Special Report on Selected Side Events at the  WSSD
Johannesburg, South Africa, 26 August - 4  September 2002
published by IISD, the International Institute for Sustainable  Development in cooperation with UNDP


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Events convened on Tuesday, 03 September 2002

Koïchiro Matsuura, UNESCO, stresses that the impor-tance of cultural diversity is integrated into the WSSD political declaration.

Rigoberta Menchu, 1992 Nobel Peace Prize Laureate, and Jacques Chirac, President of France, stress the importance of indigenous knowledge for biodiversity conservation.

Cultural diversity and biodiversity for sustainable development
Presented by the government of France, UNEP, and UNESCO

Koïchiro Matsuura, UNESCO Director-General, stressed that cultural diversity and biodiversity are interdependent prerequisites for sustainable development, and expressed concern over the negative impact of poverty on cultural and biological diversity. He introduced UNESCO’s Universal Declaration on Cultural Diversity, and noted that cultural diversity is now integrated in the WSSD political declaration.

Jacques Chirac, President of France, noted that globalization threatens biological and cultural diversity. He stressed the need for dialogue, cooperation and respect of indigenous traditions, and proposed an international convention on cultural diversity. 

Joaquim Chissano, President of Mozambique, stressed that humankind is part of nature and that the destruction of nature is humankind’s self-destruction. He noted the intrinsic respect for nature embedded in traditional cultures, and highlighted domestic efforts to stimulate traditional knowledge.Helen Clark, Prime Minister of New Zealand, highlighted: the intrinsic and utilitarian value of biodiversity; the link between biological and cultural diversity; and the impact of globalization on indigenous cultures, including the difficulty for small nations to maintain their cultural identity. She suggested adding the cultural dimension as a fourth pillar of sustainable development.       

Massoumeh Ebtekar, Vice-President of Iran, noted that diversity is a condition of democracy and stressed the need for: recognizing the value of diversity for life and life’s sanctity; reintegrating ethics and dialogue into the global agenda; and reconciling humankind with nature.      

Yashwant Singh, Indian Minister of External Affairs, stressed developed countries’ responsibility for environmental degradation and for the loss of traditional practices. He called for allowing societies to decide on appropriate ways to develop themselves.

Rigoberta Menchu, 1992 Nobel Peace Prize Laureate, stated that cultural diversity is the mirror of biodiversity. Stressing economic inequalities resulting from free market approaches, she expressed regret over the loss of values that had been identified in Rio, and suggested creating an ethical code. She stressed the need for: action; timeframes; accountability mechanisms; dialogue with and participation of all stakeholders; and recognition and respect of indigenous peoples’ rights.

Juan Mayr Maldonado, Colombia, highlighted the role of territory as the basis for cultural diversity, and suggested protecting territories through the creation of “philosophical reservations.”

Arjun Appadurai, Yale University, questioned the ability of humankind to manage the planet, and called on allowing the poor to raise their voice in the development debate.

Aminata Traoré, Mali, stressed that economic realities constrain people’s choices at the expense of culture and the environment.

Esther Camac, Costa Rica, transmitted a message from indigenous elders who call on politicians to take more effective actions to protect the earth. She expressed satisfaction that the importance of cultural diversity is recognized and valued, and stressed the link between traditional knowledge and biodiversity protection.  Camac highlighted the need for ethical values to achieve sustainable development.

More information:
http://www.unesco.org/culturelink/review/ 35/cl35un.html

Rigoberta Menchu <
[email protected] >
Juan Mayr <
[email protected] >
Arjun Appadurai <
[email protected] >
Esther Camac <
[email protected] >

Donald Johnston, OECD, calls upon OECD countries to take into consideration sustain-able development when allocating their resources.

Beyond Johannesburg: Ensuring policy coherence and integration for sustainable development
Presented by OECD

Donald Johnston, OECD, identified the OECD’s role in sustainable development as a catalyst of intergovernmental debate. He highlighted OECD’s work on policy integration, including a report on sustainable development and a check-list on policy coherence.  He stressed that while the trade agenda, and information and communication technologies offer new policy tools, political commitment by governments remains the main precondition for policy coherence.

Christine Todd Whitman, US, emphasized that the WSSD should deliver practical solutions to sustainable development challenges, and outlined the US financial contribution to implementing the Millennium Development Goals. She highlighted US partnerships, including on: access to safe drinking water and sanitation; clean vehicles and fuels; and combating indoor air pollution. She called for better analysis of the economic cost of environmental degradation, including health expenditure and loss of productivity.

Serhii Kurikin, Ukrainian Minister of Ecology and Natural Resources, described areas of OECD’s cooperation with non-member countries, in particular: assistance in developing environmental strategies for countries in Eastern Europe, Caucasus and Central Asia (EECCA); development of an environmental action plan task force for the Ukraine; and the application of economic instruments in EECCA. He stressed debt-for-nature swaps as key financial instruments for sustainable development in EECCA.

Jean Claude Faure, OECD, outlined key agenda areas for OECD’s work on policy coherence, including: work on trade policies, official development assistance, and subsidies; analytical work, including indicators and a possible index for policy coherence; cross-sectoral integration of policies; public-private partnerships; strengthening capacities; and facilitating implementation activities worldwide.

Discussion: Participants questioned the coherence of US policy and its stance on the renewable energy target in the WSSD outcomes. Whitman explained that the US considers the agreed text on renewable energy as strong and inspirational, and stressed that the US ensures coherence through budget planning. Participants highlighted the challenge of measuring progress in policy coherence, and debated ways of ensuring the absence of corruption in partnerships. Some advocated mutual trust between governments and the private sector as the key premise for effective partnerships, while others stressed the responsibility of governments in formulating clear strategies to ensure absence of corruption. An OECD representative highlighted an OECD study on conditions for effective voluntary agreements and on environmental performance review processes for ensuring effective corruption-free partnerships.

More information:

Serhii Kurikin <
[email protected] >
Jean Claude Faure <
[email protected] >

Suivi-Anne Siimes, Finnish Minister for Development Cooperation, stresses that capacity building should respond to the needs and priorities of recipient countries.

Capacity building in trade and sustainable development Presented by UNCTAD, UNEP, and the Common Fund for Commodities (CFC)

Surakiart Sathiratai, Minister of Foreign Affairs of Thailand, called for avoiding duplication of work between organizations, and for training developing countries to participate in the WTO process.

Koos Richelle, the European Commission, highlighted the Commission’s activities on trade and environment, including:
Technical capacity building; promoting regional cooperation; and strengthening of developing countries’ capacity in negotiations. He stressed the need to assess environmental and social impacts of trade policies.

Julian Hunte, St. Lucia, emphasized the need for fair trade and coherence between trade and the environmental and social pillars of sustainable development. He noted the challenges for small economies to remain competitive in a globalizing economy, and called for technical support and technology transfer on a concessional basis.

Ion Jelev, Romania, explained the relation between trade and environment rules and called for further cooperation between ministries of environment and trade, and between UNEP and UNCTAD.

Edward Rugumaya, Ministry of Trade of Uganda, noted that promoting trade is a strategy for eradicating poverty. He highlighted benefits of Uganda’s participation in UNEP-UNCTAD capacity-building projects, including: increased market access and investment; cooperation between relevant ministries; and strengthening of coordination and research capacities.

Suivi-Anne Siimes, Finnish Minister for Development Cooperation, noted that capacity building has to respond to national needs and priorities of recipient countries, and described Finnish capacity-building activities in developing countries.

Jan Pronk, Special Envoy of UN Secretary-General to the WSSD, stressed the need for: cooperation between and within UN agencies; renewal of agencies’ work programmes; input from major groups; and confronting current WTO procedures.

Rolf Boehnke, CFC, explained the Fund’s capacity-building activities on generic commodity issues and described the Fund’s ongoing projects.

Shafqat Kakakhel, UNEP, expressed hope for further integration of UNEP-UNCTAD cooperation, and closer collaboration with the WTO, research institutions and civil society. He advocated integrated assessments of trade and environment policies, and the need for durable capacity.  

Hussein Abaza, UNEP, stressed the need for: long term country-driven activities; ownership of projects; and monitoring and evaluation of capacity-building activities.

Jorge Vigano, WTO, highlighted the WTO’s increased attention to environmental concerns.

Martin Khor, Third World Network, identified fair commodity prices as the major factor for poverty eradication, and highlgihted conflicts between multilateral environmental agreements and WTO rules as a major challenge to address.

Cham Prasidh, Cambodian Minister for Commerce, noted that successful mainstreaming of policies may minimize the need for official development assistance.

Discussion: Participants discussed the need for programmatic plans, capacity building of civil society and integrated assessments.

Listen to Julian Hunte, St. Lucia

Listen to Ion Jelev, Romania

Listen to Edward Rugumaya, Ministry of Trade of Uganda

Listen to Suivi-Anne Siimes, Finnish Minister for Development Cooperation

More information:

Rolf Boehnke < [email protected] >
Hussein Abaza <
[email protected] >
Jorge Vigano <
[email protected] >
Martin Khor <
[email protected] >

Fernando Henrique Cardoso, President of Brazil, highlights Brazil's will to address chal-lenges of nature conservation in the Amazon.

Amazon region protected areas programme
Presented by the government of Brazil, the Global Environment

Facility (GEF), the World Bank, and WWF

At this event, the Amazon Region Protected Areas Programme (ARPA) was launched. ARPA aims to significantly increase the area under protection in the Amazon, and to implement more effective protection measures in existing nature reserves.

Claude Martin, WWF, stated that ARPA is the most significant nature conservation effort worldwide. He stressed that conservation is possible, provided that there is adequate political will, and highlighted that the initiative will ensure that conservation and the needs of peoples are given equal consideration. He announced that WWF intends to ARPA’s first phase with USD 16.5 million, and called for partners to assist in providing these funds. Martin highlighted ARPA’s clearly defined targets and timeframes.

Mohammed El-Ashry, GEF Executive Director, stated that protected areas are the cornerstone of conservation. He highlighted the global environmental significance of the Amazon forest, and underscored its crucial role for the lives and livelihoods of its peoples. He announced that the GEF would provide USD 30 million for ARPA’s first phase.

James Wolfensohn, the World Bank, emphasized that the launch of ARPA is the highlight of the WSSD, and noted its importance for the world and for the people of Brazil in particular. He underscored that ARPA’s success requires reaching consensus with local peoples on practical conservation measures.

Fernando Henrique Cardoso, President of Brazil, stressed that development should not result in the destruction of natural resources, and highlighted that nature protection benefits forests and people. Cardoso noted the need for building capacities of local peoples to ensure livelihoods and sustainable use of the Amazon forests. He explained that a monitoring scheme using high technology will assist in combating forest destruction, and stressed that some countries’ lack of willingness to make commitments at the WSSD should not keep others from making progress.

More information:

Ulisses Lavaca, WWF <
[email protected] >
Hutton Archer, GEF <
[email protected] >
Andrew Kircher, the World Bank <
[email protected] >
Eliana Lucena, Brazil<
[email protected] >

Gustavo Novoa Bejarano (left), Prtesident of Ecuador; Vicente Fox Quesada, President of Mexico;and José Antonio Ocampo, Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean; dis-cuss the links between the Monterrey Consensus and the WSSD.

Financing and investing for sustainable development in Latin America and the Caribbean
Presented by the Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean (ECLAC)

At this event, regional perspectives on the fulfilment of the Monterrey Consensus and the WSSD Plan of Implementation were discussed.

Vicente Fox Quesada, President of Mexico, called for the creation of partnerships involving governments, the private sector and civil society to enhance sustainable development and reduce poverty. Fox welcomed the WSSD Plan of Implementation’s commitment to develop rules that regulate access to developing countries’ genetic resources, and which will benefit indigenous populations and local communities, and promote sustainable utilization of biodiversity.

Gustavo Novoa Bejarano, President of Ecuador, highlighted that the Monterrey Consensus and the WSSD adopt similar political principles to enhance international cooperation. He highlighted the tripartite alliance between Peru, Brazil and Ecuador to protect the Amazon Forest, and emphasized the importance of access to water and food for the region.

José María Figueres, World Economic Forum, said that the speed of globalization increased social, economic and political exclusion and the need of strong institutions to address market failures. He stressed that countries should cut military spending and concentrate efforts on growth, poverty reduction and increasing access to global markets. Figueres called for consumers to boycott products from countries that do not ratify the Kyoto Protocol.

Enrique Iglesias, Inter-American Development Bank, stated that the concept of sustainable development has changed to embrace the environment, economic growth, human needs, resource use and trade.  He stressed that the principle of common but differentiated responsibilities must be at the center of the WSSD process to promote good governance, transparency, corporate responsibility and public participation.

José Antonio Ocampo, ECLAC, noted that the WSSD recognizes the importance of the Monterrey Consensus in defining a common agenda for international financing for development and presented a publication by ECLAC and UNDP on financing for sustainable development in Latin America and the Caribbean. The publication examines challenges and opportunities to promote cooperation among governments, the private sector and financial organizations at the regional level.

Mark Malloch Brown, UNDP, highlighted the difference between African and Latin American finance issues. He noted that Latin American countries are less dependent on grants and focus on innovative solutions combining growth, the environment and human needs.

Enrique Garcia, Corporacion Andina de Fomento, stated that Latin American Countries’ growth has been slow and has focused on export of resources and commodities that are volatile to global market prices. He stressed that international efforts promoting growth, employment, and poverty reduction are supplementary to domestic efforts relating to the enhancement of good governance, transparency, and human rights.

Gro Harlem Brundtland, World Health Organization, noted that the WSSD has made improvements on issues related to sanitation and access to medicines. She stressed the need to increase international financial cooperation to promote minimal health standards in developing countries.


Listen to Vicente Fox Quesada, President of Mexico (in Spanish)


More information:

José Antonio Ocampo <
[email protected] >
Mark Malloch Brown <
[email protected] >
Enrique Garcia <
[email protected] >

Georgi Parvanov, President of Bulgaria, dis-cusses Bulgaria's transition to sustainable development.

Ahmet Necdet Sezer, President of Turkey, says that sustainable development has social, environmental,and economic dimensions, which are con-nectedto the concept of good governance.

Partnerships for local action: Towards sustainable communities in Central and Eastern Europe
Presented by the UNDP and the governments of Bulgaria and Turkey

Mark Malloch Brown, UNDP, highlighted the contribution of community empowerment and decentralization to promote sustainable development. He emphasized the importance of communities’ choices and decisions to address issues, including forests, water, and biodiversity. Brown said that UNDP fosters local capacity building in developing countries to fulfill aims set out in the Agenda 21 and towards implementing the Millennium Development Goals.

Georgi Parvanov, President of Bulgaria, said that Bulgaria has been identifying ways to promote sustainable development and highlighted communities’ experiences in implementing Agenda 21 and creating jobs. He noted that Bulgaria has designed and implemented regional development policies and stressed the importance of learning from other countries’ experiences. 

Ahmet Necdet Sezer, President of Turkey, stressed the need for international cooperation to solve global problems and stated that good governance requires interaction, collaboration and decision-sharing among governments and all of society’s sectors. He highlighted the benefits of Turkish political governance, including: transparency, civil participation, and promotion of a democratic society. Sezer noted that Turkish information campaigns and legal arrangements, and local implementation of Agenda 21 were selected as best practices by OECD and UNDP, respectively. He highlighted the increasing participation of women and youth in decision-making process and the contribution of UNDP’s capacity-building programmes to implement local Agenda 21.

More information:
http://www.johannesburgsummit.org/html_p rocess/national_reports/bulgaria_national% 20assessment.doc

Mark Malloch Brown <
[email protected] >

Franz Trieb, German Aerospace Center, stresses that solar energy could be a sustainable development machine for the sunbelt countries in the 21st century.

German prospects for renewable energy
Presented by the government of Germany

Ludger Lorych, Germany, noted Germany’s goals of doubling the proportion of renewable energy by 2010, and obtaining half of Germany’s entire energy supply by 2050. He identified wind, biogas and solar energy as renewable energy sources with the highest potential, and noted that Germany’s strategy for promoting renewable energy is based on research, investment support and energy acts. Lorych called for holistic calculations of the economic benefits of renewable energy, and explained that the German ecological tax reform internalizes external costs into an additional tax. He presented an energy scenario for Germany that would reduce German greenhouse gas emissions by 80% through: fading out of nuclear and coal energy sources; and promoting biomass, wind and solar energy.

Franz Trieb, German Aerospace Center, presented a range of technologies that concentrate solar energy to produce power, including: parabolic through-flow systems; solar tower systems; and parabolic dish engines. He highlighted the suitability of parabolic dish systems to supply energy for households and production units in remote areas. Trieb stated that the cost of renewable energy technologies will approximate those of fossil fuel technology within 10 years, and called for collaborative efforts by investors and governments to make investments in renewable energy feasible in the short term. He explained that the uneven global distribution of solar energy suggests exporting solar energy from developing to developed countries.

Discussion: Participants addressed: transportation of solar energy; production of hydrogen from solar energy; and energy demand for production of solar power plants.

More information:

Ludger Lorych <
[email protected] >
Franz Trieb <
[email protected] >

Kristalina Georgieva, the World Bank, calls for profound policy reforms, and commends the WSSD for breaking a taboo on address-ing
unsustainable production and consump-tion in the developed world.

Linking poverty reduction and environmental management: Toward a shared agenda for action
Presented by the UK Department for International Development

(DFID), the EC, UNDP, and the World Bank

At this event, participants discussed a DFID/EC/UNDP/World Bank paper entitled “Linking poverty reduction and environmental management: Policy challenges and opportunities.”

Kristalina Georgieva, the World Bank, explained that the paper highlights the interlinkages between environmental issues and poverty, particularly the significance of the environment for livelihoods and human health, and the environmental vulnerability of the poor. She stated that the paper identifies priority areas for policy change, including: improving governance; enhancing the assets of the poor; enhancing the quality of growth; and reforming international and industrial-country policies.

Barrie Ireton, DFID, highlighted the main challenges in ensuring more accountable, responsible and transparent governance, including empowering civil society, fighting corruption, and preventing conflicts.

Zéphirin Diabré, UNDP, explained the importance of enhancing the assets of the poor. He stressed the need to: strengthen the poor’s resource rights, particularly those of women; improve the poor’s capacity to manage natural resources; expand access to environmentally-sound and locally-appropriate technologies; and reduce environmental vulnerability of the poor, including through ensuring the linkages between hazard prevention, disaster relief efforts and long term recovery strategies.

Koos Richelle, EC, explained that the paper recommends: more coherent international cooperation and development policies; a change in developed countries’ unsustainable production and consumption patterns; incorporation of poverty reduction and environmental concerns in multilateral trade agreements; removal of unsustainable subsidies; increased official development assistance and foreign direct investments; expansion of the Global Reporting Initiative; and strengthened negotiation capacities of the poor to ensure that international environmental agreements are beneficial to them. He highlighted the lack of methodology to integrate development strategies, and called for cooperation between agencies to ensure implementation of the WSSD commitments.

Georgieva, stated that environmentally-sound and socially-just growth in developing countries is crucial for achieving the Millennium Development Goals. She recommended a global economic reform to integrate the environment and poverty agendas, and underscored the role of development agencies in providing adequate policy advice. She advocated the use of environmental evaluations to assess the value of natural resources and the cost of environmental damage, and called upon OECD countries to take a leadership role in this regard. Georgieva recommended private sector involvement in environmental service provision, and the implementation of the pro-poor fiscal reforms in developing countries.

Discussion: Participants addressed, inter alia: the paper’s lack of attention to population growth; the need to identify priority sectors while accelerating growth; issues related to AIDS; external evaluation of donor agencies’ performance; the urgency of environmental protection and biodiversity conservation actions; and the lack of reliable environmental impact assessment methodologies.   

More information:

Kristalina Georgieva <
[email protected] >
Barrie Ireton <
[email protected] >
Z�phirin Diabr� <
[email protected] >
Koos Richelle <
[email protected] >

Book launch and press conference: �Conserving the Peace: Resources, Livelihoods and Security�
Presented by IUCN and IISD

Jeffery McNeely, IUCN, introduced the event, stating that it would launch a joint IUCN/IISD publication entitled �Conserving the Peace: Resources, Livelihoods and Security.�

Richard Matthew, University of California, highlighted the relevance of security to biodiversity conservation and sustainable development. Stating that the links between environment and security have traditionally been considered by academia, he stated that the IUCN/IISD publication translates findings from the academic debate into activities relevant to conservationists. He emphasized that many social conflicts are amplified by the mismanagement of natural resources, and that sustainable resource management can contribute to peace. Matthew explained that the book constitutes of a series of case studies highlighting the link between security and conservation, and identifies activities to be carried out by the conservation community.

In a video statement, Queen Noor of Jordan, IUCN Patron, underscored the importance of the book, and emphasized the need to recognize that environmental security is vital for ensuring political and economic stability. She explained that local communities must be central to decision making and implementation in order to achieve human security, and that successful conservation programmes recognize peoples� fundamental right to livelihood and the use of their resources. She stressed that promoting human security is a cornerstone of peace, for which the conservation community bears a central responsibility.

Achim Steiner, IUCN, noted that the period following conflicts offers an opportunity to adopt new strategies aimed at promoting sustainable development and the protection of natural resources.

The Earth Negotiations Bulletin (ENB) on the side is a special publication of the International Institute for Sustainable Development (IISD) in cooperation with the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP). The Editor of ENB on the side is Dagmar Lohan <[email protected]>. This issue has been written by Karen Alvarenga de Oliveira <[email protected]>, Jacob Andersen <[email protected]>, Tamilla Held <[email protected]>, Dagmar Lohan <[email protected]> and Charlotte Salpin <[email protected]>. The Digital Editors are David Fernau <[email protected]>, Andrei Henry <[email protected]>, Leila Mead <[email protected]>, Prisna Nuengsigkapian <[email protected]> and Diego Noguera <[email protected]>. Funding for publication of ENB on the side at WSSD is provided by UNDP. The opinions expressed in ENB on the side are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views of IISD and funders. Excerpts from ENB on the side may be used in non-commercial publications only and only with appropriate academic citation. For permission to use this material in commercial publications, contact the Managing Editor at <[email protected]>. Electronic versions of issues of ENB on the side from WSSD can be found on the Linkages website at http://enb.iisd.org/2002/wssd/enbots/

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