Sustainable Developments

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3-4 SEPTEMBER 2001

The World Summit on Sustainable Development (WSSD) International Eminent Persons Meeting on Inter-linkages: Strategies for Bridging Problems and Solutions to Work Towards Sustainable Development took place from 3-4 September 2001 at the United Nations University Centre in Tokyo, Japan. The meeting, organized by the United Nations University (UNU), the Japanese Ministries of the Environment and Foreign Affairs, and the Global Legislators Organization for a Balanced Environment (GLOBE) International, was attended by over 70 invited participants, including representatives of governments, the academic and scientific communities, intergovernmental and non-governmental organizations, and the secretariats of multilateral environmental agreements (MEAs).

The purpose of this meeting was to: review the state of the environment based on linkages between issues; examine the problems and challenges arising from such linkages and their policy responses; and assess how such issues could best be addressed within preparatory processes leading to the WSSD to be held in Johannesburg in 2002. Participants met in three working groups focusing on inter-linkages in Agenda 21, inter-linkages among MEAs, and strategies for sustainable development. The meeting builds on earlier international and regional conferences on synergies and coordination between MEAs held in Tokyo (July 1999) and Kuala Lumpur (February 2001).


The UNU convened the first International Conference on Inter-Linkages: Synergies and Coordination between MEAs in July 1999 in Tokyo, Japan, to explore a synergistic and coordinated approach to environmental policymaking. Based on the Conference’s results, the UNU initiated a three-year programme on inter-linkages.

The inter-linkages process focuses on developing a strategic approach to managing sustainable development by promoting improved cohesion among institutional, environmental and development activities. It focuses on synergies for more effective and resource-efficient assessment, negotiation, decision making, planning and policy implementation with coordination at the national, regional and international levels. It also concentrates on coordination among institutions to minimize conflicts between environmental policies, as well as between different international regimes. The objectives of this process include: developing an understanding of the inter-linkages concept; raising awareness among stakeholders of the benefits of an inter-linkages approach; and promoting implementation of inter-linkages among related MEAs at global, regional and local levels.

Most recently, an Informal Regional Consultation on Inter-linkages: Synergies and Coordination among MEAs was convened in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, from 26-27 February 2001. The output of the Consultation included a series of recommendations and proposed case studies.


On Monday, 3 September, participants convened in a Plenary session to hear opening remarks and a keynote address. This was followed by case study presentations for the meeting’s three working groups on: Inter-linkages between Chapters of Agenda 21, focusing on globalization and sustainable development; Inter-linkages among MEAs; and Strategies for Sustainable Development. The working groups met during the two days of the meeting and produced recommendations, which were presented during a final Plenary on Tuesday, 4 September. This Plenary also included a panel discussion on global environmental governance and the future of sustainable development. The following is a summary of the meeting’s proceedings, including the recommendations resulting from the working group discussions.


Hamid Zakri, Director of the UNU Institute of Advanced Studies, opened the meeting and welcomed participants, noting that the meeting is being convened one year before the WSSD. He introduced the Plenary speakers, who provided opening remarks and the keynote speech, as well as providing background to the three working groups.

Opening Remarks: Hans van Ginkel, Rector, UNU, noted that this meeting takes place at a critical stage and will contribute concrete proposals for renewing the momentum and spirit of the Rio Summit of 1992. Noting increased international environmental cooperation since the 1970s, he underscored the need for coherence. He stressed that progress with regard to fulfilling the goals of Agenda 21 has been unsatisfactory, and noted new challenges such as globalization and the HIV/AIDS epidemic. He called for new ideas as well as practical proposals during this meeting.

Yoriko Kawaguchi, Japanese Minister of the Environment, highlighted the difficulty of arriving at a common understanding of the multiple and complex issues underlying sustainable development, and their linkages. She said more efforts are needed to bridge the gaps, and commended the inter-linkages initiative of the UNU. On the current meeting, she said its contributions will feed into the WSSD, and welcomed the efforts in this regard by all participants.

Shigeo Uetake, Senior Vice-Minister of the Japanese Ministry of Foreign Affairs, highlighted the increasingly important role of the global community in addressing environmental issues. He underscored the need to meet the concerns of future generations and to accommodate development needs, and outlined the use of Japanese official development assistance (ODA) to promote the compatibility of environment and development. He concluded by supporting the use of market mechanisms, environmental technologies, and the involvement of business, scientists and civil society.

Ryutaro Hashimoto, former Japanese Prime Minister and Chair of GLOBE-Japan, proposed addressing inter-linkages between national and local governments, as well as between environmental and economic spheres. He reviewed lessons from pollution and waste problems in Japan, remarking that initial actions often had unexpected secondary effects, quoting as an example the case of initial waste incineration practices leading to new pollutants. However, he said that early policy responses for reducing industrial pollution had a positive impact by promoting new industries and technologies.

Keynote Speech: Maurice Strong, Chair of the Earth Council, delivered the keynote address. He said he expected that this meeting would make a valuable contribution to preparations for the WSSD. He proposed "Earth Security" as a potential theme of the Johannesburg Summit, and noted his disappointment with the fact that Rio had not adequately reflected inter-linkages in its final results.

He stressed that Johannesburg can provide new impetus and direction to the implementation of Agenda 21 and the Rio Conventions, if world leaders emphasize practical and policy linkages between issues. This, in turn, will help strengthen and reorient the institutions and processes which manage sustainable development.

He expressed concern over the new US administration’s retreat from multilateral discussions on issues such as the Kyoto Protocol, and highlighted the growing influence of civil society on the international political process and on the formal systems of government.

He proposed measures that could make the Johannesburg Summit a successful milestone on the pathway to a sustainable future, including:

  • affirmation of decisions and commitments made at the Earth Summit and subsequent, related international fora;

  • establishment of an "Earth Security Support Fund" committing governments to providing new funds to developing countries at a minimum level of 1% of Gross National Product (GNP);

  • establishment of a "Peoples’ Earth Fund" and a Consultative Group on Clean Energy;

  • upgrading of UNEP to a specialized agency, making it the centerpiece of a "UN Environment Group" to ensure cooperative decision making and coordinated action on environment and sustainable development issues within the UN;

  • using a single framework for sustainable development-related conventions for administrative and policy coordination purposes;

  • expansion of the mandate of the Global Environment Facility (GEF); and

  • endorsement of the Earth Charter.

He said that in 2002 the world community will not be satisfied with more generalized promises, or vaguely worded resolutions and declarations, and called for concrete measures and firm commitments to the institutional arrangements and funding required to implement current obligations. He concluded by noting that the cost of delaying action on inter-linkages would be immense in both economic and human terms, and that the cost of failure could be terminal.

Case Study Presentations: The meeting’s three working groups were introduced by presentations on key issues through the use of case studies.

Introducing the themes of Working Group One, Martin Kohr, Director of the Third World Network, highlighted the challenges posed by globalization and links to sustainable development. He said that the achievements of Rio had been weakened as the sustainable development paradigm came into competition with the globalization paradigm. He suggested that globalization had found a new institutional home in the World Trade Organization (WTO) agreements and that the WTO’s dispute settlement system based on retaliation and sanctions gave it a strong enforcement capability. He noted that the UN Conference on Environment and Development (UNCED) did not institute a compliance system nor establish a strong agency for following up its agreements. He said that the greatest weakness at Rio was the failure to include frameworks to regulate business, financial institutions, transnational corporations (TNCs) and new technologies. He said that globalization had led to the downgrading of the environment on most political agendas. He called for the democratization of global governance and for changes in the operations of the World Bank, International Monetary Fund (IMF) and WTO.

Samnotra Vijay, Head of UNEP’s Synergies and Inter-linkages Unit, highlighted issues related to Working Group Two. Speaking on UNEP’s efforts with regard to inter-linkages, he drew attention to the current work on improving International Environmental Governance and related consultations with the MEA secretariats. He said UNEP supports incremental steps to make the existing system work more efficiently, enhancing coordination, coherence, compliance and capacity building. He outlined aspects of the UNEP approach, including the strengthening of: coordination between MEAs at the international policy level through, inter alia, regular meetings of the Conference of Parties (COP) Bureaus; integration of scientific and technical processes; coordination at the national level; harmonization of information systems, exchanges and access; joint efforts with regard to compliance, enforcement and capacity building; cost effectiveness and rational organization of MEA meetings; and financing.

Norman Myers, Honorary Visiting Fellow at Oxford University, spoke on issues relevant to Working Group Three. He noted that the problem with addressing and acting on inter-linkages issues related to their intangible and abstract nature. Using bananas and gasoline as examples, he observed that their market prices do not include all of the inter-linkages or externalities involved in their production and consumption, particularly as regards their environmental impacts. He proposed shifting to full-cost pricing of products and services to reflect their true environmental and social effects. He recommended shifting the tax burden from productive individuals and businesses to those causing pollution and unsustainably exploiting natural resources. Myers also supported the development of alternative indicators to GNP, which would include non-economic considerations such as the environment, health and social welfare. He finally called for phasing out perverse subsidies that lead to the over-exploitation of natural resources and unsustainable development, particularly in the areas of fossil fuels, road transportation, agriculture, water, forestry and fisheries.

Discussion: In the ensuing discussion, comments were made emphasizing that pricing reform alone cannot achieve the aims of sustainable development. One participant cautioned that full cost pricing has to consider social impacts so as not to harm the poor, and another called for development initiatives in addition to pricing reform. Kohr highlighted the need to go beyond the market by providing access to the poor of essentials such as water, through, inter alia, the use of differentiated rates. Myers said supportive subsidies are needed in some areas such as clean energy development to create a level playing field.

Stressing the complexity of implementing sustainable development, one participant highlighted problems related to control over TNCs, and over environmental taxation. Another speaker said this meeting should draw lessons from past successes rather than focus on past failures. One speaker said politicians can and must act on a long-term timescale with regard to the environment.

In response to a question on population growth, Strong noted that as demographics change, there will be increasing migration pressures. Issues related to over consumption and moral and ethical standards were also raised.

WORKING GROUP ONE - Linkages between Chapters of AGENDA 21

The objective of the working group, chaired by Jan Pronk, Minister of Housing, Spatial Planning and Environment, The Netherlands was to examine the inter-linkages between the chapters of Agenda 21, looking in particular at the relationship between globalization and the environment. The group heard two presentations and engaged in discussion on Monday, 3 September, and on Tuesday, 4 September. Participants were requested to address the positive and negative links between globalization and sustainable development, as well as examining the decision making process and the institutional roles of, and challenges faced by, the WTO, UNEP and different MEA’s in global environmental governance. The participants also focused their attention on developing country concerns and linkages between globalization and local sustainable development. The working group identified domestic and international priority policy issues, and made recommendations on how to increase the coherence between globalization and environmental policy and performance.

Akiko Domoto, Governor of Chiba Prefecture, noted that the goals of Agenda 21 have still not been implemented as expected. She pointed out that the Rio conventions are too isolated from each other, and that items of Agenda 21 are fragmented, thus complicating effective implementation. She stressed the importance of inter-linkages at the local level and called for the empowerment of local people to effectively implement Agenda 21, specifically identifying management of solid waste, recycling and clean water as priorities.

Gary Sampson, Chair of International Economic Relations, UNU Institute of Advanced Studies, called for greater coherence in the formulation of policies that bear on the structure of global environmental governance. He highlighted the fact that multilateral trade agreements are housed under one roof and bound together by a single dispute settlement procedure. He noted that it would be very difficult to apply the WTO structure to environmental agreements, but added that there are lessons that may be drawn from the WTO model for environmental governance and institutions. He suggested that a new model of international environmental governance should be predicated on the need for sustainable development that meets interrelated social, economic and environmental requirements.

DISCUSSION: During the ensuing discussion, participants addressed the issues of how to strengthen existing global environmental governance. Some called for the rationalization, democratization and increased transparency of the WTO, IMF and World Bank. One participant observed that the World Bank and WTO cannot do their work without impacting on environmental objectives. He noted that the WTO has recently been more sensitive to the environment, highlighting crucial decisions of the appellate body, and he warned against keeping apart inter-related issues such as trade and environment.

One speaker recalled that when UNEP was first formed there was an "Environmental Coordination Board," which included the heads of the World Bank, IMF and other agencies as active participants, but said this Board has since been abandoned. It was suggested that one way of ensuring that environmental dimensions are brought to the table of other forums is to strengthen UNEP by giving it an equal seat and voice within organizations such as the WTO. Another participant proposed including environment ministers in the meetings of the WTO, noting however that most environment ministers spend 80% of their time and efforts on domestic rather than international environmental issues.

One participant suggested that rather than labelling globalization as evil, it should be acknowledged that its benefits have been unequally distributed. He recommended finding a mechanism to use globalization to promote technology transfer and poverty eradication. He said that rather than replacing institutions such as the World Bank and the IMF, the aim should be on how to restructure them. Another speaker noted that the IMF was shrinking back towards its original mandate.

One speaker suggested that a benefit of globalization is that civil society has been galvanized globally and is playing an important and stronger role in the pursuit of sustainable development and poverty eradication. He also called for optimal economic liberalization, which respects the needs of small farmers and businesses in developing countries.

One of the speakers proposed creating an umbrella decision making process rather than a new umbrella institution. He stated that the Commission on Sustainable Development (CSD) is a good talking and meeting point, but that it has not been successful as an institutional body with teeth. Another speaker said that the CSD has an inherent weakness as it was not supported widely at its inception.

The group then addressed the issue of poverty and its links to globalization. A participant said that one cannot de-link the poverty debate from the institutional debate and called for strengthening the link between the local and global levels. The same speaker stressed the need to examine the impacts of external and domestic policies on the poor. Another participant advocated empowering the poor to participate in the poverty alleviation process. It was pointed out that while economic growth can have positive impacts on poverty, it can also have negative environmental impacts. There was a consensus that the relationship between population growth, urbanization and sustainable development needs to be high on the WSSD’s agenda. One speaker proposed encouraging the transfer of environmentally friendly technologies, arguing that intellectual property rights have had the effect of retarding technology transfer. It was also suggested that the current global economic recession may diminish the priority given to environmental concerns, even though developmental and poverty issues are even more important during a recession.

Conclusions and Recommendations: The working group agreed on a number of points and recommendations. The group recommended the following strategies for reconciling the two competing paradigms of the 1990s, namely sustainable development and globalization:

  • enhancing inter-linkages between sustainable development and policymaking bodies;

  • choosing a cautious approach to liberalization, framed in terms of optimal conditions for social and environmental policy decision making;

  • emphasizing the integration of sustainable development into local democracy;

  • countering the power of business, which impacts the value system of individuals, using the media to raise awareness and strengthen civil society; and

  • making existing institutions more environment and poverty oriented, rather than dealing with environment and poverty in separate institutions.

Following the discussion on globalization, the Chair highlighted several possible options to deal with the issue: embracing globalization unconditionally, stopping it, or retarding it. He said globalization might also be accepted while having to deal with its social and environmental consequences. Alternatively, globalization could be supported by defining specific conditions that need to be met, or by creating countervailing institutions to override the economic realm (e.g. social, cultural, environmental, human rights institutions). He also said globalization could be shaped by mainstreaming and by changing the face of liberalization though integrating all aspects within one realm.

On institutional arrangements for addressing globalization, the group agreed: that an incremental approach is better than a revolutionary approach; on the need to reform existing institutions from within, with specific guidance to balance environment, poverty, and development; and to focus from within existing frameworks and institutions on inter-linkages.

The group proposed the creation of a new environmental decision making body composed of about 20-25 countries. The body’s composition should reflect the global distribution of people (with two thirds from developing countries), and should have a rotating membership. The working group was of the view that in deciding the mandate of such a body, the necessary trade-offs between efficiency and equity must be considered. The group proposed four possible institutional options: an overall Security Council that deals with issues of economy, development, and environmental security; a steering group or committee that guides discussions transcending existing institutions; a Global Summit with high political status that meets on a regular basis to address cross-cutting issues such as trade, environment, development; and reforming and upgrading CSD. There was an overall preference in the group for the latter two options.

In addressing poverty, the group concentrated on the lessons learned since the Rio Summit, drawing on the CSD’s policy review discussions and on the lessons learned by stakeholders and institutions such as UNEP, UNDP, and the World Bank. There was a consensus on the need for policy analysis and recognition of the role that the UNU should continue to play in identifying such lessons.

The preliminary lessons included:

  • focusing on reducing the impact of environmental degradation on the poor and the impact of the poor on the environment;

  • recognizing the need for institutions and government to give priority to the improvement of ecosystems and resources (e.g. water) on which the poor depend;

  • focusing on sectors that are important for the livelihoods of poor people;

  • giving priority to "pre-growth" rather than the trickle down approach;

  • recognizing that empowerment of the poor is a pre-condition for sustainable solutions;

  • increasing development assistance and targeting domestic resources at poverty eradication as directly as possible; and

  • acknowledging the need to tackle over-consumption and unsustainable consumption patterns, and to promote changes in lifestyles.

In considering the possible issues for the WSSD’s agenda, the group stressed the importance of a focused rather than an exhaustive agenda. In the lead up to Johannesburg, the group called for the UNU to convene a forum where dialogue by decisions-makers could take place between groups with diverging positions. Such informal meetings could build trust and encourage exchanges without necessarily having to take decisions.

WORKING GROUP TWO - Linkages between MEAs

Delmar Blasco, Ramsar Convention Secretary General and Working Group Chair, opened the session on Monday afternoon, 3 September, and encouraged participants to focus on producing proposals for consideration within the WSSD process. Four presentations were made on Monday, followed by a general discussion that continued on Tuesday, 4 September. Participants then concluded their discussions and prepared recommendations, which the Chair compiled in a Chair’s Note and presented to the Plenary on Tuesday afternoon.

PRESENTATIONS: Richard Benedick, Deputy Director, Pacific Northwest National Laboratory, spoke on environmental decision making and MEAs. He outlined factors common to a "new generation of global environmental issues," including their gradual development, delayed impacts and potential irreversibility. He identified six factors that affect environmental decision making under MEAs: the interlinked nature of environmental problems; scientific uncertainty and the importance of scientific information; complex, high-profile negotiating processes involving numerous actors and stakeholders; the influence of individual COP presidents and secretariats in shaping agendas and outcomes; the importance of technological innovation and diffusion; and the need for commitments based on a long-term perspective. He concluded by calling for intensified coordination, a multidisciplinary scientific approach and closer ties between scientists and policymakers. He also supported further intra-governmental cooperation with respect to MEAs, and suggested that smaller preparatory consultations be held in advance of "mega-conferences" to help pave the way for concrete results.

Felix Dodds, Executive Director, UNED-Forum, presented on inter-linkages among MEAs, focusing on six crosscutting characteristics of MEAs. With regard to the fragmentation of the MEA system, he suggested harmonizing national reporting and establishing national multi-stakeholder forums such as national councils for sustainable development. He suggested eight topic areas for clustering MEAs and recommended, inter alia, co-location of convention secretariats within a cluster, joint meetings of bureaus and scientific committees, an overall head for each cluster, and knowledge management within and between clusters. With regard to compliance, he proposed avenues for involving NGOs and national parliaments in the monitoring process. On stakeholder involvement, he highlighted their contributions including awareness raising, and suggested that norms be developed for their engagement. He supported scientific and technical cooperation and a common web portal within clusters, and called for additional funding. In conclusion, he recommended a more holistic approach, embracing existing complexities.

Mukul Sanwal, Outreach Officer, UNFCCC, focused on MEA implementation and a framework for their cooperation. He said that although MEAs are tailored to specific problems, they can interact closely with other treaties by means of communication, cooperation, joint action or possible mergers. Regarding experiences with implementation, he noted the importance of programmatic elements rather than legally binding commitments. He recommended a shift from the identification of issues and rule-making to internalization of response measures in national sustainable development policies. On governance, he proposed clustering conventions and strengthening their linkages to the GEF, UNDP and the CSD, as well as shifting the focus from rule-making to implementation through, inter alia, the development of integrated scientific assessments. He also suggested a broader definition of capacity building, including best practices and awareness building as well as institutional development. In conclusion, he drew attention to the Agenda 21 chapters relevant to MEA integration.

Carlene van Toen, Research Assistant, UNU, presented case studies from three Pacific island nations, highlighting national opportunities to enhance synergy development between MEAs. She noted that work on inter-linkages generally has been carried out at the global rather than regional or national levels. She said the purpose of the case studies was to assess gaps and opportunities for the use of inter-linkages in order to develop a toolkit. Highlighting the study’s preliminary findings, van Toen said that although countries recognized the benefits of developing synergisms between MEAs, coordination among national agencies and policies to steer synergy development is currently lacking. She also noted the limited incorporation of MEA obligations into sustainable development planning. She recommended needs assessments to review institutional structures, and capacity building to address both physical and human resources, including negotiating skills. On information and communication, she recommended the development of a standardized format for national information/data gathering.

DISCUSSION: In the discussion, participants considered key issues to be addressed by the WSSD, focusing on MEA clustering, coordinated design and execution of scientific assessments and technological development and diffusion, institutional arrangements, national and regional coordination, and funding.

With regard to clustering, participants suggested clusters based on the UNEP initiative on MEA coordination, as well as on the paper presented by Felix Dodds. One participant stressed different needs with regard to collaboration given differences between conventions. Another participant noted that the "Rio Conventions" should constitute one cluster, as they all are sustainable development related and coordinate activities already. Differing opinions were expressed on which cluster the Convention to Combat Desertification belongs in.

On scientific coordination, several participants referred to the Millennium Ecosystem Assessment, noting that it is a unique initiative focusing both on natural and social sciences at the national, regional and global levels. Several speakers called for a focus on the regional level and for strengthening scientific capacity at this level. One speaker noted funding problems at the regional level, while another noted the need for sustained research over a long time horizon. Another speaker highlighted the GEF Scientific and Technical Advisory Panel as a forum to bring together scientists working under different conventions. On technology, one participant supported outreach to the private sector and more emphasis on applied science and engineering, including in developing countries.

With regard to institutional coordination (e.g., between secretariats, subsidiary bodies, and COPs), the discussion focused on co-location, joint meetings, and the institutional arrangement within the UN system, including the Environmental Management Group (EMG) and the role of UNEP with regard to MEAs. On co-location, participants suggested that clusters should also be located in the South. On joint meetings, it was proposed that they build on existing forums. One participant highlighted the EMG meetings as an example of inter agency-cooperation, noting two issue management groups on harmonized reporting and environmental education. Another participant noted that the EMG had not taken off effectively yet, and lacks independent funding. Participants expressed different views on its usefulness. On the role of UNEP with regard to MEA coordination, one participant called for its strengthening as a global environmental authority, and for its funding through assessed contributions.

With regard to national and regional coordination, participants called for a focus on implementation. With regard to compliance and enforcement, several participants highlighted the importance of the reporting process, noting that reporting by cluster could reduce the overall reporting burden. One participant cautioned that reporting requirements vary under different conventions. Another underscored the need for a reporting review process and provision of financing. He said national sustainable development councils and parliaments could bring democratic oversight to the process by reviewing the reports. Another called for a needs assessment on reporting requirements, and capacity building for reporting staff. With regard to education, training and public awareness, participants called for education both on MEAs and inter-linkages, and on basic environmental issues. One participant drew attention to the role that could be played by the media.

On the topics of funding, the cost of communication and harmonized reporting was noted. A suggestion was made on harmonizing formats for funding requests, and a funding approach by cluster was also recommended. One participant suggested broadening the mandate of the GEF to make clusters fully eligible. Innovative funding approaches such as an Earth Fund were also briefly discussed.

CONCLUSIONS AND RECOMMENDATIONS: The Chair’s conclusions, presented to the Plenary on Tuesday afternoon, 4 September, inter alia: note that MEAs are an evolving process and encourage reviews on an ongoing basis; suggest that the WSSD recommend universal membership in all MEAs; recommend that MEA negotiations include major groups and stakeholder consultations; suggest that MEAs be used as instruments of sustainable development by integrating them fully into socioeconomic development planning; and recommend that MEA Parties fully operationalize their treaty obligations. Based on the discussions in the group, the conclusions suggest the clustering of conventions into five clusters, namely conventions related to: biodiversity; oceans and seas; freshwater, forests and lands; the atmosphere; and chemicals and hazardous waste.

The conclusions also recommend that, within each cluster, a number of issues should be considered. Regarding coordinated scientific assessments and technological development and diffusion, the conclusions note that scientific assessments should be independent from political bias, regionally based, interdisciplinary, and enlist the active participation of the scientific community at the local, national and international levels. Technology development and diffusion should involve the private sector and be sustained over time.

With regard to international arrangements, the conclusions: call for meetings of convention Bureaus and subsidiary bodies to coordinate policy and programming, and encourage regional stakeholder participation; stress the importance of co-location of clusters in Northern and Southern UN centers; support the role of a strengthened UNEP as the host of the mechanisms promoting MEA inter-linkages; propose that the EMG be designed to effectively function as a mechanism for MEA interaction within the UN system; and recommend periodical reporting on progress and recommendations for action within clusters to the UNEP Governing Council and the CSD.

On the issue of national and regional coordination, the conclusions recommend the establishment of national units to ensure harmonization and coherence for each cluster, and of national multi-stakeholder councils, as well as needs assessments with regard to implementation on a cluster basis. Further, they recommend national and regional level institutional arrangements to ensure implementation, the involvement of parliaments in the review process, and the development of national reporting as an effective tool for national implementation. Education, training and public awareness should be developed to ensure that the public understands and supports the issues under each cluster.

With regard to funding, the conclusions call for innovative and flexible funding mechanisms and for the exploration of funding mechanisms by cluster.


Working Group Three, chaired by Norman Myers, Honorary Visiting Fellow at Oxford University, was mandated to look at possible strategic approaches for implementing sustainable development. The group heard three presentations and engaged in discussion on Monday, 3 September, continuing discussions on Tuesday, 4 September. Jerry Velasquez, UNU/Global Environment Information Center, introduced an overarching framework for the inter-linkages approach. He noted that it is a strategic approach linking problem assessment, which often happens in a segregated manner, to solution processes, which have to be holistic. The inter-linkages approach seeks to identify synergies among environmental problems and to improve coordination for responding to them on an issue-by-issue as well as institutional basis. Velasquez emphasized that the approach can be applied at different geographical levels and to different issue areas, such as: policy, strategy and planning; scientific mechanisms; capacity building; information and data; financing; and institutions. He said implementation of inter-linkages solutions should be demand driven, value added, bottom-up and top- down, and supportive of Agenda 21. He also noted that challenges to acting upon potential linkages can include: lack of capacity; tensions between centralization and devolution of authority; financial and organizational disincentives; insufficiency of information; and institutional gaps.

Yoginder Alagh, former Minister of Power, Science and Technology and Planning of India, described studies on sustainable development frameworks done on China and India. He noted that the studies make a compelling case for the inter-linkages approach, which is crucial for resolving some pervasive problems in the region. He used the issues of land and water, sustainable non-agricultural growth, energy and the integration of new technologies to illustrate his point. He emphasized the importance of replicating success stories. While supporting proposals for promoting efficiency and using market incentives and disincentives, he called for new development strategies and a proper mixture of communal, government and private enterprise, particularly at the local level. He highlighted examples of community-based funding and linking traditional artisan practices with regional and international markets. He said that full cost pricing or eliminating subsidies was not a sufficient solution for developing countries, and that a level playing field needed to be created to ease their transition to sustainable development.

Kazuo Matsushita, Acting Vice-President of the Institute for Global Environment Strategies, reviewed the Asia-Pacific Environmental Innovation Strategy Project currently being proposed by Japan and other regional governments and organizations. He listed the project’s underlying principles, including: high levels of participation of and collaboration among states and relevant organizations; dynamic interactions and information flow between scientists and policymakers; and promotion of synergies and integration of other ongoing regional activities. Matsushita stated that the project’s conceptual framework for scientific activities would include: integrated satellite and ground-based monitoring; development of an integrated environment-economy assessment model; development of a scientific database; and promotion of innovative strategy options. He concluded by noting that such products could contribute to developing strategies, and emphasized cooperation with the Millennium Ecosystem Assessment and UNEP’s Environmental Indicators and Performance Review Project.

Kim Losev, Moscow University, highlighted the ongoing destruction of the Earth’s ecosystems as the main challenge for the environment, rather than pollution or climate change. He said that ecosystems provide the physical and biological basis for the planet’s stability. He noted that the Earth’s original carrying capacity could sustain human consumption of approximately one percent of its biological resources and that this level had already been exceeded tenfold. He emphasized that it was impossible to achieve sustainable development without returning to the Earth’s original carrying capacity, and that this should be a strategic goal. Losev went on to say that all technologies are wasteful, since the best of them only alleviate ecological stress. He argued that more efficient production can lead to greater consumption, which results in increased resource use. He called for a change in current modes of thinking, rather than relying on technological solutions.

DISCUSSION: During its discussions the working group addressed the question of why the goals of Agenda 21 and sustainable development more generally had not been met. One participant called Agenda 21 a road map with no implementation tools, and another highlighted a lack of clarity regarding UN agencies’ responsibilities for follow-up on UNCED. Most agreed on the need to use Agenda 21 as a starting point for discussions on providing input into the WSSD, with some calling for specific attention to the weak or under-implemented items of Agenda 21. A participant specifically highlighted the importance of Chapter 8 of Agenda 21 (Integrating Environmental Factors into Economic Decision-making) noting that little progress has been made on this issue, especially at the international level. One speaker noted the lack of compliance and enforcement mechanisms related to Agenda 21, while another observed that it never would have been accepted had they been included. Several highlighted the use of Agenda 21 as an overarching strategy, under which each country has to set its own priorities. One participant noted that the number of new social and environmental issues has exploded since UNCED, while the amount of resources has not kept pace. Participants also encouraged including other social issues such as population, child labor and disarmament into sustainable development discussions.

The group highlighted the need to start with existing examples and success stories and to examine how to increase their replication and mainstreaming. Several participants recommended analyzing sustainable development strategies at different levels, and encouraging links between local activities and policy discussions at the national and international levels. Use of the inter-linkages approach as a policy framework for sustainable development issues was highlighted. The group also addressed issues of structural reform such as providing community institutions access to financing and encouraging local ownership or joint management of natural resources. One participant called for the examination and promotion of institutional support for the development, use and dissemination of technologies (such as biotechnology, information technology, and technology applications for rural and urban areas) along the lines of the Consultative Group for International Agricultural Research. Another speaker recommended scientific assessments of national limits and carrying capacities in order to guide the formulation of sustainable development strategies.

Regarding governance issues, some noted a lack of understanding and capacity in developing countries to address environmental issues and to implement sustainable development plans and programmes. Most noted problems of information overload, with one participant proposing the use of regional resource centers to gather, organize and disseminate information on experiences and lessons. The working group also noted that survival concerns in some developing countries, such as small island states, generally precede sustainable development considerations, and, while problems may be similar among developing countries, solutions often differ. One participant noted that many governments had to establish new institutions to implement Agenda 21 and the UNCED agreements, which entailed long start-up periods. Another speaker highlighted difficulties given different jurisdictions of national and local governments over environmental issues, which are further complicated by poor inter-sectoral coordination among government ministries.

During the discussion, some argued for changes in rules and institutions to provide incentives for alternative strategies and initiatives promoting sustainable development. The need was mentioned to increase coherence and cooperation between international agencies and within the UN system, in particular by improving the organization, management and timing of international environmental conferences. Participants also discussed: overarching institutional frameworks at the national level to implement sustainable development strategies and to avoid conflicts between sectoral ministries; use of ecosystem and eco-regional approaches to governance; and devolution of decision making authority to the lowest appropriate geographic level.

The group also considered excessive consumption lifestyles and production patterns. One participant noted that the existing world capitalist system is oriented toward profit maximization and consumption, and called for a re-prioritization towards the sustainable development agenda. Chair Myers questioned why consumers in developed countries did not take advantage of money-saving, eco-friendly products and practices, and asked what would be required to change their opinions and consumption habits. Some noted that personal income growth in developing countries was leading to greater environmental impacts through increased production and consumption. Others highlighted the increasing resource needs due to population growth. Some noted the dilemma of how to minimize the environmental impacts of increased consumption in developing countries, without denying their citizens the opportunity to enjoy their growing incomes. Participants also raised concerns about excessive technological optimism and addressing basic human needs adequately.

The working group further considered the issue of non-material concerns, including the ethical, value, religious and philosophical dimensions of sustainable development. Specific reference was made to UNESCO’s work in this area. One participant stressed the need for community policies that include a framework addressing economic planning, access to goods and transport, public participation and education, and capacity building. Another speaker called for promoting environmental awareness by extending public environmental rights, including those for environmental monitoring, information disclosure, claiming environmental indemnity, and participation in decision making processes. Some stressed public participation, transparency and the need for political will to change existing systems.

CONCLUSIONS AND RECOMMENDATIONS: Working Group Three developed recommendations in three specific areas: general strategies for sustainable development; local and national strategies; and international and global strategies. Regarding general strategies for sustainable development, the group highlighted four core issues for strategy formulation: a focus on basic human needs; the need for lifestyle changes; modification of consumption; and promotion of equity values. The group recommended that the WSSD concentrate on issues such as Earth and human security. The group also called for characterizing sustainable development strategies at the national level, and mandating support, including funding, to address issue integrations and "holism" at all levels.

Regarding local and national strategies, the group emphasized the need for assessments to assist in planning, which could include: alternative indexes to GNP, such as National Net Product or the Genuine Progress Indicator; environmental accounting; a green Human Development Index; and calculation of sustainable population levels for developing and industrialized countries. The group stressed the need to develop incentive systems to influence decision makers, which could include: full cost pricing for products; alternatives to the price system, incorporating non-material values; and shifts in the tax system. The group also recommended: replicating sustainable development success stories; eliminating perverse subsidies; raising stakeholder awareness; and engaging the private sector.

Regarding international and global strategies, the group made conceptual proposals, including: merging the agendas of the Rio and Cairo Conferences; promoting eco-technologies, such as zero emissions and Factor Four and Factor Ten technologies based on a "creating more, using less" approach; investigating possibilities for a steady-state economy; and promoting sub-regional arrangements for awareness raising, capacity building and integration of sustainable development activities. At the institutional level, the group recommended: identifying institutions for coordination; enforcing global institutional arrangements, possibly by upgrading the status of the CSD and UNEP; and developing an institutional system to handle technology.


During the Tuesday Plenary session, chaired by Cielito Habito, University of the Philippines at Los Baños, the Working Group Chairs outlined the conclusions and recommendations from each group. A panel discussion followed, which focused on global environmental governance and on the prospects and possible themes for the WSSD. Six panelists provided brief presentations on these issues.

PANEL DISCUSSION: Hafiz Pasha, UN Assistant Secretary-General, Assistant Administrator and Director of the Asia and Pacific Regional Bureau-UNDP, said that globalization should not be viewed as contrary to sustainable development, as it has in some cases contributed to sustainable development. He said that the debate should be on injecting equity into the globalization discussions, and on finding a way for globalization to work for the poor. He proposed debt relief, preferential market treatment and better targeting of ODA towards poverty alleviation, as instruments that could ensure benefits for the poor. He stressed that the WSSD should provide leadership at the highest level with regard to the need for poverty reduction.

Frank Loy, former U.S. Under Secretary of State for Global Affairs, expressed concern that environmental ministries tend to be given less prominence than trade and finance ministries, and said that one focus of WSSD should be to educate Presidents and Prime Ministers on the importance of elevating environment ministries. He said that there is a need to highlight the successes of Rio and not just its problems, lest we reduce the momentum to move forward. He noted that rich nations will have to acknowledge that globalization has not helped everyone equally, and that the poor will have to recognize that environmental issues that are considered important in developed countries are also relevant to the poor.

John Sewell, Senior Scholar at the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars, highlighted three competing visions of globalization focusing on the market, the state and people. He outlined the struggle between the visions, and suggested integrating what he considered to be their beneficial aspects to arrive at a new approach to globalization. He called for a new guiding principle in a globalized world, noting that the post-World War II logic combining a liberal international economy with the welfare state is no longer appropriate. He also supported allowing space for creative experimentation in sustainable development issues.

Sachiko Kuwabara-Yamamoto, Executive Secretary of the Basel Convention, supported the clustering of related MEAs, such as the Basel, Stockholm and Rotterdam Conventions. She also highlighted efforts to define a life-cycle management approach to hazardous substances addressing their production, use and disposal. She stressed the need to examine possibilities for collaboration between MEAs that do not have immediately obvious linkages, and to develop follow-up mechanisms for issue areas to be addressed at the WSSD.

Hans van Ginkel, UNU Rector, suggested that to be successful the WSSD might adopt a captivating theme, for example, Earth or Human Security, or achieving clean air in cities by the year 2020. He said productive summits should not be venues for negotiations by governments that are later penalized for doing nothing, but rather opportunities for sharing good practices in order to motivate people. He stressed that improved frameworks are important and that the CSD could be strengthened at Johannesburg.

In the ensuing discussion, some speakers expressed their lack of confidence in large conferences, with one speaker highlighting recent developments at the Durban Racism Conference. One participant said that the problems created by the non-implementation of a conference’s decisions should not be solved by proposing a new mega-conference. He added that while global conferences may serve a useful function, they will be more successful if organized in regions, possibly among deputy ministers at the actual level of implementation.

On the WSSD, several speakers expressed their confidence in a positive outcome and stressed opportunities for progress. One participant highlighted positive examples discussed during the current meeting with regard to synergies between conventions, and said such examples should be taken to the Summit. Others noted that UNCED had achieved more than many other conferences, drawing attention to the Rio Conventions and CSD. One participant emphasized the need to move to the implementation stage regarding Agenda 21, to adopt a regional focus, and to address new issues such as globalization.

On financial contributions, one participant called for innovative solutions and private sector involvement. Several participants stressed funding as an urgent issue. Cautioning that developed countries’ failure to meet their ODA targets may break the WSSD, one participant called for the replacement of the 0.7% of GDP target, suggesting technology transfer and relaxed intellectual property rights for environmentally sound technologies, as well as a package of debt relief, market access and improved terms of trade for developing countries.

On WSSD outcomes, one participant proposed setting targets for 2005 and 2010, and considering issues on a sectoral basis. He called for an implementation phase, with reviews at the regional level. Several speakers emphasized the importance of follow-up. Some participants advocated the strengthening of the CSD and/or UNEP, or creating a sustainable development agency. On the WSSD agenda, one participant proposed including the issue of TNCs and the possibility of their international regulation. Another participant supported using new groupings with a representation of industrialized and developing countries. One participant said that in 1992 the Rio issues were high on governments’ political agenda, but now corporations have a much greater influence and a different perspective.

In conclusion, one of the panelists said that the CSD has failed and suggested the creation of a small group in the form of an "Environmental Security Council" which could integrate environment and development issues rather than creating another agency. Another panelist, defending the importance of summits, suggested that one reason the international community tends to cooperate and pull resources together on issues of international health relates to numerous summits on the topic, and that the same result will eventually be true for environmental issues.

One panelist stressed the role of the next generation in finding new and creative solutions to sustainable development and eradication of poverty. He also expressed concern that the Rio agenda and the international community are being held back and taken hostage by one particular country.

In closing the panel discussion, Chair Habito highlighted the need to explicitly address the expectations and products to come out of the WSSD. He also stressed the success of partnerships involving different stakeholders stemming from the Rio Summit and the need for their further enhancement in Johannesburg.

CONCLUDING SEGMENT: The concluding segment, chaired by Jan Pronk, Minister of Housing, Spatial Planning and the Environment of the Netherlands, highlighted the vastly different political climates marking the Rio and Johannesburg Summits. Chair Pronk noted that UNCED followed upon positive changes in the international system, including improved international relations with the end of the Cold War and recognition of the impoverished countries’ development needs. In contrast, he predicted that the run up to the WSSD would be marked by failures and political clashes at events such as the World Conference Against Racism in Durban, the annual World Bank/IMF meeting in Washington DC, the WTO Ministerial in Doha, and the next G-8 Summit which would be absorbed in the world economic recession and increasing conflict in the Middle East. Given this context, Pronk challenged participants to state how the WSSD could be a success.

Several participants agreed that while a review of success stories would be helpful, there had to be a concrete selling point, such as an agreement. One speaker warned that the WSSD should not concentrate on the failures of the follow-up to Rio, such as the lack of development assistance and technology transfer from developed countries, while another highlighted the need to make similar commitments or concessions to interest developing countries. Suggestions that negotiations address technology transfer, commodity pricing, debt and market access, were criticized as not being palatable to developed countries. Others stressed attention to the poor, including issues such as health, education, public services and employment.

Participants generally agreed that the issues for the WSSD had to be relevant to both developed and developing countries. One speaker argued that the North generally sets the environmental agenda, and highlighted the need to engage actors in developed countries, especially the commercial sector. Another participant called for focusing on the rich-poor divide, which now cuts across the traditional North-South dichotomy. Several speakers highlighted the promotion of partnerships and noted the need for ensuring that mechanisms and processes are put in place to follow up on the results of the WSSD. Delegates also proposed, inter alia: looking at migration issues; identifying incremental targets; and targeting aid for specific issues such as health, pollution control and meeting the resource needs of the poor.

Summarizing the discussion, Chair Pronk reiterated the difficult political and economic climate facing the WSSD, stated that it will have to do more than simply review the results of the past ten years, and recommended that it address the needs of the people and make explicit policy commitments. UNU Rector van Ginkel thanked Jan Pronk and the participants for their efforts, noted that the UNU would continue working on the issue of inter-linkages based on this meeting’s discussions, and adjourned the conference.


2002 WORLD SUMMIT ON SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT SUBREGIONAL PREPARATORY MEETINGS: Subregional preparatory meetings for the Johannesburg Summit in 2002 are scheduled to take place in September and October 2001.

The South Pacific region meeting will take place from 5-7 September in Apia, Samoa. The Central Asia meeting will convene from 19-21 September in Almaty, Kazakhstan. The South Asia region meeting will be held from 27-29 September in Colombo, Sri Lanka. The Southeast Asia subregional meeting will take place from 17-19 October in Manila, the Philippines. For more information contact: Rezaul Karim, UNESCAP, Bangkok; tel: +66-2-288-1614, e-mail: or Nirmal Andrews, Director, UNEP Regional Office for Asia and the Pacific, Bangkok; tel: +66-2-288-1870; fax: +66-2-280-3829; e-mail: The Southern Africa meeting will take place in Port Louis, Mauritius in October (17-19 September 2001). The Northern Africa meeting will take place from 5-7 September in Tunis, Tunisia. The East Africa meeting is scheduled for 10-12 September in Djibouti. The Central Africa region meeting is being held from 17-19 September in Libreville, Gabon. The West Africa meeting will convene from 1-3 October in Abidjan, Côte d’Ivoire. For more information contact: Ousmane Laye, UNECA; tel: +251-1-515-761; e-mail: or Sekou Toure, Director, UNEP Regional Office for Africa; tel: +254-2-624-285; e-mail:; Internet:

MEETINGS OF THE OPEN-ENDED INTERGOVERNMENTAL GROUP OF MINISTERS OR THEIR REPRESENTATIVES ON INTERNATIONAL ENVIRONMENTAL GOVERNANCE: The third, fourth and fifth IEG meetings will be held from 9-10 September 2001 in Algiers, Algeria; on 1 December 2001 in Montreal, Canada; and at the end of January 2002 in New York, prior to the second Preparatory Committee for the World Summit on Sustainable Development. For more information contact: Masa Nagai, UNEP, Nairobi; tel: +254-2-623493; fax: +254-2-230198; e-mail:; Internet:

UN GENERAL ASSEMBLY HIGH-LEVEL DIALOGUE ON GLOBALIZATION: FACILITATING THE INTEGRATION OF DEVELOPING COUNTRIES INTO THE WORLD ECONOMY IN THE TWENTY-FIRST CENTURY: The UN General Assembly will be holding this high-level dialogue from 17-18 September 2001. The two sub-themes are: "Promoting the integration of developing countries into the world economy and generating new public and private financing resources to complement development efforts"; and "Enhancing the integration of developing countries in the emerging global information network, facilitating access to information and communication technology for developing countries." This dialogue will convene prior to the annual GA general debate, and will consist of plenary meetings, ministerial roundtables and informal panels, with the participation of NGOs. The final outcome of the dialogue will be a summary by the GA President, to be presented at the close of the event. For more information contact: UN Non-Governmental Liaison Service (UN-NGLS), New York; tel: +1-212-963-3125; fax: +1-212-963-8712; e-mail:

2002 WORLD SUMMIT ON SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT REGIONAL PREPARATORY MEETINGS: Regional preparatory meetings for the 2002 World Summit on Sustainable Development will be held between September and November 2001. The European regional meeting will take place from 24-25 September in Geneva, Switzerland. The Latin American and Caribbean meeting will be held from 23-24 October in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. The West Asia meeting will occur on 24-25 October in Cairo, Egypt. The Africa meeting is scheduled for 5-9 November in Nairobi, Kenya. The Asia and Pacific meeting will take place in Phnom Penh, Cambodia, from 27-29 November. For more information on all the preparatory regional meetings contact: Hiroko Morita-Lou, DESA, New York; tel: +1-212-963-8813; fax: +1-212-963-4260; e-mail:; Internet:

SOUTHERN NGO SUMMIT: This summit will take place from 8-10 October 2001 in Algiers, Algeria, to prepare for the World Summit on Sustainable Development. For more information contact: Esmeralda Brown, Southern Caucus Chairperson, New York; tel: +1-212-682-3633; fax: +1-212-682-5354; e-mail:

FIRST INTERGOVERNMENTAL MEETING OF EXPERTS TO DEVELOP GUIDELINES ON COMPLIANCE AND ENFORCEMENT OF MEAS: This meeting will be held from 22-26 October 2001 in Nairobi, Kenya. For more information contact: D. Kaniaru UNEP DEPI, Nairobi; tel: +254-2-62-3507; fax: +254-2-62-4249; e-mail:

CONFERENCE ON EQUITY FOR A SMALL PLANET: This conference will be held from 12-13 November 2001 in London, UK. It will focus on the dynamics and tensions between globalization and local livelihoods, and provide a platform for Southern experiences to inform the agenda for the 2002 World Summit on Sustainable Development. The meeting also marks the 30th anniversary of the International Institute for Environment and Development (IIED), which is convening the event. For more information contact: IIED Conference Organizer, London; tel: +44-20-7388-2117; fax: +44-20-7388-2826; e-mail:; Internet:

2001 ASIA-PACIFIC EARTH CHARTER CONFERENCE: This conference will take place from 29 November – 2 December 2001 in Brisbane, Australia. The purpose of the conference is to promote awareness, acceptance, and adoption of the Earth Charter for the Asia-Pacific Region. The meeting will also contribute to the region’s preparation of the World Summit on Sustainable Development. For more information contact: Clem Campbell, Conference Coordinator; tel: 617-5429-5401; e-mail:; Internet:

international conference on freshwater: This conference, hosted by the German Federal Environment Ministry and the German Federal Ministry for Development Cooperation, will be held from 3-7 December 2001 in Bonn, Germany. It will serve as preparation for the World Summit on Sustainable Development, and will review Chapter 18 of Agenda 21 focusing on freshwater issues. For more information contact: Angelika Wilcke, Conference Secretariat; tel: +49-228-28046-57; e-mail:; Internet:

2001 BERLIN CONFERENCE ON THE HUMAN DIMENSIONS OF GLOBAL ENVIRONMENTAL CHANGE: This conference will be held from 7-8 December 2001 in Berlin, Germany. Entitled "Global Environmental Change and the Nation State," the conference will examine the inter-linkages between global and national environmental politics, and look at new forms of global environmental governance that link global institutions with a significant degree of national decision making. For more information contact visit

SECOND PREPARATORY SESSION FOR THE 2002 WORLD SUMMIT ON SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT: This meeting will take place from 28 January - 8 February 2002, at UN Headquarters in New York. It will review the results of national and regional preparatory processes, examine the main policy report of the UN Secretary-General, and convene a Multi-Stakeholder Dialogue. For more information contact: Andrey Vasilyev, DESA, New York; tel: +1-212-963-5949; fax: +1-212-963-4260; e-mail:; Major groups contact: Zehra Aydin-Sipos, DESA, New York; tel: +1-212-963-8811; fax: +1-212-963-1267; e-mail:; Internet:

GLOBAL MINISTERIAL ENVIRONMENT FORUM: This meeting will take place from 13-15 February 2002 in Cartegena, Colombia. For more information contact: Beverly Miller, Secretary, UNEP Governing Council, Nairobi; tel: +254-2-62-3411; e-mail:

INTERNATIONAL CONFERENCE ON FINANCING FOR DEVELOPMENT: The UN International Conference on Financing for Development will be held from 18-22 March 2002 in Monterrey, Mexico. It will bring together high-level representatives from governments, the United Nations, and other leading international trade, finance and development-related organizations. The Preparatory Committee will meet from 15-19 October 2001 in New York. For more information contact: Financing for Development Coordinating Secretariat, United Nations Headquarters, New York, Harris Gleckman, tel: +1-212-963-4690; e-mail: or Federica Pietracci, tel: +1-212-963-8497; e-mail:; Internet:

THIRD PREPARATORY SESSION FOR THE 2002 WORLD SUMMIT ON SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT: This meeting will take place at UN Headquarters in New York from 25 March - 5 April 2002. It is expected to produce the first draft of a "review" document and elements of the future work programme of the CSD. For more information contact: Andrey Vasilyev, DESA, New York; tel: +1-212-963-5949; fax: +1-212-963-4260; e-mail:; Major groups contact: Zehra Aydin-Sipos, DESA, New York; tel: +1-212-963-8811; fax: +1-212-963-1267; e-mail:; Internet:

FOURTH PREPARATORY SESSION FOR THE 2002 WORLD SUMMIT ON SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT: This meeting will take place from 27 May - 7 June 2002 in Indonesia. It will include Ministerial and Multi-stakeholder Dialogue Segments, and is expected to result in elements for a concise political document to be submitted to the WSSD. For more information contact: Andrey Vasilyev, DESA, New York; tel: +1-212-963-5949; fax: +1-212-963-4260; e-mail:; Major groups contact: Zehra Aydin-Sipos, DESA, New York; tel: +1-212-963-8811; fax: +1-212-963-1267; e-mail:; Internet:

WORLD SUMMIT ON SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT: The World Summit on Sustainable Development will take place in Johannesburg, South Africa, from 2-11 September 2002. For more information contact: Andrey Vasilyev, DESA, New York; tel: +1-212-963-5949; fax: +1-212-963-4260; e-mail:; Major groups contact: Zehra Aydin-Sipos, DESA, New York; tel: +1-212-963-8811; fax: +1-212-963-1267; e-mail:; Internet:

Sustainable Developments is a publication of the International Institute for Sustainable Development (IISD), publishers of the Earth Negotiations Bulletin �. This issue is written and edited by Andrey Vavilov, Malena Sell, Stas Burgiel, and Thomas Yongo The Digital Editor is Leila Mead The Logistics Coordinator is Marcela Rojo The Editor is Jonathon Hanks The Director of IISD Reporting Services (including Sustainable Developments) is Langston James "Kimo" Goree VI Funding for coverage of this meeting has been provided by the United Nations University. The authors can be contacted at their electronic mail addresses and at tel: +1-212-644-0204. IISD can be contacted at 161Portage Avenue East, 6th Floor, Winnipeg, Manitoba R3B 0Y4, Canada; tel: +1-204-958-7700; fax: +1-204-958-7710. The opinions expressed in the Sustainable Developmentsare those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views of IISD and other funders. Excerpts from Sustainable Developments may be used in other publications with appropriate academic citation. For further information on Sustainable Developments, including requests to provide reporting services, contact the Director of IISD ReportingServices at