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CHANGES IN THE SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT PARADIGM  29

they will remain an important focus for the international community after 2015. However, economic growth has not been environmentally balanced (United Nations, 2010a). Climate change, declining water resources, degrading ecosystems and loss of biodiversity are undermining efforts in developing countries to develop economically (United Nations, 2010a). Perhaps more importantly, though, an increasing number of reports on the state of the environment, such as the Fourth Assessment Report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC, 2007) and the third edition of the Global Biodiversity Outlook (CBD, 2010a), point out that we are closer to a number of irreversible environmental tipping points such as the collapse of the Greenland ice sheet, the turning off of the Gulf Stream and ocean acidification. Passing such tipping points would catastrophically reduce the ability of ecosystems to provide goods and services to humankind. The poor would suffer most immediately and most disproportionately, because they tend to be directly dependent on the environment and its resources for their livelihoods. Even so, there are some important successes and more emerging ones. Tropical deforestation, a major problem in 1972, is finally beginning to slow at the global level (UNEP, 2007). Global pollution problems such as ozone-depleting substances (ODS) and organic pollutants are being tackled (UNEP, 2007). The global protected area estate grew from 4 per cent of the terrestrial surface in 1972 to 13 per cent in 2010 (UNEP, 2007). Concern about biodiversity loss is rising up the political agenda. Climate change has matured from an environmental problem into a genuine developmental problem. Certification schemes such as those run by the International Organization for Standardization, the Marine Stewardship Council, numerous coffee certification schemes and the Forest Stewardship Council have provided the consumer with the choice to use sustainably produced products and allowed them to promote sustainable development. The knowledge and the role of local and indigenous communities in addressing the issues within this pillar are increasingly being recognized. Perhaps the best example of sustainable development at the international level is the move to post-ODS technologies. These efforts centre on the Montreal Protocol on Substances that Deplete the Ozone Layer (UNEP, 2010b). Vital to the success of the Montreal Protocol was the Multilateral Fund, which provided financial assistance to developing parties (UNEP, 2010b). Contributions to the Fund come from developed countries. Unlike many other funds, the Multilateral Fund has had sufficient resources to assist developing countries to properly address the economic and social costs, as well as the technical and environmental costs, of phasing out

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