Civil Society Partners Discuss Environmental Agenda
Hundreds of civil society representatives from all over the world are expected to participate regional consultations that will kick off in Geneva next week in preparation for UNEP’s Global Civil Society Forum in February 2007. Representatives from a wide range of groups, including business and industry, farmers, workers and trade unions, youth, women’s groups, indigenous peoples, local authorities, and the scientific community, will meet to identify regional priorities and perspectives within the global environmental agenda. Similar meetings are set to take place in Nairobi, Manama, Bogotá, Washington, and Seoul from 23 October to 3 November 2006.
Delegates will debate issues related to gender and the environment, water, chemicals management, globalization, ecosystem services, and human well-being. The civil society representatives will be able to present their findings to UNEP's Governing Council next February.
Outputs of the regional consultations will be reflected in regional statements that will eventually be shared and discussed further during the Global Civil Society Forum (GCSF) and will feed also into the upcoming UNEP Governing Council, which will be held in Nairobi from 5 to 9 February 2007. The statements will be shared with government representatives at the highest level and will be integrated in the ministerial debate on the identified priority issues, including gender , water, chemicals management, and globalisation, ecosystem services and human well-being.
Representatives from each region will also be invited to attend the Governing Council as observers.
Since 2000, UNEP organizes a yearly GCSF, in conjunction with UNEP Governing Council / Global Ministerial Environment Forum (GC / GMEF). This forum is the main entry point for civil society participation at governance level in the United Nations Environment Programme. During odd years (e.g., 2001, 2003, 2005) UNEP convenes its Governing Council, which is the board of ministers from the countries governing UNEP. The Governing Council takes place at the UNEP headquarters in Nairobi, Kenya. During even years (e.g., 2002, 2004, 2006) UNEP convenes special Sessions on the different continents (e.g., 2000 in Malmö, Sweden; 2002 in Cartagena, Colombia; 2004 in Seoul, Republic of Korea; 2006 in Dubai, United Arab Emirates). The Global Civil Society Forum is held just prior to the Governing Council or its special session, in the same venue.