South and Central Asia regional virtual consultation on youth perspectives on Rio +20

Date:09 May 2011 to 29 May 2011
Venue:Online
Contact Persons:Daan Boom, Tek Jung Mahat, The Small Earth Nepal
Type:ICIMOD Discussion Series
Programmes:IKM
From Rio 1992 to Rio+20, 2012 and beyond: Where do we stand – How can we make a difference and promote green economy in the context of sustainable development and poverty eradication?

Introduction

The Earth Summit 1992, also known as Rio Summit was a landmark event in promoting sustainable development and penetrating effectively environmental concepts in social economic and political systems in many ways. ‘Rio Declaration’ or ‘Forest Principles’, global conventions on ‘climate change’ or ‘biodiversity’, planets some of the most crucial resources and important documents took better shape through this important meeting. One of most important reference this conference came up with is ‘Agenda 21’ - a global plan of action that was adopted to ensure sustainable development through integration of environment and devel¬opment issues and reflects a global consensus and political commitment at the highest level on development and environment cooperation.

Since then several attempts are made at different level to ensure sustainable development and eradicate extreme poverty by establishing strong bonds between economy and ecology and finding a better place to live for all the living beings. However not all the results are equally thrilling and positive. When we have achieved some of the objectives we set in 1992 and targets appeared in United Nations Millennium Development Goals, there is much more to accomplish and struggle for. After 20 years of this important event we are in the midway of sustainable development and one important step we take now will decide our fate, whether we continue thriving in this planet or simply become a history, without leaving behind any witnesses to tell what biggest mistakes mankind made ensuring their absolute disappearance.

Context

There are several Regional Preparatory Meetings for Rio +20 scheduled from September – December 2011 across the globe aiming to identify region specific problems, prioritize issues and put them in a standard form so thus identified issues and priorities can be addressed effectively during the main meeting. Most of these meetings are aimed at consultation with policy makers, UN organisations, governments and influential international and national organisations and civil society groups, where the role of youth is not clear and appears little underrepresented, and that needs special attention as youth and children now represent almost half of the global population, and they will be biggest sufferer of any wrong decisions taken at this point of time.

In South and Central Asia this issue is even more complex not only because it houses almost half of the world’s poor but also because it has diverse landscape, ethno-cultural richness, immense resources which are underutilized, important source of water serving to half of world population, booming economic powers like China and India and much more.

Objectives

In this context, the South and Central Asia regional virtual consultation on youth perspectives on Rio +20 is being organised by ICIMOD’s Asia Pacific Mountain Network (APMN) together with the Small Earth Nepal (SEN) and the Environmental Challenge Organisation, also known as ECO Singapore, with the following objectives:
  • To take stock of what has, and what has not, been achieved in implementing Agenda 21 in South and Central Asia
  • To collect the good practices and promote their sharing among the network members and concerned groups
  • To identify and prioritize sub-regional concerns in line with two principle elements of Rio +20 meeting, namely (i) a green economy in the context of sustainable development and poverty eradication and (ii) institutional framework for sustainable development
The findings of the consultation will be presented at the World Leadership Conference 2011 in Singapore, which is dedicated to pave the way towards the Rio + 20 as a consultation for the Asia and Pacific region.

Consultation plan

The virtual consultation is divided into three weeks starting on 9 May 2011. It will include web and email based discussion (e-discussion), dedicated Twitter sessions, Facebook discussions and Skype call among active participants.
  • 09-15 May: After 20 years of Rio – where do we stand? What are the new issues and challenges?
  • 16-22 May: Looking at the green economy for low carbon future in the context of poverty alleviation and sustainable development, and
  • 23-29 May: Environmental laws and governance for establishing an institutional framework for sustainable development in SCA

Other information

  • Top three highest quality contributors will be invited to attend the ‘Youth Forum on Climate Actions and Mountain Issues’, 8-12 August 2011 in Kathmandu, Nepal. Participation cost is covered by APMN.
  • All active contributors will receive ‘Certificate of Participation’.
  • All participants will qualify to join APMN’s Youth for Sustainable Mountain Development (Y4SMD) network.
  • Name of participants will be included in the event proceeding.

E-discussion Team

  • Coordinator: Mr Daan Boom, Programme Manager Integrated Knowledge Management, ICIMOD
  • Lead Moderators: Mr Tek Jung Mahat, APMN Node Manager, ICIMOD and Mr Dhiraj Pradhananga, President, SEN
  • Virtual Platform Administrators: Mr Utsav Maden and Mr Sanam Aksha, Consultants, APMN/ICIMOD and Jeeban Panthi, SEN
  • Support group: Ms Suchita Shrestha, Mr Sulav Adhikary, SEN and Mr Basudev Upadhyay, APMN/ICIMOD.