published by IISD, the International Institute for Sustainable Development
in cooperation with the UNDP Secretariat
Special Report on Selected Side Events at the Fourteenth Session of the Commission on Sustainable Development (CSD-14)
1-12 May 2006 | United Nations Headquarters, New York
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Events convened on Tuesday, 2 May 2006

Reforming the UN Development Architecture:
UN Reform Processes on System-Wide Coherence Panel and International Environmental Governance

Organized by the Stakeholder Forum for a Sustainable Future and the Brazilian NGO and Social Movement Forum for Environment and Development (FBOMS)

Stephan Contius, German Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation and Nuclear Safety, described the challenges and opportunities currently facing global environmental governance, and emphasized that reform needs to be considered in conjunction with humanitarian and development aspects of the institutional framework, and serve sustainable development as the overarching goal.

Philipe Leglise-Costa, Permanent Mission of France to the UN, said that although environmental issues can be divisive, this can be overcome, but first all parties must recognize environmental degradation as a high priority. He noted the importance of transparency of process, and remarked that there is widespread recognition that environmental governance needs improvement. He suggested that any actions undertaken should build upon the existing UNEP structure, headquartered in Nairobi, that it should respect the legal text of all relevant conventions, and that adequate and predictable funding be provided.

Khaled Elbakly, Mission of Egypt to the UN, recalled that the environment cannot be considered separately from development, as per the Rio Principles, and suggested that UNEP needs to be strengthened, and that the inter-governmental nature of the process needs to be preserved. He emphasized that emerging threats will require adaptive solutions.

Felix Dodds, Stakeholder Forum, noted that problems identified at Rio and Johannesburg need to be viewed through a new lens, as some environmental issues are now security concerns. He said that the UN’s environment and development programs are massively under-funded in their ability to address these issues. He presented a new document, “The IEG Dossier” which summarizes the current debate on the subject, and challenged participants to envision what a reformed UN system could look like, and how it can address environment and development successfully.

Adnan Amin, Executive Director, Secretary-General’s High-level Panel on UN System-wide Coherence, said that this process represents the chance of a generation to renew the UN, and noted the importance of integrating crosscutting issues such as human rights and gender equity. He said that he would be available in the second week of CSD to discuss the process in further detail.

Participants discussed: the need to rethink the relationship between economy and society, the need for ownership of the process, the need to drastically increase the profile of the environment within the UN, and the need for government to implement their recommendations.

Felix Dodds, Stakeholder Forum
Stephan Contius, German Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation and Nuclear Safety, said that we have never had such an opportunity to reform the institutional framework that surrounds the environment-development framework, but cautioned that it runs the risk of being limited to political speeches
Adnan Amin, Executive Director, Secretary-General’s High-level Panel on UN System-wide Coherence
Stephan Contius <[email protected]>
Philipe Leglise-Costa
<[email protected]>
Khaled Elbakly <[email protected]>
Adnan Amin <[email protected]>

Gender-Sensitive Strategies for Increasing Access to Energy Services

Presented by the Botswana Technology Centre (BOTEC)

Elizabeth Cecelski, International Network on Gender and Sustainable Energy (ENERGIA), highlighted the question of how to incorporate gender-sensitive strategies into energy policy.

Sheila Oparaocha, ENERGIA, described her organization, noting its focus on advocacy at international, regional and national levels. Oparaocha highlighted ENERGIA’s goal of building greater awareness among governments and the international community concerning gender equity in developing countries’ planning and policy processes.

Govind Kelkar, IFAD- UNIFEM, discussed a report “Gender Relations and Energy Transition in Rural Asia,” highlighting the difficulties women face from imbalanced access to energy, including overwork from collecting household fuel. She emphasized that equitable access to energy, addressed through a policy framework, can improve woman’s livelihoods, and that energy policy makers and private sector programmes need to pay greater attention to the subordinate position of women in rural society. She also highlighted the gap between policy rhetoric and daily reality.

Sharmila Vanparia, Self-Employed Women’s Association (SEWA), described a collaborative project undertaken by SEWA Bank, and Solar Electric Light Company (SELCO) that rents solar lights to woman entrepreneurs. She addressed the benefits of solar lights including that they provide better quality light than kerosene, and described the impacts of the SEW Bank Energy partnership with SELCO, such as providing reliable energy services to lower income groups and financial and time savings. Vanparia said that the combination of empowerment of women, financial power, and appropriate technology could improve income generation and reduce the drudgery of daily life.

Nozipho Wright, Botswana Technology Centre, described a gender audit in Botswana that evaluated existing energy policies and government practices in order to: establish the progress made in mainstreaming gender; create a working relationship with energy policy makers to contribute to policy: ensure that both men and women benefit from policies; identify gaps in gender and energy in Botswana; and increase the likelihood that improved energy services will contribute to the Millennium Development Goals. She noted that the audit found clear gender distinction with energy services at the household level and highlighted the need to allocate funds for specific gender and energy activities.

Yacine Diane Gueye, Environment and Development Action in the Third World, introduced a video, “the Faces of Energy-related Poverty as Seen through the Eyes of Men and Women in Senegal.”

Participants discussed: the affordability of solar cookers; project collaboration; the need to expand and have energy technology funded in order to disseminate and help their production in a large scale; energy and women’s health; and renewable energy options in developing countries.

From left to right: Sheila Oparaocha, ENERGIA, Sharmila Vanparia, SEWA, Elizabeth Cecelski, ENERGIA, Yacine Diane Gueye, Environment and Development in Action in the Third World, and Sharmila Vanparia, SEWA
Sheila Oparaocha, ENERGIA, described how national dialogues on gender and energy were further examined at the regional level and included in the gender reports presented at CSD-14
Sharmila Vanparia, SEWA, emphasized that SEWA Bank and SELCO have proven that a direct link between energy services and income generation is possible
Yacine Diane Gueye, Environment and Development in Action in the Third World
Sharmila Vanparia, SEWA, emphasized that SEWA Bank and SELCO have proven that a direct link between energy services and income generation is possible
Elizabeth Cecelski <[email protected]>
Sheila Oparaocha <[email protected]>
Govind Kelkar <[email protected]>
Sharmila Vanparia <[email protected]>
Nozipho Wright <[email protected]>
Yacine Diane Gueye <[email protected]>

US Actions to Advance Access to Energy at Home and Abroad

Presented by US Department of State (USDOS)

William Hagy, U.S. Department of Agriculture, discussed the use of ethanol for fuel production, addressing a number of USDA incentives for production including loans, loan guarantees and grants. Hagy highlighted the Ace Ethanol Dry Mill Facility in Wisconsin as an example of how programs have supported the ethanol industry in the U.S., noting it has resulted in job creation and decreased oil dependency.

Peter Smith, NY State Energy Research and Development Authority, highlighted energy policies and programs including public benefit funds, renewable portfolio standard, and public awareness. He described the Energy Smart energy efficiency program, and the Renewable Portfolio Standards, saying that 16% of the Portfolio is supplied by non-New York State wind power.

Jacob Moss, US Environmental Protection Agency, described the Energy Star program, a domestic US program to promote energy efficiency in residential and commercial/industrial sectors. Noting that during the 90-minute side event 270 people will die from indoor smoke pollution, Moss highlighted the Partnership for Clean Indoor Air, describing a clean stoves project in China. He acknowledged that the projects are “drops in the bucket,” but recognized them as first steps.

Richard Moorer, US Department of Energy (DOE), said that the DOE is primarily focused on research and development of technologies in line with the U.S. National Energy Plan of reliable, affordable, and environmentally sound energy supplies. In noting the daunting prospect of introducing new technologies into the international market, he addressed the benefits of international partnerships including the International Partnership for the Hydrogen Economy.

Larisa Dobriansky, DOE, discussed the Efficient Energy For Sustainable Development Partnership, underscoring its three main components: public leadership by example; building self-sustaining financing; and sustainable communities.

Juan Belt, US Agency for International Development (USAID), outlined USAID development instruments including regulatory reforms to promote investment, and demonstrated their use through the case of Guatemala’s power sector, prior to and post reform. He underscored the results, including over $2 billion in private investments in the power sector.

Barbara Rosa-Joynt, Department of State, said that the U.S. sees climate change, energy security and sustainable development as linked; discussed climate change bilateral partnerships and multilateral technology initiatives, highlighting the Asia-Pacific Partnership on Clean Development and Climate.

Discussion: Participants addressed many issues, including: the potentinal for conflict of interest in the promotion of biomass; incentives for all states to join the Renewable Portfolio Standards; and the justification for creating new international climate change agreements.

Jacob Moss, US Environmental Protection Agency
Peter Smith, NY State Energy Research and Development Authority
Rosa-Joynt emphasized international cooperation as a key component to addressing climate change
Jonathan Margolis, US
William Hagy <[email protected]>
Peter Smith <[email protected]>
Jacob Moss <[email protected]>
Richard Moorer <[email protected]>
Larisa Dobriansky <[email protected]>
Juan Belt <[email protected]>
Barbara De Rosa-Joynt <[email protected]>

How Can Institutions Help Address the Challenges of Energy, Industrial Development, Air Pollution, and Climate Change?

Organized by the International Social Science Council

Oran Young, University of California, Santa Barbara (UCSB), introduced the Institutional Dimensions of Global Environmental Change (IDGEC) project, noting its focus on original research. He said that IDGEC considers institutions as clusters of rights, rules and decision-making procedures, which can be a source as well as a solution to the problem they purport to address. Young described the development of an international regimes database, a tool that can be used to perform quantifiable analysis. He then demonstrated how this tool had been used to determine the success of MEAs, noting that over half of the environmental problems MEAs were designed to address have experienced improvement, and that in 70% of these cases, this can be linked to the influence of the MEA in question. He also noted that the database reveals that sources of compliance are much greater than enforcement alone, and that elements such as legitimacy and juridification (embedding obligations within a larger system) can also play an important role.

Young noted that MEAs have also contributed to our understanding of environmental problems, and of the options available to address them. He said that environmental problems involving jurisdictional disputes, externalities or lack of enforcement ability may increase their malignity. However, he suggested that innovative solutions can be tailored to address these, and illustrated this with several examples.

Leslie King, University of Manitoba, announced the IDGEC Synthesis Conference, to be held in Bali, Indonesia, 6-9 December 2006, which will present the IDGEC’s principal findings, communicate results, and explore policy relevance. She noted that the research has been guided by the project’s original guiding questions, concerning: causality and the role of institutions; performance; and the relationship between institutional design and effectiveness. She highlighted analytical themes which the project considers, including: institutional fit; interplay with other institutions; and the scale at which findings can be appropriately generalized.

Heike Schroeder, UCSB, illustrated the importance of the IDGEC project with examples of its application. She noted that in the case of climate change, despite the US not signing on to the Kyoto Protocol, individual states have shown a high level of entrepreneurship in developing their own initiatives designed to address GHG emissions.

Agus Sari, UCSB, described how countries stand to benefit from the IDGEC research, and invited participants to attend the upcoming Bali conference.

Discussion: Participants discussed several issues, including the assessment of regional level agreements, and the compatibility of traditional and modern environmental governance systems.

Oran Young said that although the IDGEC project has produced encouraging findings regarding MEA effectiveness, he cautioned this should not form the basis for complacency
Leslie King, University of Manitoba
Oran Young <[email protected]>
Leslie King <[email protected]>
Heike Schroeder <[email protected]>
Agus Sari <[email protected]>
The Earth Negotiations Bulletin on the side (ENBOTS) © <[email protected]> is a special publication of the International Institute for Sustainable Development (IISD) in cooperation with the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP). This issue has been written by Robynne Boyd and Peter Wood. The Digital Editor is Diego Noguera. The Director of IISD Reporting Services is Langston James “Kimo” Goree VI <[email protected]>. Funding for the publication of ENBOTS at the Fourteenth Session of the Commission on Sustainable Development (CSD-14) is provided by the United Nations Development Programme. The opinions expressed in ENBOTS are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views of IISD and funders. Excerpts from ENBOTS may be used in non-commercial publications only with appropriate academic citation. For permission to use this material in commercial publications, contact the Director of IISD Reporting Services at <[email protected]>. Electronic versions of issues of ENBOTS from CSD-14 can be found on the Linkages website at The ENBOTS Team at CSD-14 can be contacted by e-mail at <[email protected]>.

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