Major Group Orgs



Click on the organisation to go straight to the text:

Climate:  Climate Action Network

Local Government:  International Council for Local Environmental Initiatives

Forests:  The Global Forest Policy Project

Industry:  World Business Council for Sus. Dev.

Industry:  International Chamber of Commerce

Bio-diversity:  International Council for the Conservation of Nature

NGOs:   UN CSD NGO Steering Committee

Transport: Institute for Transport & Development Policy

Freshwater: International Water Services Association

GenderWomen's Environment & Development Organisation

Chemicals: World Wildlife Fund Global Toxics Institute

Trade/Finance: World Trade Organisation NGO Network


Climate Action Network (CAN)

The Climate Action Network is a network of NGOs concerned with the problems of climate change, and works as a co-operative institution to develop and implement strategies to combat these problems. It consists of eight regional focal points in which specific area networks can co-ordinate, they include: Africa, Southern Asia, South East Asia, Latin America, Central and Eastern Europe, Western Europe, UK, and USA.

The goal of CAN is to promote both governmental and individual action to limit human-induced climate change to environmentally sustainable levels. It proposes to achieve this by co-ordinating information exchanges on international, regional, and national climate policies while promoting NGO involvement to avert global warming and forming policy options and position papers on associated issues. Updates on developments within the realm of climate change can be found in CAN’s recurring newsletter, ECO (funded by Apple Macintosh), where contemporary issues on the subject are addressed. The Network is currently working on projects for many organisations including the WWF, Red Cross, BBC, etc.

For further information on the Climate Action Network please refer to:

Back to the top


International Council for Local Environmental Initiative (ICLEI)

The International Council for Local Environmental Initiative is concerned with the prevention and solution of local, regional, and global environmental problems through local action. The Council was established in 1990 by UNEP, the International Union for Local Authorities (IULA), and the Centre for International Diplomacy with a base mission concerned with building and supporting a world-wide movement of local governments to achieve tangible improvements in global environmental conditions through the cumulative impact of local actions. Its members include 300 different city, town, and county governments from countries all over the world.

For further information on ICLEI please refer to:

Back to the top


The Global Forest Policy Project (GFPP)

The Global Forestry Policy Project, founded in 1992, consists of Friends of the Earth, the National Wildlife Federation, and the Sierra Club. Being the most active organisation in the United Nation’s Intergovernmental Forum on Forests, its opinions and statements are highly esteemed and influential in regards to the topic of forests. The major goals of the Project goals include: reducing the rate of deforestation, expanding the protection of key forest areas, and utilising sustainable management of all the world’s forest. GFPP plans on attaining these goals through being an active participant in policy making arenas, educating and influencing all of the involved participants and institutions, promoting good practices, and strengthening NGO’s. Some of the primary activities with which it has been involved include: the UN Commission on Sustainable Development, the UN Intergovernmental Panel on Forest, the International Organisation for Standardisation, the International Tropical Timber Agreement, etc.

For further information on the GFPP please refer to:


Back to the top


World Business Council For Sustainable Development (WBCSD)

The World Business Council for Sustainable Development is a coalition of 25 international companies from 30 different countries around the world, all of which share common concerns with the environment and the principles of economic growth and sustainable development. It was formed when the Business Council for Sustainable Development (BCSD) and the World Industry Council for the Environment (WILE) combined forces in 1995. The Council acts as the business advocate concerned with the issues centred around environment sustainable development. In turn, it aims to develop of a closer co-operation between business, governments, and all other organisations concerned with these issues while promoting policy development that creates a framework which allows business to contribute to environmental conservation and sustainable development. Current interests of the WBCSD include, but are not limited to: climate change, energy, natural resources, and eco-efficiency.

For further information on the Council please refer to:

Back to the top


International Chamber of Commerce (ICC): World Business Organisation

Founded in 1919, the International Chamber of Commerce (ICC) is concerned with the establishment of rules that govern the conduct of business across the borders of the world, the provision of services (foremost being the ICC International Court of Arbitration), and the promotion of international trade, investment, and the market economy system world-wide. With its basis in Paris, the ICC consists of 63 national committees with over 7000 members coming from over 130 different countries world-wide. The ICC holds top consultative with the UN where it monitors the developments affecting business, asserts the views of business in both industrialised and developing countries, and assures that the business concerns of these countries are being brought to the attention of governments. The two main facets of the ICC are the International Court of Arbitration (the world’s leading body for resolving international commerce disputes) and the International Bureau of the Chamber of Commerce ( which strengthens the Cupertino between the different Chambers of Commerce around the world).

For further information on ICC please refer to:

Back to the top


International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN - Netherlands)

The International Union for the Conservation of Nature in the Netherlands (IUCN - Netherlands) was established in 1983 with a main focus of the conservation of nature and the environment. In recent times, it has grown to hold a membership of over 900 organisations from 75 states around the globe while expanding its concerns into the realm of sustainability. The Union acts as a platform for Dutch members by holding general meetings where members can voice their concerns on certain issues. It has been involved in many discussion panels centred around sustainable development in recent years including: the UN Commission on Sustainable Development, the Bio-diversity Convention, the Global Environmental Facility, and also the World Bank concerns. The most recent focus (beginning in 1994) of IUCN Netherlands has been its rainforest programme with a central purpose of bio-diversity conservation and management.

For further information on IUCN Netherlands, please refer to:

Back to the top


UN Commission on Sustainable Development NGO Steering Committee

The CSD NGO Steering Committee was established at the UN Commission for Sustainable Development in 1994 to facilitate the involvement of NGOs and other major groups at each annual session of the CSD. Membership in the Steering Committee is determined in elections held at each annual session of the CSD, with memberships running for a one year term. Members currently include Major Groups, Grassroots Organisations, National, Regional & Global NGO’s & Networks. Caucuses are established within the Committee to provide the focus for specific issues. They are made up from member organisations to the Committee.

The Committee is structured into North & South (read Developed & Developing), with the Northern and Southern Caucuses electing a Northern & Southern Co-Chair. Each Chair serves a one year term and acts as the focal point for member organisations from their respective regional caucus. Each Committee member has the responsibility of re-disseminating CSD related information between sessions to their regions and constituencies.

On-going activities during each session of the CSD include; organising daily strategy sessions for collective action; facilitating working groups and caucuses on the issues before the respective meetings; liaising with the CSD Secretariat; Organising meetings with government groups; providing media & communications support; providing training for new NGO delegates; co-ordinating parallel NGO forums and other special activities; facilitating space for NGO meetings; organising pre-meetings prior to the official sessions to help NGOs agree on common positions; co-ordinating NGO input and reaction to NGO government dialogue.

For further information on the Committee please refer to:

Back to the top


Institute for Transport and Development Policy (ITDP)

The Institute for Transport and Development Policy (ITDP) was established in N.Y. in 1985 to promote environmentally sustainable and equitable transport policies and projects world-wide. It was organised by leading advocates for sustainable transport in the US who wanted to counteract the development of a world-wide personal automobile dependence.

The ITDP promotes sustainable transport by working to reform international development institutions and providing assistance to sustainable transport campaigns across the globe. More recently the ITDP co-chaired the Transport Caucus and has put a greater focus on the implementation of demonstration projects that show the major role that basic mobility plays in poverty reduction

For further information on ITDP please refer to:

Back to the top


International Water Association (IWA)

The International Water Services Association is concerned with sustainable development in the form of the provision of water supply and wastewater management to homes, industry, and agriculture on a global basis. It consists of a network of professionals from over 100 different countries and is acknowledged as an association of global importance. IWA is a multi-faceted organisation that acts as the source of best practice for strategy and ideas, a platform for water technology issues, a reference point for information, and meeting place for professionals. Current projects, conferences, and focuses include: drinking/industrial water production, freshwater disinfection, and the Freshwater Caucus.

For further information on IWA please refer to:

Back to the top


Women's Environment and Development Organisation (WEDO)

The Women’s Environment and Development Organisation was created in 1990 by an international group of women’s rights activists from different professions and sectors of society. The organisation was founded with the mission of increasing the equality, visibility, representation, and leadership in public policy concerned sustainable development, specifically gender, human rights, the environment, and the economy. They are also a major coalition builder among women’s groups and NGOs with influence at the United Nations and international financial institutions.

WEDO is concerned with giving women a voice and they pursue an equal role for women in governance, public policy, and decision making. In turn, one of their main roles is to review and analyse public policies of the United Nations, state and national government, and international financial institutions through a gender lens. They have ongoing projects associated with Women’s Action Agenda 21 concerned with the reduction of poverty and negative effects of a globalising economy on women, girls, and the environment. Currently they also have projects concerned with cancer prevention, reproductive rights, and sexual exploitation.

For further information on WEDO please refer to:

Back to the top


World Wildlife Fund (WWF): Global Toxic Initiative (GTI)

The World Wildlife Fund’s Global Toxic’s Initiative program has the ambitious mission of reducing and eliminating the use of toxic chemicals on a global scale. They are focussed on investigating toxic chemicals and their relationship to bio-diversity, educating the public policy makers to the dangers of toxic’s production, and seeking alternatives to the use of harmful synthetic agents. The three main facets of the Initiative are concerned with: wildlife endocrine disrupters, agricultural pollution prevention, and Persistent Organic Pollutants (POPs).

It holds the ultimate goal of ending the production, release and use of chemical that endocrine disrupters by the year 2020. GTI works with other WWF programs concerned with forests, fisheries, climate change, etc. and was established under the umbrella of the Global Threats Initiative with a focus on sustainable development. The main project focus at the moment is addressing chemical production and the destruction of wildlife in all parts of the world.

For further information on WWF's GTI programme please refer to:

Back to the top


World Trade Organisation NGO Network

The World Trade Organisation NGO Network was established in 1996 when the WTO recognised the role that NGOs can play to increase the awareness of the public in respect to WTO activities. Since then five symposia focussing on trade and sustainable development have been arranged within the WTO NGO Network including: three section concerned with trade and the environment, one on trade and development, and one on trade facilitation. The basic purpose of the Network is to provide NGOs with information and also give them the opportunity to discuss issues concerning sustainable development and world trade and finance.

For further information on the Network please refer to:


Earth Summit 2002 / Partners / Acronyms / Staff / Issues

UN Conventions Focus / Global Agencies / UN Conference Focus

Site Map / Major Group Organisations / UN Commissions Focus/ Regional Agencies

Back to the top