Sometimes it seems like following international sustainable development policy making requires the skills of a good detective.
The large number of actors, issues, fora and potential actions and reactions can be at the same time overwhelming and intriguing, given the multiple opportunities they represent for moving the sustainable development agenda forward. For example, this issue of Linkages Update reports on the First Meeting of Contributing Participants towards the GEF’s Fifth Replenishment (GEF-5). As a funding mechanism for the Rio Conventions, decisions regarding GEF-5 will influence implementation efforts related to these conventions for several years to come. Feeding into the decisions to be taken in the GEF-5 negotiations will be the results of another meeting highlighted in this issue of Linkages Update. The GEF Scientific and Technical Advisory Panel (STAP) workshop considered how to measure the success of GEF investments and to catalyze change through experimental project design. Another possible “clue” regarding the future of funding for implementation of internationally agreed sustainable development policy comes in the story about the World Bank’s approval of one of the largest environment-focused loans ever made – a US$1.3 billion loan to support Brazil in improving the effectiveness and efficiency of the Brazilian environmental management system, and to further integrate sustainable development in the development agenda of key sectors. You can be sure that we will be evaluating the communiqué coming out of Thursday’s G20 summit, for further information on the direction that international financing is likely to take in the coming months and years.
Additional stories in this issue of Linkages Update highlight the variety of fora that could impact and be used to implement sustainable development policy. For example, the EU member States concluded two years of negotiations with the adoption of the “Pesticides Package,” which will now be considered for approval by the European Parliament and Council. These decisions could influence that group’s negotiating positions in chemicals negotiations and discussions of agricultural issues. The joint proposal by the US and Canada to the International Maritime Organization requesting that specific areas of their coastal waters be designated an Emissions Control Area illustrates the variety of international instruments and organizations that can and do influence emissions control.
Our Earth Negotiations Bulletin
team is currently at the Bonn climate change meetings, following one of the biggest policy puzzles currently underway: fitting together multiple years and negotiating tracks addressing close to 100 agenda items into a climate change agreement that addresses greenhouse gas emissions for the post-2012 period. They will help us all understand how many pieces are under discussion and how the delegates are trying to fit them together.