VIEWS AND POSITIONS RELATED TO THE 10 YEAR
EARTH SUMMIT- RIO+ 10
OF INTERNATIONAL PREPARATIONS
Earth Summit, which is a ten-year review of the results of the Rio process on
environment and sustainable development, will focus on the challenges and
limitations involved in the implementation of the countries' commitments under
Agenda 21. The Resolution to this effect, which was adopted by the General
Assembly last autumn, emphasises the need for financial resources, the transfer
of technology and technical assistance in the developing countries.
the most important issues that are going to be discussed in the months ahead in
different UN bodies, first and foremost in the Commission on Sustainable
Development this spring, are the format, content and focus of the process.
Norway has also been asked for input here and the deadline is February 2000.
for the Earth Summit
deciding the format for the review, consideration must be given to other
processes, such as Beijing+5, Copenhagen+5, the Millennium Assembly and the
high-level meeting in the UN on funding and development. There is also the
question of whether the established, permanent forums in the UN should not be
used for such processes and reviews. It is also possible that the age of major,
global conferences on environment is over. The numerous meetings of the nineties
have produced an agreed agenda specifying what the global goals are and how they
can be attained. The challenges facing us now must be practical implementation,
follow-up and adjustment -tasks of an ongoing nature.
other hand, in a reality influenced by the media, where ideas are formed and
discarded at an increasingly rapid pace, we will need to be constantly reminded
of the global challenges and the joint responsibility the countries have been
charged with. In the field of environmental protection and sustainable
development, there is also a generation problem: the activists of the seventies
and eighties now make up the established political and specialist community and
they need new challenges from civil society. The co-determination aspect will
therefore have a central place in the process, in the preparations and the
organisation of the Earth Summit. This may not best be safeguarded by the UN's
ten-year review of the results of the Rio process, the Earth Summit, will take
place in a number of bodies as part of the regular work of the United Nations,
for example in CSD 10. The level of ambition as regards global focus on
environmental challenges indicates nevertheless that a separate, global meeting,
possibly in a developing country, with a forward-looking, mobilising agenda, is
to be advocated. The participation of civil society must be ensured at all
stages, and both nationally and internationally. Norway should become actively
involved in a regional European preparatory process, as we did prior to Rio.
Content and focus for the Earth Summit
Few countries have offered any suggestions so far. It would appear,
however, that several central actors agree that the content of the meeting must
be forward-looking and must address the unresolved problems in the field of
sustainable development. It may also be relevant to look at the status for some
of the environmental fields where new, global reviews and processes are
underway, such as forest issues, oceans and energy which will be the focus of
attention in the Commission on Sustainable Development in 200 I, the year before
the Earth Summit.
are two particularly important fields that spring to mind. One is poverty, as
both cause and consequence of the lack of sustainability in the development of a
country, and the other is the financial aspect: how do we finance efforts to
promote environmental protection and sustainable development in the developing
countries themselves. The Earth Summit will also provide the opportunity for an
institutional review with a view to improving the international community's
ability to follow up global environmental goals
fight against poverty is chosen as the main theme, this will put the focus on
important development cooperation goals set by Norway and other donor countries
and on the policies of the poor countries themselves. This is a forward-looking
and inspirational theme, particularly for the poor developing countries, but
also for civil society and the NGOs.
institutional side, Rio+ 10 does not have to mean a new UN reform.
Nevertheless, UN reform might be examined in the course of this process: the
opportunity might arise to focus on whether environmental protection and
sustainable development have the proper financial and structural level in the UN
system. A review should be made of the financial institutions, including the
World Bank, and of the GEF's own ability as a financing instrument compared with
other, separate financing mechanisms for the environmental sectors. This
includes private schemes.
The ten-year review of the Rio process can be successful if the themes
are forward-looking and cross-sectoral in nature. The fight against poverty is
chosen as the main theme, but that financing of sustainable development is also
given a central place on the agenda. This should include mobilisation of the
private sector in the developing countries themselves. We should discuss whether
large sector areas such as forests, oceans, and climate and energy, should be
made the subject of milestone discussions in 2002 leading up to the global
2. RIO +
10- A NATIONAL COLLECTIVE EFFORT TO PROMOTE SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT
is a top priority area for the environmental authorities in 2000. A number of
studies will be carried out and two or three major conferences will be held in
connection with these.
various conferences in connection with the Rio+ 10 project will be key
opportunities for the Government to highlight the importance of environmental
protection at the start of the new millennium. Rio+ 10 will be a national
collective effort to promote sustainable development, intended to help lift
environmental protection higher up on the political agenda and make politics in
general more sustainable.
also aiming for the active participation of the business sector and local
actors. Rio+ 10 will be a showcase of achievements in environmental protection
and sustainable development of the popular effort to improve the local
environment. The project puts considerable emphasis on information and
10 project will primarily contribute to national preparations. The main tasks
will be to follow up proposals and initiatives from the international Rio+ 10
process. In addition, the project will concentrate on implementing the national
projects described below.
21 -Local Agenda workshop
countries have focused on Local Agenda 21 in the follow-up to Rio. This is where
we have seen the most concrete implementation of the Rio resolutions. In Norway,
this work has picked up speed particularly in the past couple of years. The
global Rio+ 10 conference will probably be an arena for the exchange of
experience. We might say that "Local implementation of global goals"
is the guiding principle and sustainable consumption a key concept. Here the
municipal sector is one of the main players, but it is just as important to
focus on the role and contribution of the business sector and interest groups
-and not only of the traditional environmentalist organisations but of the whole
network of local organisations.
showing how the ministries are to cooperate in order to stimulate LA21
activities were drawn up by the Government in February 1999. A new "Fredrikstad
conference" will be a milestone in Norway's national preparations. This
will be a national arena, a meeting place, for the exchange of experience and a
workshop to generate ideas for further efforts to promote sustainable
development at local level. This conference will also be important in how other
countries report on Norway's efforts in this area. It will take place in autumn
2001 -and during the run-up to the conference there will be 'a number of smaller
conferences on various sub-themes.
business sector and environmental protection -what have we achieved in the
nineties and where are we going in the new millennium?
In the course of the nineties, many initiatives were taken to integrate
environmental protection into various branches of business sector
was at the leading edge of developments and a prime instigator of environmental
protection. In others, there still remains a great deal to be done.
will be prepared, which will sum up the results of measures to strengthen
environmental efforts in the business sector and identify continuing challenges
and potential with regard to increasing eco-efficiency in different parts of the
business sector. It will also discuss the motivation factors that lie behind the
environmental improvements: whether improvements are motivated by requirements
or restrictions introduced by the public authorities or by practical business
economics. The report will also offer good examples of the win-win type, where
improvements in eco- efficiency and resource efficiency in the companies have
led both to an increase in profitability and to a reduction in environmental
anticipated that this report will be presented in autumn 2000. It is possible
that a conference for business and industry will then be held to review the
report and the sectoral environmental action pla~ for the Ministry of Trade and
Industry , which is now being drawn up. Follow-up in the individual industry
will be of central importance here. Close cooperation between the Ministry of
the Environment and the Ministry of Trade and Industry is important here.
report and the business sector conference will be important milestones in
Norway's national Rio+1O process. Discussions on the programme have been
initiated with, among others, the Confederation of Norwegian Business and
Industry. The other elements of the Rio+ 10 initiatives in this area will be
established as time goes on. Sustainable production and consumption will be
given a prominent place in the programme.
protection and research -what new trends and tendencies should policy makers be
and international research on environmental protection has played a key role in
policy development for many years. This is particularly true in the case of
global problems: ozone depletion, climate change and biological diversity.
What are the current trends in research as we enter a new century? Which
signals, trends and projections should policy makers be aware on These questions
will form the basis of a study that is being planned in cooperation with the
Research Council of Norway. Here, too, it will be relevant to present the study
at a conference -possibly as soon as autumn 2000 -which will bring together
relevant participants from research, politics, administration, trade and
industry, and the media.
Other ways in which the relevant research communities may be able to
participate in the Rio+ 10 process are also being discussed. It would be
natural, for example, for these communities to be actively involved in national
reporting to the international Rio+ 10 conference, which is expected to
take place in 2002.
Strengthening the work on ocean issues
A stronger and more integrated management of oceans and coasts will have
a central place from now until Rio+10, among other things to follow up the CSD's
handling of these questions in spring 1999. Closer cooperation on this matter
has been established between the ministries involved, primarily the Ministry of
Fisheries, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Ministry of the Environment. The North Sea
Conference in 2002 will be an important milestone and it may take on the
character of a preparatory conference prior to the global Rio+ 10
conference. Here, too, it may relevant to gather together the most important
national players at a national working conference at an early stage.
also be relevant to give chemicals and biological diversity a prominent place on
the agenda for Rio+1O, both nationally and internationally. The international
negotiation processes which are underway in these areas will decide whether it
will be natural to use the Earth Summit as an arena to resolve difficult
protection in sector policies -from repair to prevention
an area where a great deal has happened in Norway during the past ten years. The
report on the Government's environmental policy and the state of the environment
in Norway and the sectoral environmental action plans reflect where we stand in
this field. However, there is still a long way to go before environmental
protection is sufficiently well integrated in the relevant sectors and in
Norway's economic policy. Perhaps the time has come to prepare a National Agenda
21, where the purpose is to sum up and plot a new course with regard to cross-sectoral
instruments and policies in order to achieve results in the field of
context, too, it is possible that an analysis will be made of the instruments
and measures that have been implemented with a view to sector integration of
environmental considerations and the results that have been achieved in the
different areas. This project will focus on the role of the authorities and it
will be discussed in more detail with representatives of the ministries
production and consumption
time being, sustainable production and consumption are not being treated as a
separate sub-project of Rio+ 10, but they are already included in other
sub-projects, such as LA21 and Environmental Protection and the Business Sector.
has kept a high profile internationally in this field in recent years. It may
therefore be expected that -and natural that -Norway takes the initiative to
ensure that both eco-efficient production and a factor 4-10 increase in resource
efficiency and more eco-efficient purchasing and consumption are put on the
international agendas in preparation for Rio+ 10. This will be kept under
continuous consideration. This question will be discussed in Bergen in September
this year at the informal meeting of environmental ministers, which will be
hosted by Norway.
10 project is still in its initial stages and consideration will be given to
ne:w initiatives on a continuous basis. As the process progresses, it is
important that it takes place in close cooperation with the other ministries
involved, particularly the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. It will then be natural
to use, for example, the Committee of State Secretaries on Environment and
Development in any political and inter-ministerial decision-making that may take