After attending the recent PrepCom II in New York, Stakeholder Forum has produced the following observations and updates:
Participation increases – there were many more civil society actors at the PrepCom than there have been at any previous meetings, including a number of larger international NGOs. Many NGOs were ‘intelligence gathering’ rather than lobbying, but it was a good opportunity for networking and alliance-building.
Preparatory process expands – in response to the widely-held view that the amount of time for the preparatory process was inadequate, a number of additional days have been added to the process. The PrepCom adopted a draft decision that had been presented by the Bureau, which added the following meetings:
- December 2012 – 2nd Intercessional Meeting in mid-December, to replace intesessional previously planned for 14th – 16th November
- January 2012 – Three day Meeting (3 additional days)
- February, March, April 2012 – one week within each month for negotiation – ‘informal informals’ (three additional weeks)
To view the draft Bureau decision that was adopted, click here
Earth Negotiations Bulletin (ENB) have also covered this in their report from the PrepCom on page 6.
Governments announce contributions to the preparatory process – to complement the preparatory process and to in part compensate for the lack of preparatory meetings between now and the end of the year, a number of governments have announced that they will organize meetings with government representatives and experts on particular issues. For example the German government is hosting a meeting on ‘The Water, Energy and Food Security Nexus’, which will take place in Bonn from 16th -18th November (www.water-energy-food.org). The government of Monaco has announced a meeting on oceans from 28th – 30th November.
Global Sustainability Panel
The Global Sustainability Panel is gaining momentum, as it met recently from 23rd – 25th February in Cape Town, South Africa. It will report at the end of the year, and though Rio+20 is not its sole focus, its recommendations will be highly relevant to the process. The fact that the Rio+20 intersessional, originally planned for November, has been shifted to mid December perhaps indicates a desire to allow more space to accommodate the panel’s recommendations. Based on informal conversations with Janos Pasztor, head of the Panel Secretariat, the intention is for the panel to approach ‘bigger picture’ issues that are relevant to but not defined by existing processes (UNFCCC, CBD, MDGs etc). The Panel will focus heavily on poverty eradication as a major challenge for achieving sustainable development, and is also interested in macro-economic implications of the green economy.
On 16th March an interactive dialogue took place at the UN General Assembly with members of the panel, and further details may be available shortly. UN NGLS is also conducting a consultation with civil society to gather inputs and submissions for the panel. The deadline is 28th March, so the turnaround is very tight and the opportunity for influence is slightly limited. More info in general about the Panel and the NGLS consultation is available here.
The EU is conducting a public consultation on Rio+20, with a deadline of 4th April 2011.
The questions cover achievements of sustainable development summits to date, the EU's record on sustainable development, the green economy in the context of poverty eradication, new sectoral initiatives, the contribution of ODA and the contribution of innovative financing schemes.