Saturday, May 5, 2012

Putting resilience at the heart of development

Helen Clark in IPS: The world's population today is healthier, wealthier, and better educated than ever before. Yet, despite incredible progress, disconcerting realities stubbornly persist. Many people still live in extreme poverty, even where economies are growing rapidly. Over 20 percent of the world's population lives in states which are considered fragile and highly vulnerable.

Global economic and financial systems remain volatile. Armed violence and organised criminal networks are a growing threat to human security in many countries. Women continue to face serious barriers to real empowerment. Our planetary boundaries are being stretched to the limit.

As the world's population increases from the current seven billion people to a projected almost nine billion in 2040, and if current consumption and production patterns continue, this stress on our planet and its resources will undoubtedly increase.

Therefore, when world leaders come together in Rio de Janeiro in June to discuss sustainable development, resilience must be an important part of the discussion.

Achieving development which lasts is not about trading economic, social, and environmental objectives off against each other. It is about seeing them as interconnected objectives which are best pursued together.  Resilience cannot be built overnight. It takes time. But it is our best chance of locking in progress made to date, and advancing equitable and sustainable human development....

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