Association for Defense of Nature (Prodena) and Ecosophy Foundation (EF)
  • Date submitted: 1 Nov 2011
  • Stakeholder type: Major Group
  • Name: Association for Defense of Nature (Prodena) and Ecosophy Foundation (EF)
  • Submission Document: Download
Keywords: Commission on Sustainable Development (0 hits), CSD (1 hits),

Full Submission


UNCSD Secretariat, Division for Sustainable

Development, UN-DESA.

Submission by

Association for Defense of Nature (PRODENA) Ecosophy Foundation (EF)

PRODENA and EF are Bolivian independent environmental organizations. PRODENA is the second oldest environmental organization in Bolivia, founded in 1979; it has been working for the nature for more than 3 decades. Prodena has been promoting environmental laws and policies, as well as sustainable development in Bolivia since

1990. We made proposals for the new Bolivian constitution, many of which were included in the text. Currently the focus of our work in Bolivia is demanding access to information, participation, justice, accountability, transparency, law enforcement and compliance on environmental issues. We are also working in climate change adaptation.

The Ecosophy Foundation is a new think tank that is working in the intersections between mind, culture and the environment. It deals with philosophical, religious and ethical

issues related to the environment, and it is trying to rescue and revitalize the environmental knowledge of indigenous peoples, particularly the ethno-ecological knowledge of Bolivian indigenous peoples.

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 expectations couldn?t be greater since the planet cannot wait for another 10 years of constant deterioration, species extinction and disruptions of natural processes and cycles. We need a transformational change in the way we are managing the planet. Climate change is not the just the result of increasing greenhouse emissions but of the way we have been managing (rather mismanaging) the Earth, therefore we need a very bold approach to not let the earth systems collapse.

In this sense we have the following proposals:

1. Create a Global Environmental Organization that upgrades the UNEP and that hosts the Multilateral Environmental Agreements (MEA), and other UN bodies that deal with environmental issues.

2. Approve an updated Rio Declaration or an Environmental Governance Charter that among others includes transparency, accountability, efficiency and the rights access to information, participation and justice.

3. Create Global Center of Environmental Information to collect all the environmental and climate information from the governments on a regular basses (currently this information is collected by the WB, UNEP, UNDP, among others) but is incomplete and not always updated by the governments. It should be a duty of the states to provide updated information.

The other purpose of this Center will be to connect diverse environmental data basses, and to deliver information to the public for free.

5. To establish an International Court for the Environment, where all the citizens have access.

6. A Declaration of Environmental Rights and Duties

7. The creation of a Global Ombudsman for the Environment.

Whenever violations of environmental rights and environmental destruction occurs out in developing countries, we don?t have any instance to complain, therefore we need to have the possibility to be heard at the global level.

Possible structure of the Outcome document

1. Current state of the environment (includes climate change).

2. The consequences and prospects of environmental destruction and climate change for future societies and for the world's peace,

3. Institutional architecture and governance framework for more effective enforcement and compliance of environmental laws and regulations.

4. Sectoral issues: oceans, biodiversity, climate change, energy, population, etc.

5. Funding

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?

Green economy maybe a great new paradigm to overcome environmental ills, however it is not understood nor digested in developing countries, which are suspicious of the ideas behind green economy. Many of them tend to see green economy as a Trojan horse to introduce market barriers, and impose conditionalities in developing countries. In

addition many don?t agree with the payment for environmental services. Therefore, if the discussions for Rio+20 are focused on the green economy a lot of time is going to be consumed without concrete outcomes, and no much progress is going to be achieved towards the improvement of global environmental governance. We believe that first

developed countries should show the viability of green economy, and then try to spread to the world.

Regarding the "revitalized global partnership for sustainable development" we should bear in mind that most of the Partnerships emerged of the Johannesburg Summit were not very successful, therefore it may remain in another good declaration.

Regarding IFSD, the CSD has failed in advancing SD goals. Therefore the UNEP should be upgraded in a Global Environmental Organization (GEO), because we need a powerful organization that can lead the process of transformational change. The GEO should also include the many UN bodies and Conventions (more that 700) that deal in a separate, disperse and non-effective manner with environmental issues.

The core issue should be providing world?s citizens enough tools to change the state of affairs. Despite that in developing countries the legal environmental framework has improved, the laws are often broken even by the governments when economic interests are involved, thus the environmental impacts and constraints are disregarded. According to our experience governments don?t care for the environment if don?t have enough social pressure.

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 implementation of the Rio outcomes has been very week and as a result environmental conditions have been deeply deteriorated as can be seen with global green house emissions. Therefore it is necessary to reinforce the participation of civil society organizations because the governments always tend to stand for economic gains in detriment to the environment. As a result we have seen the rising of environmental conflicts worldwide, and that the most vulnerable and poor people are the more affected.

We should move from Principles to Rights, and the Principles should become Rights to be enforceable. For instance, some of the principles of the Rio Declaration should become Rights.

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?

In our view, the most important implementation tools are: a Global Environmental Organization for the improvement of environmental governance, an International Environmental Court for the implementation and enforcement of environmental agreements, a Center for Environmental Information and an Ombudsman for the Environment.

2. 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.

To secure renewed political commitment we need a powerful environmental organization, otherwise not changes in the ground are going to be made. We don?t need more programs of action that not implemented, but rather tools for citizens to defend nature and their right to a clean environment.

On regard to climate change we cannot deal with greenhouse gasses in a separate manner since the carbon cycle works in interaction with other cycles and processes, the wiser is to not intervene the last remaining natural areas of the world. Mitigation should be included in all the natural resources management plans.

We need to realize that in a warming world it is going to be more difficult to satisfy the needs of the present and future generations, therefore what we need now is a resilient development that helps people in the developing world to overcome or not being much affected by the impacts of climate change. In the incoming years we should work resiliency as the most important tool to overcome climate change impacts

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.

Poverty eradication is a delusion in a warming world because many people in developing countries are becoming poorer due to the losses of extreme weather events. Hunger and poverty are increasing in many developing countries, and developed countries are less rich. Therefore there are fewer resources to support poor countries.

That is why we believe that the most important is to assure that people have enough tools to defend their rights, to not let the governments implement plans and projects that are harmful for the environment and people. Governments tend to respond to economic interests, but if people have more power of influence in decisions, things may change.

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.

It should be recognized that the environment is not a pillar, but the support base of our societies and economies, and therefore should be priorized over the other pillars.

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?.

We believe that the conference should focus on institutions, rights and rules for the improvement of environmental governance to deal with the deteriorating state of the planet and global warming that already compromised the satisfaction of the needs of future generations.

La Paz, Bolivia, October 31 2011

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