Events convened on Monday, 25 March 2002
observation by satellite and global mapping, and geographic information in
support of sustainable development
Josef Aschbacher, CEOS, outlined instances in which earth observation satellites can further sustainable development, such as early warning systems for disaster management and tracking of climate change. Highlighting cooperation between the 32 countries and 13 UN agencies of CEOS in coordinating their earth observation satellite programmes, Aschbacher noted that CEOS relies on the good will of its members, and called for a stronger mandate to be elaborated through the WSSD process. He described the complementary role played by the Integrated Global Observing Strategy (IGOS) in representing the needs of earth observation data users and focusing on continuity of data.
Hiroshi Une, ISCGM, outlined the Global Mapping Project, through which 83 countries cooperate to enhance the use of global mapping.
John Kelmelis, USGS,
discussed how information infrastructure shapes the use of geospatial
data. He noted the need for varied data sets, rapidly accessible data,
adherence to standards, and human and technical resources, and stressed
that international cooperation for the exchange and reuse of information
is critical to mitigate the costs of data collection. On accomplishments
to date, Kelmelis highlighted broad-based participation, but noted the
need for enhanced national data infrastructures, greater resources for
developing nations, and more open access to data within nations.
WSSD Civil society preparations
Presented by the South Africa Civil Society Secretariat for the WSSD
At this event, participants discussed progress in preparations for the WSSD and the Civil Society Global Forum.
Ntshalintshali, Congress of South African Trade Unions, noted progress in
resolving disagreements among civil society groups. He emphasized that the
civil society preparation process is politically independent from
government, but noted the importance of partnership with government in
Neva Mangetla, a
representattive of South African civil society, presented proposals for
the schedule of the Civil Society Global Forum, and on the regional and
sector-based criteria for representation in the International Steering
Group (ISG). She said that registration for the Global Forum will be
available online, in paper form, and on site beginning on 15 April, and
that the fee is US$165. She announced that proposals on the ISG's
composition, accreditation and logistics, as well as a concept paper on
the WSSD, would be addressed at the ISG meeting on 26 March.
Crispian Olver, South African Department of Environmental Affairs and Tourism, said the South African Government is striving to ensure the necessary infrastructure to support the multiplicity of events by providing logistical support, covering the costs of renting the Civil Society Global Forum venue, providing transportation infrastructure, creating a publicly-owned logistics company and tourism facilities for use by both civil society and government representatives, and setting up information technology infrastructure.
Discussion: Participants emphasized the need to: ensure the confidentiality of civil society representatives' registration; provide proper accommodation and transportation services; promote public participation in NGO events; establish broad outreach activities; and organize translation and smooth coordination of events. They emphasized the importance of presenting a coherent civil society declaration to the WSSD.
A common platform for action on access to land
Presented by the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD)
Listen to de la Rosa's presentation
Sustainable Agriculture and Rural Development, FAO, stressed that access
to land is a critical foundation for sustainable development. She said
that a platform for action to be launched during the WSSD must address the
need to, inter alia: strengthen multi-stakeholder coalitions for new
approaches to land reform; analyze the viability of scaling up civil
society experiences into national initiatives; and test emerging land
Chief Bisi Ogunleye,
Women's Environment and Development Organization (WEDO), highlighted
challenges faced by rural African women due to their inability to own,
inherit or purchase land, and stressed the importance of addressing
ownership when discussing access to land. She underscored the need for
changes in land tenure laws and efforts to address rural women's health
and food security.
Indigenous Environmental Network, described the outcomes of a recent
indigenous conference in British Columbia, Canada, which called on
governments to, inter alia, unconditionally support the UN's adoption of
the UN Draft Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, and take
steps to ensure that indigenous peoples can freely access their lands and
protect habitats in which their traditional knowledge and foods are based.
International Partners for Sustainable Agriculture, highlighted the
importance of governments in strategic alliances on access to land and the
need to determine criteria for constructive partnerships.
Oceans, coasts and islands
Presented by UNEP/GPA, the Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission (IOC), the Division for Ocean Affairs and the Law of the Sea Office of Legal Affairs, and the International Coastal and Ocean Organization
Tom Laughlin, US, outlined the outcomes of a recent meeting in Bremen, Germany on marine scientific assessment. Participants agreed that a new mechanism for global marine assessment is needed, which could, inter alia: synthesize regional assessments; identify gaps in existing assessment processes; ensure data quality; and establish an implementation timeframe and framework. The IOC, UNEP, and the Group of Experts on Environmental Aspects of Marine Resource Protection (GESAMP) were identified as candidates to host the mechanism, and a WSSD decision calling for a time-bound process to produce such a mechanism was supported.
Pep Fuller, Oceana, emphasized that overcapacity is at the core of overfishing and puts food security at risk, and underscored the importance of addressing illegal, unregulated and unreported fishing and overcapacity in the Chairman's Paper.
Veerle Vanderweerd, UNEP/GPA, stressed the need to introduce time-bound measures into the Chairman's Paper, particularly regarding: further integration of coastal zone management with river basin management; water supply and sanitation; mainstreaming of GPA objectives into national development programmes; strengthening of regional seas conventions and programmes; and development of innovative and alternative financial mechanisms to address priority sources of land-based pollution.
Stephen Olsen, University of Rhode Island's Coastal Resources Center, stressed that references to coasts must be reinstated in the Chairman's Paper, and called for, inter alia: establishing targets for management of all coastlines; focusing on challenges faced by small island developing States; codifying good practices for integrated coastal management (ICM) and formulating codes of conduct for responsible investment in coastal development; and forming regional ICM networks.
Paula Caballero, Advisory Committee on Protection of the Sea (ACOPS), described the African Process for the Development and Protection of the Marine and Coastal Environment in Sub-Saharan Africa, an innovative mechanism that is developing costed projects to address constraints to sustainable development along Africa's coastline.
Successful practices for educating for sustainability
Presented by the Conference of Non-governmental Organizations (CONGO) Education Committee
Carol Zinn, Global Education Associates (GEA), described the discussion of education in Chapter 36 of Agenda 21, highlighting its three goals of reorienting education toward sustainable development, increasing public awareness, and promoting training. She said concrete educational practices that address sustainable development are difficult to find, and many existing materials focus exclusively on environmental issues.
Sylvan Barnet, Rotary International, described a programme entitled "Preserve Planet Earth" that includes global workshops on environmental problems, primary and secondary school curriculum development, establishment of a youth corps, and public outreach.
Sylvia Gordon, International Baccalaureate Organization, highlighted the empowering nature of education and noted the need for expanded informal educational programmes for those lacking access to classroom education. She stressed the need for global awareness and a moral commitment to help solve global problems, as education policy is established by a privileged few.
Zinn outlined the
philosophy and practice of GEA's "Education for Global Citizenship"
programme. She described the three phases of its workshops: an "ecological
leg" in which the consciousness of social organizations is raised, a
"systems leg" in which large-scale interactions such as economics and
global resource use are discussed, and an “issues leg” in which
participants seek connections between the challenges within their
societies. She stressed the importance of "local education with a global
The Earth Negotiations Bulletin (ENB) on the Side is a special publication
of the International Institute for Sustainable Development (IISD) in
cooperation with the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP). The Editor
of ENB on the Side is Kira Schmidt
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