Draft DPI/NGO 2007 Declaration on Climate Change

From Yochai Benkler - Wealth of Networks
Revision as of 19:16, 14 July 2007 by <bdi>Grandpa Ruh</bdi> (talk | contribs) (proposed revision from Larry Roeder)
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Here is my revision taking into account comments made during the Planning Committee on document organziation and other ideas proposed since in various emails to me.

One important change. You will notice that I have not delved into the details of why this or that topic is important. That omission is intentional. If we go down the route of fleshing out issues beyond the basic threat, then we will have a huge and not very helpful debate in the Conference.

What we want I suggest to you is instead to narrow the substance to a statement of the threat's scope and that we have a plan to craft an NGO approach, articulate the plan to develop a report and have our debate on various specific topics during the year.

I hope this approach meets with your approval.

Larry Roeder


Draft Declaration for 2007 DPI/NGO Conference

  1. We, representatives to the 60th Annual DPI/NGO Conference, have gathered from 5-7 September, 2007 at the United Nations Headquarters in New York to consider the potential risks associated with climate change and what the NGO community might contribute to reducing the threat. We have also consulted with NGOs associated with DPI (the UN Department of Public Information) who could not attend.
  2. We have concluded that Climate Change is the most serious threat of our times to humanity, the environment and all of Earth's species, one that harms all of our interests.
  3. We have also concluded that while the threat has been obvious for decades, policy makers in governments and the private sector have allowed lesser priorities to prevent implementation of enough constructive action, thus accelerating the danger and its magnitude.
  4. To reduce the threat's impact before it is too late, we ask the entire NGO community to unify behind a common vision and the search for fresh approaches, regardless of any one NGO's specific mandate, and be a vocal but constructive partner for change with the UN, governments and local societies. To that end, we have recommended specific steps.
  5. We also express our deep appreciation to the United Nations for hosting this conference and to the people of the City of New York for their graciousness and hospitality.

Next Steps

While NGOs focus on a broad range of topics, they are all impacted by the climate. Therefore, we recommend a harmonized approach to Climate Change that links us, whether we are focused on gender, age, health, agriculture, the indigenous, livestock, poverty, food security, peace, sustainable development or other issues.

We recommend that this Declaration be given to the United Nations Secretary General at the end of the 60th DPI/NGO Conference in New York. We also agree to develop a joint report over the next twelve months of practical policy recommendations to define new approaches to key priority issues identified in the New York conference. This report will also be presented to the Secretary General at the DPI/NGO conference in Paris in 2008.

The NGO Special Report on Climate Change will not cover all topics. That would be impossible. It is instead a tool to stimulate action beyond 2008 and a permanent conversation on improving how NGOs collaborate and influence policy makers on this important threat, regardless of individual mandates.

Guiding Principles for the report

  1. The report should articulate a practical, common strategy that engages the UN, governments and all civil society in order to include the best ideas.
  2. The NGO/DPI Executive Committee should provide a website to list important NGO-led related programs and efforts to support the report such as workshops and virtual committees.
  3. The report should be shared with the entire NGO community, all member States of the UN and especially organizations already working on disaster prevention and climate change (too many to be listed here).
  4. We are particularly concerned about reluctance by some major contributors to greenhouse gas emissions to seriously address the issue and that insufficient resources have been made available to protect the poor and disadvantaged such as the elderly and disabled.
  5. We reaffirm the Rio Declaration on Environment and Development and recommend an integrated UN mechanism to implement all environmental treaties and a culture of disaster prevention, reduction and resilience.
  6. Climate change is a direct threat to social equality, environmentally sound development, poverty reduction, the prevention of disease and food security.
  7. We concur with the fundamental principle enunciated throughout UN documents: that all future generations have a right to enjoy their ecological heritage and a safe environment
  8. We acknowledge the importance of the 1992 UN Conference on Environment and Development (UNCED)[3], [4], and the Framework Convention on Climate Change which was signed and ratified by most Member States of the United Nations including many who have not ratified the Kyoto Protocol.
  9. We recognize the precedence of productive contributions of UN partnered NGOs and call on all NGOs to continue that tradition, drawing on experiences and principles established through conventions, treaties, covenants, UN Conference action plans, and UN General Assembly Resolutions and Declarations.

Contents of the Report

This paragraph will be written in the past tense in the final Declaration:

Conference participants are requested to recommend specific report chapters that will be the basis for virtual workshops which collaborate over the coming year. Any NGO associated with DPI or ECOSOC may make recommendations, whether they attend the 2007 conference or not; but all recommendations must be received by NOON, September 7, 2007. Each chapter will contain a specific recommendation and rationale. Brevity is important. We can not hope to include every specific concern, however, if the networking caused by this effort is successful, further reports are also possible and encouraged. Send recommendations to (an email address) or (use designated conference procedure).

Topics already recommended for inclusion in the report are:

The General Threat and A Harmonized approach that cuts across parochial interests. This chapter is the most important one because it ties the threatened interests and recommendations together into one fabric.

  1. Adaptation consequences of climate change
  2. Age
  3. Agriculture
  4. Bio-Fuels
  5. Coastal and small island societies
  6. Compliance with international environmental law.
  7. Convention on the Prohibition of Military or Any Other Hostile Use of Environmental Modification Techniques (ENMOD, October, 1978)
  8. Gender
  9. Geo-Engineering
  10. Health
  11. Hunger and Food security
  12. Indigenous populations
  13. Livestock and animal welfare
  14. Nuclear Energy
  15. Poverty, Labor and Livelihood Protection
  16. Reducing greenhouse gases and conserving carbon sinks
  17. Sustainable development
  18. Water



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