Russian Federation
  • Date submitted: 1 Nov 2011
  • Stakeholder type: Member State
  • Name: Russian Federation
  • Submission Document: Download
Keywords: Land degradation (1 hits),

Full Submission

The Russian Federation is presenting its submissions to the outcome document of the ?RIO+20? Conference (submissions of countries posted at

Conference outcome:

The Rio Conference is to formulate and provide to the world community a new paradigm of sustainable development, that contributes to overcoming the modern challenges ? poverty, problems of employment, limited access to basic resourses, pollution of environment, depletion of natural resources and climate change. This new paradigm is to show the interrelationship of all three pillars of sustainable development (environment, economy and social issues) and should be based on the progress in implementation the decisions of the 1992 Earth Summit and 2002 Johannesburg Conference. The Rio Conference is to agree on a list of specific goals and long term objectives up to 2030 or 2050. We also need to designate the issues related to implementation of previous decisions, accountability (periodicity/relevant indicators etc.), as well as intermediate analysis.

Outcome Document of the Conference

General overview

The Outcome Document of the Conference should give the world a new paradigm of development and demonstrate the commitment of countries to follow it.

Based on this document the plans for concrete work should be developed to achieve specific benchmarks declared in Rio (or later). The Russian Federation also proposes to adopt in Rio the Earth Chapter (developed and endorsed in 2003 by UNESCO) or Sustainable Development Chapter of (based on the Earth Chapter of 2003).

Structure ofthe Outcome Document

The Outcome Document should include:

Information on the main contemporary challenges to sustainable development (poverty, unemployment, deficit of fresh water and food, limited access to basic natural resources and wealth for many people; pollution of : environment, ofbiodiversity loss, climate change, armed conflicts, etc.).

We believe that the following as elements should be included in a new paradigm of sustainable development: change of consumption and business concept -the way of life of the 21 century society based on development of common values including a wide scale efforts to repair the accumulated environmental damage, "green economy", whilst ensuring . the world's (democratic) development.

? Information on the progress in implementation of the Johannesburg Plan ofImplementation.

? Proposals on long term development goals (2030/2050) The development and coordination of specific long term sustainable development goals (2030/2050) may require longer time, therefore, we suggest that a relevant international organization should be instructed to make a study and present to the UN its proposals using the MDGs , implementation experience up to 2015.

? Recommendations to all social groups regarding the achievement of the established goals: governments, international organizations, business community, and civil society.

? Means to achieve the goals -stakeholders, system of responsibility and incentives, assessment 'of the size of investments and founding sources.

? Proposals on indicators. Although the GGP remains a most acceptable indicator we need perhaps to have some new indicators that would in a comprehensive manner reflect the support to sustainable development, especially,.'its social and environmental components. The development and coordination of certain new indicators may require longer time, therefore, we would suggest to ' assign a relevant international organization to study and present relevant proposals to the United Nations.

? Proposals on institutional changes should be developed (on the basis of existing) global civil society networks to discuss and'elaborate the ways to address the global problems of humankind. Many spheres of humat;l activity and .international efforts related to maintaining -sustainability of human life on the planet Earth have absolutely different information "dimensions" -various and inconsistent systems of governance. Modem information media allow people from all countries (educated population) to establish a direct contact on key Issues of the world and jointly push forward the ideas of global sustainable development in a large sense.

Comments on existing proposals: roadmap of transition to green economy; framework for actions; sustainable development goals; a revitalized global partnership or other. The modern challenges to global sustainability are the deficit of fresh water, T-f:lLe'-:lmo.yemch~lenges energy, food, biodiversity loss, the growing number of natural and man-made disasters, degradation of soils, etc. Many of these problems are due to climate change. The deficit of resources will become more acute by the growth of population in the 21-th century.

The new paradigm of development must inscribe the increasing requirements of humanity into the natural planetary boundaries. Up to date we have accumulated the knowledge about the limits of climate change beyond which ,irreversible . processes may start. It is necessary to learn the "planetary boundaries" of other resources that are experiencing pressure of human activity: such as flora and fauna, ,atmospheric air, soils, water resources, etc.

It is necessary to change the modem concept of consumption -in essence:, the way of life (for the middle class). Humankind has started to live on credit from nature, i.e, consume more than nature can reproduce. The main consumers arethe most developed countries that have ensured for themselves high living standards and relevant level of consumption of resources. Therefore, the use of resources and relevant products to support basic requirements ,and relevant products consistent with basic needs and better quality of life should reduce to a minimum the use of natural resources and toxic materials as well as emission of waste and pollutants during the entire service life so as not to endanger future 'consumption by the generations to come. This should constitute the basis of the modem concept of sustainable consumption and production. The developed countries must demonstrate " their leadership in transformation toward " a new system of consumption, as well as in developing common approaches to environment assessment system and acceptable man-made. environment burden. The economic activity should promote human development, i.e. fight poverty, provide more jobs and access to education and public health, and basic vital resources (water, food, energy). The more a country moves forward on the way of economic development and social and institutional reforms the more business should be get involved in addressing the problems faced by the society. There has not been a common concept of common objectives for business and society." The leaders of business will need to have new knowledge and skills: they must know much better the needs of society and understand what actually can ensure productivity. There is a need to reformulate the objective ofbusiness: not simply to make profits but to develop a positive net effect of economic activity in the framework of sustainable development and stable growth. The new global partnership is based on the concept of common values which implies greater efficiency of agriculture, better quality of products, rational use of resources and environment protection. This means that the economic growth goes together with the solution of social and environment issues.

Major transnational companies must demonstrate their leadership in social and environmental responsibility of business through periodic reporting on the implementation of plans for increased sustainability. Uniform standards must be developed (similar to ISO standards) to· ensure transition to sustainable global economy phased for different levels of development. The governments should encourage the introduction ofnon-financial reporting standards in business practice to disclose the activity of companies in the sphere ofenvironment protection and social partnership.

In order to increase sustainability it is necessary to pay attention to reducing the vulnerability of economies and society to extreme weather conditions, natural and man-made disasters bydeveloping and improving the systems of early warning and forecast in such events. It is necessary to note the important role of modern. information technologies (Iritemet, cellular communications) in saving human hves: through prompt dissemination of information on incoming threats. It is essential to ensure mass access to these information technologies, especially at the local level and in hardly accessible regions.

Sustainable development is impossible ill situations of armed conflicts. Therefore, it is essential to use various comprehensive strategies for conflict prevention and use the methods of joint settle11?-ent of problems, environmental conflicts and other disputes. There is a need to create a global culture of tolerance, non-violence and peace. Exceptional importance should be given to the: development of moral and spiritual foundations in all social strata including the: support to inter-religion dialogue at global and regional levels.

The projection of the transition of various parts of the world (with different type of resources) to "green economy" (roadmap) should be developed in the form of several (model) complexes in the light of structural specifics of national economies and availability of relevant intellectual, managerial, natural and financial resources. A step forward should be made from optimistic scenarios and reliance on technological capacity in addressing global problems to well-calculated development options and transition from one status to another.

Views on implementation and on how to close the implementation gap. Which relevant actors are envisaged (Governments, specific major groups, UN . .system, international financial institutions, etc.).

There is no universal model of implementation of sustainable development principles since the countries vary by their level of development and potential of transition to a more sustainable path; The success in implementation of a new paradigm of sustainable.development depends on its adequate adaptation at---- national and local levels in the light of countries' specifics.

There is a need for efficient mechanism of interaction between governments, business community and civil society in implementing the new concept of sustainable development..

The .government must develop legal norms and incentives for the transition to a new path ofsustainable development.

Business, trade and investment activity are the main basis of prosperity and . peace. However, in many areas the entrepreneurial activities are quite often associated with serious negative effects such as exploitation, corruption, income inequality, as well as barriers that prevent innovation and free enterprise. Big and small business confront different problems at a regional level. Therefore, it is necessary to prepare ' and start the global process of legal .codification of recommendations to .business on responsible business practice that increases confidence and social capital and contributes .to wide scale development and sustainability ofmarkets.

-One of important functions in the new paradigm of sustainable development should be assigned to science that ensures technological progress in all areas of human activity and provides scientific justification to political and economic decisions. It is also necessary to ensure equal access to scientific results and knowledge at global, national and local levels.

An "important role in the implementation of new paradigm of sustainable development should be played by the civil society, including large social organizations, information networks and professional social policy institutions. This implies the need to promote large scale public movement in support of sustainable development as a priority of civil society and to chose this topic as a priority area ofsupport from business and governments.

During the transition to global sustainability it will be necessary to reconsider the system of coordination of the existing international organizations and institutions in order to use in the best possible way their potential and "effectively take into account their experience and data.

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?

It is necessary to note the great importance ofthe UN Global Compact which represents an association of representatives of business community .from over 100 countries of the world willing to coordinate their activity and strategies with ten generally recognized principles in the area of human rights, job relations, protection of environment and fight against corruption. By joining the Global "Compact a company declares that it shares the conviction that business practice based on universal principles contributes to greater sustainability, justice and representation at global markets, and promotes the development of prosperous and successful societies. The Rio Outcome document must call "on the major companies to join the Global 'Compact and thus contribute to sustainable development. The Global Compact should also be expanded through the involvement of small and medium size enterprises.

Setting the priorities of joint actions implies that the world community will adopt generally recognized rules of conduct and ethical code. The importance of such a document h-ad been emphasized by the 1992 UN Conference in Rio back in 1992. As the basis of Sustainable Development Charter we could use the "Earth Chatter" -. and required principles -of sustainable-development to ensure environmental integrity, social justice, democracy and peace.

Although the GDP remains -the best applicable indicator we would need perhaps to develop new indicators that reflect in an integrated manner the measures to support sustainable development, especially its social and environmental components. The development and coordination of specific new indicators of sustainable development may require more time. The Rio conference can adopt a relevant decision to develop such indicators next year in the light of experience in setting and coordinating the MDGs. These are primarily the indicators of environmental -and energy intensity (in terms of production and consumption) of economic growth, and specific indicators of the level of pollution. We also need to take into account the accumulated environmental damage, depletion of resources, Land degradation and iJ.?pact ofpollution on human health.

-The timeframe for eventual decisions of the Rio conference regarding the long-term objectives of sustainable development is up until 2030 or 2050. Specific Elements

Objective of the Conference: To secure renewed political commitment of 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. energy, food security and sustainable agriculture, technology transfer, water, oceanS, sustainable urbanization, sustainabl~ 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.

The Russian Federation proposes to examine the energy security as one of the areas of international global cooperation where all three pillars of sustainable development can be integrated. This cooperation should be developed pursuant to political decisions taken on energy security and the existing practical inputs.

"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 of a "green economy", in the context ofsustainable development and poverty eradication..

Recognizing the fact that there is no common definition of the "green economy", the Russian Federation proposes to examine the "green economy" in a wider context of sustainable social and economic development, i.e. without separating economic, environmental and social aspects of development. For example, a "green economy" in the countries with high per capita income (above 25-30 thousand dollars) -is a transition to recycling, rational consumption and reduction ofpressure on environment. For emerging economies a "green economy" -is the promotion of social stability in the framework ofhigh quality consumption (without repeating the wasteful way of development during the period' of industrialization in the 20th century). For the poorest countries -it is an opportunity to create new models of growth and production of goods and services required by the modem development.

The energy resources are critically important for improving the quality of life and expanding the new opportunities for the citizens ofthe countries ofthe world both developed and developing. No development objectives can be achieved fully without providing resources and energy to billions of people in the developing countries who currently are denied this opportunity.

The "green economy" creates not only opportunities but the risks as well the transformations can create new jobs for some and deprive others; the full scale use of new resource saving technologies requires a relevant policy of waste disposal etc. It is necessary to carefully evaluate all risks and develop the policy of transition to ' a "green economy" by minimizing the risks and optimizing investments and outputs. A particular attention should be also be paid to the issues ofprotectionofrightsofsmallindigenous peoples.

In the context of transition to a "green economy" the world community is to respect the right of countries to determine their own way of development, taking in account the country specifics, and ensure equal rights to sustainable development. The "green economy" should open new market opportunities rather than become a source of expansion for "green protectionism".

Financial assistance/investments should be provided to developing countries to develop low-carbon energy, including power generation on the basis of natural gas and renewable sources of energy, since it is known that for example the shift from coal to natural gas reduces twice as much the CO2 emissions.

The Russian Federation proposes to create a platform to study the best practices of transition to a "green economy", lessons learned and benefits, and to exchange relevant information.

Institutional framework for sustainable development: Priorities antl~ proposals for strengthening different elements of sustainable development, a~! well as those for strengthening integration of the three pillars, at multipl.~ levels -local, national, regional and international.

We are of the view that the discussion led under the UNEP auspices on its eventual institutional transformation we need to thoroughly and comprehensively examine this issue in order to primarily achieve a wide international consensus in addressing the task efficient to increase efficiency ofUNEP and fully implement its mandate.

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