Press Release:
IGES submitted "The IGES Proposal" to UNDESA (Rio+20 Secretariat) Towards and beyond Rio+20
- Promoting resilient economy, society and environment is the key -

New Report Proposes Compelling Visions for Transition to Green Economy and Reforming Institutional Framework for Sustainable Development (IFSD)
8 November 2011
The Institute for Global Environmental Strategies (IGES) submitted the "The IGES Proposal for Rio+20" to UNDESA (Rio+20 Secretariat) on 1 November as an input to the compilation document of the outcome document of the United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development (UNCSD: Rio+20 hereafter) to be held in June 2012.

The IGES Proposal for Rio+20” captures the experience of the triple disaster of 11 March 2011 in Japan as one of the significant lessons to be drawn at Rio+20, and points out that strengthening resilience in environmental, economic, and social dimensions is an important and global challenge for achieving sustainable development.

In this regard, the proposal provides key messages on the themes of Rio+20 from the Asia-Pacific perspective of an area facing rapid economic growth and its associated social and environmental changes. To achieve the transition to green economy, IGES recommends introducing safe, secure, low-carbon energy through a phased approach and promoting a change in consumption patterns. To enhance the Institutional Framework for Sustainable Development, IGES proposes strengthening United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) and creating a relatively small regional organisation or focal point to improve environmental cooperation in Asia.

The United Nations will start drafting an outcome document, which is expected to be agreed upon at Rio+20, based upon the inputs from member states, international organisations and civil society organisations, including this IGES Proposal.

The IGES Proposal for Rio+20

[Key Messages]

(1) The experience of the triple disaster in Japan has shown that countries including Japan should consider resilience as a common issue in environmental, economic and social dimensions, and cooperate in an integrated manner to achieve sustainable development. Japan was believed to be resilient due to its investment in infrastructure and disaster management, but the triple disaster on 11 March revealed its vulnerability.
  A) Multi-stakeholder/multi-level governance with better participation and a pro-poor and vulnerable approach for agile, flexible and effective social/political support through better coordination and utilisation of local social ties and knowledge;
  B) Financial schemes for immediate and medium-term recovery which supports households and small-medium business; and
  C) Decentralised and diversified infrastructure for energy, water, transportation etc. with balanced management of supply/demand sides.
(2) Transition to green economy is an important vehicle to achieve sustainable development, and it needs to reflect the environmental and social costs to an economic system and pursue sustainable consumption and production. To achieve this, the following approaches need to be promoted:
  A) Safe, secure, low-carbon energy to achieve appropriate energy-mix through a phased approach, i.e. investing in renewable energy, storage, and a smart grid;
  B) Change in consumption patterns through giving incentives, i.e. extended producer responsibility (EPR) and green tax for producers and green labelling for consumers; and
  C) Natural resource management and sustainable use of eco-system services through a wide application of Payment for Ecosystem Services (PES) and green accounting scheme should be promoted.
(3) Strengthening Institutional Framework for Sustainable Development (IFSD) is a necessary condition for supporting the transition to green economy and achieving sustainable development, in which ensuring multi-level, multi-stakeholder participation, simultaneously reforming UN, is crucial. Concrete proposals include:
  A) Need for a coordination body for Sustainable Development, i.e. Sustainable Development Council;
  B) Strengthening UNEP by a two-phased approach, i.e. introducing universal membership into UNEP Governing Council, then upgrading UNEP into the United Nations Environment Organisation (UNEO); and
  C) Improve coordination by creating a relatively small regional organisation or focal point, which in the long run could be developed into an Asia Environmental Organisation.

* The contents of this publication are the opinions of the IGES researchers and do not reflect the views of any national and international institutions.

Institute for Global Environmental Strategies (IGES)
Programme Management Office
Deputy director: Takashi OTSUKA
Associate Researcher: Ikuho MIYAZAWA

Public Relations officer: Emi Doi
Tel: 046-855-3720

The Institute for Global Environmental Strategies(IGES)
2108-11 Kamiyamaguchi, Hayama, Kanagawa, 240-0115 Japan
Fax: +81-46-855-3709
URL: //

Go to top of page