|World Summit on Sustainable Development...|
The World Summit on Sustainable Development (WSSD) or Earth Summit 2002 in Johannesburg produced both advances and setbacks. Targets for a range of sustainable development issues were not set. The Summit adopted the WSSD Plan of Implementation (PI) and the Johannesburg Declaration (JD).
The Plan of Implementation is a framework for action to implement the commitments originally agreed. Unlike Agenda 21, it recognises poverty as a running theme, linked to its multiple dimensions, from access to energy, water and sanitation, to the equitable sharing of the benefits of biodiversity.
The Johannesburg Declaration outlines the path taken to the WSSD, highlights present challenges, expresses a commitment to sustainable development, underscores the importance of multilateralism and emphasizes the need for implementation
Governments promised to restore the world's depleted fish stocks by 2015, which should lead to more local food available to coastal communities and less fish going to rich countries to provide catfood.
Perhaps the most important new commitment was the sanitation target - to halve the proportion of people without access to sanitation by 2015 together with the Millennium Declaration Goal to halve the proportion without access to safe drinking water by 2015. The US has announced US$970 million in investments on water and sanitation projects; the EU announced its "Water for Life" initiative.
promised 500 million euros over five years to promote renewable
energy in developing countries. This is one of the 228 'Type 2 Partnerships'
that followed Guiding Principles, where governments promise to work
with the private sector on aid and environment projects. The Summit
promised to help get affordable energy to some of the two billion people
who have no access. With 80 percent of the world's energy coming from
fossil fuels, oil, coal and gas producers may well enjoy new, if low-spending,
More at: http://www.johannesburgsummit.org/html/sustainable_dev/sustainable_dev.html
Plan of Implementation says locals should share in any benefits Western
companies gain from exploiting natural resources found there. There
is also a commitment to significantly reducing the extinction rate of
the world's plants and animals by 2010.
There is confirmation in the Plan of Implementation that makes it clear that UN Conventions of MEAs are not subservient to World Trade Organisation decisions.
plan calls to "actively promote" corporate responsibility
- although there will not be a global police force to catch corporate
polluters and human-rights abusers. A reference to "intergovernmental
agreements" and "international initiative" could open
the way to some kind of global convention on corporate behaviour, but
you need to keep your fingers crossed.
Both China and Russia announced that they will ratify the Kyoto Protocol, which aims to tackle climate change through the reduction in greenhouse gases. These additional signatures should be enough for the Protocol to take effect despite U.S. resistance.
There was commitment, by 2020, to use and produce chemicals in ways that do not lead to significant adverse effects on human health and the environment. This will be achieved through sound international management of chemicals through implementation of the Rotterdam and Stockholm Conventions.
Other commitments include
biodiversity loss by 2010;
Perhaps the biggest dissapointment was the lack of Renewable energy targets. There was a lot of debate as to what are "renewables" and do they include nuclear energy. A target to boost the use of renewable energies such as wind and solar power was not set.
Rich countries are going to approach the next round of trade talks "with a view to phasing out all forms of export subsidies", However, neither the EU nor USA are under any obligation to phase out massive payments to their farmers which make many Third World exports uncompetitive.
areas of challenge and opportunity have been identified:
1. As part of the wider action to change unsustainable consumption and production patterns, "workplace-based partnerships and programmes, including training and education programmes" (PI 17d), "use a range of partnerships --- amongst Governments, intergovernmental organizations, workers, and other stakeholders, to promote transparency and accountability " (PI 44a).
Plan of Implementation recognises measures for corporate accountability
of "type two" partnerships. In the words of UN Secretary-General
Kofi Annan, "This
4 The Summit Implementation Plan provides the basis for raising workplace issues as part of the tools for addressing issues for WEHAB (Water, Energy, Health, Agriculture & Biodiversity), many of which are being promoted by Type 2 partnerships.
5. There was also growing support for the "workplace assessments programmes", which enable people like environmental practitioners to assess how their organisations are contributing to environmental improvement and sustainable development.
Kofi Annan said: "We have to go out and take action. This is not
the end, it is the beginning."
more details of what went on