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8th Meeting of the Commission on Sustainable Development
New York, USA; 24 April - 05 May, 2000


| Monday 24 | Tuesday 25 | Wednesday 26 | Thursday 27Friday 28 |
| Monday 01 | Tuesday 02 | Wednesday 03 | Thursday 04 | Friday 05 |

| Lundi 24 | Mardi 25 | Mercredi 26 | Jeudi 27 | Vendredi 28 |
| Lundi 01 | Mardi 02 | Mercredi 03 | Jeudi 04 | Vendredi 05 |

Highlights from Tuesday 02 May

Photo: Indigenous Panel on traditional knowledge asks participants to give thanks to life and to mother earth

Delegates to the Commission on Sustainable Development met in three drafting groups throughout the day to consider various revised draft decisions and a G-77/China paper. Drafting Group l met in the afternoon to consider the first revised draft on Integrated Land Management. The first revised draft on Agriculture was also circulated. Drafting Group ll convened in the afternoon to consider the first revised draft on Finance, Trade, Investment and Economic Growth. Drafting Group lll met in the morning to consider the G-77/China proposals on Preparations for the 2002 Review of Agenda 21. A revised draft decisions on the Rio+10 preparations was circulated. A draft decision on the Report of the Intergovernmental Forum on Forests was also circulated which, inter alia, invites the President of ECOSOC to initiate, before the substantive session of the ECOSOC, informal consultations on options for placing the UNFF within the UN system intergovernmental machinery. A panel discussion on Indigenous People and Traditional Knowledge was also convened.

In the Corridors: Major group representatives have reported progress in their efforts to garner support for the formation of an informal ad hoc open-ended working group to assess and showcase SARD in action. With a modified proposal to involve all the major groups together with governments and international organizations, within existing institutional structures and resources, NGOs are hoping to build on the precedent of the Voluntary Initiatives working group. The Voluntary Initiatives group is continuing to engage business and industry in a multi-stakeholder dialogue launched at CSD-6 and is, reportedly, about to attract the participation of the World Business Council for Sustainable Development (WBCSD) as the new industry representative on the steering group.

Visit the Sustainable Development Learning Center in Conference Room A

Click here for the following side events:

  • Briefing for delegation on progress in implementation of CSD-6 decisions on Transfer of Environmentally Sound Technologies
  • Global Financial Challenges: responsible financial architecture for developing countries

Drafting Group II on Financial Resources and Mechanisms and on Economic Growth, Trade and Investment

Photo: Chair Choi Seok-young (Republic of Korea)


In the afternoon, Drafting Group II reviewed text distributed by Chair Seok-young on Finance, Trade, Investment, and Economic Growth.

On priority areas for future work, Guyana (right) for the G-77/China, said the concept of good governance was subjective and preferred reference to "transparent, effective and accountable". On globalization, the G-77/China's proposed text on the need to "reform" the international financial system, and manage the "financial" crises, was bracketed." The G-77/China suggested that strengthening existing financial mechanisms should be placed before exploration of new ones, and requested clarification on the meaning of institutional aspects.

Photo: Canada (left) with Portugal (right).

Regarding the document as a whole, Australia requested a more balanced document acknowledging the potential environmental benefits of economic growth. The EU emphasized the need to "break the linkage" between economic growth and environmental degradation.

On promoting an enabling environment for mobilizing resources, the EU, supported by the US, Norway and Japan, argued in favor of retaining reference to "good" governance, rather than "transparent, effective and accountable" governance. Both phrases remain bracketed.

 Photo: Portugal, on behalf of the EU

Photo: ENB writer Jon Hanks (left) with the delegate from South Africa (right).


On capital flight, the G-77/China and the US suggested deleting text on capital repatriation. The Russian Federation and South Africa opposed. The text remains bracketed.

The United States supported a proposal by New Zealand calling for elimination of trade-distorting and environmentally harmful subsidies, instead of a phasing out of such subsidies. He also questioned inclusion of language on pricing policies within a free market framework.
Delegates discuss a paper on trade tabled by the NGO Caucus on trade

Marba Visagie, South Africa



Clemencia Pacheco, Bolivia

Drafting Group on Land and Agriculture
The group began negotiations on the paper on land management, but suspended negotiations to allow time for the G-77/China to further consult on the text.
Chair Patrick McDonnell, Ireland, discusses the status of negotiations with ENB writer Tonya Barnes. The group considered the first revision of the draft on integrated planning and management of land resources.

Portugal (above left), on behalf of the European Union In the draft introduction, the G-77/China proposed text on the need for countries to ensure access to land, water and other natural resources. The EU and the US supported inclusion of text on equal access to land. The G-77/China opposed language on participatory, transparent and accountable decision-making, conflict resolution, an enabling environment and good governance. The EU noted that this was agreed language from the International Conference on Population and Development.

The Russian Federation discussed the text before the meeting begins


Drafting Group III on Preparations for Rio+10, the outcome of the Intergovernmental Forum on Forests and other matters
The drafting group commented on a paper circulated by the G-77/China outlining recommendations for Rio+10. The paper highlights the following points: (see daily ENB for country reactions and comments)

  • that Agenda 21 not be renegotiated and that the focus should be on implementation of Agenda 21
  • early and effective preparations at all levels to ensure high quality input to the review process
  • preparations should commence at the national level after CSD-8 and at the international level in January 2001
  • governments should undertake national review processes
  • that the GA at its 55th session decide that the 2002 review should be held at the summit level and in a developing country
  • that the CSD be transformed into an open-ended committee to review implementation of Agenda 21
  • that the preparations be transparent and provide for effective implementation
  • that CSD-9 include a segment entitled "Review of progress made in the preparation for Rio+10 to be examined by open-ended CSD"
  • establishment of a trust fund to ensure effective participation of developing countries
  • 55th GA should decide on agenda, timing, venue and other matters related the 2002 review

Day of Indigenous People
This panel addressed traditional knowledge and the following questions: What is the link with Article 8j of the Convention on Biodiversity? Wy is traditional knowledge important for sustainable development? Who are the decision makers and which are the conditions posed? What is the link between Inidgenous People land rights and traditional knowledge?


Pavel Suliandziga, Vice-President, Russian Association of IP of the North, discussed indigenous people and the right to land Indigenous people and the right to land. He said the indigenous population has been declining in the last 30 years and the average lifespan is 46 years. He said the new Russian constitution recognizes the rights of indigenous people and in 1999, new law was enacted defending traditional lifestyles and right to land. But some laws took the land from them, and TNCs are now taking land and moving people. For example, any land desired by companies was no longer considered indigenous land. He's not sure if his nation will survive in the future, but on the positive side, he said the younger generation is more politically active, organizing and lobbying efforts are stronger, and there is more international support.

Debra Harry, IP Council on Biocolonialism (United States), discussed bioprospecting and biopiracy. She said the centers of biodiversity are concentrated in indigenous peoples' lands, with flow of resources to the North, including in the form of seeds, medicines, knowledge, and human DNA. She said the benefits of bioprospecting are not focused to indigenous people. She said indigenous peoples' worldview is different than that of Western people, which leads to big problems with concepts of private property, particularly with respect to Indigenous property rights, lifeforms being privatized, and treated and patented like a new invention. She highlighted corporate monopolies over basic needs-food, health. She said a lot of research is publicly funded but then privatized. She said gene banking is not the solution and that genetic resources are dynamic, not static. She emphasized the link between cultural and biological diversity.

Stella Tamang, Nepal Tamang Women Ghedung, Nepal (right) discussed the Tamal peoples and knowledge and sustainable development with a special focus on women. She said there are about 60 different indigenous groups in Nepal and that current government programs are counterproductive and actually harmful to women.

Violet Ford, Policy Advisor with INUIT Tapirisat, Canada, (above left) discussed traditional ecological knowledge, using examples from the Hudson Bay, and discussed traditional ecological knowledge and the Convention of Biodiversity. She said traditional knowledge is a process that cannot be separated from culture. She highlighted the Hudson Bay area and said a recent study of the region's changing ecology showed that ocean currents are weakening in the eastern Hudson Bay, partially from hydropower. She said seasonal ice cover (1920-1970) has changed markedly form hydropower and climate change. She said traditional ecological knowledge is a tool to measure how the environment is changing. She cited CBD Article 8J referring to indigenous knowledge and said it is importance that indigenous people are part of the implementation of the CBD.

Alejandro Argumendo, Indigenous Peoples' Biodiversity Network (IPBN), Peru, moderated the panel discussion

ENB Summary of Ad Hoc Open-Ended Intergovernmental Group of Experts on Energy and Sustainable Development
CSD-8 Intersessionals
Linkages CSD page
UN - CSD website with official documents 
ENB's "Introduction to CSD"

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