AFRICAN REGION COMMENTS
ON DRAFT DECLARATION OF THE 64TH ANNUAL UN DPI/NGO CONFERENCE
The Green Economy initiative can be beneficial to Africa if it is underpinned by a shift in the current paradigm. Such an unbridled economic growth is not seen as the be-all and end-all of development. The Rio spirit of seeing the economy as one part of a 3-legged stool that makes up sustainable development and promotes human well-being must be preserved.
Green Economy must promote equity between and within countries. In particular, it must not worsen the current imbalance in the terms of international trade and it should contribute to just and fairer international monetary and investment systems. It must also promote poverty eradication and climate justice.
From the African perspective, “Green Economy” must lead to sustainable development and be rooted in positive African values such as:
Green Economy must not be used as a green wash.
Green Economy must also not be used for the monetization and commoditization of natural goods and services.
SUSTAINABLE CONSUMPTION AND PRODUCTION
Africa has concerns relative to the Millennium Consumption Goals and believes such goals must be elaborated in greater details through an inclusive and transparent multilateral process. The goals must also encapsulate the implementation of the “polluter-pay-principle”. Sectors including agriculture, water, energy, transport and housing should be beneficial to Africa.
Rio+20 should support food sovereignty as the overall framework for food and agricultural policies. In Africa, small scale, agro-ecological and other forms of sustainable, ecological food production should be supported.
It is recommended the Millennium Consumption Goals section be removed and made into a standalone section that emphasises the direct consequences of climate change and its effects as a threat-multiplier.
This is a key issue for Africa and has been the least developed of the three Rio Conventions. It is recommended that this serve as a high priority for discussion at Rio+20.
All requirements must be met without expanding bureaucracy.
Support UNGA Council on Sustainable Development.
Other UN organs
Support the transformation of UNEP into a World Environment Organization
Institute an International Environmental Court
Support Ombudsman for Future Generations
Review the establishment of the National Committees on SCP within NCSDs which should develop a sustainable national economy plan by 2017.
Regional and local governments must establish multi-stakeholder platforms and strategies to address the development of sustainable economies by 2017.
Volunteerism should include a baseline regarding sustainable lifestyles and reflect the necessary safeguards. It should not be used to replace professional labour and should include diverse cultures and allow people who may not have “usual” qualifications to remain eligible to serve as volunteers. Volunteerism is important for capacity building and sustainable development.
The African committee also identified a number of emerging issues that should be factored into the declaration including: