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제5차 지구시민사회포럼 – [영문] North American Regional Civil Society Consultation

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2623_North America-summary.doc

United Nations Environment Programme
North American Regional Civil Society Consultation
In Preparation for the 5th Global Ministerial Environment Forum

Moderator’s Summary

Background

1. This is the Moderator’s Summary of the United Nations Environment Programme’s
(UNEP’s) consultation with North American civil society to provide input into UNEP’s
upcoming Global Ministerial Environment Forum (GMEF) to be held in March, 2004, in Jeju,
South Korea. The Civil Society Consultation was held on 10 December 2003. It was co-
hosted by UNEP’s Regional Office of North America (RONA) and the Environmental Change
and Security Project at the Woodrow Wilson Center in Washington, DC.

2. The GMEF is an annual meeting of the world’s environment ministers. This year, the
GMEF will focus on the environmental dimension of water, sanitation, and human
settlements issues and will contribute to the broader discussions on these issues at the
U.N. Commission on Sustainable Development (CSD) in April 2004. Immediately preceding
the GMEF will be a Global Civil Society Forum (GCSF), which will be an opportunity to
integrate the perspective and experience of civil society into the ensuing discussions at
the GMEF.

3. The purpose of the December 10th consultation was for UNEP to brief North American
civil society organizations on the status of preparations for the GMEF and to enable a
discussion among diverse stakeholders and major groups regarding the environmental
dimension of water, sanitation, and human settlements. This consultation was one of a
series of regional civil society consultations being convened by UNEP in preparation of
the GMEF and the GCSF.

4. The December 10th consultation included brief introductory presentations by UNEP and
a series of invited statements from individuals offering perspectives from different
major groups. This was followed by a moderated roundtable discussion. Copies of the
agenda and the participants’ list are attached to this Moderator’s Summary.

Introductory Presentations

5. Ms. Jennifer Kaczor, a Project Associate with the Woodrow Wilson Center’s
Environmental Change and Security Project, opened the meeting and welcomed the
participants on behalf of the Center.

6. Ms. Brennan Van Dyke, the Director of UNEP’s Regional Office on North America,
introduced the proposed agenda for the meeting, emphasizing that this was an opportunity
for civil society members to provide their perspectives to UNEP. Ms. Van Dyke further
updated participants on the preparation for the GMEF and described the process for civil
society participation through regional consultations such as this one and through the
Global Civil Society Forum. Ms. Van Dyke also drew the participants’ attention to the
background documents provided for the meeting, particularly the unedited advance copy of
the 28 November 2003 Background Paper for the Ministerial-Level Consultations: Water,
Sanitation and Human Settlements, UNEP/GCSS.VIII/4 (hereinafter Draft UNEP Background
Paper).

7. Dr. Ashbindu Singh, Regional Coordinator, UNEP’s Division of Early Warning and
Assessment-North America, presented some of the factual background regarding the
environmental dimension of water, sanitation and human settlements, particularly with
respect to North America. Dr. Singh highlighted the relative disparity between
conditions in North America and many parts of the rest of the world with respect to
access to water and sanitation. Dr. Singh noted the impact on children’s health due to
waterborne toxics and diseases; the large impact of suburban sprawl in this region; and
the disproportionately large ecological footprint of North America when compared to the
rest of the world.

Civil Society Invited Contributions

8. To help in initiating the discussion, UNEP had invited six participants to present
comments from their perspective.

9. Craig Schiffries from the National Council on Science and the Environment
(NCSE) argued for the need to improve the scientific basis for studying issues relating
to water, sanitation and human settlements. Mr. Schiffries described the upcoming
January 2004 NCSE conference on Water for a Sustainable and Secure Future as another
important opportunity for developing input into the GMEF and CSD processes. He
emphasized that every recommendation or potential action step emanating from the Kyoto
World Water Forum depends on strong and credible science. He thus called for enhanced
investment in research and development in both the natural and social sciences,
monitoring and assessment, data collection, and science-based education and outreach. He
closed with a recommendation that all countries need to develop science-based water
policies at the national and international level. That we need to align water laws with
the laws of nature, with an integrated approach to watersheds and ecosystems. As one
example, ground and surface water are often treated separately, but yet are ecologically
well connected.

10. Veena Ramani of the CSD Freshwater Caucus and Integrative Strategies Forum read
a statement prepared by Ms. Shiney Abraham of the Freshwater Caucus and Institute of
Agriculture and Trade Policy (IATP), which described the role of the Freshwater Caucus
in providing input into the CSD processes. She encouraged UNEP to continue to find ways
to enhance citizen participation in the discussions leading up to and following the
GMEF. Ms. Ramani strongly endorsed the importance of the World Summit on Sustainable
Development’s (WSSD’s) goal to halve the number of people without sanitation by 2015.
Ms. Ramani provided a list of recommendations to promote integrated and sustainable water
resource management, with an emphasis on the right of access to water and sanitation and
the ecosystem needs of water. She closed by stating that the Freshwater Caucus looked
forward to working closely with UNEP and other institutions to ensure that civil society
concerns are considered. She recommended that UNEP establish regular multi-stakeholder
dialogues that benefit from the diverse perspectives of the different major groups.

11. Mr. Eric Listening Owl of the CSD Freshwater Caucus and the International
Institute for the Study and Preservation of Aboriginal Peoples and their Cultures
highlighted the unique relationship that Indigenous Peoples in North America and
throughout the world have to their land and ecosystems. Mr. Listening Owl emphasized
that a continuum of policies and practices, including colonialism, have led to oppression
and marginalization of Indigenous Peoples in many regions of the world. Indigenous
Peoples view their access to water to sustain their life and livelihoods as a basic human
right. Mr. Listening Owl argued for the assessment of Indigenous Communities as a first
step in promoting a community-based approach to designing sustainable economic
development master plans. Action-oriented, rights-based community initiatives are the
path to sustainability. He urged UNEP to look proactively for ways to collaborate with
Indigenous Peoples Organizations (IPOs) to advise governments on the value of including
community-based, sustainable development plans in state and national development plans.
In this context, UNEP should be an active leader in promoting community-based, rights-
based initiatives toward water policy and management.

12. Mr. Noah Chesnin of TUNZA Youth Advisory Council emphasized the need to discuss
water issues (and indeed all environmental issues) in a language and context that
resonates with the concerns and experiences of today’s youth. Many youth today in North
America are disconnected from the water crisis and view water primarily as a commodity
that one buys in a bottle. Mr. Chesnin emphasized the importance of expanding
educational initiatives targeting youth in both North America and in developing
countries. Opportunities for youth to contribute actively to policy dialogues are also
important, particularly as more youth are educated regarding the importance of, and
threats to, environmental resources. With respect to agriculture, Mr. Chesnin
recommended that UNEP consider ways to promote partnerships with agricultural
corporations, local farming communities and organic agriculture associations to curb
agriculture’s substantial contribution to water pollution and scarcity. Mr. Chesnin also
argued that access to water should be declared a human right.

13. William Bertera of the Water Environment Federation, a non-profit federation of
US public and private companies and individuals who work on wastewater issues, emphasized
the overriding “principle of state sovereignty over natural resources” that ensures
governments remain the primary agent in control of water resources. Thus, groups
interested in sustainable water management need to try to influence governments,
including most importantly the government of the United States, which has such an
influential role in the world. Mr. Bertera argued that we must speak the language of
policymakers, yet still de-politicize water management. He endorsed the concept of
integrated water management. With a finite supply of potable water, we must not only
manage available water, but also find ways to use it again and again. Those of us in
North America must speak up for people in other parts of the world that do not have a
voice or influence over their government and yet are dependent on government decisions
for access to potable water and sanitation. UNEP should be a leader in public education,
including education of government policymakers, about the need to conserve water
resources for the betterment of people throughout the world.

14. Rebecca Pearl of the Women’s Environment and Development Organization
emphasized the need to engage and respect the role of women with respect to water
resources. Women are among the poorest of the poor and are also the primary resource
managers in many communities. Ms. Pearl recounted how there have been sixteen global
conferences linking gender and water and poverty; we have the words, now we need the
action. She recommended that gender be considered a cross-cutting theme for all of the
Millennium Development Goals, including those associated with water and sanitation. She
urged UNEP and the GMEF to take clear steps to integrate gender considerations into water
policy decisions and work with other international organizations to ensure gender is
integrated in poverty reduction strategies. She believes there needs to be a set of
gender indicators developed to better identify mechanisms for integrating gender
considerations in resource management.

Roundtable Discussion

15. After the invited contributions, the Moderator introduced the goal of the
Roundtable Discussion: to have a robust and enriching debate regarding the environmental
dimension of water, sanitation and human settlements. The participants were also invited
to make specific comments regarding the background information provided for the
consultation, particularly the Draft UNEP Background Paper, and to make any specific
recommendations aimed at the governments attending the GMEF.

16. The Moderator further remarked how water, perhaps more than any other resource,
impacts people’s lives on a daily basis. Major groups will see water with widely
different perspectives reflecting water’s widely different functions. Some view water
in terms of human rights, some in terms of how to manage it for use and re-use, some in
terms of its ecological role, and some simply as a commodity to be bought and sold.
These different perspectives make the discussion more enriching, but also make achieving
consensus more difficult.

17. The Moderator opened the floor to comments and discussion. The following is a
summary of the points raised during the discussion.

18. Integrated Water Resource Management. Many participants endorsed the concept of
integrated water resource management as a process for ensuring that different
perspectives and approaches to water resources are reflected in major management
decisions. Specific concerns were raised about the need to integrate the perspectives of
women, youth and Indigenous Communities, each of which are historically underrepresented
in water management decisions. One participant recommended that such an integrated
approach needs to be ensured in reviewing the implementation of some of the Type 2
partnerships emerging from the World Summit on Sustainable Development.

19. Sustainable Consumption. Any civil society statement from North America must
recognize the issue of sustainable consumption and the disproportionate amount of
resources that North America uses when compared to the rest of the world. We have among
the highest per capita use of water in the world. In particular, outreach needs to
target the young to educate them on the impact of North American consumption patterns.
The true social and environmental costs (particularly in developing countries) of North
America’s consumption patterns need to be identified and publicized. In addition,
participants commented on the following specific aspects of North American consumption
patterns:

· Agricultural Uses of Water. Discussion about sustainable consumption practices
should include agriculture, which is the highest consumer of water. North America needs
to be a leader on agricultural water efficiency and re-use.

· Energy – Water Nexus. Several participants commented on the need to understand
and highlight the link between North American energy consumption and production, and
ecological and public health consequences around the globe.

· Suburban Sprawl Worst Practices. Several participants discussed the North
American approach to housing, which has led to suburban sprawl. Such sprawl is a “worst
practice” that harms watersheds, alters land-use, expands the use of the automobile and
leads to the erosion of urban communities. Suburban sprawl is at the interface of water,
sanitation and human settlements in North America. One participant recommended that
further research be conducted on the difference between sprawl and smart growth with
respect to their impacts on water quality.

20. Water and Human Rights. Many participants raised the importance of recognizing
and respecting access to freshwater, sanitation and housing as human rights. Governments
are thus obligated to provide regulations that ensure access to water resources for all
people. Several participants mentioned the need to use a rights-based approach in
addressing water management and related issues. Several other participants mentioned
specifically the rights of Indigenous Communities to control access to, and benefit from,
their resources. This would include operationalizing the principle of prior informed
consent, as well as building the capacity of local Indigenous and other communities to
express these rights. Existing human rights conventions, including for example the
convention on the rights of the child, were also mentioned as sources of human rights
obligations that should be taken into account by the GMEF.

21. Ecosystem Wide Approach to Water. As part of integrated water resource
management, several participants expressed the importance of taking an ecosystem-wide
approach. Efforts to manage the Great Lakes were suggested as an interesting case study
for gathering “Lessons Learned”.

22. Particular emphasis was placed on the relationship between freshwater, riparian
land areas and marine and coastal ecosystems. When addressing sanitation, for example,
the impact on coastal zones should not be ignored. UNEP and the GMEF need to take a
broader look at issues around water and sanitation to ensure that they are addressing
critical coastal and marine issues as well. Several participants agreed that we cannot
wait until the CSD meeting in 2014 to address looming coastal and ocean issues and that
ministers should use the opportunity of discussing water and sanitation to address
related coastal and marine issues.

23. Water resources must also be conserved to ensure the future ecological services
they provide. One participant argued for compensating local communities directly, when
water management decisions lead to the loss of local ecological services. Another
participant recommended protecting environmental (or instream) flows in rivers and lakes
as a way to protect the broader public interest in the freshwater biodiversity and
ecosystems.

24. The Importance of Multilateralism. Several participants commented that North
American civil society needs to emphasize the importance of US leadership in promoting
and supporting multilateral approaches to water, sanitation and human settlements.

25. Capacity Building. Several participants mentioned the importance of capacity
building in developing countries. Specific examples included support for: implementing
integrated water resource management; analyzing the policy and legislative gaps in
particular countries with respect to water, sanitation and human settlements; identifying
and removing obstacles to effective enforcement; and making the linkages between water,
sanitation and housing with that of poverty alleviation. North America needs to be a
leader with respect to technology exchanges to implement stronger water management
policies.

26. Capacity-building must be focused as well at the community level, in order to
ensure adequate access to water, sanitation and housing. Participants supported the
concept that water and sanitation decisions should be community-driven with broad rights
and responsibilities devolving to the community level.

27. Human Settlements. A concern was raised that UNEP’s background papers focused
primarily on water and sanitation, with little focus on the issue of human settlement
itself. He believed that these three issue areas were distinct and not only the
intersections were important. Providing safe and affordable shelter is environmentally
important in North America, and we need to emphasize how to reduce the ecological impact
of housing patterns in North America (particularly suburban sprawl).

28. International Trade and Privatization. Several participants raised concerns
over the trends toward international trade, investment and privatization relating to
basic water resources and services. One participant reflected the concerns raised at a
recent civil society meeting in Miami of water activists from North and South America,
who expressed concern that international trade and investment in water-related services
and resources would undermine access to water for poor communities. Another participant
thought the GMEF could address how to develop international standards that would ensure
more sustainable trade, without leaving the developing world unable to compete.

29. UNEP’s Role. Several participants thanked UNEP for engaging proactively with
civil society generally and through this consultation process. One participant thought
the UNEP paper did not adequately express what the institution stood for and what it
thought its effective contribution could be in the area of water, sanitation and human
settlements. Another participant noted that the UNEP paper recognized women as key to any
discussion of water management decisions in developing countries, but then neglected to
include particular points for discussion. The participant recommended that the paper
explicitly encourage consideration of the role of gender in decision-making in relation
to water, health and the environment in developing countries.

Next Steps

30. The moderator introduced the discussion of next steps. He explained that there
were several different possible next steps that the participants could discuss, but that
some would depend on their active engagement. These included:

(1) Moderators Summary of the meeting;
(2) Civil Society Statement for the GMEF;
(3) Designation of a Regional Focal Point;
(4) Self-identification of people interested in receiving an invitation to the
Global Civil Society Forum.

31. Moderator’s Summary. It was agreed that the moderator would prepare a
Moderator’s Summary of the meeting, which would be circulated in draft to all of the
participants for comments. This will only reflect the Moderator’s summation of what was
discussed at the civil society consultation and will serve as a record of the
consultation.

32. Civil Society Statement for the GMEF. The moderator also suggested that an
opportunity existed for civil society groups to prepare a civil society statement with
recommendations to the governments meeting at the GMEF. After some discussion, it was
agreed that a small drafting group would be responsible for compiling a draft Civil
Society Statement and circulating it to all participants. The moderator agreed to serve
on the drafting group and to provide the first draft based on materials submitted at or
soon after the consultation. Such a civil society statement would be sent to the
ministers on its own, but would also be the region’s input into the global civil society
statement.

33. Regional Focal Point. There was a discussion of the need, role and function of
a regional focal point to facilitate discussion with civil society preparing for the
Global Civil Society Forum. Although the participants saw value in having a regional
focal point, no one volunteered and it was agreed to leave the decision of who would be
the regional focal point to a later time.

34. Identification of Participants to the GCSF. The Global Civil Society Forum was
described and discussed briefly. A sign-up sheet was sent around for individuals or
organizations that wanted an invitation to the Forum.

35. Improvements on Consultation. The Moderator asked the participants to evaluate
the consultation and how they thought it could be improved. Several participants
commented that they appreciated that UNEP had provided the opportunity to meet and looked
forward to UNEP convening similar meetings in the future. One participant also suggested
that UNEP could learn from the internet-based discussion of Millennium Development Goals
that is currently being facilitated by the World Bank. In the participant’s view, that
process was engendering a constructive and rich dialogue regarding various issues
relating to sustainable development.

36. Adjournment. Ms. Van Dyke thanked the Woodrow Wilson Center, the moderator and
all the participants for coming and providing their input. She further expressed UNEP’s
appreciation for the time and expertise that civil society provides in UNEP’s work,
encouraged civil society to stay engaged in the GMEF process, and formally adjourned the
meeting.

North American Civil Society Consultation
to provide input into
2004 UNEP Global Ministerial Environment Forum (GMEF)

Discussions on the Environmental Dimension
of Water, Sanitation, and Human Settlements

Washington, D.C.
Hosted by the Environmental Change and Security Project
Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars
December 10th, 2003
6th Floor Boardroom
8:30 am- 2:00 pm
(please see second page for directions)

Agenda

8:30-9:00 Continental Breakfast

9:00-9:15 Welcoming Remarks, UNEP and Environmental Change and Security Project

9:15-9:30 UNEP presentation of GMEF Process and background papers

9:30-9:45 UNEP presentation on North American water, sanitation, and human settlements
issues

9:45-10:00 Questions/Discussion

10:00-10:15 Coffee Break

10:15-11:15 Invited interventions by representatives
of North American major groups

11:15-12:15 Moderated Roundtable discussion/dialogue

12:15-2:00 Luncheon; Discussion of next steps

UNEP North America Civil Society Consultation:
Providing input into the 2004 UNEP Global Ministerial Environment Forum

December 10, 2003
Woodrow Wilson Center

Participant List

Clayton Adams
United Nations Environment Programme
so@rona.unep.org

Marc Berthold
Heinrich Boell Foundation
marc@boell.org

William Bertera
Water Environment Federation
wbertera@wef.org

Noah Chesnin
TUNZA Youth Advisory Council
noah.chesnin@yale.edu

Sheila David
Heinz Center for Science, Economics and the Environment
sdavid@heinzctr.org

Tom Davis
TCB, Corporate EH&S Roundtable / Renew the Earth
tomdavis@webspan.net

Gene De La Torre
Consultant / Lawrence Livermore National Laboratories
Genedela@erols.com

Hilary French
UNEP / Worldwatch Institute
hFrench@worldwatch.org
hf@rona.unep.org

Naomi Friedman
Center for a New American Dream
Naomi@newdream.org

Pep Fuller
Oceana
pfuller@oceana.org

Zhang Haibin
Beijing University
zhanghb66@hotmail.com

Inga Hawley
United Nations Development Program
inga.hawley@undp.org

Marya Hillesland
Friends Committee on National Legislation
marya@fcnl.org

Beth Howell
CG/LA Infrastructure
bhowell@cg-la.com

David Hunter – Moderator
Center for International Environmental Law
Hunter202@earthlink.net

Lauren Inouye
SustainUS
lauren@sustainus.org

Cindy Kushner
Yale School of Forestry and Environmental Studies
Cindy.Kushner@yale.edu

Bill Mansfield
UNEP
Bill.Mansfield@rona.unep.org

LTC Millet
French Embassy
jeanmichel_millet@hotmail.com

Steve Owen
CitNet / ISF
steveo@appcoalition.org

Eric Listening Owl
International Institute for the Study and Preservation of Aboriginal Peoples and their
Cultures (IISPAPC)
globalaboriginal@netscape.net

Betty Papa
Pollution Probe
bpapa@pollutionprobe.org

Rebecca Pearl
Women’s Environment and Development Organization
rebecca@wedo.org

Anne Perrault
Center for International Environmental Law
aperrault@ciel.org

Gary Pupurs
CitNet
gpupurs@isforum.org

Veena Ramani
Integrative Strategies Forum
vramani@isforum.org

Keith Robinson
United Nations Environment Programme
Keith.Robinson@rona.unep.org

Linda Shaffer Bollert
World Resources Institute
Lindasb@wri.org
kkrchnak@wri.org

Craig Schiffries
National Council on Science and the Environment
craig@ncseonline.org

Rob Simon
Chlorine Chemical Council
Robert_Simon@americanchemistry.com

Ashbindu Singh
United Nations Environment Programme
as@rona.unep.org

Brennan Van Dyke
United Nations Environment Programme
bvd@rona.unep.org

Brian Van Wye
Association of State and Interstate Water Pollution Control Administrators
b.vanwye@asiwpca.org

John Waugh
IUCN- The World Conservation Union
jwaugh@iucnus.org

Caron Whitaker
National Wildlife Federation
whitaker@nwf.org

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