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December 2008

UNEP GATHERS LEADERS TO SHAPE UN GREEN ECONOMY INITIATIVE

The UN Environment Programme (UNEP) convened economists, academics and leaders of private and public institutions at an “International Workshop to take forward the Global Initiative on the Green Economy.” The workshop, which met in Geneva, Switzerland, from 1-3 December 2008, considered the US$4 million UN Green Economy Initiative, which was launched on 22 October 2008, and seeks to respond to the global economic downturn by focusing policymakers on the promise of economic growth and job creation in environmental industries. Meeting attendees considered and shared ideas on: a sustainable green economy; the role of socially and environmentally responsible investments in such an economy; the institutions needed to enable the transition to a “green” economy; and relevant analytical challenges, including in modeling. The six areas of focus considered by break-out groups were: environmental infrastructure; biodiversity-based business; clean and efficient technologies; renewable energy; chemicals and waste management; green cities; buildings; and transport. Links to further information UNEP Press Release, 25 November 2008 UNEP Green Economy Initiative Website Conference website
Financing for Development Review Conference Expresses Concern over Impact of Climate Change on Development

The International Conference on Financing for Development to Review the Implementation of the Monterrey Consensus took place from 29 November-2 December 2008, in Doha, Qatar. The Conference heard from high-level officials representing over 160 countries, including nearly 40 Heads of State or Government. Among other issues, delegates expressed their “deep concern that the international community is now challenged by the severe impact on development of multiple, interrelated global crises and challenges, such as increased food insecurity, volatile energy and commodity prices, climate change and a global financial crisis, as well as the lack of results so far in the multilateral trade negotiations and a loss of confidence in the international economic system.” Among the outcomes of the Conference, the need to convene a UN summit on world financial structures was highlighted. The conference adopted an Outcome Document that notes new and emerging challenges to financing development, including the impact of the financial crisis and the additional costs of climate change mitigation and adaptation and damage to the earth's environment. The Document also reaffirms governments' resolve to take concerted global action to address all these areas while consistently furthering economic and human development for all. The Outcome Document also notes that “ongoing and potential responses to tackle this phenomenon have major financing for development implications and will incur substantial additional costs on all countries, thus requiring additional resource mobilization, including from the private sector, particularly for developing countries to address the challenges of climate change, in order to support appropriate national adaptation and mitigation strategies and actions.” Countries reiterated “that it is critical to address the pressing needs of developing countries, especially those that are particularly vulnerable to the adverse impacts of climate change, such as the least developed countries, small island developing States, and other affected countries in Africa.” In this regard, they urged “all parties to engage in the ongoing process in a manner that will ensure an agreed outcome commensurate with the scope and urgency of the climate change challenge.” The States parties to the Kyoto Protocol also welcomed the launching of the Adaptation Fund within the structure of the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change and looked forward to its early operationalization with full support. Links to further information Official website NGLS meeting website

November 2008

GEF COUNCIL MEETS

The 34th GEF Council Meeting is taking place from 11-13 November 2008, in Washington DC, US. The agenda for the meeting includes an offer by Uruguay to host the Fourth GEF Assembly, to be convened in the first half of 2010. Council Members are also reviewing a progress report on the Fourth Overall Performance Study of the GEF and the Mid-term review of the resource allocation framework (RAF), as well as a Strategic Program to Scale up the Level of Investment in the Transfer of Environmentally Sound Technologies. The GEF Council Meeting was preceded by an NGO consultation on 10 November. Links to further information GEF Council Documents Information for participants
GEF COUNCIL AND CLIMATE FUND COUNCILS CONVENE

The Global Environment Facility (GEF) Council reelected Monique Barbut as CEO during its biannual meeting, which took place from 11-13 November 2008, in Washington DC, US. Countries also accepted an offer by Uruguay to host the Fourth GEF Assembly in Punta del Este, during the first half of 2010. Among other issues, Council Members approved a “Strategic Program to Scale up the Level of Investment in the Transfer of Environmentally Sound Technologies,” and projects amounting to US$201.17 million. Donors and recipients participated in initial discussions on the fifth GEF replenishment. The Council also requested the GEF Secretariat and others to present steps to improve the resource allocation framework (RAF) design and indices for the climate change and biodiversity focal areas for GEF-5, and to present scenarios for possible expansion of the RAF to all focal areas for GEF-5 for consideration at the next Council meeting. The Least Developed Countries Fund (LDCF) and Special Climate Change Fund (SCCF) Council met on 13 November, and Council members were informed of the status of these funds, with pledges for the SCCF amounting to US$106.57 million, and for the LDCF amounting to US$172.44 million. They also approved an approach to monitor performance and outputs, outcomes and impacts of both funds. The meetings were preceded by an NGO consultation on 10 November 2008. Links to further information Council meeting and documents GEF Press Release, 14 November 2008

October 2008

WORLD FORUM ON SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT MEETS IN BRAZZAVILLE

The Sixth World Forum on Sustainable Development convened in Brazzaville, Republic of Congo, from 27-30 October 2008. The event was organized with the participation of several institutions, including the UN Environment Programme, UN Development Programme, UN Food and Agriculture Organization, African Union, African Development Bank, Economic Commission for Africa, and World Environment Fund. The Forum adopted a multi-disciplinary approach with ten African leaders, over 100 delegates from Congo Basin countries and beyond, NGOs and multilateral agencies attending. Discussions took place in plenary sessions and workshops around the theme “Africa, Environment, Globalization.” Participants discussed a number of key issues associated with sustainable development, from eco-agriculture to trade policies and subsidies to environmental governance. Many participants expressed the concern that African views should be taken into account as part of a broader theme related to global governance. In particular, they argued that power dynamics within the Bretton Woods Institutions should allow for more African participation, specifically with greater representation at key international financial institutions. The meeting concluded with the adoption of an action plan designed to confront the effects of globalization, the food crisis and the current financial crisis in the face of increasing climate change. Links to further information Summit Website World Bank press release, 4 November 2008
TALKS CONTINUE ON TRIPS BIODIVERSITY AMENDMENT

The Council of the Agreement on Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPS Agreement) met from 29-30 October 2008, in Geneva, Switzerland. Discussions focused on a register for geographical indications and a possible amendment of the TRIPS Agreement to require disclosure of origin of genetic resources in patent applications. India argued that amendments to the TRIPS Agreement are necessary to remedy the “inadequacy in the TRIPS Agreement to combat biopiracy and misappropriation of genetic resources and traditional knowledge.” India further expressed disappointment at the lack of progress on this issue, despite overwhelming support and technical work. Approximately 80 countries, over half of World Trade Organization member states, support amendment of the TRIPS Agreement to protect biodiversity and traditional knowledge better. During the meeting, Sri Lanka became an official co-sponsor of a 2006 document calling for mandatory disclosure of origin of genetic resources and traditional knowledge in patent applications, and evidence of prior informed consent and benefit-sharing. Link to further information IP Watch, 31 October 2008
IMF AND WORLD BANK ANNUAL MEETINGS ADDRESS WORLD ECONOMIC CRISIS, SUPPORT EFFORTS TO TACKLE CLIMATE CHANGE

The annual meetings of the Boards of Governors of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and World Bank took place from 11-13 October 2008, in Washington DC, US. Finance ministers from developing and industrialized nations attended the event, which was preceded by a meeting of the International Monetary and Financial Committee (IMFC) and the Development Committee. The IMFC and seminars during the week addressed the responses to the current economic crisis, as well as the challenges posed by higher food and fuel prices. In the Development Committee's communiqué, finance ministers cautioned that due to the current financial crisis, “Developing and transition countries - many of them already hit hard by current high prices for energy and essential foodstuffs - risk very serious setbacks to their efforts to improve the lives of their populations from any prolonged tightening of credit or sustained global slowdown. The poorest and most vulnerable groups risk the most serious – and in some cases permanent – damage.” The Joint IMF and World Bank Development Committee issued a communiqué supporting the World Bank's stronger role in helping countries deal with the causes and effects of climate change, as well as the recent launch of the new Climate Investment Funds, including a Clean Technology Fund and a Strategic Climate Fund. In particular, finance ministers re-emphasized the primacy of the UNFCCC negotiation process, and “taking account of the Bali Action Plan,” encouraged the World Bank to support climate actions in country-led development processes in a holistic manner, and to “customize support to climate change adaptation and mitigation efforts, as well as capacity building needs, in its member countries.” Regarding funds to address climate change, they encouraged the World Bank to “strengthen its resource mobilization efforts, including facilitating access to additional concessional financing, ensuring complementarity with other financing mechanisms (notably the Global Environment Facility and the Adaptation Fund), supporting the development of market-based financing mechanisms, leveraging private sector resources, and seizing opportunities for innovation.” Ministers also encouraged the World Bank to give increased attention to mobilizing resources for adaptation and play an active role in supporting the development and deployment of clean and climate resilient technologies, and facilitating relevant R&D and technology transfer. Link to further information IMF-World Bank Annual Meetings 2008
OECD MEETING EVALUATES ROLE OF CITIES IN RESPONDING TO CLIMATE CHANGE

The international Conference on “Competitive Cities and Climate Change,” organized by the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), took place from 9-10 October 2008, in Milan, Italy. The event provided the opportunity for mayors from some of the world's most important and influential cities to both address common challenges and share best practices on climate solutions. During discussions, mayors outlined how market-based systems could save energy, reduce greenhouse gases, and provide “green jobs.” They focused on the relationship between urbanization and climate change, and the implications of climate change for urban policy making, in particular in relation to competitiveness objectives. Link to further information OECD Press Release
G24 ADDRESSES CLIMATE CHANGE IN INTERNATIONAL MONETARY AFFAIRS AND DEVELOPMENT COMMUNIQUÉ

The Intergovernmental Group of Twenty-Four (G24) addressed climate change issues, among others, in the International Monetary Affairs and Development Communiqué developed by ministers during their eightieth meeting, which convened in Washington DC, US, on 10 October 2008. The Communiqué indicates that “Ministers recognized that climate change is a global challenge that requires the widest possible cooperation amongst all countries to reach an effective and appropriate international response, based on common but differentiated responsibilities and respective capabilities.” Ministers welcomed the adoption of the Strategic Framework on Development and Climate Change, which articulates the World Bank Group's response to the development challenges posed by climate change, and urged the World Bank Group to give special attention to adaptation to climate variability, mobilizing incremental resources and financing stand-alone adaptation projects. They stressed that provision of additional resources is critical in particular to finance the difference between climate-friendly and least-cost project options. They emphasized that the Bank should play a proactive and prominent role in all aspects related to technology, including on collaborative research on technology development and support of economically viable technologies. Ministers also underscored that promoting energy efficiency through better domestic incentives and country-led strategies represents a “low hanging fruit” and a win-win approach to enhancing energy access while reducing emissions. Link to further information IMF News Report, 10 October 2008
EUROPEAN MEETING ON DISASTER RISK MANAGEMENT DISCUSSES WAYS TO STRENGTHEN COLLABORATION

European countries met from 9-10 October 2008, in Chisinau, Republic of Moldova, to discuss practical ways to reduce the impacts of natural hazards through strengthened collaboration among the World Meteorological Organization's (WMO) National Meteorological and Hydrological Services and disaster risk management institutions. The meeting was hosted by the Republic of Moldova and organized by the WMO, with the support of the UN International Strategy for Disaster Risk Reduction (UN/ISDR), the World Bank through the Global Facility for Disaster Reduction and Recovery, and the Group on Earth Observations. The regional conference brought together senior government officials and representatives of intergovernmental and non-governmental organizations as well as private entities. The meeting is expected to contribute to international deliberations on disaster risk reduction, notably the third World Climate Conference, to be held in Geneva, Switzerland, from 31 August to 4 September 2009. Link to further information WMO Press Release, 9 October 2008
FINANCING FOR DEVELOPMENT INFORMAL DRAFTING CONSULTATIONS BEGIN

The First Drafting Session on the Draft Outcome Document for the Follow-Up International Conference on Financing for Development was held on 9 October 2008, at UN headquarters in New York, US. Miguel D'Escoto Brockmann, President of the UN General Assembly, noted the uncertainty and urgency affecting the Finance for Development (FfD) process in light of the rapid deterioration of the global economy, evidenced in the past weeks, noting with regret that “the outlook for financing for development is very different from what it was just a few months back.” Among drafting suggestions presented on the first section of the outcome document, the Group of 77 and China proposed expressing “deep concern that the international community is now challenged by multiple inter-related and mutually exacerbating crises, such as global food, energy, climate change and financial crises, as well as a crisis of confidence in some international institutions and international economic system.” Link to further information Financing for Development consultations
DRAFT OUTCOME FOR FINANCING FOR DEVELOPMENT CONFERENCE DISCUSSED

Meetings were held during October 2008 on the draft Outcome Document for the upcoming Doha International Conference on Financing for Development to Review the Implementation of the Monterrey Consensus. Countries and regional groups presented their suggestions on the different chapters of the outcome document, which have been compiled by the facilitators and integrated in proposals for revised draft text. Informal consultations will continue during November in the lead up to the Doha Conference, which is taking place from 29 November to 2 December 2008. Links to further information Revised Outcome Document and suggestions Submissions by regional groups, countries and international ...

September 2008

WTO PUBLIC FORUM ADDRESSES CLIMATE-TRADE INTERFACE

Pascal Lamy, World Trade Organization (WTO) Director-General, addressed the 2008 WTO Public Forum, highlighting that “trade opening in environmental goods and services, in particular in climate-friendly technology, can make vital pollution prevention and reduction equipment more accessible to countries in need; thereby easing the climate crisis.” The 2008 WTO Public Forum under the theme “Trading into the Future” met on 25-26 September 2008, and provided an opportunity for civil society to present its views to the WTO and discuss how the trading system may incorporate the needs and aspirations of the international community. A session on mutual supportiveness of trade, climate change and development objectives was moderated by Fiona Harvey, Financial Times, and included Pascal Lamy as a speaker. Climate change was also addressed in a panel organized by the International Centre for Trade and Sustainable Development (ICTSD) on “Climate Change, Competitiveness and Trade Policy: Opportunities and Challenges for the Future of the Multilateral Trading System.” Link to further information WTO Public Session Programme, Audio and Documents
WORLD BANK CONVENES FOREST DIALOGUE

Forest leaders gathered after a seven-month global dialogue to highlight the central role of sustainable forest management (SFM) in combating climate change. The meeting, which convened under the auspices of the World Bank and The Forests Dialogue, met on 17-18 September 2008, and agreed on a set of principles for SFM that will be presented at the IUCN World Conservation Congress in Barcelona in October 2008, and to the 14th session of the UNFCCC in Poznan, Poland, in December. More than 100 leaders and participants from governments, international institutions, the conservation community, indigenous peoples' groups, forest owners' associations, research agencies, and the private sector, participated in the meeting. Links to further information World Bank Press Release, 17 December 2008 The Forest Dialogue meeting materials
ITTO POSTS STATEMENTS FROM FOREST DIALOGUE ON CLIMATE CHANGE

Statements have recently been posted from the gathering of forest stakeholders in Washington, DC, US, on 16-17 September 2008, to agree on a new set of principles for sustainable forest management and its central role in combating climate change. The meeting followed seven months of global dialogue with stakeholders, and was convened under the auspices of the World Bank and The Forests Dialogue, of which the International Tropical Timber Organization (ITTO) is a founding member. Link to further information The Forest Dialogue Statements
NEGOTIATIONS FOR FfD DOHA REVIEW CONFERENCE OFFICIALLY LAUNCHED

The negotiations on the Outcome Document for the Financing for Development Review Conference were officially launched at UN Headquarters on 8 September 2008. The President of the UN General Assembly, Srgjan Kerim, addressed participants and underscored the importance of “renewing and retooling” the international financial architecture in light of ongoing turmoil in international financial markets, high food and fuel prices, and stagnant growth. Among the proposals contained in the document are text calling for an international conference to redefine the purpose of the Bretton Woods Institutions (BWIs) and the creation of an ad hoc commission to identify innovative solutions on debt. On the first, the G-77/China contends that leaving follow up of this initiative to the existing financial institutions is “to almost guarantee failure” and notes that the complexity of issues identified exceeds the mandate of BWIs. The NGO Committee on Financing for Development has proposed incorporating the concept of ‘odious debt' in the document. Links to further information Consultations on the Contents of the Outcome Document of the... UN General Assembly Press Release, 8 September 2008
AID EFFECTIVENESS HIGH LEVEL FORUM CONCLUDES IN ACCRA

The Third High Level Forum on Aid Effectiveness, organized by the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) and the World Bank, convened in Accra, Ghana, from 2-4 September 2008. Participants adopted the “Accra Action Agenda to Improve the Efficiency of Development Business,” which was developed through consultations and discussions among developing countries, OECD donors and civil society organizations. The Declaration follows the Paris Declaration on Aid Effectiveness, which was signed in 2005 and seeks to enhance aid predictability by: providing three-five year forward information on planned aid to developing countries; promoting the use of country systems within aid programmes; reducing conditionality; and relaxing requirements related to the procurement of goods and services from donors within aid projects. Link to further information Accra High Level Forum Website

August 2008

GEF MEETING IN WEST AFRICA DEVELOPS PROGRAMME FOR ACCESS TO RENEWABLE ENERGY AND ENERGY EFFICIENCY

The Global Environment Facility (GEF) Secretariat met with Ministers from West African Countries on 25-26 August 2008, in Cotonou, Benin, to develop a regional programme for climate change and biodiversity that provides a more efficient use of resources from the GEF's Resource Allocation Framework (RAF). The proposed programme places a particular emphasis on improving access to energy under the climate change focal area. In her presentation to the meeting, GEF CEO Monique Barbut explained that priority projects will address: energy access for disadvantaged people and rural dwellers; development of mini-hydroelectric dams; development of micro-enterprises to provide energy services; promotion of new and renewable energies; better use of biomass and solar power; and encouraging suitable and appropriate biofuels. Subject to confirmation by countries in the region, GEF funds in the range of US$30-35 million would be earmarked under the proposed energy programme for West Africa, with expected cofinancing in the range of US$80-100 million. Link to further information Ministerial Consultations in Benin

July 2008

FOLLOWING WTO MINISTERIAL COLLAPSE, FUTURE OF BIODIVERSITY ISSUES UNCERTAIN

Following the collapse of the 21-29 July 2008 WTO ministerial, the future of talks on a possible amendment of the TRIPS Agreement to include a requirement for disclosure of origin of genetic resources and/or associated traditional knowledge in patent applications remains uncertain. Intellectual property issues were reported to have been discussed consistently by key delegations during the ministerial, but never rose to the level of full negotiation, the main issues remaining agriculture and industrial goods. On the eve of the ministerial, an unprecedented coalition of developed and developing countries led by Brazil, the EU, India and Switzerland had presented “draft modalities” on three controversial intellectual property issues: disclosure of origin in patent applications, extension of geographical indications to all goods, and the establishment of a multilateral register for geographical indications for wines and spirits. The proposal to address these issues together in the horizontal negotiations on modalities in the industrial and agricultural sectors had been rejected by Australia, Canada, Chile, Mexico, New Zealand, South Korea, Taiwan and the US. According to the draft modalities, members would agree, prior to official negotiations on the issue, to amend the TRIPS Agreement so that all patent applications would be required to disclose the origin of genetic resources and/or associated traditional knowledge used in the product in question. Patent applicants would also have to provide proof of prior informed consent and benefit-sharing. Links to further information IP Watch, 31 July 2008 IP Watch, 29 July 2008 ICTSD Bridges Weekly Trade News Digest, 16 July 2008
HOKKAIDO TOYAKO MAJOR ECONOMIES MEETING ADOPTS DECLARATION, MINUS TARGETS

Political leaders from 16 countries and the EU have met in Hokkaido Toyako, Japan, on 9 July 2008, for a Meeting of the Major Economies on Energy Security and Climate Change process. The meeting, which was held alongside the G8 Summit, was part of a process initiated by the US Government in 2007. In Japan, the leaders of the G8 countries plus leaders from Australia, Brazil, China, India, Indonesia, the Republic of Korea, Mexico, South Africa and the EU agreed on a political declaration of major economies, which focused on climate change and energy issues. The meeting followed an earlier gathering of officials held on 21 and 22 June, in Seoul, Republic of Korea. The Seoul meeting prepared the draft text for political leaders at the Hokkaido Toyako meeting, although negotiators were not able to agree on emissions targets for either the medium or long-term – unlike the G8 Summit, where a long-term “vision” was approved (see related article). In their Hokkaido Toyako declaration, leaders affirmed the commitment of major economies from both the developed and developing world to combat climate change, taking into account their “common but differentiated responsibilities and respective capabilities.” The major economies' declaration underscores the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) as the global forum for climate negotiations, welcomes the outcomes from the 2007 Bali Climate Change Conference and highlights the December 2009 deadline to reach an agreement. The declaration also emphasizes the contribution of the Major Economies Meetings to the UNFCCC, stresses the importance of a long-term goal and mid-terms goals, commitments and actions, and underscores the role of carbon sinks, mitigation, adaptation, technology, and financial resources. Finally, the declaration announces that “Our nations will continue to work constructively together to promote the success of the Copenhagen climate change conference in 2009.” Links to further information Declaration of Leaders Meeting of Major Economies on Energy ..., 9 July 2008 CNN news article, 9 July 2008
G8 SUMMIT ENDORSES LONG-TERM CLIMATE CHANGE “VISION”

The annual G8 Summit of industrialized country leaders has resulted in an agreement on the need for a long-term vision for reducing greenhouse gas emissions. The Summit, which was held from 7-9 July 2008, in Toyako on the island of Hokkaido, Japan, agreed on a declaration that undertook to “consider and adopt… the goal of achieving at least 50% reduction of global emissions by 2050.” The declaration stressed that this goal should be shared with all parties to the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), and considered and adopted by all of these countries under the ongoing UNFCCC negotiations. The G8 declaration also urged an ambitious global post-2012 climate regime in which “all major economies would need to commit to meaningful mitigation actions to be bound in the international agreement to be negotiated by the end of 2009.” The declaration recognized that what developed economies do will differ from what developing economies will do, adding that “each of us [in the G8] will implement ambitious economy-wide mid-term goals in order to achieve absolute emissions reductions.” The declaration highlights sectoral approaches, energy efficiency, clean energy, adaptation, technology, finance, market-based mechanisms, and tariff reduction. It also notes growing interest in nuclear power, research and development, and the World Bank's Clean Investment Funds, and endorses the “positive contribution” of the Major Economies Leaders Meeting to the UNFCCC (see related story). While some analysts welcomed the announcement and the apparent shift of the US position on a long-term goal, activists and some developing country politicians expressed disappointment with the outcome, arguing that it could have been stronger. As well as climate change and energy issues, the G8 also addressed questions of the global economy and financial markets, development and Africa, political issues such as the situation in Zimbabwe and a number of other countries, and counter-terrorism. On development issues, leaders renewed their commitment to work with developing countries to achieve the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs). Discussions focused on health, water and education and resulted in support for a “Toyako Framework for Action.” On Africa, leaders discussed rising food prices, noting a commitment of over US$10 billion since January 2008 to address this “multifaceted and structural crisis.” They also issued a special statement on Global Food Security that included a commitment to ensuring the compatibility of policies for the sustainable production and use of biofuels with food security. In addition, the G8 leaders established an Experts Group to monitor the implementation of commitments in this area. The Experts Group will work with the High-Level Task Force on the Global Food Crisis that is led by UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, and with other relevant stakeholders. In addition, the G8 declaration agrees to hold a G8 agricultural ministers' meeting and review progress on this issue at the G8 Summit in 2009. Links to further information Chair's Summary of the G8 Leaders' Summit, 9 July 2008 G8 Summit Official Website, July 2008 BBC news article, 9 July 2008 BBC news article, 8 July 2008 CNN news article, 9 July 2008 Greenpeace press release, 9 July 2008 Reuters news article, 9 July 2008 The Toronto Star news article, 9 July 2008

June 2008

FfD PROCESS DISCUSSES OUTCOME DOCUMENT FOR DOHA REVIEW CONFERENCE

Having concluded six informal review sessions on the six thematic areas of the Monterrey Consensus, Ambassadors Abdelaziz (Egypt) and Løvald (Norway) held informal consultations on the contents of the outcome document for the Follow-up International Conference on Financing for Development (FfD), also called the Doha Review Conference. These consultations took place on 9 and 16 June 2008, at UN headquarters in New York, US. In their presentations to the meeting, the G-77 and the Rio Group proposed a structure for the outcome document, including an assessment of implementation of Monterrey Consensus targets, and a proposal for a way forward to further implementation. The G-77 highlighted that the document should assess in particular the implementation of commitments by developed countries. The EU proposed an action oriented outcome document that reflects, in a balanced way, the responsibilities and commitments of both developed and developing countries. The EU emphasized the primary role of domestic resources in development, and said this should be clearly stated in addition to references to the complementarity of international resources and international assistance. In this respect, Japan cautioned that “the last thing we want to see is fingers being pointed or accusations flung.” The informal consultations held on 16 June were followed by a workshop on “Carbon Taxes - A Tool for Managing Climate Change or a Threat to the World's Poor?” on 17 June, and hearings with representatives of civil society and the business sector on 18 June. The President of the General Assembly will issue informal summaries of the review sessions and will present, by the end of July 2008, a draft outcome document of the Conference. Link to further information Financing for Development Office website
OECD MINISTERIAL COUNCIL AND FORUM FOCUS ON THE ECONOMICS OF CLIMATE CHANGE

The Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development's (OECD) Forum 2008 and the annual OECD Council at ministerial level met from 3-5 June 2008, in Paris, France. This year the Forum addressed the role of biofuels, sustainable cities, innovation and climate change, as well as the relationship between climate change and other issues including nuclear energy, partnerships and finance. The OECD ministerial summit discussed the economic impact of climate change, rising food prices and a broad range of other trade, growth and development issues. Ministers also addressed food-price inflation and its linkages to broader issues such as alternative fuels, climate change and impacts on distribution of income and growth within economies. Links to further information Chair's summary of the OECD Council at Ministerial Level, Pa... OECD Forum 2008, Climate Change, Growth, Stability, Paris, 3-4 June
GEF HOLDS SUBREGIONAL MEETINGS IN AFRICA

The Global Environment Facility (GEF) held two sub-regional workshops for national focal points in Africa during June 2008. The workshop for West and Central Africa was held in Douala, Cameroon, and the one for East and Southern Africa in Windhoek, Namibia. During the events, GEF focal points discussed and reviewed policies and procedures and shared experiences and lessons learned from developing and implementing GEF projects, and addressed other issues including: the GEF focal area strategies; the revised project cycle; the Resource Allocation Framework mid-term review; and knowledge management, monitoring tools and resources available to focal points. Links to further information GEF subregional workshop in Namibia GEF subregional workshop in Cameroon

May 2008

G8 ENVIRONMENT MINISTERS SUPPORT LONG-TERM CLIMATE GOAL

The environment ministers from the Group of Eight highly industrialized nations (G8) discussed the need for a long-term emissions reduction goal during their meeting in Kobe, Japan, on 24-26 May 2008. The meeting resulted in ministers expressing “strong political will” that G8 leaders attending the Hokkaido Toyako Summit, from 7-9 July 2008, should go beyond a previous 2007 agreement to “seriously consider reducing global greenhouse gas emissions by at least half by 2050.” However, ministers did not agree on a goal for 2020, according to reports. The environment ministers also agreed to propose that the G8 Summit adopt a call for action on biodiversity, and an action plan on electronics waste (the ‘Kobe 3Rs Action Plan' for reuse, reduce and recycle). Some civil society groups raised concern about conflicts between the 3Rs Action Plan and the Basel Convention, noting that the potential for international trade in used e-products like circuit boards and batteries from industrialized to developing nations could imply a disguised export of prohibited hazardous wastes contained in such products. Links to further information Ministry of the Environment, Japan Hokkaido 2008 G8 Summit website Chair's summary, G8 Environment Ministers meeting AP report, 26 May 2008 “G8 environment ministers seek electronics recycling solutio... Reuters, 26 May 2008
WORLD BANK MEMBERS REACH AGREEMENT ON CLIMATE INVESTMENT FUNDS

Representatives from 40 donor and developing countries, meeting in Potsdam, Germany, reached an agreement on the creation of two international investment funds that will provide innovative financing for developing countries to pursue cleaner development paths and protect themselves from the impacts of climate change. The investment framework consists of two Climate Investment Funds (CIF): a Clean Technology Fund, designed to accelerate investments in state-of-the-art technological solutions to help developing countries mitigate the rise in greenhouse gas emissions in developing countries; and a Strategic Climate Fund that seeks to help more vulnerable countries adapt their development programs to the impacts of climate change while also addressing issues of forest management and access to green energy. Under the agreement, the World Bank, along with the African Development Bank, the Asian Development Bank, the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development, and the Inter-American Development Bank, will help their client countries to access the funds. The next step is for the CIF to be considered by the World Bank Board for approval, so that the funds may be launched in the next few months. Links to further information World Bank Press Release, 23 May 2008 Global Consultations: Towards a Strategic Framework on Clima...
FFD PROCESS REVIEWS INTERNATIONAL TRADE AS AN ENGINE FOR DEVELOPMENT

The review session on Chapter III of the Monterrey Consensus, which considered “International trade as an engine for development,” convened from 19-20 May 2008, at UN headquarters in New York, US. Delegates considered submissions by the EU, the Rio Group, the US, the World Trade Organization (WTO) and the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), which focused on the role of international trade liberalization in promoting development. During the meeting, participants heard panel presentations and participated in interactive debates that addressed the challenges currently confronting the Doha Development Round negotiations, and the need to advance further in the Doha development mandate and Aid for Trade initiatives. Link to further information UN Financing for Development Website for review of Chapter I...
GEF HOLDS SUBREGIONAL MEETING IN ASIA

The Global Environment Facility (GEF) held a sub-regional workshop for national focal points from Asian countries from 15-18 May 2008, in Manila, the Philippines. Twenty-seven participants representing sixteen countries in Asia attended the workshop, along with several observers and members of the GEF-NGO Network. During the event, GEF Focal Points discussed and reviewed policies and procedures and shared experiences and lessons learned from developing and implementing GEF projects. Among the issues addressed were: the GEF Focal Area Strategies, its revised project cycle, and the Resource Allocation Framework. Presentations also were made on the Adaptation Fund and the Coral Triangle Initiative. Link to further information GEF Country Support Programme
AfDB CONSIDERS CLIMATE CHANGE'S IMPACTS ON AGRICULTURE AND FUEL AND FOOD PRICES

The 43rd Annual Meeting of the Board of Governors of the African Development Bank (AfDB) and the 34th Board of Governors meeting of the African Development Fund (ADF) convened on 14-15 May 2008, in Maputo, Mozambique. This year's Annual Meetings considered “Fostering Shared Growth: Urbanization, Inequality and Poverty.” In his opening statement, AfDB President Donald Kaberuka spoke about existing challenges and new risks facing the continent, such as the negative impacts of climate change on agriculture as well as rising fuel and food prices. More than 1000 people, including Governors (finance and/or economy ministers) representing 78 member countries of the Bank Group as well as heads of multilateral development agencies, civil society groups, NGOs and business people, participated in the meetings, the most important annual gathering of finance and development experts in Africa. Links to further information AfDB Press Releases, 14 May 2008 Opening meeting webcast
GEF WORKSHOP ASSESSES BEST PRACTICES ON EVALUATING CLIMATE CHANGE AND DEVELOPMENT PROJECTS

The GEF Evaluation Office organized an international workshop on Evaluating Climate Change and Development, on 10-13 May 2008, in Alexandria, Egypt. Participants shared experiences in evaluating projects and programs aimed at the nexus between climate change and development, paying special attention to convergence in findings throughout agencies. The workshop aimed to realize the potential of evaluations to contribute to climate change mitigation and adaptation. Link to further information International Workshop on Evaluating Climate Change and Deve...
WTO COMMITTEE ON TRADE AND ENVIRONMENT CONTINUES DEBATING ITS DOHA MANDATE

The World Trade Organization's Committee on Trade and Environment Special Session (WTO CTESS) met informally on 5-6 May 2008, to consider a paper by Norway (JOB (08)/33) on the relationship between existing WTO rules and specific trade obligations (STOs) set out in multilateral environmental agreements (MEAs) (article 31(i) of the Doha Declaration). Norway's proposal recognizes that: WTO rules would apply to a potential conflict with trade obligations emanating from MEAs; MEAs and the WTO Agreement are instruments of international law of equal standing; and all obligations under international law should be implemented harmoniously and in good faith. The African Group also presented an informal 'room document' (now JOB 08/38), which, inter alia, suggests experience-sharing among Members and establishing specific and permanent technical assistance to developing countries to strengthen the implementation of trade and environment regimes in a harmonious manner. The meeting also continued consideration of a Brazilian proposal on modalities for negotiations on the liberalization of environmental goods (article 31(iii) of the Doha Declaration), which suggests engaging in a ‘request and offer' process, rather than agreeing on a single list of environmental goods. Discussions will continue on these two topics, which some highlight as closely linked to parallel negotiations on modalities within agriculture and non-agricultural market access (IISD sources). Link to further information Bridges Trade BioRes, 16 May 2008
WTO COMMITTEE ON TRADE AND ENVIRONMENT CONTINUES DEBATING DOHA MANDATE

The World Trade Organization's Committee on Trade and Environment Special Session (WTO CTESS) met informally on 5-6 May 2008, to consider a paper by Norway (JOB (08)/33) on the relationship between existing WTO rules and specific trade obligations (STOs) set out in multilateral environmental agreements (MEAs) (article 31(i) of the Doha Declaration). Norway's proposal recognizes that: WTO rules would apply to a potential conflict with trade obligations emanating from MEAs; MEAs and the WTO Agreement are instruments of international law of equal standing; and all obligations under international law should be implemented harmoniously and in good faith. The African Group also presented an informal 'room document' (now JOB 08/38) that, inter alia, suggests experience-sharing among Members and establishing specific and permanent technical assistance to developing countries to strengthen the implementation of trade and environment regimes in a harmonious manner. The meeting also continued consideration of a Brazilian proposal on modalities for negotiations on the liberalization of environmental goods (article 31(iii) of the Doha Declaration), which suggests engaging in a ‘request and offer' process, rather than agreeing on a single list of environmental goods. Discussions will continue on these two topics, which some highlight as closely linked to parallel negotiations on modalities within agriculture and non-agricultural market access (IISD sources). Link to further information ICTSD Bridges Weekly, 21 May 2008

April 2008

PARIS CONFERENCE DISCUSSES RESOURCE EFFICIENCY

The International Conference on Resource Efficiency, jointly organized by the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) and the UN Environment Programme (UNEP), was held in Paris, France, from 23-25 April 2008. More than 300 participants from governments, industry and non-governmental organizations heard presentations on and discussed issues relating to: indicators for measuring resource efficiency; sustainable mining and recycling; policies on transforming waste to resources; sustainable manufacturing and distributions; and technology and innovation. Among other things, the key conclusions of the conference included: the need to set up monitoring systems for measuring resource efficiency; the importance of supporting the UNEP/UNIDO network of National Cleaner Production Centers; and the need for efforts on waste management and recycling to be strengthened. Link to further information OECD press release, 25 April 2008
GEF COUNCIL ENDORSES PRINCIPLES FOR PROGRAMMATIC APPROACHES

The Global Environment Facility (GEF) Council convened in Washington DC, US, from 22-25 April 2008. The Council signaled support for programmatic approaches with a decision that “endorsed the objectives and basic principles for programmatic approaches and considered programmatic approaches as an option to support more effectively the sustainable development agenda of developing countries and countries with economies in transition.” The Council also approved the procedures for developing specific programmes using a programmatic approach, approved the work programme comprising 48 project concepts, and endorsed the concepts and objectives of ten programmatic approaches, subject to comments. On an agenda item related to a Strategic Programme to Scale-up the Level of Investment in the Transfer of Environmentally-friendly Technologies, the Council agreed that the GEF Secretariat should prepare a report describing its work to date on financing technology transfer along with current financing options for technology transfer. It also noted the need for further guidance “regarding its mandate in respect of decision 4/CP.13” of the December 2007 Conference of the Parties to the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change. This decision requested the GEF to “elaborate a strategic programme to scale up the level of investment for technology transfer to help developing countries address their needs for environmentally sound technologies, specifically considering how such a strategic programme might be implemented along with its relationship to existing and emerging activities and initiatives regarding technology transfer and to report on its findings to the twenty-eighth session of the Subsidiary Body for Implementation for consideration by Parties.” The twenty-eighth session of the UNFCCC's Subsidiary Body for Implementation is taking place in Bonn, Germany, in June 2008. The GEF Council also approved a proposal to reconstitute the Scientific and Technical Advisory Panel (STAP) with six (rather than 15) members and to appoint Thomas Lovejoy as the Chair for a two-year term, with the possibility of renewal for a further two years. The Council also reviewed a “Progress Report on the Implementation of the RAF” (Regional Allocation Framework), which indicated that, with the approval of the April 2008 work programme, about 28% of the resources available in the biodiversity and climate change focal areas will have been utilized. The November 2008 Council meeting will consider a mid-term review of the RAF. Link to further information GEF Council Documents
UNCTAD XII ADOPTS ACCRA DECLARATION AND ACCORD

The twelfth UN Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD XII), which took place from 20-25 April 2008, in Accra, Ghana, has adopted a ministerial Accra Declaration and an Accra Accord, identifying challenges and opportunities of globalization for development and a four-year work plan. The conference, which was attended by approximately 4000 delegates, including UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, considered sustainable development, poverty reduction and related global policies. The conclusions highlighted the challenges facing many developing countries in relation to global economic integration, and set out an agenda for progress in economic and social development. Outcomes included a pledge by member states to resist protectionism, particularly against goods and services from developing countries. A “pre-UNCTAD XII” event in Arusha, Tanzania, addressed the question of how to make sustainability standards suitable for small-scale farmers. Participants sought to identify the impact of the spread of sustainability standards on smallholder farmers in developing countries, particularly Africa, in order to elaborate on effective strategies to minimize the costs and maximize the benefits of this trend. Links to further information UNCTAD XII website Conference documents Pre-UNCTAD XII event AllAfrica Global Media/Accra Mail News Story, 21 April 2008 NGLS news item, 25 April 2008
BUSINESS-ENVIRONMENT SUMMIT CONSIDERS CLIMATE CHANGE, BIODIVERSITY-HEALTH LINKS

The Global Business for the Environment Summit, jointly organized by the UN Environment Programme (UNEP) and the UN Global Compact, met in Singapore from 22-23 April 2008 to discuss business-driven solutions for mitigating and adapting to climate change. During the event, UNEP announced that ten new participants joined the Climate Neutral Network (CN Net). The CN Net is an online forum set up by UNEP, in cooperation with the UN Environment Management Group, to tackle the challenge of increasing greenhouse gases. The initiative was launched in February 2008, during UNEP's Governing Council in Monaco. The meeting also revealed the findings of a newly released book entitled Sustaining Life: How Human Health Depends on Biodiversity, which provides a comprehensive view of how human medicines, biomedical research, the spread of infectious diseases, and the production of food depend on biodiversity. Links to further information UNEP press release on CN Net, 23 April 2008 UNEP press release on "Sustaining Life," 24 April 2008 Sustaining life website, Harvard Medical School
FfD PROCESS REVIEWS INTERNATIONAL COOPERATION FOR DEVELOPMENT

The review session on Chapter IV of the Monterrey Consensus, which considered “Increasing international financial and technical cooperation for development,” convened on 15-16 April 2008, at UN headquarters in New York, US. Delegates heard panel presentations and participated in interactive debates centered on the evolution of official development assistance (ODA) since the adoption of the Monterrey Consensus. The Monterrey Consensus urged developed countries to make concrete efforts towards the targets of providing 0.7 percent of gross national product (GNP) to developing countries. In particular, developing countries noted that levels of ODA peaked in 2005 and have been declining since, with most industrial nations still missing the 0.7% target. Links to further information UN FfD website Chapter IV of the Monterrey Consensus Review session website The Road to Doha Newsletter Issue 14
WORLD BANK CONVENES MEETING ON CLIMATE FUND

The World Bank, in conjunction with the Inter-American Development Bank, met with donor countries, on 14-15 April 2008, in Washington DC, to discuss the design of new financing aimed at accelerating climate sensitive investments in developing countries. Representatives from developing countries and as well as representatives from the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change, the Global Environment Facility (GEF), the UN system's Chief Executives Board, the UN Environment Programme, the UN Development Programme and the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development also attended. The Washington meeting came one month after an initial session in Paris, France, where donor countries sketched out their vision of how the new financing might function. As currently proposed, the largest portion of the Climate Investment Funds would channel, through the various multilateral development banks, short-to-medium term financing for rapid deployment of low-carbon technologies. This would fill part of the current gap in financing while a future agreement under the UNFCCC on longer term financing mechanisms is negotiated. The funds would build on and scale up pilots and prototypes supported under the GEF, as well as complement activities under the Clean Development Mechanism. The new financing could also provide incentives to countries to move to a low-carbon development path by, for instance, substantially increasing the share of renewable energy in the total electricity supply. The Washington meeting is expected to be followed by at least one other session with all countries concerned in May, with approval for establishment of the new funds by the World Bank's Board of Executive Directors expected in early July. Links to further information Documents and resources World Bank press release
ECOSOC MEETS WITH BWIs, WTO AND UNCTAD

The annual meeting of the UN Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) with the Bretton Woods Institutions (BWIs), the World Trade Organization (WTO) and the UN Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) convened on 14 April 2008, at UN headquarters, NY, US. Under the overall theme of “Coherence, coordination and cooperation in the context of the implementation of the Monterrey Consensus, including new challenges and emerging issues,” participants engaged in a dialogue on five sub-themes: new initiatives on financing for development; supporting development efforts and enhancing the role of middle-income countries, including in the area of trade; supporting development efforts of the least developed countries, including through trade capacity-building; building and sustaining solid financial markets: challenges for international cooperation; and financing of climate change adaptation and mitigation. Links to further information ECOSOC Background Document Financing for Development website on the 14 April 2008 meeti...
WORLD BANK/IMF DISCUSS RISING FOOD AND ENERGY PRICES

The annual World Bank Group (WBG) and International Monetary Fund (IMF) Spring Meetings took place on 12-13 April 2008, in Washington DC, US. At the joint Development Committee, countries reviewed progress toward the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), as reflected in the fifth Global Monitoring Report, and urged donors to increase their support for the poorest countries' own development priorities. They highlighted the issue of rising food and energy prices and their impact in developing countries and welcomed the call by the World Bank President to the world community to combat hunger and malnutrition through a “New Deal for Global Food Policy,” combining immediate assistance with medium and long-term efforts to boost agricultural productivity in developing countries. Regarding the Concept and Issues Note on the Strategic Framework on Climate Change and Development (SFCCD) for the World Bank Group, participants asked for the SFCCD to elaborate further on the additional financing needs for addressing climate change, the mobilization of private sector funding and the complementarities between existing and new financing mechanisms, as well as the proposed role of the WBG under a division of labor vis-à-vis the UN, and other key international players, including the private sector. Countries also recognized that access to energy remains key to development, and supported WBG goals of promoting clean technology and renewable energy deployment, technology transfer, and research and development. They acknowledged the work underway on the design, governance, and financing of the new Climate Investment Funds, including the Clean Technology Fund, and welcomed the ongoing consultative process for developing a client-oriented SFCCD and looked forward to discussing it at their next meeting. Links to further information Spring meetings website Development Committee Communiqué Civil Society Policy Forum
IDB HOLDS ANNUAL MEETING

The Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) held its annual meeting from 4-8 April 2008, in Miami, US. As the leading source of multilateral financing for Latin America and the Caribbean, the IDB Group approved in 2007 new operations totaling more than US$9.6 billion. Seminars held during the meeting covered topics such as the macroeconomic outlook for Latin America and the Caribbean, the expansion of microfinance, green energy scenarios, the impact of climate change and natural disaster prevention. Links to further information IDB 2008 Annual Meeting website IDB press release, 25 March 2008 Meeting's Podcasts
IDB ANNUAL MEETING GARNERS $10 MILLION FOR SUSTAINABLE ENERGY AND CLIMATE INITIATIVE

During the Annual Meeting of the Board of Governors of the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB), held on 4-8 April 2008, in Miami, US, Spain signed a letter of intent pledging to contribute US$ 10 million to IDB's Sustainable Energy and Climate Change Initiative, which provides support to Latin American and Caribbean countries for renewable energy, energy efficiency, biofuel development, carbon financing and climate change adaptation. The IDB also approved 20 environmental loans totaling US$ 1.1 billion, primarily for water and sanitation projects. These included: three loans to Peru for US$ 350 million for water resources and sanitation reform and the “Water for Everyone” program; and 81 grants adding to US$ 32.4 million for environmental projects such as disaster risk management, integrated natural resource management, rural development and sustainable agriculture. Links to further information IDB Press Release, 8 April 2008 IDB Press Release, 7 April 2008
G8 DEVELOPMENT MINISTERS HIGHLIGHT CLIMATE CHANGE- DEVELOPMENT LINK

G8 Ministers and senior officials responsible for development cooperation met from 5- 6 April 2008, in Tokyo, Japan, along with representatives from Brazil, China, India, Indonesia, Malaysia, Mexico, Republic of Korea, South Africa, the ASEAN Secretariat, the AU Commission, the OECD, UNDP, UNESCO, UNICEF, WHO and the World Bank. The meeting was held with a view to provide political input and support to the Fourth Tokyo International Conference on African Development (TICAD IV) in May 2008, the G8 Hokkaido Toyako Summit in July 2008, the Third High Level Forum on Aid Effectiveness in Accra in September 2008, Ghana, the UN high-level meeting on the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) in September 2008, and the Follow-up Conference on Financing for Development in Doha in November/December 2008. Ministers addressed the development agenda for the G8 Hokkaido Toyako Summit, and held outreach sessions on: expanding partnerships for development; climate change and development; and human security and the achievement of the MDGs. The chair's summary of the meeting expresses the Ministers' commitment to double aid for Africa by 2010 and emphasized that, to realize the goal of halving the proportion of people living in poverty, growth needs to be inclusive and sustainable. On climate change and development, the G8 Ministers recognized the link between these two issues, highlighting that they have to be dealt with in an integrated manner. In particular, they noted the urgency in assisting developing countries, which are most vulnerable to the negative effects of climate change, in their adaptation efforts. In the water and sanitation sector, the Ministers highlighted the need to promote good water governance for sustainable use of water resources and called for a review of the Evian Action Plan to measure its progress. Links to further information G8 Development Meeting Chair's Summary G8 Development Meeting website

March 2008

ADAPTATION FUND BOARD HOLDS INAUGURAL MEETING

The Board of the Kyoto Protocol's Adaptation Fund met for the first time from 26-28 March 2008, in Bonn, Germany. The Fund, which was set up under the Kyoto Protocol and approved at the Bali Climate Change Conference in December 2007, will finance adaptation projects that assist developing countries to deal with the impact of climate change. The Board, chaired by Richard Muyungi (Tanzania), began its work in developing guidelines and procedures for accessing the Fund. Several specific tasks were proposed to be allocated to the Global Environment Facility (GEF), acting as Secretariat to the Adaptation Fund, including the: management of the daily operations of the Fund and reporting to the Adaptation Fund Board; serving as liaison between the Board and Parties and implementing and executing entities, as necessary for the day-to-day functioning of the Fund; ensuring the implementation of operational polices adopted by the Board through the development of a project cycle, with guidelines addressing eligibility criteria, project identification, development and implementation; operationalizing the project cycle, including review and clearance of qualified project proposals to be presented for Board approval and monitoring implementation progress and periodic reporting to the Board on portfolio performance; and coordinating the formulation and oversight of the implementation of program activities. Links to further information UNFCCC press release, 28 March 2008 GEF press release, 28 March 2008 Adaptation Fund website Documents for the first Adaptation Fund Board Meeting
FFD REVIEW SESSIONS ON MONTERREY CONSENSUS ADDRESS EXTERNAL DEBT AND IFIs

Review Sessions on Chapters V and VI of the Monterrey Consensus took place from 10-12 March 2008, at UN headquarters in New York, US. Chaired by Ambassadors Adbelaziz of Egypt and Løvald of Norway, the review sessions provided a forum for the sharing of information and proposals in the lead-up to the Follow-up International Conference to Review the Implementation of the Monterrey Consensus (Doha, Qatar, 29 November-2 December 2008). The session on Chapter V addressed the topic of “External debt” and featured panel presentations by Thomas Courbe, Secretary General of the Paris Club (France); Deepak Nayyar, Jawaharlal Nehru University (India); Martine Guerguil, International Monetary Fund (IMF); Hitoshi Shoji, Japan Bank for International Cooperation; and Leonce Ndikumana, UN Economic Commission for Africa. During the discussion, Bangladesh, on behalf of Least Developed Countries (LDCs), said that LDCs are “stuck in a perpetual debt overhang” and have little room for maneuver in terms of policy choices due to conditionality attached to debt restructuring programs. The session on Chapter VI “Addressing systemic issues: enhancing the coherence and consistency of the international monetary, financial, and trading systems in support of development” received inputs by the US Government, International Labor Organization, the EU, the NGO Committee on Financing for Development and several civil society groups. Panel presentations and an interactive discussion were held and participants addressed, among other issues, coordination between the Bretton Woods Institutions and the UN and governance reforms at the World Bank and IMF. The outcomes of the sessions will be summarized by the President of the 62nd session of the General Assembly, Srgjan Kerim, and will be used as a basis for the outcome document that will be prepared for negotiation during the second semester of 2008. Links to further information Finance for Development (FfD) Official webpage Programme, presentations and submissions for the Review session on Chapter V of the Monterrey Consensus, “External debt” Programme, presentations and submissions for the Review Session on Chapter Chapter VI of the Monterrey Consensus, “Addressing systemic issues: enhancing the coherence and con...

February 2008

AfDB TO FUND CONGO BASIN FOREST ECOSYSTEM PROJECTS

The African Development Bank (AfDB) hosted a conference on Financing Mechanisms on the Sustainable Management of Congo Basin Forest Ecosystems, held on 21-22 February 2008, in Tunis, Tunisia. During the conference, AfDB Bank Group President Donald Kaberuka said the institution plans to invest US$814 million in 13 operations, including five multilateral projects on natural resources management in Central Africa. The AfDB is also preparing a regional integration programme on the conservation of biodiversity and the improvement of ecotourism in the Great Lakes region worth US$65 million, and the AfDB's African Water Facility allocated a €2 million grant during 2007, for the preparation of a strategic action plan for the sustainable management of the basin's water resources. Link to further information AfDB press release, 21 February 2008
FORUM ADDRESSES ILLEGAL LOGGING AND ASSOCIATED TRADE

More than 100 international experts, many of them development and trade specialists, convened in Washington, DC, US, on 14 February 2008 to discuss illegal logging at Forest Trends 2nd Annual Potomac Forum on Illegal Logging and Associated Trade. The Forum focused on issues pertinent to North American organizations, businesses and markets, including developments in both exporting and importing of wood products. Participants learned of US legislative amendments to stop imports of illegal wood and bilateral agreements on illegal logging and forest governance. Link to further information Illegal Logging News Release, 15 February 2008
UN HOSTS INVESTOR SUMMIT ON CLIMATE RISK

A gathering of leaders from the corporate sector has convened at UN headquarters in New York, US. The third Investor Summit on Climate Risk took place on 14 February 2008, bringing together almost 500 institutional investors and other leaders from the private sector to discuss climate change risks and opportunities. The event, which followed two earlier summits held in 2003 and 2005, resulted in pledges of US$ 10 billion of investments in green technologies over the next two years, according to reports. Links to further information Official meeting website, February 2008 UNFIP brief summary, 15 February 2008 UN Webcast Part I, 14 February 2008 UN Webcast Part II, 14 February 2008 Reuters report, 14 February 2008
FfD REVIEW SESSIONS ON MONTERREY CONSENSUS BEGIN

Review Sessions on Chapters I and II of the Monterrey Consensus have taken place at UN headquarters in New York. The first in a series of events scheduled for the coming months in the lead-up to the Follow-up International Conference to Review the Implementation of the Monterrey Consensus (Doha, Qatar, 29 November 2008 -2 December 2008), the first two Review Sessions were held from 14-15 February 2008. Ambassadors Adbelaziz of Egypt and Løvald of Norway chaired the Sessions, which featured panel discussions and interactive debates. During the first session, speakers addressed the topic, “Mobilizing domestic financial resources for development,” highlighting improvements in domestic finance in developing countries since the adoption of the Monterrey Consensus in 2002, including governance reforms, better macroeconomic management and domestic savings and investments. They also expressed concerns over persistent income inequalities and unemployment, as well as the growth of poverty in sub-Saharan Africa, and emphasized the role of governments in addressing these key development challenges. During the Review Session on Chapter II, entitled “Mobilizing international resources for development: foreign direct investment (FDI) and other private flows,” participants reviewed the positive effects of FDI on developing countries, while noting the need to sequence financial liberalization to prevent destabilizing short-term capital flows. Some expressed concern about the expected decline in capital flows due to the current global financial turmoil, while others noted that FDI remains concentrated in a few countries and emphasized the importance on improving the stability and quality of capital flows. The outcomes of the sessions will be summarized by the President of the 62nd session of the General Assembly, Srgjan Kerim, and will be used as a basis for the outcome document that will be prepared for negotiation during the second semester of 2008. Links to further information “The Road to Doha” Newsletter, March 2008 Finance for Development (FfD) Official webpage Programme and documents for the Review session on Chapter I of the Monterrey Consensus, “Mobilizing domestic financial resources for development” Programme and documents for the Review Session on Chapter II of the Monterrey Consensus, “Mobilizing international resources for development: foreign ...

January 2008

WORLD ECONOMIC FORUM ADDRESSES CLIMATE CHANGE, MILLENNIUM DEVELOPMENT GOALS AND WATER

The World Economic Forum made climate change one of its major areas of discussion during its latest session in Davos, Switzerland. The event, which convened from 23-27 January 2008, included sessions on “going nuclear to fight climate change?” and on international collaboration in moving “beyond Kyoto,” as well as discussions on “the effectiveness of carbon trading.” In the closing session of the Davos event, business, government and civil society leaders called for “a new brand of collaborative and innovative leadership to address the challenges of globalization, particularly the pressing problems of conflict in the Middle East, terrorism, climate change and water conservation.” As well, Japan's Prime Minister, Yasuo Fukuda, announced a five-year, US$ 10 billion fund to support efforts in developing countries to combat global warming. Japan also plans to create a new multilateral climate change mitigation fund with the US and the UK. The Chair of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, Rajendra Pachauri, also attended the Davos meeting, where he outlined the scientific basis of climate change and the need for urgent action. Prior to the event, UNFCCC Executive Secretary, Yvo de Boer responded to the pre-meeting “Davos question” posed for the annual meeting of the World Economic Forum. In a video interview, de Boer responded to the question, “What one thing do you think that countries, companies or individuals must do to make the world a better place in 2008?” by highlighting the immediate and long-term risks of climate change, including economic implications. On 25 January 2008, UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, UK Prime Minister Gordon Brown, Microsoft Chairman Bill Gates, U2 rockstar Bono, Queen Rania (Kingdom of Jordan), World Economic Forum Chairman Klaus Schwab, Nigerian President Umaru Musa Yar'Adua, and Cisco CEO John Chambers issued a joint statement at the World Economic Forum Annual Meeting, vowing to make 2008 a turning point in the fight against poverty and to get back on track to meet the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs). UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon affirmed that 2008 will be the year of the bottom billion, referring to those living on under $1 dollar per day. Prime Minister Gordon Brown has called for a meeting with the private sector in May to galvanize support towards financing the MDGs. Bono, U2 rockstar, warned that pledges would not be enough and said a binding contract is needed among governments, with the assistance of the private sector. Among other announcements, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation announced a US$ 306 million package of agricultural development grants “designed to boost the yields and incomes of millions of small farmers in Africa and other parts of the developing world so they can lift themselves and their families out of hunger and poverty.” In his address to the World Economic Forum, UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon emphasized that both governments and businesses must play a role in the efforts to achieve the MDGs and to secure safe water for all. The Secretary-General called on business leaders to make water sustainability a corporate priority, and commended the efforts of Nestlé, Coca-Cola and Dow Chemical to address water scarcity and sanitation through initiatives such as The CEO Water Mandate. The CEO Water Mandate was launched at the UN Global Compacts' Leader Summit in July 2007 and represents both a commitment to action and a strategic framework for companies seeking to address the issue of water sustainability in their operations. The first implementation conference for endorsers of the CEO Mandate will convene on 5 March 2008 at UN headquarters in New York, US. Links to further information World Economic Forum 2008 – list of events and summaries World Economic Forum 2008 – statement from the closing sessi... IPCC Chair Rajendra Pachauri's speech, January 2008 UNFCCC Executive Secretary Yvo de Boer's video presentation ... January 2008 Davos session on Call to Action on MDGs, 25 January 2008 World Economic Forum Press Release, 25 January 2008 AllAfrica.com News Story, 25 January 2008 DFID News release, 25 January 2008 End Poverty 2015 Millennium Campaign, 25 January 2008 BBC News Story, 25 January 2008 UN Secretary General's address, 24 January 2008 The CEO Water Mandate homepage
EU, US PROPOSE LIBERALIZING TRADE IN CLIMATE-FRIENDLY GOODS AND SERVICES

The EU and US have submitted a joint proposal at the World Trade Organization (WTO) calling for trade liberalization in climate-friendly goods and services. The proposal was offered during an informal meeting of the WTO's Committee on Trade and Environment Special Session (CTESS). The proposal calls for the elimination of trade barriers facing goods and services directly related to mitigating climate change, with the ultimate objective of a “zero tariff world for climate friendly goods in the near future and no later than 2013.” It was also presented as a contribution to the 8-9 December 2007 meeting of trade ministers on the sidelines of the UN Climate Change Conference in Bali. The proposal has received mixed responses from developing countries. While some have recognized the convenience of boosting trade in climate-friendly technologies to address the most pressing climate change problems, many have suggested that the list of products presented are primarily of export interest to industrialized countries. Brazil has requested that biofuels and biofuel manufacturing equipment be included, along with consideration of a broader category of agricultural environmental goods. Links to further information Bridges Trade BioRes, 18 December 2007 Reuters, 10 December 2007