UNEA daily monitor is powered by The Youth Cafe’s delegates attending the fourth UN Environment Assembly. The newsletter tracks the most important negotiations and events and delivers the daily news through the lense of young people.
Speakers on Friday, March 8, the second and last day of the 18th Global Major Groups and Stakeholders Forum, highlighted issues of importance including the Aichi Biodiversity Targets maturing in 2020; a potential mismatch between the platforms for local communities and indigenous peoples intended by the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change Conference of the Parties held in December 2018 in Katowice, Poland; climate justice and the dependence of indigenous peoples on their natural environment; and a perceived shift in priority from achieving the Sustainable Development Goals for human rights to stronger investment in stakeholder interests.
In addition, the speakers emphasized that liability and compensation issues should be championed by Major Groups, and that awareness about the gender dimension of ecological impacts must be increased.
Questions were raised about the effects of corruption, and Africa’s progress in creating green jobs.
One highlight of the day was an open dialogue with the Acting Executive Director of UN Environment Ms. Joyce Msuya, who welcomed the Major Groups and Stakeholders with the observation that the UN will not achieve its mandate unless it works with Major Groups. Issues raised with Ms. Msuya by delegates included the lack of reference to indigenous groups in the current draft ministerial declaration of UNEA-4; the low level of involvement of Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs); violent acts against environmentalists; chemical damage to communities; and subsidies obstructing sustainability.
The afternoon’s breakout sessions included five themes and resulted in the following:
Environmental challenges that directly relate to poverty and natural resource management: huge disparities remain between wealth, resource use, power and influence.
2) Life-cycle approaches to resource efficiency: greater consideration of social and environmental impacts is desirable when producing and consuming chemicals and regulating use.
3) Innovative sustainable business development: governments should consider setting up frameworks for both technological and social innovations.
4) Progress in the implementation of the Paris Climate Agreement and SDGs: a supportive environment for implementation is created through sharing, access, transparency, synergy between countries, strengthened regulations, and justice.
5) Innovative financing solutions: innovations are needed with regard to investments, taxes, subsidies and other feasible finance mechanisms.