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3 February  

4 February

5 February

6 February

7 February


Twenty Second Session of the Governing Council/Global Ministerial Environment Forum 
3-7 February 2003
Nairobi, Kenya 

Highlights from Thursday, 6 February

The high-level ministerial segment continued throughout the day, with delegates focusing on sustainable consumption and production patterns, and on using the natural resource base to combat poverty. The Committee of the Whole (COW) met in the afternoon to consider a number of new draft decisions proposed by countries. The Drafting Committee continued its deliberations on various draft decisions in morning, afternoon, and evening sessions, and contact groups met on the budget, chemicals, adaptation to climate change, and the proposal for an Intergovernmental Panel on Global Environmental Change (IPEC)

Ministerial Consultations: Changing Consumption and Production Patterns

David Anderson, Canada’s Minister for the Environment, chaired this session and introduced a background paper on the issue (UNEP/GC.22/8/Add.2). Noting that consumption and production trends are unsustainable, he asked delegates to: identify appropriate policies and pricing structures; consider how to stimulate the development of appropriate new technologies and contribute to poverty eradication through changes in consumption and production patterns; and provide guidance on UNEP’s role in this area.

Minister Xie Zhenhua, China, highlighted the phase-out of outdated technologies and use of environmental auditing. Minister Borge Brende, Norway, said developed countries should provide assistance to developing countries to “leapfrog” to more sustainable technologies. On UNEP’s role, he said UNEP must take a lead in developing the WSSD’s ten-year framework of programmes on sustainable consumption and production in consultation with other organizations and agencies.

Listen to statements from: Greece, on behalf of the EU * France * Japan * Mexico *

Australia, in his intervention, supported eliminating harmful subsidies


The representative from Senegal intervening in the ministerial consultations

Michael Meacher, UK, said CSD should review regional and national progress against baselines based on WSSD outcomes, and could then work with UNEP to identify the resources and follow-up required.

Denmark intervenes during the ministerial consultations

Beat Nobs, Switzerland (right), supported tax-based or other market incentives for business and industry. On using consumption and production patterns to contribute to poverty eradication and social progress, he said partnerships between developed and developing countries must be via pilot projects that show the viability of projects that are sustainable.

Andjelka Mihajlov, Minister for the Protection of Natural Resources and Environment of the Republic of Serbia (left)


Mali (left)

Tewolde B. G. Egziabher, Ethiopia (right)

Croatia drew attention to a national strategy on environment protection and outlined cooperative efforts with UNEP.

Ministerial Consultations: Using the Natural Resource Base to Combat Poverty

Governing Council President Rugunda introduced the session on using the natural resource base to fight poverty and on UNEP’s contribution to the WSSD’s biodiversity-related commitments (UNEP/GC.22/8/Add.3). Delegates considered: how to fully utilize the natural resource base in fighting poverty; how existing regional programmes could enhance UNEP’s new guidelines on poverty and the environment; what role UNEP can play in developing national, subregional and regional plans for poverty eradication incorporating WSSD and other goals; and how UNEP can use the WEHAB agenda in promoting sustainable livelihoods.

Mexico's Environment Minister Victor Lichtinger

Many speakers underscored linkages between poverty and biodiversity, and endorsed the WSSD’s outcomes. Several delegates noted the importance of involving business and industry, NGOs, local and indigenous communities and other stakeholders. Mexico and others stressed the need to share genetic resources equitably.

Philippe Roch, State Secretary, Swiss Agency for the Environment, Forests and Landscape, supported awareness raising and conservation activities

Environment Minister Siv Fridleifsdottir, Iceland, drew attention to the target of establishing a process for a global assessment of the marine environment by 2004.

Israel intervenes on biodiversity and highlighted new corridors and links to establish a corridor on the Great Rift Valley.

Hamdalla Zedan, CBD Excecutive Secretary and Willem Wijnstekers, Executive Secretary, CITES
Committee of the Whole

COW Chair Tanya Van Gool (the Netherlands)

The COW convened in the afternoon to discuss newly-tabled draft decisions on: reconfirmation of UNEP’s support for the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change; action on poverty and the environment in Africa; support for regional implementation of UNEP’s Programme of Work; support to SIDS; work on forestry-related issues; and the role of UNEP in strengthening regional activities in the Economic Cooperation Organization subregion (UNEP/GC.22/CW/CRP.1, 3, 4, and 6 & UNEP/GC.22/CRP.4 and 7). These decisions were approved with minor amendments, with the exception of the draft on the Economic Cooperation Organization, in which provisions that could be taken to imply the need to establish a new UNEP regional office were deleted. A draft decision on regional implementation of the WSSD (UNEP/GC.22/CW/CRP.2) was withdrawn due to overlaps with the draft decision on regional implementation of UNEP’s Programme of Work (UNEP/GC.22/CW/CRP.4).
Other draft decisions on marine safety and protection of the marine environment from accidental pollution and on sustainable consumption and production patterns (UNEP/GC.22/CRP.9 and 10.Rev.1) will be discussed on Friday morning in the COW.

Kenya introduced proposed draft decisions on the IPCC and Poverty and the environment in Africa

Iran and the US consult on the Iranian proposal on the role of UNEP in strengthening regional activities and cooperation in teh Economic Cooperation Organization subregion
Brazil, on behalf of GRULAC and the Caribbean State, introduced a proposal on regional implementation of the programme of work of UNEP

Drafting Group
Masa Nagai, UNEP, Chair Juergen Weerth, Werner Obermeyer, UNEP, and Jamil Ahmad, Pakistan
Drafting Group Chair Juergen Weerth (Germany) with Werner Obermeyer
Delegates consult in the drafting group (left) and the US consults with China (right)
Text that emerged from a contact group on adaptation to climate change was reopened in the Committee, with several delegations insisting on referencing specific paragraphs of the Marrakesh Accords and the Kyoto Protocol. However, these and other objections were deleted in a second attempt by the contact group to find consensus language.
Iran in the drafting group and Brazil (center righ)
The draft decision on environment and cultural diversity, introduced by a regional group of countries with the support of another regional group, produced a response from a developed country, which argued for a short decision requesting the Executive Director to examine the issue further and report to the Governing Council at its 23rd session.

Contact Group on Budget

Serge Barabanov, UN Office in Nairobi, and Chair John Ashe (Antigua and Barbuda)

Bahamas and Germany in the budget contact group (below) The text dealing with the provision of financing for SIDS, in particular preparations for the Barbados Programme of Action +10 Conference in 2004, was approved and forwarded to the COW for inclusion in the SIDS decision.

In the afternoon and evening, delegates engaged in informal multilateral and bilateral negotiations in an effort to reach agreement on text approving the Programme of Work and appropriations for the Environment Fund. However, as of late Thursday evening, delegates had been unable to reach consensus on this final outstanding part of the budget decision.

The Chemicals Contact Group

Contact Group Chair Halldór Thorgeirsson

The chemicals contact group finalized draft decisions on lead, the global mercury assessment, the Strategic Approach on International Chemicals Management (SAICM) and the Rotterdam and Stockholm Conventions. The SAICM, lead and global mercury assessment draft decisions were approved after the insertion of text requesting additional funding for implementation from the Executive Director. In the SAICM decision, references to heavy metals and a regular review of WSSD’s chemicals-related targets were included.

Jennifer Macmillan, New Zealand (center) and Robert Donkers, EC (right)
Jim Willis, UNEP Chemicals (left) with UNEP staff members

Contact Group on Intergovernmental Panel on Global Environmental Change (IPEC)

Canada chaired the contact group on IPEC. The final text agreed to by the contact group recalls Decision SS VII/1 on international environmental governance and capacity building and invites submissions to the Executive Director focusing on gaps and types of assessments, how UNEP and other organizations are currently meeting their assessment needs, and the options that exist for meeting any unfulfilled needs that fall within UNEP’s role and mandate. The decision also solicits views addressing, inter alia, scientific credibility, the interaction between science and policy development, the role of existing institutions, and duplication. The Executive Director is to prepare a synthesis report on the consultations by the Governing Council at its Eighth Special Session.

Delegates from the United States in the contact group

UNEP's Afghanistan Post-Conflict Environmental Assessment

This presentation outlined key findings of UNEP's Post-Conflict Environmental Assessment Report for Afghanistan, which examined the environmental impacts of two decades of conflict in Afghanistan. Photo: Donald Kaniaru, UNEP, Governing Council President Ruhakana Rugund, Ahmad Yusef Nuristani, Afghanistan's Minister of Irrigation, Water Resources and Environment, UNEP Executive Director Klaus Toepfer, and Pekka Haavisto, UNEP

Klaus Toepfer, UNEP Executive Director

Ahmad Yusef Nuristani, Afghanistan's Minister of Irrigation, Water Resources and Environment

UNEP Executive DirectorKlaus Toepfer and Pekka Haavisto (left) and Eric Falt, Director of Communications and Public Information, UNEP

UNEP launches the "Vital Water Graphics: an overview of the state of the World's Fresh and Marine Waters"

The Vital Water Graphics can be previewed online at http://www.unep.org/vitalwater/index.htm

Beth Ingraham and Salif Diop, Division of Early Warning and Assessment, UNEP, Svein Tveitdal, UNEP/GRID-Arendal, and Halifa Drammeh, Deputy Director, UNEP Division of Policy Development and Law

Miscellaneous Photos
Dasho Nado Rinchhen, Deputy Environment Minister (Bhutan) with Juan Mayr, former Colombian Environment Minister (left)
ENB Writer Richard Sherman, and South African delegates Dhesigan Naidoo and Christo van Noordwyk

Representatives of Finland

Klaus Toepfer speaks with members of his staff


ENB Summary of UNEP-21 in PDF (English), txt and html
ENB Coverage of the Third Global Ministerial Environment Forum (Seventh Special Session of the UNEP Governing Council)
ENB Coverage of the World Summit on Sustainable Development
UNEP website,with information about the Governing Council
UNEP website on International Environmental Governance

UNEP-22 Homepage with the Provisional Agenda and Working Documents for the meeting, as well as information documents
UNEP.Net, the United Nations Environment Network: a global portal to authoritative environmental information based on themes and regions.



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