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Hlengiwe Cele  
South Africa moves towards a Green Economy

Ms Edna Molewa, the Minister of Water and Environmental Affairs, led the World Environment Day Celebrations in Bloemfontein, Free State on 05 June 2012.

World Environment Day was established by the United Nations General Assembly in 1972 at the Stockholm Conference on the Human Environment to create, educate and raise awareness on environmental conservation. In South Africa, June is celebrated as national Environment Month, with all citizens mobilised to implement integrated interventions to protect the environment. This year’s celebration is observed under the international theme, "Green Economy: Does it include you?"

In line with the theme, the celebration in Mangaung highlighted the work done by the country and the benefits of moving towards a Green Economy. This year’s celebration comes after National Treasury’s allocation of R800 million for the Green Fund over the next 2 financial years, which represents a critical resource mechanism to achieve a just transition to a low carbon, resource efficient and job creating green economy growth path in South Africa as envisaged by the new growth path, climate change and National Sustainable Development policies.

The Minister also said that she has set aside funding to boost the Green Economy over the next two years to achieve a transition to low-carbon economy and the job opportunities which would be created. For the purposes of the Green Economy Initiative, UNEP has developed a working definition of a green economy as one that results in improved human well-being and social equity, while significantly reducing environmental risks and ecological scarcities. In its simplest expression, a green economy can be thought of as one which is low carbon, resource efficient and socially inclusive.

Environment month celebrations will take place countrywide with other key events being arranged for World Oceans Day on 08 June and World Day to Combat Desertification on 17 June.

Contact : hlengiwec@wrc.org.za                                                                                

Ms Edna Molewa, the Minister of Water and Environmental Affairs
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