Asia Pacific Civil Society Regional Consultation Meeting
November 22-23, 2012
Civil society and stakeholder organizations are substantive partners who improve our understanding of the environment and assist in developing innovative solutions to environmental challenges. UNEP deals with a wide range of partners who bring valuable expertise, research and advocacy skills. These include: women, children and youth, indigenous groups, non-governmental organizations, local authorities, workers and trade unions, business and industry, the scientific and technological community, farmers, governments, Parliamentarians, and intergovernmental organizations, including UN agencies.
Since 2004, the Global Civil Society Forum (GCSF) preceding the annual UNEP Governing Council/Global Ministerial Environment Forum (GC/GMEF) has become the core of UNEP’s engagement with civil society.
Regional Consultation Meetings
Regional Consultation Meetings constitutes one of the main platforms for engagement with Major Groups and Stakeholders (MGS) at the regional level. They help build capacity and networking among MGS in the regions and Regional Offices. MGS and their representatives are invited to convene two to three-day consultation meetings prior to the GCSF. During the Regional Consultation Meeting MGS representatives dialogue on environmental issues that will be discussed during the GC/GMEF and GCSF, and produce a regional statement. Representatives of major groups are also elected to attend the GCSF.
Rio+20 Outcomes and MGS:
There are many references in the Rio+20 outcome document to strengthen public participation, access to information and access to justice in environmental matters. It underlines the importance of partnerships with MGS to achieve the ambitions of the outcome document, premised on the understanding that involving citizens and civil society in decision-making processes will result in better decision making and increase legitimacy and effectiveness. This will also engender stronger sense of ownership and encourage citizens and civil society to be active in delivering policy on the ground, in partnership with governments and other stakeholders.
Two paragraphs are particularly important in this context:
Paragraph 88 states: ìEnsure the active participation of all relevant stakeholders drawing on best practices and models from relevant multilateral institutions and exploring new mechanisms to promote transparency and the effective engagement of civil society.î
Paragraph 99 states: ìWe encourage action at regional, national, sub-national and local levels to promote access to information, public participation and access to justice in environmental matters, as appropriate.î
Asia Pacific Regional Consultation Meeting
The Asia Pacific Regional Consultation Meeting will take place in Kathmandu, Nepal from 22-23 November 2012. Around 20-30 Asia Pacific MGS participants are expected to participate. In line with the agenda of the 2013 GMGSF and GC/GMEF, the Regional Consultation Meeting will cover the following topics:
- Overview of major issues from Outcome Document and Implications for Major Groups and UNEP
- UN Post 2015 Agenda and Role of MGS
- Green Economy in the Context of Sustainable Development & Sustainable Consumption and Production
- The Role of Major Groups in Post Rio Agenda
Furthermore, a more general discussion on Rio+20 outcomes, on process and on issues relevant for the region will take place during the meeting. The RCM should result in regional messages/statements that can be fed into the 2013 GCSF and GC/GMEF.
Download the Application form: Regional Consultation Meeting 2012 and Application Form