Post-Rio+20 Consultative Meeting,
29th April 2013
ACP Secretariat held the consultative meeting on post-Rio+20, through the Department of Sustainable Economic Development and Trade on 29-30 April 2013, at ACP House,Brussels. The meeting was attended by representatives of all ACP Regional Bodies, UN Specialised Bodies, and ACP Partner Organisations.
Objectives of the meeting were to:
- Take stock of progress made in contributing to the management and sustainable use of natural resources in ACP Member States while taking into account the MGDs and adaptation to the adverse impacts of climate change.
- Identify priority areas for implementation of the outcomes of theRio+20, and make recommendations on how to speed up the achievement of the MDGs by 2015.
- Identify critical elements for a post-2015 framework.
First Speaker: Representative of Organisation Internationale de la Francophonie (OIF)
The OIF speaker highlighted the opportunities granted by theRio+20 process, with particular emphasis on the fight against poverty in member states. However, the speaker noted a number of inadequacies within the implementation process, and that changes need to be made. The speaker presented the OIF’s initiative dealing with the achievement of sustainability objectives. The initiative would produce a document to be shared with all OIF & UN member states that would outline a new strategic framework.
Second Speaker: Mme Martinez – International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN)
Mme Martinez outlined the IUCN’s opinion that the challenge for the implementation of theRio+20 agreements lay in not repeating the errors of the past. She stated that the fact that GDP is no longer seen as a prime indicator of well-being is a big step forward. However, she also said there were a number of missed opportunities, most notable in the failure to conclude an agreement on areas beyond national jurisdictions/oceans . She also cited an example of projects, such as the BIOPAMA project.
Third Speaker: Representative from EUMETSAT
EUMETSAT’s speaker gave an outline of the satellite operations that his organisation runs, which allow for greater data gathering on climate change and its effects. He emphasised the benefits that such data can bring to sustainable development.
Fourth Speaker: Meghan Sapp – PANGEA
Meghan detailed the rationale behind PANGEA’s work, highlighting the current lack of policy coherence across African states with regards to biofuels and the focus of many observers on perceived negative impact that biofuels have on developing countries. She also described the difficulties in trying to holdBrazilas a suitable example, or inspiration, for biofuel production in Africa, due to the inherent contextual differences between the two regions, such as the postcolonial environment inAfrica.
To problem shoot these issues, Meghan described what does work with regard to African biofuel projects, such as a step-stone approach, with local-use for fuels first. Existing industries that need to reduce their energy risk, such as mobile network providers and breweries, were noted as useful beneficiaries for biofuel projects.
Finally, the ‘food versus fuel’ debate was addressed, with reference to PANGEA’s Who’s Fooling Whom report, stating that food insecurity in Africa is far more attributable to underinvestment in agriculture, a lack of market access, lack of storage and a lack of energy access.
Fifth Speaker: Michael Hailu – CTA
The final speaker of the meeting, Michael Hailu spoke about the mission of the CTA, and how theRio+20 commitments on food security, nutrition and sustainable agriculture affected it. Mr Hailu described how the CTA’s work encouraged social inclusivity to raise the voice and profile of regional farmers’ organisations, and the advocating for increased public and private investment in agriculture.
Key outcomes of the meeting were:
- We need to look at IFES (Integrated Food and Energy systems) for the future, using crop waste and animal waste for energy to reduce food waste.
- Energy Integration is of critical importance; we are not looking for one global solution, we are looking for a mix of suitable energy sources in different countries.
- We need to focus on the facts, turn challenges in to opportunities, and make sure that all future projects are designed to be environmentally, socially and economically sustainable.
- Focus needs to be placed on bridging the gap between climate scientists and decision makers.