28 April 1997
OVERALL REVIEW AND APPRAISAL OF THE IMPLEMENTATION OF AGENDA 21
Letter dated 8 April 1997 from the Permanent Representative
of Brazil to the United Nations addressed to the Secretary-
I wish to inform you that the Rio +5 Forum, an important
international event related to the review of the implementation of
Agenda 21 and also to the informal preparation of the coming special
session of the General Assembly on this issue, was held in Rio de
Janeiro from 13 to 19 March 1997.
Since Brazil was the host country of the event, I would greatly
appreciate it if the attached summary of the results of the
Forum** could be issued as a document of the Assembly at its
nineteenth special session.
(Signed) Celso L. N. AMORIM
Permanent Representative of
Brazil to the United Nations
**** Attached in the language of submission only.
Summary of the results of the Rio +5 Forum
1. This summary of the results of the Rio +5 Forum does not purport
to be comprehensive. It represents the attempt by the Chairman to
present the highlights of the Forum rather than his own personal
views, and is supplemented by the more detailed reports that are
2. As a contribution to the fifth anniversary review of the results
of the Earth Summit mandated by the General Assembly, the Earth
Council, in cooperation with a broadly representative group of other
organizations and stakeholders, convened the Rio +5 Forum in Rio de
Janeiro from 13 to 19 March 1997. The Forum was honoured to have the
participation of President Fernando Henrique Cardoso of Brazil as
Honourary Chairman, and the full support of his Government, as well as
that of the State and the City of Rio de Janeiro and non-governmental
organizations/business and other leaders of Brazilian society.
Funding and substantive support from a number of other governmental
and non-governmental sources made an indispensable contribution to the
3. The theme of the Rio +5 Forum was "Moving from Agenda to Action".
It was the culmination of an ambitious year-long process designed to
revitalize the sustainable development movement by building on the
experience gained and lessons learned from the successes achieved
since the Earth Summit and seek ways to remove the obstacles to action
that continue to impede progress.
4. At the Earth Summit, countries of the world, most of them
represented by their principal leaders, adopted a number of accords,
principally the Rio Declaration on Environment and Development, Agenda
21 as the programme for giving effect to it, framework conventions on
climate change and biological diversity, and a statement on forestry
principles and laid the foundations for the United Nations Convention
to Combat Desertification in those Countries Experiencing Serious
Drought and/or Desertification, Particularly in Africa. In addition,
at the Global Forum, a number of "treaties" were agreed expressing the
commitments of various sectors of civil society.
5. Five years later, it is apparent that despite these commitments
and the accompanying publicity, the basic concept of sustainable
development is not yet well understood and the policies and structures
required to implement the Earth Summit agreements are still not in
place. The good news is that there is a great deal of good news; the
bad news is that there is not enough of it. Despite progress made on
many fronts as evidenced at Rio +5, the world community has still not
made the fundamental transition to a development pathway that will
provide the human community with a sustainable and secure future.
Environmental deterioration continues and the forces that drive it
6. One of the major impediments to more progress is the fact that
many of the organizations and individuals working for sustainability
in their own communities and sectors continue to work largely in
isolation from one another. Rio +5 was designed to bring together a
representative group of these "actors", to help forge new links and
alliances among them across disciplines, sectors, and institutional
and national boundaries so that their successes can be multiplied and
they can combine efforts to remove and overcome barriers to the
achievement of sustainable development.
7. In preparation for Rio +5, the Earth Council invited a broadly
representative cross-section of stakeholders with expertise and
involvement in sustainable development action to review their own
experience and submit papers based on that experience on specific
topics as background for the Forum and a contribution to the overall
fifth anniversary review process. As it would not have been feasible
to make participation in the Rio +5 Forum comprehensive, every effort
was made to make it as representative as possible of key civil society
actors and constituencies.
8. Parallel with this, Rio +5 partner organizations cooperated to set
up a series of national and international multi-stakeholder
consultations. This process produced more than 70 special focus
reports and 80 reports from national and regional consultations,
providing a rich and diverse source of information about progress, and
lack of progress, in implementing the Earth Summit agreements, lessons
learned from these experiences and crucial factors that drive and
hinder implementation of sustainability. Thus, Rio +5 was not simply
another meeting, but the focal point of a process designed to use this
fifth anniversary review occasion as an opportunity to revitalize the
action process, produce new alliances for action among civil society
stakeholders and help stimulate renewed impetus to action on the part
of Governments and intergovernmental organizations.
9. Against this background, the International Steering Committee for
Rio +5, through the Earth Council, brought together in Rio de Janeiro
some 500 knowledgeable and committed people from all parts of the
world for six days of intensive plenary and workshop sessions.
National Councils for Sustainable Development, of which some 100 have
been established since the Earth Summit, constituted a primary
constituency for the Forum and made an especially important
contribution to it.
10. Participants brought with them an enormous range of experience in
their national councils, in community-based organizations, local
authorities, business and industry, science, technology and research
institutes, non-governmental organization networks, financial
institutions, United Nations development agencies, environmental
organizations, private investors, philanthropic organizations, and
values and educational groups. During the pre-Forum activities and at
the Forum itself the Rio +5 process generated a rich harvest of action
experiences and plans from many stakeholders featuring innovative and
effective strategies to integrate the economic, social and
environmental dimensions of sustainable development. The results
constitute a combination of new insights and reinforcement of past
recommendations that have not been fully or adequately carried out, as
well as new ideas and recommendations. There was a particular focus
on the governance structures, legal and policy frameworks, financial
support, and education and consultative processes required to
translate promising ideas into action.
11. The Rio +5 process was admittedly a complex and demanding one.
This was a deliberate attempt to recognize that the issues we must
address if we are to succeed in the transition to sustainable
development are intrinsically complex and systemic in nature, and if
we are to deal with them effectively our action and consultative
processes must reflect that reality. The Rio +5 process was designed
as an experiment in doing this, providing the framework for viewing on
an integrated basis the linkages among the wide range of issues that
must be managed interactively to produce sustainable development and
dialogue among leading actors in respect of these issues. As
consensus already exists at a general level on many key issues, the
Forum concentrated on the diversity of perspectives and actions by
various stakeholders. Its principal outputs were the substantive,
in-depth insights, affirmations and recommendations emerging from the
pre-Forum activities and the Forum workshops, the practical action
alliances that were developed as a result of the process and the
inputs to the deliberations of Governments that are reflected in the
report of Rio +5, which is available together with the related
documents to which reference has been made. These documents and the
proceedings of Rio +5 are now available on the Earth Council's
Internet Web site.
12. A copy of the summary version of the report Subsidizing
Unsustainable Development - Undermining the Earth with Public Funds,
prepared by the Institute for Research on Public Expenditure of the
Netherlands commissioned by the Earth Council, with the support of the
Government of the Netherlands, has recently been released and is also
13. Some of the major conclusions, actions by stakeholders and
recommendations to Governments that emerged from the Rio +5 Forum are
A. Major conclusions
14. There is a critical need for greater multi-stakeholder
participation to integrate the social, economic and ecological
dimensions of sustainable development into specific policies,
programmes and actions.
15. Sustainable development is still predominantly the domain of
environmental ministries. Other government departments, particularly
those dealing with economic and social policy, must become involved.
This has important implications for the Commission on Sustainable
Development, which has made notable progress but needs to include more
representatives of finance and economic ministries.
16. The principal driving forces of economic activity - unsustainable
patterns of production and consumption in industrialized countries and
population growth in developing countries - are still the major
contributors to our current unsustainable course. North American
participants declared that their current production and patterns are
morally and ecologically unsustainable.
17. There is a need to address the fundamental ethical imperatives of
sustainable development through the Earth Charter. A firm commitment
on the part of all nations and peoples to a new integrated ethical
vision is essential if humanity is to achieve the goal of
sustainability and ensure the well-being of people and the larger
community of life on Earth.
18. There is a need to make the difficult transition from managing
sectoral issues to integrated management systems.
19. Governments are currently subsidizing unsustainable development
($700 billion a year in energy, agriculture and water alone). Large
amounts of financial resources could become available for supporting
sustainability if harmful subsidies are removed and positive
incentives for sustainable development provided.
20. The information revolution is creating a new kind of
impoverishment (Africa's capacity for electronic communication is
growing at 6 per cent a year while the rate in Asia and Europe is
about 20 per cent).
21. International accords are in danger of becoming external
interventions unrelated to the organic needs of national and local
communities in developing countries.
22. There are many successful cases of sustainable development
practices which must be multiplied.
23. Local Agenda 21 efforts need to be better integrated with national
Agenda 21 frameworks for sustainable development.
24. Private philanthropy and private investment, which are now the
main source of development resources, must be better focused and
integrated in an efficient delivery system for sustainable
25. The current United Nations system is not able to enforce
compliance with international accords, which must be more deeply
rooted in local and national support.
B. Major actions and affirmations by stakeholders
26. Agreement was reached at the first meeting of the Earth Charter
Commission on a "benchmark" draft Earth Charter to be used as the
basis for extensive dialogue and consultations by people and
organizations throughout the world to produce a "people's" Earth
Charter, which would be submitted to the United Nations for
appropriate recognition and action by Governments in the year 2000.
It builds on the Declarations of Stockholm and Rio and the many other
processes that have produced relevant ethical statements, particularly
the Covenant of the World Conservation Union. A copy of this
benchmark draft and summary report of the Earth Charter Commission
meeting is available.
27. It is encouraging to note that World Environment Day celebrations
in Seoul on this anniversary year will focus especially on the issue
of environmental ethics.
28. All participants affirmed their commitment to ensuring the
mainstreaming of gender issues, full participation of youth in all
sustainable development processes as well as special measures to
ensure the participation of indigenous peoples and the mobilization of
support for the issues of particular concern to them.
29. Participants affirmed the priority that must be accorded to
eliminating the dire and debilitating poverty that continues to
afflict so many of the world's people and to the incorporation of
specific measures to ensure this in sustainable development policies
30. The nearly 70 consultations organized by civil society actors in
partnership with Governments (in most cases National Councils for
Sustainable Development or similar multi-stakeholder groups) produced
a number of specific affirmations and recommendations for national and
local sustainable development, including the following:
(a) Commitment by the President of the World Bank and the
Administrator of the United Nations Development Programme in support
of civil society participation in sustainable development through
National Councils for Sustainable Development;
(b) Affirmation by the World Travel and Tourism Council, in
collaboration with the World Tourism Organization and the Earth
Council, of their Agenda 21 for the travel and tourism industry;
(c) Affirmation by the World Federation of Engineering
Organizations of their commitment to integrate and support sustainable
development principles in their professional work, complemented by
their report on the engineers' response to sustainable development;
(d) On the initiative of Energy 21, initiation of a campaign to
enlist at least 1 million communities worldwide in programmes to
improve energy efficiency by 25 per cent or more by the year 2001;
(e) Initiation of a process for improved consultation and
cooperation among governmental and private donors to provide new and
more effective financial support for local and national sustainable
(f) Development of a framework and enhanced linkages to
facilitate cooperation and consultation among the growing network of
National Councils for Sustainable Development and the establishment
and strengthening of regional alliances, as for example in Central
America and the Southern Cone countries of South America and in Asia
as a parallel forum to the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation Forum;
(g) Examples from the World Business Council for Sustainable
Development of progress by business in practical actions to implement
sustainable development and affirmation of its commitment to continued
progress as evidenced by the signing at Rio +5 of a memorandum of
agreement between the World Business Council for Sustainable
Development and the United Nations Development Programme;
(h) Affirmation by the International Road Transport Union of the
commitment of its members to a sustainable development charter based
on Agenda 21;
(i) Agreement signed in Rio de Janeiro between community-based
initiatives of the Joint Institute for Social Aid (IMAS), located in
Costa Rica, and the Earth Council;
(j) Affirmation of civil society support for the United Nations
Environment Programme as a basis for a strengthened world
environmental organization within the United Nations with a status
equivalent to an international economic and trade organization;
(k) Affirmation of the value and importance of continuing on a
periodic basis, global consultations among civil society actors for
sustainable development building on the Rio +5 experience and the
proposal made by the Mayor of Rio de Janeiro for the establishment of
a Rio forum.
C. Recommendations to Governments and others
31. Specific recommendations for implementing sustainability emerged
from the working sessions at the Rio +5 Forum. Like the
recommendations for managing the various subsystems of sustainable
development that were submitted in more than 70 technical papers and
80 national and subregional consultations, they were based on the
experience of attempting to implement sustainability.
32. A primary need identified by the Forum is to provide better
mechanisms and policy instruments for translating the agreements
reached at Rio and subsequent experience and recommendations into
effective action at local, national and sectoral levels. They must be
transformed into a more coherent and consistent set of policies, legal
frameworks, fiscal and budgetary processes, institutional mechanisms,
and communication and educational programmes. To support the
establishment and strengthening of these mechanisms, the following is
a summary of the principal recommendations made:
(a) That the United Nations and Governments take note of and lend
support to the civil society Earth Charter process. The Earth Council
Commission, at its first meeting, agreed on a "benchmark" Earth
Charter draft to be a focal point for the extensive dialogue and
consultations that will now be undertaken by civil society groups
throughout the world;
(b) That Governments facilitate and support formation of
multi-stakeholder mechanisms to develop local Agendas 21;
(c) In particular, that Governments support the further
establishment and strengthening of National Councils for Sustainable
Development and similar mechanisms to develop and implement national
Agendas 21 that link local with national sustainability actions and
contribute to regional and global cooperation;
(d) That Governments and international organizations support the
establishment by National Councils for Sustainable Development of
regional forums to contribute to the incorporation of sustainable
development measures in regional trade and investment accords;
(e) That international development agencies and financial
institutions develop new and more effective delivery systems to ensure
local and national sustainability and the democratic and transparent
use of resources;
(f) That despite current budgetary austerity, donor Governments
and agencies provide new and additional concessional funding required
to support the transition to sustainable development and the
implementation of Agenda 21 by developing countries, particularly the
(g) That the Global Environment Facility be replenished at a
higher level with an expanded mandate;
(h) That the United Nations and its Member States provide full
and strong support to the United Nations Environment Programme and to
building on its foundations a world environment organization with more
effective monitoring, assessment and early warning functions as the
bridge between science, policy and international law in the
environment field, the principal source of the environmental dimension
of the sustainable development nexus and the work of the Commission on
Sustainable Development, with a status and strength equivalent to that
of the international economic and trade organizations. The Nairobi
Declaration provides a promising starting point for this and the
measures at the resumed session of the Governing Council of the United
Nations Environment Programme to establish new mechanisms to carry out
its governance functions should also prove to be a positive step in
(i) That the General Assembly make provision for appropriate
participation in its deliberative and negotiating processes to all
relevant major stakeholders which can contribute to the formation of
international accords and facilitate support for their national and
(j) That industrialized countries agree at the forthcoming
meetings of the Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on
Climate Change to reduce their carbon dioxide emissions by 20 per cent
from 1990 levels by the year 2005;
(k) That corporations be more accountable to the communities in
which they operate as well as to society in general;
(l) That Governments initiate a negotiating process to establish
a global framework for the regulation of international capital flows;
(m) That Governments agree to review and reorient the system of
incentives and subsidies by which they motivate the economic behaviour
of corporations and citizens to eliminate subsidies and other
incentives that encourage and support unsustainable development
practices, particularly in respect of energy, transport, agriculture
and water, and provide positive incentives for the achievement of
The Rio +5 process yielded a number of accomplishments, examples of
which are listed below:
1. Local/national sustainability
þ Nearly 70 consultations organized by civil society in partnership with
Governments (in most cases National Councils for Sustainable Development
or similar multi-stakeholder groups) made specific recommendations for
national and local sustainable development.
þ All participants affirmed their commitment to ensuring the mainstreaming
of gender issues, full participation of youth in all sustainable
development processes, as well as special measures to ensure the
participation of indigenous peoples and the mobilization of support for
the issues of particular concern to them.
þ Commitment by the President of the World Bank and the Administrator of
the United Nations Development Programme to support civil society
participation in National Councils for Sustainable Development.
þ Initiation of a process for improved consultation and cooperation among
governmental and private donors to provide new and more effective
support for local and national sustainable development initiatives.
þ Publication of the results of an extensive consultation process carried
out for Rio +5 by the Brazilian Non-Governmental Organization Forum.
þ Agreement between community-based initiatives of the Joint Institute for
Social Aid (IMAS), located in Costa Rica, and the Earth Council.
2. Regional sustainability
þ Consolidation of a growing network, currently comprising 71 National
Councils for Sustainable Development, making use of the opportunity
presented by Rio +5 to form regional alliances for sustainable
development such as strengthening of the Central American alliance for
sustainable development. An NGO-initiated alliance for sustainable
development among the Southern Cone countries of South America.
þ Commitment of National Councils for Sustainable Development of the
Central and Eastern European region to create an alliance for
sustainable development to facilitate multi-stakeholder participation in
the countries that are still not involved in the process of developing
þ An NGO-initiated agreement to organize a civil society national council
for sustainable development forum in Asia as a parallel forum to the
Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation Forum.
3. Global sustainability
þ More than 20 key organizations have committed to conduct a widespread
consultation on the Earth Charter draft. An Earth Charter Commission
has been established and a draft Earth Charter prepared for review and
þ Participants affirmed the priority that must be accorded to eliminate
the dire debilitating poverty that continues to afflict so many of the
world's people and to the incorporation of specific measures to ensure
this priority in sustainable development policies and practices.
þ Agenda 21 for the travel and tourism industry, affirmed by the World
Travel and Tourism Council, in collaboration with the World Tourism
Organization and the Earth Council, was endorsed by workshop
þ The World Federation of Engineering Organizations pledged to integrate
and support sustainable development principles in accomplishing their
work. This complemented their report on the engineers' response to
þ An energy non-governmental organization, Energy 21, produced in-depth
research supporting the vital role sustainable energy use must play in
achieving sustainability. It also initiated a campaign for 1 million
communities worldwide to improve energy efficiency by at least
25 per cent or to substitute environmentally friendly solutions for
conventional energy, by the year 2001.
þ The World Business Council for Sustainable Development summarized its
actions to implement sustainability in the report Signals of Change:
Business Progress Towards Sustainable Development. In addition, a
memorandum of agreement between the World Business Council for
Sustainable Development and the United Nations Development Programme was
þ Affirmation by the International Road Transport Union of the commitment
of its members to a sustainable development charter based on Agenda 21.
þ Affirmation of civil society support for the United Nations Environment
Programme as a basis for a strengthened world environmental organization
within the United Nations with a status equivalent to an international
economic and trade organization.
þ Affirmation of the value and importance of continuing, on a periodic
basis, global consultations among civil society actors for sustainable
development building on the Rio +5 Forum and the proposal made by the
Mayor of Rio de Janeiro for the establishment of a Rio forum.
þ Initiation of discussions on an ombudsman-like function for sustainable
development based on an in-depth study tabled at the Forum.
MANAGING SYSTEMS FOR SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT
At the local level
þ Make the links clear between health, poverty eradication and sustainable
development strategies within the local Agenda 21 process.
þ Ensure the affordability of basic services, including energy, water and
transportation, and use economic instruments to discourage the wasteful
and unsustainable use of these resources.
þ Fund participatory research to define and clarify sustainable
development and identify social, economic and environmental problems and
responses at the community level.
þ Develop local strategies to assist migrants, the urban poor and other
marginalized groups to adapt themselves to their new urban environments.
þ Integrate science and traditional and indigenous knowledge for local
management of sustainable development.
þ Create a social development fund.
þ Establish mechanisms to involve youth at the school, neighbourhood and
local government level to contribute new ideas to the government process
while educating young people about their social and environmental
þ Fund mass media campaigns to promote responsible consumption and
sustainable living to counteract advertising that stresses consumerism
as synonymous with development, progress and achievement.
þ Develop new methodologies to identify common interests as an alternative
to solving problems in an adversarial way.
Ecosystems and natural resources
þ Involve community organizations in the management of national parks and
other protected areas.
þ Support local people to carry out biodiversity inventories and
remunerate the holders of traditional knowledge for their collaboration
in protection and sustainable use of biodiversity.
þ Monitor and publicize local sources of pollution.
þ Create multi-stakeholder bodies for local land-use planning, including a
monitoring and evaluation component, and link this to planning at the
national level particularly in natural resource areas such as mining,
forestry, fisheries and agriculture.
þ Seek out new opportunities for community-managed sustainable ecotourism
ensuring that the local inhabitants receive a significant share of the
benefits. Implement Agenda 21 for travel and tourism.
þ Use non-governmental organizations to channel government and external
donor funding, including national and international philanthropy, into
local development programmes.
þ Focus municipal development programme assistance on capacity-building
for municipal finance.
þ Develop small micro and medium-sized enterprise credit programmes
including micro-credit banks based on indigenous knowledge, with
private, public and donor funding that supports economically and
environmentally viable micro-projects at the community level.
þ Develop mechanisms to encourage business to reinvest in local
þ Ensure consumer protection and establish legal mechanisms to make
institutions liable for the environmental damages that they cause
þ Strengthen the financing and revenue-generating capacities of local
þ Establish international protocols among local governments for energy
efficiency and waste minimization.
þ Campaign for 1 million communities worldwide to improve energy
efficiency by at least 25 per cent.
þ Strengthen the financing and revenue-generating capacities of local
þ Create partnerships between small-scale farmers, women producers and
local organizations to achieve sustainable agriculture and food security
and encourage diversity of local production.
þ Refocus agriculture subsidies to provide incentives for sustainable
agriculture practices and to discourage high-input farming.
þ Develop programmes to ensure that local and community producers receive
a fair share of the proceeds of regional and international trade.
þ Build capacity for subsidies and small-scale farmers, particularly women
producers, to enhance their opportunities for achieving sustainable
livelihoods, including access to credit.
þ Review and revise local land-use controls in order to protect
agricultural lands and assets.
Science and technology
þ Form North-South and South-South community partnerships within the
context of local Agenda 21 strategies to share unique knowledge and
technologies of all cultures and societies.
þ Integrate the Habitat Agenda into local Agenda 21 action plans.
þ Design, build and renew sustainable habitats with services such as
access to clean water and primary health care.
þ Establish local recycling and solid liquid waste minimization
þ Change parking and tax policies to favour the use of public transport
and an increase in the use of low-emission vehicles in the transport of
goods within and between cities.
þ Encourage partnerships between Governments at all levels with civil
þ Support women's role in human settlements, development and management.
þ Support the provisions of micro-lending for shelter improvement.
þ Support more equitable access to land to enable the poor to participate
in the creation of their own shelter.
þ Extend basic urban services to informal settlements.
þ Support capacity-building and technical assistance.
þ Establish and monitor local targets for environmental health in cities
and towns, especially in low-income areas.
Information and communication
þ Enable communities to take advantage of information and communication
technologies in order to achieve local sustainable development goals.
þ Establish networks for the dissemination of effective policies,
technologies and approaches to local sustainable development.
þ Make an inventory of sustainable development success stories and use
local media to publicize them.
þ Collect complete technical and financial information about ongoing
community projects in a data bank and make it available to local
authorities, community groups and non-governmental organizations looking
to start their own sustainable development projects or programmes.
þ Use mass media programming and advertising in campaigns to raise public
awareness about sustainable development.
United Nations agencies, the World Bank, bilateral donors/philanthropy
foundations and the Earth Council should prepare a project to undertake an
integrated review in selected countries of local, subnational and national
legal and fiscal frameworks in order to support the implementation of local
sustainable development strategies.
At the national level
Ecosystems and natural resources
þ Shift taxation from incomes and payrolls to overuse of natural resources
to fill budget shortfalls and move societies towards frill-cost pricing
and ecologically sound corporate and individual behaviour.
þ Incorporate ecological footprint approach as natural capital accounts to
complement gross domestic product, documenting ecological risks and
þ Use a planning approach that links environment and development; conduct
environmental impact assessments to determine sustainability of projects
at the national level.
þ Develop multi-agency programmes to address specific environmental
Economic development and financial systems
þ Reform economic incentive/subsidies that promote unsustainable
practices, especially in energy, water, road transport and agriculture.
þ Eliminate wasteful and/or harmful subsidies and incentives.
þ Adopt a set of uniform sustainability indicators at the national level,
e.g., Bellagio principles, as the key elements of a project's credit
þ Mobilize national and international philanthropy and charitable
organizations in support of sustainable development.
þ Set up mechanisms to facilitate access of non-governmental
organizations, community-based organizations and local authorities to
available national and international funding sources.
þ Promote win-win strategies by investing in people, particularly women,
to promote efficient use of resources.
þ Create national environmental funds using government-backed bonds.
þ Tax individuals and industry based on the size of their greenhouse gas
þ Integrate sustainable development principles in national education
curricula at all levels, identify and support programmes for
incorporating sustainable livelihoods into mainstream employment
þ Involve consumers in certification of the environmental quality of
products and bring civil society inputs into the setting of national
standards for certification.
þ Create and administer a national people's Earth fund to serve as a
central conduit, performing supportive functions and promoting an
exchange of mutual assistance among similar community-level friends.
þ Collect statistics for early warning of environmental health problems.
þ Identify and publicize national sources of persistent organic pollutants
and other toxic dangers.
þ Include the concept of sustainable development in negotiations on social
security and employment.
þ Incorporate land and gender into national policy structures.
þ Raise fossil fuel prices to reflect the frill cost of problems caused by
motor vehicles, e.g., pollution, accidents and congestion.
þ Suppress asymmetrical subsidies, soft loans, tax breaks and other
incentives for conventional and nuclear fuels.
þ Include external costs in planning for any energy investment.
þ Shift towards environmentally safe, efficient and cost-effective energy
sources using, in particular, renewable and clean technologies.
þ Implement energy-efficiency programmes together with all supply-side
þ Negotiate a legally binding agreement at Kyoto in December 1997 to
address the threat of climate change, including clear and viable targets
and timetables for the reduction of carbon dioxide emissions.
Science and technology
þ Set up a database for results of past research on science and technology
for sustainable development.
þ Remove impediments to the sharing of environmentally superior
technologies and build capacity for technological adaptation.
þ Create environmental technology investment corporations.
þ Develop low-cost and integrated housing programmes offering long-term
credit to families and interest rates lower than the market and
according to family income.
þ Encourage better governance and management of human settlements.
þ Encourage the development and use of local building materials.
þ Encourage the development of best practices and enable the sharing of
þ Encourage the development of indicators and benchmarks to allow for the
monitoring and evaluation of projects.
Information and communication
þ Invest in the Internet capacity as the most economical way of narrowing
the information gap between rich and poor.
þ Use the Internet and mass media programming and advertising in campaigns
to raise public awareness about sustainable development.
þ Reinforce civil society's leadership role in the effective use of
information and communication technology for sustainable development.
At the regional level
Ecosystems and natural resources
þ Enter partnerships to interpret and apply global environmental accords
in the regional context.
þ Strengthen environmental standards and ensure their effective
implementation throughout a region.
þ Take a bioregional approach to ecosystem management, especially for
critical transboundary issues like water and nomadic livestock systems.
Economic development and financial systems
þ Research and publicize the adverse impact of regional trade agreements
and ensure effective people's participatory decision-making,
transparency and effective monitoring of all aspects of regional trade
þ Impose effective constraints, including a code of conduct, on the
operations of transnational corporations to ensure their accountability
and responsibility to the people of the region.
þ Ensure that regional trade agreements have the mandate and institutional
mechanisms to ensure sustainable development.
þ Create a rural women's fund supported by the African Development Bank
and the Inter-Arab Bank.
þ Consolidate regional planning in relation to the pardon and/or exchange
of debt negotiated in previous agreements, particularly the Heavily
Indebted Poor Countries Debt Initiative which permits an 80 per cent
reduction in debt if sustainable development is undertaken.
At the global level
þ Improve the effectiveness of the implementation of global accords
through education, training and enhanced access to information.
þ Use clear and precise language in international agreements to avoid
ambiguity in interpretation and the resultant delay in implementation.
þ Support quality environmental journalism to strengthen implementation of
sustainable development global accords.
þ Strengthen collaboration among developing and industrialized country
non-governmental organizations for implementation of sustainable
development global accords.
þ Eliminate duplication of programmes and activities among international
secretariats for sustainable development global accords.
þ Focus attention on climate change mitigation as a priority by calling
upon Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate
Change for a 20 per cent reduction in carbon dioxide emissions by 2005
for industrialized countries (from 1990 levels). Those countries should
also adopt financial mechanisms for greenhouse gas offsets.
þ Assess efforts by the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and
Development to adopt a multilateral agreement on investment with a view
to ensuring that new rules for promoting foreign direct investment do
not undermine legitimate environmental and sustainable development
policies at the national, regional and international levels.
þ Promote sustainable development impact assessments by coalitions of
non-governmental organizations and industry of the implementation and
further elaboration of the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade.
þ Ensure that the social and economic benefits associated with the
implementation of the Convention on Biological Diversity are directed
towards the world's poor and to the creation of genetic banks,
particularly in situ, for future generations.
þ Conduct public consultation with regard to the local and international
implications of implementing international agreements and accords.
þ Hold an annual international forum at the United Nations to facilitate
the genuine participation of civil society, Governments and business to
review and monitor progress in the implementation of Agenda 21.
þ Support and contribute to the implementation of the recommendations of
the major United Nations conferences.
þ Ensure participation of representatives of civil society as observers
and providers of expertise in the policy-making institutions of the
World Trade Organization and the Organisation for Economic Cooperation
þ Ensure that World Trade Organization rules promote and do not undermine
legitimate environmental and sustainable development policies at the
national, regional and international levels, including trade-related
measures in multilateral environmental agreements.
þ Expand and strengthen the role of the United Nations Environment
Programme to promote the coherent implementation and monitoring of the
environmental dimensions of sustainable development within the United
Nations system and reassess the roles of the United Nations Environment
Programme and the United Nations Development Programme in environmental
technology and capacity-building.
þ Take urgent action to ensure the financial security of the United
Nations Environment Programme and to resolve the current governance
Trade and finance
þ Create partnerships between non-governmental organizations and national
Governments to monitor and evaluate the link between sustainable
development and global trade, particularly World Trade Organization
þ Establish an intergovernmental panel in trade under the Commission on
þ Develop and adopt codes of conduct for international business that
include a commitment to conduct all operations openly and to the
strictest standards they encounter in any country.
þ Seek new financial mechanisms to support sustainable development
objectives, e.g., tradable permits, taxes on financial transactions
(Tobin tax), and taxes on fuel used in all international aviation,
þ Increase official development assistance to 0.7 per cent of gross
national product and monitor flows to ensure compatibility with Agenda
þ Direct existing and enhanced levels of funding towards sustainable
development objectives, including robust replenishment of the Global
Environment Facility and the International Development Association and
financing the United Nations Development Programme's Capacity 21.
þ Review mandates of international organizations to ensure their
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Date last posted: 15 January 2000 16:15:30
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