Pilar Unzalu: "EcoEuskadi 2020 is a contribution towards tackling global challenges from a regional perspective"
In Rio de Janeiro, the Basque Government's Minister for the Environment, Land Planning, Agriculture and Fisheries, Pilar Unzalu, presented the Sustainable Development Strategy - EcoEuskadi 2020, "a proposal designed to tackle, from a regional perspective, the global challenges arising from demographic trends, the lack of energy and natural resources and climate change".
Pilar Unzalu was a member of the panel on Governance and Making the Green Economy Work at the World Summit of States and Regions.
The Minister explained that "the current economic situation and challenges now facing us show what was already obvious at the World Summit on Sustainable Development, held in Rio de Janeiro in 1992: the close interrelationship between the production system, natural environment and quality of life".
"EcoEuskadi 2020 is our small contribution to how a future strategy can be built from the regions," she explained.
She stressed that the Basque Country, through a far-reaching citizen participation and reflection process, forged EcoEuskadi, "a document that sets the course, the specific targets and policy lines that will guide the action of public administrations over coming years in terms of employment, education, transport, energy, social protection and biodiversity, among other aspects".
One aspect that has awoken the greatest interest in Rio is the participation process that was used to design EcoEuskadi. This process involved over 5000 people and Pilar Unzalu stressed the constructive attitude of over 1,600 young people from the Basque universities and other areas of its educational system.
Participation also for Rio+20
The Basque Government's Minister for the Environment, Land Planning, Agriculture and Fisheries, Pilar Unzalu, pointed out that the Basque Country had come to the Rio Summit with a document also prepared using citizen participation and which involved a further 4,000 people.
"This high level of participation highlights the great importance that the Basque society gives to those challenges being tackled in this Summit, particularly the progress needed towards a new model of green economy, which is inclusive and generates employment," she concluded.