LINKAGES UPDATE - an e-update of new additions to IISD’s Linkages website - 12 April 2004

UPCOMING COVERAGE BY THE EARTH NEGOTIATIONS BULLETIN


SIDS preparatory meeting for the 10-year review of the BPoA: UNHQ, New York, 14-16 April 2004
CSD-12 Review session: UNHQ, New York, 19-30 April 2004
Interlaken Workshop on Decentralization in Forestry: Interlaken, Switzerland, 27-30 April 2004
Fourth Session of the United Nations Forum on Forests: Geneva, Switzerland, 3-14 May 2004
 

RECENT MEETINGS COVERED BY THE EARTH NEGOTIATIONS BULLETIN



 

UNEP SESSION ADDRESSES WATER, INTERNATIONAL ENVIRONMENTAL GOVERNANCE, MORE
29-31 March 2004 | Jeju, Korea
Ministers and delegates at the eighth Special Session of the United Nations Environment Programme’s Governing Council/Global Ministerial Environment Forum convened in a ministerial consultation, a Committee of the Whole (COW), and an open-ended drafting group. At the conclusion of the ministerial consultations, delegates adopted the “Jeju Initiative,” containing the Chair’s summary of the discussions. Negotiations in the COW and the drafting group resulted in four decisions regarding small island developing States (SIDS), waste management, regional annexes, and implementation of decision SS.VII/1 on international environmental governance. The decisions were adopted in the final Plenary on Wednesday, 31 March.

The session was the first ever held in Asia, the first meeting to include the participation of 90 ministers from 153 countries (the most ever) and the first special session since the World Summit on Sustainable Development. It was also the first meeting that concentrated on a substantive issue cluster (water, sanitation and human settlements) that is the foremost item on the UN Commission on Sustainable Development’s agenda for its first work cycle in 2004-2005. The Earth Negotiations Bulletincoverage.
 

WORKSHOP ON FORESTS AND FOREST ECOSYSTEMS: PROMOTING SYNERGY IN THE IMPLEMENTATION OF THE THREE RIO CONVENTIONS
5-7 April 2004 | Viterbo, Italy
A workshop was held recently to promote local actions on forests and forest ecosystems and develop synergistic processes in this sector in order to contribute to more effective implementation of the Rio conventions. Organized by the Secretariats of the UN Convention to Combat Desertification and the UN Convention on Biological Diversity, in cooperation with the Secretariat of the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change, the workshop heard presentations by the Rio conventions secretariats, and considered presentations and country case studies on “Potential for synergies through forest landscape management and soil conservation,” and on “Ecosystem services and poverty reduction.” The Earth Negotiations Bulletinreport.
 

CITES ANIMALS COMMITTEE DISCUSSES REVIEW OF CRITERIA FOR LISTINGS AND MARINE-RELATED ISSUES
29 March – 2 April 2004 | Johannesburg, South Africa
The 20th meeting of the Animals Committee of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES) convened recently to discuss a range of topics. Issues of considerable importance included the review of criteria of listings in the Appendices, the RST and a range of marine-related issues, such as sharks, sea cucumbers, hard corals, seahorses, and tortoises and freshwater turtles. The Earth Negotiations Bulletinreport.
 

KAMPALA MEETING ADDRESSES FOOD AND NUTRITION SECURITY IN AFRICA
1-3 April 2004 | Kampala, Uganda
Organized
by the International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI), the Conference on Assuring Food and Nutrition Security in Africa by 2020 brought together stakeholders to deliberate on catalyzing change and action to secure food and nutrition in Africa by 2020. The agenda was organized around three key components: taking stock and responding to driving forces; identifying solutions for bringing about change and action in priority areas; and examining how key actors can be strengthened and partnerships among them facilitated for influencing change. The Sustainable Developments coverage.
 

OTHER RECENT MEETINGS


COMMITTEE APPROVES RENEWABLE ENERGY OUTCOMES
2 April 2004 | Eltville, Germany
The expected outcomes from a major upcoming event on renewable energies have been endorsed. The approval for the proposed outcomes for the International Conference for Renewable Energies – or “Renewables 2004” – came during the third and final meeting of the event’s International Steering Committee, which has lent its support to an international plan of action to promote the global use of renewable energies.
More.
 


CDM BOARD LAUNCHES PROJECT STAGE
24-26 March 2004 | Bonn, Germany
The Executive Board of the Kyoto Protocol’s Clean Development Mechanism (CDM) has agreed to start registering projects. In a recent meeting, the Board accredited the first two companies to undertake “project validation,” which means verifying that each proposed project conforms to CDM rules. The first CDM projects are expected to be formally registered from mid-June 2004. More.

CONFERENCE CHAMPIONS WIND ENERGY
28-31 March 2004 | Chicago, Illinois, US
The Global Windpower 2004 Conference and Exhibition considered the rapid growth of wind energy production worldwide, as well as obstacles to future growth. The conference examined various aspects of wind energy, with many speakers noting that technological advances were driving down the costs of wind power and making it increasingly cost-competitive.
More.

FORESTRY WORKSHOP FORWARDS RECOMMENDATIONS ON ESTS AND CAPACITY BUILDING TO UNFF-4
23-27 February 2004 | Brazzaville, Congo
The Global Workshop on the Transfer of Environmentally Sound Technologies (ESTs)and Capacity Building for Sustainable Forest Management, a country-led initiative in support of the work of the UN Forum on Forests, convened recently to develop recommendations for action at the international and national levels to improve the framework for EST transfer and capacity building. More.
 

WRI SUMMIT EXPLORES TODAY’S CHALLENGES AND TOMORROW’S MARKETS
17-18 March 2004 | Washington, DC
Nearly 200 business executives gathered for the World Resource Institute’s Sustainable Enterprise Summit focused on “Today’s Challenges, Tomorrow’s Markets.” More.

ASIA-PACIFIC LEADERSHIP FORUM ISSUES DECLARATION ON SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT FOR CITIES
25-26 February 2004 | Hong Kong, China
Convened by the UN DESA and the Government of China, the “UN Asia-Pacific Leadership Forum: Sustainable Development for Cities” met recently to focus on integrating sustainable development into city and regional planning. More.
 

IUCN LAUNCHES REGIONAL OFFICE IN WEST ASIA
5-7 April 2004 | Amman, Jordan
Conservation experts gathered in Amman recently to strengthen knowledge and networks for biodiversity conservation in the West and Central Asia and North Africa (WESCANA) region. The meeting also signaled the relocation of IUCN-The World Conservation Union’s WESCANA Regional Office from its former headquarters in Gland to Amman. The meeting convened under the theme “People and Nature: Water for Peace and Prosperity” and held a high-level workshop on ways to address the challenges of water scarcity in the region.
More.
 

IMO AGREES TO PROTECT BALTIC SEA
29 March to 2 April 2004 | London, UK
The Baltic Sea, bar Russian waters, has been designated as a Particularly Sensitive Sea Area (PSSA). Eight Baltic Sea nations agreed to establish stricter environmental laws in their waters at the recent 51st session of the IMO’s Marine Environment Protection Committee. The meeting also saw the designation of the Galapagos archipelago and the waters surrounding the Canary Islands as PSSAs. In addition, the committee adopted revised regulations on sewage and approved a resolution on guidelines for transporting vegetable oil. More.

WTO COMMITTEE REVIEWS DEVELOPING COUNTRY TREATMENT
1 April 2004 | Geneva, Switzerland
The WTO’s Committee on Trade and Development has met to consider special and differential treatment provisions for developing countries. The latest discussions dealt mainly with procedural matters, with delegates attempting to agree on how to move discussions forward. More.
 

HOPES FOR AG AGREEMENT GROW
22-26 March 2004 | Geneva, Switzerland
The latest WTO talks on agricultural issues have ended on a positive note, with delegates reporting a “change of tone” in the meeting’s final session. Week-long consultations in the WTO Committee on Agriculture finally produced some good news, with Committee Chair Tim Groser pointing to a slowly-emerging consensus on setting late July as the date for reaching agreement on a “negotiating framework.” More.
 

LINKAGES UPDATE


Linkages Update is our means of keeping you informed of what’s new on IISD Reporting Services' Linkages website. This page is updated on a fortnightly basis, while the website continually posts new information provided by our contributing writers. If you wish to submit relevant materials or subscribe to Linkages Update, e-mail prisna@iisd.org.

Linkages provides updates on:
Recent meetings
Upcoming meetings
Media reports
Key publications, online resource
Comings and goings

Click here for the online versionand archives of Linkages Update.

Using images on Linkages
Images from IISD Reporting Services’ digital coverage of meetings are freely available, with proper citation. If you are looking for an image of a particular person or event, use our search site.
 

COMINGS AND GOINGS


Appointments

CDM EXECUTIVE BOARD ELECTS CHAIR AND VICE-CHAIR
The Executive Board of the Kyoto Protocol’s Clean Development Mechanism has elected its Chair for 2004-2005. John Shaibu Kilani of South Africa was named Chair, while Norway’s Georg Borsting will be Vice-Chair. Denmark’s Hans Jürgen Stehr was the outgoing Chair, while Franz Tattenbach Capra of Costa Rica was last year’s Vice-Chair. The Board is responsible for supervising the CDM. More.

JOHN HERITY BECOMES NEW IUCN CANADA OFFICE DIRECTOR
John Herity has been appointed as Director of the IUCN Canada Office. Herity will leave his post as Director of the Biodiversity Convention Office in Environment Canada and assume his responsibilities at IUCN in mid-April. More.

Vacancies

UCS SEEKS CLIMATE SPECIALIST

The Union of Concerned Scientists in the US is seeking a climate scientist for its office in Washington, DC. The position would involve leading the Union’s efforts to strengthen federal climate legislation and policies based on sound science. More.

UCS FOOD AND AGRICULTURE LOBBYIST SOUGHT
An experience lobbyist is needed by the Union of Concerned Scientists to work on its Food and Environment Programme in Washington, DC. The post would include advocating the Union’s positions on issues such as agricultural biotechnology and sustainable food systems. More.

IISD’S “YOUNG CANADIAN LEADERS FOR A SUSTAINABLE FUTURE INTERNSHIP PROGRAM” INVITES APPLICANTS
The International Institute for Sustainable Development is recruiting for the Young Canadian Leaders for a Sustainable Future (YCLSF) international internship program. IISD is seeking 25 young professionals to take up six month positions in Kenya, Switzerland, the Netherlands, UK, USA, South Africa, Costa Rica and India among other countries. Placements are with such organizations as UNEP, IUCN, and the World Business Council for Sustainable Development. Deadline for applications is 20 April 2004. The application form and additional details.

MEDWET SEEKS COMMUNICATIONS OFFICER
The Mediterranean Wetlands (MedWet) Initiative, an outposted unit of the Ramsar Convention on Wetlands, is looking for a communications officer to develop and implement the MedWet communication education and public awareness strategy. This is a two-year contact based in Athens, Greece. Applications are due 24 April 2004. More.

ROYAL SOCIETY SEEKS INTERNATIONAL POLICY DIRECTOR
The Royal Society is looking to hire a director to lead a team that will develop and implement the Society’s international policy, advise on international issues relevant to the Society’s work and lead the Society’s international work. The position will be based in London, UK and the closing date for applications is 16 April 2004. More.

Click here for complete postings on appointments, departures and vacancies.

 

MEDIA REPORTS


TREATY ON AGRICULTURAL BIODIVERSITY TO ENTER INTO FORCE IN JUNE
Eleven European countries, Egypt and the European Community have ratified the International Treaty on Plant Genetic Resources for Food and Agriculture, bringing the number of ratifications to 48. The Treaty will now enter into force on 29 June 2004, 90 days after the deposit of its 40th ratification. More.

HUNDREDS OF ENDANGERED SPECIES REMAIN UNPROTECTED, GLOBAL ANALYSIS SHOWS
Hundreds of critically endangered species remain without protection, says the Center for Applied Biodiversity Science at Conservation International. The scientists concluded that, while the actual area of protected land has risen, these threatened species do not benefit from the increase. More.

MYANMAR ESTABLISHES THE WORLD’S LARGEST TIGER RESERVE
Myanmar has established the world’s largest tiger reserve. More.

LOWLAND GORILLA POPULATION DOWN 70% IN THE LAST DECADE
The population of the endangered eastern lowland gorilla has declined by more than 70% in the last decade, says Conservation International. More.

FAO WARNS OF ALARMING LOSS OF DOMESTIC ANIMAL BREEDS
The worldwide loss of domestic animal breeds is “continuing at an alarming rate,” cautions the Food and Agriculture Organization. According to the organization, the greatest cause of genetic erosion is the failure to appreciate the value of locally adapted breeds. More.


BIG TRASH PROBLEMS FOR SMALL ISLANDS
Waste should be added to the issues of rising sea levels, overfishing, water shortages and inadequate sanitation services as a key problem for small island states, suggests a recent UNEP report released during the recent Global Ministerial Environment Forum. More.

EXPERT WARNS OF MASSIVE SEA LEVEL RISE
The world’s seas could rise by seven meters (23 feet) over the next millennium, leaving entire regions submerged, according to a new report. More.

US POLITICIANS PUSH EMISSIONS MEASURES
The US House of Representatives is to consider a bill to restrict carbon dioxide emissions. More.

EU SUPPORTS SOLVENT LAW, REJECTS “F-GAS” CONTROLS
The European Union has introduced new legislation to control the amount of harmful solvents permitted in paints and varnishes, while rejecting proposals to tighten laws governing the gases used in refrigerators and air conditioners. More.

CANADA LAUNCHES CLIMATE CAMPAIGN
Canada has launched a new initiative to increase public participation in combating climate change. More.

EXTREME WEATHER ON THE RISE IN ASIA
Dust and sand storms are occurring nearly five times more frequently in Northeast Asia than in the 1950s. More.

EU MISSING KYOTO TARGETS
The European Union is “not on track” to cut its carbon dioxide emissions under the Kyoto Protocol, according to WWF. More.

NEW CARBON DATA SOUNDS CLIMATE ALARM
New measurements by US scientists have once again broken previous records for atmospheric carbon dioxide concentrations. More.

 


BANKS FUEL OIL FINANCING FIGHT
Some of the world’s largest banks are set to join the squabble over the World Bank’s continuing support for oil and coal projects. More.

GLOBAL TRADE GROWTH SET TO CONTINUE, SAYS WTO
World trade is set to grow by as much as 7.5 percent in 2004, continuing the recovery experienced last year, according to the WTO. More.

EUROPE’S IMF DOMINANCE CHALLENGED
Europe’s dominant role in selecting the managing director of the International Monetary Fund has been challenged by Egypt’s most senior IMF representative, Shakour Shaalan. More.

AWARD FOR EXCELLENCE IN ENVIRONMENTAL REPORTING INVITES ENTRIES
The 2004 Reuters-IUCN Media Awards for Excellence in Environmental Reporting is inviting entries. Organized annually by the Reuters Foundation and IUCN, the worldwide contest aims to increase awareness of environmental and sustainable development issues by fostering excellence in environmental reporting. More.

$100,000 GRANT FOR WATER QUALITY RESEARCH INVITES APPLICANTS
The Water Environment Research Foundation (WERF) is inviting applications for the Paul L. Busch Award – a $100,000 research grant for researchers to “continue their work, take risks, and explore new directions” in the area of water quality research. More.

NUCLEAR EXPERTS ESTABLISH NEW INTERNATIONAL SAFETY GROUP
An International Nuclear Safety Group, comprising experts from many countries, was recently formed with the aim of providing authoritative advice and guidance on safety approaches, policies and principles at nuclear power plants and facilities. More.

KEY PUBLICATIONS AND ONLINE RESOURCES


Sustainable development

GEO YEARBOOK 2003
(UNEP, March 2004) Prepared in response to a UNEP Governing Council decision adopted in 2003, the annual Global Environment Outlook (GEO) Year Book highlights significant environmental events and achievements, and aims to raise awareness of emerging issues. In addition to tracking issues at the global and regional levels, the 2003 Year Book flags emerging environmental challenges, in particular the impacts of food and energy production on the global nitrogen cycle and of overfishing. The book also dedicates a chapter on indicators to reflect the trends for major global and regional environmental issues addressed under the GEO reporting process, namely atmosphere, disasters, forests, biodiversity, coastal and marine areas, and freshwater. The Year Book.

GOOD STUFF? A BEHIND-THE-SCENES GUIDE TO THE THINGS WE BUY
(Worldwatch Institute, March 2004) Produced in partnership with nine organizations as a practical companion to Worldwatch’s annual State of the World report, this guide tracks what goes into the production, use, and disposal of 25 common consumer items, including compact discs, cell phones and chocolate. It opens with a “Consumption Manifesto” comprising ten principles of “good consumption,” and also contains success stories, recommends simple actions, and puts forth personal challenges to consume responsibly. This guide.

WORLD AGRICULTURE AND THE ENVIRONMENT
(WWF, April 2004) Prepared by WWF, this book focuses on the impacts of agriculture on the environment, stating that the world’s largest industry is one of nature’s biggest threats. While recognizing that agriculture employs about 1.3 billion people and produces roughly $1.3 trillion worth of goods annually, the book also states that agriculture causes serious environmental, social, and economic problems, particularly in developing countries. It cautions against the nature of current agriculture subsidies, which encourages intensive and environmentally-harmful monoculture farming practices. The book calls on governments to work with farmers and the food industry to develop better management practices in order to increase efficiency and reduce damage to the environment. WWF and the World Bank are exploring financial incentives that encourage farmers and investors to adopt better management practices. The book.

FOOD SUPPLY SITUATION AND CROP PROSPECTS IN SUB-SAHARAN AFRICA
(FAO, April 2004) Prepared by the FAO Global Information and Early Warning System, this report details the food supply situation, cereal import and food aid requirements for sub-Saharan African countries. The report shows that millions of sub-Saharan Africans still depend on food assistance for survival, despite an increase in the overall availability of food in the region. Food production was shown to have increased in eastern and western Africa, though food shortages in specific countries were highlighted. While crop yields in southern Africa have improved, the impact of HIV/AIDS was shown to contribute greatly to food shortages in the region. Human factors such as internal displacement were demonstrated to impact food availability in areas such as Côte d’Ivoire, Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone, and natural events such as floods and droughts were shown to impact crops in countries such as Angola, Botswana, Mozambique, Zambia and Zimbabwe among others. The report.

IISD WEEKLY JOURNAL REVIEW
Subscribe to receive weekly e-updates containing descriptions of peer-reviewed articles on sustainable development.

Climate and energy

THE KYOTO PROTOCOL: RUSSIAN OPPORTUNITIES
(RIIA/OIES, March 2004). This paper by Benito Müller investigates the opportunities provided by the Kyoto Protocol to the Russian economy. Müller estimates the value of Russian greenhouse gas mitigation under the Kyoto mechanisms based on different carbon prices, and considers how the mechanisms could best work for Russia’s economy. He concludes that the “Joint Implementation” mechanism provides the best platform for Russia, because of the way it leverages foreign direct investment. However, Müller urges that Russia should begin to engage in Joint Implementation projects as soon as possible if it is to extract the greatest possible benefit. The paper suggests that linkages with the European Union’s new Emissions Trading Scheme could be developed, which would benefit Russia once it ratifies the Kyoto treaty. The paperwas published jointly by the Royal Institute of International Affairs and the Oxford Institute for Energy Studies.

THE HYPE ABOUT HYDROGEN: FACT AND FICTION IN THE RACE TO SAVE THE CLIMATE
(Island Press, 2004) This book by Joseph Romm investigates the recent hype around the prospects for using hydrogen fuels cells to solve the world’s environmental and energy dilemma. Romm, who was previously a US Energy Department official under the Clinton administration, argues that achieving a “hydrogen economy” is unlikely to be possible for several decades. He alerts readers to the dangers of over-estimating the short- to medium-term impact of hydrogen fuel cells, warning that “putting all our eggs in the hydrogen basket could allow climate problems to become irreversible.” More.


Water, wetlands, oceans, coasts

NEW ASIAN WATERBIRD CENSUS
(Wetlands International, April 2004) Wetlands International has published an Asian Waterbird Consensus (1997-2001), summarizing the results of counts from 1,392 sites in 22 countries, including 61 Ramsar sites. The report also provides important data on waterbird population, distribution and status, with reference to wetland habitats. Information presented in this report will contribute greatly to efforts towards the conservation of both waterbirds and wetlands, including to Wetlands of International Importance. More.

IMO LAUNCHES MARITIME TRAINING INSTITUTES ONLINE DIRECTORY
The International Maritime Organization (IMO) has launched an online directory of the Compendium of Maritime Training Institutes (CMTI), which aims to facilitate global access to information on maritime training institutes around the world, and to promote the exchange and accuracy of that data. The CMTI website.

IMO LAUNCHES MARTECAID DATABASE
The International Maritime Organization (IMO) has launched the Maritime Technical Cooperation Aid (MARTECAID) database, a web-based inventory on technical co-operation activities related to maritime safety and security and marine environment protection. The aim of the database is to facilitate global access to information on the range and scope of maritime technical assistance around the world and to promote the exchange and accuracy of that data. The MARTECAIDE.

WETKIT RAMSAR LAUNCHED
WetKit Ramsar is a new website designed to help Canadians find information and resources on the Ramsar Convention on Wetlands. The site also connects Canadians with the 36 Canadian Ramsar sites of international importance and provides regular wetland conservation updates from around the world. WetKit Ramsar.

MANAGING RIVERS WISELY – LESSONS FROM WWF’S WORK FOR INTEGRATED RIVER BASIN MANAGEMENT
(WWF, 2003) WWF believes that integrated river basin management is the most promising vehicle for addressing and overcoming the global water crisis. Launched by WWF Living Waters Programme, this publication comprises 14 global case studies on freshwater management drawn from its river basin programme portfolio. The book.

THIRSTY CROPS – OUR FOOD AND CLOTHES: EATING UP NATURE AND WEARING OUT THE ENVIRONMENT?
(WWF, 2003) This 20-page WWF booklet explains the importance of agriculture and water, and outlines potential solutions and WWF initiatives that contribute to addressing the issue. The book.

WATER MATTERS FOR SUSTAINABLE AGRICULTURE
(CropLife International, April 2004) Prepared for CSD-12, this CropLife publication considers ways to address water challenges. Case studies from around the world highlight various approaches to water conservation and use efficiency as well as protection of water resources and aquatic ecosystems through “improved land management systems, good agricultural practices, R&D, new agricultural technologies and product stewardship.” The publicationwill be available as of 19 April 2004.

Forests

COLLABORATIVE PARTNERSHIP ON FORESTS AND NATIONAL FOREST PROGRAMME FACILITY ON-LINE FORUM
The Collaborative Partnership on Forests and the National Forest Programme Facility has established an online forum for the exchange of information, ideas and experiences concerning funding of forest-related projects. Fund seekers are encouraged to use the forum to enhance their search process and to increase their skills in soliciting funding. Grant making bodies are encouraged to post news and advice for potential applicants. More. The forum is accessible in English and French.

SMART ALLIANCE: HOW A GLOBAL CORPORATION AND ENVIRONMENTAL ACTIVISTS TRANSFORMED A TARNISHED BRAND
(Yale University Press, April 2004) Written by Gary Taylor and Patricia Scharlin, this book highlights how Chiquita, a global corporation, and the Rainforest Alliance, an environmental nonprofit organization, worked together to transform Chiquita’s corporate reputation by improving conditions for its workers, minimizing the environmental impact of its farms, and conserving the rainforest surrounding its plantations. Through a chronicle of Chiquita’s revolutionary and successful transformation, the authors present a new model of corporate behavior at a time when corporate responsibility is a major public concern, and certification of agricultural products by environmental organizations, a central part of the Chiquita story, is becoming an important tool for consumers who care about responsible corporate practices. This book will be available on 15 April in North America and in May in other parts of the world. More.

WHAT YOU CAN DO TO STOP UNSUSTAINABLE AND ILLEGAL HARVESTING
(WWF, April 2004) WWF has launched this online guide on how to buy, sell, and trade timber and wood products responsibly to help stop practices such as illegal logging. It offers practical guidance for each of the following actor groups: consumers; forest companies; traders; retailers; local and national governments; builders, architects and designers; and financial institutions. It also offers links to overviews on threatened timber species and to news items on forest management and trade. The guide.
 


Trade, finance and investment

MAXIMISING MALTA’S COMPETITIVENESS POTENTIAL

(Islands and Small States Institute, University of Malta, April 2004) Written by Lino Briguglio, Gordon Cordina, Tendai Bare, and RoseMarie Endeley, this book is the product of a consultative and collaborative process aimed at developing a competitiveness strategy for Malta. The book is founded on the belief that small states such as Malta need to develop and sustain their economic competitiveness in order to achieve their long-term development aspirations. It aims to serve as a case study in promoting constructive social dialogue on economic competitiveness, a key issue for small states, and provides a framework for the development of a national competitiveness strategy and a programme of follow-up mechanisms, with implementation, monitoring and advocacy measures. More information is available at: from the Islands and Small States Institute, Foundation for International Studies, St. Paul Street, Valletta, VLT07, Malta, Tel/Fax: +356-2124-8218, 2134-0335; email: islands@um.edu.mt   

DOING BUSINESS WITH THE POOR: A FIELD GUIDE
(WBCSD, March 2004) Prepared by the World Business Council for Sustainable Development, this guide looks at how several companies are beginning to do business with the poor, breaking into the “untapped market of over four billion potential customers.” The publication is called a field guide as it is designed for CEOs to send managers to work in developing countries among poor populations. The guide advises companies to focus on core competencies when developing pro-poor business models, tap into local networks and knowledge, and partner with external resources that offer complementary expertise. The guide.

GLOBAL FINANCIAL STABILITY REPORT: MARKET DEVELOPMENTS AND ISSUES
(IMF, April 2004) The Global Financial Stability Report from the International Monetary Fund provides the latest assessment of global financial markets and emerging market financing in a global context. The report examines the current conditions in global financial markets, focusing on issues of financial imbalances and structural concerns that might threaten financial market stability and sustained market access by emerging market borrowers. The latest edition of the Global Financial Stability Report, which is now published quarterly, includes chapters concentrating on developments in global financial markets, risk transfer and the insurance industry, and institutional investors in emerging markets. The report.

Biodiversity and wildlife

TRADE AND BIODIVERSITY BRIEFS AND BACKGROUND PAPERS
(IUCN/ICTSD/DDRI, March 2004) A number of trade and biodiversity papers from the IUCN-ICTSD-DDRI “Intellectual Property and Sustainable Development Week,” held in Geneva from 16-19 March 2004, are available online.

The briefs include:
* Integrating African Perspectives and Priorities into Genetic Resource Regulations: A Resource Guide for Policymakers
;
*
Vision of Indigenous Peoples in the context of the decisions pertaining Access to Genetic Resources and Benefit Sharing (ABS) and Article 8j: An Analysis of the Impacts of CBD/COP Decisions with respect to WIPO’s IGC Mandate; and
* International Negotiations on Biodiversity, Genetic Resources and Intellectual Property: Implications of the WIPO Intergovernmental Committee’s New Mandate
.

The background papers include:
* Diversity Makes the Difference! Gender considerations for promoting an equitable access to and fair sharing of benefits arising from the utilization of biodiversity; and

* Access to Genetic Resources, Intellectual Property Rights and Biodiversity: Processes and Synergies
. The papers.

BENEFIT-SHARING: SYMPOSIUM ON FOOD SECURITY AND BIODIVERSITY
(Syngenta Foundation, October 2003) The papers from “Benefit Sharing: Symposium on Food Security and Biodiversity,” organized by the Syngenta Foundation in Basel on 16 October 2003, are available online. They include:
* Saving Genes through Improved Access and Benefit Sharing;
* Diversity and Protectionism Use of Genebanks: Trends and Interpretations;
* The International Treaty and its Benefit Sharing Provision;
* Sharing under the Convention on Biological Diversity;
* Balancing Interests;
* Perspectives, an NGO Viewpoint;
* The Global Crop Diversity Trust: Purpose, Priorities and Governance; and
* Experiences from Pharma Harnessing Cacti for Medicine. The papers.

NEW UPCOMING MEETINGS


Click here for a complete listing of upcoming meetings

Upcoming meetings recently added to Linkages website:

Sustainable development

INTERNATIONAL WORKSHOP ON URBANIZATION AND ENVIRONMENTAL CHANGE:
22 April 2004 - 24 April 2004. New Haven, CT, United States. Co-organized by IGES and Yale University School of Forestry & Environmental Studies, this workshop aims to explore both physical and social aspects of environmental change brought about by urbanization, and discuss barriers and leverages for a more sustainable urban future. Topics will cover various aspects of urban environment, with examples from cities all over the world. An edited volume will be published after the workshop. For more information contact: Bai Xuemei; e-mail: bai@iges.or.jp; Internet: http://www.iges.or.jp/en/from/press/press.html

SYMPOSIUM ON GEOPOLITICAL STAKES OF NATURAL RESOURCES:
30 April 2004. Geneva, Switzerland. The objective of this symposium is to analyze the geopolitical rivalries in relation to the control of natural resources and the repercussions of this phenomenon on international stability. For more information contact: International Centre for Geopolitical Studies, ICGS; tel: +41-22-340-6892; fax: +41-22-340-6892; e-mail: geopolitics@dplanet.ch; Internet: http://www.geopolitics.ch/colloque2004ang.htm

REQUEST FOR INPUT: WORKSHOP ON GLOBAL CHALLENGES AND DIRECTIONS FOR AGRICULTURAL BIOTECHNOLOGY:
13 May 2004 - 14 May 2004. Washington, DC, United States. The National Academies’ Committee on Agricultural Biotechnology, Health, and the Environment (CABHE) and an ad hoc Steering Committee on Global Challenges and Directions for Agricultural Biotechnology are hosting a workshop to identify key global problems, and discuss the possible use of agricultural biotechnology as one of many tools for easing these problems. The organizers hope that contributions from people in developing countries will form the basis of the workshop’s deliberations and are inviting interested experts and stakeholders to provide input to the agenda. For more information contact: Michael Kisielewski, Research Assistant; tel: +1-202-334-3062; fax: +1-202-334-1978; Internet: http://dels.nas.edu/global_challenges/

LEADERSHIP PROGRAMME ON ENVIRONMENT AND SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT:
26 July 2004 - 31 July 2004. Shanghai, China. 'Emerging leaders' from the Asia-Pacific region are expected to attend this week long leadership programme to learn to make balanced decisions on complex environmental and sustainable development issues. For more information contact: Mahesh Pradhan, UNEP ROAP; tel: +66-2-288-1801; fax: +66-2-280-3829; e-mail: pradhan@un.org; Internet: http://www.rrcap.unep.org/uneptongji

FOOD SECURITY ASSEMBLY 2004: GROWING TOGETHER: CULTIVATING FOOD SECURITY IN CANADIAN SOCIETY:
14 October 2004 - 16 October 2004. Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada. Hosted by the Canadian Food Grains Bank and Winnipeg Harvest, this event aims to provide an opportunity to engage Canadians from all sectors including farmers, fisher-folk, academics, health, government, NGOs and those who are “food insecure” on the many facets of food security. For more information contact: Assembly on Food Security; tel: +1-204-982-3675; e-mail: planners@foodsecurityassembly.ca; Internet: http://www.foodsecurityassembly.ca

WORLD RICE RESEARCH CONFERENCE:
4 November 2004 - 7 November 2004. Tokyo and Tsukuba, Japan. Touted as the most important scientific event of the 2004 International Year of Rice, the World Rice Research Conference (WRRC) aims to help provide solutions to the challenges of the rice industry, by presenting the latest research information on a wide range of rice-related issues such as international food security, poverty alleviation and the environment. The Opening symposium and keynote speeches will take place in Tokyo and a scientific symposium will be held in Tsukuba. For more information contact: K. Toriyama, JIRCAS; tel: +81-29-838-6345; fax: +81-29-838-6342; e-mail: WRRC2004@ml.affrc.go.jp; Internet: http://www.irri.org/wrrc2004/default.htm

Biodiversity and wildlife

ELECTRONIC CONFERENCE ON "SUSTAINING LIVELIHOODS AND BIODIVERSITY - ATTAINING THE 2010 TARGET IN THE EUROPEAN BIODIVERSITY STRATEGY":
13 April 2004 - 30 April 2004. electronic forum. Organized by BioPlatform and the organizers of the Irish meeting of the European Platform for Biodiversity Research Strategy (EPBRS), this e-Conference will have 5 parallel sessions focusing on research needs for: the Biodiversity Action Plan on Agriculture; the Biodiversity Action Plan on Economic and Development Cooperation; the Biodiversity Action Plan on Conservation of Natural Resources; monitoring, indicators and reporting; and sustaining livelihoods and biodiversity. For more information contact: Internet: http://www.nbu.ac.uk/biota/e-conference.htm

18TH ANNUAL MEETING OF THE SOCIETY FOR CONSERVATION BIOLOGY: 30 July 2004 - 2 August 2004. New York, United States. The 2004 Annual Meeting of the Society for Conservation Biology will consider the theme of �Conservation in an Urbanizing World� and other emerging topics through plenary sessions, symposia, workshops, organized discussions, contributed oral presentations, and poster sessions. For more information contact: Eva Fearn; fax: +1-212-854-8188; e-mail: 2004@conbio.org; Internet: http://cerc.columbia.edu/scb2004/

Climate and atmosphere

CONFERENCE ON DEBT, CLIMATE AND GLOBAL JUSTICE:
28 April 2004. Dublin, Ireland. This conference will explore the links between climate change, the debt crisis and global inequity. Organized by a variety of NGOs, the meeting will include presentations on poor country debt negotiations and the concept of environmental debt, the �contraction and convergence� approach to managing global greenhouse gas emissions, emissions trading, and declining global oil reserves. Participants will also interact through a live video link with delegates attending a similar event in South Africa. For more information contact: Aubrey Meyer, Global Commons Institute; tel: +44-20-8520-4742; fax: +44-20-8520-4742; e-mail: aubrey@gci.org.uk; Internet: http://www.gci.org.uk/events/feasta.pdf

CDM EXECUTIVE BOARD MEETINGS 2004:
13 June 2004 - 3 December 2004. Bonn, Germany. The Executive Board of the Kyoto Protocol's Clean Development Mechanism is scheduled to meet four more times in 2004. The next meeting, and the 14th since the Board was formed, will take place from 13-14 June. Meetings will also be held from 1-2 September, 21-22 October, and 1-3 December. The first three meetings will take place in Bonn, Germany, while the final meeting of the year will be held in Buenos Aires, alongside the Tenth Conference of the Parties to the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change. For more information contact: UNFCCC Secretariat; tel: +49-228-815-1005; fax: +49-228-815-1999; e-mail: cdm-info@unfccc.int; Internet: http://cdm.unfccc.int

Forests, deserts, land

SYMPOSIUM ON THE EFFECTS OF FOREST CERTIFICATION IN DEVELOPING COUNTRIES AND EMERGING ECONOMIES:
10 June 2004 - 14 June 2004. Yale University, New Haven, CT, United States. This ITTO-sponsored symposium will seek to systematically address the environmental, social and economic effects of forest certification at the national and local levels in a range of countries. For more information contact: Barbara Bamberger, Yale School of Forestry and Environmental Studies; tel: +1-619-296 3686; e-mail: BambergerB@aol.com; Internet: http://www.yale.edu/forestcertification

Human development

UNITAR WORKSHOP SERIES ON POLICY AWARENESS AND TRAINING IN INFORMATION TECHNOLOGY:
23 April 2004. New York, United States. This interactive seminar focusing on the role of technology in distance learning is primarily aimed at ambassadors and other diplomats. However, all interested UN staff members as well as NGOs are welcome to attend. For more information contact: UNITAR; tel: +1-212-963-3021

Intergovernmental organizations

AFRICAN UNION SUMMIT 2004:
6 July 2004 - 8 July 2004. Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. The third Ordinary Session of the African Union Assembly will take place from 6-8 July in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. For more information contact: African Union Secretariat; tel: +215-1-517-700; fax: +215-1-517-844; e-mail: webmaster@africa-union.org; Internet: http://www.africa-union.org

Trade, finance and investment in sustainable development

SEMINAR ON AGRICULTURAL TRADE NEGOTIATIONS - POLITICS AND PROSPECTS:
17 May 2004. Brussels, Belgium. This seminar will consider the prospects for securing a framework for negotiations on agricultural issues by July/August 2004. It will also examine the political environment in key WTO member countries. The seminar is being organized by the International Food and Agricultural Trade Policy Council, which is holding its 33rd Plenary Meeting immediately prior to the seminar. For more information contact: Michel Baumgartner, IPC's Brussels Office; tel: +32-2-534-9036; fax: +32-2-534-9882; e-mail: ipcbrussels@prmltd.com; Internet: http://www.agritrade.org/Plenary%20Seminars/BrusselsSem.htm

Water, wetlands, oceans, coasts

REGIONAL ELECTRONIC FORUM ON "PAYMENT SCHEMES OF PAYMENTS FOR ENVIRONMENTAL SERVICES IN WATERSHEDS":
12 April 2004 - 21 May 2004. electronic forum. This forum is organized by the International Secretariat of the Latin American Network for Technical Cooperation in Watershed Management (REDLACH) and the FAO Regional Office for Latin America and the Caribbean. Discussions will be in Spanish and divided into three phases: design of PES schemes in watersheds; execution of PES schemes in watersheds; and impacts of PES schemes in watersheds. Comments in French and English are also welcome. For more information contact: Enrique Salazar, REDLACH; tel: +511-224-7559; fax: +511-224-8936; e-mail: irh-intendente@inrena.gob.pe; Internet: http://www.rlc.fao.org/foro/psa

INTERNATIONAL SOCIETY OF WETLANDS SCIENTISTS - 25TH ANNIVERSARY CONFERENCE:
18 July 2004 - 23 July 2004. Seattle, Washington, United States. The conference's symposia and technical sessions aims to present interdisciplinary, integrated approaches and technologies for analyzing and evaluating wetlands, co-managing fisheries, studying insects and other wildlife, educating the public and the next generation of wetland professionals, engaging the politics of wetlands management, and identifying uses of wetlands by cultures in different regions of the world. For more information contact: Jan Kvamme, University of Washington Engineering and Professional Programmes; tel: +1-703-790-1745; fax: +1-703-790-2672; e-mail: kvamme@u.washington.edu; Internet: http://www.sws.org/seattle2004/glance.htm

RAMSAR STRP MIDTERM WORKSHOPS:
20 July 2004 - 24 July 2004. Wetlands International, Wageningen, The Netherlands. The Ramsar Convention's Scientific and Technical Review Panel (STRP) will hold midterm workshops prior to the seventh INTECOL International Wetlands Conference scheduled for nearby Utrecht from 25-30 July. The Working Groups involved are: WG 1 on Inventory & Assessment; WG 3 on Water resources; WG 4 on Ramsar site designation; and WG 6 on Assessment of the effectiveness of Convention implementation. For more information contact: Ramsar Convention Secretariat; tel: +41-22-999-0170; fax: +41-22-999-0169; e-mail: ramsar@ramsar.org; Internet: http://ramsar.org/w.n.strp_workshops_2004.htm
 

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