Indraprastha Public Affairs Centre
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  • Date submitted: 1 Nov 2011
  • Stakeholder type: Major Group
  • Name: Indraprastha Public Affairs Centre
  • Submission Document: Download
Keywords: Research (1 hits),

General Content

a) What are the expectations for the outcome of Rio+20, and what are the concrete proposals in this regard, including views on a possible structure of the Outcome document?

The Rio+20 Conference in 2012 provides an opportunity to refine and accelerate through collective understanding global efforts towards sustainable development. Green economy as the Rio principles underline is a dynamic concept which infuses every action taken towards poverty eradication with sustainability. The alliance believes that green economies is not one steel framework which compels everyone to fall in line, rather these are diverse, decentralized, in harmony with nature and respects the cultural and spiritual dimensions of sustainable development.

As per our understanding, an approach to green economy in the context of sustainable development should be based on the following principles:

It is directly related to the overriding priorities such as poverty eradication, food security, access to modern energy services, public health, human resource development and employment generation. We believe green economy is one of the means to achieve these basic priorities and not an end in itself.

A common approach to Green Economy in the context of Sustainable development and Poverty Eradication (GESDPE) is to be based on the Rio principles of equity and common but differentiated responsibilities (CBDR) with special and differential treatment provisions for developing countries according to the respective capabilities of the states. The concept of GESDPE should explicitly be synchronized with the concept of Right to Development.

Poverty eradication should be the overarching objective and the benchmark of the GESDPE. Green economy should promote sustained economic growth for poverty eradication. The concerns of livelihoods of vulnerable sections of society, like the small and marginal farmers and those employed in SMEs should be embedded in the concept of green economy

While promoting green economy, we must ensure that we are not trapped in technological fixes and market based incentives which have often proved to be false solutions to the ecological and climate crises and thus will not advance sustainable development;

Involvement of all actors, state and non-state is critical to building green economies and promoting sustainable development and poverty eradication. This includes active engagement of underrepresented sections of society such as women, youth, indigenous communities and other vulnerable communities

As women comprise half the world?s population and count among the poorest, a green economy must recognize women?s paid and unpaid contributions to the economic production, must generate sustainable livelihoods by which women can realize the full enjoyment of their human rights, and prevent all forms of discrimination and exclusion in women?s exercise of their economic rights and management of earth?s resources.

As a pre-requisite to a global transition towards Green Economy, developed countries must reduce their unsustainable patterns of consumption and the resulting ecological footprints and release ecological space for developing countries to achieve equitable and sustainable growth;

b) What are the comments, if any, on existing proposals: e.g., a green economy roadmap, framework for action, sustainable development goals, a revitalized global partnership for sustainable development, or others?

Since the Principles of Rio guide us ? foremost amongst which is the principle of Right to Development and CBDR, we need to be mindful of whom we are setting targets for. CBDR exhorts developed countries to take on commitments first. This principle must be upheld in any implementation focused outcome on sustainable development.
c) What are the views on implementation and on how to close the implementation gap, which relevant actors are envisaged as being involved (Governments, specific Major Groups, UN system, IFIs, etc.);

The UNSCD 2012 must affirm and strengthen internally agreed principles and objectives for sustainable development at all levels. All actors should be held accountable to well established international standards and conventions, e.g. Right to Development, Human Rights conventions, Extractive Industry Accountability etc.

The goals of greening the economy in the context of poverty eradication and sustainable development should be achieved through measures such as harmonization of aid among donors and partners, augmentation of Overseas Development Assistance (ODA) as per Monterrey Consensus and creation of a Sustainable Development Fund. There should be greater capacity building of major stakeholders and key public institutions.

In addition, there should be global mechanism to assess mechanism to assess the impacts of new technologies. Such mechanism should provide resources towards capacity building of countries and communities to assess and monitor the health, biodiversity and environmental impacts of new technologies.

d) What specific cooperation mechanisms, partnership arrangements or other implementation tools are envisaged and what is the relevant time frame for the proposed decisions to be reached and actions to be implemented?

The international cooperation mechanism must be democratic and based on the principle of Right to Development and Common but Differentiated Responsibility. Commitments from the North in the form of adequate financing, appropriate technology cooperation, and need based capacity building are of utmost importance to support developing countries make a just transition to sustainable development pathways. A mechanism to facilitate Research and development in green technologies in public domain is required so that the access would be at affordable prices.
Specific Elements
a) Objective of the Conference: To secure renewed political commitment for sustainable development, assessing the progress to date and remaining gaps in the implementation of the outcomes of the major summits on sustainable development and addressing new and emerging challenges.

Contributions could include possible sectoral priorities (e.g., (e.g., energy, food security and sustainable agriculture, technology transfer, water, oceans, sustainable urbanization, sustainable consumption and production, natural disaster preparedness and climate change adaptation, biodiversity, etc.) and sectoral initiatives that contribute to integrate the three pillars of sustainable development could be launched and endorsed at Rio+20.

Sectoral priorities and strategies could be a matter of national choice, based on the stage of development, its resource base and core strength, national circumstances, and possibilities of external support both technical and financial.

The alliance believes that major sectoral priorities for countries like India would include poverty eradication and livelihood security, access to modern energy services, prevention and reversal of land degradation and so on.

b) Green economy in the context of sustainable development and poverty eradication: views regarding how green economy can be a means to achieve sustainable development in its three dimensions, and poverty eradication; what is its potential added value; experience to date, including what has worked and how to build upon success, what are the challenges and opportunities and how to address the challenges and seize opportunities, and possible elements of an agreement in outcome document on a green economy in the context of sustainable development and poverty eradication

In order for green economy to add new value to the development discourse, social and environmental dimensions are an integral part, such as green jobs and livelihoods as well as water and energy access, food sovereignty, sustainable agriculture and climate change. In agriculture based economies, sustainable land use through prevention and reversal of degraded land, eco-restoration and afforestation can not only increase the quantity and quality of the natural capital but also generate employment, thus leading to poverty eradication and sustainable development.

Programmes for rural connectivity, creation of post-harvest management facilities, improvements in agricultural inputs as well as crop productivity, strengthening farm and non-farm linkages can improve efficiencies of agricultural supply chains, reduce their waste generation, and decrease the price spread between farm harvest and wholesale prices. These strategies can generate win-win outcomes.

c) Institutional framework for sustainable development: Priorities and proposals for strengthening individual pillars of sustainable development, as well as those for strengthening integration of the three pillars, at multiple levels; local, national, regional and international.

1. Alliance India for Rio+20 considers the following key principles to be important in arriving at an institutional framework for sustainable development

> The governance architecture must operaltionalise and implement the ?right to development? and recognize the overriding priority of poverty eradication and economic growth in developing countries. It must remain firmly anchored in the principles of equity and common but differentiated responsibilities embodied in the Rio declaration.

> There is a need to maintain balance between the three pillars of sustainable development and strengthen the coherence and coordination between and within them.

> The institutional framework should facilitate adequate flow of resources and technologies to developing countries.

2. Rio+20 should set the process in motion for building a strong apex body on sustainable development at the global level that works to integrate and disparate United Nations bodies working on one of the three pillars of sustainable development. In this regard, the proposal of establishment of a new Sustainable Development Council needs to be seriously examined.

3. Ultimately, the effectiveness of a global body on sustainable development rests on the effective functioning of similar or counterpart institutions at the national and local levels and its relevance to people?s lives, therefore greater emphasis should be laid to create mechanisms for participatory decision making to strengthen capacities of the local governments and civil society and have an emphasis on education for sustainable development.

4. Commitment of developed countries for providing Overseas Development Assistance (ODA) as per Monterrey Consensus needs to be fulfilled.

5. There is a need for greater representation of developing countries, accountability and transparency in the Bretton Woods Institutions (BWI) in order to increase their effectiveness and responsiveness to UN-led processes and outcomes.

d) Any proposals for refinement of the two themes. Recall that Resolution 64/236 describes the focus of the Conference: "The focus of the Conference will include the following themes to be discussed and refined during the preparatory process: a green economy in the context of sustainable development and poverty eradication and the institutional framework for sustainable development".

The core theme should be sustainable development and poverty eradication through greening of economies

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