Sustainable Developments

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5-6 June 2000

The second annual World Bank European Forum on Sustainable Development was held from 5-6 June 2000 at the World Bank’s Paris office. Thirty-nine participants concerned with environment, development, agriculture, and rural development attended, comprising representatives from Austria, Belgium, Denmark, the European Commission, Finland, France, Germany, Italy, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Norway, Portugal, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, and the United Kingdom, as well as international organizations including the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), and the World Bank. In Plenary on Monday and Tuesday morning, participants heard and discussed presentations on progress on environmentally and socially sustainable development, community driven development and science and technology. Later on Tuesday the meeting split into parallel discussion groups on rural development and environment. At a closing plenary on Tuesday afternoon the small group discussions were summarized and future meeting plans were discussed.


This meeting is the second European Forum. In June 1999 a one-day meeting was held for broad discussion of sustainable development issues. This year’s meeting focused on the topics of poverty alleviation, sustainable development, science and technology, community-based development, agriculture, and the environment. An annual meeting tradition will allow for a continuation of informal dialogue between the World Bank and its European partners, with the goal of agenda-setting and issue prioritization.



INTRODUCTION AND OVERVIEW OF THE ESSD PROGRAM: Robert Watson, Chief Scientist and Director of Environmentally and Socially Sustainable Development (ESSD) Program, chaired the meeting and spoke on behalf of Ian Johnson, Vice President for ESSD, who was unable to attend. Chair Watson opened the meeting on Monday morning with an introduction and overview of the ESSD program, including a review of progress since last year’s Forum and plans for the future. Watson identified the objectives for the meeting as: a strategic discussion of operations and the sustainable development policy agenda, particularly in integrating environment, social, and rural factors across sectors and regions; information and strategic advice sharing to determine future directions for the policy agenda; and identification of potential areas for collaboration. He highlighted specific accomplishments of the past year, particularly strengthening links with the UN. The Bank’s interactions with other international programs, and with UN agencies such as the United Nations Development Programme and the United Nations Environment Programme, have been critical, although there is a need to strengthen the dialogue between donors and non-governmental organizations (NGOs). The Bank identifies poverty as the overarching framework for all its initiatives, into which the environment and other sectors are being mainstreamed.

Watson presented an overview of the status of Bank activities in several areas. Regarding water issues, he noted that the World Bank’s involvement in the last World Water Conference reflects recognition of the real future challenge of water issues, particularly water pricing policies. The Bank’s emphasis on water scarcity has grown, as reflected in the Bank’s Water Resource Management Strategy.

With regard to other development issues neglected in the past, Watson stressed the importance of developing a Profile on Natural Resources Management and a Profile on Social Capital.

On global environmental issues, Watson noted the launching of the Prototype Carbon Fund, the most recent Bank initiative on climate change. Regarding a possible shift in the World Bank’s post-conflict programs, he stressed that conditions that lead to conflict should be identified so they can be addressed before conflict begins.

Regarding safeguard policies, Watson reported that the budget was doubled for 2000 and its role elevated. The Bank will work closely with the private sector to adopt common standards along with other multilateral institutions.

The Bank is in a personnel transition period, involving management changes and appointment of new directors, which brings an opportunity for a renewed approach to integrating environmental, social and rural issues.

Regarding future directions, Watson noted that James Wolfensohn, President of the World Bank, is placing greater emphasis on the promotion of sustainable development, which will be reflected in the Bank’s World Development Report (WDR) 2002. In the next two years, the Bank will be fully involved in the preparation of a specific strategy for Rio+10. Whereas the focus of UNCED was primarily awareness and conceived with a win-win approach, many of the promises made have not materialized, so action plans will be an important part of the 2002 strategy, which will look for synergies as well as tradeoffs.

On the rural strategy, Watson noted that agriculture is not the only component of rural development. Watson stressed the need to review the future direction and structure of the Consultative Group on International Agricultural Research (CGIAR) given the ever increasing role of private sector funding for agricultural research, much of which focuses on the importance of biotechnology, including genetic engineering, as an option to increase agricultural productivity.

On globalization, market access for developing countries and environmental impacts, Watson acknowledged the need to listen carefully to public opinion given the apparent dissatisfaction with the status quo as demonstrated last December at the World Trade Organization (WTO) meeting in Seattle and earlier this year at the World Bank/IMF Spring meetings in Washington DC. He said that the Bank should adopt a strategy on the role of governments, civil society and governance and noted that the Bank should further mainstream environmental and social issues within all structural adjustment lending.

During the ensuing discussion period, participants questioned the announcement of a recent large reduction in energy lending (down from an annual level of US $2-3 billion to US $600 million). Watson highlighted causes including increasing private sector lending , the economic downturn in Asia and the Bank’s emphasis on policy reform within the energy sector. He also noted the Bank is repositioning energy lending to support initiatives for rural energy, energy efficiency, and renewable energy projects, including the new World Bank-GEF renewable energy partnership.

A participant requested clarification of "safeguard policies". Georgieva explained that the term originated in 1998 and refers to minimizing the Bank portfolio’s negative social and environmental impacts. The Bank has environmental and social safeguard policies in ten areas: environmental impact assessment, cultural property, forestry, dam safety, indigenous people, involuntary resettlement, projects on international waters, disputed territories, natural habitat and pest management. These policies place constraints on which projects are acceptable for financing.

Watson highlighted that new strategies are moving toward a more programmatic approach, supported by the new Comprehensive Development Frameworks (CDFs). Nick van Praag, ESSD External Affairs, said the Bank is looking for opportunities to take a new, innovative role in the financing of projects for global public goods (e.g. carbon fund, agricultural research, health).

COMMUNITY-DRIVEN DEVELOPMENT (CDD) AND SOCIAL TRANSFORMATION: Gloria Davis, Social Development Director, spoke on the phasing out of community-based development projects, which may be community located but initiated and implemented by outsiders, and the current push for CDD projects. She highlighted initiatives in the area of social policy, including the required preparation of Poverty Reduction Strategy Papers (PRSPs) with increased local participation.

Davis reported that President Wolfensohn considers CDD projects a priority and that every poverty-reduction strategy should have a community component. Funding for CDD projects will be significantly increased in the next two years, by as much as US $3-4 billion. CDD’s decentralized approach is useful for the articulation of needs, establishment of priorities, improvement of decision-making, and community empowerment. CDD projects are participatory, demand-driven, community generated, integrated and multi-sectoral, decentralized, and tailored to the local community context and capacity. Often they are more transparent and accountable to the local level than larger projects where much of the funding is used for administration and management, and does not reach the community. The Bank has learned through experience that communities have more decision-making capacity than is generally assumed but need assistance in achieving transparency. Key areas identified for development include: creating an integrated and comprehensive approach, unblocking internal policies and procedures, fostering built-in safeguard policies, and strengthening existing structures and skills.

Following the presentation, participants discussed the relationship between bottom-up approaches and the success of CDD, the challenge of building and sustaining local ownership and the question of how to allocate funds at the local level while avoiding corruption. Suggestions included: involving NGOs that already have capacity and are working in an area; using a decentralized model; and giving Bank support for development of mechanisms to restructure district-level agencies in order to identify their priorities. One participant noted that corruption and elite capture are genuine concerns; transparency and accountability are the best checks. Davis stressed that the key for a shift from community-based development to CDD projects is participation. . Davis announced that the World Bank is in the process of producing a sourcebook on CDD.

The Bank’s involvement in conflict prevention was debated. It was noted that most political activities are outside the Bank’s control, although it is trying to avoid exacerbating conflict. Davis noted that 16 of the 20 poorest countries in the world are in or emerging from conflict, which often eliminates decades of development. The challenges of poverty are likely to become a bigger security concern. Robert Thompson, Rural Development Director, noted that water is an important issue about which there will most likely be conflict on a variety of levels: transboundary/regional, upstream/downstream, and rural/urban. Davis noted the Bank’s nascent involvement in the issue of land rights distribution and reform since 1998

SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY IN THE KNOWLEDGE REVOLUTION: THE WORLD BANK STRATEGY AND THE MILLENNIUM SCIENCE INITIATIVE: On Tuesday morning, Robert Watson, ESSD Chair, opened this session on the bank’s evolving agenda on science and technology and presented the World Bank’s initial thinking on the key issues to be addressed in the Science and Technology Policy Strategy. Watson began by stressing the importance of science and technology in achieving poverty alleviation and sustainable economic development. He noted that the richest developed countries spend more on research and development activities than the total economic output of the poorest developing countries. Clarifying that "science" refers both to the social and natural sciences, Watson stated that the World Bank proposes to bridge this gap through more strategic lending for research and development in developing countries.

Watson stressed higher education and research and development activities as likely key areas requiring increased investment, noting that most developing countries do not have adequate basic science education and hence capacity building is essential. On access to knowledge, he said the Bank needs to investigate what improvements are needed in developing countries and how developing countries can: fully use newly available information and link it to economic growth; incorporate indigenous knowledge; and build capacity for poverty alleviation purposes. He also acknowledged that the Bank’s past record on science and technology lending has been poor, resources have been relatively small and there has been no holistic vision. Watson noted that almost half of the World Bank budget for science and technology goes into agriculture research and support to other sectors has been fragmented. He stated that the goal of a well designed Science and Technology Policy/Strategy would allow poor countries to move forward on short-term activities aimed at immediate poverty alleviation as well as investing in activities that would achieve long-term economic growth. He said it would foster closer integration of science and technology issues into the knowledge base of students, researchers, entrepreneurs and the private sector and increase the availability of human capital through widespread access to education, including strong basic science training with appropriate curricula and qualified teachers. A key question for the strategy would be whether tertiary educational institutions should be differentiated by promoting the selection of a small group of institutions for research activities while the majority remain dedicated to education. The Strategy would also aim to increase governments’ capacity to determine research priorities and choose efficient funding mechanisms and promote policies tailored to specific country needs depending on size and population, level of economic development, geographic location and existing capacity. It would also foster close and effective partnerships with multilateral institutions and governmental and non-governmental organizations devoted to scientific research. Finally, it would serve to facilitate the sharing of knowledge gained from daily activities of the Bank’s working staff.

Watson described the Millennium Science Initiative (MSI), which is designed to support Centers of Excellence through competitive grants for equipment and salaries for researchers that would benefit both established and younger researchers. He stated that the MSI, one component of the evolving Science and Technology Policy Strategy, would facilitate a high quality selection process consistent with highest international standards, with the goal of producing cutting-edge research and intensive human resources training. The Bank’s proposal to lend for Centers of Excellence may help reduce the "brain drain" from developing countries by providing world class facilities — the current situation is that at least half of the students who study abroad stay abroad. Watson said finalization of the Bank’s Science and Technology Policy Strategy is expected by June 2001.

The group discussion following the presentation revealed that European constituents fund many projects in this area and there is significant interest in multilateral collaboration on this subject. A few participants suggested trying to tie in with existing networks at the regional level, particularly in Africa, or at the sub-regional or international levels. A participant stressed the need for Centers of Excellence to truly be "excellent," not just selected for site, while another participant argued that they might not even be necessary. Watson clarified that Centers of Excellence have to be demand-driven to meet the needs of the client countries, not those imposed by the donors.

One participant stressed that science and technology issues should not be disaggregated from other areas such as work on public expenditure, human capital development, Highly Indebted Poor Countries (HIPC), and Comprehensive Development Strategies (CDSs). The key issues are what developing countries need and what can they afford. Again the issue of public/private partnerships was raised. One participant supported connecting research centers with industry, especially in developing countries. Another participant asked how new science and technology project proposals would be evaluated, emphasizing the need to have standard methods of project measurement and assessment. Watson acknowledged that publications are one way to measure the outcome of science and technology projects but that others are needed, e.g., human capital.


REVISITING THE BANK’S RURAL DEVELOPMENT STRATEGY: FOOD SECURITY AND NATURAL RESOURCE MANAGEMENT: Robert Thompson, Rural Development Director, and Csaba Csaki, Rural Development Strategy and Policy Advisor, co-chaired the small group discussion session on rural development, which focused on review and updating of the Bank’s mid-1990s rural development strategy, "From Vision to Action."

Thompson began with an overview of the process of rural development: reducing rural poverty and increasing food security and the sustainability of natural resource management. He shared his concern that progress in this sector is limited and that rural development programs of the Bank are the least sustainable of any sector. An update on this Strategy is also needed due to the Bank’s shift from an agricultural focus to one of poverty reduction; the Bank is broadening its approach to rural development, revitalizing portfolios to reflect organizational changes and a shift away from a pure agricultural focus, and enhancing partnerships. He said some of the key challenges to rural development are the urban bias of most countries and the lack of political voice and clout of most rural residents. He bemoaned the decline in financial investments in rural development.

On reducing rural poverty, Thompson pointed out that no country in the world can solve the problem of rural poverty solely with agriculture alone. Thompson noted that food demand will double by 2050, but at most only 10% more land could come into production, while production in some areas already in use may not be sustainable. Thompson remarked that no one wants to resort to the other alternative source of farm land, the destruction of forests. He also noted that in the near future water will be one of the resources in highest demand. Because it is currently priced at zero, Thompson said, water is likely to be wasted; this is one problem in agriculture.

Thompson highlighted several issues in the field of agriculture: in high-income countries farmers are subsidized, in low-income countries they are taxed; 20% of the farmers grow 80% of the world’s output of food; US and EU export subsidies are hurting low-income countries; and the state of data for many rural country areas is poor so it is hard to choose indicators or targets.

Thompson reviewed goals for the Rural Development Strategy update, including incorporation of: lessons learned, response to new global and regional issues, recognition of the diversity of rural situations in different regions, and discussion of private sector development. He said the updated Strategy will also be more action-oriented, with a conceptual framework focused on rural poverty, agricultural growth, non-agricultural economic issues, sustainable use of natural resources, and greater reliance on people and community capacity-building. He stated that the Bank could encourage non-agricultural rural activities by rehabilitating rural development, strengthening rural finance, developing rural infrastructure, and encouraging a rural focus for national health and social services. Thompson noted that the agricultural growth can be facilitated by taking advantage of the increasingly global market and technology development, and stressed that soil, forests and water are key resources that are all affected by agricultural activities.

Csaba Csaki said the updated Rural Development Strategy will incorporate detailed regional strategies and action plans. These regional strategies include sections on: lessons learned from the current rural portfolio as embodied in country assistance strategies; the status of the rural economy and critical challenges; overall objectives; and specific targets and benchmarks to monitor implementation. Csaki noted that regions will identify their own overall strategy, as opposed to a top-down approach.

Csaki reviewed the proposed phasing and timing of the revision process, from preparation to dissemination. He requested that the participants review the product of the revision efforts when they are completed. He noted that the project budget comes primarily from the Rural Development Department, donor trust funds, contribution of regions, and other networks. Csaki asked the group for regional consultations and support for background studies to be commissioned in several areas.

During discussion following the presentation, convergence between World Bank objectives and themes and those of attending countries was noted. Several participants offered to help with the review process. One participant asked about the PRSP process, wondering if it is really bottom-up and if countries truly own the process; Thompson clarified that the PRSP process is expected to influence ministers of finance. One participant noted the absence of discussion on the interaction between social and gender issues, saying that social development work is key to decentralization and the bottom-up approach. She stressed that a rural poverty and food security discussion must involve women and that the feminization of poverty needs to be recognized and addressed. The omission of agribusiness, private sector issues, and HIV/AIDS was also noted. One participant called for a real analysis of what is poverty, who is concerned, and where is it is concentrated, from which key issues would emerge, and noted that multi-stakeholder dialogue with indigenous people helps this process.

One participant cautioned that there may need to be a distinction between Bank strategies and beneficiary country goals. Another suggested developing rural development profiles. The importance of using farmers’ organizations in an advocacy role and linking all groups (farmers/civil society, governments and donors) was also stressed. Thompson acknowledged the need to document best practices of farmer cooperatives. One participant highlighted the need to develop social capital and increase the institutional capacity of governments within countries to coordinate projects. Another said that local or regional markets may be much more important than the global market. Thompson replied that export is by no means more important than domestic crop production. He underscored that nearly all developing country food production is below potential; countries could be producing more of their own food supply in economically efficient and environmentally sustainable manners.

ENVIRONMENT THROUGH THE PRISM OF POVERTY: THE BANK’S NEW ENVIRONMENT STRATEGY: Kristalina Georgieva chaired the parallel discussion session on the Bank’s new Environment Strategy. She informed the group that this Strategy originated in 1999 within the context of the Bank’s current focus on poverty. At that time there was an overall consensus to make the impact of environmental degradation on people’s health the key theme of the Strategy.

Georgieva reported that despite development progress in the 1990s, poverty in absolute terms has not declined, growth in the developing world is unequal, and there are unsolved environmental challenges with devastating effects. She highlighted that future population growth will create additional financial, human and natural resource stresses, especially increases in energy demands, water use in stressed areas and land pressures. She called for sustainable growth and poverty alleviation and reduction through equity and environmental improvement.

Georgieva stated that key factors in developing poverty reduction strategies are: political capacity within countries to implement the Strategy, participation of communities, use of win-win opportunities focused on better management of resources, and use of upstream assessment and approaches. She lamented that links between poverty and environment are still hard to understand even for Bank staff. For example, according to the common wisdom poverty and environment are distinct, with poverty as the priority and environment seen as a luxury good. However, there are several confirmed links between environment and poverty. She noted, first, that environmental factors damage health, affecting poverty and productivity with different impacts at the regional and local level. Second, natural resource degradation threatens livelihoods and productivity. Third, poor people are most vulnerable to natural disasters with concomitant economic losses and loss of lives and they lack prevention, mitigation and adaptation capabilities. More than 95% of deaths caused by disasters occur in developing countries.

Regarding evaluation of the Bank’s environmental performance, she explained that it can be seen as a glass half full since there is no explicit corporate strategy. In the past decade, the Bank aimed to mainstream environment, maximize environmental benefits and fulfill the global mandate. To date, improved safeguards are the only conspicuous achievement. Procedures for EIA categorizations have been developed and implemented although the quality of the analysis still needs improvement through targeting opportunities and building client country capacity. She highlighted the need to link global and local environmental issues and bring them into the Bank’s Country Assistance Strategies (CASs).

In this context, she noted that the Bank’s new Environment Strategy is aimed at working with clients to improve health, enhance livelihoods and reduce vulnerability. The Strategy focuses on: a) building synergies between poverty reduction and environmental improvement by working more closely with energy agencies to decrease energy consumption, improve urban air quality, and address health issues related to waste and sanitation; b) enabling sustainable growth by improving the effectiveness of environmental policies and assessments, addressing environmental aspects of trade liberalization and privatizations, integrating environment into sectoral strategies and increasing clients’ capacity in policy development and enforcement; and c) facilitating equitable solutions to regional and global environmental challenges.

She stated that the new Environment Strategy aims to increase the focus on poverty-environment synergies within the Bank’s portfolio. It also has operational changes and aims to: assign a longer time frame to programs, forge stronger partnerships with a larger range of stakeholders, and promote the use of participatory approaches at the national and local levels. She presented the time frame for the completion of the Strategy, which is in three phases: the first ended last November with the compilation of background papers; the second aims to develop regional strategies through thematic roundtables by September 2000; and the final phase should have the draft Strategy completed by February 2001.

During the discussion period participants commented on several issues, such as: encouragement of ownership; identification of priorities on environmental challenges and partnerships; consideration of the consequences of a comprehensive approach on the Bank’s lending portfolio; identification of the audience of the Bank’s Strategy preparation process; promotion of a switch from the Bank’s country-oriented approach to a regional approach; recognition of environmental links to economic growth, development, peoples’ health and poverty, and its inclusion in CASs; conflict prevention; acknowledgement of psychological threats caused by voluntary migration; promotion of biodiversity conservation partnerships; tradeoffs; encouragement of more NGO participation; promotion of partnerships with other stakeholders including the private sector; emphasis on cooperation with regional development and private banks in the preparation of standards; incorporation of health vulnerability and income into the concepts of livelihood and poverty; and the definition of tools to encourage colleagues at the Bank in the implementation of this Strategy.

One participant suggested that the Strategy could help to orient the Bank toward an integrated approach that examines the internalization of environmental costs of several natural resource management policies and technologies. He encouraged the Bank to pursue an initiative to identify the real prices of these technologies and suggested launching a pilot project on methodologies for pricing that his country would support. Another participant commented on the role of the Bank at Rio+10, suggesting that the Strategy should mention UNCED as its framework and therefore speak about sustainable development instead of poverty. In this regard, there was consensus on mentioning sustainable development in the Strategy as a future target.

Other participants mentioned that the reference to "environmentally sustainable growth" was confusing and suggested keeping the original formula of "sustainable growth." However, there was no agreement about the real meaning of the proposed formula, with one participant suggesting that it will help in mainstreaming the environment into other sectors since some argue that environmental protection is canceling economic growth.

Georgieva and Watson responded to participants’ comments and questions, noting foremost that omissions were primarily due to presentation time constraints and are included in the draft text. Regarding ownership, Georgieva said the environment sector has a role to play in helping countries to prioritize environmental challenges and that client-driven development and ownership should be integrated globally and regionally.

The identification of trade-offs is the main feature that distinguishes this strategy from the 1992 strategy, which assumed that everything was a win-win opportunity. Georgieva expressed caution in pursuing a strategy that pulls countries out of poverty today through the intensive use of their natural resource capital.

Georgieva acknowledged that much remains to be done in balancing the power of the environment sector while mainstreaming the environment into other areas and sustainable development activities. She suggested that the Environment Strategy should establish a set of indicators to measure implementation of mainstreaming. On fisheries, Georgieva reaffirmed its importance and noted Bank staff had tried unsuccessfully, due to lack of funds, to launch a consultation process last year to engage the Bank in this area.

Regarding interventions, it was noted that the Seattle events provided an opportunity to instill the environment question in the minds of decision makers and are thus viewed as constructive for the Bank’s operations. Watson remarked that the Bank is committed to assist countries meet their obligations under the global environmental conventions. Global environmental issues fall into two categories: issues of global concern such as water, land and desertification are high priorities on the Bank’s agenda because they are closely related to poverty, and issues of the global commons such as climate change, ozone depletion and persistent organic pollutants are also important Bank concerns. Conservation of biodiversity and protected areas projects will also continue be part of the Bank’s future portfolio.

On Rio+10, Georgieva said the Bank is rethinking its strategy on how to change internally to reflect the alignment of environment issues with the poverty reduction priority; the World Development Report 2002 is the document that the Bank will bring to Rio+10 and the Environment Strategy is only a part of this process.


During the afternoon Plenary rapporteurs from the two parallel breakout groups gave a brief summary of each group’s discussion and then the floor was opened for comments and discussion. One participant noted that indicators are necessary to monitor progress in the different Bank sectors. In response to the agriculture group’s presentation, Robert Watson noted that there was no mention of how agricultural production might be affected by global climate change and how the Clean development mechanism of the Kyoto Protocol might provide a funding mechanism for agricultural and forestry projects that sequester atmospheric carbon. Thompson responded that climate change is already increasing the risks of agriculture and that the Bank is studying risk mediation approaches. He agreed with a mention of carbon sinks as particularly relevant, stating that people should not forget that soil and crops sequester carbon just as forests do. One participant noted that a problem raised in both the rural development and environment discussion groups was that donors seem to discuss objectives in a regional context while funds go to individual countries.

The issues of safeguard policies and incentives were recurring topics. On the question of incentives, one participant said it is important to help the private sector adopt prudent options and the importance of partnerships was stressed. The potential to leverage standards with the private sector was discussed. Ways to engage the private sector and the significance of private sector capital flows emerged as key issues for the future.

The meeting closed with a discussion of desired directions and suggestions for future meetings. Gloria Davis posed several questions to the group: What should we cover next year? Who are the best representatives to attend? Should a different mix of people be included?

She noted that a recurring topic this meeting was biotechnology, which could be a possible topic for next year. Robert Thompson clarified the Bank’s involvement with biotechnology, citing current loans to Brazil, India, and China for "agricultural technology." He noted that the use of biotechnology for food is much more controversial than health or medical applications but expressed the view that the popular literature significantly exaggerates the risks from biotechnology. One participant argued that the issue of genetically modified organisms is not related just to science and politics but also to health and public opinion. He said the Bank should not take a position on this as it attracts criticism and is outside its purview. Another participant stressed that the public is not always clear on the difference between biotechnology and genetic engineering. He said that to those who accept biotechnology the problem is in genetic engineering and expressed the opinion that the Bank should not invest in gene technology but that biotechnology is fine and should even perhaps be specially funded. He noted that the media is not objective but it has influenced the public. Participants spoke of the need to inform consumers with effective labeling or use of the Precautionary Principle. Transparency was also identified as important.

There was general agreement that this meeting format was preferable to last year’s, that the content and discussion groups were useful and constructive and that the stated Bank goals for the meeting helped ensure focus and preparation. There was support for keeping the number of speakers limited in future meetings in order to maximize the opportunity for discussion. It was generally agreed that for next year’s meeting the topics of Rio+10, the current preparation of the WDR on sustainable development and the related question of globalization would all be timely. The UK announced that they have a white paper on globalization coming out soon which may be particularly relevant if next year’s ESSD meeting focuses on Rio+10 and the impacts of globalization. One participant requested a future presentation about the Bank’s environmental profile, including success stories and an explanation of the extent to which EIAs have affected projects.

Gloria Davis concluded by thanking participants for attending. She remarked that one of the main goals of this and future meetings is to discuss issues of common concern and renew relationships. This helps interactions throughout the year and makes everyone’s work more productive.


COPENHAGEN +5: The Special Session of the United Nations General Assembly on the Implementation of the Outcome of the World Summit for Social Development and Further Initiatives will be held from 26-30 June 2000, in Geneva. For more information, contact: Gloria Kan, Chief, Intergovernmental Policy Branch, Division for Social Policy Development, Department of Economic and Social Affairs, United Nations, Room DC2-1362, NY, NY 10017 USA; tel: +1-(212) 963-5873; fax: +1(212) 963-3062; e-mail:; Internet: socdev/geneva2000/

THE GENEVA 2000 FORUM: Held in conjunction with the Copenhagen+5 Special Session in Geneva, from 26-30 June 2000, the Geneva 2000 Forum aims to enable non-governmental organizations, parliaments, trade unions, business and industry, professional associations, academic institutions, governmental and intergovernmental organizations, civil society and the media to join in the debate on social development. For more information, contact: The Geneva 2000 Secretariat, c/o Ambassador Daniel Stauffacher, Delegate of the Swiss Government for the Follow-up Conference of the World Summit for Social Development, Geneva 2000, Rue de Varembé 9-11, P.O. Box 125, CH-1211 Geneva 20, Switzerland; tel: +41-22-749-2570; fax: +41-22-749-2589; Internet: http://

URBAN 21 – GLOBAL CONFERENCE ON THE URBAN FUTURE: This conference will be held from 4-6 July 2000, in Berlin, Germany. It is one of the key elements of the Global Initiative on Sustainable Development, sponsored by Brazil, Germany, Singapore and South Africa. For more information, contact: Federal Office for Building and Regional Planning, Am Michaelshof 8, D-53177 Bonn, Germany; fax: +49-1888-401-2315; e-mail:; Internet:

SEMINAR ON SUSTAINABLE USE OF WATER: QUALITY AND QUANTITY: This seminar will be held from 16-21 July 2000 in Guildford, England. For more information contact: the Information Manager, International Networking Events, The British Council, 1 Beaumont Place, Oxford, OX1 2PJ, UK; tel: +44-1865-316-636; Internet: (click on Upcoming Events 2000/2001).

Symposium on "Water Security for the 21st Century -- Innovative Approaches" -- The 10th Stockholm Water Symposium: This meeting is scheduled for 4–17 August 2000. Organized by the Stockholm Water Institute, the Symposium will identify actions and appropriate innovative solutions in transitioning from problem focus to opportunity focus in water issues. For more information, tel: +46-8-522-139- 60; fax: +46-8 522-139-61; e-mail: Internet:

IFOAM 2000: This meeting of the International Federation of Organic Agriculture Movements (IFOAM) will be held from 25 August - 2 September 2000 in Basel, Switzerland. IFOAM 2000 will include the: 13th International IFOAM Scientific Conference; Third IFOAM Organic World Exhibition/Bio Marché; Second International Seminar on "Organics in the Supermarket"; Sixth International Congress on Organic Viticulture; and First International Seminar on "Organic Food Processing." For more information contact: IFOAM 2000, Research Institute of Organic Agriculture, Ackerstrasse, CH-5070 Frick, Switzerland; tel: +41-62-865-7297; e-mail:; Internet:http://

BIOTECHNOLOGY 2000 - 11TH INTERNATIONAL BIOTECHNOLOGY SYMPOSIUM: This meeting will be held from 3-8 September 2000 in Berlin, Germany. For more information contact: DECHEMA eV, German Society of Chemical Apparatus, Chemical Engineering and Biotechnology, Theodor-Heuss-Allee 25, D-60486 Frankfurt am Main, Germany; tel: +49-69-7564-235; e-mail:; Internet: englisch/veransta/ibs11/pages/ibs11_1.htm

INTERNATIONAL CONFERENCE ON BIOTECHNOLOGY IN THE GLOBAL ECONOMY: SCIENCE AND THE PRECAUTIONARY PRINCIPLE: This meeting will be held from 22-23 September 2000, in Cambridge, Massachusetts, USA. Co-hosted by the Harvard Center for International Development and the Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs. For more information, contact: Derya Honca, Science, Technology and Innovation, Center for International Development, Harvard University, 79 John F. Kennedy Street, Cambridge, MA 02138 USA; tel: +1-617-495-1923; fax: +1-617-496-8753; e-mail:; Internet: http://

IUCN WORLD CONSERVATION CONGRESS: This meeting will be held from 4-11 October 2000 in Amman, Jordan. The theme is "ecospace," a term indicating that environmental protection at various geographical scales. Participation in the Congress is mainly by invitation. Non-member States and organizations with formal working relationships with IUCN may attend at the invitation of the Director General, as observers. . For more information, contact: Ursula Hilt Brunner, IUCN, Gland, Switzerland; tel: +41-22-999-0232; fax: +41-22-999-0002; e-mail:; Internet:

11TH INTERNATIONAL SOIL CONSERVATION ORGANIZATION CONFERENCE: ISCO 2000 will be held from 22-27 October 2000 in Buenos Aires, Argentina. For more information contact: Faculty of Agronomy - University of Buenos Aires; e-mail:; Internet: index-ing.htm

ETHNOBIOLOGY, BIOCULTURAL DIVERSITY, AND BENEFITS SHARING: The International Society of Ethnobiology's Seventh Congress will be held from 23-27 October 2000, in Athens, Georgia, USA. The Congress will address ethnobiology's role in maintaining biocultural diversity and ensuring equitable benefit-sharing and open dialogue with traditional and indigenous research collaborators. For more information, contact: Seventh International Congress of Ethnobiology, c/o LaBau Bryan, Department of Anthropology, University of Georgia, 250 Baldwin Hall, Athens, GA 30602-1619 USA; tel: +1-706-542-3922; fax: +1-706-542-3998; e-mail:; Internet:

THIRD APEC AGRICULTURAL TECHNICAL COOPERATION WORKSHOP ON CONSERVATION AND UTILIZATION OF ANIMALS� AND PLANTS' GENETIC RESOURCES: This Experts Meeting is to be held in October 2000 in Chinese Taipei. For more information contact: Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) Secretariat, 438 Alexandra Road, #1400, Alexandra Point, Singapore 119958; tel: +65-276-1880; fax: +65-276-1775; e-mail:; Internet: atc/

BIODIVERSITY 2000 KUCHING: PRUDENT BIODIVERSITY MANAGEMENT AND SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT: This meeting will take place from 1-3 November 2000, in Sarawak, Malaysia. The conference aims to take stock of the current biodiversity status at the global and regional level. For more information, contact: Chua Tek Kheng, Sarawak Biodiversity Centre, KM 20 Jalan Puncak Borneo, Smengoh, 93250 Kuching, Sarawak, Malaysia; tel +60-82-610610; fax +60-82-611535; e-mail:; Internet: http://

SIXTH CONFERENCE OF THE PARTIES TO THE FRAMEWORK CONVENTION ON CLIMATE CHANGE: COP-6 will be held from 13-24 November 2000 in The Hague, the Netherlands. For more information, contact: the UNFCCC Secretariat; tel: +49-228-815-1000; fax: +49-228-815-1999; e-mail:; Internet:

FIRST MEETING OF THE INTERGOVERNMENTAL COMMITTEE ON THE CARTAGENA PROTOCOL: The first meeting of the Intergovernmental Committee on the Cartagena Protocol will be held from 11-15 December 2000, in Montpellier, France. For more information, contact: Cyrie Sendashonga, CBD Secretariat, World Trade Center, 393 St. Jacques Street, Suite 300, Montreal, Quebec H2Y 1N9, Canada; tel: +1-514-288-2220; fax: +1-514-288-6588; e-mail:; Internet:

FOURTH SESSION OF THE CONFERENCE OF THE PARTIES TO THE CONVENTION TO COMBAT DESERTIFICATION: COP-4 is tentatively scheduled to meet from 11-22 December 2000, in Bonn, Germany. For more information, contact: the CCD Secretariat, P.O. Box 260129, D-53153 Bonn, Germany; tel: +49-228-815-2800; fax: +49-228-815-2899; e-mail:; Internet:; Internet: http://

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 Hernan Lopez <> and Alison Ormsby <>. The Editor for this issue is Deborah Davenport <>. The Managing Editor of Sustainable Developments is Langston James "Kimo" Goree VI <>. Funding for coverage of this meeting has been provided by The World Bank. The authors can be contacted at their electronic mail addresses and at tel: +1-212-644-0204 and by fax: +1-212-644-0206. IISD can be contacted at 161 Portage Avenue East, 6th Floor, Winnipeg, Manitoba R3B 0Y4, Canada; tel: +1-204-958-7700. The opinions expressed in the Sustainable Developments are 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. Electronic versions of Sustainable Developments are sent to e-mail distribution lists (ASCII and PDF format) and can be found on the Linkages WWW-server at <>. For further information on Sustainable Developments, including requests to provide reporting services, contact the Managing Editor at <>.