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Back | Programme Area: Social Dimensions of Sustainable Development

@ Rio+20 / Earth Summit Official Side Event - Integrating the Social Dimensions of Green Economy into Policy

Date: 21 Jun 2012


@ Rio+20 / Earth Summit Official Side Event - Integrating the Social Dimensions of Green Economy into Policy
Social dimensions are not “add-ons” to economic or environmental concerns. They underpin the process of structural transformation required to move towards development policies that are inclusive, equitable and sustainable.

This side event brings together policy-relevant lessons from recent research by UNRISD, UNESCO and ISSC, and focuses on the gaps and barriers to be overcome in order for the social dimensions of green economy to be better integrated into green economy decision making. Viewing green economy through a social lens highlights the key role of social science research, social policy and participatory governance in crafting transition paths that are both green and fair.

Rio+20 is an opportunity to deepen the international community’s policy response to the challenges of sustainable development outlined at the first Earth Summit in 1992. This discussion contributes directly to ongoing debates around a post-MDG agenda, and to the construction of Sustainable Development Goals as a key outcome of Rio+20.

As governments, social actors and experts deliberate on how to connect green economy and social dimensions of development, this event will provide both conceptual and empirical evidence to enable policy makers to better integrate social concerns across policy areas.










Agenda and Speakers


Defining the social dimensions of green economy
Chaired by Sarah Cook, Director, UNRISD

Peter Utting, Deputy Director, UNRISD, will outline the main policy gaps existing in current approaches to green economy, specifically related to the social dimensions, and present the key components for policy. Examples include PES/REDD+,food security and agriculture, energy and green jobs.

Bina Agarwal, President of the International Society for Ecological Economics, will present the importance of gender dimensions of green economy and women’s inclusion in environmental governance, with particular attention to the experience of India.

Laura Rival, Lecturer, University of Oxford, will draw on research in Ecuador and Brazil to discuss innovations in policy integration that have led to improved coherence between local needs for sustainable development and government policies related to REDD+ and PES, and how different actors have experienced the benefits or disadvantages of such processes.

Key issues for policy research

Darlene Miller, Senior Advisor to the President of the International Social Science Council (ISSC) and Senior Research Specialist in the Economic Performance and Development unit, Human Sciences Research Council, South Africa and Pilar Alvarez-Laso, Assistant Director-General for Social and Human Sciences at UNESCO will reflect on key research gaps and issues for policy-applied research in the future.



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