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Roads from Rio+20

Shared vision and consistent goal setting

Currently, an overall vision on sustainable development is lacking. Although visions are sometimes regarded as soft policy tools, they may have a serious effect if they mark the clear choice for a sustainable future.

Converging towards consensus at international and national levels on an overall vision may help to provide direction in policy-making. This indeed needs to be formulated in a positive way (‘the future we want’). Such a vision would link sustainable development issues and guide priority setting for different categories of countries. A key step for society would be to create convergence on a shared vision and policy objectives. Sustainable development goal-setting will be important in this regard.

Professor Mark Swilling (Stellenbosch University) explains the African scepticism on the notion of a Green Economy. Will this be a mask for the transfer of developed world technology into the developing world or a fundamental structural transformation of the economical system?