African Wildlife Foundation (AWF)
  • Date submitted: 1 Nov 2011
  • Stakeholder type: Major Group
  • Name: African Wildlife Foundation (AWF)
  • Submission Document: Download
Keywords: Growth (2 hits),

Full Submission

A. Expectations for the outcome of Rio+20

The African Wildlife Foundation (AWF) recognizes the stated objective of the Conference - to secure renewed political commitment for sustainable development, and assess the progress to date and implementation gaps of targets from WSSD, and the underpinning themes for the conference - (i) green economy in the context of sustainable development and (ii) institutional frameworks for sustainable development. In order for a meaningful roadmap to be achieved at Rio+20, AWF expects the following outcomes:

? Recognition of the accelerating scale of threat to global sustainability and the urgent need for all actors to commit to changing patterns of consumption, resource use, income inequality, population Growth and other key drivers of unsustainability.

? Member States and Major Group commitment to recognize the need to replicate, scale up and speed up implementation of the multiple successful sustainable development initiatives that have been tried and tested since WSSD, for which lessons will be shared at Rio+20.

? All constituencies of WSSD continue to build global experience of pathways to sustainable development by identifying and disseminating tested and working implementation models and toolkits that can be rolled out to address the three pillars of sustainable development in priority sectors, notably land use, agriculture, water, forests, energy, protected areas and climate change.

? Member States, the UN, IGOs and Major Groups ensure their actions and investments deliver standards and practices required to achieve sustainable development, and penalize actions which do not deliver such standards and practices.

? All constituencies work together in implementation partnerships that build on clearly defined roles for local, national, international and non-State actors in ways that create synergies for financing, skills development and technology transfer. The frameworks should enhance north-north (N-N), north-south (N-S), south-south (S-S), transatlantic, developed-developing world, SIDS and LDCs collaboration.

? Member States, Major Groups and IGOs ensure that the issue of equitable benefit sharing is addressed holistically to encourage the developed world to offer green Growth technologies and fairer access to markets, and give real incentives to developing countries to safeguard the ecosystem services that benefit the global community.

? Member States agree to a definition of the term ?green economy? which encompasses more than a ?low carbon economy?, and is instead framed in terms of an economic system which maintains and restores ecosystem services, human well-being and social equity.

B. Comments on existing proposals and views on implementation approaches

The documented lessons learned from actions implemented since WSSD in Johannesburg point to challenges to achievement of set targets. AWF notes the good, though somewhat ad hoc, achievements of specific initiatives, particularly those focusing on the advancement of energy efficient technologies and reduction of fossil fuel consumption, as well as those to promote sustainable agriculture. The implementation arrangements ? of policy, financing and institutional partnerships - that drive documented successes need to be disseminated and replicated in order to speed and scale up achievement of the three pillars of sustainable development in an integrated manner. Recognizing the integrated nature of the challenges we face, and the value of bringing diverse views to the table when creating solutions, AWF supports the establishment of 'smart partnerships' that combine a conducive policy regime, appropriate financing mechanisms and the right skills and technology set as key to the achievement of the thematic goals of Rio+20. It is imperative that the public, private and local community sectors come together in partnerships for joint initiatives with costs and benefits for such interventions being equitably shared. Furthermore, the N-S, S-S, and other partnerships that bring developing & developed working partners together will help with technology transfer and breaking the digital divide.

More importantly, the role of developed economies (USA, Europe, Japan), emerging and fast growing economies (China, India, Brazil, South Korea, South Africa, etc), and developing economies (Africa, SIDS, etc) should be clearly defined and each 'partner' should be accountable for deliverables commensurate to their capacity to provide financial, natural capital or both. The threats to sustainability are global and the entire global community needs to take action in order to curb the unintended negative consequences through coordinated sustainable development approaches to green economic development. Another critical tier for partnerships is the multilateral international financial institutions (IFIs) that fund sustainable development programs. IFIs should ensure their investments are enabling the transition to an economy which maintains and restores ecological systems, human well being and social equity.

C. Partnership arrangements and implementation tools for successful sustainable development actions

AWF emphasizes and recommends the need for strategic partnerships that bring together actors that have complementary (not competing) competencies re: conservation and development agencies; public and private sector actors; local, national and international actors. The past has been characterized by poorly coordinated actions, and by unbalanced participation among national versus international actors. As such, it has been difficult to systematically measure the cumulative impact of these dispersed sustainable development initiatives on the environment or on poverty reduction.

AWF believes that there are now many examples of how to address the key issues of the priority green economy sectors of sustainable energy, food security and sustainable agriculture, technology transfer, climate change mitigation & adaptation, and biodiversity conservation. But existing success stories remain the exception, rather than the rule. For a complete transition to a green economy, the post- Rio+20 period must usher in an era of better coordinated and targeted financing, smart partnerships for implementation, transparent benefit sharing mechanisms.
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