Sustainable Development and Decent Work Solution Forum

ILO sharing knowledge and boosting green jobs

Sharing best practices for the promotion of green jobs can have a positive impact on sustainable development around the globe. A number of countries are meeting this week in Nairobi with that purpose in mind.

Press release | 28 October 2013
GENEVA – Sharing experience for the promotion of green jobs can play a key role in helping countries to advance towards a greener and a more sustainable future.

This is the aim of the ILO Solution Forum that’s taking place this week in Nairobi. The forum – part of the Global South-South Development Expo – will showcase green projects in a variety of contexts.

“Having countries learn from each other is especially important since green jobs can be found in a variety of areas, from traditional sectors such as manufacturing and construction to emerging sectors such as renewable energy and energy efficiency,” said Jürgen Schwettmann, Director of the ILO Partnerships and Field Support department.

“Greening the economy can be a complex process. The successful experience of one country can be relevant for other countries. South-South and triangular cooperation can therefore scale up the impact of measures to promote the greening of economies,” he added.

The Forum will showcase regional experiences such as the Central American Network of Technical Vocational Training Institutions (TVET), which covers Guatemala, Honduras, El Salvador, Nicaragua, Costa Rica, Panama and the Dominican Republic.

Since 2010, network members have established a set of learning standards based on best practices for eight green occupations, including organic agriculture, installation and reparation of photovoltaic systems, water management, sustainable forestry, environmental risk management, as well as installation and maintenance of hybrid power systems and waste management.

These learning standards were successfully incorporated into national training programmes and helped to reduce the skills gap for green jobs in certain sectors.

Another innovative project is the vocational training and skills development initiative developed between the Peruvian vocational training institute SENATI, the Brazilian public and private skills training organisation SENAI and the German cooperation agency GIZ, each organization contributing with their experience and best practices.

“Using the Brazilian experience in water management and the German know-how in energy efficiency the countries involved developed a complex project providing young Peruvians with much needed skills,” explains Eliana Nicolini, SENAI’s Coordinator for South-South and Triangular Cooperation.

Promoting social and environmental protection

South-South cooperation can also make it possible for countries to learn from each other in the area of social protection.

In October 2011, Brazil launched the Bolsa Verde programme to promote social inclusion and encourage the conservation of Brazil’s ecosystems.
South-South and triangular cooperation at the ILO

Under the programme, more than 30,000 poor Brazilian families receive around US$ 135 in grant funds every three months in exchange for committing themselves to promote environmental conservation, preserve the vegetable cover of the area where they live, as well as the sustainable use of natural resources.

To further improve the project, the Brazilian ministry of Environment is in touch with other countries that have experience in public workers programmes for climate change adaptation. These will include China, Colombia, Costa Rica, Ecuador, India, Indonesia, Mozambique and South Africa.

The idea is to document best practices and exchange experiences to draw lessons and further improve existing social and environmental protection. It may further help countries to set up new similar programmes.

“These examples show South-South and triangular cooperation can be a real boost for green jobs and sustainable development,” says Anita Amorim, Head of the Emerging and Special Partnerships unit at the ILO’s Department of Partnerships and Field support.

“The ILO Solution Forum is also a contribution to efforts being made to build capacities and knowledge of the ILO’s Member States about greening their economies and to enable a fair transition,” she concluded.