Water, Oceans and Wetlands
Global Conference on Oceans and Coasts at Rio+10: Toward the 2002 World Summit on Sustainable Development in Johannesburg
7 December 2001: The Global Conference on Oceans and Coasts at Rio+10: Toward the 2002 World Summit on Sustainable Development in Johannesburg, took place from 3-7 December 2001 at the Headquarters of the UN Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) in Paris, France.
The Conference, which was originally initiated by NGOs, was co-organized by UNESCO's Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission (IOC) and the University of Delaware's Center for the Study of Marine Policy (CSMP), with the support of numerous international and national organizations involved or interested in oceans-related issues. The Conference was attended by more than 400 participants from over 60 countries, including 13 ministers and vice-ministers and ocean experts from governments, intergovernmental organizations (IGOs), NGOs, academic and scientific institutions, and industry.
Conference participants sought to: provide an overall assessment of progress achieved on oceans and coasts in the ten years since the UN Conference on Environment and Development (UNCED) in Rio; identify new and continuing challenges; examine cross-cutting issues among various ocean and coastal sectors; consider options for concerted action on outstanding cross-sectoral issues; and provide recommendations for the WSSD on oceans and coasts issues.
The Conference was organized into 17 panels, with presentations on selected topics followed by discussion periods. Eight Working Groups composed of NGO, IGO and government representatives also met in morning, lunchtime and evening sessions throughout the week to assess information presented by the panels and prepare recommendations on: harmonization of international agreements; targeting of donor aid; assessment and management of the marine environment; marine biodiversity and protected areas; integrated ocean and coastal management; sustainable fisheries and aquaculture; regional and small island perspectives; and capacity building.
Outputs from the proceedings were contained in a Co-Chairs' Draft Concluding Statement and Working Group Draft Reports, which were subsequently developed into a Co-Chairs' Summary to be presented in January 2002 to the WSSD PrepCom II. Future planned outputs also include a volume on ministerial perspectives presented at the Conference and several volumes and journals of position papers submitted to the Conference.
The IISD RS Sustainable Developments report outlining these discussions in detail can be found at: http://www.iisd.ca/linkages/sd/ocrio+10/
INTERNATIONAL CONFERENCE ON FRESHWATER
The International Conference on Freshwater took place from 3-7 December 2001 at the International Congress Center Bundeshaus in Bonn, Germany, with 118 governments, 47 intergovernmental organizations and 73 representatives of major groups in attendance.
The Conference was convened as a preparatory step on freshwater issues for the upcoming WSSD. Delegates met in Plenary and Working Group sessions to consider issues of water access, scarcity, pollution and natural disasters, as well as financing and capacity building. A closed-door ministerial session considered the equitable and sustainable use of water resources and the mobilization of financial resources for infrastructure investment. The Conference considered the Recommendations for Action (RFA) that will be presented to the WSSD and its preparatory process. The other conference outputs were the "Bonn Keys" - a one-page summary of the RFA, the Working Group Reports, a Conference Report and a Ministerial Declaration, as well as the Conference Issue Paper and Thematic Background Papers, which were prepared prior to the Conference. The Sustainable Developments report outlining these discussions in detail can be found at: http://www.iisd.ca/linkages/sd/water/sdh20/
Sixth Meeting of the WSSD Bureau
7 December 2001: The sixth meeting of the CSD-10 Bureau took place on 7 December 2001 in Washington, DC. The Bureau reviewed preparations for the "brainstorming sessions" scheduled to take place from 16-17 January 2002 in New York.
The Bureau agreed that, although the brainstorming sessions are primarily meant to facilitate governments' preparations for the second PrepCom, CSD rules will apply to the participation of Major Groups. The brainstorming sessions will address: key themes for the Summit emerging from the regional preparatory processes; possible outcomes of the WSSD, with a focus on strengthening implementation and launching partnerships at the global, regional and national levels; and implications for the institutional framework for sustainable development.
The Bureau met with Washington-based NGOs to inform them about the Summit preparatory and multi-stakeholder process and to exchange views on the emerging themes and desired outcomes of the Summit. The Bureau also met with the Global Environment Facility (GEF) Council and representatives of the World Bank. The GEF announced its contributions to the Summit preparations, including roundtables on energy and climate change, forests and biodiversity, and land, water and food security. The GEF will also organize two Ministerial Roundtables on financing for environmental sustainability, with an emphasis on non-ODA finance, to be held in conjunction with the Conference on Financing for Development and the fourth WSSD Preparatory Committee in Jakarta, Indonesia. Each of those roundtables will submit a report with recommendations to the WSSD Preparatory Committee.
In discussions with the World Bank, it was suggested that the Summit focus on a limited number of priority themes to maximize its impact. The World Bank also announced its inputs to the Johannesburg process, including a study on innovative financing for sustainable development being conducted in cooperation with UNEP and IMF, research on poverty-environment linkages in cooperation with UNDP and DfID (UK), and an investigation into land and water management for food security, to be carried out in cooperation with GEF and the Consultative Group on International Agricultural Research (CGIAR). The next Bureau meeting is expected to convene on 14 January 2002 in New York. More information on this meeting is available online at: http://www.johannesburgsummit.org/html/documents/note_6thbur...