Experts Share Insights on How to “Think and Act for Future Generations” - IISD
The German Institute of Development and Sustainability (IDOS) and the German Institute for International and Security Affairs (SWP) convened an online event to discuss the UN Secretary-General’s policy brief on future generations, prepared as an input for the Summit of the Future in 2024. Experts shared perspectives on the strengths and weaknesses of the policy proposals contained in the brief and offered recommendations going forward.
The 19 April talk focused on the theme, ‘UN – Fit for Future Generations?’ Providing context for the discussion, the event page notes that the SDG Summit in September 2023 and the Summit of the Future in 2024 share the common task of strengthening collective action and working towards “more effective UN and global governance structures in order to better address existing and future challenges in the area of sustainable development.”
Marianne Beisheim, SWP, said the event is part of the Wednesday Expert Talk Series, which aims to shed light on the topics under negotiation and assess the political feasibility of policy proposals made in the context of the Summit of the Future, focusing on their impact on the implementation of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and the SDGs.
Silke Weinlich, IDOS, summarized key takeaways from the 15 March Expert Talk that focused on the Emergency Platform proposed by the UN Secretary-General, including the need to define the criteria for emergencies, understand how to embed the Emergency Platform in existing mechanisms, and ensure accountability.
Beisheim outlined proposals contained in the Secretary-General’s policy brief titled, ‘To Think and Act for Future Generations,’ including:
an envoy to serve as a voice for future generations at the global level;
better use of foresight, science, and data;
a declaration to define and make concrete our duties to future generations; and
a dedicated intergovernmental forum to advance implementation of the declaration and share best practices.
She noted that the proposal for a repurposed Trusteeship Council from the ‘Our Common Agenda’ report “did not fly” with many Member States and was not included in the brief.
Beisheim said three dialogues convened as part of the preparatory process for the Summit of the Future, led by the Permanent Representatives of Germany and Namibia. She said consultations on the forthcoming policy brief on meaningful youth engagement will begin “later this week.”
Among the many impacts that will affect future generations, Lutz Möller, Deputy Secretary-General of the German Commission for UNESCO, highlighted climate change, biodiversity loss, and inadequate stewardship of emerging technologies. However, he cautioned against centering future generations commitments around sustainability alone, to prevent undermining sustainable development efforts of the current generation.
Möller drew attention to the 1997 UNESCO Declaration on the Responsibilities of the Present Generations Towards Future Generations and to the report of UNESCO’s International Bioethics Committee on the principle of protecting future generations. He urged treating future generations comprehensively, taking into account a range of issues including intergenerational transmission of inequalities and health predispositions, reproductive rights, and changes to the human genome, among others. Möller called for using the precautionary principle and a human rights-based approach and pointed to the need to think about future generations as a group distinct from young people living today.
The Climate Chance Summit Africa 2023 will bring together on the 23rd, 24th and 2th of October 2023 at the Palais des Congrès in Yaounde 1,500 African actors from the "climate community": high-level personalities, experts, actors in the field, representatives of local governments, businesses and organised civil society.
Celebrations for World Environment Day 2023 kicked off in host-country Cote d’Ivoire, as millions of people prepare for similar activities across the world. Venues across the capital city, Abidjan – from its historic lagoon to its first modern art museum - shone the spotlight on this year’s theme #Beat Plastic Pollution.
Congo Basin Carbon brings together information on various research and education projects in the Yangambi and Luki MAB Reserves in the Democratic Republic of the Congo. Through this website we hope to strengthen research networks and improve project visibility, specifically for carbon research. Tropical rainforests such as the forests of the Congo Basin comprise nearly half of the world’s vegetation carbon. Intact tropical forests represent a carbon sink at a level that is higher than other vegetation types. The issues of carbon stocks, sinks and sources in tropical forests are therefore a central topic in international policy debates on climate changes.
At last year’s United Nations Conference on Climate Change (COP26), 141 leaders committed to halt and reverse forest loss and degradation by 2030. Forests, particularly tropical ones, are known to play a crucial role in removing carbon from the atmosphere, partially offsetting the effect of greenhouse gas emissions. This is a highly valuable service to the global climate, meaning the world should be willing to pay to ensure it happens. In this policy note, we look at just how valuable that service is, and put that in the context of aid efforts to protect forests.
During the process of photosynthesis, trees naturally absorb carbon dioxide from the atmosphere. Rainforests act as important 'carbon sinks' stemming global heating. The Congo rainforest is the planet’s most important “lung,” new data has revealed. The world’s rainforests absorb huge amounts of carbon dioxide, slowing down global warming.
The world is getting a better understanding of just how important forests are in the global fight against climate change. New research, published in Nature Climate Change and available on Global Forest Watch, found that the world’s forests sequestered about twice as much carbon dioxide as they emitted between 2001 and 2019. In other words, forests provide a “carbon sink” that absorbs a net 7.6 billion metric tonnes of CO2 per year, 1.5 times more carbon than the United States emits annually.
This brief describes the first efforts to integrate agroforestry with charcoal production in the Yangambi tropical forest landscape. Activities resulted in both increased food crop production and reforestation, as well as the establishment of producer-led local associations and greater collaboration between communities and local authorities.
The GEF Secretariat prepared this document to summarize the GEF’s potential role in a financial mechanism for the internationally legally binding instrument under negotiation under the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea on the Conservation and Sustainable Use of Marine Biological Diversity of Areas beyond National Jurisdiction (BBNJ). The document is prepared to help inform deliberations. It also includes questions and answers to key issues raised thus far by countries. GEF’s role as Convention Financial Mechanism: The GEF serves as a/the financial mechanism for five Conventions, namely the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD), Minamata Convention on Mercury, Stockholm Convention on Persistent Organic Chemicals, UN Convention to Combat Desertification (UNCCD), and UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC).
On May 8, 2023, in the BOUN'S Hotel conference, in Yaoundé, a workshop was held to launch the process of drawing up the Cameroon Country Investment Plan (CIP) on the nexus of transboundary transhumance, protected areas, peace and security, and development. Please download the final communiqué of the workshop...
Geneva and Yaoundé, 26 May 2023. The Ministry of Economy, Planning and Land Planning of Cameroon (MINEPAT) and CAFI are launching two Calls for Expressions of Interest today to all relevant implementing organisations concerned, representing a maximum of 60 million US$.
WWF is supporting the Government of Cameroon in her effort to restore more than 12 million hectares of degraded landscapes in the country. In 2017, the Ministry of Environment and the Ministry of Forestry and Wildlife committed, on behalf of the Government of Cameroon, to restore 12,062,768 ha of degraded landscapes under AFR100 and the Bonn Challenge by 2030. Of these, 80% are in the three northern regions of Adamaoua, North and Far North; with the remainder in the high plateau, Centre region, vast forest and coastal areas (Mangroves).
As part of our ongoing commitment to promoting transparent and accountable governance of climate and environmental funds, we are pleased to invite you to two upcoming online sessions. These sessions will offer valuable insights, strategies, and best practices for combating corruption, and reinforce our collective efforts to create a more sustainable future. We hope you will join us for these important discussions.
International Day for Biological Diversity, celebrated each year on 22 May, is an opportunity to not only acknowledge the crucial role healthy biodiversity plays in the survival of the planet but also to assess the nature crisis. With the theme ‘From Agreement to Action: Build Back Biodiversity,’ this year’s Day follows the historic adoption of the Kunming-Montreal Global Biodiversity Framework by 196 nations at the 15th meeting of the Conference of the Parties in Montreal, Canada, in December 2022.
Bukavu, May 10, 2023 – The Kahuzi-Biega National Park (PNKB) is deeply saddened to announce the death of its ecoguard Alain Lukinga, born in Kakongya on June 12, 1989, who sacrificed his life for the protection of the PNKB in an armed clash in Cibumbiro between the villages of Kajeje and Lukananda in the Mudaka groupement, in Kabare territory in South Kivu.
From April 19 to 20, 2023 a workshop for the development of a national investment plan for Nigeria on transhumance and related topics was held in Abuja, NIGERIA. This workshop, funded by the Congo Basin Forest Partnership (CBFP) Facilitation of the Federal Republic of Germany, aimed to...
The SWM Programme is the first international initiative to tackle the wild meat challenge by addressing both wildlife conservation and food security. It is an initiative from the Organisation of African, Caribbean and Pacific States (OACPS), funded by the European Union with co-funding from the French Facility for Global Environment (FFEM) and the French Development Agency (AFD).
In a bid to boost indigenous people and local communities’ (IPLC) engagement in wildlife protection around Lobéké National Park in Southeast Cameroon, Lobéké Management has signed social pacts with 34 Bantu and Baka communities in the Park. Thirty-four social pacts were signed between the communities and the Lobeke Management in December 2022, with each pact corresponding to a community project worth FCFA 300,000.
This report highlights the impacts of direct as well as indirect deforestation through mining. It presents for the first time ever the deforestation embodied in the consumption of products and showcases the extensive deforestation potential that artisanal and small-scale mining (ASM) can have on forest ecosystems.
A new toll road in Indonesia’s East Kalimantan province is under construction to improve access to the interior of Borneo, including to the nation’s new capital city, Nusantara. Construction of the road, however, poses immediate environmental risks, as the route cuts through a forested area with high conservation value that connects the Sungai Wain protected forest, coastal mangroves, and Balikpapan Bay. Prior to road construction, the integrated forest and coastal ecosystem supported populations of orangutans, sun bears, proboscis monkeys and Irrawaddy dolphins. Conservationists say the construction of this toll road belies the Indonesian government’s claims that the development of the new capital will be green and sustainable.
The tobacco industry causes a fifth of Zimbabwe’s forest loss. What is being done to minimise this? At the beginning of this century, the Zimbabwean government embarked on an audacious land reform programme, ostensibly to correct the injustices suffered by local people when the land was colonised. The controversial programme saw an estimated 170,000 black Zimbabwean families – mostly small-scale farmers – taking over agricultural production from about 3,000 white-owned farms.
SAN MARTÍN, Peru (AP) — The Cordillera Azul National Park on the eastern flank of the Peruvian Andes takes in a sweep of Amazon rainforest, mountains and waterfalls in a territory about the size of Connecticut, so precious that tens of millions of dollars in carbon credits have been sold in a program that supporters said would protect its trees.
To fight climate change and biodiversity loss, the new law obliges companies to ensure products sold in the EU have not led to deforestation and forest degradation. While no country or commodity will be banned, companies will only be allowed to sell products in the EU if the supplier of the product has issued a so-called “due diligence” statement confirming that the product does not come from deforested land or has led to forest degradation, including of irreplaceable primary forests, after 31 December 2020.
A number of reports have found that an Indonesian government program to establish large-scale agricultural plantations across the country has led to deforestation. More than 1,500 hectares (3,700 acres) of forests, including carbon-rich peatlands, have been cleared in Central Kalimantan province for the so-called food estate program, according to a spatial analysis by the NGO Pantau Gambut. Last year, the NGO Kaoem Telapak detected 100 hectares (250 acres) of deforestation in food estate areas in North Sumatra. Villagers whose lands have been included in the program have also reported an increase in the severity of floods since their forests were cleared to make way for the food estates.
Press release 3 May 2023 | The German government will make two billion euros available for the Green Climate Fund (GCF). German Chancellor Olaf Scholz announced the commitment at the Petersberg Climate Dialogue in Berlin today. This makes Germany the first major donor to announce its contribution for the upcoming pledging conference for the Green Climate Fund. The conference will take place in Bonn on 5 October and will be chaired by Development Minister Svenja Schulze. The Green Climate Fund is one of the largest climate action funds of the world. The creation of the fund was an important objective of the developing countries, which have an equal say in how funds are spent on climate mitigation and adaptation projects in developing countries.
With GEF and LDCF support, Nespresso, IUCN, and TechnoServe are working together to promote more sustainable and resilient coffee farming practices in South Kivu. Antoinette Shabanyere’s 1,800-tree coffee farm in the South Kivu province of the Democratic Republic of the Congo is at the forefront of efforts by local communities to adapt to climate change.
The Second Consultation Meeting (CM-2) for GCF’s second replenishment (GCF-2) was held on 27-28 April. Hosted by GCF and moderated by Dr. Mahmoud Mohieldin, the replenishment facilitator, the two-day virtual meeting convened over 100 current and prospective contributors where they received updates on GCF and discussed matters related to the replenishment process.
The Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) Country Representative, Suze Percy-Filippini is impressed with the progress made by the department of Forestry in the implementation of the Forest Farm Facility –FFF Program in the Choma District of Southern Province.
This case study forms part of a series of six case studies on mobilizing internal finance within Forest and Farm Producer Organization (FFPOs) prepared by forest and farm FFPOs for the Forest and Farm Facility (FFF). It describes the Jwa Ngwaane Community Cooperative Credit Union, established by the Kassena Nankana Baobab Cooperative Union (KANBAOCU) through the mobilization of 96 Village Savings and Loans Associations.
The African Regional Exchange, a three-day workshop co-organized with CIFOR-ICRAF, the Kenya Forestry Research Institute and the Kenya Forest Service, brought together farmers, bankers, governments, and development partners from across Africa to discuss ways to ensure smallholder farmers have access to the finance they need to improve and scale up sustainable forest and farm management practices.
This agrobiodiversity case study (No.6) from Zambia is the sixth of six case studies prepared by forest and farm producer organisations (FFPOs) for the Forest and Farm Facility (FFF). It describes the actions of the Choma District Tree Nursery and Growers Association (CDTNA). CDTNA represents 111 members, either individual nursery growers or collective enterprises that furnish diverse tree seedlings for forest and agroforestry restoration projects across Southern Zambia.
Oyéoussi Charles Balogoun is the Africa Representative of the NGO Panel under the United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification (UNCCD). The Civil Society Panel (CSO Panel) of the United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification (UNCCD) represents nearly 500 organisations accredited to the Convention. Charles Balogoun is also the Global President and Chairman of the Board of the non-governmental organisation (NGO) Afrique Espérance. He answers ENVIRONNEMENTALES’s questions on the state of desertification in Africa.
A common vision of sustainable finance is being developed in Central Africa. The project is at the heart of an international forum scheduled for 8 and 9 May 2023 in Douala, Cameroon, under the theme « Trajectories towards sustainable finance ». An initiative of the Bank of Central African States (BEAC), in partnership with the International Finance Corporation (IFC) and the Sustainable Banking and Finance Network (SBFN).
Delegates to the Sixth Meeting of the Forum of the Countries of Latin America and the Caribbean on Sustainable Development emphasized the need for forward-looking, high-impact initiatives involving all relevant actors, to enable the structural transformations Latin America and the Caribbean (LAC) needs to “resume and sustain the path to 2030.”
Kenya loses 2–2.4 percent of its gross domestic product annually due to the effects of climate change, such as drought and floods according to according to a 2018 Kenya National Bureau of Statistics study. Droughts alone cost the country 8 percent of GDP every five years. Arid and semi-arid rangelands (ASALs) occupy over 80 percent of Kenya’s landscape, and are home to about 36 percent of the total human population, and seventy per cent of the nation’s livestock and 90% of wildlife. Livestock's contributions account for 80 percent of household incomes in arid lands, and 65 percent in semi-arid lands.
Sitting at the forefront of the climate crisis, forest and farm producer organizations (FFPOs) have a vital role in supporting smallholder resilience and attaining climate change and biodiversity goals. Together, their members have a transformative potential to achieve sustainable development and respond to climate change at scale.