Development Expo as well as at a series of knowledge exchange and capacity building events in Indonesia, Republic of Korea, and Switzerland. The project also produced a report, Multiple Pathways to Sustainable Development: Initial Findings from the Global South, and five accompanying videos. A follow-up report will be launched at UNEA-2 in Nairobi in May 2016.
UNEP also has two projects that are focused on South-South cooperation between China, Mongolia and five Central Asian countries. The first, entitled South-South Cooperation in Mongolia and Central Asia Countries: Sharing Knowledge on Inclusive Green Economies and Ecological Civilization, runs from 2014 to 2016, and aims to support Mongolia and Central Asian countries in developing their research capacity in the areas of green economy and ecological civilization. The initiative has three main components: a fellowship programme, a high-level policy roundtable and a scoping report on green economy in Central Asia that is expected to be launched in 2016.
A related project, South-South Cooperation in China and Central Asia: Investing in a Green Silk Road, will link issues identified in the scoping report to priority SDGs that will be determined by the governments of the five Central Asian countries.
This project will involve quantitative analysis of the sector-specific green economy investments required to meet the priority SDGs. It will also provide national research institutes with training opportunities on the analytical methodologies used in the project.