Environment and Development Series No. 2

International Environmental Governance: Some Issues from a Developing Country Perspective

A Working Paper by TWN
ISBN: 983-9747-73-8
Year Published: 2001
No. of pages: 34
Price: US$8.00 (inclusive of postage cost by air mail.)

Third World Network Environment and Development Series is a series of papers published by TWN on the increasing challenges to the relationship between the environment and development, in particular those posed by the process of globalization, liberalization and new technologies. It aims to advance a Third World perspective of analyses, strategies and proposals for reforms of policy, practice and institutions, at both the international and national levels - towards greater social justice, equity and ecological sustainability.

About the book:

The failure to integrate environment and development since the United Nations Conference on Environment and Development (UNCED) calls for a strengthening of International Environmental Governance (IEG). In this Working Paper, Third World Network contends that instead of setting up new institutions to improve IEG, an evolutionary and incremental approach should be taken. Substance and goals should precede form. There should be clarity of purpose and mechanisms for coordination and cooperation among Multilateral Environmental Agreements (MEAs) and the various UN entities. The relationship between the UN system, the Bretton Woods institutions and the World Trade Organisation should also be clarified, with sustainable development as the overriding objective.

It is imperative that the context for strengthening IEG be sustainable development with the full integration of three pillars: environment, economics and social. This process should also become a part of the broader framework and goal towards a strengthened International Sustainable Development Governance that operationalises the fundamental principle of "Common but Differentiated Responsibility". This would serve as valuable input for the World Summit on Sustainable Development, 2002.

Required actions include enhancing the United Nations Environment Programme to fulfill its key role as the "principal UN body in the field of the environment"; ensuring that the Global Environment Ministers Forum has the political profile to help bring cohesion to MEAs; improving the synergy between the Environmental Management Group and the Intergovernmental Group on IEG; and strengthening the Commission on Sustainable Development.


1. Summary

2. The context for IEG: Sustainable Development
The nexus between environment and development under the rubric of 'sustainable development'
The principle of 'common but differentiated responsibility'
Financial resources and the reform of the international financial architecture
The transfer of environmentally sound technology
Environmental integrity

3. Basic IEG principles and WSSD 2002

4. Some elements in approaching IEG and sustainable development governance
(1) General
(2) Enhancing UNEP
(3) Multilateral Environmental Agreements
(a) General
(b) Issue of co-locating MEA secretariats
(c) Cluster approach to MEAs
(d) Strengthening monitoring and compliance
(4) Strengthening the CSD
(5) Global Environment Facility
(6) Capacity building
(a) Capacity building of governments
(b) Capacity building of civil society
(c) The role of experts
(7) Global Environment Ministers Forum
(8) Coordination among agencies
(9) Regional cooperation