Events convened on Tuesday, 26 March 2002
elements of good governance
Elena Petkova, World Resources Institute, outlined common elements of national systems for public participation, which are being proposed as guidelines for adoption at the WSSD. She highlighted progress in implementation of national laws, institutional infrastructure and practices for public access to environmental information, though requirements for reporting and disclosure of information about facility performance are still lacking in some countries. She noted more limited progress on procedures to enable participation in decision making affecting the environment. Progress is most needed to facilitate access to justice and remedy in environmental decision making, particularly in ensuring affordable and timely legal services and building the capacity of both the public and governments on participation and environmental rights.
Listen to Petkova's presentation
Manuel Pulgar-Vidal, Sociedad Peruana de Derecho Ambiental, described the Inter-American Strategy for Public Participation, which focuses on, inter alia: establishment of legal frameworks to ensure public access to information, decision making and justice; promotion of institutional structures, policies and procedures to expand public participation; education and training; and dedication of funding for public participation in decision making.
Listen to Pulgar-Vidal's presentation
Mas Achmad Santosa,
Indonesian Center for Environmental Law, discussed how to ensure access to
information in countries that are in transition to democracy. He
emphasized the importance of: recognition of access rights in national
legal systems; institutions and mechanisms to implement rights; and
international cooperation. He highlighted significant gaps in ensuring
public access to information and participation, including inadequate
information management and consequent limitations on access, and a lack of
awareness by both the public and governments of the value of environmental
Environmental Law Institute, outlined provisions and mechanisms to promote
public participation and access to information and administrative and
judicial remedy in North American and European regional agreements.
Indigenous peoples' proposals for the WSSD
Presented by Tebtebba Foundation
Participants discussed the priorities of indigenous peoples' agenda for the WSSD.
Indigenous Environmental Network, recommended: the adoption of the UN
Draft Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples; recognition of
indigenous food-related knowledge and practices; involvement of spiritual
practitioners in decision making; non-violation of indigenous peoples'
rights by governments; and prompt ratification of the Stockholm Convention
on Persistent Organic Pollutants.
Lucy Mulenkei, African Indigenous Women's Organization, presented indigenous women's concerns, including a lack of participation and recognition of women as key players, pollution, poverty, AIDS, and a lack of awareness of high-level decision making among indigenous women.
Clayton Thomas-Muller, Indigenous Youth, highlighted challenges facing young indigenous people, including: practicing sustainable lifestyles; preserving cultural identity; participating in decision making; obtaining rights to intellectual property; and resisting systematic racism and criminalization.
Joji Cariño, Tebtebba Foundation, outlined difficulties in lobbying for indigenous peoples' rights in intergovernmental negotiations. She called for promotion of the right to self-determination, and noted the struggle for indigenous peoples' prior informed consent to the use of traditional lands.
Development for life? HIV/AIDS renders development unsustainable
Presented by the Maryknoll Sisters of St. Dominic and the Maryknoll Fathers and Brothers
Desmond Johns, UNAIDS,
described the recent transformation of HIV/AIDS from a health issue to a
development crisis, citing household-level impacts of the epidemic in
developing countries such as financial difficulties and reduced
Bibiana Bunuan, Maryknoll Sisters, discussed the implications of globalization on Filipino social culture. Underlining growing problems of homelessness, migrant labor and school absenteeism that correlate with elevated vulnerability to HIV/AIDS, Bunuan called for economic policies that address the needs of poor people.
Daniel Leyva, Latino Commission on AIDS, focused on the stigma experienced by HIV-positive individuals in many parts of Latin America and the Caribbean. Noting that treatment and education are hampered by widespread persecution, he said that prevention campaigns and expanded treatment options can only succeed if those in need are free to access such programmes.
Discussion: A lively exchange addressed the potential and limitations of traditional remedies in AIDS treatment, circumstantial variations in individual risk assessment, the roles of men and gender stereotypes in treatment and remediation, the global focus on HIV/AIDS in Africa, medication pricing, and the interaction of moral and ethical viewpoints with social policy.
White water to blue water: A cross-cutting approach to regional oceans and coastal ecosystem management
Presented by the US delegation
UNEP/GPA, endorsed the proposed regional approach and its focus on the
link between freshwater and oceans, highlighting the potential for
synergies and for catalyzing programmes in other regions.
Amb. Neroni Slade,
Samoa, expressed support for the proposed initiative and interest in
playing a contributory role. Highlighting existing regional projects
related to this proposal, he underscored the importance of effective
coordination. He emphasized the need for a full range of capacity building
efforts in such programmes, and for efforts to ensure that the information
collected is retained and shared with experts in the region.
Representatives of the UK, IUCN, the Netherlands, Australia, Jamaica, Trinidad and Tobago and others welcomed the proposed initiative. Support was expressed for its integrated approach, linking of freshwater and oceans, synergies with other programmes, replicability, and involvement of other regional programme representatives. Others stressed the need to address social aspects of sustainable development, institutional strengthening and capacity building in developing countries, and priority-setting by countries within the region.
World Development Report 2002-2003: Sustainable development in a dynamic economy
Presented by the World Bank
Shalizi highlighted problems stemming from projected population increases and existing conditions of extreme poverty. He noted current social challenges, including international income gaps and widespread conflict in many of the poorest countries, and environmental issues such as freshwater scarcity and the depletion of fisheries, and promoted development analysis that is based on long time horizons. Distinguishing between environmentally fragile rural areas, rural areas with commercial crop potential, and urban environments, Shalizi also discussed, inter alia: public goods and externalities; institutional failures; and trends in urbanization.
Outlining recommendations contained in the Report, Shalizi highlighted areas for future work, including capacity building, involvement of local groups in data collection, use of market mechanisms, and potential roles for traditional institutions.
Discussion: Several participants suggested additional issues for incorporation into the final Report, including desertification, the ecosystem approach, use of poverty reduction strategy papers in planning processes, non-commodity measures of well-being, and economic valuations of non-monetary assets. Others called for a greater focus on concrete action items, in light of the Report's potential contributions to the WSSD process.
Precarious balance between environment and development: Search for an integrated approach
Presented by the International Research Foundation for Development (IRFD)
Hossein Moeini, Iran, shared experiences on implementation of the Kuwait Regional Convention for Cooperation on Protection of the Marine Environment from Pollution, and stressed the need for cooperation among stakeholders as a pre-condition for sustainable development.
William Pace, World Federalist Movement, said that decompartmentalization and democracy in intergovernmental processes are central challenges for sustainable development. He called for assessment of the successes and failures of ECOSOC, the UN General Assembly, UNEP and the CSD, and for educational efforts to focus stakeholder attention on the issue of international governance.
Cleusa Canales Cevallos, IRFD, presented a case study on a small city in Brazil that demonstrated how efforts to meet the basic needs of underprivileged people and apply a democracy approach can help to ensure sustainable development.
Chang-Erh Chou, IRFD, explained how economic development in Taiwan enabled response to environmental problems and resulted in more sustainable policies. She concluded that sustainable development must be achieved gradually in continuous consultation with all stakeholders.
Nishantha Arachchige Don, IRFD, stressed that sustainable energy production, distribution and consumption methods play an important role in achieving necessary levels of economic growth while ensuring sustainability.
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
|ï¿½ 2002, IISD. All rights reserved.|