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UNRISD Conference: bringing back the social dimension?

by PhilLee — last modified Oct 26, 2011 03:10 PM
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Friends of the Earth Brazil's Lucia Ortiz blogs on the United Nations Research Institute for Social Development conference that took place recently in Switzerland.

Last week I carried out the task I was assigned by FoEI and participated in the UNRISD (UN Research Institute for Social Development) Conference called “Green Economy and Sustainable Development: Bringing Back the Social Dimension”. I was very curious to know where it was (the social in green economy) to start with… 


At the conference I had the chance to put forward FoEI's views on the green economy and to exchange and learn from very committed social researchers, sometimes burdened by the green agendas of donors and agencies, but with a clear call for independent research on real social change in these times of colourful changes.


Scientists are engaged in the challenge to break down the wall of the false dichotomy between social and ecological dimensions in modern science, that have split unnaturally peoples from nature in our industrial society. I have many stories and insights from the conference to share, but the statement I liked the most was a reference to my speech made during the presentation by a UNEP representative.

The representative said: "No comparison can be made with structural adjustments of the '90’s, as a green economy is not about an adjustment of macro economy as it was then, it is only an ‘adjustment of the structure’ (read: of the policies in developing countries)”.


Ah…do you feel any better? I don’t! So the economic system is fine, what needs to adapt to the new capitalist phase are governments, policies, peoples and the environment!


Further information

Read the program and papers of the UNRISD Conference
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