Finnish Association for Nature Conservation (FANC)
  • Date submitted: 1 Nov 2011
  • Stakeholder type: Major Group
  • Name: Finnish Association for Nature Conservation (FANC)
  • Submission Document: Download
Keywords: Water (3 hits),

Full Submission

For a just and fair one-planet politics!

In the summer of 2011, Finnish Association for Nature Conservation ran a project targeting the nine major groups of the UN sustainable development governance to collect views on what must be achieved in the Rio+20 summit. We gathered views from the representatives of all the nine major groups as well in a seminar as in an online survey.

The proposals were presented to the Finnish parliament in a parliamentary hearing in September 2011, and they have been used as a basis for these answers.

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 starting point for the Rio+20 has to be a just one-planet politics. To get started with sustainable development and Rio+20, it's high time that we focus on the essentials: food and Water, energy, and democracy. Thus, we need the following:

- Food and clean Water for all. The poorest fifth of the world needs all our support in securing the basic necessities of life for themselves.

- The basic needs of the people must be guaranteed. The consumption of the natural resources will not be sustainable, until at least a basic safety net for the people in the global south can be provided. A social security system that fulfills at least the basic needs would probably curb population growth and the use of natural resources.

- The on-going mass extinction must be stopped by 2020 and a carbon neutral society created by 2050. Apparently, the first steps taken in Johannesburg in 2002 are not enough. This work needs to continue in Rio in 2012.

- Energy consumption must fall heavily in the industrialized countries. Reducing emissions is not enough, because energy consumption produces also indirect emissions. To lower the environmental impacts, the energy consumption of the richest fifth of the world must be made reasonable at once.

- From the power of capital to the power of people. Transition from the power of capital to the power of people is a prerequisite for a sustainable future. The poorest must be given the power to decide on the use of the world's resources, too. Instead of prioritizing the growth of the capital we must prioritize the well-being of the weakest.

More concretely:

- The developed countries must acknowledge their ecological debt and stop adding to it. The citizens in these countries must be directed to adopting a less consuming lifestyle.

- A convention on the use of natural resources and a strong international panel on natural resources is needed. Annual quotas for resource use and emissions and a global environmental tax on energy should be implemented.

- It is necessary to establish the United Nations Environment Organization (UNEO), an International environmental court, and a Council for future generations, and to promote the UN Commission on Sustainable Development to a Council, like the Human Rights Council. Taking the environmental crisis and the well-being of future generations seriously requires a new kind of a strong and democratic international governance.

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?

The society must free itself from the obsession of economic growth, because an indefinitely growing GDP is incompatible with environmental sustainability. Green and service-intensive economy can be sustainable only when its material basis and natural resource consumption are shrinking globally. We need:

- Global progressive environmental tax. We need progressive environmental taxes in order to promote social security, equality and environmental protection. These taxes function as effective economic incentives and generate revenue for the state. Income tax works well for that purpose, but energy taxes and luxury taxes on consumption need to be developed further.

- Global basic income for women. A basic income of two dollars a day for every woman and girl would be one of the most efficient ways to increase well-being and curb population growth.

- Abolition of harmful subsidies and arms race. Cutting fossil fuel subsidies, indirect subsidies to nuclear power, and excessive armament would release hundreds of billions of euros for investments in a sustainable future.

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.);

- Restricting the influence of multinational corporations. Twenty years after Rio, the climate emissions are still growing, the extinction of species is accelerating, and global economic inequality is higher than ever. The single most important reason to this is the strong opposition of the multinational corporations to the implementation of the Rio agenda. In the future, the lobbying by corporations and their interest groups has to be transparent. The connection of corporations to the decision-making process has to be communicated clearly to the citizens, e.g., in the form of an open and mandatory register.

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? " Protecting the rights of civil activists. In many countries, activists working for a sustainable and just future are being persecuted for their actions, at worst even murdered. Protecting civil activism and the rights of civil activists is a fundamental task of all the states that must not be neglected.


(For additional points, see the joint proposal submitted by the Finnish Service Center for Development Cooperation, the "Finnish NGOs' Contribution to Rio+20 Bureau Compilation Document")

Mr. Jouni Nissinen

Head of environmental protection

Finnish Association for Nature Conservation

cell. +358-40-828 1881

About us:

The Finnish Association for Nature Conservation (FANC) is the largest membership-based environmental non-governmental organization in Finland. FANC has over 30,000 individual members in almost 200 local member associations in 15 district organizations all over the country. It has similar but bigger sister organizations in the other Nordic countries Sweden, Denmark, and Norway. FANC works on nature conservation and environmental policy on the municipal, regional, national, and EU levels. Important fields of work are forest protection, climate change prevention and sustainable energy policy, mire and Water protection, sustainable production and consumption and ecological fiscal reform, management and protection of cultural landscapes, land use issues and protection of endangered species, and waste policy and chemicals.

FANC is a member in several international coalitions, such as Coalition Clean Baltic (CCB), European Environmental Bureau (EEB), World Conservation Union (IUCN), OCEAN2012, Climate Action Network (CAN), Green Budget Europe (GBE), Taiga Rescue Network (TRN), and Northern Alliance for Sustainability (ANPED). More information:
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