Posted on July 1, 2009 by spoutingoff
UN environmental governance programs are failing the Earth
The fathers and mothers of the international environmental movement all met in Montreux this week to reminisce and relive past exploits of green diplomacy at a conference hosted by the Global Environmental Governance Project.
The list of attendees reads like an environmental hall of fame: Maurice Strong (he of Stockholm, Rio and Earth Charter fame); the other three former heads of the UN environmental program; Achim Steiner, the current head of UNEP; William Ruckelshaus, the first and fifth EPA administrator; Ambassador John McDonald, the creator of the UN population program and revered negotiator; Mohamed El-Ashry, the former CEO of the Global Environment Facility; Ambassador Peter Mauer from Switzerland; Gus Speth, the dean of Yale’s School of Forestry and Environmental Studies, a founder of the NRDC and former director of the UN Development Group.
The group also included Jim MacDaniel; former chair of the International Institute of Sustainable Development; Julia Marton-Lefevre , the director-general of the world’s largest environmental group — the International Union for Conservation of Nature; and numerous other ambassadors, from Pakistan to Sudan.
With such a truly impressive gathering of enviro legends, I expected the debate to be provocative and hopeful. Depressingly, the discussions were like “Groundhog Day.”
Filed under: Environmental Governance, United Nations | Tagged: Environmental Governance, MEAs, UNEP, United Nations | 1 Comment »
Posted on June 29, 2009 by spoutingoff
Current and previous UNEP Executive Directors (seated). Photo: Suzanne Biegel
Over the weekend, I went down to Montreux on the Lake Geneva shoreline. I didn’t see Zappa, but I did witness environmental history. For the first time ever, all five people who have served as executive directors of the UN Environmental Program (UNEP) attended the same event.
Maurice Strong, the founder and father of the Stockholm Conference and the Rio Earth Summit, is in Montreux. He’s joined by current director Achim Steiner, and past directors Klaus Topfer, Mostafa Tolba and Elizabeth Dowdeswell.
They are joined by a who’s who of UN environmental dignitaries to discuss the future of global environmental governance. With the Copenhagen climate change summit just around the corner in December, there’s an urgency to coming up with real, tangible recommendations to fix the ineffective, fractionalized system we have in place right now.
Filed under: Climate Change, Environmental Governance, United Nations | Tagged: Climate Change, Environmental Governance, UNEP, United Nations | Leave a Comment »