- Date submitted: 1 Nov 2011
- Stakeholder type: Major Group
- Name: Asia-Pacific NGOs
- Submission Document: Download
Full SubmissionWe are occupying Seoul: Position of Asia-Pacific NGOs Major Group on Rio+20 A month ago, civil society started to occupy Wall Street. This week, we are occupying Seoul. In June, we will occupy Rio ... Recognising the right to sustainable development is a fundamental right of people. Emphasising that sustainable development must promote Equity and enhance the wellbeing of all. Further emphasising that sustainable development must be based on the protection and conservation of the natural resource base, on which life depends, not on unbridgled consumption. We call for strengthening of the holistic integration of the environment, economic and social dimensions of sustainable development. Recognising that communities together with NGOs around the world have developed numerous innovative solutions to development challenges that need to be supported with enabling enviornments to link, upscale and mainstream these efforts. Recognising that NGOs are independent and equal development actors that are inegral in decision-making processes at different levels. Stressing the importance of effective engagement of NGOs in sustainable development. We recognise and commend the commitment and efforts of a number of governments in the Asia-Pacific Region to implement Agenda 21 since 1992 throug the creation of national councils for sustainable development strategies with the active engagement of NGOs. We call upon these mechanisms to be recognized as an integral part of the national development agenda. We further call upon countries where these mechanisms exist but have lagged, to revive and strengthen them and in countries where these mechanisms do not exist, for them to be created. Sadly recognizing that governments have committed themselves to shift to the sustainable development paradigm 20 years ago, but have done little to deliver this promise. We urge that new labels such as green economy must not confuse, distract from or obscure commitments to sustainable development and that governments and the international community must instead reaffirm their commitment to sustainable development. We call for renewed political commitment to sustainable development principles adopted at Rio in 1992, namely, the precautionary principle, common but differentiated responsibilities, polluter-pays principle, the access principle (access to information, public participation, and access to justice in environmental matters), and the recognition of hte indispensable role of major groups in sustainable development. We strongly call upon governments to recognize that the current convergence of crisis should not be used as an excuse to avoid or delay the delivery of these commitments. On Green Economy Recognising that the current economic model, which promotes unsustainable consumption and production patterns, facilitates a grossly inequitable trading system, fails to eradicate proverty, assists exploitation of natural resources towards the verge of extinction, and has induced multiple crises on Earth, needs to be replaced by sustainable economies in community, local, national, regional, and international spheres. Acknowledging that green economies within sustainable societies should also ensure gender equality, democracy, improve human wellbeing, reduce environmental risks, respect the fundamental human rights of people, enhance opportunities for green, decent work and right livelihoods, and ensure that jobs and social benefits are distributed equitably among all peoples; We are conviced that green economies in the context of sustainable development and poverty eradication should be ecnomic systems that foster citizen participation; require social justice and Equity and gender equality, protection of ecosystems; creation of economic sufficiency, and that aims for the core idea that green economies enhance sustainable development and prosperity of all nations; ensure the wellbeing of all people; respect the rights, cultures, languages, and wisdowm of indigenous peoples and local communities; safeguard animal welfare and conserve biodiversity for future generations, while stressing that green economy does not replace sustainable development. We believe that partnerships to promote green economies should promote sustainable development and should nto be exploitative and opportunistic. We oppose the privatisation and commodification of nature and ecosystem functions that lead to further marginalization of cmomunities. We reject market-based mechanisms that serve as means for developed countries to avoid the delivery of commitments to deep cuts in their greenhouse gas emissions and to pass such obligations to markets. We believe that technological fixes alone will not solve environmental problems that are consequences of social and economic factors. Fundamental issues such as access, intellectual property rights (IPR), and assessment of the potential impacts of new and untested technologies before they are released in the environment and deployed commericially must be addressed in the development and transfer of technologies. On Sustainable Development and Governance Sressing that governments must recognize the existing efforts of communities and NGOs in promoting sustainable development at the national and local levels, and should support and provide platforms to mainstream adn link these efforts to have more sustained impacts on development. We call for renewed commitment of governments to implement Agenda 21 by establishing, strengthening or reviving national and local mechanisms such as multi-stakeholder councils for sustainablve development, and ensuring synergy and coherence among the differetn agencies involved in sustainable development. We call for the global institutional framework for sustainable development to ensure equitable rights and opportunities for all to enjoy sustainable development and promote wellbeing for all. We also call upon the Rio+20 process to address sustainable development governance, and not just foucs on international environmental governance that should go beyond reforming UNEP but should also involve all institutions in the environmental governance architecture. We strongly call for the building of a strong apex body on sustainable development that works at the global level and can integrate the work of disparate multilateral bodies wokring on each of the three pillars of sustainable development, including the International Monetary Fund, The World Bank and the World Trade Organisation. Options that should be explored include transforming the Commission on Sustainable Development into a Council on Sustainable Development, or establishing a UN Organization on Sustainable Development. The unifying madate of this body should be the promotion of sustainable development as a fundamental right to all. We also call upon Rio+20 to work for hte immediate establishment of a broad inclusive multi-stakeholder consultative body or network tasked with supporting the promotion and monitoring the implementation of sustainable development commitments and actions since 1992 as well as the Rio+20 resolutions. Such a body should be participatory, democratic, and have an integral multi-stakeholder character that accords civil society with equal rights and equal voice as governments. We further stress the need for a systematic monitoring of the implementation and strict enforcement of existing agreements related to sustainable development at the global and their enabling laws at the national level. New and Emerging Issues Being alarmed by the trends in Asia-Pacific in the systematic acquisition of land in least-developed and developing countries by public and private entities from food-insecure but financially-endowed states. We call for an end to this massive land grab. We call upon the specific circumstances of small island developing states in the Pacific to be recognized and fully addressed with regards to the crucial importance of marine resources management and governance necessary for the survival of the people in these islands. We further call for a ban to the dumping of wastes and toxic chemicals into the marine environment. We call for the rights and responsibilities of consumers to be recognised and promoted. We further call for the active promotion and support of sustainable fishing, paritcularly involving small-scale fishers in view of the dangerous level depletion of fisheries resources across the region. Recognising the critical importance of food sovereiggnty to address the food crisis. We call for communities to have the right to determine their patterns of food production and consumption, and famers should be able to prioritize food production for domestic consumption, where Government provides incentives to sustainable food production practices. We call for global and regional mechanisms, such a Regional Technology Observation Platforms, in evaluating the impacts of new and untested technologies must be adopted. Such mechanisms must involve communities, civil society and other actors, and provide resources towards providing adquate information and building capacity of countries and communities to assess and monitor the health, biodiversity and environmental impacts of new technologies. On Principle 10 We call on the Rio+20 conference to launch negotiations for the establishment of an international convention on Principle 10 of the Rio Declaration that deals wtih access to information, public participation and environmental justice. We further call on the Rio+20 conference to encourage the development of a regional convention on Pinciple 10, to invite interested states to accede to the Aarhus Convention adn to mandate UNEP to develop a robust program to implement the 2010 Bali Guidelines on Principle 10. Our occupation of Seoul is built on the sincerity of our efforts to live the spirit and oprtsyionslize the prinicples of sustainable development. Our decades of experiences in working with communities and offering concrete solutions in our engagements with governments are living proof that we walk the talk ...