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Contributors to Satoyama Newsletter Connect Biodiversity and Sustainable Development Themes

October 2011: The third issue of Satoyama, a newsletter published by the Secretariat of the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD), includes several articles authored by high-level officials on issues including the UN Decade on Biodiversity, the UN Conference for Sustainable Development (UNCSD, or Rio+20) and green growth, and regional and national action for biodiversity, as well as the links among these topics.

UN Environment Programme (UNEP) Executive Director Achim Steiner outlines UNEP's work on the green economy, one of the two major themes of Rio+20, explaining that creative public policy and smart instruments can address a range of sustainability challenges while also growing economies, generating employment and meeting a range of aims, from the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) to the 2 degrees Celsius climate target and the Aichi biodiversity targets. Yoo Young-Sook, Minister of Environment of the Republic of Korea, stresses that biodiversity loss and poverty are closely linked, noting that green growth aims to formulate a virtuous cycle in which environmental conservation helps revive the economy, and vice versa. Sha Zukang, Conference Secretary-General, notes that a successful outcome of Rio+20 will be crucial to progress in protecting our fragile ecosystem and the planet's marine and terrestrial biodiversity, highlighting that a green economy should achieve dual convergence: upward convergence in living standards and human development across the globe, and downward convergence in the impacts of our consumption and production patterns on the planet.

Brice Lalonde, UNCSD Executive Coordinator, stresses the need for agreement on a method to include the cost of ecosystem services in the economical costs of human activities affecting ecosystems. Luc Gnacadja, Executive Secretary of the UN Convention to Combat Desertification (UNCCD), stresses the importance of synergy in implementation and addressing critical environmental and development challenges holistically. Christiana Figueres, Executive Secretary of the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), highlights the three Rio Conventions' agreement to lift gender as a cross-cutting priority leading up to and during Rio+20. Charles McNeill, Senior Policy Advisor, Environment and Energy Group, UN Development Programme (UNDP), highlights UNDP's work on identifying, supporting and scaling up local solutions and community-based best practice in biodiversity, ecosystems and climate change to achieve the MDGs, noting that Rio+20 must deliver a new paradigm of inclusive development. [Publication: Satoyama 3]