27/03/2006 - OECD Environment and Development ministers meet in Paris next week to discuss ways of helping developing countries to strengthen their economies without harming the environment.
In many poor countries, natural resources are estimated to account for as much as 25% of national wealth, compared with only about 4% in OECD countries. But essential services and supplies based on ecosystems – such as forests, water and soils - are being sadly eroded in many developing countries. Though people in poor countries depend heavily on a clean environment for their livelihood, their governments often lack the know-how and funding to protect it.
Sweden's Minister of the Environment, Lena Sommestad, and the Chair of the OECD’s Development Assistance Committee, Richard Manning, will lead discussions between ministers from the main aid-giving countries on how to better factor environmental considerations into development co-operation. This would include sharing more information with developing countries and assisting their own efforts to integrate the environment into their economic and development priorities.
The following day - April 5 -, the new preliminary aid figures for 2005 and the outlook for scaled-up aid will be discussed at the annual high-level meeting of the OECD Development Assistance Committee (DAC), bringing together Ministers and agency heads from countries responsible for over 90% of the world’s bilateral aid.