Outreach Magazine: May UN meetings day 8


Published on

A multi-stakeholder magazine on climate change and sustainable development.

Published in: News & Politics, Technology
  • Be the first to comment

  • Be the first to like this

Outreach Magazine: May UN meetings day 8

  1. 1. inside: Disasters – a growing problem with differentiated impact Towards a climate resilient state a multi-stakeholder magazine on climate change and sustainable development out reach. 02 May 2012www.stakeholderforum.org/sf/outreach/ pic: Derek Purdy
  2. 2. contents. Implementing resilience to disaster risks: lessons from Sendai and Sichuan, 1 Cyclone Nargis and earlier transformative disasters 2 UNDP Equator Prize 2012 winners: building resilience at the grassroots 5 3 Securing healthy soils and stopping land degradation 4 Disasters – a growing problem with differentiated impact 6 Towards a climate resilient state 7 7 Rio+20, President Dilma and the future of the Amazon 8 A captivating Sunday with IFSD Profile - Clarice Wilson 9 Rio+20 Side Event Calendar 10 Reflections on the negotiations - Tuesday, 1st May 8 pic: Joost J. Bakker OUTREACH IS PUBLISHED BY: Outreach is a multi-stakeholder publication on OUTREACH EDITORIAL TEAM climate change and sustainable development. It is the longest continually produced Editorial Advisors Felix Dodds Stakeholder Forum stakeholder magazine in the sustainable Farooq Ullah Stakeholder Forum development arena, published at various international meetings on the environment; Editor Georgie Macdonald Stakeholder Forum including the UNCSD meetings (since 1997), Co-editor Amy Cutter Stakeholder Forum UNEP Governing Council, UNFCCC Conference of the Parties (COP) and World Water Week. Editorial Assistant Jack Cornforth Stakeholder Forum Published as a daily edition, in both print Print Designer Jessica Wolf Jessica Wolf Design and web form, Outreach provides a vehicle for critical analysis on key thematic topics in Web Designer Thomas Harrisson Stakeholder Forum the sustainability arena, as well as a voice Web Designer Matthew Reading-Smith Stakeholder Forum of regional and local governments, women,About Stakeholder Forum indigenous peoples, trade unions, industry, youth and NGOs. To fully ensure a multi- CONTRIBUTING WRITERSStakeholder Forum is an international stakeholder perspective, we aim to engage Mainstreaming DRR and Loy Regoorganisation working to advance sustainable a wide range of stakeholders for article Adaptation Janani Vivekananda International Alertdevelopment and promote democracy at a contributions and project funding. Dearbhla Keegan UNDP Equator Initiativeglobal level. Our work aims to enhance open, Paulo Adario Greenpeace Amazon If you are interested in contributing Oliver Hughes UNDP Equator Initiativeaccountable and participatory internationaldecision-making on sustainable development to Outreach, please contact the team Michele Morek UNANIMA Internationalthrough enhancing the involvement (gmacdonald@stakeholderforum.org or Whitney Wilding UNDP Equator Initiative Jan-Gustav acutter@stakeholderforum.org) Strandenaes Stakeholder Forumof stakeholders in intergovernmentalprocesses. For more information, visit: You can also follow us on Twitter: Pia Bucella European Commission Emma Puka-Beals Mount Holyoke Collegewww.stakeholderforum.org @OutreachLive Debbie Hillier Oxfam GB
  3. 3. Implementing resilience to disaster risks:lessons from Sendai and Sichuan, Cyclone Nargis and earlier transformative disastersLoy RegoLearning Practitioner, Mainstreaming DRR and AdaptationDisasters continue to cause an unacceptable loss of human The 5 priorities for action under the HFA are:lives and economic and societal harm. In 2011 alone, 302 1. Ensuring that DRR is a national and local priority with adisasters caused 29,782 deaths, affected 206 million people strong institutional basis;and caused losses of US$366 billion. The proportion of theworld population living in high risk areas is significant. In the 2. Identifying, assessing and monitoring disaster risks andlast 30 years, the amount of people living in flood prone river enhanced early warning;basins increased by 114% and typhoon prone coastlines by192%. Over half of the world’s cities are located in areas 3. Using education, knowledge and innovation to build awith high vulnerability to seismic risk. culture of safety and resilience;Disaster risk reduction (DRR) is different from disaster 4. Reducing the underlying risk factors; andresponse and recovery. It is the practice of reducing risksfrom disasters, through systematic efforts to analyse and 5. Strengthening disaster preparedness for response at all levels.manage the causal factors of disasters, reduce exposureto hazards and lessen vulnerability of people, livelihoods The progress made is tracked using voluntary reporting byand property. DRR protects people’s lives and livelihoods 130 countries to the HFA Monitor and a civil society counterand preserves development gains that are at risk of report called Views from the Frontline (VFL), which arebeing lost during disasters. DRR includes preparedness both based on the same set of 20 targets and indicators,and integrating resilience into development actions at and vigorous exchange of views and partnership buildingall levels, from communities using indigenous knowledge at global, regional and national forums held approximatelyto protect themselves, to cities, provinces and countries once every two years since 2005.taking sustained action. A lot of the action in countries is implemented by nationalClimate hazards result in two thirds of all disaster-related action plans and programs on DRR, which are developeddeaths and three quarters of the losses. With adaptation to and implemented by a coalition of multi-level governments,climate change becoming an increasingly important strategy, UN agencies, CSOs, and national technical and academicimproved preparedness and risk reduction against disaster institutions and the media. Linking these DRR plans torisks is an important element of climate change adaptation National Adaptation Programmes of Action (NAPAs and(CCA). DRR and CCA have a common aim of reducing promoting collaboration between the disaster and climatevulnerability to climate related disasters and hazards. change institutions is another strand in the movement. Mainstreaming DRR into development is advanced throughDRR has a well-established globally agreed Hyogo priority implementation partnerships for safer developmentFramework for Action (HFA), covering the period 2005 to and prudent governance in many sectors. Disaster proofing2015, entitled ‘Building the Resilience of countries and the MDGs helps protect development gains from beingcommunities to natural disaster risks.’ This builds on the washed away. While much needs to be done to build thefoundation of the Yokohama Strategy for a Safer World safer world we dreamt of in 1992, progress is real, tangibleadopted at the mid-point of the International Decade for and potentially transformative, yet not fast-paced enoughNatural Disaster reduction (IDNDR). DRR has 22 years of to address all accumulated risks.organised effort since IDNDR started in 1990, well developedtools and a body of practical experience, including national Specific lessons for the implementation of sustainablemechanisms, actions plans and programs, in parallel with development can be learnt from the 20 years of DRRthe global to local movement for sustainable development experience. There are also opportunities for collaborationsince the Bruntland report of 1987. of sustainable development and DRR actors at all levels. At a deeper level, as the title of the GSP report so evocativelyThe HFA has 3 goals: reminded us, we need both the planet and people to be resilient, We must seamlessly weave this crucial1. Integration of DRR into sustainable development ingredient of sustainability into our development targets . planning and programs; and programmes as a critical element in implementing2. Strengthening institutions, mechanisms and capacities Agenda 21 and the Rio+20 outcomes for increased resilience; and3. Integrating DRR into emergency preparedness, 1 response and recovery. RIO+20
  4. 4. UNDP Equator Prize 2012 winners: building resilience at the grassroots Dearbhla Keegan, Oliver Hughes, & Whitney Wilding UNDP Equator Initiative The UNDP Equator Prize is awarded biennially to to the frequent periods of drought they face, allowing this acknowledge and advance community-based sustainable rural community to remain in their ancestral home, better development solutions for people, nature and resilient equipped to confront the challenges of a changing climate. communities. The award recognises the success of local and indigenous initiatives in improving rural livelihoods, The Alexander von Humboldt Center, meanwhile, conserving biodiversity, developing sustainable natural has worked through Community Water Committees resource management and building communities’ in Nicaragua’s northwestern departments of Leon, resilience to a range of natural and man-made pressures. Chinandega and Estelí to improve the sustainability of water use in a region devastated by Hurricanes Mitch The 25 winners of the Equator Prize 2012 were selected (1998) and Felix (2007). With an emphasis on collaborative from 812 nominations, received in thirteen languages water resource management and halting deforestation, from 113 developing countries worldwide. These groups this initiative has rapidly reduced rates of diarrhoea and have faced their unique challenges by developing water-borne disease amongst community members. solutions suited to their local landscapes, cultures and climates. Despite the diversity among the winning Equator Prize winners have also built local resilience to initiatives, many shared characteristics can be observed environmental threats of humankind’s own making. The among their approaches to sustainable development. Shashwat initiative’s work with tribal communities in Not least, the activities undertaken by winning initiatives Ambegaon, in the Western Ghats, India, has helped to illustrate the value to poverty reduction of addressing mitigate the effects of the Dimbhe Dam, which forced local vulnerability to extreme weather events and building the relocation of thousands of local inhabitants during rural communities’ resilience as central components of the 1990s. Resettled communities have been supported successful sustainable development. in diversifying livelihoods through terraced paddy farming on the area’s steeply sloping hillsides and sustainable The story of Association Amsing, an Equator Prize 2012 fisheries management in the dam reservoir. winner and an initiative of the Elmoudaa community in Morocco’s High Atlas Mountains, is a good example of The 500-strong population of Namdrik Atoll, located in this. Incidences of flash flooding had often wiped out the Ralik chain of atolls in the western reaches of the the village’s water infrastructure, washing away irrigation Marshall Islands, has reacted to the threat of rising sea channels and filling water basins with stones, requiring levels by diversifying incomes, investing in mangrove community members to redirect time, labour and financial planting, and planning for sustainable agriculture. In resources to structural repairs. Since 2001, with the aid of the face of a threat to their very existence, the members international partners, the community has constructed a of the Namdrik Atoll Local Resources Committee have reservoir, water tower, and a system of plastic water pipes maximised the use of the atoll’s 1.7 km² of land to meet buried below ground to provide an irrigation network and subsistence food, water, and livelihood needs. bring drinking water to each household in the community for the first time. The Association is now embarking on a These best practice cases of local sustainable program of climate change adaptation activities to build development and their fellow Equator Prize 2012 winners the community’s resilience to future challenges. are demonstrating that resilience starts at the grassroots level. Community-based adaptation, local leadership, and Unsustainable land and water management practices in the smart interventions are transforming rural landscapes severely deforested Tigray region of northern Ethiopia had on the frontlines of climate change. In many cases, these magnified the vulnerability of the region to climate impacts communities are sacrificing short-term economic gains to the point that the agriculturally-dependent Abrha Atsbha community was on the verge of resettlement. Instead, the Abrha Atsbha Natural Resource Management Initiative, Rio+20 should take note . for lasting, durable development. Policymakers attending another 2012 winner, instituted a range of soil and water MORE INFO conservation activities, including the establishment of The twenty-five Equator Prize 2012 winners will be ‘closed’ areas to allow reforestation. Vegetation returned honored at a high-level award ceremony in Rio de Janeiro quickly, greatly reducing soil erosion and increasing on June 20, during the UN Conference on Sustainable rainwater infiltration into the subsoil. The recharging of Development. To read more about this year’s winners, visit groundwater has reduced the community’s vulnerability www.equatorinitiative.org.2 RIO+20
  5. 5. Securing healthy soils and stopping land degradationPia BucellaDirector for Nature, Environment Directorate-General, European CommissionThe importance of soils Soil degradationSoil is the interface between earth, air and water, and According to UNEPs 2012 Year Book, as a result ofhosts most of the biosphere. As soil formation is an unsustainable land-use, 24% of global land has alreadyextremely slow process, soil can be considered as suffered health and productivity decline over the pasta non-renewable resource. It provides us with food, quarter century; certain types of conventional andbiomass and raw materials, as well as storing, filtering intensive agriculture are triggering soil erosion at ratesand transforming many substances, including water, some 100 times greater than those at which soil cannutrients and carbon. In fact, it is the biggest carbon form naturally. Since the 19th century, an estimated 60%store in the world (1,500 billion tonnes). of the carbon stored in soils and vegetation has been lost as a result of land use changes, such as clearingThe worlds area of fertile soils is limited and is land for agriculture and cities. The draining of peatlandsincreasingly under pressure from competing land uses is currently producing more than two billion tonnes offor cropping, forestry, and pasture/rangeland, as well CO2 annually – equivalent to around 6% of man-madeas for energy production, settlement and infrastructure, greenhouse gas emissions. According to projections byand raw materials extraction. According to the Food the Lincoln Institute of Land Policy (USA), urban landand Agriculture Organisation (FAO), due to growing cover in more-developed countries could grow by 63%population and land degradation, only 0.20 hectares of between 2000 and 2030, and by 113% between 2000arable land will be available per person in 2020, less and 2050. The situation is likely to be even more criticalthan half than that available in 1960 (0.43 hectares). By in less-developed countries, where urban land cover2050, only 0.10 hectares will be available. could grow by 170% between 2000 and 2030, and by 326% between 2000 and 2050. Towards Rio+20 In discussions on targets for the Rio+20 Outcome Document, the European Union (EU) has underlined the importance of the social dimension, as well as horizontal issues, in line with its broader position on an inclusive green economy. The initial EU proposal for soil at Rio is to restore land and soil quality to good condition, and manage land and soil resources sustainably, ensuring that food production can meet growing demand, with the target to arrive at a zero net rate of land and soil degradation within an internationally agreed timeframe.Soil is important for mitigating climate change. This target could be made operational by minimisingWaterlogged and permafrost soils hold major stocks of erosion, maintaining and possibly increasing soil organiccarbon, but due to lowering of the water table and thawing matter, and preventing uncontrolled urban expansion.of permafrost, may instead become major emitters of This could be facilitated by enhancing the implementationgreenhouse gases. In addition, proper management of the UN Convention to Combat Desertification throughof soils can reduce disaster risks by contributing to its 10 Year Strategy, using FAOs Global Soil Partnership,resilience against floods and drought through exploiting and strengthening the scientific basis for soil, land andsoil water retention capacity. desertification policy decisions, in particular through the Economics of Land Degradation Initiative.At the same time, soils are home to over one fourth ofall living species on earth. Soil biodiversity influences Over and above specific wording, the EU is seeking athe regulation of atmospheric composition and climate, concrete outcome in Rio, to help address global soil and landwater quantity and quality, pest and disease incidencein agricultural and natural ecosystems, as well ashuman diseases. Soil organisms may also control, or and land provide, and feed the growing world population . degradation, protect the crucial ecosystem services that soilreduce environmental pollution, and can be used fordeveloping new pharmaceuticals. MORE INFO Contact: Pia Bucella, env-soil@ec.europa.eu 3 RIO+20
  6. 6. Disasters – a growing problem with Debbie Hillier Humanitarian Policy Adviser, Oxfam GB differentiated impact Resilience to disasters and climate homes. The economic impact of Thailand’s 2011 floods is set to be upwards of US$45 billion. Annual disaster losses change received little prominence in Colombia represent roughly 1% of GDP comparable , in the 2002 Johannesburg Plan to the cost of the armed conflict. Ethiopia lost US$1 billion to drought annually between 1997 and 2007: set of Implementation – the disaster alongside the US$1.3bn per year that the country received analysis now looks very dated. There in international assistance, the need for drought risk was no mention of resilience, only reduction is abundantly clear. five mentions of vulnerability (to Disasters hinder development from a social perspective. anything), and only two mentions of Disasters cause social upheaval and loss of social capital. They often lead to negative coping mechanisms, such as climate change adaptation, but they taking children out of school, transactional sex, early are now all issues of growing concern. marriage, selling of assets (often women’s assets are sold first), and gender-based violence. Disasters are an equity issue, as the burden of impact is disproportionately One key factor is climate change and variability, which is borne by socially marginalised and vulnerable people and increasing the number, frequency and intensity of some communities. Malnutrition shocks caused by drought, borne extreme weather events. The number of reported weather- primarily by women and children, can permanently impact related disasters in some of the world’s poorest countries brain development in children; one key study found that the alone has on average more than trebled over the past loss of stature, schooling and potential work experience three decades. The impact is startling. Since 1970, the from children in Zimbabwe, due to drought and conflict, number of people exposed to floods and tropical cyclones resulted in a loss of lifetime earnings of around 14%. has doubled and average annual global GDP exposed to cyclones and floods has tripled. Disasters hinder development from an environmental perspective. The direct environmental impact of disasters All countries are exposed to natural hazards, but low is obvious, such as the destruction of unprotected land by income countries have less capacity to absorb and storm surges and floods, or desertification due to drought. recover from disaster-inflicted economic losses than Moreover, an unprepared community’s reaction to disaster more developed and diversified countries. Although often involves rapid depletion of ecosystem resources. Least Developed Countries contain only 12% of global Drought-stricken communities are led to overgraze or population, they accounted for 40% of all casualties deforest their land, and communities which have lost fields related to natural disasters, during the period 2000– to flooding start cultivation on marginal land that was 2010. And whilst absolute financial losses are higher in previously shrubland or pasture. International disaster developed countries, they take a deeper toll in developing response, such as refugee or internally displaced persons countries. In South Asia, flood losses relative to GDP are (IDP) camps, also places stress on natural resources, approximately 15 times greater than in OECD countries. such as water and wood. By preparing communities for Disasters are both a cause and outcome of poverty. disaster, disaster risk reduction (DRR) reduces the need for these kinds of disruptive responses. Disaster-blind development will not be sustainable Disaster Risk Reduction – unrealised potential In order for development to be truly sustainable – economically, socially and environmentally – it must be Disaster risk reduction is the concept and practice of resilient to disasters. reducing disaster risks through systematic efforts to analyse and manage the causal factors of disasters. It is Disasters hinder development from an economic not a sector, but an approach. When applied consistently perspective. The impacts of disasters can be pervasive to all development activity, it ensures that communities and lasting. The 2010 floods in Pakistan caused US$9.7 and nations are prepared for extreme events and are also billion in damage to infrastructure, farms and people’s taking steps to mitigate their long-term vulnerability and exposure to natural hazards.4 RIO+20
  7. 7. Numerous analyses, including the UN International which created the MDGs. It is therefore not appropriate to Strategy for Disaster Reduction (ISDR) Global Assessment develop a clear proposal at this stage. Nevertheless, there Reports, Views from the Frontline, and the Mid Term are some core elements which can be outlined now for Review of the Hyogo Framework for Action (HFA), point to discussion with wider groups: a significant amount of activity on risk reduction. Progress has been reported on disaster management, strategies, Values/principles. Some key principles likely to underpin preparedness and response, but much less on reducing future agreements include well-being, equity, sustainability, the underlying risk factors, and factoring disaster risk universality, participatory – and to this must be added into national and sector planning and public investment. resilience. Sustainable development will not be achieved Whilst 80% of countries have disaster laws, these are without an understanding and reduction of risk. A further often focused on managing the response to disasters, option is to take a rights-based approach. The right to rather than on risk reduction and mainstreaming risk protection and relief from disasters is clearly implied management throughout government departments. in international law, framing DRR in this way enables communities and individuals to call the duty bearers to According to the Global Network on Disaster Reduction, account through designated institutional arrangements. there is no evidence of systemic change happening at the local level at the scale required to reduce the increasing Targets. Baselines, monitoring, indicators and targets are stock of disaster risk. At the current level of activity and crucial to build accountability, good analysis, and effective trends we will see a substantial increase in disaster losses actions, and are a key requirement for any subsequent by 2015. Business as usual is not an option. agreement. The ‘Expected Outcome’ of the HFA is the starting point for any future agreement - ‘The substantial The framing of disaster resilience in future agreements reduction of disaster losses, in lives and in the social, economic and environmental assets of communities and As well as the specific outcomes from the June Conference, countries’. However for it to be workable, this must be the Rio+20 process is obviously a key curtain-raiser for the matched by baselines and objective monitoring. post Millennium Development Goal (MDG) framework, and the post HFA framework (whose timeline also concludes in Mainstreaming. Goals in other sectors, such as water, 2015), and consultations are beginning on both. Therefore, food and energy, should explicitly recognise the potential there are major opportunities for debates at and around impact of disasters and climate change, and seek to Rio, to shape the future developmental discourse. mitigate their impact. It is clear that the process of developing new agreements In this way, the future opportunities on disaster resilience is the key to its legitimacy. A new instrument must be are double-sided: informed through participation, inclusivity, and a bottom- • Disaster resilience should be embedded into any up approach – we should not seek to emulate the process future framework on development – without this, development cannot succeed. • New goals and agreements provide an opportunity to go beyond the incremental progress of the . Hyogo Framework for Action, to provide stronger international political pressure for DRR MORE INFO • Oxfam (2011): Times Bitter Flood: trends in the number of reported natural disasters • UN ISDR (2011): Global Assessment Report • UNCTAD (2010): The least developed countries report 2010: Towards a New International Development Architecture for LDCs • Oxfam (2009): Band Aids and Beyond: Tackling disasters in Ethiopia 25 years after the famine • Alderman, Harold, John Hoddinott and Bill Kinsey (2004): Long Term Consequences of Early Childhood Malnutrition • Dercon, Stefan and John Hoddinott (2003): Health, Shocks and Poverty Persistence - United Nations University Discussion Paperpic: European Commission DG ECHO 5 RIO+20
  8. 8. Towards a climate resilient state Janani Vivekananda International Alert In the last few years, there has been a slow but steady Shaping relevant adaptation policies would involve going increase in awareness of the links between conflicts and beyond the direct environmental consequences, linking environmental degradation. It is now recognised that them to their impact on the political and social realities. It climate change consequences are likely to accelerate would require focus on the linkages between development, or multiply conflict risks in fragile or conflict-affected peace and climate resilience in order to address the multi- states when they interact with other pre-existing features. dimensional aspects of vulnerability. Moreover, fragile and conflict-affected states are often too weak to cope with climate change effects. Confronting interlinked problems with a cross-sectoral In this context, building a peaceful state involves taking approach instead of compartmentalising and sequencing environment issues into account, while the impacts of Promoting conflict sensitive adaptation and risk reduction, climate change should be addressed through strong involves working across sectors to promote better governance institutions. governance institutions and to reinforce the relationship between the citizens and the state. The main challenge now is to translate these findings into practice. International Alert’s latest Practice This requires another shift in policy-making at the Note ‘Conflict Sensitive Responses to Climate Change international level. Instead of compartmentalising and in South Asia’ sets out some emerging lessons for sequencing policy areas - which is inefficient and leads to policymakers and practitioners, highlighting the three an issue of conflicting priorities - responses must address key factors that are required to shift the way climate the complexity of interlinked problems. For example, change issues are currently addressed. building resilience to variable and uncertain water resources should involve, not just addressing water supply Adopting a conflict-sensitive approach issues, but also look at resource governance systems, and the institutions’ ability to level social inequalities. Climate change adaptation policies need to be conflict- sensitive in order to minimise the negative effect they could Moving towards a climate resilient state goes beyond the have on security and social order, and instead optimise environmental issue itself. It involves adopting a conflict- their potential to promote socio-economic development, sensitive approach, not only to prevent climate change better governance, and peace and stability. adaptation policies from doing harm, but also to re-shape the context in order to decrease vulnerability levels by Adopting a conflict-sensitive approach involves understanding consolidating governance institutions. Rethinking peace- the security, operational and social contexts, and being building, emergency and development policies, in the light aware of the impacts the interventions will have in this of this comprehensive approach, requires deep evolution circumstances. To do so, climate-related programmes from policymakers and NGOs, and a better coordination should take social order, power and governance into account, between the various stakeholders. and avoid pitting groups against each other. This requires carrying out socio-political and economic - as well as International donors can lead this shift, by making environmental – analysis of the actors, and context causes their funding mechanisms more flexible, promoting the and dynamics before any intervention. importance of research and analysis before intervention, and addressing the various cross-cutting areas of peace- Promoting resilience and adaptability instead of adaptation building and development in a comprehensive way, as a set of techniques instead of compartmentalising and dividing their funds between what they see as discrete priorities. It also To go further than the ‘do no harm’ approach, conflict- involves shifting from a short-term perspective to a long- sensitive adaptation also needs to aim at improving the term one and better addressing people’s needs, while context in order to build the foundations for lasting peace. taking extreme care of improving national capacities, instead of bypassing them. Doing so requires promoting a ‘resilience-protection- response model’ that would take all the aspects of resilience If implementing these recommendations is a challenge, into account, instead of seeing climate change adaptation the significant shifts in the World Bank approach, as a technical exercise. Yet, the main response to climate change issues has been though technical environmental fixes, leaving the impacts of the environment degradation seen as a great window of opportunity for Rio+20 . expressed in the 2011 World Development Report, may be on the political and social systems remain unaddressed.6 RIO+20
  9. 9. Rio+20, President Dilma and Paulo Adario Campaign Director of Greenpeace Amazon the future of the Amazon When I received the UN Forest the rain it generates supports agriculture as far as the Midwest United States. We rely on foods and materials Hero award in New York earlier originating from the Amazon, and if you are unfortunate this year, it was a proud moment enough to get cancer, the medicine that treats it could have come from the Amazon. In short, science has shown for me as a Brazilian. As I us that what was once considered a nicety is now essential stood next to others who worked to maintaining all life, including human life, on earth. to protect forests in Indonesia, I remember being unable to safely depart a ship docked Cameroon, Russia, and Japan, I in Belem in the 1990s, due to angry mobs that had been organised to oppose our effort to stop deforestation. Ten thought of my home: the Amazon. years later, I was walking the beautiful streets of Belem freely during a World Social Forum festival with my wife. In 1992, as the first UN Earth Summit was coming to Zero Deforestation was now supported by the vast majority Brazil, I joined Greenpeace to develop a campaign to of Brazilians, we were making progress towards that goal, protect the Amazon, which contains half of the remaining and the economy was better off for it. tropical forests on earth. When I think back over the last twenty years, I see how many things have changed, and Brazil spent most of this decade hailed as a global leader yet how some things have stayed exactly the same. in sustainable development, for its success in significantly reducing deforestation while simultaneously growing In the twentieth century, as humanity made significant its economy at a fast rate. As an agreement to save the technological and economic advances, we also created climate was collapsing in Copenhagen, President Lula technologies and economies that rapidly increased the pledged to reduce deforestation in the Amazon by 80% destruction of thousand year old forests. In just over by 2020. By 2011, deforestation in Brazil had decreased fifty years, we lost about half of all the tropical forests to its lowest level since records were first kept in 1968. on earth. Today, an area of tropical forest the size of a Sustainable development was not some lofty unattainable football pitch is lost every two seconds. goal, but one that Brazilians had showcased as a path for the rest of the world. Years ago, we fought to protect the Amazon for the people and animals who lived in, and depended on, the forest. However, last week, Brazilian legislators passed a law that But as the engines of destruction improved, so too did the would allow deforestation to increase, while also providing science on the Amazon. We now know that the Amazon amnesty for illegal deforestation in the past. For the first contains a quarter of all terrestrial plant and animal time in many years, deforestation has increased in certain species on earth, with many species found nowhere else, Amazon States. Modeling from Sao Paulo University and new species still being discovered. Roughly a fifth indicates that the new law could lead to the deforestation of the world’s freshwater comes from the Amazon and of an additional 22 million hectares. Brazil’s Institute for Applied Economic Research (IPEA) has estimated thatpic: Alistair Howard the additional emissions likely to result from the new law would make it impossible for Brazil to reach its reduction target announced in Copenhagen by President Lula, and his then-chief cabinet minister, Dilma Rousseff. While science has shown us that protecting the Amazon is not a nicety, but a necessity; there remain some politicians and companies willing to sacrifice our collective future for their short term interests. President Dilma has publicly pledged to protect the Amazon, and Rio+20 has put the spotlight on her and Brazil like never before. Nearly 80% of Brazilians opposed the Forest Code changes and citizens have been calling on the President to totally veto the amendments and instead commit to achieve Zero Deforestation in the Amazon by 2015 at Rio+20. If she does, she would become not just a . Forest Hero, but a Brazilian hero for the rest of the world 7 RIO+20
  10. 10. A captivating Sunday with IFSD Jan-Gustav Strandenaes Stakeholder Forum On Sunday 29th April, Stakeholder Forum and UNEP organised a one day workshop on a Rio+20 agenda issue that has gone from being an ordinary, process- related discussion, to a hotly contested theme. IFSD – the Institutional Framework for Sustainable Development – has become an issue fraught with passion, positions and bracketed language, with delegates eager to expose its intricacies and civil society adamant about the inclusion of human rights. The final week of Informals before pic: CIMMYT Rio+20 is likely to be largely dominantly by IFSD, and the workshop was a serious effort to shed some light on the facts behind the IFSD debate, and offer ways forward. ECOSOC or a new Council – what is best for sustainable development? Some sixty people, among them nearly ten representatives of governments, participated in the workshop. The first In the afternoon, there was unanimity on the need to half of the day dealt with international environmental increase the status of sustainable development within the governance issues, with a focus on how to strengthen UNEP. UN. The panellists expressed a mutual interest in seeing The second half centred on international sustainable an institution capable of integrating the three dimensions development governance, with a specific focus on whether of sustainable development and strong enough to attract it should be incorporated into ECOSOC or covered under high level representatives from financial, economic and a new and separate entity. The panels were made up of social institutions all over the world. Opinions were split a wide group of experts, representing a multitude of over whether this should be achieved by ECOSOC or a organisations and countries: UNEP IGES – Institute of , Sustainable Development Council. Advocates for a Council Global Environment Strategies, Stakeholder Forum, World argued that, although these sustainable development is Resources Institute, the ETC Group, the World Future reflected in ECOSOC’s mandate, the body is overburdened, Council, France, Switzerland and Mexico. The audience underfunded and has lost political credibility. Conversely, participated actively in plenary debates following each concerns were raised that a Council would not be able to presentation. The last panel of the day explored four avoid prioritising green issues, to the detriment of the other proposals to strengthen the global institutions on two dimensions and that Council decisions could perhaps sustainable development: a convention on Principle 10, a be diluted as it would have to report back to the General framework dealing with the appraisal of the Precautionary Assembly through the second or third Committee. A further Principle as applied to new technology, a convention on concern raise was the potential for ECOSOC to be stripped corporate social responsibility and the establishment of a of all its functions if sustainable development issues were High Commissioner for Future Generations. transferred to a new Council. However, it was pointed out that the ratio of sustainable development to different Let us upgrade UNEP to...? thematic issues dealt with by ECOSOC is 1:4, making this unlikely. On the contrary – relieving an overburdened There was general agreement on the need to strengthen ECOSOC of these tasks has the potential to improve its UNEP but not on how. Should UNEP be upgraded to a , functioning and ability to fulfil its original mandate. specialised agency? If so, its mandate would have to be renegotiated, potentially weakening its directive as the To conclude the day, the final panel asked whether the world primary UN programme working on environmental issues. was ready to operationalise the Precautionary Principle, Further discussion centred on the funding of UNEP , establish a global convention on Rio Principle 10, develop which has historically been inadequate. Would universal and adopt a convention on corporate social responsibility membership help to guarantee predictability of finance? or establish a High Commissioner for Future Generations? As a programme, UNEP receives funding from the UN The overwhelming impression from the participants was yes. Rio+20 provides us with a unique opportunity to create . core budget, however as a specialised agency, this would no longer be the case. Would a specialised agency be a governance system capable of delivering the future we in a better position than a programme to fundraise? A want. This is an opportunity we must not squander specialised agency would also need to be ratified by each Member State – a cumbersome process. As summarised by one panellist, the questions are many, and the answers MORE INFO not sufficient to create majority support for an upgrade. www.stakeholderforum.org/fileadmin/files/SDG Paper Jan Gustav.pdf8 RIO+20
  11. 11. profile. Clarice Wilson How did you get the role you are in today and what Human wellbeing and the quality of life in urban areas will depend on what policies we institute to manage advice would you give to aspiring earth champions? urban ecosystems. Rio+20 should proactively look at I started out advocating for the establishment of how to modify existing policies to accommodate theseNationality: changes and the kinds of policies that can be put in a recycling progamme at my high school in Kenya.Sierra Leonean Seeing my interest, my biology teacher gave me copy place to optimally manage resources. of the first UNEP Global Environment Outlook andCountry of residence:Kenya I was hooked. I decided to focus my career on the What do you believe should be achieved at Rio+20? environment and while my perspective has shifted and evolved since those high school days, I’m still engaged Rio+20 should result in a clear, action-oriented agendaCurrent Position: in searching for answers to the ‘big questions’ on how for addressing sustainable development at all levels. ItProgramme Officer, to advance the development of Africa, while learning should not result in the launching of new processes. AtUnited Nations from the past and instituting sound environmental the global level, stronger governance institutions are aEnvironment policies that safeguard the continents’ resource future. key prerequisite for enabling transformative change.Programme (UNEP) This means strengthening the governance structure for sustainable development, including international Looking specifically at your work, why is research into environmental governance. At the national level, green cities so important? commitments need to be reinforced and supported I am from Sierra Leone, which endured a civil war to progress towards integrated approaches towards in the 1990’s. One of the effects of the war was national sustainable development. overcrowding of the capital, Freetown, an already strained city. This is a trend that is being experienced How important is the Rio+20 process and what do you in many cities, as people migrate from the rural areas think the priorities for action should be in 2012 in the run seeking better opportunities. We must aim to provide adequate standards of living, ensuring that resources up to the summit? are being managed in a sustainable an equitable The process provides a valuable space for governments manner, and that the urban areas are managed as to engage on issues that we consider crucial for the part of the wider ecosystem. determination of the political path that we are going to embark on for sustainable development governance What role does the development of green cities have in the future. This cannot be underestimated as the decisions that are made at this level have important in Rio+20? implications at the national level. Civil society Rio+20 is about the future we want. We already know the mobilisation is a very component aspect of this urbanisation statistics, with five billion people living in process and to be effective in Rio they need rally cities by 2030, the development of sustainable cities around key messages. cannot be left out of the future we envisage. Decisions we make about urban management will have impacts Favourite quote: on air quality, water quality, pollution, provisioning of ecosystem services, and a host of other issues. “The definition of insanity doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results” ~ Albert EinsteinRio+20 Side Event Calendar Date Time Room Title Organisers The role of renewable and clean energy in promoting green economy in the context of poverty eradication 1:15-2:45 7 UN-OHRLLS and sustainable development in LDCs, LLDCs, and SIDS 02 May 2012 The Business Case for Sustainable Development - Realizing Inclusive and Green Growth: Recommendations 1:15-2:45 3 Permanent Mission of the Kingdom of the Netherlands to the UN from the UN-Rio+20 Business and Industry Consultation and Government and Civil Society 1:15-2:45 B Ocean Acidification and Sustainable Development: A Growing Challenge Permanent Mission of Monaco to the United Nations Towards an Inclusive Green Economy - A think exchange at the second round of informal-informal 03 May 2012 1:15-2:45 7 Federal Ministry for the Environment, Germany negotiations on the zero draft 1:15-2:45 3 Natural Wealth Accounting World Bank 04 May 2012 1:15-2:45 3 Creating a sustainable economy: top down and bottom up Institute for Plenary Synthesis and Commons Action for the UN 1:15-2:45 7 UN-Water Report on Water Resources Management for Rio+20 Summit UN WATER, UNEP 9 RIO+20
  12. 12. Reflections on the negotiations - Tuesday, 1st MayEmma Puka-Beals Michele MorekMount Holyoke College UNANIMA InternationalWorking Group I discussed new CST paragraphs as they were At the beginning of the afternoon session, the Chair laid down strictpresented individually, and the Co-chair strongly discouraged ground rules about adding material to the new streamlined text hedelegates from adding additional text or requesting changes in had prepared. The new material was only inserted at the beginningplacement until all the text was available. of each paragraph, therefore the delegates seemed frustrated with the approach, as they did not know what concepts would beMorning negotiations opened with text on business and industry included in later on in the text. For a time the Chair resisted addinginvolvement in the green economy in the context of sustainable material or re-editing, almost to the point of paralysis.development and poverty eradication. Many delegates movedto retain text on developing goals and benchmarks for progress Nonetheless, there seemed to be universal agreement thatin supply chains, while the US and Japan moved for deletion. the document should mention the achievement of previouslyThere was strong support for the Global Compact Principles. agreed-upon development goals, notably the MDGs. The groupThe G77 focused on streamlining and strengthening paragraphs also agreed that poverty eradication was key to any sustainablethat were convoluted and had references to multiple themes. development pathway, but the G-77 wanted to add a referenceThe G77 also noted that emphasis on private sector support to the three dimensions in that context. They also wanted tocreated unrealistic expectations, and motioned to move the text add a reference to the ‘right to development’ as necessary toto section V, on means of implementation. achieve sustainable development.In afternoon negotiations on section V, there was disagreement In a paragraph reaffirming commitment to the UN Charter andon introductory text addressing implementation gaps and international law, there was a strong movement by many partiesrenewing previous commitments. The G77 moved to delete (including Australia, the EU, Holy See, Lichtenstein, the Republictext on goals, targets and gender-sensitive indicators, as it was of Korea, Switzerland, and the US) to include a reference tounclear on what these referred to, while Switzerland, the RoK, The Universal Declaration of Human Rights. The G-77 preferredNorway, Australia, and Iceland moved to retain. the original, more generic language of the Co-Chair’s text, but proposed a compromise that would borrow language from theThere was very little support for text on a global green economy MDGs. After a long break for a ‘tri-lateral consultation’, theroadmap, which was heavily criticized for being a top-down differing parties tentatively agreed on compromise language thatapproach that did not take into account different national would replace several paragraphs of text.circumstances and priorities. There was disagreement onimplementation through knowledge sharing platforms, and the The session concluded with three Major Groups (Business,EU stated that it did not support the inclusion of a separate NGOs, and Women) having the opportunity to speak, reactingsection on poverty eradication, due to the overarching natureof the issue in the document. . to what they had heard in the discussion, and emphasising their own areas of interest.The Major Group statement by Workers and Trade Unionsfocused on decent work and social protection. Farmers focusedon upcoming text including nutrition and knowledge sharing andNGOs expressed extreme discomfort with the green economy. All .Major Group statements referenced specific text and suggestions pic: Joost J. BakkerOutreach is made possible by the support of