Rio2012 – a commented link list

Rio2012 – a commented link list

Image: Stuart Mundy License: CC-BY-NC Original: Flickr

April 24, 2012
Input to: melanie_mueller@email.de

The international community will decide about the future of the international environmental architecture in Rio de Janeiro in June 2012. Another point on the agenda is the reform of UN institutions responsible for Sustainable Development. Up until now different actors have been integrated in the official process or have commented on the official papers. The positions and activities of these actors and the main topics of the conference will be presented on this website.


Rio2012 – The official process

On the official website of the conference, the UN is presenting official documents, information about the conference, but also publications and comments and positions from the member states:

The Stakeholder Forum is collection different positions from all actors concerned to facilitate cooperation and to tie together further steps:

The Non-Governmental Organizations with an accreditation for the conference have launched a platform to inform about different issues and activities where they also publish their position papers:

The UN has also launched a website focusing on the topic Green Economy with information and country reports:

The Team from the Earth Negotiations Bulletin, an official expert network, is reporting on the state of the negotiations:

22 human rights experts call for monitoring and accountability to ensure that the Sustainable Development Goals will be a strong political instrument. The experts argue that the goals must integrate the full range of human rights linked with the right to development. They call for a double accountability mechanism, the first of which would be established on the international level similar to the Human Rights Council’s Universal Periodic Review. The second mechanism would be on the national level and include independent monitoring and civil society participation.
Open Letter:

Navanethem Pillay, High Commissioner for Human Rights also emphasizes the need for an integration of human rights in the official resolution:

 

Zero Draft

The Zero Draft was published at the beginning of January:


Comments on the Zero Draft

On the official website some NGOs have published their comments and proposals.

The Climate Action Network (CAN) is referring to the challenges related to climate politics:

Action Aid has commented on development politics and its connections to Rio+20:

Third World Network is observing the negotiations to report on the consequences for the so-called developing countries and the emerging markets:

Via Campesina, an international network of small and middle-scale peasants and agricultural workers, has presented its comments on the official website:

The proposal from the World Future Council (WFC) about the implementation of an Ombudsperson for future generations on the international level, is partly included in the Zero Draft Document:

ETC Group is a civil society organization that advocating for sustainable development and human rights. The organization presents information and political goals on its website:

Report of the High-Level Panel on Sustainability
 
The High-Level Panel on Sustainability was launched by UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon in August 2010. The Panel consists of 20 members and is currently co-chaired by Tarja Halonen, the President of Finland, and South African President Jacob Zuma. In January 2012 the High-Level Panel published its report “Resilient People, Resilient Planet: A Future Worth Choosing”. This report will feed in the preparations for the Rio+20 summit in June:


Comments on the report

Pat Lerner, Greenpeace senior political advisor, reviewed the report on the website of Greenpeace International. Even though she welcomes the general lines of the report, she criticizes it for delivering weak and slow recommendations:

OXFAM International has welcomed the report as a “rallying cry for the vision of a fair, sustainable and resilient future”. Oxfam positively highlights the general demands of the report, but criticizes the lack of concrete recommendations, especially on reforming the food system:


Green Economy and Green Growth
 
The concepts of Green Economy and Green Growth are often used synonymously, but emphasize different topics. While the concept Green Economy is connected to Sustainable Development and its chances for future generation this dimension does not play an important role for the concept of Green Growth.

Green Economy
 
United Nations Environmental Programme (UNEP)
The Green Economy Initiative was launched by UNEP at the end of 2008. The Initiative consists of three components: The Green Economy report, the advisory service and the engagement in research. UNEP defines a Green Economy as “one that results in improved human well-being and social equity, while significantly reducing environmental risks and ecological scarcities. In its simplest expression, a green economy can be thought of as one which is low carbon, resource efficient and socially inclusive”. On its Website, UNEP has published information about a Green Economy and implementation strategies from different countries worldwide. The report “Towards a Green Economy – Pathways to Sustainable Development and Poverty Eradication” addresses the connection between sustainable development and poverty reduction through investments in 10 sectors:

The World Development Movement has just released a website about Green Economy and its consequences for economic justice, especially in developing countries:

The European Environmental Agency (EEA) is poses the question “Do we live in a Green Economy” in its latest report. This report addresses six different topics, such as water management, marine environment or carbon emissions:


Green Growth
Because of opportunities for growth demonstrated by initiatives for Green Growth, this concept has been pushed primarily by economic actors, but is also advocated for by organizations for economic cooperation and development.


The Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD)
The OECD is one of the main actors in the Green Growth Debate and has defined a main goal as promoting the concept of Green Economy worldwide. The first Green Growth Declaration from 2009 was an answer to the problems and impacts of the financial crisis. The OECD has launched a website with strategies, documents and reports for different countries and different sectors. Three central documents from the beginning of 2011 define the framework of the OECD: Green Growth Strategy, Indicators for Green Growth and Tools for Green Growth. In these documents the connection between the financial crisis and Green Growth strategy is not stated anymore.

OECD Webseite on Green Growth:


OECD-Framework “Towards green growth”:

World Bank Report „Inclusive Green Growth“
The World Bank report „Inclusive Green Growth“ questions how the transition to a Green Economy can succeed in developing countries and emerging markets. The report advocates for turning away from a model of economic growth that depends on fossil fuels while highlighting the meaning of sustainable and resource-efficient economic growth. Besides, the report criticizes tar sand extraction and its ecologically disastrous consequences. While this can be seen as an important step forward the report lacks concrete measures and goals; it also does not refer to the important question of the integration of human rights. Positively it can be perceived that the World Bank highlights the responsibility of industrial countries and the urgency to deal with environmental questions:

Positions on Green Economy und Green Growth


Business and industry


World Business Council for Sustainable Development
The World Business Council for Sustainable Development was founded during the Rio conference in 1992 to strengthen the voices of Business representatives in the official process. The council comprises more than 200 member business initiatives with a combined worth of over 7 trillion dollars.
For the Rio+20-conference, the WBCSD has launched a website for sharing information, publications and its official program. Their main strategy for Rio+20 is the Vision 2050, a report that addresses the challenges for a world with a growing population and the challenges that have to be tackled related to energy efficiency and production, water management, infrastructure, agriculture and forestry management:

The WBCSD has also launched a business initiative with Guardian Sustainable Business. The website summarizes positions and information about sustainable business initiatives in different sectors:

KPMG International – Business summit
The Business summit hosted by KGMP International took place in New York in the middle of February. It was prepared in collaboration with the United Nations Global Compact (UNGC), the World Business Council for Sustainable Development (WBCSD) and the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP). The conference was attended by 50 top CEOs, but also by Bill Clinton, Michael Bloomberg and Ban-Ki Moon. The main summit document “Expect the Unexpected: Building business values in a changing world” identified obstacles to the development of a Green Growth Strategy by addressing business leaders but also governments. According to the summit documents, governmental leaders should ensure predictability and stability in government policies, remove barriers to investment, create enabling conditions for business and incorporate price externalities:

Research and scientific publication
For the implementation of Green Economy strategies, more scientific research is needed. The Earth Systems Governance Project has launched a website with scientific publications, implementation strategies, and other publications from social scientists with regard to the Rio+20-process:

The Aldersgate group is not a research institution but an association comprising business actors, political decision-makers and NGOs informing about implementation strategies. In regular intervals the group organizes public discussions about Rio+20:


NGO Activities around the conference

Activities of international NGOs
An association of different civil society organizations observes country activities in the run-up to Rio:

The National Resources Defense Council is observing the official process with a view to a just resource policy:

Youth organizations share their future visions on the website “Road to Rio+20”:

The Third World Network collects voices from the Global South:

Interview with Tom Goldtooth, Executive Director of the Indigenous Environmental Network
Tom Goldtooth is director of the Indigenous Environmental Network. He is calling for a stronger recognition of violations of indigenous people’s rights. A network of indigenous leaders has published a declaration for the Rio conference challenging the head of states to include the rights of indigenous communities in former declarations:

The Agriculture Day will take place in Rio on June 18th. International experts will then discuss the challenges of the transition to a green agriculture and the political outcomes in Durban and Rio:


Brazil as a host country
Brazilian NGOs have started early with the mobilization towards Rio. The decisions about reducing emissions from deforestation and degradation will be crucial for Brazil because the country has a high number of forests. The concept Green Economy is highly controversial between civil society actors.

The goals of the Peoples' Summit that will take place in Rio from June 15-23 is to bring together actors from all over the world to pass criticism on the official documents. The summit aims to develop theoretical concepts, but also practical strategies. Perspectives criticizing economic growth are central, but inclusive concepts for international environmental politics will also be discussed. The website of the summit has position papers and links to partners to enable sharing of information and activities before and during the congress, as well as online registration:

The statement from Vitae Civilis is aimed at civil society actors and offers information about the conference and mobilization:

FASE states for a just economy, human rights and direct democracy and published commentary on Rio+20 on its website (only in Portugese): 


Agriculture and Green Economy
The report „Agriculture – Investing in natural capital“ by UNEP raises the thesis that it is possible to nurture an increasing global population and to reduce poverty by greening the agricultural system by 2050. The report highlights the opportunities arising through green agriculture and advocates for the implementation of concrete measures on the national and international level to change the conventional modes of production to a sustainable system:

The High Level Roundtable on Food and Nutrition Security in New York has been organized by Biovision, a Swiss foundation for ecological responsibility, in co-operation with the Heinrich Boell Foundation and other actors. The final declaration of the meeting that also addresses critical questions towards Rio can be found here:

Kate Raworth is challenging the links between social and ecological boundaries in her discussion paper „Can we live within the doughnut“. She advocates the integration of both dimensions for a fair and just international politics in the 21st century:

This paper has been published after a meeting in the German Federal Environmental Agency (Umweltbundesamt) addressing the importance of soil protection:


 

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Collected by Melanie Mueller

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