Delegates to CSD 18 completed their review of mining and waste management issues during morning sessions, and began their review of sustainable consumption and production during an afternoon session.
WASTE MANAGEMENT: This session was chaired by Vice-Chair Menez. Panelist Ermanno Santilli, MagneGas Cooperation, introduced his company’s technology in recycling liquid waste into a clean burning, cost competitive fuel and other products. Panelist Prasad Modak, Environmental Management Centre, India, highlighted, inter alia, greening of supply trains and the application of “polluter pays principle” in managing wastes.
INDONESIA invited delegates to consider the outcomes of the simultaneous recent Extraordinary Meetings of the Conferences of the Parties to the Basel, Rotterdam and Stockholm Conventions. PAKISTAN questioned the disposal options for by-products of MagneGas. ZAMBIA said it is implementing the Keep Zambia Clean and Healthy Campaign. UGANDA said trade in end-of-life and near-end-of-life equipment is “disguised waste transfer.” NIGERIA described efforts to identify illegal e-waste important and return the waste to its port of origin. BRAZIL said e-wastes have been exported to developing countries as donations, and said developed countries should observe relevant international laws.
THAILAND provided information on its industrial waste information clearinghouse, which identifies waste generators and processers. CAMBODIA outlined activities to produce methane gas from dumping sites. JAPAN explained that, from 2000-2015, it is aiming for a 60% improvement in resource productivity. KAZAKHSTAN said the problems of eliminating radioactive waste remain unresolved. SOUTH AFRICA stressed the importance of take-back options for e-waste in line with the extended producer responsibility principle. MOROCCO outlined feasibility studies being undertaken to assess potential hazardous and e-waste facilities. PALESTINE said residents of Gaza are drinking contaminated water. ISRAEL lamented attempts to politicize CSD discussions and requested these statements be excluded from the Chair’s Summary.
CHILE said waste impacts wild animals. GABON said over 80% of incinerators in his country do not work correctly. SENEGAL said it had opened eleven technical empowerment centers. VIET NAM outlined efforts to create incentives for waste minimization and recycling. LIBYA discussed its establishment of an environmental protection authority. GERMANY underscored its objective to become a recycling-based economy. The REPUBLIC OF KOREA expressed its interest in waste-to-energy policies and described collaborations. KENYA highlighted its progress in executing environmental impact assessment.
ARGENTINA highlighted the need for public participation in decision-making and, with SWEDEN, appealed for the full implementation of the Basel Convention. INDIA introduced its experience in using high thermal value waste in the cement industry. FRANCE and ITALY reported experiences in waste minimization and recycling.
The AUC noted it is working with UNEP in developing policy guidelines to sensitize Heads of State on the importance of ratifying the Bamako Convention. UNEP discussed its work in disseminating information and technology in waste management. CHILDREN AND YOUTH challenged the pervasiveness of waste in our daily lives, and favored integrated solutions and a zero-waste world. INDIGENOUS PEOPLES said good governance is the key to solving waste issues. FARMERS spoke of women’s groups in India who have organized municipal collection, resulting in improved livelihoods and cleaner cities. BUSINESS AND INDUSTRY stressed the need for implementation of international agreements.
MINING: This session was chaired by Vice-Chair Alahraf. Panelist Gavin Hilson, University of Reading, UK, focused on the growing sector of artisanal small-scale mining and urged a realistic focus on the social needs of people, and, as one measure, simplifying licensing for artisans. Panelist Victoria Lucia Tauli Corpuz, Tebtebba Foundation, called for a ban on uranium mining and for controlling industries that use inordinate amounts of energy.
INDIA said mining represents a significant contribution to economic growth and development, but noted the need for greater corporate social responsibility (CSR). JAPAN stressed the need to focus on CSR, recycling and environmental protection in sustainable mining. AUSTRIA described the rehabilitation of Balkan mines, noting that local governments’ involvement is critical for mine remediation. TURKEY discussed their state-controlled mining programme. NGOs identified the wider impacts of mining on the environment and local communities and said the discussion should consider the 3Es (environment, economics and ethics). NORWAY said it is important to regulate mining through taxes. KENYA, NIGERIA and NAMIBIA reviewed national progress in sustainable mining and stressed that mining can catalyze wider investments in local economies. WOMEN said mining causes health and environmental damage and called for compensation for damages.
IRAN said the mining sector should lead to poverty elimination, while safety and environmental considerations are of prime concern. COLOMBIA described national experience in mining, including in protected areas and training. AOSIS said extraction in SIDS is moving from coral sand to rock for construction. CHILDREN AND YOUTH said governments should provide incentives to shift from reliance on child labor, which must be eradicated by 2015. EGYPT spoke of relocating mines from populated areas, and singled out funding and infrastructure needs. ARGENTINA described its policies and legal norms regarding mining, stressed supporting developing countries, and urged technology transfer. PALESTINE criticized the occupying power for taking over local quarries, barring population access and requisitioning equipment. SOUTH AFRICA explained key national regulations and rehabilitation work done on derelict mines and mine dumps, and suggested increased technology transfer and capacity building. WORKERS AND TRADE UNIONS cited fatality rates in the mining industry and proposed international regulation, in addition to voluntary commitments, for companies, and supported the Kimberly Process.
GUATEMALA said security, finance and military conflicts must be taken into account, especially in developing countries. THAILAND discussed efforts to encourage sustainable mining practices including their Green Mining Policy. SWEDEN spoke of its experience in moving cities existing near mining regions and its possible applicattion to areas threatened by climate change, erosion and rising sea levels. The RUSSIAN FEDERATION stressed the importance of identifying new mineral deposits, developing more efficient mining practices and increasing use of secondary materials. The US emphasized partnerships including the Methane-to-Markets Partnership. INDIGENOUS PEOPLES said voluntary programs are not working and called for a change in focus from CSR to corporate liability.
SUSTAINABLE CONSUMPTION AND PRODUCTION: This session was chaired by Vice-Chair Jaeckel. Tariq Banuri, DSD, introduced the Secretary-General’s report on the 10-Year Framework of Programmes on Sustainable Consumption and Production Patterns (E/CN.17/2010/8). Panelist Stephen Spratt, International Institute for Environment and Development, UK, said sustainable consumption means that real needs are met for everyone and all can aspire to the same standard of living within ecological limits. Spratt emphasized the need for an international mechanism for achieving sustainable consumption and a green economy. Panelist Cleo Migiro, Chair of the African Roundtable on SCP, Tanzania, identified the SCP challenges as: energy, water and sanitation, habitat, and trade, including market access. Panelist Helio Mattar, Brazil, called for attaining “conscientious consumption” through awareness raising, education and regulation.
Singapore, for the G-77/CHINA, said although a 10-year framework of programmes should be developed, all countries should have a right to choose their growth patterns. The EU recognized challenges to SCP, including: a lack of integration; evaluation of short and long term costs; lack of demand for changing behaviors; and fragmentation of existing strategies. Tanzania, for the AFRICAN GROUP, described progress under the Marrakech Process and noted that an integrated implementation of SCP can help countries achieve overall development plans. Solomon Islands, for AOSIS, highlighted a CSD role in relation to fish stocks. CHINA called for mechanisms for economic and technological transfer between developed and developing countries.
ISRAEL recalled its experience in the field of sustainable water management. The US supported using a broad range of policy instruments, tailoring policies to the situation, and giving consumers choices to act sustainably rather than limiting them. UNIDO noted its work to develop National Cleaner Production Centres, and said it is time to move from pilot projects to scaling up and mainstreaming of cleaner production.
GUATEMALA questioned how links could be enhanced within the UN system to ensure a lasting and sustainable impact and how the 10-year framework could receive financial support. Welcoming the work under the Marrakech Process, INDONESIA said it serves as a sound basis for work at the national level. IRAN discussed its efforts to allocate government revenue to poor areas to create jobs. The ILO stressed that green jobs must involve decent work. UNEP said the Marrakech Process had resulted in concrete outcomes including the development of SCP strategies in most countries, and supported the elaboration of a more structured process. FARMERS said sustainable growth of production by optimizing use of land requires more scientifically planned agriculture and animal husbandry. Highlighting the need to move from a specific management approach to a systematic management approach, NGOs stressed that isolated actions are not enough. CHILDREN AND YOUTH said social and environmental costs should be internalized.
NIGERIAnoted the lack of a level SCP playing field and the transfer of polluting technologies by developed countries. CAMBODIA said the 3Rs should be used as a model for green business, calling for the exchange of goods and services between developed and developing countries. CANADA identified the utility of SCP labeling programs such as EcoLogo. SWITZERLAND suggested including, in the 10-Year Framework of Programmes, procurement, agro-food systems and market transparency. The REPUBLIC OF KOREA cited its low-carbon growth strategy, and said measures include the development of green partnerships, green purchasing guidelines and an environmental information disclosure system.
IN THE CORRIDORS
Preparations for two PrepComs were underway at UN Headquarters. Representatives from SIDS are preparing for CSD-18 SIDS Day on Monday, 10 May, which will serve as a PrepCom for the MSI+5 High-level review. A SIDS Interregional Meeting, which will take place on Saturday, 8 May, in New York, will consider the outcomes of the three regional review meetings that took place in February and March. The SIDS Day will also address CSD-18 themes from SIDS perspectives in the afternoon.
Meanwhile, the status of the “the elephant on the CSD agenda” – the preparatory process for the 2012 UN Conference on Sustainable Development – moved into the center of attention at a well-attended lunchtime briefing on Thursday, where delegates learned that two PrepCom contact groups (on rules of procedure, chaired by Egypt and the US, and on substantive preparations, chaired by Italy and Pakistan) may launch informal discussions as early as next week. The impression gained by some listeners was that PrepCom affairs will run in parallel, at least partly, with the CSD, given that the UNGA decision only allots eight days over two years to the process. Some expressed concern that this may erode CSD’s “quality time” and draw capacity to other quarters, noting that the contact groups will be facilitated by four PrepCom Vice-Chairs who are current delegates to CSD 18. “Are we changing track in midcourse, or worse, relegated to the background?” was the query of another observer, reflecting on the momentum of the preparatory process towards Rio+20. Others were more pragmatic, saying “the only reason we are attending this meeting is to influence the Rio+20 process.”