ENGO Participation in Strategizing Session for a CSD Policy Concept Paper


Closed Consultation

When: March 2009

The RCEN was invited by the Department of Foreign Affairs Canada to select seven (7) ENGO groups to participate in the development of a Policy Concept Paper leading up to the seventeenth Commission for Sustainable Development cycle (CSD-17) from May 4-15, 2009.

Selected delegates:

  • Nikki Skuce, Forest Ethics, BC (Policy Concept Paper Writer)
  • Ella Haley, Ecological Farmers of Ontario, ON (Policy Concept Paper Editor)
  • Douglas Gook, FORPA Forest Protection Allies, BC
  • Rick Morrel, Saskatchewan Environmental Society, SK
  • Emmanuel Prinet, One Earth Initiative, BC
  • Linda Varangu, My Sustainable Canada, ON
  • Carolyn Webb, Canadian Institute for Environmental Law and Policy (CIELAP), ON
  • Alternate: Olga Schwartzkopf, Soil & Water Conservation Society- BC Chapter, BC

Selected ENGOs participated in a teleconference call on March 18 to prepare the Policy Concept Paper including, from a Canadian environmental perspective:

  • a brief history of the CSD process;
  • a description of the current implementation cycle leading up to CSD-17 within the context of the CSD process; and
  • provide policy options and alternatives specific to CSD-17 thematic issues: Agriculture, Rural development, Land, Drought, Desertification and Africa.

This paper was submitted to the Department of Foreign Affairs Canada’s Sustainable Development Division.

Background Information
The Commission on Sustainable Development (CSD) emerged from Agenda 21, the programme of action for sustainable development adopted in June 1992 by the United Nations Conference on Environment and Development (UNCED), also known as the “Rio Earth Summit.” Agenda 21 called for the creation of the CSD to ensure effective follow-up of UNCED, enhance international cooperation, and examine progress in the implementation of Agenda 21 at the local, national, regional and international levels. Initial CSD meetings focused on all aspect of Agenda 21. More recently, a decision was made to focus on thematic areas in a two year cycle. The first year of the cycle is considered a “review” year, focusing on information sharing and dialogue that sets the stage for the second, “policy” year. During the policy year, countries attempt to negotiate commitments that are not legally binding but aim to ensure the implementation of Agenda 21.

Objectives of the CSD-16/17 cycles
The CSD-16 has laid the groundwork for international discussions on the thematic areas of Agriculture, Rural development, Land, Drought, Desertification, and Africa. The thematic areas under review at the CSD-16 will culminate in a series of policy decisions at the CSD-17. The emerging issues raised at the CSD-16 include the connections between the session’s thematic agenda and both the current food crisis and climate change. Key concepts were raised in connection with the thematic areas including poverty reduction, food security, and climate change. The CSD-17 will be implementation-focused.

For additional details, visit the following websites:

The RCEN selected one ENGO and one youth delegate to attend the Sixteenth and Seventeenth Session of the United Nations Commission on Sustainable Development (CSD16/17) as well as a workshop organized by the Canadian Institute for Environmental Law and Policy (CIELAP) as well as the Intergovernmental Preparatory Meeting (IPM) for the seventeenth session of the CSD (CSD17).

To view reports for CSD-16 which took place from May 5-16, 2008, click here.

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