Draft DPI/NGO 2007 Declaration on Climate Change

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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


[JULY 15] Draft Declaration for 2007 DPI/NGO Conference

[ON THE FIFTEENTH ANNIVERSARY OF THE UN CONFERENCE AND ENVIRONMENT AND DEVELOPMENT]

  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.]

[# 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 and to the global commons. [#1. 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.

  1. 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.
  2. 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.]

2. We have concluded that Climate Change is the most serious threat to humanity, the environment and all of Earth's species, and to the global commons. [We concur with the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change on the anthropogenic causes of climate change. - suggest moving to #5] There is a real urgency to effectively address the crisis, and we affirm that climate change represents a direct threat to our ocmmon efforts to achieve the implementation of the MDGs. Climate change is a direct threat to social equality, environmentally sound development, poverty reduction, the prevention of disease and food security.

3. We acknowledge the importance of the 1992 UN Conference on Environment and Development (UNCED), and the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) that was signed and ratified by most Member State of the United Nations, including many who have not ratified the Kyoto Protocol. 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.

4. We reaffirm the precautionary principle that was enunciated in both the Rio Declaration and in the UNFCCC. 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 [and to protect the climate system for present and future generations (UNFCCC)].

5. We are particularly concerned about the reluctance of some of the major contributors to greenhouse gas emissions to address the urgency of the crisis and the lack of suficient resources available to protect the poor and other vulnerable groups such as older persons and the disabled, from the impacts of climate change. 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. We urge the major contributors to greenhouse gas emission to set up a fund to assist [small island developing states] that have already been impacted by climate change. [SUGGEST A MOVE TO HERE: We concur with the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change on the anthropogenic causes of climate change.]

6. We call for the implementation of the commitment made in the 1995 [Beijing Platform of Action -- is this correct in terms of attribution?] to ensure that "all corporations, including transnational corporations, comply with national laws and codes, social security regulations, applicable international agreements, instruments and conventions, including those related to the environment and other relevant laws and international environmental law" (Section 167). [suggest by RJ - We urge all Global Compact signatories to comply with this principle, especially in light of the Global Compact CEO Summit Platform on "Caring for Climate Change."]

[Suggest deleting #7 and inserting part in #8 and part in #9]

[RJ SUGGESTS CONSULTING WITH TAMARA RAVAN ON GENETIC ENGINEERING AND BIODIVERSITY]

[NEW #7 - We have grave concerns about nuclear energy as one solution to climate change because of its lack of safety, its security-linked issues, its unresolved waste disposal problems and its inextricable link with the development of nuclear weapons. We urge all members of society and institutions to invest in socially equitable and environmentally safe and sound energy, such as renewables, that will reduce greenhouse gas emissions. We are equally concerned over the impact of biofuels as they impact land, water use and food security[ RJ proposes keeping, and call on the UN to consider holding a summit on the use of biofuels and rural development in a post-2012 world]. [Concrete action for heads of state to consider.]

  1. 8 We call upon States to implement the commitment made in Agenda 21 to the "reallocation of resources presently committeed to military purposes." (33.18e). We reaffirm that warfare is inherently destructive of sustainable development (Rio Declaration, Principle 24). We are deeply concerned with the use of deliberate and secretive weather modification and weather control, including weather warfare. Superpower militaries have quietly made advances to control weather for tactical advantages in war and with disregard for the environmental consequences. We call for rigorous adheerence to and enforcement of the 1978 Convention on the Prohibition of Military or Any Other Hostile Use of Environmental Modification Techniques (ENMOD). SUGGEST DELETING OUTER SPACE REFERENCE]
  1. 10 - We concur with the fundamental principle of intergenerational equity and the rights of future generations to their cultural [FROM RJ - , spiritual] and natural heritage and to a safe environment and affirm the obligation in the UNFCCC "to protect the climate system for present and future generations", and we are deeply concerned about the global displacement of people resulting from climate change. [THIS DOES DUPLICATE PART OF #4]

PLEASE REINSERT DECADE OF EDUCATION SINCE THERE WILL BE AN ECE MINISTERIAL IN OCTOBER AND THIS COULD BE PICKED UP

STRATEGIES FOR NGOS FURTHERING THE DECLARATION AND ITS PURPOSES

[We stress the importance of the Decade of Education for Sustainable Development and stress the importance of education as a prerequisite and framework for capacity-building initiatives and multi-stakeholder partnerships.] We make a commitment to educating ourselves more fully about climate change -- its consequences, prevention, mitigation and adaptation. We call for the reduction of our ecological footprint (HABITAT II Conference] and moving away from the over-consumptive pattern of development (Agenda 21) and for respecting the inherent worth of nature beyond human purpose (World Charter of Nature).

1. To reduce the threat's impact [delete: 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 to be a vocal and constructive partner for change with the UN, governments at all levels, regional organizations and local [communities -- why "societies"?]. [IS THIS NEXT PHRASE LOST HERE, SINCE #2 IS NOT REALLY A SPECIFIC STEP -- To that end, we have recommended specific steps.]

  1. 2 We recognize the precedence of productive contributions of UN [partnered -- not really a term, would delete] 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.

3. While NGOs focus on a broad range of topics [they are all] [SUGGEST - , all of our issues are] impacted by the climate. Threfore, we recommend a harmonized approach to climate Change that links us, whether we are focused on gender, age, health, agriculture, [the - delete] indigenous [add - peoples], livestock, poverty, food security, peace, or sustainable development, among others.

  1. 4 - We recommend that this Declaration be presented to the UN Secretary-General at the [conclusion] of the 60th DPI/NGO Conference. NGOs agree to develop, over the next twelve months, a joint report 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 2008 DPI/NGO Conference. [NOT TOTALLY AGREED YET IT IS IN PARIS.]
  1. 5 - The NGO Special Report on Climate Change will not cover all topics, [delete "That would be impossible."] but instead [wil be] a tool to stimulate action beyond 2008 and become a permanent conversation on improving the collaboration of NGOs and their influence on policy[- and decision-makers] on this most serious hreat to humanity, regardless of [our] individual mandates.

We also express our deep appreciation to the UN [Department of Public Information -- that's the host] for hosting this conference and to the people of the City [and State] of New York for their graciousness and hospitatlity.

Guidinig Principles -- In line 3 of the Contents of the Report, after the word "recommendations" -- please consider adding "of 50 words or less -- longer input offered during the conference will not be read."

In the chart, consider:

  1. 2 - Vulnerable Groups ("Age" is too limiting)
  2. 7 - Taking out ENMOD and replacing with All Conventions dealing with Climate Change Issues
  1. 9 - [Genetic and] Geo-Engineering
  1. 15 - Would poverty go in a separate category?
  1. 17 - The roundtable is called Sustainable Development: Ethics and Accountability -- should this be the same?

Should Migration be a separate chapter?

Should Education be a separate chapter?

END RJ COMMENTS AND RE-TYPED VERSION OF JOAN'S JULY 15 DRAT DATED 9:45 pm


General


2.



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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