Online Program

Sustainability and equity: Lessons from undp's work supporting development efforts globally

Monday, November 4, 2013 : 5:15 p.m. - 5:35 p.m.

Dr Veerle Vandeweerd, Environment and Energy Group, Bureau for Development Policy, United Nations Development Programme, New York, NM
UNDP's 2011 Human Development Report, "Sustainability and Equity: A Better Future for All" argued that addressing climate change and environmental degradation is an issue of social justice, as power imbalances at the global level, and gender and other inequalities at the national level, make certain groups more vulnerable to impacts of unsustainable policies. For example, poor households which often depend on natural resources for their livelihoods carry a double burden of exposure to environmental risks, both in their immediate home environment from air and water pollution, and from such long-term global trends as extreme weather hazards and rising sea levels. And women are particularly impacted. In this presentation I critically examine these links, recognizing that climate change responses are closely intertwined with development choices and actions involving multiple sectors and stakeholders. Drawing on the practical work of UNDP in over 130 countries, I will discuss how countries have been successful in employing diverse financing and policy options required for low-emission and climate-resilient development, while addressing persistent inequalities, and the challenges which remain. Specifically, I will use the example of expanding access to clean energy for the poor to demonstrate what UNDP is promoting and calling "triple win" policies, which simultaneously advance all three strands of sustainable development - economic, social, and environmental.

The goal is to encourage dialogue between public health experts and development practitioners to identify areas where further research can support evidence-based policy-making and opportunities for public health advocates to engage in global debates around tackling climate change.

Learning Areas:

Program planning
Public health or related public policy
Social and behavioral sciences

Learning Objectives:
Demonstrate that addressing climate change and environmental degradation is an issue of social justice. Discuss lessons learned from UNDP's work in over 130 countries, supporting countries employ different policy options.

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: Dr. Veerle Vandeweerd directs the Environment and Energy Group of UNDP, providing strategic direction and oversight to UNDP in mainstreaming environment, energy and sustainability into its development work in 166 countries. Before joining UNDP in 2007, Dr. Vandeweerd held leadership roles with the UNEP for 19 years based in Africa and Europe.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.