Group 3: Bio-society Issues at the Global Level
Speaker 1: Jack Whelan, ICC Working Party on Bio-society Issues, France
Speaker 2: Harsh Jaitli, Society for Participatory Research in Asia, India
Chair: Annik Dollacker, Bayer, Germany
Rapporteur: Jasmin Enayati, UNED Forum
Jack Whelan gave a brief definition of the term “bio-society”: Two years ago, business involved in biology and bio-technology first started addressing the issue. Agricultural, industrial and pharmaceutical applications and their effects on society should be looked at equally. The issues are as follows:
Companies are becoming more transparent and invite stakeholder dialogues. ICC developed a roadmap for electronic commerce that gives policy options for policy-makers. MSPs should be more than mere dialogue sessions, but rather happen on a continuous basis, which would enable the creation of continuously evolving documents. To ensure reaching stakeholders, one needs to rely on the multiplier effects by sending out drafts to networks, and rely on them distributing these to their constituencies (thereby relying on electronic means).
ICC can take on a broker role, e.g. starting MSPs with a blank piece of paper, and then have drafts and comments to create ownership.
Harsh Jaitli talked about occupational health and safety and identification of occupational diseases - issues in which the communities have a large stake. However, in the planning stages of developments they usually have no say. It is the government’s role to act as regulator / inspector of industry’s practices.
One important challenge for successful MSPs is to develop the capacity of communities by giving them the necessary information. Communities need to start understanding their role in MSPs. Harsh Jaitli finished his presentation by emphasising that everyone has a piece of the puzzle and has their own solutions. MSPs are only a vehicle to improve sustainability. MSPs usually start when harm has already been done and compromises have been made. People need to be involved in the basic designing phase.
1. Which aspects of the issue area under discussion has been / should be addressed with an MSP – and what would such a process ideally look like?
2. What are the key principles, components, and conditions of successful MSPs?
3. What should be principles and practical components of linkages between MSPs and official decision-making processes?