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Healthy ecosystems are the foundation of human well-being because they provide benefits to people in the form of food, clean water, air, fertile soil and stable coastlines, among other things. This fundamental concept linking human well-being to healthy ecosystems is a primary driver behind the Green Economy concept, as developed and promoted by the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) and is crucial to many of the UN Sustainable Development Goals.

In the past, traditional development has focused on economic growth. While this approach has its benefits, it also often comes with social costs – and has almost always resulted in diminished natural resources and ecosystems. However, recent work has begun to incorporate a more comprehensive and holistic approach that recognises the essential role of nature in economic, social and human development.

Status: In progress

Type: Programme

Tags: water soil Small Island Developing States oceans natural resources green economy forests environment and health development conservation coastal ecosystems climate change biodiversity Asia Africa

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