The second day of the Global Major Group and Stakeholders Forum (GMGSF) of the UN Environment Programme (UNEP) began on February 17, 2013 at the UN compound in Nairobi, Kenya. The annual meeting, which is held in conjunction with UNEP's Governing Council/ Global Ministerial Environment Forum, aims to bring together over 300 delegates of major groups from civil society who attended a series of open dialogues centered around themes including the new UNEP institutional arrangements and rules of procedures, strengthening the science-policy interface in UNEP, an update on the Green Economy, the Ten Year Framework of Programmes on Sustainable Consumption and Production (10YFP) and the role and opportunities for involvement and engagement of civil society in the post-Rio+20 processes, i.e. the Sustainable Development Goals and the Post-2015 Development Agenda.
On Sunday 17th, the Network of Women Ministers and Leaders for the Environment (NWMLE) and United Nations Environment Programme hosted the second High Level Gender Forum, attended by Women Ministers, deputy ministers, government representatives, UN agencies and civil society together with experts on key themes. Views on gender and the environment were exchanged and opportunities identified for the integration of gender considerations to ensure environmental sustainability. Themes explored included gender and environmental concerns in the post-2015 process, as well as the connection between climate and gender and chemicals, health and gender. Other issues discussed were the necessity for more women to be empowered and influential in decision making, smart economies, sustainable investments, equal access and rights to environmental resources. The importance of the recent decision to address mercury pollution, and the work of the Climate and Clean Air Coalition (CCAC) to address short lived climate pollutants, were also highlighted as of key importance.
Sunday 17th also saw an opening event for the Green Shanghai Photo Exhibition, co-hosted by the Information Office of Shanghai Municipality and the Shanghai Environmental Protection Bureau. With one of the fastest growing economies in the world, Shanghai was able to accelerate its environmental initiatives during the decade of preparations for the 2010 Shanghai World Exposition (Expo 2010) and has been making continuous effort for green development since. To coincide with the event UNEP released the Final Environmental Review of Expo 2010, a complete appraisal of the environmental and social impacts of the six-month long event with recommendations that could be replicated in future international mass events.
Finally on Sunday, the High Level Meeting on the Rule of Law and the Environment brought together Ministers of the Environment and government representatives with Chief Justices, Heads of Jurisdiction, Attorneys General, Auditor Generals, Chief Prosecutors, other high-ranking representatives of the judicial, legal and auditing professions, and representatives of partner organizations. Discussions focussed on recent developments and opportunities regarding how the rule of law could be promoted for greater effect in the quest for environmental sustainability, sustainable development and social justice. Participants saw strong linkages between sustainable development and law, such as the negative effects of transnational organized crime ( including environmental crime), the mutually supportive relationship between the adherence to the rule of law and the respect for all human rights (including those related to the environment), and access to justice in environmental matters. New and emerging principles, such as non-regression in environmental law, and the importance of other developments at national levels to improve the effectiveness of environmental law, were also discussed. Environmental law was recognized as a foundation for environmental sustainability, and it was accepted that realizing its full potential was ever more urgent in our quest towards sustainable development and new economic growth.
For more information:
Earth Negotiation Bulletin