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COMINGS AND GOINGS
WMO appoints new chief
Michel Jarraud was appointed
to a four-year term as Secretary-General of the World
Meteorological Organization (WMO) at the recent 14th World
Meteorological Congress held in Geneva. He will assume his new
position on 1 January 2004, succeeding current WMO chief Godwin
Obasi of Nigeria.
environmental affairs officer, Geneva, 8 July
CITES seeks head of
scientific support unit, Geneva, 5 June
Global carbon project
seeks executive officer, Tsukuba, 9 June
FAO seeks water
resources chief, Rome, 19 May
IRC seeks controller,
UNU seeks Director,
New York, 31 May
Center for clean air
policy seeks policy associate, Washington, DC
Click here for more information on new
appointments and vacancies
here to download complete list of upcoming meetings in pdf format.
recently added to
forum on ecosystem approaches to human health:
18-23 May 2003. Montreal,
sustainable development and the WTO: Allies or antagonists?:
22 May 2003. Washington, DC, US.
on the introduction of biosafety and risk assessment for the
environmental release of GMOs: 26-30 May 2003.
Global warming international conference & expo:
27-30 May 2003. Naperville, IL, US.
on GMOs – co-existence or contamination? The challenge to
ensure co-existence of organic and conventional farming with
genetically modified crops: 28 May 2003.
the wake of double helix conference: From the green
revolution to the gene revolution: 28-31 May
Workshop on incentive
measures for the conservation and sustainable use of the
components of biological diversity: 3-5 June
Meeting on forests in
sustainable mountain development - risks and watershed
management: 9-13 June 2003. Galtör,
Conference on marine
resource damage assessment, liability and compensation:
12-13 June 2003. Ghent,
meeting on consumption and production patterns:
16-19 June 2003. Marrakech, Morocco.
High seas biodiversity
workshop: 16-20 June 2003. Cairns, Australia.
World congress on risk:
22-25 June 2003. Brussels, Belgium.
Meeting Kyoto targets in
the EU – Challenges for the power sector: 25-26
June 2003. Brussels, Belgium.
Environment in the trap of globalization: 27-29
June 2003. Berlin, Germany.
on public goods and public policy for agricultural
biotechnology: 29 June - 3 July 2003. Ravello,
on information technologies and building prospects for the
development of civil society institutions in the CIS
countries: 30 June - 2 July 2003. St. Petersburg,
2003 Bell conference –
Ecosystems and enterprise: perspectives on education for
sustainable business: 17-19 July 2003. Fort
Pacific SIDS regional
preparatory meeting: 4-8 Aug 2003. Apia,
13th Meeting of the
CITES plants committee: 12-15 Aug 2003. Geneva,
Caribbean SIDS regional
preparatory meeting: 18-22 Aug 2003. Port of
Trinidad and Tobago.
ministerial conference on landlocked countries:
28-29 Aug 2003. Almaty, Kazakhstan.
AIMS SIDS regional
preparatory meeting: 1-5 Sept 2003. Praia,
2003: an international forum connecting people with
practical, sustainable solutions to world poverty:
1-4 Oct 2003. Boulder,
on sustainability indicators and intelligent decisions
(SIID-2003): 9-11 Oct 2003. Vilnius,
Event on certification
and world forestry: 25 Sept 2003. Quebec City,
world congress: 13-17 Oct 2003. Lisbon, Portugal.
preparatory meeting for the review of implementation of the
Barbados Programme of Action: 26-30 Jan 2004.
COMMISSION ON SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT MEETS FOR
FIRST SUBSTANTIVE SESSION AFTER WSSD, ADOPTS MULTI-YEAR PROGRAMME OF WORK
28 April – 9 May 2003 | UNHQ, New York
Meeting for its first
substantive session since the World Summit on Sustainable
Development (WSSD), the UN Commission on Sustainable Development,
took decisions on its organization of work and multi-year programme
of work. The CSD adopted as its new work programme, a series of
two-year action-oriented Implementation Cycles, with a Review
Session and a Policy Session in each cycle. Each two-year cycle is
expected to consider a thematic cluster of issues and a suite of
cross-cutting issues, with the upcoming 2004/2005 cycle focusing on
water, sanitation and human settlements. The CSD also decided on the
modalities for reporting, partnerships and enhancing UN system
coordination and Major Groups contributions. Delegates further
adopted a decision on the preparations for the 10-year review of the
Barbados Programme of Action on the sustainable development of small
island developing States. Click here for
Earth Negotiations Bulletin’s coverage of this meeting.
MINISTERIAL CONFERENCE ADDRESSES PROTECTION OF
FORESTS IN EUROPE
28-30 April 2003 | Vienna, Austria
The fourth Ministerial
Conference on the Protection of Forests in Europe convened recently,
adopting the Vienna Living Forest Summit Declaration, “European
Forests - Common Benefits, Shared Responsibilities,” and five
Resolutions on: strengthening synergies for sustainable forest
management (SFM) in Europe through cross-sectoral cooperation and
national forest programmes; enhancing the economic viability of SFM
in Europe; preserving and enhancing the social and cultural
dimensions of SFM in Europe; conserving and enhancing forest
biological diversity in Europe; and climate change and SFM in
Europe. Other highlights included: the opening of an international exhibition “Forest.Art”;
a multi-stakeholder dialogue; and a signing ceremony for the Vienna
Declaration. Click here for
Sustainable Development's report of this meeting.
DISCUSS THE ROLE OF THE JUDICIARY IN THE IMPLEMENTATION AND
ENFORCEMENT OF ENVIRONMENTAL LAW
9-10 May 2003 | Rome, Italy
Judges and legal
experts from around the globe met to advance the implementation
of the WSSD’s Johannesburg Plan of Implementation as it relates to
the role of the judiciary in achieving sustainable development. The
meeting also centered on the UNEP Global Judicial Symposium and on
furthering progress on the recommendations made at the IUCN/UNEP
European Judges Symposium held in London, UK in October 2002.
FIRST SESSION OF
THE OPEN-ENDED WORKING GROUP (OEWG-1) OF THE BASEL CONVENTION
28 April – 2 May 2003 | Geneva,
Established at the
sixth Conference of the Parties of the Basel Convention, the
Open-Ended Working Group of the Basel Convention met recently for
its first session to assist the COP in developing and reviewing the implementation of the Convention’s work plan.
The OEWG considered a range of issues relating, inter alia,
to: the Strategic Plan for the implementation of the Basel Convention; the compliance mechanism; the preparation of technical
guidelines on the environmentally-sound management of POPs as waste; the sustainable partnership on the
environmentally-sound management of end-of-life mobile telephones;
and follow-up to the WSSD. At the meeting, more than 100 Parties
agreed to fund a first batch of 15 projects designed as the first
step in the implementation of the new 10-year Strategic Plan .
HIGH-LEVEL MEETING WITH BRETTON WOODS INSTITUTIONS AND WTO
14 April 2003 | New York
Convened as a
follow-up to the Monterrey Consensus of the International Conference
on Financing for Development, the high-level meeting of the Economic
and Social Council with the Bretton Woods institutions and World
Trade Organization (WTO) met on 14 April 2003 in New York. In
addition to representatives from ECOSOC, the Bretton Woods
institutions and the WTO, ministers of finance and development
cooperation, governors of central banks and heads of international
organizations participated in the meeting, which considered
“Increased coherence, coordination and cooperation for the
implementation of the Monterrey Consensus at all levels one year after
MEAs and TRADE RULES
1-2 May 2003 | Geneva, Switzerland
The WTO Special
Session of the Committee on Trade and Environment (CTE) resumed its
efforts recently to clarify the relationship between the WTO rules
and specific trade obligations in several multilateral environmental
agreements (MEAs). At this meeting, WTO Members were particularly
concerned with identifying what constitutes a “specific trade
obligation” (STO), yet reached no definitive conclusions on how to
do so. The CTE also discussed how decisions taken at MEA Conference
of the Parties (COPs) should be considered within its deliberations
of the WTO-MEA relationship, but, again, no decisions were taken on
WORLD BANK AND
IMF RENEW COMMITMENT TO MDGs AT ANNUAL SPRING MEETING
12-13 April 2003 | Washington, DC
The World Bank’s
Development Committee and the International Monetary Fund’s (IMF)
International Monetary and Financial Committee held its annual
spring meeting recently to discuss issues related to poverty
reduction, international economic development and finance. In a
final meeting communiqué, the World Bank and the IMF renewed their
commitment to the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) and global
efforts to reduce poverty.
MOU AND ACTION PLAN FOR AQUATIC WARBLER
29-30 April 2003 | Minsk, Belarus
international meeting, held recently in Minsk from 29-30 April 2003,
finalized and adopted a Memorandum of Understanding and Action Plan
concerning Conservation Measures for the Aquatic Warbler under the
auspices of the Convention on Migratory Species.
The MoU expresses countries’ intentions to identify,
protect and manage sites where the Aquatic Warblers breed, rest on
migration, or spend the winter. Conservationists see the MoU as a
significant milestone in the protection of this globally threatened
bird and its habitat.
CONSIDERS POLICY AND PRACTICE OF FOREST CERTIFICATION
25-29 March 2003 | Vancouver, Canada
This meeting centered
on seven panels, which discussed an update on the strategic
directions of the four leading North American forest certification
programmes; forest certification implementation strategies; lessons
learned from the implementation of SFM and
certification; key issues concerning forest certification in British
Columbia; three perspectives on the driving forces of forest
certification; the customer’s perspective on certification; and
concluding perspectives on the conference.
US AND CANADA
INITIATE WTO PROCEEDINGS AGAINST THE EU ON GMOS
On 13 May,
both Canada and the US filed separate official requests for
consultations with the EU over its de facto moratorium on the
approval of genetically modified organisms (GMOs). Argentina and
Egypt have expressed their intention to follow. The countries allege
that the moratorium poses an unjustified trade barrier in violation
of WTO Agreements.
WTO AND UNCTAD
ENHANCE COOPERATION IN TECHNICAL ASSISTANCE
WTO and the UN Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD)
have recently signed a MoU, establishing a
legal framework for technical assistance cooperation between the two
organizations. The specific purpose of the partnership is to help
enhance the implementation of the Doha Development Agenda, improve
development, and integrate LDCs into the global economy.
STRICTER CHEMICAL REGIME
Commission has introduced what many observers describe as “radical”
new proposals to managing chemicals. These proposals are aimed at
minimising human health and environmental impacts of the more than
30,000 chemicals that are produced, imported or used in Europe.
US STUDY CALLS
FOR TIGHTER LIMITS ON LEAD
study contends that even low levels of lead exposure may have an
impact on the intelligence of children, and suggests that current
guidelines on exposure levels are probably not sufficiently tough.
LEBANON TO HOST
WORLD ENVIRONMENT DAY
The United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) has announced that
Lebanon will host this year’s World Environment Day, the first Arab
nation to do so in the event’s 30-year history.
ADOPTS OPERATIONAL MODALITIES ON SUSTAINABLE LAND MANAGEMENT
At its May 2003 meeting,
the Global Environment Facility (GEF) Council adopted operational
modalities on sustainable land management, designating land
degradation, primarily desertification and deforestation, as the
Fund's fifth focal area.
PROMOTES VOLUNTEERISM FOR SUSTAINABLE MANAGEMENT OF THE ENVIRONMENT
On 8 May, the United
Nations Volunteers (UNV) and the Secretariat of the UN Convention to
Combat Desertification launched a joint
initiative to tackle both youth unemployment and land degradation in
NEW WEST AFRICAN
REGIONAL STRATEGY DEALS WITH CLIMATE CHANGE AND DESERTIFICATION
General preparedness of
the countries of West Africa to climate variability and change is
low, even when they already feel the impacts of desertification. It
is also a region where many of the rivers are shared by different
countries. In such a context, effective mitigation of the impacts of
climate change can only be achieved if countries work together on
the management of their shared water resources.
WORLD BANK'S GLOBAL DEVELOPMENT LEARNING NETWORK
The UNESCO-IHE Institute
for Water Education in Delft, the Netherlands has become the newest
member of the World Bank-supported Global Development Learning
Network, focusing on water resources management programmes.
MORE FUNDING FOR WATER PROJECTS
The GEF has announced plans to contribute US$400 million to
address critical global water problems over the next four years,
bringing the international environmental financial organization’s
total investment for water issues to more than $1.37 billion.
WORLD DEVELOPMENT INDICATORS 2003
2003) World Development Indicators 2003 is a detailed collection of data
from international and national statistics agencies that tracks the
progress of poor countries toward reaching the UN Millennium Development
Goals (MDGs). The goals, agreed by the world leaders at the Millennium
Summit in 2000, aim to reduce income poverty by 2015 and spur big
improvements in education, gender equality, health care, and in overcoming
hunger and environmental degradation. The 400-page print edition allows
users to consult 600 indicators for 152 economies and 14 country groups in
more than 87 tables. A current overview of the most recent data available,
as well as important regional data and income group analysis are presented
in six thematic chapters: World View, People, Environment, Economy, States
and Markets, and Global Links.
BACK TO BASICS: MARKET ACCESS ISSUES IN THE DOHA AGENDA
(UNCTAD, 2003) This study highlights the
benefits of tariff elimination in the allocation of resources, and makes
the case that the elimination of export subsidies, if not accompanied with
tariff reduction, can have negative effects on some regions, notably
Africa. The report concludes that while developing countries as a group
potentially have much to gain from improved access, the extent and
distribution of these gains depend a great deal on the extent to which
developing countries participate in the liberalization process and on the
agreed negotiation targets and modalities.
SEARCHING FOR THE HOLY GRAIL? MAKING FDI WORK FOR SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT
(Global Development and Environment
Institute, Tufts University, 2003) The report indicates that foreign
direct investment (FDI) has the potential to promote, or undermine,
prospects for sustainable development. Focusing on developing countries,
they explore some of the factors that determine whether FDI helps or
hinders sustainable development.
THE DOHA WORK PROGRAMME: TIME LIMITS AND PROGRESS.
(Agency for International Trade Information
and Cooperation, 2003) AITIC has created a new “tool,” prepared as part of
the AITIC Non-Residents’ Programme. It is a “living” document intended to
provide less-advantaged countries with a complete list of deadlines under
the Doha Work Programme.
SECONDHAND PESTICIDES: AIRBORNE PESTICIDE DRIFT IN CALIFORNIA
(Californians for Pesticide Reform, May 2003) A recent report suggests
that hundreds of thousands of people who live near agricultural areas are
at risk from the drift of pesticides used in agriculture. The study
contends that four of the six pesticides reviewed were found far from
agricultural areas and in concentrations higher than recommended
KEEPING THE PROMISE ON WATER
This report outlines the GEF’s water goals and projects, with particular
emphasis on the need for increased cooperation among countries to
sustainably manage the planet’s water ecosystems. Other recommendations
include the need for integrated management of land and water resources, as
well as the protection of aquatic biodiversity for sustainable use.
WATER FOR PEOPLE, WATER FOR LIFE
The executive summary of the UN World Water Development Report (WWDR) is
now available online in seven languages. With input from 23 UN agencies
and convention Secretariats, the report is the most comprehensive and
up-to-date report on the state of the world's freshwater resources.
Download executive summary.
UNEP ATLAS OF INTERNATIONAL FRESHWATER AGREEMENTS
(UNEP, 2003) Compiled
by Aaron Wolf of
State University, the
atlas of international
freshwater agreements contains: a historical overview of international
river basin management; a detailed listing of more than 300 international
freshwater agreements; and a collection of thematic maps related to the
agreements, their content, and the river basins they represent.
WORLD PANEL ON FINANCING WATER INFRASTRUCTURE REPORT
2003) The Global Water Partnership has recently published a final report
on the World Panel on Financing Water Infrastructure. The Panel, a joint
initiative of the GWP, the World Water Council and the 3rd World Water
Forum, makes several conclusions on what needs to be done to find the
financing necessary for water infrastructure, and offers specific
proposals on how this can be achieved, and by whom.
UNEP DESK STUDY ON ENVIRONMENT IN IRAQ
April 2003) UNEP’s Post Conflict Assessment Unit prepared this report to
contribute to international efforts to provide humanitarian assistance to
Iraq. It is based on published and online information sources, with heavy
reliance on media reports and military briefings for the most recent
conflict. The report offers a preliminary assessment of the main
environmental threats facing the country and recommends actions for
immediate relief and long-term recovery. The report stresses the need for
urgent measures to address humanitarian issues. Priorities should include
restoring the water supply and sanitation systems, cleaning-up possible
pollution ‘hot spots’ and cleaning-up waste sites to reduce the risk of
disease epidemics from accumulated municipal and medical wastes.
Recommendations include conducting environmental impact assessments, using
environmentally friendly technologies for major reconstruction projects
and maximizing the exchange of information between key stakeholders to
avoid accidental further risks to human health and the environment.
Download Desk Study.
GLOBAL ENVIRONMENTAL CHANGE AND LAND USE
(Kluwer Academic Publishers, 2003) Edited by A.J. Dolman, A. Verhagen,
and C.A. Rovers, this book illustrates a significant dimension of global
change – the interaction of land use and the climate system. The book
addresses modeling of land-use patterns, the effects on climate, the
effect of land use on the global carbon cycle, hydrological aspects of
land use, aspects of climate change on food availability in West Africa,
and the spatial requirements of bioenergy plantations.
KEEPING SCIENCE OPEN: THE EFFECTS OF INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY POLICY ON THE
CONDUCT OF SCIENCE
UK, April 2003) This report considers whether progress in science has been
affected by the interpretation and use of intellectual property policies,
and makes recommendations for improvement. The authors stress that,
although intellectual property rights are needed to stimulate innovation
and investment, commercial forces lead in some areas to legislation and
case law that unreasonably and unnecessarily restrict freedom to access
and use of information. The report concludes that the restriction of the
commons by patents, copyright and databases is not in the interest of
society, and unduly hampers scientific endeavor.
GM CROPS, MODERN AGRICULTURE AND THE ENVIRONMENT
April 2003) This report summarizes the ideas expressed at a Royal Society
Discussion Meeting held on 11 February 2003, which was organized as a
contribution to the UK-wide debate on GM crops.
View transcript of meeting.
POST-MARKET OVERSIGHT OF BIOTECH FOODS – IS THE SYSTEM PREPARED?
Initiative on Food and Biotechnology, and Resources for the Future, April
2003) This report concludes that the current regulatory oversight system
for agricultural biotechnology in the US is focused mainly on pre-market
approval, and that there are potential vulnerabilities due to the
relatively low priority and limited resources for post-market oversight.
MARINE TURTLE CONSERVATION IN SOUTH AND SOUTHEAST ASIA: HOPELESS CAUSE OR
CAUSE FOR HOPE?
Turtle Newsletter, April 2003) The Marine Turtle Newsletter includes
articles on: the future of sea turtle research; restoring sea turtle
populations; challenges for interdisciplinary sea turtle research; sea
turtle conservation along the Atlantic coast of Africa; and marine turtles
in Latin America and the Caribbean, and the South and Southeast Asia.
GLOBALIZATION, FOOD SECURITY AND THE INTERNATIONAL GOVERNANCE OF MODERN
contains a range of materials, including the outcome of a DfID-supported
multi-institutional research project, aimed at assessing the ability of
international institutions to promote food security in the context of
globalization. Online papers include: “Globalization and the international
governance of modern biotechnology: promoting food security in developing
countries” by Ruth Mackenzie and Peter Newell; “The international
regulation of modern biotechnology” by Ruth Mackenzie; “Regulating
Biotechnology in India” by Biswajit Dhar; “Evaluating environmental risks
of Bt Maize in the US and EU: Lessons and challenges for Kenya” by Adrian
Ely; “IPRs, biotechnology and food security” by Farhana Yamin; “Tracing
policy connections: the politics of knowledge in the Green Revolution and
biotechnology eras in India” by Shaila Seshia and Ian Scoones; and
“Business and biotechnology: regulation and the politics of influence” by
Peter Newell and Dominic Glover.
IUCN RE-INTRODUCTION SPECIALIST GROUP RESOURCE CD
Species Survival Commission (SSC) Re-introduction Specialist Group (RSG)
has produced a resource CD, which is available online. It includes an
introduction to the RSG, 22 issues of RSG’s newsletter, RSG Guidelines,
SSC’s and other conservation policies and reports, Re-introduction
Practitioners Directory, Specialist Group Bibliography, and RSG and SSC
Strategic Plans. It was produced to fulfill the objectives of the RSG and
SSC Strategic Plans, and provides access to RSG literature for the wider
Access CD resource.
FAO AQUATIC BIODIVERSITY CD-ROM
A new CD-Rom on
aquatic biodiversity in rice-based ecosystems, produced by the FAO Inland
Water Resources and Aquaculture Service, is now available online. The
CD-ROM contains the findings of a case study on the Tonle Sap ecosystem in
Kampong Thom Province, Cambodia. More than 100 aquatic species (fishes,
reptiles, amphibians, crustaceans, mollusks, insects and plants) were
collected in rice fields and were shown to be used daily by rural
households. Species descriptions and photos are linked to information on
collection tools, uses in rural communities and traditional knowledge.
WBCSD LAUNCHES BUSINESS & SD NEWS
The World Business
Council for Sustainable Development has recently launched Business & SD
News, a weekly compilation of key business and sustainable development
news. This newsletter features topics such as energy and climate,
sustainable livelihoods, water, corporate social responsibility, and
forest issues, as well as sustainable development news stories of WBCSD
Register for Business & SD News.
ISF PRODUCES EASY-TO-READ CHART OF FUTURE CSD IMPLEMENTATION CYCLES
Integrative Strategies Forum has adapted the CSD’s multi-year
implementation chart into an easy-to-read format.
Download PDF chart.