Financing Sustainable Development

By Laila Zafar and Jenna Wong, TG journalists

"Sustainable development will not happen if it is not financed." said, Strong the former Secretary General of the Earth Summit in Rio, ex-Chief Executive Officer of Ontario Hydro, at the World Conservation Congress in Montera. He was chairing the discussion which dealt with new mechanisms to generate funds to protect the environment and enhance development.

Mr. Jean-Francois Rischard, Vice President for Finance and Private Sector Development, The World Bank, told the panel that we should create a better link between the private sector success and good environmental behaviour, within developing countries. He said that wealthier countries have a better record for environmental behaviour because they can afford reinforcement when environmental regulations are broken. The public is beter educated and therefore show concern and enthusiasm. On the contrary, less developed countries can not afford reinforcement; do not the means to reinforce environmental regulations; and do not have the money to finance an industry. Mr. Rischard says that there should be a balance between fuelling developing countries with technology and the economic revolution which would result.

The Administrator of the United Nations Development Programme, Mr. James Gustave Speth, stressed the importance of global partnership. He said "the world is not developing along sustainable trajectories, in fact it's not developing at all." To sustain development coordination, Mr. Speth said we have to join together to develop a plan. Some mechanisms needed are cleaner modern technologies; more insurance programs; and a screening mechanism developed so direct foreign investment is environmentally sustainable.

Mr. Enrique Garcia, President and Chief Executive Officer of Corporacion Andina de Formento (Andean Development Corporation), spoke on how environmental protection can promote development.

The Head of Environmental and Ethical Investment, NPI Global Care Investments, Tessa Tennant discussed how, NPI monitors companies to ensure better standards are maintained. They are involved in species protection, organic farming, habitat protection and protection of life support system. She said that people have to start to question where their money is being allocated in order for the world to move forward.

The panel discussion showed that there is a growing awareness of the importance of financing sustainable development. We can commence this change by capitalising the developing countries, and value them and their resources available. Mr. Strong appropriately concluded by saying "we are a long way from having a sustainable development become the norm."