Positive Environment News

FACTBOX - What's on table at talks for "Earth Summit 2"

Date: 07-Jun-02

Reaching a credible deal in Bali is important to the success of the World Summit on Sustainable Development, dubbed Earth Summit 2, which opens in Johannesburg. That event will be attended by more than 100 heads of state and is timed to fall 10 years after the landmark Earth Summit in Rio de Janeiro.

Following are being debated at Bali during two weeks of talks that conclude on Friday. Ministers with environmental and development posts are meeting from June 5-7:

1) A draft plan to reach a range of goals on poverty eradication and preserving the environment.

2) The summit's agenda and elements of a political declaration to be endorsed by leaders in Johannesburg aimed at reinvigorating political commitment to sustainable development.

3) Development of so-called partnership initiatives - a new concept being pushed by the United Nations - where any groups, such as governments, businesses or NGOs, can move implementation forward on areas in the action plan without the need for global consensus on details.

The draft action plan - the latest version was released on June 2 - includes the following agreed goals. Several sections, however, are still being negotiated. They are not included here.

Ways of financing the plan have also not been fully agreed. However, some developed nations are expected to make announcements of fresh bilateral aid pledges to back particular programmes in Johannesburg.

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** Achieve the U.N. Millennium Summit goals such as cutting by half by 2015 the proportion of people living on less than $1 a day; the number of people suffering from hunger; and the proportion of people without access to safe drinking water.

** Launch an action programme to reduce the number of people who lack access to modern energy services.

** By 2020, achieve a significant improvement in the lives of at least 100 million slum dwellers.

** Adopt and implement policies and measures aimed at promoting sustainable patterns of production and consumption, applying, among other things, the polluter-pays principle.

** Enhance corporate, environmental and social responsibility and accountability.

** Establish domestic programmes for energy efficiency.

** Promote waste prevention and minimisation by encouraging production of reusable consumer goods and biodegradeable products.

** Implement programmes to address, where appropriate, deforestation, erosion, land degradation, loss of biodiversity and disruption of water flows.

** Promote sustainable tourism development

** Pay special attention to development efforts in Africa.

** Develop programmes to reduce by two thirds by 2015 mortality rates for infants and children under the age of five.


At this stage, most delegates believe this will fall to the U.N.'s Commission on Sustainable Development, which was set up after the Rio Earth Summit. Just exactly what role it will play is still under discussion.

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