Events convened on Friday, 31 May 2002
commitments on secure access to land into actions at local, regional and
|Left to right: Vera Weill-Hallé, IFAD; Emil Salim, WSSD PrepCom Chair; and Bruce Moore, Popular Coalition to Eradicate Hunger and Poverty.|
Wellington Thwala, South Africa
National Land Committee, highlighted common challenges that are impeding
the resolution of land access problems in many countries, including the
fact that land markets respond only to money and not to human needs, and
the tendency of governments to compensate people financially rather than
to redistribute land.
Jocelyn Dow, Women's Environment and Development Organization (WEDO), stressed that even when laws are passed that establish legal rights for women, further action by civil society is required to ensure their implementation, and emphasized that laws must enable different forms of ownership. She highlighted the need to address issues related to women's access to resources and security of tenure in financial mechanisms, and to develop new, creative and "people-friendly" instruments and new forms of credit.
Vicky Tauli-Corpus, Tebtebba Foundation, stressed that for indigenous people, access to land includes rights to land, both individual and collective. She noted that many national laws related to land do not recognize customary land laws, which has led to a disintegration of the social fabric of many indigenous communities. She underscored the need to recognize that there are different ways of looking at land ownership.
Vera Weill-Hallé <email@example.com>
Bruce Moore <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Noer Fauzi <email@example.com>
Wellington Thwala <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Jocelyn Dow <email@example.com>
Victoria Tauli-Corpuz <firstname.lastname@example.org>
ILO tripartite roundtable - employment, social dialogue and social protection: Achieving sustainable development at the workplace
Presented by the International Labour Organization (ILO)
Allan Larsson, ILO, on behalf of ILO Director-General Juan Somavia, presented the ILO's three messages to heads of State and government: the WSSD must make employment the centerpiece of poverty eradication; the WSSD must create an investment strategy for business opportunities, job opportunities and environmental protection; and new forms of governance must manage change in a socially responsible way. He outlined new partnerships being prepared in the areas of: employment for development; the linking of employers and workers; and health education, jobs and technology for Africa.
Jack Whelan, International Chamber of Commerce (ICC), highlighted good governance at the local level as an important enabling condition for business, and stressed that discussions should examine successes and failures in partnership activities rather than focus on prescriptive guidelines.
Lucien Royer, International Confederation of Free Trade Unions (ICFTU), described partnerships and cooperation in which the ICFTU is involved, including work-floor negotiations between union members and employers, framework agreements between trade unions and multinational corporations, and voluntary agreements.
K. Chetty, South Africa, spoke on occupational health as a component of public health, focusing on the problem of global health literacy. She addressed: how workers can be made a "front line" force on health issues; the importance of action for safe employment; the responsibilities of employers in caring for HIV-positive workers; difficulties in monitoring and enforcing South Africa's progressive health and safety legislation; and the importance of making the textual outputs of the WSSD concrete through both Type I and Type II outcomes.
Discussion: Participants discussed, inter alia: employment for development; health problems in the labor force and the relation to business sustainability; successful cases of occupational health education; and the ILO-established World Commission on the Social Dimension of Globalization.
Restore the Earth: Johannesburg and Tlholego Eco-village projects and partnership initiatives
Presented by the Global Futures Network, the Global Eco-village Network (GEN) and Restore the Earth
Roger Doudna, GEN, described the Findhorn Foundation Community Eco-Village Project, an intentional community in Scotland that was established in 1962 and has evolved into a 400-person sustainable community. He said there are now approximately 15,000 eco-villages around the world.
Doudna then presented a video introducing GEN and its vision of sustainable communities that reflect shared ecological, social and spiritual values of maintaining a balance with the earth.
Doudna introduced the concept of eco-restoration, whereby ecosystems are consciously restored to reverse negative human impacts. He said GEN is advocating that the UN declare the 21st century the "Century of Restoring the Earth," and is calling for a global earth monitoring center and an earth restoration programme.
Doudna then aired a video on eco-restoration. Emphasizing that the earth regenerates itself following natural disasters, it presented care for the earth as the defining cultural goal shared by all people.
Discussion: Participants discussed, inter alia, difficulties in finding a country sponsor for the "Century of Restoring the Earth" concept, potential linkages between GEN and the Earth Charter, indicators for eco-villages, and the importance of grassroots activities in effecting global change.
Meeting the Millennium Development Goals: Can the environment wait?
Presented by the World Bank
Kristalina Georgieva, World Bank, emphasized the crucial role of environmental improvement in achieving the Millennium Development Goals. She stressed that the goals of productive work and a good quality of life cannot be achieved without a shift toward sustainable production and consumption and better valuation of the environment. She said key drivers of such a shift include scientific and technological innovation, income growth, expanded markets, increased mobility of people and ideas, and demographic and urban transitions.
Georgieva stressed that environmental improvements are crucial not only for achieving environmental sustainability (Goal 7), but for most of the Millennium Development Goals, particularly those relating to child mortality, the spread of diseases, and access to water and sanitation. She noted weaknesses in Goal 7, including ambiguity, insufficient indicators, and a lack of specific outcomes and targets.
Georgieva recommended: focusing environmental efforts on areas crucial for sustainable growth and poverty reduction; establishing indicators to measure progress; and integrating the environmental costs and benefits of action and inaction into decision making. She introduced the World Bank's estimation of costs to reach the Millennium Development Goals, and discussed difficulties that arose in estimating the benefits of environmental improvements due to the lack of long-term thinking and consideration of the needs of future generations.
Nabiel Makarim, Indonesian State Minister for Environment, explained that in Indonesia, the concept of sustainable development was initially introduced by the government, but public demand for sustainable development is lacking. Stressing the need for government efforts to disseminate the concept, he outlined an Indonesian Government programme for public empowerment for sustainable development. He emphasized the need for good governance, public participation and poverty eradication.
Trade, finance and sustainable development
Presented by the Third World Network
Binny Buchori, International NGO Forum on Indonesian Development, discussed Indonesia's debt crisis, noting that Indonesia's development budget has decreased by 40% to allow the country to service its US$143 billion debt. She questioned how Indonesia could achieve sustainable development and poverty eradication under these conditions. She said the true test of the WSSD will be whether agreement can be reached on alternative and innovation solutions to the debt crisis.
Victoria Tauli-Corpuz, Tebtebba Foundation, emphasized that trade liberalization has led to a drastic depletion of the planet's natural wealth, which in turn has led to conflict between communities and corporations as well as within communities themselves. She said trade liberalization has also resulted in the dumping of cheap, highly subsidized agricultural and textile products in developing countries, which has devastated the livelihoods of indigenous peoples. She noted that, despite indigenous peoples' enormous contributions to maintaining ecosystem services, their resources are being destroyed and their capacity to continue to provide these services seriously eroded. She stressed that corporate accountability and changing production and consumption patterns must be at the top of the WSSD agenda.
Volunteerism: Sustaining lives and livelihoods
Presented by United Nations Volunteers (UNV) and the International Federation of the Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies
Robert Leigh, UNV, noted that the international community has adopted a new strategy to promote and recognize the importance of volunteer actions. He defined volunteerism as action that is based on free will rather than remuneration and brings benefits to society.
Datta Patil, YUVA Rural, described successful volunteer work at the grassroots level in his community in India. He emphasized the need for acknowledgement and recognition of voluntary work, as well as the importance of focusing volunteer efforts on sustaining communities' livelihoods.
Esther Mwaura-Muiru, GROOTS Kenya, noted that governments in developing countries often fail to support and acknowledge volunteerism as development work. She called for assistance to support the documentation of volunteer activities to enable volunteers to share experiences, improve their work, and gain appropriate recognition. She described how women's voluntary work at the grassroots level is helping to sustain many communities in Kenya, and highlighted the "learning-by-doing" approach as the best way to promote volunteerism.
Annabell Waititu, Environmental Liaison Centre International (ELCI), highlighted the experiences of volunteer paralegals working on joint forest management, and emphasized the need to provide volunteers with training, access to information and technologies, and incentives to continue their volunteer work.
Monika Zimmerman, International Council for Local Environmental Initiatives (ICLEI), warned against using volunteerism as an excuse for inaction by governments. She said local governments should be aware of volunteerism's importance for sustainable development and support it by, inter alia, facilitating discussion and providing information on the need for volunteer actions.
Subagio Anam, Indonesian Parliament, said no action for sustainable development will succeed without volunteerism, and recommended that governments implement policies and legislation to promote grassroots voluntary action.
Josephine Shields, International Federation of the Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies, and Dewa Sudana, Indonesian Red Cross and Red Crescent Society, said that volunteerism is the key pillar of their organization, described categories of volunteerism, and outlined the activities of their organization's volunteers in Bali.
Josephine Satyono, GE Elfun, highlighted a volunteer group at GE as an example of emerging corporate volunteer initiatives. She emphasized that volunteerism helps individuals develop leadership and communication skills and participate more actively in community life.
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