Published by the
International Institute for Sustainable Development (IISD)
Vol. 22 No. 28
Friday, 5 April 2002
WSSD PREPCOM III HIGHLIGHTS:
THURSDAY, 4 APRIL 2002
Delegates met in morning, afternoon and evening
sessions to continue consideration of the remaining sections of the
compilation Chairman’s Paper. Working Group I established
informal groups that met during lunch to consider the subsections on
energy and oceans, with the latter also meeting in the evening.
Working Group III met in the afternoon to conclude consideration of
the informal paper on sustainable development governance.
Editor’s Note: ENB coverage of Working Group II
ended at 11:40 pm.
WORKING GROUP I
Working Group I completed consideration of the
section on protecting and managing the natural resource base of
economic and social development, except for the oceans and energy
Energy: During informal-informal discussions on
energy, facilitated by Gustavo Ainchil (Argentina), delegates
diverged on using CSD-9 as the basis of work, which: the US and
NORWAY supported; SWITZERLAND, the RUSSIAN FEDERATION and the EU
suggested building upon; while Iran, for the G-77/CHINA, supported
working "within the CSD-9 framework." MEXICO, supported by AUSTRALIA
and the US, emphasized technology transfer. JAPAN opposed, and NEW
ZEALAND supported, numerical targets. HUNGARY supported specific
national goals for renewable energy sources, and, with AUSTRALIA and
the EU, opposed TUVALU on a proposal for an "international legally
binding agreement" on renewable energy mainstreaming. A revised text
is expected to be circulated on Friday morning, 5 April.
Oceans: During informal-informal
consultations, facilitated by Guy O’Brien (Australia), delegates
presented comments that will become part of a "facilitator’s
non-paper." Discussion centered on references to: the WTO Doha
Ministerial Declaration and "harmful" subsidies; the precautionary
approach; the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea; the Reykjavik
Declaration on Responsible Fisheries in the Marine Ecosystem;
illegal, unreported and unregulated fishing; flags of convenience;
living marine resources; marine protected areas beyond national
jurisdictions; accelerated pressure on and sustainable development
strategies for the Arctic; and the use of the term "global commons."
Atmosphere: The EU and JAPAN opposed, and
NORWAY supported, a specific deadline for the provision to
developing countries of environmentally sound alternatives to
ozone-depleting substances. The EU, JAPAN and the US supported
deletion of text on conducting an international assessment of
ozone-friendly substances. The US preferred removing reference to
Kyoto Protocol commitments.
Agriculture: AUSTRALIA, NEW ZEALAND and
NORWAY supported agricultural and natural resource management
research for sustainable agriculture and rural development. The EU,
the US and AUSTRALIA supported text on reversing the declining trend
in financial resources for agricultural research. The G-77/CHINA
supported stakeholder involvement in rural planning and called for
reference to sustainable wetlands management. NEW ZEALAND, with
AUSTRALIA, CANADA and the G-77/CHINA, and opposed by JAPAN and
NORWAY, called for deletion of reference to the multifunctions of
agriculture. On illicit crops, NORWAY supported, and CANADA objected
to, adding reference to the precautionary principle, while the
G-77/CHINA suggested "taking into account the negative social,
economic and environmental impacts" of combating illicit crops. The
G-77/CHINA and the US agreed on deleting text on capacity building
for developing countries to comply with food and agricultural
Desertification: UZBEKISTAN suggested adding
text on the Aral Sea Basin. On the GEF’s role: the EU supported a
reference to the GEF 2002 Beijing meeting; the G-77/CHINA called for
reference to the Caracas Declaration; and the US said the UNCCD
Conference of the Parties should determine financing arrangements.
JAPAN objected to text on predictable and stable financial
Climate Change: The US suggested drafting
changes reflecting its position against ratifying the Kyoto Protocol
and for text on flexible mechanisms of the Protocol and continued
development of adaptation strategies. With AUSTRALIA and CANADA, he
supported text on the Marrakesh Ministerial Declaration. The
EU supported text "urging all countries to ratify the Kyoto
Protocol." The RUSSIAN FEDERATION objected to specific dates for
Kyoto Protocol ratification.
Mountains: NORWAY, opposed by the G-77/CHINA,
emphasized language on enhancing sustainable development in
vulnerable ecosystems, particularly the Arctic. The G-77/CHINA
objected to Japan’s amended text for voluntary benefit sharing from
the use of biological and genetic resources. ANDORRA called for
consideration of land use planning in mountain regions.
Tourism: The US provided text on technical
assistance to developing countries and countries with economies in
transition (CEITs) for sustainable tourism. The G-77/CHINA requested
wording on organizations other than the World Tourism Organization
to facilitate promotion of sustainable tourism. The EU emphasized
tourism without negative environmental impacts.
Biodiversity: The EU proposed text on
ecological networks and, with NORWAY, on the importance of the
outcomes of the CBD Sixth Conference of the Parties (COP-6). CANADA
preferred text linking poverty eradication to conservation and
sustainable use of biodiversity. JAPAN objected to text on property
rights for traditional knowledge. Delegates diverged over specific
dates on reducing the rates of biodiversity loss. The G-77/CHINA
called for adequate means of implementation for developing
countries. On access to genetic resources and benefit sharing, the
US opposed the call for an international regime or framework.
Forests: Most delegates emphasized language
from UNFF. The EU suggested finalizing this subsection after CBD
Minerals and Mining: CANADA circulated new
text that was supported by most delegates, which addresses
partnerships, developing countries and CEITs, life cycle
considerations, and stakeholder consultations. The US stressed
sustainable mining, and the G-77/ CHINA underlined supporting small-
and medium-scale activities to empower local communities.
WORKING GROUP II
The Working Group resumed consideration of means
of implementation, concluding trade-related paragraphs in the
subsections on globalization, capacity building and information for
The EUROPEAN COMMISSION, for the EU, submitted
new text on market access for agricultural products. The US, with
JAPAN, proposed replacing provisions on market access for developing
countries with text from the Brussels Programme of Action for least
developed countries, but the G-77/CHINA preferred mentioning
developing countries in general. The EU called for coherent
implementation of the Doha and Monterrey decisions.
On eliminating environmentally harmful subsidies,
the G-77/ CHINA proposed stating in "developed countries." The EU
supported, and the G-77/CHINA objected to, text on ILO core labour
standards in business and trade. JAPAN opposed mention of a
relationship between trade and environmental agreements. There was
no agreement on reaffirming the precautionary principle. SWITZERLAND
suggested merging the text with provisions on "avoiding its abusive
interpretation by developed countries," and proposed moving text on
coherence of trade and environmental rules, internalization of
external costs and the precautionary principle to the section on
Capacity Building: The US objected to, while
the EU supported, a G-77/CHINA proposal for a global initiative.
POLAND stressed a local focus. The EU supported involving women and
protecting traditional knowledge in partnerships. Many delegates
supported MEXICO’s proposed language on enabling countries to
monitor and evaluate Agenda 21 implementation, while the G-77/CHINA
objected to reference to monitoring. Delegates diverged over
reference to poverty reduction strategy papers, but agreed on
supporting development of poverty reduction strategies.
Information for Decision Making: The US
stressed common standards, relevance to sustainable development and,
with SWITZERLAND, public accessibility. On observation systems, the
G-77/ CHINA called for more time to consider the proposal. On
indicators, the US called for deletion of the reference to "social
indicators." The US, with JAPAN, suggested "promoting," instead of
"ensuring," access to disaster-related information.
SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT OF SMALL ISLAND
DEVELOPING STATES (SIDS): The G-77/CHINA presented revised text
for this section, based on the compilation Chairman’s Paper.
The EU and NEW ZEALAND expressed general support for the text. The
US, JAPAN, the EU and AUSTRALIA, opposed by NEW ZEALAND, suggested
deleting references to target dates, except for the comprehensive
review in 2004 of the Barbados Programme, which the US and the EU
did not wish to be termed as a "second global conference." The US
and AUSTRALIA suggested dropping reference to a global initiative to
assist SIDS in mobilizing resources for adaptation needs. JAPAN
objected to mention of increased financial assistance to SIDS, and
to the Western and Central Pacific Ocean migratory fish stocks
WORKING GROUP III
Working Group III convened for final
consideration of sustainable development governance (SDG) based on
the informal paper issued on 30 March. Co-Chair Ositadinma Anaedu
(Nigeria) invited general comments for the revision of the paper,
which would be tabled for negotiation at Bali.
Many delegates considered the paper a good basis
for discussion. The G-77/CHINA stressed strengthening institutional
arrangements for sustainable development, consideration of
globalization, technology transfer and finance mobilization, and
noted an attempt to micromanage the national level. The EU stressed,
inter alia, strengthening regional and local aspects, the
need for a separate section on partnerships, further consideration
of interagency cooperation, and the possibility of universal CSD
membership. The RUSSIAN FEDERATION expressed doubt regarding CSD and
UNEP/GMEF universal membership. NORWAY called for, inter alia,
precision in defining the agents of implementation of governance
at the international level and effective modalities to fulfill the
CSDï¿½s mandate to monitor resource commitments.
The US supported the section on good governance.
TURKEY underscored local governance, and good governance as defined
in Monterrey, and, with MONACO and Nauru, for the PACIFIC ISLANDS
FORUM, stressed regional and subregional levels, while MEXICO
stressed all levels. NEW ZEALAND noted a lack of regional
commissions and Capacity 21 initiatives in some regions. Countered
by the G-77/CHINA, CANADA objected to singling out the right to
Concluding the discussion, Co-Chair Anaedu urged
delegations to submit text by 8:00 pm, Friday, 5 April.
IN THE CORRIDORS
The enthusiasm and interest demonstrated by
participants during the start of the PrepCom waned to an all-time
low on the eve of the closure of PrepCom III, with some stating that
they were no longer feeling motivated. Although in the preceding
days interest had centered on the possibility of an intersessional
or pre-Bali meeting, the Bureau apparently failed ï¿½ yet again ï¿½ to
arrive at a decision. Also, amid confusion regarding deadlines for
submitting amendments and the fate of unfinished compilation texts,
the Anaedu-Engfeldt paper on sustainable development governance,
which had provoked a surprisingly short discussion, ended with the
G-77/China grumbling about concerns of developing countries not
being fairly represented. Some delegates were exasperated by
Co-Chair Anaeduï¿½s Friday 8:00 pm deadline for submitting amendments
to the Secretariat, which they criticized as being too strict, but
Chair Anaedu prevailed. It is claimed that the Co-Chairs plan to
release the revised paper, which will be tabled for negotiation in
Bali, on the Johannesburg website by 10 April.
THINGS TO LOOK FOR TODAY
PLENARY: The Closing Plenary is expected to
convene at 3:00 pm in Conference Room 1.
WORKING GROUP I: Informal-informal
consultations on oceans will start at 10:00 am in Conference Room 6.
Informal-informals on energy will be held from 1:15 to 3:00 pm in
Conference Room 7.
WORKING GROUP II: The Group is expected to
convene from 11:00 am ï¿½ 1:00 pm and following the afternoon Plenary
in Conference Room 4 to conclude consideration of the sections on
Africa and the globalization subsection on means of implementation.