Norwegian views on the positions related to the 10-year review of progress in the implementation of Agenda 21
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.
of 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
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.
the 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 existing bodies.
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
the 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.
the 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 conference.
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.
are 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 communication.
Rio+ 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
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
report 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 impact.
is 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 aware of!
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
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
will 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 matters.
protection in sector policies -from repair to prevention
is 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 environmental protection.
this 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 involved.
production and consumption
the 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.
Rio+ 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 place.