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This economic growth has been widespread and its effects have been felt around the world, lifting many people out of poverty. As a result of this growth, the developing world as a whole remains on track to achieve the MDG poverty reduction target of halving – between 1990 and 2015 – the proportion of people whose income is less than USD 1 (United Nations, 2011). Many developing countries have developed significantly since 1972. South Korea and many of the Southeast Asian economies led the way in the 1980s. China has developed dramatically since 1990. Over the last decade Brazil, Russia and India have also seen significant increases in ­development, forming with China the well-known BRIC. Now countries around the world are experiencing significant increases in living standards and improvements in their productivity, including most countries in Latin America, the Caribbean, Oceania, South Asia, Eastern Europe and North Africa. Sub-Saharan Africa has more lagging countries than any other region and has a higher percentage of extreme poverty than elsewhere, but even in this region a growing number of success stories are emerging, such as Botswana, Mali, Ghana, Mauritius and South Africa. Economic growth has picked up all across the continent in the past few years, with Kenya, Tanzania, Malawi and Zambia showing positive trends. An important consequence of this economic growth is improved access to technologies, particularly information and communication technologies (ICTs). By the end of 2009, 67 per cent of the world’s population had a mobile telephone and 25 per cent were using the Internet (United Nations, 2010c). Satellite maps are being used by local people in Australia, Kenya, Brazil, Botswana and South Africa to monitor the use of their ­ecosystems, enforce their land rights, develop human and technology ­capacities to support sustainable economic development and to promote biodiversity conservation and regional stability. Donors are accepting applications by video from semiliterate or illiterate communities. Even from an economic perspective, growth has not been equitable, with many countries not properly benefiting and the gap between rich and poor within many, perhaps most, countries growing as well, causing social upheaval. That there remain 1.2 billion people who live in extreme poverty is the starkest indictment of the failings of the economic growth (World Bank, 2011a). Importantly, this economic growth has not been socially balanced. ­Understanding what is socially balanced growth is a complex matter and will vary from society to society. The most important elaboration of its basic elements are contained within the 8 goals, 21 targets and 60 indicators of the MDGs. Goals such as universal education, decent employment, good health and shelter, and gender equality are, in the view of the

Green Economy and Good Governance for Sustainable Development: Opportunities, Promises and Concerns  

Debates on green growth and environmental governance tend to be general in nature, and are often conceptual or limited to single disciplines...