Sustainable Development & Environment
Follow-up to the WSSD in Asia
From Korean NGO’s perspective
Asia Civil Society Forum
December 9-14, 2002
Kim Choony (Ms.)
Chief of International Affairs
Korean Federation for Environmental Movement (KFEM)
Korean People’s Network on RIO+10
Korean People’ Network on RIO+10(KPNR) was officially launched on March 6, 2002. Before
this, it was discussed among environmental NGO activists during the nationwide
environmental activists’ workshop organized by Korean Confederation of Environmental
NGOs on June 29, 2001. After the initial discussions, there were forty meetings to
discuss our preparations for the WSSD, two press conferences, four symposia, and
discussion meetings on the WSSD agenda. The network comprises 44 civic NGOs and people’s
organizations from the local and national level. There are seven major groups represented
in the net work: women, youth, labor, farmers, biodiversity, forest, energy, waste and
toxic and chemicals, consumption patterns, sustainable tourism. The main theme of Korean
People’s Network on RIO+10 was the “peaceful Korea, from the national division over 50
years, and for entry into forcing of the Kyoto protocol, more financial support to the
poor, and the reformation of international financial architectures such as IMF, and World
Bank and so on.
About 200 KPNR activists took part in the WSSD to exchange ideas, tactics, and strategies
with NGOs around the world, and to work for a reasonable outcome from the summit. KPNR
and its member organizations organized a music performance to contrast cultural diversity
with a USA-dominated monoculture, held eight discussion sessions/symposia, organized a
photo exhibition on crimes by USA soldiers from military bases in South Korea, e.g.
abusing of human rights campaigns including a campaign criticizing the USA for opposing
the Kyoto protocol and a “WSSD is dead” campaign to define WSSD as the worst summit
meeting in the world. We also brought a Korean artist, who carved ice penguins, in order
to send a message to the summit. Even though we have organized these wonderful activities
during WSSD, we have felt disappointed at the inadequate outcomes of the WSSD. We must
also acknowledge Korean NGO deficiencies, handicaps and shortcomings. I would like to
briefly evaluate the performance of Korean NGOs, and International NGOs. I hope this
evaluation will help influence our future dissections relating United Nations activities
and similar gatherings.
2-1. Evaluation of the Korea NGOs
They say Korean NGOs are so strong to set their agenda and issue fighting. It is true.
The reason why we are so strong is that citizen’ and people’s movements have had to
oppose a military dictatorship form of government since the 1960s. We have led campaigns
to cancel nuclear waste dump sites, oppose huge dam constructions as well as campaigns
through the composition of citizens’ coalitions in the lead up to general and
presidential elections. However, compared with our local and national activism, our voice
is not well heard among the international community, During the WSSD, we desperately felt
that we were little known within international society. I would like to point out the
· Few human resources handling the WSSD: We had very few resources to handle the WSSD,
comparing with the number of participants. There were only eight people working on the
WSSD. These people should have done administrative work as well as policy-making work.
· Each Korean NGO organized too many programs without being properly integrated: We
organized many programs but they were not well integrated with whe WSSD agenda.
· No full discussion with government on the contentious issues identified at the 4th
PrepCom: Even though we knew the contentious issues after Bali, such as the need to
increase ODA, a renewable energy target and so on, we did not fully lobby the government
on these issues. Our level of ODA accounts for one tenth of GNP as of 2002. Korea is well
known for having overcome poverty very quickly. We should have urged the Korean
government to fulfill its responsibilities to help poor of the developing countries. Our
government says we already generate substantial energy from renewable, but we should have
pointed out that much of this is energy derived from the incineration of waste. Also, we
are the 10th largest emitter of CO₂in the world. We should have prepared our case very
logically and more strongly lobbied policy makers.
· No discussion on the controversial issues among stakeholders in Korea: There are big
controversial issues such as privatization of Korea Electronic Power CO (KEPCO), which
dominates the supply of energy, especially nuclear energy. These kinds of issues were not
raised at WSSD discussions.
· Too focused on the national agenda: Poverty eradication and reforming international
financial architectures are the main issue on the international NGO agenda. We just
focused on our national policy to move towards sustainable development.
· Inactive involvement to the preparation processes such as PrepComs: Only one person
needed to follow up the preparation processes. It is not enough to forward the outcomes
of the conference to Korean NGO society and so on. It was another reason we failed.
2-2 International NGOs
There are many international NGOs who worked hard on WSSD, such as Oxfam International,
Care International, Consumers International, Greenpeace, WWP, and Friends of the Earth
International. But Korean NGOs and I wondered where they are. In our understanding,
various voices were in present, but there was no common action on WSSD. I would like to
point out the things that we raised.
· Emptiness of the NASREC: NGOs were present mainly at two places. One was the Sandton,
and the other was the NASREC. But between two sides, there was no integration. Most of
the NGOs focus on the activity at the Sandton convention center that is lobby work.
Therefore the global civil society forum was empty. Korean NGOs that focused on the
global civil society of effective strategy among NGOs. It was a big disappointment as we
expected tactics and strategies during the WSSD.
· Absence of solidarity with South African NGOs: South African NGOs organized the
Global Civil Society Forum. We were aware of the peoples’ earth summit at the Stithian
College that is different from global civil society forum. It gave us another shock to
see no integration among NGOs. NGOs should formulate their ideas collectively and present
a united voice to government sectors because government such as the USA, and private
companies came to the various different characteristics, NGOs should have worked more
collectively and effectively.
· Weakening of civil society because of nine non-state multi-stakeholder groups versus
government: The UN identified nine major groups in civil society working in the WSSD
field. This too often resulted in nine separate voices being raised. In contrast,
governments often worked in combination and harmony to curb sustainable development
measures that would involve developed countries providing more financial support or
require developing countries to implement environmental regulations.
· Absence strategy to a USA government: The USA did not come to WSSD with a thought-out
strategy and we did not have effective tactics and strategies against the USA government
to induce USA citizens to take action criticizing their government’s lack of commitment.
The action during the Collin Powel’s speech was not good enough to send our rage to the
USA government who destroys our blue planet.
· Insufficient traction towards USA NGOs: We have known the problem of the USA
government. We should have drag and pulled draw the USA NGOs, in order to do something
for their government inside USA or outside USA.
3. The Future directions
National policy to implement the commitment at the WSSD will be made by government by
2005 and it will be implemented by each time- bound. The WSSD is an ongoing process even
though NGOs are dissatisfied. NGOs should intervene the policy development from the
initial stage, also NGOs need to strengthen the capacity. Regarding improvement of NGOs
activities on the sustainable development, I would like to recommend as follows;
· Demanding NGO’s active involvement in the formulation of the policy on the
sustainable development at the national level.
· Ongoing education and training programs on the Sustainable Development for the
activist and the public at the local, national, regional level.
– At the national level, National NGO secretariat on RIO+10(WSSD) need to develop the
educational program, in order to effectively intervene and interact to process of
– If UN Asia NGO secretariat or office will be established, it should have an educational
program on latest information, monitoring skills and so on at the Asia Pacific religion
· Monitoring implementation of the plan at the local, national, and international level
– MDG report and campaign have been started at the UN level. Sooner or later the experts
will research each country for capacity of the target of the MDG. NGO should monitor
implementations of the commitments of WSSD and target of the MDG at the sub regional and
regional level among Asian NGOs through the co-research, co-campaign, and workshop and so
· Negotiating with UN for NGOs’ participation in the negotiation room at the
international lever. The NGLS and CONGO, and the other organizations relating the United
Nations can negotiate with Department of Economic and Social Affairs (DESA), Commission
on Sustainable Development on this matter.
· Rather than the series of the conferences but action oriented activities should be
1. History of Korean People’s Network on RIO+10 (activity oriented)
· June 29, 2001: Discussion of RIO+10 at the nationwide environmental activists’
workshop organized by Korean Confederation of Environmental NGOs.
· July 19, 2001: Convening of a meeting to discuss preparation for WSSD with
participation by major groups, environmental organizations, and other citizens’
organizations. The meeting established a WSSD working group comprising environmental
NGOs, women groups and youth groups.
· Participation in the East Asia sub-regional stakeholders’ meeting on WSSD
· August 20, 2002: The first working group meetings are held to discuss objectives and
aims, agendas, activities and so on.
· November 25-26, 2001; Attended Asia NGOs meeting on WSSD in Phnom Penh, Cambodia. Made
presentation on: Korean NGOs’ WSSD preparations; establishment of the Presidential quick
economic development and its side-effects; and current environmental issues in Korea,
including the Saemangeum reclamation project which is a huge development project of
invaluable coastal wetland in Korea.
· November 27, 2001: High-level Regional Meeting for WSSD: Asia-Pacific Round Table for
Sustainable Development, Phnom Penh, Cambodia
· January 25, 2002: Workshop on future activity on WSSD organized by working group
· March 6, 2002: Launching of Korean People’s Network on RIO+10, comprising 44 NGOs,
and launch of public position paper
· April 1-5, 2002: Participation in the 3rd PrepCom, NewYork, United Nations
·May 21, 2002: Symposium on “Perspectives on Sustainable Development and an Assessment
of Progress Toward It”.
· May 27-June 7, 2002: Participation in the 4th PrepCom, Bali, Indonesia
· July 20-29, 2002: Pre-visit to Johannesburg, South Africa
· July 31, 2002: Policy discussion meeting on “Our role in achieving integrated
economic, social and environmental development
· August 7, 2002: Official delivery of Korean NGOs opinion on a statement by Mr. Choi
Seong hong, Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade (MOFAT), Republic of Korea, and Korean
NGOs’ standpoint towards Korean government’s standpoint on the WSSD
· August 13, 2002: KPNE’s press conference on WSSD and final preparatory meeting on
WSD with all participants. Publication of “Shadow report towards sustainability in
Korea” (Korean-English version) and “The Path to Johannesburg” by KPNR
· October 20, 2002: Organized symposium on “Evaluation of WSSD by government and non-
governmental organizations and future direction’ and presented documentary film of the
2. Objectives and Aims of Korean People’s Network on RIO+10
· Evaluate Korea’s sustainability since Rio and develop new agenda
·Evaluate Korean government’s economic, social, and environmental policies and suggest
more sustainable alternatives
· Develop Korean NGOs’ position on WSSD
·Strengthen Korean NGO network and enhance its cooperation on sustainable development.
· Expand and strengthen the networks between Korean NGOs and other NGOs
· Participate in the Global Common Action for Sustainable Development.
3. Role of Korean People’s Network on RIO+10
· Educating the public on sustainable development and studying sustainable development
issues, e. g. symposium, discussions and so on
· Establishing a website
· Monitoring local and national government and international society developments
· Organizing common action with NGOs from other countries.
4. KPNR’s activities in Johannesburg, South Africa
· Before going to South Africa, Korean People’s Network on RIO+10 published 3 reports
or books for the public. They are “ The Path to Johannesburg”, and Shadow report of
Korean Sustainability since RIO. We made documentary films on the WSSD and are preparing
white report on it to circulate to the public.
· Korean day symposium on Evaluation of Korea society’s sustainability and future
directions, august 28, 2002(From 10:00 –12:00,NASREC): Presented by Mr. Ricardo Navarro
(President of the friends of the Earth International)and Ms. Chee Yoke Ling (The Third
World Network) and organized by Korean People’s Network on RIO+10
· Korean day Music Performance, August 28, 2002 (From 15:00-17:00, NASREC): Performed by
Mr. Jang, Sa-ik who is the transitional singer in Korea. The aim to perform is to show
cultural diversity against monoculture dominated by the USA. The subject is “Peaceful
Korea and Sustainable Planet” organized by Korean People’s Network on RIO+10
· Photo Exhibition “We Prosecute the US troops in Korea from August 21-30, NASREC:
Organized by Green Korea United
· Overseas USA military bases on August 29, 2002(From 12:00-13:00, NASREC): Organized by
Green Korea United (GKU)
· After the RIO, Korean’s preparation on the sustainable energy on August 29(from 11:00-
13:00. NASREC): Organized by Citizens’ Alliance for Consumer Protection in Korea
(CACPK), National Campaign “Forest for Life”, Korea Waste Movement Network, Korea NGO’
s Energy Network.
· Roundtable on “A new partnership initiative for local agenda 21 on August 24, 2002
(From 100:00-15:00, NASREC): Organized by Korean Council for Local Agenda 21(KCLA21)
· Gender and Sustainable Development; Good practices and Challenging in North East Asia
on August 28, 2002(From 12:00-15:00, NASREC): Organized by Korea Women’s Environment
Committee on RIO+10
· Network and Trends of Environmental Justice in Asia Pacific Region on August 26, 2002
(From 13:0-15:00 NASREC): Organized by Citizens Movement for Environmental Justice (CMEJ)
· Zero Waste, Not Incinerator on August 27, 2002(From 13:00-15:00, NASREC): Organized by
Korea Waste Movement network and Global Anti-Incinerator Alliance (GAIA)
· The sustainable consumption and production on August 27, 2002(From 16:00-18:00,
NASREC): Organized by Citizens’ Alliance for consumer Protection in Korea (CACPK)
· The competition and Development on August 29, 2002(From 16:30-19:30, NASREC):
Organized by Citizens’ Alliance for Consumer Protection in Korea (CACPK) and Consumer
Unity and Trust Society (CUTS)
· Campaign and March “STOP GUSH” on August 27, 2002(From 11:00-11:30, NASREC):
Organized by Korean Federation for Environmental Movement (KFEM)
· Signature Campaign on “STOP NUCLEAR, ANTI-GMO, SAVE OUR SAEMANBEUM” on the big
banners on August 29, 2002(From 11:00-11:30, NASREC): Designed by Prof. Yun, Ho Sup at
the Kookmin University and Organized by Korean Federation for Environmental Movement
· Campaign and March on “STOP SAEMANGEUM RECLAMATION PROJECT at THE WEST COASTAL ZONE”
and “ AVE OUR SAEMANGEUM” August 30, 2002(From 11:00-11:30, NASREC): Organized by
Korean Federation for Environmental Movement (KFEM)
· The campaign “WSSD is Dead” on September 2, 2002(From 13:30-14:30, sandton
Convention Center): Organized by Korean Federation for Environmental Movement (KFEM)
· The shadow report presentation on Korean unsustainable development on September 1(From
16:00-16:30, NASREC): Organized by Canadian Institute on Sustainable development and
Heinrich Bell Foundation, and presented by Korean Federation for Environmental Movement
· Report on 101 Unsustainable Development after the RIO: Published by Citizens Institute
for Environmental Studies (CIES) that is an affiliated organization to the Korean
Federation for Environmental Movement (KFEM)
· The art performances “Floating Earth” to Criticize Bush’s bolt from the Kyoto
Protocol from August 21 to August 29,2002, NASREC: Performed by Choi Byung Soo organized
by Korean People’s Network on RIO+10
·The art performances “Ice is melting” “BUSH kills the penguins of the Antarctica”,
and Representatives from the Antarctica come to South Africa” with ice carving from
August 21 to September 4, 2002, NASREC and Sandton area: Performed by Choi, Byung Soo
organized by Korean People’s Network on RIO+10