Helping achieve development through environmental sustainability

It has been one month already! I feel very fortunate to be working with so many dedicated and talented professionals who come from all over the world and are so passionate about preserving the earth’s resources for future generations. Since I arrived, I have been working on several different UNEP programs that engage the business and industry sectors to promote sustainable production and consumption. UNEP works closely with the private sector to encourage the sustainable use of natural resources. In addition, these strategies and practices work to promote economic growth, as well as support the UN’s Millennium Development Goals working to eradicate world poverty, hunger and disease. In particular, UNEP’s mission focuses on supporting and building capacity in Africa and other developing countries.

Last week I attended a workshop to increase collaboration for initiatives to incorporate sustainable production and consumption (SCP) into development goals. Representatives from developing country environmental ministries and development and donor agencies attended the two-day workshop. Challenges were discussed, including population growth, quality of life, lack of legal framework, water resources and buildings/infrastructure, but opportunities and initiatives were also highlighted, such as national green growth plans and implementation of voluntary environmental conservation activities.

I am beginning to appreciate how great a role SCP plays in addressing the root of many of our environmental challenges, from preserving biodiversity to tackling climate change; it’s a win-win strategy that also contributes to economic growth and the priority development goals of some of the world’s poorest countries.

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About christineackerson1

Christine Ackerson completed a B.Sc. in Geology at Purdue University and a M.Sc. in Geology at Texas A&M University. Christine’s primary policy interests include environmental and global climate change issues. Prior to becoming a graduate student at the LBJ School of Public Affairs at the University of Texas at Austin, she served as an environmental consultant for URS Corporation and Montgomery Watson Consulting Engineers. In that role she has been a project and task manager for environmental investigation, remediation and compliance projects with the U.S. Air Force and the U.S. Department of Defense. As a volunteer, Christine has advocated children’s environmental health legislation before the Texas Legislature and participated in a workgroup providing input to the EPA on the development of national guidelines. In 2009, Christine served as an intern with Environmental Defense Fund at the United Nation’s Framework Convention on Climate Change in Copenhagen, Denmark and participated in a Climate Change Negotiation and Sustainable Growth Policies workshop in Hiroshima, Japan. She helped coordinate an international conference on collaborative responses to climate change hosted by The University of Texas at Austin and co-sponsored by the Canadian Consulate General, the Canadian Partnership Initiative in Support of the United Nations Water for Life Decade, and the Graduate School for International Development and Cooperation of Hiroshima University, Japan. Christine currently works as a graduate research assistant with the Robert S. Strauss Center for International Security and Law on the Climate Change and African Political Stability project, a Department of Defense initiative to better understand the relationship between the growing threat of climate change and the ability of African countries to manage complex emergencies.

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