SEED Symposium: The Green Economy: Accelerating the Transition
Pretoria, South Africa - 15th April 2011. Together with UNEP, SEED hosted a high-level symposium on the Green Economy in Pretoria, South Africa, on Friday 15 April. Speakers and panelists from government, civil society, industry bodies, international organizations and academia will underline the importance and necessity of moving towards a greener economy.
The event includes two panel discussions and presentations from:
- Deputy Minister of Economic Development in South Africa, Enoch Godongwana
- UNEP Executive Director, Achim Steiner
- UN Resident Coordinator UNDP Resident Representative, Agostinho Zacarias
- EU Ambassador to South Africa, Roeland van de Geer
- Chief Director, Department of Science and Technology, Imraan Patel
- Director, Centre for Social Entrepreneurship and Social Economy, University of Johannesburg, Susan Steinman
The symposium was planned as a platform for exchange and has been designed to look at the big policy drivers, but also to reveal the Green Economy at the local level, from the point of view of practitioners and those who set out to assist emerging green enterprises to flourish. By bringing those together, SEED hopes to uncover how to accelerate the transition to a Green Economy.
Through interventions from expert speakers and panelists from a variety of institutions and practitioners the symposium is to expose some new ideas on how to build linkages between the national, regional and international policy drivers, and grassroots efforts to grow new green enterprises and to green existing ones.
South Africa was a natural choice to host the symposium as it is one of the key emerging global economies; it is actively pursuing the Green Economy agenda; it is to host the forthcoming Climate Change COP in Durban where the role of the Green Economy in providing solutions to climate change adaptation and mitigation will feature; and a number of eminent South African universities have established centres of social entrepreneurship. Furthermore, last year, SEED and UNEP's Green Economy Initiative embarked on a joint pilot project, largely funded by the European Union, to support certain African countries as they refocus their policies and investment in green economic sectors such as renewable energies and energy efficiency, sustainable agriculture, forests, water and waste management, green construction and transport, and to enhance social and environmental entrepreneurship. South Africa was one of the countries selected. As part of the project, SEED, working with its South African Partner the Independent Development Trust (IDT) and UNDP South Africa, will also establish for the first time a country-level SEED scheme whereby dedicated South African SEED Awards will be made and strong links forged with critical policy and decision-makers.
The Symposium is coupled with a celebration of the thirty 2010 SEED Winners in an international award ceremony, generously supported by the SEED Awards Corporate Sponsor Hisense International Ltd.