Special Report on Selected Side Events at the  WSSD
Johannesburg, South Africa, 26 August - 4  September 2002
published by IISD, the International Institute for Sustainable  Development in cooperation with UNDP


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Events convened on Tuesday, 27 August 2002

Population in sustainable development
Presented by United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA)

Christine McCafferty, UK, highlighted the link between sustainable development and access to health and noted that: 350 million couples receptive to using contraception do not have access to contraceptive methods; 585,000 women die in giving childbirth; and 60 million people have been infected with HIV, since the endemic began two decades ago. She stressed that women must be empowered to improve the health of humans and of the environment.

Trevor Manuel, South African Minister of Finance, noted that countries’ population and development levels affect individual's living standards. He observed that income distribution must be addressed and that economic indicators should be adapted to national circumstances. Manuel noted that improving the quality of life is a priority for developing countries and underscored the importance of opening markets and creating sustainable jobs.

Listen to the RealAudio [Trevor Manuel]

Trevor Manuel, South African Minister of Finance, highlighted income disparities in South Africa and stressed that key government spending should focus on education and health, especially as it relates to the HIV pandemic.

Yoshi Yatsu, Asian Forum of Parliamentarians on Population and Development (AFPPD) noted that population growth must be controlled in order to achieve sustainable development, and said that AFPPD has been disseminating information related to population, gender, and reproductive health. He stressed the need for collaboration between governments and parliamentarians to increase resources and to mobilize people, and announced that the Japanese government has established a fund to address HIV. He emphasized the need for governments to recognize the importance of population in achieving sustainable development.

Devaki Jain, India, criticized current economic strategies dealing with poverty eradication, and recommended that they be improved. She stressed that economic solutions should not solely be based on needs indicators, but reflect gender inequalities and opportunities. Jain proposed to address poverty by, inter alia, reconstructing basic economic theory and focusing on world employment; taking into account women's values; and creating a relationship between employment and reproduction. She underscored that a process of poverty eradication is an engine of growth and a generator of demand.

Listen to the RealAudio [Devaki Jain]

Kunio Waki, UNFPA, noted the importance of maintaining a balance and harmony between humankind and the environment in order to achieve justice in communities. He observed that gender issues must be given more consideration in the Summit.

Timothy Wirth, United Nations Foundation, underscored the failure of political population policies. He observed that the world population is growing fast and regretted that the issue is being neglected by the Summit..

Christine McCafferty, UK

Listen to the RealAudio [Kunio Waki and Timothy Wirth]

Discussion: Participants agreed on the need to include reference to population growth in the WSSD Political Declaration

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Christine McCafferty
Devaki Jain
Kunio Waki
Timothy Wirth <

The world in 2012: Towards a ten-year plan to achieve sustainable production and consumption
Presented by the International Coalition for Sustainable Production and Consumption

Bjarne Pedersen, Consumers International, reminded participants that a ten-year work programme on promoting sustainable consumption and production patterns is being negotiated at the WSSD, and welcomed inputs to this discussion.

Hans Christian Schmidt, Danish Minister of Environment and Energy, emphasized the need to decouple economic growth from environmental degradation. He underscored the responsibility of developed countries to exhibit leadership in this regard, but stressed that developing countries would also benefit from decoupling. He said that a ten-year programme on consumption and production could provide a much needed focused approach to address decoupling. Schmidt suggested that the programme's elements include: framework conditions for decoupling; promotion of decoupling and eco-efficiency; partnerships; and education and awareness raising at all levels.

Edda Müller, Federation of German Consumer Organizations, underscored the need for a systematic approach to address the demand side of sustainability. She stressed the importance of framework conditions to enable a shift towards sustainable production and consumption patterns, including removal of unsustainable subsidies, recognition of consumer rights, and putting sustainable consumption on a permanent political agenda at the international level.

Kenneth Ruffing, OECD, introduced OECD's work on decoupling, including a recent report on appropriate indicators. He noted that key conditions for stimulating sustainable consumption include: regulatory frameworks and policies; access to information; full-cost pricing; availability of sustainable products; and infrastructure to support consumer choices. He said that general policy guidelines include: providing a consistent set of signals to consumers; using packages of policy instruments; ensuring the use of integrated cross-sectoral policies; and promoting and supporting voluntary initiatives. Ruffing suggested that the proposed ten-year programme: be focused, prioritize products and sectors, and identify key actors.

Edda Mueller, Federation of German Consumer Organizations, outlines results of a recent survey on the effectiveness of the UN Guidelines on Consumer Protection.

Jacqueline Aloisi de Larderel, UNEP, introduced UNEP's work on sustainable consumption, including its cooperation with Consumers International. She stressed the need to adopt consumer-oriented policies to local values and circumstances, and to bridge the gap between values and behavior. She said that UNEP endorses the proposed ten-year programme, and suggested incorporating a strong regional component.

Afifa Raihana, UNEP, underscored the youth's commitment to sustainable consumption. She recommended that the ten-year programme: build upon ideas of local people; disseminate best practices and initiatives; and incorporate awareness raising and capacity building in the North and the South, stressing that developed countries could learn from examples of sustainable consumption from the South.

Discussion: Delegates exchanged views on: unsustainable production and advertising; inequalities of existing market infrastructure; the need for partnerships and information exchange; and unsustainable military consumption and production.

More information:



Bjarne Pedersen
Edda Müller
Kenneth Ruffing
Jacqueline Aloisi de Larderel
Afifa Raihana

Imagining a better future
Presented by IUCN - the World Conservation Union

Ged Davis, Shell, explained that scenarios for the future can be used to make informed business choices in the present, and presented Shell's 30 years’ experience in developing and using scenarios for strategic planning. Noting that many of Shell's investments are long-term, he stressed that scenarios assist in risk assessment and management, and are effective tools for assessing complicated issues such as climate change. He underscored the importance of involving stakeholders in scenario development.

Paul Raskin, the Stockholm Environment Institute/the Tellus Institute, noted that civilization is in the midst of transition, and said that scenarios can be used to clarify options and foster wise decision making. He outlined three categories of scenarios for the future: "conventional worlds" scenarios driven by market forces and policy reform; "barbarization," resulting in increased marginalization or civilization breakdown; and "great transitions" through eco-communalism or a new sustainability paradigm. Raskin emphasized the utility of value-driven scenarios based on quality of life, human solidarity and ecological sensibility, and stressed the need for political will to drive political reforms. Raskin said that political reform without the right political will may lead to a sustainable but undesirable world.

Joke Waller-Hunter, Executive Secretary of the UNFCCC, noted that the continued rise in CO2 emissions from OECD countries is likely to result in a rise in global temperatures in the 21st century. She said that adverse impacts include deteriorating health, floods, and changes in productivity and ecosystems, and stressed that developing countries will be most affected by these changes. Waller-Hunter said that a combination of mitigation and adaptation measures is needed, and called for improving scenarios on adaptation.

Will Day, Care International, noted that 90% of future population growth will take place in urban areas, and called for an increased focus on sustainable urbanization. He stated that although poor urban people are often socially excluded or marginalized, cities have the potential to offer efficient services and products. He underscored the need to: address poor urban people's needs; increase equity; implement relevant legislation; invest in the private sector; and increase civil society efforts to disseminate views from the public.

Klaus Töpfer, UNEP Executive Secretary

More information:



Paul Raskin
Joke Waller-Hunter
Will Day


Mountain sustainable development: international partnership
Presented by the Government of Switzerland

Jean-François Giovannini, Switzerland, recalled that 2002 is the International Year of Mountains. He presented a Partnership on Mountain Sustainable Development, an umbrella alliance designed for the sustainable development of mountain regions, and called for high level political commitment to the partnership.

Klaus Töpfer, UNEP Executive Director, envisaged the Partnership to be the best type II outcome of the WSSD, and confirmed UNEP's commitment to it and other partnerships including those related to water and oceans. He said that cooperation between FAO and UNEP had been enhanced by the Year of Mountains.

Jacques Paul Eckebil, FAO, reaffirmed FAO's commitment to the Partnership and highlighted FAO's role as the task manager of Agenda 21’s Chapter 13. He commended the high level of participation from developing countries in activities run during the Year of Mountains, and their efforts in developing and implementing domestic strategic plans for enacting mountain policies and laws.

Douglas McGuire, FAO, described the Partnership. He highlighted that the Partnership is novel in being an umbrella alliance for sub-regional thematic and/or geographic sub-partnerships, and underscored the Partnership’s evolving and voluntary nature, contribution to the implementation of Agenda 21’s Chapter 13, and cooperative nature.

Andrei Iatsenia, UNEP, expressed hope that the Partnership would bring positive changes in national implementation and stressed the importance of partnerships with the private sector. He highlighted the benefits of linking upper with down stream watersheds and of involving all countries in cooperative actions.

Emphasizing the importance of mountain ecosystems for local communities and countries worldwide, representatives from Kyrgyzstan, Italy, Peru, Uganda, Lesotho, Bhutan, and the countries of the Hindu Kush region presented domestic experiences and projects in mountain ecosystem management for sustainable development and confirmed their commitment to the Partnership.

A representative from Peru highlights the benefits of mountain ecosystems for poor people and their reliance on them.

Douglas McGuire, FAO

More information:



Douglas McGuire
Andrei Iatsenia

Global Village Energy Partnership Presented by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP)

Susan McDade, UNDP, announced that the Global Village Energy Partnership (GVEP) will be officially launched at the WSSD.

Dominique Lallement, the World Bank, and Judith Siegel, Energy and Security Group, explained the goals and aims of the GVEP. Lallement presented successful examples of providing energy services to local communities in Chile, Uganda and Sri Lanka, which demonstrate that energy access can improve people's lives, when there is commitment and collaboration. Siegel explained that the GVEP is a ten-year partnership that builds upon existing experiences and aims to bring together governments, public and private sector partners, donors and other stakeholders to ensure access to modern energy services by the poor. The five major areas of the GVEP are: action plans; capacity development, especially as it relates to locally active entrepreneurs and consumer organizations; funding facilitation, including training local bankers and providing upfront seed capital; knowledge management; and monitoring and evaluation of the results and the impacts of the energy service on poverty reduction and sustainable development.

Abeeku Brew-Hammond, Kumasi Institute of Technology and Environment (KITE), explained how non-governmental organizations, like KITE, can contribute to the GVEP. KITE undertakes policy studies and enterprise development activities in Ghana. Brew-Hammond described KITE's Multifunctional Platform Programme (MPP), which assists small enterprises in establishing themselves in local communities by providing them with a simple diesel engine that has diverse applications. He said that, with its partners' support, KITE could provide an input into the GVEP by: developing a national MPP programme; implementing participatory feasibility studies; training women's groups; and monitoring and evaluating results.

Adelia Branco, Brazil, presented a successful women's initiative on community water pumping in the Amazon, Brazil, and noted that these experiences might be beneficial for the GVEP.

CAPTION: Judith Siegel, Energy and Security Group, explains that the next steps of the GVEP include finalizing governance structure, developing a work program, securing funding support, and implementation.

Judith Siegel, Energy and Security Group, explains that the next steps of the GVEP include finalizing governance structure, developing a work program, securing funding support, and implementation.


More information:



Susan McDade
Dominique Lallement
Judith Siegel
Abeeku Brew-Hammond

Launching of the 2003 World Development Report "Sustainability development with a dynamic economy"
Presented by the World Bank

Trevor Manuel, South African Minister of Finance, recognized the contribution of the 2003 World Development Report (WDR) to development and highlighted its weaknesses and strengths. He noted the WDR's long-term approach to key problems such as poverty, inequality, conflict and environmental degradation and observed that absence of government control and accountability has led to economic and environmental destruction. He suggested that the World Bank promote strong multilateral partnerships and institutions, addressing inequality and technology transfer, and consider developed countries' consumption patterns when addressing sustainable development.

Ian Goldin, the World Bank, observed that the WDR revises suggestions made in the report's 1992 edition, which recommended “win-win” policies and underestimated the capacity of institutions to deal with environmental problems. He highlighted that poverty is not only defined by income, and that solutions to poverty involve elements additional to economic growth. Noting that the World Bank has in recent years integrated issues of sustainable development in its work, Goldin highlighted that the WDR recognizes the importance of engaging institutions in furthering social, economic and environmental sustainability. He emphasized that the WDR aims to assist and secure implementation of the Doha and the Monterrey commitments, and noted that it identifies current patterns of consumption as being inefficient and unsustainable.

Zmarak Shalizi, the World Bank, underscored achievements in development, including overall increase in per capita income, decrease of infant mortality, and adult illiteracy. He highlighted that the WDR takes a 50 year horizon to suggest solutions to challenges such as world population growth, poverty increase and pressure on global resources. Shalizi emphasized that the WDR examines interactions between economic, social and environmental problems at local, national and global levels, and said that the WDR recommends that the World Bank strongly recognize the importance of institutions, and manage assets. He underscored the relevance of institutions’ transparency and accountability in promoting public confidence in the institutions’ work.

Zmarak Shalizi, the World Bank, notes that unequal distribution of assets generates institutions that maintain inequalities.

Ian Goldin, the World Bank, stresses that partnerships are central in achieving sustainable development.

More information:



Ian Goldin
Zmarak Shalizi

Theory and practice of environmental governance at the regional and global levels
Presented by the Yale School of Forestry and Environmental Studies and the Environmental Law Institute

James Gustave Speth, Yale University, said that global environmental governance is a key to sustainable development and that it requires both government and civil society involvement. He called for a virtual, fully funded global environmental organization, acting as the focal point for the development of environmental norms.

Dan Esty, Yale University, highlighted the link between global environmental governance and people's interdependence as a result of transboundary threats and shared resources. He stressed the need for cooperation and collective actions, and urged identification of a systematic and coordinated environmental governance framework.

Maria Ivanova, Yale University, underscored the need for: better information gathering and flow through a clearing-house mechanism; an appropriate forum for negotiation; human and institutional capacity; and financing mechanisms. She highlighted concrete activities needed, including: creating a global environmental clearing-house on information and technology; launching an initiative on financing for sustainable development; and establishing a commission on global environmental governance.

Barbara Gemmill, Environment Liaison Centre International, emphasized the need for civil society participation in global governance and called for an international instrument on this issue. She identified several roles for civil society, including: information gathering and dissemination; providing input into policy making; service delivery; monitoring; and contribution to environmental justice.

Dan Esty, Yale University, calls for focus on collective actions as a key element of global environmental governance.

Edward Ayensu, the World Bank Inspection Panel, described the World Bank Inspection Panel as an example of an independent accountability mechanism to ensure that the Bank follows internal regulations and that civil society's voice is heard. He noted the inadequacies of international dispute resolution mechanisms and called on local groups to disseminate information on available mechanisms.

Kaj Bärlund, UNECE, highlighted the contribution to global governance of the Aarhus Convention on Access to Information, Public Participation, Decision Making and Access to Justice in Environmental Matters, including improved public participation and transparency, and creation of domestic democratic governance.

Elizabeth Dowdeswell, University of Toronto, described the Commission on Environmental Cooperation (CEC) framework for public involvement. She highlighted the use of accountability, coherence, cooperation, and coordination in the Commission.

James William Futrell, Environmental Law Institute (ELI), stressed public participation and access to information and justice as key elements of environmental governance.

Carl Buch, ELI, introduced the book "The New Public: The Globalization of Public Participation," presenting regional and national examples of environmental governance, and stressed the need for increased transparency and participation in domestic mechanisms worldwide.

More information:




James Speth
Daniel Esty
Maria Ivanova
Barbara Gemmill
Kaj Bärlund
Elizabeth Dowdeswell
James Futrell

Results of the indigenous peoples' summit on sustainable development
Presented by TEBTEBBA Foundation (Indigenous Peoples' International Center for Policy Research and Education)

Oren Lyons, Onondaga Nation, noted that the Indigenous Summit on Sustainable Development, held in Kimberley prior to the WSSD, was the culmination of many years� struggle for recognition of indigenous' rights. He reviewed some of the milestones achieved over the past decades, including the Rio Conventions' focus on indigenous peoples, expressed concern that the WSSD would address mainly economic issues, and urged States to employ "longer and broader visions."

Lucy Mulenkei, Indigenous Information Network, noted that over 300 participants attended the Kimberley Conference to produce a clear declaration, and called upon governments to take note of the indigenous peoples' concerns and foster change. Mulenkei expressed hope for full recognition of indigenous rights within the next 10 years.

Oren Lyons, Onondaga Nation, recalls that indigenous peoples have suffered genocide and removal from traditional lands.

Jean Burgess, National Khoi-San Consultative Conference, called for recognition of the Khoi-San peoples as the first peoples of South Africa, and of their traditional land rights. He drew attention to the fact that remains of ancient Khoi-San peoples are kept in educational institutions and museums, and noted that 90% of the Khoi-San peoples are unable to speak their mother tongue. Burgess called for recognition of the Khoi-San language as an offical langue in South Africa.

Clayton Thomas, a Cree representative, presented the Declaration agreed upon at the Kimberley Conference, including language on: the right to self-determination; the right to land and sacred sites; free, prior and informed consent; protection and promotion of traditional knowledge; collective intellectual property rights; recognition of indigenous peoples' role in sustainable development; globalization and corporate investment; the role of pastoralism and hunting-gathering; the UN Permanent Forum for Indigenous Issues; and principles for partnerships. Thomas also noted that the declaration calls for a world conference on indigenous peoples and sustainable development.

Sergei Kharuchi, Indigenous Peoples of the Russian Far North, presented the indigenous peoples' recommendation for a paragraph in the WSSD Political Declaration reaffirming the vital role of indigenous peoples in sustainable development.

Discussion: Representatives from Denmark and Greenland, Norway, Chile, Palestine, Finland and UNEP expressed support to the indigenous peoples' Declaration and to the recommendation on the WSSD Political Declaration. UNEP offered to host a world conference on indigenous peoples and sustainable development.

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Lucy Mulenkei
Clayton Thomas


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