Archive for Events
UNITED NATIONS, March 27, 2012, 2012 (IPS) – World leaders may face an unexpected challenge come June, when a major global summit on sustainable development will be held in Brazil. Unlike during previous summits, these leaders might have trouble making promises they are unable to keep.
“We are really tired of declarations,” Antonio Herman Benjamin, judge of the Supreme Court of Brazil, told an international gathering of legal experts here Monday. Despite some progress made since the 1992 Earth Summit held in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, most governments have failed to fulfil their obligations.
As a result, the court has launched a new initiative to promote role of law in advancing sustainable development. It is known as the World Congress on Justice, Governance and Law for Environmental Stability.
The Congress’s scores of members from around the world include senior judges, prosecutors, legal scholars, auditors and development experts. They plan to focus on the problems and obstacles that hinder the implementation of multilateral environmental agreements.
Organisers said the World Congress intends to lead to the formulation and presentation of key guiding principles for strengthening the role of environmental law in achieving sustainability through the outcomes of this year’s United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development, commonly referred to as Rio+20, and beyond.
Among the measures that are likely to be discussed are the roles of courts and evolving environmental jurisprudence.
Reflecting on the slow progress on meeting sustainable development goals, Benjamin explained that in many cases, environmental policies are formulated in a way that lacks requirements for guidance on implementation.
“Laws do not mean anything when they are not effectively implemented,” he said. “We need to close the gap between legal scholarship, parliaments and judges, because what is written can be ignored.”
Despite the numerous agreements that have been negotiated since the 1972 Stockholm Conference on the human environment and the 1992 Earth Summit in Rio, experts noted that “only limited” progress has made towards achieving sustainable development goals.
Only a few multilateral agreements, such as the Montreal Protocol on the Protection of the Ozone Layer, which has precipitated a 98 percent drop in the consumption of ozone depleting substances, have produced meaningful results.
“The Montreal Protocol is a prime example of what can be achieved when countries work together effectively on agreed legal frameworks,” said Amina Mohamed, deputy executive director of United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP).
The Congress, according to Mohamed, would focus on the actions needed from legal practitioners to overcome challenges and promote the transition to a low-carbon, efficient and socially inclusive green economy founded on the rule of law.
In recent days, discussions at the United Nations about what needs to be done at the Rio Conference have indicated that many civil society groups and development activists remain as frustrated and disappointed with governments’ roles as they were before.
An ever-worsening crisis
“I think the Rio+20 process risks being undermined by vested interests and powerful governments,” said Michael Dorsey, professor of global environmental policy at Dartmouth College, who has attended scores of international meetings on development and environment since the 1992 Earth Summit.
The ecological crisis – from resource depletion to pollution, loss of biodiversity and an unfolding climate crisis – has worsened since 1992. Marginalisation and exclusion are on the rise as well, he told IPS, although some countries have made progress in the social dimension.
In major agreements such as the Rio conventions, sustainable development is considered to require fundamental shifts in three areas: climate change, biodiversity and land degradation, he added. “The Rio+20 institutional framework needs to facilitate the interface and integration of the three pillars.”
As the host of Rio+20, the Brazilian government, along with members of the country’s judiciary and auditing community, is supporting the Congress’s initiative.
This year, the Congress will convene from June 1 to June 3, on the eve of Rio+20. The outcome document from the Congress will be presented at the summit.
The event will be co-hosted by the Association of Magistrates of the state of Rio de Janeiro. Its partners include the Organisation of American States, South Pacific Regional Environment Programme, Interpol, World Bank, and the International Union for the Conservation of Nature.
SDPI Monday Seminar on
Climate Change Adaptation through Promotion of
Alternate and Energy Efficient Technologies in Pakistan
Date: Monday 2nd May, 2011
Time: 3:00 – 5:00 pm
Venue: SDPI Seminar Hall, 38, Embassy Road, G-6/3, Islamabad
Climate change is a global phenomenon and a challenging reality for thinkers, planners, policymakers and professionals alike. It is a phenomenon that is likely to impact almost every sector of Pakistan’s economy. Today it stands not only as a major environmental issue but also as a multi-dimensional developmental issue.
Climate change resulting from an increasing concentration of Greenhouse Gases (GHGs) in the atmosphere due to the use of fossil fuels and other human activities has become a major worldwide concern. It is particularly so for Pakistan because climate change could pose a direct threat to its water security, food security and energy security. The country’s vulnerability to such adverse impacts is likely to increase considerably in the coming decades as the average global temperature, which increased by 0.6 °C over the past century, is projected to increase further by 1.1 to 6.4 °C by the end of the current century. Pakistan contributes only about 0.38% of the total global GHG emissions. On per capita basis, Pakistan with 1.9 tonnes per capita GHG emissions stands at a level which corresponds to about one-third of the world average, one-fifth of the average for Western Europe and one tenth of the per capita emissions in the U.S., putting it at 135th place in the world ranking of countries on the basis of their per capita GHG emissions.
For mitigating and reducing the GHG emissions from the energy sector Energy Security Action Plan 2005-2030 envisages large roles for hydropower, renewable energy technologies (in particular, windmills), nuclear power and alternate energy technologies in future energy supplies. A number of projects on energy efficiency improvement, energy conservation and use of decentralized renewable energy technologies being implemented by many institutions including Pakistan Council of Renewable Energy Technologies (PCRET).
The focus of this seminar is to create awareness about changing climate scenarios and provide recommendations for efficient use of alternate energy sources through adopting adaptation measures and promoting energy efficient technologies. Further the introduction of Energy Efficient Cooking Stoves (EECS) Technology would be highlighted in presentations and during the session. An energy efficient stove is a new technology that is replacing our traditional stoves. Traditional stoves are big threat to firewood consumption and forest degradation.
Mr Abdul Rasheed Khan, Senior Advisor, Ministry of Science and Technology, GoP
Dr Mahmood A. Khwaja, Senior Advisor, SDPI
Mr Zafar Iqbal Khokhar, Director General, Pakistan Council for Renewable Energy Technology PCRET
Mr Babar Khan, National Integrated and Development Association (NIDA) Pakistan, Besham
Mr Bakht Muhammad, Sahara Welfare Foundation (SWF), Malakand
Ms Javeriya Hasan, Research associate, SDPI
Ms Anusha Sherazi, Project Associate, SDPI
For further details please contact:
Sustainable Development Policy Institute (SDPI)
House 38, Old Embassy Road, G-6/3, Islamabad-Pakistan
Tel: ++(92-51) 2270674-6, 2275642, 2278134
KARACHI, Feb 9: Activists of the Pakistan Fisherfolk Forum (PFF) on Wednesday marched from the ICI traffic intersection on Mauripur Road in protest against the cutting of mangroves forests for commercial purposes and demanded an immediate action against elements involved in such illegal activities in Kakapir and Shamspir.
The protesters, led by PFF leaders, after passing through I.I. Chundrigar Road, staged a sit-in in front of the Sindh Assembly where they had a meeting with Deputy Speaker Shehla Raza outside the building.
According to a PFF press release, she assured the PFF leaders of early resolution of their problems, which also included taking action against police officials involved in the mangroves cutting.
Earlier, the protesters also staged a sit-in in front of the Central Police Officer to draw the attention of the authorities to take action against the police, which they said were patronising illegal cutting of mangroves forests.
PFF chairperson Mohammed Ali Shah said they had already warned the authorities that the citizens of the mega city were under threats as an organised mafia were destroying mangroves and using the land for commercial ventures, putting the people of Karachi at the mercy of cyclones and tsunamis.
The marchers also staged a brief sit-in outside the Karachi Port Trust building, demanding the officials concerned to play their due role to safeguard the coastal area, initiate development projects and take legal action against those destroying mangroves forests.
PAKISTAN FISHERFOLK FORUM [PFF]
Sachal Hall, Jamat Market, Ibahim Hyderi,
Bin Qasim Town, Karachi, Pakistan