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Home > Linkages Update > Issue No. 107 > Editor’s note No. 107
Editor’s Note No. 107
Friday, 23 May 2008
Lynn Wagner, Ph.D.
Editor, Linkages Update
and MEA Bulletin
Access to information. Transparency. Coordinated policy making. These are some of the key objectives associated with all of our activities, including our newest initiative: Climate Change Policy & Practice.

Providing access to information about sustainable development negotiations and thereby helping to make the negotiations transparent have been among our operating goals from the start. Our flagship publication, the Earth Negotiations Bulletin, began because our founders realized that many delegations could not be in multiple negotiating rooms at the same time, but needed to know what was going on everywhere at once. As the Internet took hold, our reports and meeting websites began to provide “access” for those who could not attend the events in person.

Just as delegations cannot always be in multiple negotiating rooms at the same time, international sustainable development policy is increasingly discussed in multiple fora, and decision makers must keep up with the outcomes if they are to properly coordinate and sequence the policies they adopt.

The recent Commission on Sustainable Development meeting offers a prime example of this sequencing situation. The two-week session in early May 2008 “reviewed” the thematic cluster of agriculture, rural development, land, drought, desertification and Africa, and focused in particular on the current food crisis and climate change issues, in preparation for their “policy” negotiations in May 2009. Speakers also explicitly tied their discussions to upcoming meetings, such as this week’s special segment of the Economic and Social Council on the global food crisis, and the Food and Agriculture Organization’s High-level Conference on Food Security and the Challenges of Climate Change and Bioenergy in June 2008, as well as to ongoing processes, particularly the Doha Round of negotiations in the World Trade Organization and its treatment of agricultural subsides. The New Partnership for Africa’s Development (NEPAD), the UN General Assembly’s discussions of NEPAD and the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), on 22 and 25 September 2008, respectively, and the follow-up Conference on Financing for Development in Doha at the end of 2008, also were highlighted as playing a role in the evolution of the discussion of these issues before delegations return to the negotiating table in May 2009.

Linkages Update has brought you stories related to the multilateral environmental agreements (MEA) that we report on, to help you understand the evolution of the issues and policies between meetings. MEA Bulletin brings you information about key MEA secretariats, as well. Our newest initiative, Climate Change Policy & Practice will help you track climate policy in particular. A newly expanded team of fifteen experts will track the climate change-related activities of the UN, and report on elements that policy makers will need to know. Climate Change Policy & Practice organizes stories about UN activities based on the actors, climate change building blocks, issues and type of action. Our Climate-L listserv will continue to operate as an announcement board, but our new website will bring you additional information as you seek to coordinate climate policy across multiple actors, venues and organizations. We welcome your feedback on and hope you will find this new resource contributes to coordinated policy making.
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