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A Reporting Service for Environment and Development Negotiations
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Volume 27 Number 05 - Monday, 11 July 2011
SUMMARY OF THE UNCSD SUBREGIONAL PREPARATORY MEETING FOR AIMS
7-8 JULY 2011

The UN Conference on Sustainable Development (UNCSD or Rio+20) Subregional Preparatory Committee for the Atlantic, Indian Ocean, Mediterranean and South China Sea (AIMS) Countries, convened in Mahé, Seychelles, from 7-8 July 2011. Over 30 participants, including representatives from governments, UN bodies, and non-governmental and inter-governmental organizations attended.

The meeting generated AIMS inputs into the preparatory process for the UNCSD in June 2012. Participants discussed creating a green economy in the context of sustainable development and poverty eradication, the need for a blue economy addressing oceans and related issues, the institutional framework for sustainable development (IFSD), and emerging issues and partnerships. Participants adopted recommendations including on the blue-green economy and strengthening the regional institutional framework for sustainable development, through building on the work of the Indian Ocean Commission and developing links with regional UN entities.

A BRIEF HISTORY OF UN ENVIRONMENTAL CONFERENCES

The United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development (UNCSD) will mark the 40th anniversary of the first major international political conference specifically having the word “environment” in its title. The UNCSD seeks to secure renewed political commitment for sustainable development, assess the progress and implementation gaps in meeting previously-agreed commitments, and address new and emerging challenges. The focus of the Conference includes the following themes to be discussed and refined during the preparatory process: a green economy in the context of sustainable development and poverty eradication; and the IFSD.

UNCHE: The UN Conference on the Human Environment was held in Stockholm, Sweden, from 5-16 June 1972, and produced three major sets of decisions. The first decision was the Stockholm Declaration. The second was the Stockholm Action Plan, made up of 109 recommendations on international measures against environmental degradation for governments and international organizations. The third set of decisions was a group of five resolutions calling for: a ban on nuclear weapons tests; the creation of an international databank on environmental data; addressing actions linked to development and environment; creation of an environment fund; and establishment of the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) as the central node for global environmental cooperation and treaty-making.

WORLD COMMISSION ON ENVIRONMENT AND DEVELOPMENT: In 1983, the UN General Assembly decided to establish an independent commission to formulate a long-term agenda for action. Over the next three years the Commission—more commonly known as the Brundtland Commission after its chair, Gro Harlem Brundtland—held public hearings and studied the issues. Its report, Our Common Future, which was published in 1987, stressed the need for development strategies that recognized the limits of the ecosystem’s ability to regenerate itself and absorb waste products. The Commission emphasized the link between economic development and environmental issues, and identified poverty eradication as a necessary and fundamental requirement for environmentally sustainable development.

UN CONFERENCE ON ENVIRONMENT AND DEVELOPMENT: UNCED, also known as the Earth Summit, was held from 3-14 June 1992, and involved over 100 Heads of State and Government, representatives from 178 countries, and some 17,000 participants. The principal outputs of UNCED were the Rio Declaration on Environment and Development, Agenda 21 (a 40-chapter programme of action), and the Statement of Forest Principles. The UN Framework Convention on Climate Change and the Convention on Biological Diversity were also opened for signature during the Earth Summit.

UNGASS-19: The 19th Special Session of the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) for the Overall Review and Appraisal of Agenda 21 (23-27 June 1997, New York) adopted the Programme for the Further Implementation of Agenda 21 (A/RES/S-19/2). It assessed progress since UNCED and examined implementation.

WORLD SUMMIT ON SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT: The World Summit on Sustainable Development (WSSD) convened from 26 August - 4 September 2002, in Johannesburg, South Africa. The WSSD’s goal, according to UNGA Resolution 55/199, was to hold a ten-year review of UNCED at the Summit level to reinvigorate the global commitment to sustainable development. The WSSD gathered over 21,000 participants from 191 governments, intergovernmental and non-governmental organizations, the private sector, civil society, academia and the scientific community. The WSSD negotiated and adopted two main documents: the Johannesburg Plan of Implementation (JPOI) and the Johannesburg Declaration on Sustainable Development.

The JPOI is designed as a framework for action to implement the commitments originally agreed at UNCED and includes chapters on: poverty eradication; consumption and production; the natural resource base; health; small island developing states; Africa; other regional initiatives; means of implementation; and institutional framework. The Johannesburg Declaration outlines the path taken from UNCED to the WSSD, highlights challenges, expresses a commitment to sustainable development, underscores the importance of multilateralism and emphasizes the need for implementation.

64TH SESSION OF THE UNITED NATIONS GENERAL ASSEMBLY: On 24 December 2009, the UN General Assembly adopted Resolution 64/236 agreeing to convene the UNCSD in 2012 in Brazil. The resolution also called for holding three Preparatory Committee (PrepCom) meetings prior to the UNCSD. On 14 May 2010, UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon announced the appointment of UN Under-Secretary-General for Economic and Social Affairs Sha Zukang as Secretary-General for the Conference. The UN Secretary-General subsequently appointed Brice Lalonde (France) and Elizabeth Thompson (Barbados) as executive coordinators.

UNCSD PREPCOM I: The first session of the PrepCom for the UNCSD was held from 17-19 May 2010, at UN Headquarters in New York. The PrepCom took up both substantive and procedural matters. On the substantive side, delegates assessed progress to date and the remaining gaps in implementing outcomes of major summits on sustainable development. They also discussed new and emerging challenges, a green economy in the context of sustainable development and poverty eradication, and the IFSD. On the procedural side, participants met in contact groups to organize their work in the lead up to 2012, and to consider the UNCSD’s rules of procedure.

FIRST INTERSESSIONAL MEETING FOR THE UNCSD:The first Intersessional Meeting for the UNCSD convened from 10-11 January 2011, at UN Headquarters in New York. During the meeting, delegates listened to: a summary of the findings of the Synthesis Report on securing renewed political commitment for sustainable development, assessing the progress to date and the remaining gaps in the implementation of the outcomes of the major summits on sustainable development and addressing new and emerging challenges; and panels on green economy in the context of sustainable development and poverty eradication, and the institutional framework for sustainable development.

UNCSD PREPCOM II: The second session of the PrepCom for the UNCSD took place from 7-8 March 2011, at UN Headquarters in New York. Delegates discussed the progress to date and the remaining gaps in the implementation of the outcomes of the major summits on sustainable development, addressed new and emerging challenges, discussed the scope of a green economy and the idea of a blue economy, and debated on IFSD. At the end of the meeting, a decision was adopted by consensus on the process for the preparation of the draft outcome document for the UNCSD.

UNCSD SUBREGIONAL PREPARATORY MEETING FOR THE CARIBBEAN: The UNCSD Rio+20 Subregional Preparatory Meeting for the Caribbean convened in Georgetown, Guyana, on 20 June 2011. Participants recognized that there is much work to be done in the lead-up to UNCSD, and identified the value and benefits in engaging in the process and the opportunities that it represents, particularly with regard to the green economy.

AIMS SUBREGIONAL PREPARATORY MEETING REPORT

On Thursday, Amanda Hunt, Seychelles, welcomed participants to the meeting. UNCSD Secretary-General Sha Zukang, via video message, expressed hope that small island developing states (SIDS) would shed light on the changes necessary to improve regional institutional arrangements. The President of the Seychelles, James Michel, recognized the role of the UNCSD in defining the blue economy. He outlined the challenges SIDS have faced since Rio 1992, including the decline of their position in world trade and inadequate access to finance. Michel expressed hope that Rio+20 could reclaim the concept of sustainable development, stating “we must be activists” and underscored his commitment to ensure SIDS’ needs are not marginalized. 

Participants elected Minister of Home Affairs, Environment, Energy and Transport Joel Morgan, Seychelles, as Chair of the meeting, and Aslam Mohamed Shakir, Minister of State and Foreign Affairs, the Maldives, as rapporteur. Participants adopted the proposed agenda (AIMS/INF/02) without amendment. 

OBJECTIVES OF THE UNCSD FROM AIMS PERSPECTIVE

Hiroko Morita-Lou, UN Department of Economic and Social Affairs (DESA), gave an overview of the UNCSD preparatory process, highlighting its main objectives: to secure renewed political commitment for sustainable development, assess the progress to date and the remaining gaps in the implementation of the outcomes of the major summits on sustainable development, and address new and emerging challenges.

Morita-Lou highlighted that the AIMS meeting is the second of three planned subregional preparatory meetings for SIDS, noting that the third meeting would convene in Apia, Samoa, for Pacific SIDS, from 21-22 July.

She explained the purpose of this meeting, as she sees it, was to: raise awareness among SIDS, provide an opportunity for advocacy for SIDS causes, and to articulate SIDS’ priorities; and to mainstream SIDS issues into the regional and global preparatory process for Rio+20.

Keneti Faulalo, UN DESA, outlined UN DESA and the UN Development Programme’s efforts to assist SIDS in national preparations for Rio+20. He said these preparations are intended to be forward looking, setting the foundation for SIDS to implement the outcomes of Rio+20.

GREEN ECONOMY IN THE CONTEXT OF SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT AND POVERTY ERADICATION

Participants discussed this issue on Thursday and Friday. On Thursday, Toolseeram Ramjeawon, University of Mauritius, outlined his draft paper titled “Green Economy in SIDS—An Analysis of Challenges and Opportunities,” describing the green economy as a concept borne out of multiple crises and accelerating resource scarcity, but cautioned that current activities were merely “greening the brown economy.” He said the draft report addressed the challenges and opportunities for the viability of the green economy in five key sectors for SIDS: small scale fisheries and aquaculture; water management; waste management; energy; and tourism. He said the challenges faced by SIDS include land scarcity, fragmentation of the tourism industry, dependence on unreliable, imported energy, as well as high costs and technical requirements in waste management. He suggested measures to combat the challenges in each sector including integrated planning and strategy development, development of sustainable fiscal policies, mainstreaming green economy in relevant policy areas, green financing, and increasing market access for green products.

In the ensuing discussion, Seychelles highlighted the challenge of sustainably financing green technologies, and, noting that tax breaks are not enough, called for consideration of potential incentives for investors. He suggested SIDS put forward definitive ideas to the UNCSD on this matter. 

Reflecting on the potential and necessary transition to a green economy, Cape Verde lamented that the causes of the financial crisis in the current economy have not been adequately addressed.

Mauritius suggested that some SIDS may be able to act as models for implementing the green economy. The Seychelles agreed, suggesting SIDS offer themselves as potential pilot states for implementation of green economy activities. 

Guinea Bissau emphasized unity and the sharing of ideas, including linking Atlantic SIDS to the Western Indian Ocean Challenge Initiative. The Maldives underscored the need for SIDS to showcase themselves at Rio+20 by defining SIDS-specific characteristics in the context of the green economy. Nature Seychelles explained that the Seychelles had created the world’s first carbon neutral nature reserve and said this had succeeded in attracting additional financial resources.

On Friday, delegates continued consideration of transitioning to a green economy, focusing their discussions on: the opportunities, risks and challenges for SIDS; the measures and institutional capacity that are required for SIDS at a national level to overcome existing barriers; and successful models that may be used by SIDS, including monetary and non-monetary incentives for industry, business and communities. 

Cape Verde said that many SIDS already based their economies on preserving their land and the oceans, and requested a clear definition of the term green economy. Mauritius pointed out that current modes of development worldwide in industry, trade and finance limit the ability to transition toward a green economy. Seychelles stated that his country would use its strategic environmental management plan as an avenue to transition, helping to comply with multilateral environmental agreements. The Maldives agreed with the Seychelles’ pragmatic approach, emphasizing that color-coding terms, such as the green and blue economies, may not provide clarity.

BLUE ECONOMY IN RELATION TO RIO+20 AND SIDS

Participants considered the issue of the blue economy on Friday. Discussions focused on the aspects of the blue economy that AIMS SIDS wish to highlight in the context of Rio+20, and the measures required to ensure sustainable fisheries practices are adopted and sustained.  

Initiating discussion, Chair Morgan highlighted key sectors of the blue economy including ocean ecosystems and sea-floor management, fisheries, sea level rise and coastal zone management.

Citing Japan’s recent discovery of rare earth minerals in the Pacific, Cape Verde underscored the need to consider legal aspects of the high seas, to ensure SIDS’ resources are adequately protected. Seychelles supported this and suggested bringing together legal experts to provide assistance to SIDS on the law of the sea.

Seychelles stressed that without a functioning blue economy, many SIDS would have no economy at all, as many are completely reliant on coastal resources and tourism. He said the two key threats to the blue economy are from human activities and climate change, and stressed the need for measures to ensure sustainability of the blue economy.  

The Seychelles Fishing Authority explained that small scale fisheries are often quite green, and said SIDS must focus on protecting these and rebuilding them. He also noted the potential for sustainable aquaculture in SIDS is often unexploited, and highlighted the need for expertise in market differentiation.  

Seychelles stressed that the renewable energy debate is heavily skewed towards solar and wind, which he said were land intensive technologies. Noting that SIDS have little land, but large oceans, he stressed that the energy potential of oceans should be considered.

Chair Morgan summarized the debate and reflected on the recently completed Nagoya Protocol on Access and Benefit-sharing (ABS) under the Convention on Biological Diversity. Noting that industrialized countries are actively using products derived from marine biological resources, he stressed the need to utilize the Nagoya Protocol, in the context of sustaining the blue economy. 

INSTITUTIONAL FRAMEWORK FOR SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT

Delegates discussed this issue on Thursday and again on Friday. On Thursday, Jean-Paul Adam, Minister of Foreign Affairs, Seychelles, introduced a concept paper on improving the developmental options for SIDS. He said the paper made six recommendations for Rio+20 on SIDS, including: a special UN category for SIDS; the further development of a vulnerability index to allow assessment of countries’ development needs on the basis of risk exposure; the financing of platform projects to act as seed funding to catalyze development in SIDS; accessible credit, which he said was closely related to the special SIDS category; developing renewable energy resources to transition to a green economy; and improved statistics for SIDS.  

Hiroko Morita-Lou, UN DESA, briefly outlined the status of national institutional frameworks for sustainable development, and said challenges include lack of implementation, mainstreaming, capacity building, coordination and integration, and accountability. She noted that many of the National Councils for Sustainable Development (NCSD) set up after the Rio Earth Summit are no longer active, and asked AIMS SIDS to elaborate on the realities of NCSDs in their countries.    

Rajendranath Mohabeer, Indian Ocean Commission (IOC), highlighted the value in initiating regional cooperation, and said a regional coordinating mechanism has been successful for the Pacific and Caribbean SIDS, and was necessary for AIMS. He said lack of a clear common identity is preventing progress for AIMS as a subregion. Mohabeer explained the IOC’s role in developing a system for monitoring and implementation of the Mauritius Strategy, including priority areas of climate change and coral reefs.

The Seychelles stressed the need for access to affordable technology transfer especially regarding tidal and solar energy, and toxic and e-waste management. Cape Verde described its plans to substitute 25% of its fossil fuels with renewable energy, and have one island operating on 100% renewable energy by 2015. He noted the differences between SIDS and cautioned against any country presenting itself as a stand-alone model for other SIDS.

Noting that the Caribbean subregion has nominated institutions to address each of the themes under the Mauritius Strategy, the IOC emphasized the importance of regional cooperation and an appropriate platform for the AIMS region.

Mauritius highlighted the need to identify who will be driving sustainable development at the national level, and said in Mauritius the development of the National Sustainable Development Strategy was under the leadership of the Prime Minister.

The Commonwealth Secretariat shared its work on mainstreaming sustainable development in SIDS.

The Seychelles underscored the need for the meeting to consider the structure and outline of recommendations from this meeting. UNEP suggested delegates consider possible changes in IFSD architecture that would benefit SIDS.

The Maldives highlighted that there is misunderstanding over the proposed SIDS “special category.” He explained that a technical study on the potential cost effective and measurable benefits of targeted assistance to SIDS is proposed, to be undertaken by the Committee on Development Policy, as a starting point. Cape Verde reiterated the sensitivity of officially presenting SIDS as a category to the UN, stating that there have not been adequate discussions among SIDS on this matter.

Returning this issue on Friday, delegates focused on: a necessary further institutional framework for sustainable development needed to assist AIMS SIDS; actions required to build stronger bridges between the three pillars of sustainable development and respective national institutions; and the adjustments necessary to strengthen the global institutional sustainable development architecture.

 Mauritius, supported by Seychelles, called for a review of existing regional mechanisms, allowing a better understanding of gaps and areas where additional institutional structures are required. UN DESA acknowledged the IOC as an important source of regional institutional support, but highlighted that it is not part of the UN family, as is the case with the UN Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean in the Caribbean subregion. Cape Verde underscored the need for political will from the member governments and suggested that the UN Ambassadors unite to lobby for SIDS issues at the international level. The IOC agreed, suggesting a multi-layer structure. Participants agreed that a small Friends of the Chair group would draft recommendations on this matter.

The Maldives stated that Rio+20 should make progress on UN support for SIDS and result in a political declaration on green and blue technologies. Mauritius said that although the term SIDS is not defined by the UN, the Alliance of Small Island States (AOSIS) is accepted within certain UN fora. The Seychelles agreed, underscoring the need to move quickly to institutionalize AOSIS, including establishing a formal secretariat. He emphasized the importance of keeping the issue of a special SIDS category on the agenda, to continually remind people that some SIDS have no access to financial support.

EMERGING ISSUES 

Participants considered this issue on Friday, focusing their discussions on: new and emerging issues at the national, regional and international levels; linking science, education and policy to address new challenges; and measures to enable countries to strengthen resilience to external shocks emanating from emerging issues.

The Seychelles outlined the issues of security due to piracy, which he said results in an estimated annual loss of 4% of GDP, due to increasing insurance costs. He also underscored the issue of fuel prices, which he said was not new, but is escalating, and the consequential need to invest in renewable energy sources. The Seychelles also highlighted the issues of water security, food security, and potential banking crises.  

Cape Verde stressed the need to consider ways in which to address losses and damages from increasingly frequent extreme climatic events, as well as the issue of climate migration. 

PARTNERSHIPS

Delegates addressed this matter on Friday and focused discussions on: ways and means to promote successful partnerships; new incentives or modalities for partnerships to improve effective delivery; and the participants’ vision for partnerships in the context of Rio+20.

Seychelles explained that the reason for the current inadequacies in this area could be attributed to the fact that many AIMS member states are young, and thus have not yet established mature partnerships between governments, civil society and the private sector. He suggested establishing a climate change centre, akin to the Caribbean Community Climate Change Centre to collate data and provide information, including on the predicted cost of sea-level rise to the subregion. Cape Verde suggested that partnerships could augment current gaps in the regional institutional framework. Nature Seychelles highlighted the issue of ownerships and inclusivity.

IMPROVING COORDINATION AND NETWORKING

Participants considered this issue on Friday. UN DESA presented the revitalized Small Island Developing States Network (SIDSnet), which it said was a decentralized internet- based tool, available in English, French and Spanish, that aims to promote partnerships and facilitate information sharing among SIDS. He explained that SIDSnet was borne out of the need for SIDS to access information, and includes a “horizontal component” of stakeholders, thematic sectors and partners on the state, regional and interregional levels, and a “vertical component” to enhance communication between the grassroots and international levels.

Rolph Payet, University of Seychelles, briefed participants on the University Consortium of Small Island States, which he said aimed to enhance the capacity of graduate education institutions in SIDS, by facilitating the development of the systemic capacity needed to implement the Barbados Programme of Action (BPOA). Funded by the Spanish government, Payet said the Consortium aims to improve the flow of information between SIDS, encourage cooperative curriculum development, and the sharing of SIDS-focused research findings and reference materials. He explained the Consortium was currently taking an inventory of available courses, assessing IT capacity for distance learning and other multi-media material delivery, and developing a joint Master’s degree programme.

Rajendranath Mohabeer, IOC, presented a concept for AIMSnet, which he hoped would become a tool for the region to monitor and evaluate the implementation of the Mauritius Strategy. He said the concept included: information storage and exchange functions; a platform for interactive participation in capacity building; and support for technical exchange through a database of experts.

Mohabeer also presented an IOC coordinated, €15 million project, titled Implementation of the SIDS Mauritius Strategy. He said the project planned to focus on, inter alia, operationalizing a western Indian Ocean climate change facility, a coral reef facility and an insurance mechanism for natural disasters. Cape Verde expressed interest in the project, and IOC agreed to provide information to the Maldives and Atlantic SIDS, so they can identify counterpart funding, and join the project. 

ADOPTION OF AIMS OUTCOME DOCUMENT

On Friday afternoon delegates considered the report of the meeting and outcome document. Participants agreed to the report, with minor factual corrections, and to the following recommendations.

On the green economy in the context of sustainable development, the AIMS subregion recommends:

  • assessing opportunities, risks and challenges associated with the transformation to a green economy;
  • developing a coordinated approach to access sustainable financing;
  • collecting and sharing existing best practices and regional expertise in the AIMS subregion;
  • further refining the concept of the blue-green economy in the context of the subregion through additional research and analysis;
  • promoting partnerships and exploring opportunities and incentives for investment;
  • exploring opportunities for kick-starting seed financing; and
  • establishing a benefit-sharing mechanism for SIDS to access benefits from their marine resources.

On strengthening the regional institutional framework for sustainable development, the AIMS subregion recommends developing a regional IFSD in AIMS, with consideration given to the IOC as a potential framework, and exploring ways to link the existing UN entities in the subregion.

The recommended functions of the framework include:

  • providing a coordinating function;
  • assisting SIDS in developing common approaches and positions on globalization issues as relevant;
  • raising awareness in the region on emerging global issues of relevance and interest to AIMS SIDS;
  • capacity building and technical assistance;
  • assistance in project formulation and drafting project proposals;
  • resource mobilization;
  • fostering development of partnerships within the region as well as on an inter-regional basis; and
  • promoting advocacy to encourage unity within AIMS.

The AIMS region also recommends strengthening global AOSIS-AIMS regional linkages and networking to build a stronger voice at the UN and other international fora.

The AIMS subregion also agreed to continue to advocate for a specific SIDS category, congratulating the Maldives for taking this forward by tabling a resolution at ECOSOC, calling for a technical analysis of the issue by the Committee on Development Policy.

CLOSING SESSION

On Friday afternoon Minister of Foreign Affairs Jean-Paul Adam chaired the closing session. Cape Verde expressed appreciation to the Government of the Seychelles, and specifically for the inspirational speech provided at the opening of the meeting by Seychelles President James Michel. He said the meeting was productive, efficient, and the results encouraging.

Adam thanked UN DESA for its technical support, which he said informed participants and allowed AIMS to make significant progress. Quoting President Michel he underscored “we must be activists” and continue to spread the message for SIDS. He closed the meeting at 6:23 pm.

UPCOMING MEETINGS

High Level Dialogue on the Institutional Framework for Sustainable Development (IFSD): This meeting, organized by DESA, will provide inputs and perspectives on IFSD for consideration in preparation for the UNCSD. dates 19-21 July 2011 location: Solo, Indonesia  contact: Hiro Morita-Lou, DESA  phone: +1-212-963-8813 fax: +1-212-963-4260  email:morita-lou@un.org www: http://www.uncsd2012.org

UNCSD Subregional Preparatory Meeting for Pacific SIDS: Organized by the DESA SIDS Unit, AOSIS and members of the Inter-Agency Consultative Group on SIDS, this meeting will provide inputs and perspectives from the Pacific SIDS to be considered in preparation for regional preparatory meetings for the UNCSD. dates: 21-22 July 2011 location: Apia, Samoa  contact: Hiro Morita-Lou, DESA  phone: +1-212-963-8813  fax: +1-212-963-4260  email:morita-lou@un.org www: http://www.uncsd2012.org/rio20/index.php?menu=26

UNCSD Regional Preparatory Meeting for Latin American and Caribbean: This meeting, hosted by the UN Economic Commission for the Latin American and Caribbean Region (ECLAC), will be held in preparation for the UNCSD. dates: 7-9 September 2011  location: Santiago, Chile contact: ECLAC  phone: +56-2-471-2000  fax: +56-2-208-0252 email: rio20@cepal.org www: http://www.uncsd2012.org/rio20/index.php?menu=26 or http://www.eclac.cl/rio20

GSP 4: The fourth meeting of the Secretary-General’s High-level Panel on Global Sustainability (GSP 4) will take place in New York, on the margins of the 66th session of the UN General Assembly.  dates: 18-19 September 2011  location: UN Headquarters, New York contact: GSP Secretariat phone: +1-917-367-4207  email: gsp-secretariat@un.org www: http://www.un.org/wcm/content/site/climatechange/pages/gsp

UNCSD Inter-Regional Preparatory Meeting for SIDS: This meeting will be held in New York in preparation for the UNCSD. date: 23 September 2011 location: UN Headquarters, New York  contact: Hiro Morita-Lou, DESA  phone: +1-212-963-8813  fax: +1-212-963-4260  email:morita-lou@un.org www: http://www.uncsd2012.org/rio20/index.php?menu=26

Conference on the Green Economy and Sustainable Development: Bringing Back the Social Dimension: The UN Research Institute for Social Development will host a conference on the green economy and sustainable development, focusing on the social dimension. The policy reports presented at the conference will aim to inform the UNCSD preparatory process and subsequent policy discussions.  dates: 10-11 October 2011  location: Geneva, Switzerland contact: Kiah Smith, UNRISD email: smith@unrisd.orgwww: http://www.unrisd.org/

Sharing Green Economy Best Practices Towards Rio+20: The Polish Ministry of the Environment is organising a high-level conference aimed at consultation between EU member states and key countries in the process of preparing for the Rio+20 conference in 2012. date: 11 October 2011  location: Warsaw, Poland  contact: Agnieszka Kozłowska-Korbicz (Ministry of the Environment) phone: +48-22-57-92-855 email: agnieszka.kozlowska-korbicz@mos.gov.pl www: http://pl2011.eu/en/content/sharing-green-economy-best-practices-towards-rio20?mini=calendar%2F2011-10

UNCSD Regional Preparatory Meeting for Africa: The UN Economic Commission for Africa and partners will convene an African regional preparatory meeting for the UNCSD. dates: 10-14 October 2011 location: Addis Ababa, Ethiopia  contact: UNCSD Secretariat email:uncsd2012@un.org www: http://www.uncsd2012.org/rio20/index.php?menu=26

UNCSD Regional Preparatory Meeting in the Arab Region: The UN Economic and Social Commission for Western Asia and partners will convene an Arab regional meeting in preparation for the UNCSD.  dates: 16-17 October 2011 location: Cairo, Egypt contact: UNCSD Secretariat email:uncsd2012@un.org www: http://www.uncsd2012.org/rio20/index.php?menu=26  

UNCSD Regional Preparatory Meeting in the Asia-Pacific Region: The UN Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific and partners will convene a regional meeting in preparation for the UNCSD.  dates: 19-20 October 2011  location: Seoul, Republic of Korea  contact: UNCSD Secretariat email:uncsd2012@un.org www: http://www.uncsd2012.org/rio20/index.php?menu=26  

UNEP FI Global Roundtable 2011: Organized by the UN Environment Programme Finance Initiative (UNEP FI), this meeting will convene under the theme “The tipping point: Sustained stability in the next economy.” The 2011 Roundtable aims to provide a platform for the global financial sector to define what it expects to achieve at UNCSD. It will include two plenary sessions, on: Systems, Stability and Sustainability/ Lenses and Clocks; and What the Earth Summit needs to deliver at Rio+20. dates: 19-20 October 2011  location: Washington, DC  contact: Cecilia Serin fax: +41-22-796-9240 email:roundtable@unepfi.org www: http://www.unepfi.org/washington

Bonn 2011 Conference: “The Water, Energy and Food Security Nexus-Water Resources in the Green Economy”: Organized by the German Government, the Bonn conference pursues two objectives: on the one hand, to develop cross-sector solutions for achieving water, energy and food security; on the other, to position the interface of water, energy and food security within the discourse of the “Rio plus 20” process and “green economy”.  dates: 16-18 November 2011 location: Bonn, Germany  contact: Ms. Imke Thiem, Head of Secretariat  phone: +49-6196-79-1547 email: bonn.conference2011@giz.de www: http://www.water-energy-food.org/

High Level Expert Meeting on the Sustainable Use of Oceans: This meeting, to be hosted by Monaco, will take place in November.  dates: 28-30 November 2011  location: Monaco  contact: UNCSD Secretariat  email:uncsd2012@un.org www: http://www.uncsd2012.org/rio20/index.php?menu=50

UNCSD Regional Preparatory Meeting for ECE Region: The UN Economic Commission for Europe (UNECE) will convene a regional meeting in preparation for the UNCSD. dates: 1-2 December 2011  location: Geneva, Switzerland  contact: UNCSD Secretariat  email:uncsd2012@un.org www:  http://www.uncsd2012.org/rio20/index.php?menu=26  

Second Intersessional Meeting for UNCSD: The second intersessional meeting for the UNCSD will be convened in late 2011 to prepare for the June 2012 UNCSD.  dates: 15-16 December 2011  location: UN Headquarters, New York  contact: UNCSD Secretariat  email: uncsd2012@un.org www: http://www.uncsd2012.org/rio20/index.php?menu=25

Third Intersessional Meeting for UNCSD: The final intersessional meeting for the UNCSD will be convened in March 2012.  dates: 26-27 March 2012  location: UN Headquarters, New York  contact: UNCSD Secretariat  email: uncsd2012@un.org www: http://www.uncsd2012.org/rio20/index.php?menu=25

Third PrepCom for UNCSD: The third meeting of the Preparatory Committee for the UNCSD will take place in Brazil just prior to the conference.  dates: 28-30 May 2012  location: Rio De Janeiro, Brazil.  contact: UNCSD Secretariat  email: uncsd2012@un.org www: http://www.uncsd2012.org/

UN Conference on Sustainable Development (UNCSD): The UNCSD will mark the 20th anniversary of the UN Conference on Environment and Development, which convened in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil  dates: 4-6 June 2012  location: Rio De Janeiro, Brazil  contact: UNCSD Secretariat  email: uncsd2012@un.org www: http://www.uncsd2012.org/

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This issue of the Earth Negotiations Bulletin © <enb@iisd.org> is written and edited by Melanie Ashton and Resson Kantai. The Editor is Pamela S. Chasek, Ph.D. <pam@iisd.org>. The Director of IISD Reporting Services is Langston James “Kimo” Goree VI <kimo@iisd.org>. The Sustaining Donors of the Bulletin are the Government of the United States of America (through the Department of State Bureau of Oceans and International Environmental and Scientific Affairs), the Government of Canada (through CIDA), the Danish Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ), the German Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation and Nuclear Safety (BMU), the European Commission (DG-ENV), and the Italian Ministry for the Environment, Land and Sea. General Support for the Bulletin during 2011 is provided by the Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Government of Australia, the Ministry of Environment of Sweden, the New Zealand Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade, SWAN International, Swiss Federal Office for the Environment (FOEN), the Finnish Ministry for Foreign Affairs, the Japanese Ministry of Environment (through the Institute for Global Environmental Strategies - IGES), the Japanese Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry (through the Global Industrial and Social Progress Research Institute – GISPRI) and the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP). Funding for translation of the Bulletin into French has been provided by the Government of France, the Belgium Walloon Region, the Province of Québec, and the International Organization of the Francophone (OIF and IEPF). The opinions expressed in the Bulletin are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views of IISD or other donors. Excerpts from the Bulletin may be used in non-commercial publications with appropriate academic citation. For information on the Bulletin, including requests to provide reporting services, contact the Director of IISD Reporting Services at <kimo@iisd.org>, +1-646-536-7556 or 300 East 56th St., 11D, New York, NY 10022, United States of America.
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