As A Rapporteur in Asia Pacific Civil Society Regional Consultation Meeting 2012, 22-23 Nov 2012
United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) and Asian Development Bank (ADB) organized Asia Pacific Civil Society Regional Consultation Meeting 2012 in Kathmandu on 22-23 November 2012. As one of the main platforms for engagement with Major Groups and Stakeholders (MGS) at the regional level, the meeting was focused on the following themes:
- Rio+20 Outcomes and Implementation in Asia Pacific
- Rio+20 and Principle 10
- UN Post-2015 Agenda
- Green Economy and Sustainable Consumption and Production
- International Environmental Governance
- Chemical Waste and Management
- Regional Priority Issues
I was one of the fifty-one participants who contributed to the meeting by writing rapporteur report for one of the session where youth from Asia Pacific presented on the Role of Major Groups in Post-Rio Agenda. There was group division for discussion on the themes where I shared my views and gave inputs regarding two different themes: i) Green Economy and Sustainable Consumption and Production and ii) UN Post-2015 Agenda. Along with other youth, we were able to incorporate different youth issues including green entrepreneurship and youth empowerment under the vulnerable groups.
The consultation meeting came out with “Kathmandu Declaration on the Implementation of Rio+20 Outcomes Document” as an important input to the Major Groups and Stakeholders Forum to be held in Nairobi on 16-17 February 2013.
Rapporteur on Session 3 : Role of Major Groups in Post-Rio Agenda
This session was facilitated by Ms. Meena Bilgi, Women Organizing for Change in Agriculture, India.
Ms. Neth Dano, ETC Group, Philippines gave her presentation on Major Groups and “The Future We Want” highlighting on the outcome document. She said that Rio+20 were 90-95% success to some of the groups as almost two-thirds of submissions for the Zero Draft came from the Major Groups during Pre-Rio+20 preparation processes. There were more participation of civil society that the government bodies in Rio+20. She reflected on the statements of paragraph 283 and the women groups who were mentioned 18 times but not contextually. There is a need for renewing the political commitments. The meetings that held in New York was quite systematic. There were weak languages in some paragraphs which were workless and don’t have any meanings. She further shared the possible entry points for post Rio+20, how there can be a political engagement and how the positive aspects can threaten the government.
Ms. Dano also informed about the UNGA which will establish 12 intergovernmental processes but the major problem is that the civil society cannot comment on it which means it is not worthy if it doesn’t include active participation of the civil society. It is a kind of opportunity in one hand and a big challenge to the other. She also highlighted on the opportunities for MGS engagement in Post Rio+20 Agenda and SDGs. This will decide on its methods of work including developing modalities to ensure the full involvement of relevant stakeholders and expertise from civil society as well as establishing an inter-agency technical support team and expert panels, as needed, drawing on all relevant expert advice. She urged for the development of proactive proposal from the Major Groups. She informed about the High Level Political Forum during which there will be establishment of intergovernmental committee comprising of 30 experts who will present a report early in the UNGA-68. Then she shared her views on how to get engaged in Post Rio. Some of the major steps are to revisionary of para 88, mainstreaming principle 10 which is a great challenge, engaging civil society, local communities, Indigenous people and women. She also highlighted on strengthening and upgrading UNEP and shared the opportunity to bring in the committee on World Food Security Civil Society Mechanism, Principle to operationalization and build on the existing MGSB modalities at UNEP.
Talking finance she said that it is not yet clear how the open and broad consultation with relevant international and regional financial institutions and other relevant stakeholders will be done. Regarding the technology facilitation mechanism, there is no reference to MGS/ Civil society involvement, but the UNSG Report’s Recommendation includes the creation of “pool of experts”. There is also a need of technology assessment in accord to para 275. She also shared some of the examples on her organization like the Campaign for People’s Goals for Sustainable Development. “Not all of us can be engaged but we can push for the concrete mechanisms for direct and active MGS/CS participation in these processes” said Ms. Dano.
Ms. Shruti Kalpathy Neeklantan, representative from UNEP Tunza Programme Asia Pacific was the first youth speaker in the consultation meeting. She gave a brief on TUNZA which deals with youth and youth initiative. She recited para 88 and said that it took lots of efforts for the preparation of Rio+20 documents. “We still look forward to what and how we could go further”, adds Ms. Neeklantan. On behalf of youth she shared major seven recommendations: Education for Sustainable Development, Youth Empowerment and Participation, Assessment Mechanism, Accountability, Social Media, Regional Cooperation and Research and Innovation. She further urged to train the civil society participants, creat more platforms and translate the report in sense of different sections of people. Moreover she said it is very essential to increase the involvement of regional civil society and provide framework on resources along with the increment in the communications with working.
During the panel discussion in session 3, Mohomed Sikander Sabeer from National Road to Rio Campaign Sri Lanka shared some of the role of major groups in Post-Rio Agenda. He said that it is the opportunity to think globally and use the resources along with the capabilities after Rio+20. He alerted that half of the major groups of today are going to be the biggest polluters and consumers of tomorrow. We need to think smarter than today and act accordingly. Youth have been involve with a volunteerily commitments than money based promises. There were more than 600 young people involved during the Rio+20 process for the preparation of Zero Draft. There was huge youth movement in Rio+20. “Children and Youth have had been pets for the stakeholders. We have energy and better commitments but no opportunities. We want to be the leaders of today not the pets and neither the leaders of tomorrow.” stated Mr. Sabeer.
Ms. Oyunchimeg Myagmarjav, Institude for Future, Mongolia gave a brief on Post Rio Action in Mongolia and said that there was limited participation of the youth, women and indigenous people. There are more than 40 NGOs working together to raise the issues and there has been development of Ministry of Green Development and Green Parties. Mongolian Chambers also held some National Programmes from brown to green with “Five 20” principles. By 2020, goals have been set to make i) to increase energy efficiency by 20%, ii_ to make the installed capacity of renewable energy sources reach 20%, iii) to decrease emission by 20%, iv) purchasing power capacity of the government reach 20% and v) to increase environmental investments by 20%. She urged to address the role of civil society in decision making process, promotion of sustainability in ground level and campaigns for sustainable lifestyles.
Mr. Masanori Kobayashi, Yokohama National University on the panel discussion said that there is a need of right strategy with right preparation and we need to press the right buttons. He gave an example of the Europeans who have the better institutionalized framework. “We should know how to handle the government. We need coordination, rotational representations and know the mechanisms as the government doesn’t listen to CSO. We should do different in the field and approach to those to whom the government cannot deny.” said Mr. Kobayashi. He further requested for a concrete action plan and make an appointment with proper government. He encouraged to pressurize the government and consolidation of our position.
Meeting While Eating
Youth from Asia Pacific met during the lunch time and utilized the duration sharing about the work they have been doing. There was very fruitful discussion on the upcoming activities. Where I shared about the exhibition “BEST from WASTE” that is going to be held on 1 December 2012 on the occasion of Global Day of Action. We discussed more about 22nd International Children’s Painting Competition.