7 Nov 2011

Traditional lifestyles touted as way for Pacific to live more sustainably

4:12 pm on 7 November 2011

The United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific, or ESCAP, says more Pacific nations could consider restoring traditional ways of life to try and establish more sustainable and eco friendly economies.

The ESCAP Pacific office's David Smith says many countries have introduced sustainable practices to limit impacts on the environment, but funding is still a challenge.

He says a meeting mid year began discussions on tailoring nation specific solutions prior to the Rio Plus 20 meeting in June next year - twenty years after the first earth summit looked at sustainable development.

"There is this natural affinity, and sort of traditional in culture, it is to protect the environment. I think one of the key things is to use those traditional ideas in protecting the environment to take forward this whole green economy idea in the Pacific."

David Smith says progress is being made in reducing dependence on fossil fuels but the cost of switching is still expensive.

He says this could be offset by a type of eco tax.