Updated 10 June, 2003

Resource Book
Key Documents
Reference Area
The Project
Country Area
About NSSD


Main Links page

International and regional NGOs

National NGOs

Development Cooperation Agencies with units or programmes on NSDSs

Inter-governmental organisations

Private sector

Government departments

International and regional NGOs

The Earth Council

The Earth Council is an international NGO created in 1992 to promote and advance the operationalization of sustainable development, particularly the implementation of the Earth Summit agreements. It works primarily, but not exclusively, with developing countries in Africa, Asia-Pacific, Central and Eastern Europe and Former Soviet Union, Latin America and Caribbean. Three objectives guide the work of the Council:

  • To promote awareness for the needed transition to more sustainable and equitable patterns of development;
  • To encourage public participation in decision-making processes at all levels of government;
  • To build bridges of understanding and cooperation between important actors of civil society and governments worldwide.

The Earth Council has four main programs:



NCSD Programme

Since of the creation of first NCSD in the Philippines in September 1992, the Earth Council has supported their establishment and strengthening, especially in developing countries. The NCSD programme catalyses dialogue amongst stakeholders in developing regions towards the creation of NCSDs, facilitates capacity-building and training, and enables closer linkages between NCSDs and key international agencies engaged in sustainable development, including UN programmes and key NGOs. A major focus of the programme's current activities is to facilitate and strengthen the active and informed collaboration of civil society groups and NGOs on a more equal basis with government and the private sector to develop, implement and monitor integrated policies, plans and projects for sustainable development.

The NCSD Knowledge Network (www.ncsdnetwork.org/knowledge) is a regularly updated website managed by the Earth Council to promote learning and knowledge exchange amongst NCSDs, and includes assessments and reports prepared by NCSDs, and resources for them.

The NCSD programme has promoted development of national sustainable development strategies by NCSDs, using a multi-stakeholder and integrative approach to sustainability planning. In particular, the programme has focused on developing a methodology to integrated global environmental conventions into local and national sustainable development strategies. The programme has also mobilized and facilitated assessments of progress in implementing NSDSs.



International Council for Local Environmental Initiatives (ICLEI) - Local Agenda 21

The International Council for Local Environmental Initiatives (ICLEI) is the international environmental agency for local governments. Its mission is to build and serve a worldwide movement of local governments to achieve tangible improvements in global environmental and sustainable development conditions through cumulative local actions. Building a worldwide movement requires that ICLEI functions as a democratic, international association of local governments. Serving a worldwide movement requires that ICLEI operates as an international environmental agency for local governments.

More than 350 cities, towns, counties, and their associations worldwide comprise ICLEI's membership. They and hundreds of other local governments are engaged in ICLEI's international campaigns and regional projects. Through its campaigns, ICLEI helps local government generate political awareness of key issues, build capacity through technical assistance and training, and evaluate local and cumulative progress toward sustainable development.

ICLEI serves as an information clearinghouse on sustainable development by providing policy guidance, training and technical assistance, and consultancy services to increase local governments' capacity to address global challenges.

ICLEI, a democratic association of local governments, serves as an advocate for local government before national and international bodies in order to increase understanding and support for local environmental protection and sustainable development activities. ICLEI maintains a formal association with the International Union of Local Authorities (IULA) and has official consultative status with the UN, through which it advocates the interests of local government before international bodies.



International Development Research Centre (IDRC)

IDRC has regional offices in Kenya, Singapore, Uruguay, Egypt, India, Senegal

The International Development Research Centre (IDRC) is a public corporation created by the Canadian government to help communities in the developing world find solutions to social, economic, and environmental problems through research. Its objectives are to:

  • Assist scientists in developing countries to identify sustainable long-term, practical solutions to pressing development problems;
  • Mobilize and strengthen the research capacity of developing countries, particularly capacity for policies and technologies that promote healthier and more prosperous societies, food security, biodiversity, and access to information;
  • Develop links among developing-country researchers, and provide them access to the results of research around the globe, in particular through developing and strengthening the electronic networking capacity of institutions in developing countries that receive IDRC funding:
  • Ensure that the products from the activities it supports are used by communities in the developing world, and that existing research capacity is used effectively to solve development problems.

To achieve these objectives, IDRC funds the work of scientists working in universities, private enterprise, government, and nonprofit organizations in developing countries and provides some support to regional research networks and institutions in the Third World. This support is designed to build a corps of researchers in each country and to help develop the networks of people and institutions that can undertake effective research and use the results of research to effect change.

IDRC funds research that is geared to alleviating poverty and promoting sustainable and equitable development. It favours multidisciplinary, participatory research where researchers from different disciplines work with local people to devise solutions to local problems.

IDRC's programing centers around Program Initiatives (PIs), each of which addresses a specific set of research issues, such as those associated with urban agriculture or community-based natural resource management. PIs are run as working networks that link Southern and Northern researchers to set research agendas and share research results. The PI team is responsible for funding individual research projects. Research proposals submitted by Southern researchers and research institutions are reviewed to see how closely they fit with the PIs' objectives and priorities.

IDRC also coordinates multiple donors to work toward common development goals. Through secretariats - research consortia of several donors - IDRC fosters cooperation among development organizations to maximize impact, avoid duplication, and reduce costs.

IDRC's programmes cover three broad areas:
· Social and Economic Equity
· Targeting poverty and economic vulnerability;
· Environment and Natural Resource Management.

IDRC is a rich source of information and knowledge about development and the research carried out by developing-world scientists. Its website (www.idrc.ca) provides access to reference material and publications, a searchable online library catalogue, information on activities funded by IDRC since its inception in 1970, reports, an e-magazine providing popularized articles about IDRC's research, and links to project researchers, the Nayudamma database provides access to appropriate technologies developed with IDRC support, images and videos (containing some 5,000 slides over 300 videos for loan or purchase), a list of Internet sites relating to international development.



The International Institute for Sustainable Development (IISD)

The International Institute for Sustainable Development (IISD) is a Canadian NGO which specializes in sustainable development issues, advancing policy recommendations on international trade and investment, economic policy, climate change, measurement and indicators, and natural resource management to make development sustainable. By using Internet communications, IISD covers and reports on international negotiations and brokers knowledge gained through collaborative projects with global partners, resulting in more rigorous research, capacity-building in developing countries and a better dialogue between North and South.

IISD maintains the compendium of indicators, one of the world's best reference guides on indicators of sustainable development. It is also the home of the Sustainable Development Gateway which is an even larger library of useful sustainable development reference materials.

IISD maintains the Linkages website (www.issd.ca), described as a Multimedia Resource for Environment & Development Policy Makers. The Linkages site includes downloadable/listserv version of Earth Negotiations Bulletin and Linkages. This focuses on international negotiation processes and also has links to sector specific organisations.



New Economics Foundation

A UK-based organization that works for a just and sustainable economy. Its main areas of work cover: participative democracy; local economic renewal; reshaping the global economy;

NEF has been developing, using and promoting indicators that measure the things that really count - like social connections, justice, participation and environmental sustainability. NEF, together with Friends of the Earth and the Centre for Environmental Strategy (University of Surrey) has developed the Index for Sustainable Economic Welfare for the UK to counter that shows that growth in the economy and sustainability are not the same.

NEF has helped design sustainability indicators and indicator processes. This work has spanned UN, EC and national government level, as well as initiatives regionally and locally and with many voluntary and business organisations.



Overseas Development Institute (ODI)

ODI is a UK-based independent think-tank on international development and humanitarian issues. Its mission is to inspire and inform policy and practice which lead to the reduction of poverty, the alleviation of suffering and the achievement of sustainable livelihoods in developing countries. It does this by locking together high-quality applied research, practical policy advice, and policy-focused dissemination and debate. ODI works with partners in the public and private sectors, in both developing and developed countries

ODI's work centres on five research and policy programmes:
· Poverty and Public Policy Group which includes the Centre for Aid and Public Expenditure;
· International Economic Development Group;
· Humanitarian Policy Group;
· Rural Policy and Environment Group;
· Forest Policy and Environment Group.

ODI manages three international networks linking researchers, policy-makers and practitioners:
· Tthe Agricultural Research and Extension Network;
· The Rural Development Forestry Network;
· The Humanitarian Practice (formerly Relief and Rehabilitation) Network.

In addition, it hosts the Secretariat of the Active Learning Network on Accountability and Performance in Humanitarian Assistance

The ODI Fellowship Scheme places up to twenty young economists a year on attachment to the governments of developing countries. There are currently 40 Fellows working in 17 countries in Africa, the Caribbean and the Pacific

ODI provides research support and advice to Parliamentary Select Committees, MPs and Peers. Since 1984 the Institute has provided research and administrative support to the All Party Parliamentary Group on Overseas Development. The Group's recent activities have covered aid, debt, Southern Africa, EU development policy and the workings of the UN/Bretton Woods system in development.




Pact began in 1971 as a membership organisation for private and voluntary organisations (PVOs) and NGOs. In 1992, PACT revised its bylaws, dissolved its membership, and established itself as an independent international non-profit corporation. It is registered in Washington D.C. with 18 field offices in Asia, Africa and Latin America.

Pact is a leading facilitator of leadership and organisational development in both nascent and established NGOs, networks and intermediary organisations around the world, providing training, technical assistance, mentoring and direct financial support. Its programmes help NGOs to undertake innovative, locally-defined development approaches, through teamwork, participation and partnership. Pact's work focuses on forging networks, coalitions and strategic alliances; organisational capacity assessment; corporate-community engagement; and information and knowledge networking. The latter involves providing technical assistance and training on:
· Visioning and valuation - facilitating the development of organisation-wide commitment to enhanced communications;
· Participatory assessment and monitoring of information and communications management capabilities, needs and opportunities;
· Information and communications mapping to plot information resources and flows;
· Communications planning to construct innovative and appropriate organisational strategies;
· Fostering internal and external networking; and
· Training of information brokers and organisational network coordinators.

Pact also provides USAID-funded subgrants and markets services for their management and for financial operations.



Stakeholder Forum for Our Common Future

Stakeholder Forum operates both in the UK (as UNED-UK) and internationally. UNED UK (United Nations Environment and Development UK Committee) is the successor to the United Nations Environment Programme UK, first established as UNEP's National Committee in 1987. It coordinated the official consultation process for the Rio Earth Summit in the UK for the non-government side. UNED UK is now concerned with promoting global environmental protection and sustainable development, particularly through support of UNEP, UNDP, UNCSD and other relevant UN institutions through:
· Disseminating information
· Organising UN events in the UK;
· Arranging visits from representatives from UNDP, UNEP and UNCSD
· Helping to mobilise the UK political process, particularly through national and local government, the voluntary sector and the commercial and industrial sector, in order to promote sustainable development in the work of the UN institutions boith nationally and internationally;
· Facilitating input from the membership of UNED-UK to the policy-making processes of UNEP, UNDP, UNCSD and other inter-governmental institutions;
· Contributing to the preparation and implementation of a national strategy for Agenda 21 and to support the work of UNCSD including its reviews of national strategies;
· Encouraging other activities that result in a multi-sectoral approach to the promotion of environmental protection and sustainable development.

The international work is focusing on the preparations for the WSSD. It maintains the Earth Summit 2002 website (www.earthsummit2002.org) which provides background information on the World Summit for Sustainable Development (August-September 2002) including news on key sustainable development issues, updates about the preparatory process, briefing papers and access to a monthly newsletter. A link is provided to the Forum's Multio-Stakeholder Process (MSP) project website.



Stockholm Environment Institute (SEI)

The Stockholm Environment Institute (SEI) has its headquarters in Stockholm, Sweden, with research centres in Estonia, the United Kingdom, and the United States, and an office in Bangkok.

SEI was established in 1989 following an initiative by the Swedish Government to develop an international environment/development research organisation. It is an independent, international research institute specializing in sustainable development and environment issues. It works at local, national, regional and global policy levels. The SEI research programmes aim to clarify the requirements, strategies and policies for a transition to sustainability. These goals are linked to the principles advocated in Agenda 21 and the Conventions such as Climate Change, Ozone Layer Protection and Biological Diversity. SEI along with its predecessor, the Beijer Institute, has been engaged in major environment and development issues for a quarter of a century. It seeks to be a leader in the creation of a new field of sustainability science aimed at understanding the fundamental character of interaction between nature and society, and to contribute to the capacities of different societies to build transitions to more sustainable futures.

SEI research activities fall under five main programme areas: atmospheric environment; climate and energy resources; sustainable development studies; water resources; and risk and vulnerability. These are carried out by a worldwide network of approximately 75 staff.

The processes of institute research and think-tank activities also have distinguishing features. SEI purposely selects major issues that act as impediments to creating more sustainable societies so that scientific progress has potential for shaping important human interventions and processes of change. The SEI approach is typically highly collaborative and participatory, involving partners in the regions and places of research so that local knowledge and values are mobilized and explicitly considered. Projects are designed to incorporate the building of regional capacities and the strengthening of institutions so that the long-term capabilities of SEI's collaborators are enhanced as part of the process. Running through SEI programmes and efforts is an uncompromising commitment to high ethical standards for the conduct of research and the provision of policy advice.



World Conservation Union (IUCN)

IUCN was founded in 1948 and brings together 78 states, 112 government agencies, 735 NGOs, 35 affiliates, and some 10,000 scientists and experts from 181 countries in a unique worldwide partnership. Its mission is to influence, encourage and assist societies throughout the world to conserve the integrity and diversity of nature and to ensure that any use of natural resources is equitable and ecologically sustainable. Within the framework of global conventions IUCN has helped over 75 countries to prepare and implement national conservation and biodiversity strategies. IUCN has approximately 1000 staff, most of whom are located in its 42 regional and country offices while 100 work at its Headquarters in Gland, Switzerland.

Strategies for Sustainability Programme (SSP)
With Regional Networks of Strategy Practitioners, the IUCN's Strategies for Sustainability Programme (SSP) aims to:
- Influence and assist decision-makers in implementing Agenda 21 and Caring for the Earth;
- Test and adapt a methodology for monitoring and assessing sustainability;
- Analyze experience in all types of strategies and, learning from this experience, develop better tools to assist strategy teams;
- Strengthen Regional Networks and engage them in providing technical assistance, thus strengthening local capacity;
This site includes links to:
- Strategies for National Sustainable Development A Handbook for their Planning
and Implementation
- Strategies for Sustainability: Latin America (Earthscan/IUCN) 1996
- Strategies for Sustainability: Asia (Earthscan/IUCN) 1996
- Strategies for Sustainability: Africa (Earthscan/IUCN) 1996 (www.iucn.org/themes/ssp/index.htm)

Assessing Progress Towards Sustainability
The Assessing Progress Toward Sustainability project is part of IUCN's Monitoring and Evaluation Initiative. This is supported by the International Development Research Centre and implemented by IUCN. It focuses on the development and application of methods and tools for system, project and institutional assessment. This includes a participatory approach for engaging stakeholders in defining the key sustainability issues affecting their lives, and practical ways of measuring change in human and ecosystem condition. The approach features a way of standardizing and combining indicators and includes approaches to training, capacity building and networking for field practitioners engaged in assessment activities (www.iucn.org/themes/eval/english/index.htm).

IUCN: Biodiversity Policy Coordination Division
The Biodiversity Policy Coordination Division (BPCD) brings species, protected areas and sustainable use concerns together with the social, economic and political dimensions of biodiversity. It works together with IUCN members, partners, IUCN offices and thematic programmes, and various international institutions, especially in relation to the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD). BPCD facititates regional fora and regional biodiversity programme development (as has been done in Europe, South and Southeast Asia, Meso America, South America, West Africa, East Africa, Southern Africa, North America, and the Middle East). The BPCD produces publications and reports, contributes to workshops and training courses, and responds to requests for technical and policy advice on biodiversity and sustainable use (www.iucn.org/themes/biodiversity/index.html).


World Resources Institute (WRI)

WRI is an independent, not-for-profit centre for policy research and technical assistance on global environmental and development issues. Its work is carried out by a 120 member interdisciplinary staff; strong in the social and natural sciences and augmented by a network of advisors, collaborators, international fellows, and partner institutions in more than 50 countries. WRI is governed by an international Board of Directors

WRI has programmes covering: biological resources; climate, energy and pollution; conomics and population; forest/global forest watch; information; institutions and governance; the management institute for environment and business; and the World Resources Report

The World Resources Report
A guide to the global environment. The 2000-2001 edition was prepared by WRI in collaboration with the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), and the World Bank. This millennial edition presents a comprehensive assessment of five of the world's major ecosystems: agro-ecosystems; coastal and marine; forests; freshwater; and grasslands.

The PAGE technical reports provides an in-depth examination of the condition of these five major ecosystems -- examining not only the quantity and quality of outputs but also the biological basis for production, including soil and water condition, biodiversity, and changes in land use over time.

Millennium Ecosystem Assessment
An initiative to generate new information, integrate current knowledge, develop methodological tools, and increase public understanding of the present and likely future condition of the world's ecosystems.

Partnerships and supporters
An initiative to generate new information, integrate current knowledge, develop methodological tools, and increase public understanding of the present and likely future condition of the world's ecosystems.

Sustainable Development Information Service
A well organised site with good links to secondary linked data sources www.wri.org/sdis/).



National NGOs

Bangladesh Centre for Advanced Studies (BCAS)

Bangladesh Centre for Advanced Studies (BCAS) is an independent, non-profit making non-governmental research organization. It was initiated in 1984 and started its first major activities in 1986. It is one of the leading Bangladeshi policy institute working on:

· Integrating Environment and Development, EID (Resource Management, Environment and Development - RMED);
· Governance and Peoples Participation - GPP; and
· Rapid Economic Growth (REG).



Development Alternatives, India

The Development Alternatives Group is a non-profit corporate organisation established in 1983. Its mission is to promote sustainable national development and create sustainable livelihoods on a large scale so as to mobilise widespread action, and thus to eradicate poverty and regenerate the environment. It seeks to do this through:
Innovation - through design, development and dissemination of: appropriate technologies, effective institutional systems, and environmental and resource management methods;

  • Sustainability - through commercially viable approaches;
  • Scalability - through partner organisations and networks

Development Alternatives works with partners in all sectors: government, international agencies, public and private sector institutions and grass roots voluntary organisations; and its activities cover a broad array of development issues

The Environmental Systems Branch is concerned with sustainable development strategies, state of environment reports, impact assessment studies, and management plans and programmes for:

  • Basic needs, resources, and rural economies;
  • Land use, command areas and watersheds;
  • Wildlife, protected and pristine areas and wastelands;
  • Rehabilitation and disasters; technology assessment and forecasting; and
  • Guidelines for environmental management of projects.

The technology Systems Branch provides various services covering: advice on eco-
building; assistance with markets and development; machine and product design; technology development and consultancy; vertical shaft brick kilns; and best practices.



Indira Gandhi Institute of Development Research (IGIDR)

The Indira Gandhi Institute of Development Research (IGIDR) is an advanced research institute established by the Reserve Bank of India. The aims and objectives of the Institute are to promote and conduct research on development (in its economic, technological, social, political and ecological aspects) from a broad inter-disciplinary perspective; to gain insights into the process of development and alternative policy options; and to disseminate the knowledge so gained.



Sustainable Development Networking Programme, Pakistan

A gateway to development information for Pakistan - envisioned as a one stop site for all significant development information on Pakistan that exists on the web. 'Pakistani Links' are indexed web resources from both Pakistani and international websites about Pakistan. 'International Links' pertain to international/global information from selected websites under the same categories



Development Cooperation Agencies with units or programmes on NSDSs

DFID (United Kingdom Department for International Development)

The Environmental Policy Department (EPD) contributes to the reduction of poverty by promoting the importance of environmental management, the integration of poverty-environment links and the characteristics for strategic planning processes towards this goal. The focus is to encourage the integration of this perspective into DFID programmes and collaborate with other agencies on these goals.

The Strategic Processes for Sustainability (SPS) Team - formerly the Sustainable Development Unit - was established within EPD in 1999. It works as a resource group and coordination point for DFID's work on, inter alia, national sustainable development strategies. The Team undertakes collaborative work with DFID's geographic and advisory departments and with other bilateral and multilateral agencies and sectors on NSDSs. It is a multi-disciplinary team comprising social, economic and environmental advisory expertise and has access to other specialist advice on a range of sectors such as governance, health, education, and private sector development.

The SPS team aims to ensure that the collaboration amongst different sectors produces a wider but more integrated perspective on sustainable development while maintaining a coherent approach towards the achievement of the Millenium Developmnt Goals (MDGs). It works on the linkage between poverty and environment and the understanding that rational resource management is essential to achieve sustained poverty reduction.

The SPS team focuses on assisting developing country partners achieve the MDGs. In particular, it works to ensure environmental sustainability through the integration of the principles of sustainable development into country policies and programmes to contribute to the reversal of the loss of environmental resources (MDG Goal 7 Target 9). It aims to broaden the understanding of the characteristics of NSDSs and places emphasis on promoting adherence to the principles and characteristics of NSDSs (Boxes 3.1 and 3.2) in the development and implementation of poverty reduction strategies. There is a particular stress on integrating environmental concerns in national development strategies and enhancing prospects for their sustainability and for improving the health and the livelihoods and reducing the vulnerability of the poor. In this way a poverty reduction strategy can be a very effective building block for a broader NSDS.

DFID has co-chaired an OECD/DAC Task Force on NSDSs which developed DAC policy guidance on NSDS, and supported work to develop UN Guidance on NSDS as part of the WSSD process.



GTZ (Deutsche Gesellschaft für Technische Zusammenarbeit, Germany)

GTZ GmbH has been operating as a service company in international development cooperation since 1975. The primary goal of its work is to improve the living and working conditions of people in the partner countries and sustain the natural basis for life.
GTZ deals with a wide range of issues and tasks, e.g. protecting the tropical forest in Indonesia, AIDS prevention in Kenya, vocational training in Argentina and advisory services to governments of countries of the former Soviet Union. With over 10,000 employees in more than 120 countries throughout the world, GTZ is the largest German organisation of its kind.

The Environmental Policy and Institutional Development Unit provides the following specific services to developing countries, donors and other clients:

· Assisting in strategy, systems and process design: offering advisory services in designing strategies for sustainable development, elaborating environmental action plans, environmental management systems and similar comprehensive framework processes.
· Assisting in project planning, monitoring and evaluation: assisting developing countries and donors in the identification, appraisal, planning, monitoring and evaluation of specific and tailor-made programmes related to urban-industrial environmental management and institutional development in the environment.
· Assisting in project implementation: With funding from the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ) or other donors, GTZ assists developing countries in the implementation of their environmental programmes, e.g. through the secondment of qualified long-term and short-term advisors, training and upgrading, financial contributions etc.
· Technical backstopping: GTZ provides services for technical backstopping of environmental programmes, including assistance in project cycle management, recruitment and human resources management, in-process-consultancy, coordination and networking, quality management, monitoring and evaluation;
· Implementing pilot projects and supra-regional programmes: GTZ operates a number of supra-regional projects which focus on 'mainstreaming' the implementation of Agenda 21 and the Rio conventions into development co-operation. Other pilot and sector projects collaborate with existing bilateral projects worldwide, to mainstream important development issues such as sustainable development, poverty reduction, gender, conflict management and many others, into regular co-operation programmes.
· Training and capacity building: GTZ offers a broad range of concepts for individual upgrading and needs-oriented advanced training, which are carried out in partner countries or in Germany. In addition, in-house training programmes for GTZ field staff and counterparts on issues such as sustainable development, environmental impact assessment, mediation and environmental conflict resolution, environmental communication, municipal environmental management and others are carried out.
· EIA and mainstreaming the environment: GTZ monitors the implementation of environmental impact assessment (EIA) systems, as they apply to all Technical Cooperation projects. At the same time, it assists in mainstreaming the environment into Technical Cooperation at large, i.e. through contributing to country strategy papers, networking and briefing GTZ field staff.
· Knowledge Management and Consultancy: GTZ manages and communicate information and expertise on Technical Cooperation in the environmental field, based on evaluations, field activities, workshops, exchange of experience, literature and information systems. Based on its experience, GTX offers advisory services to development cooperation organisations in formulating policies related to environmental cooperation, global environmental conventions and sustainable development.


GTZ pilot project "Rio+10 / Supporting national strategies for sustainable development ("Rioplus")

The GTZ Rioplus project concentrates on two areas:
· Providing support to the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ) in its preparations for the 2002 World Summit on Sustainable Development (WSSD); and
· Making both conceptual and practical contributions to promoting nssds in developing countries - advising partners in selected developing countries on the elaboration and implementation of nssds; working on the concept and processes of nssds and promoting debate on such aspects in national and international forums; and promoting international dialogue to improve donor coordination on nssds and related strategic planning processes.

Wherever appropriate, the Rioplus project and the project on poverty reduction (see below) work closely together, to ensure coherence in GTZ support to strategic approaches in developing countries, and make the best possible use of potentials for synergies.

GTZ Pilot project Poverty Reduction

The GTZ Poverty Reduction Project provides support to a number of countries worldwide in their efforts to combat poverty, with a focus on promoting the elaboration, implementation and monitoring of Poverty Reduction Strategies (PRSPs). The project also provides national and international platforms for experience exchange on PRSPs, and is involved in the respective international debate.

www.gtz.de/forum_armut/english/index.html is a website for sharing experience with poverty eradication, discussing and analysing common problems, and measuring impacts. The site allows German development organizations to conduct an open dialogue on model projects, programmes, instruments and procedures for the struggle against poverty. The site provides instruments to partners in emerging countries to test the effectiveness of poverty programmes and projects. The initial focus is on India, Peru, Morocco and South Africa and on trans-frontier development approaches in agriculture, civil society, housing and urban development.

A news group, working aids, contact addresses and news add to the practical uses of the Poverty Reduction Project, which is coordinated on behalf of the BMZ (Bundesministerium für wirtschaftliche Zusammenarbeit und Entwicklung - the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development).


Inter-governmental organisations

International Labour Organisation (ILO)

The International Labour Organization (ILO) is the UN specialized agency which seeks the promotion of social justice and internationally recognized human and labour rights. It was founded in 1919 and is the only surviving major creation of the Treaty of Versailles which brought the League of Nations into being and it became the first specialized agency of the UN in 1946.

The ILO formulates international labour standards in the form of Conventions and Recommendations setting minimum standards of basic labour rights: freedom of association, the right to organize, collective bargaining, abolition of forced labour, equality of opportunity and treatment, and other standards regulating conditions across the entire spectrum of work related issues. It provides technical assistance primarily in the fields of vocational training and vocational rehabilitation; employment policy; labour administration; labour law and industrial relations; working conditions; management development; cooperatives; social security; labour statistics and occupational safety and health. It promotes the development of independent employers' and workers' organizations and provides training and advisory services to those organizations. Within the UN system, the ILO has a unique tripartite structure with workers and employers participating as equal partners with governments in the work of its governing organs.

The ILO accomplishes its work through three main bodies, all of which encompass the unique feature of the Organization: its tripartite structure (government, employers, workers).

The annual International Labour Conference at which each member State is represented by two government delegates, an employer delegate and a worker delegate, accompanied by technical advisors. The Conference establishes and adopts international labour standards. It acts as a forum where social and labour questions of importance to the entire world are discussed. The Conference also adopts the budget of the Organization and elects the Governing Body.



International Monetary Fund (IMF)

The IMF, established in 1946, is an international organization of 183 member countries. Its purposes are to:

· Promote international monetary cooperation through a permanent institution which provides the machinery for consultation and collaboration on international monetary problems;
· Facilitate the expansion and balanced growth of international trade, and to contribute thereby to the promotion and maintenance of high levels of employment and real income and to the development of the productive resource of all members as primary objectives of economic policy;
· Promote exchange stability, maintain ordely exchange arrangements among members, and avoid competitive exchange depreciation;
· Assist in the establishment of a multilateral system of payments in respect of current transactions between members and in the elimination of foreign exchange restrictions which hamper the growth of world trade;
· Give confidence to members by making the general resources of the Fund temporarily available to them under adequate safeguards, thus providing them with opportunity to correct maladjustments in their balance of payments without resorting to measures destructive of national or international prosperity.


Poverty Reduction Strategy Papers

In relation to this Resource Book, Poverty Reduction Strategy Papers (PRSP) are an important initiative of the IMF. PRSPs are prepared by the IMF member countries through a participatory process involving domestic stakeholders as well as external development partners, including the World Bank and IMF Fund. Updated every three years with annual progress reports, PRSPs describe the country's macroeconomic, structural and social policies and programs over a three year or longer horizon to promote broad-based growth and reduce poverty, as well as associated external financing needs and major sources of financing. Interim PRSPs (I-PRSPs) summarize the current knowledge and analysis of a country's poverty situation, describe the existing poverty reduction strategy, and lay out the process for producing a fully developed PRSP in a participatory fashion. The country documents, along with the accompanying IMF/World Bank Joint Staff Assessments (JSAs), are made available on the World Bank and IMF websites by agreement with the member country as a service to users of the World Bank and IMF websites. www.imf.org/external/np/prsp/prsp.asp#pp


Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development, Development Assistance Committee (OECD/DAC)

The Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) is an international organisation made up of 30 democratic nations with advanced market economies, and has active relationships with some 70 other countries, NGOs and civil society. Its work covers economic and social issues from macroeconomics, to trade, education, development and science and innovation, and is best known for its publications and its statistics.

The OECD was founded in 1961 with the basic aim of promoting policies to:
· Achieve the highest sustainable economic growth and employment and a rising standard of living in Member countries, while maintaining financial stability, and thus to contribute to the development of the world economy;
· Contribute to sound economic expansion in Member as well as non-member countries in the process of economic development; and
· Contribute to the expansion of world trade on a multilateral, non-discriminatory basis in accordance with international obligations.


The OECD Development Assistance Committee (DAC) www.oecd.org/dac)

The DAC is one of the key forums in which the major bilateral donors work together to increase the effectiveness of their common efforts to support sustainable development. It concentrates on how international development co-operation contributes to the capacity of developing countries to participate in the global economy and the capacity of people to overcome poverty and participate fully in their societies. The Committee holds an annual High Level Meeting in which participants are ministers or heads of aid agencies. The work of the DAC is supported by the Development Co-operation Directorate, (DCD), one of some dozen directorates in the OECD. The DCD is often referred to as the DAC Secretariat because of this key function.

Members of the DAC are expected to have certain common objectives concerning the conduct of their aid programmes. To this end, guidelines have been prepared for development practitioners in capitals and in the field. Amongst these is Policy Guidance on National Strategies for Sustainable Development

The DAC's main activities are:

  • ·Development Partnerships: In 1996, DAC Members endorsed strategic orientations for development partnerships. This was followed by the landmark report "Shaping the 21st Century: The Contribution of Development Co-operation".
  • Donor Practices: A Task Force on Donor Practices was established in late 2000 with the fundamental objective of strengthening partner countries' ownership. Three subgroups are examining: financial management and accountability; reporting and monitoring; and pre-implementation phase of the project cycle.
  • Evaluation of aid: carried out primarily by the Working Party on Aid - the only international forum where bilateral and multilateral development evaluation experts meet regularly.
  • Financial Flows and Debt: The DAC publishes statistics and reports on aid and other resource flows to developing countries and countries in transition and related matters, based principally on reporting by DAC Members.
    Gender Equality: conducted primarily through the Working Party on Gender Equality, the only international forum where gender experts from development co-operation agencies meet to define common approaches in support of sustainable, people-centred development.
  • Good Governance, Conflict and Peace: work is undertaken by the Network on Good Governance and Capacity Development (GOVNET) and the Network on Conflict, Peace and Development Co-operation (CPDC Net), respectively.
  • International Development Goals: used by the DAC and the international development community as a common framework to guide our policies and programmes and to assess our effectiveness.
  • Performance Assessment of DAC Members: DAC "peer reviews" monitor members' efforts in the area of development co-operation.
  • Poverty Reduction
  • Private Sector and Development Finance: work is carried out primarily through the Working Party on Financial Aspects of Development Assistance and in collaboration with other directorates in the OECD. It aims to help partner countries attain sustainable development through private sector development and the mobilisation of domestic and external finance.
  • Sustainable Development, Environment and Development Co-operation: work is carried out primarily through the Working Party on Development Co-operation and Environment, the only international forum where environment experts from development co-operation agencies meet to define common approaches in support of sustainable development.
  • Trade, Development and Capacity Building: work aims to help developing countries generate sustainable, poverty-reducing growth and integrate effectively in the global economy through improved market access and enhanced capacity building measures.


United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs (DESA)

Within the United Nations Secretariat, the Department of Economic and Social Affairs (DESA) provides policy analysis and facilitates international dialogue on development issues in the General Assembly, ECOSOC and the specialized intergovernmental bodies reporting to them. It also provides technical assistance to Member States at the national and sub-regional level. In addition, the Department convenes and coordinates the work of the UN Executive Committee on Economic and Social Affairs, (EC-ESA) the highest-level Secretariat body responsible for ensuring the overall coherence and coordination of the economic and social work of the Organization. Building on this work, DESA provides substantive support to the General Assembly, the Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) and its functional commissions.


The Commission on Sustainable Development (CSD)

The CSD is one of the functional commissions and was created in December 1992 to ensure effective follow-up of UNCED and Agenda 21 and to monitor and report on implementation of the Earth Summit agreements at the local, national, regional and international levels. A five-year review of Earth Summit progress was made in 1997, Earth Summit + 5. The Special Session of the General Assembly held in June 1997 adopted a comprehensive document entitled Programme for the Further Implementation of Agenda 21 prepared by the Commission on Sustainable Development. It also adopted the programme of work of the Commission for 1998-2002. The following site includes information on the CSD sessions and links to the website for the 10-year review of Agenda 21: The World Summit for Sustainable Development. (www.un.org/esa/sustdev/csd.htm)

The Division for Sustainable Development (DSD) provides coordinated support for the implementation of Agenda 21 and other outcomes of the United Nations Conference on Environment and Development, including the Rio Declaration, the Barbados Programme of Action for the Sustainable Development of Small Island Developing States, the work programmes and decisions adopted by the Commission on Sustainable Development and the Programme for the Further Implementation of Agenda 21 .

The sustainable development website (www.un.org/esa/sustdev/) contains information about the UN's ongoing efforts to implement Agenda 21, the Rio Declaration on Environment and Development, the Forest Principles and the Global Programme of Action for the Sustainable Development of Small Island Developing States (SIDS).

Part of the CSD web site, provides information on the Working List of Indicators of Sustainable Development. The indicators are intended for use at the national level by countries in their decision-making processes. Not all of the indicators will be applicable in every situation. It is understood that countries will choose to use from among the indicators those relevant to national priorities, goals and targets.


United Nations Development Programme (UNDP)

The United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) is the UN's principal provider of development advice, advocacy and grant support, with its HQ in New York and 132 country offices.

At the United Nations Millennium Summit IN September 2000, world leaders pledged to cut poverty in half by 2015. UNDP is now charged with helping to make this happen. Its focus is on providing developing countries with knowledge-based consulting services and building national, regional and global coalitions for change. UNDP has specialized expertise in the following areas:

  • Democratic governance;
  • Poverty reduction (UNDP is helping developing countries plan and implement nationally-owned strategies and solutions for reducing poverty);
  • Energy and environment (UNDP is leading the UN effort in building national capacity for environmentally sustainable development, by promoting global best practices and supporting catalytic interventions);
  • Peace-building and disaster mitigation;
  • Information and communications technology



Human Development Report

The Human Development Report was first launched in 1990 with the single goal of putting people back at the centre of the development process in terms of economic debate, policy and advocacy. The goal was both massive and simple, with far-ranging implications - going beyond income to assess the level of people's long-term well-being. Bringing about development of the people, by the people, and for the people, and emphasizing that the goals of development are choices and freedoms.

Since the first Report, four new composite indices for human development have been developed - the Human Development Index, the Gender-related Development Index, the Gender Empowerment Measure, and the Human Poverty Index.

Each Report also focuses on a highly topical theme in the current development debate, providing path-breaking analysis and policy recommendations (the 2001 report focuses on making technologies work for human development). The Reports' messages - and the tools to implement them - have been embraced by people around the world, evidenced by the publication of national human development reports at the country level in more than 120 nations.

The Human Development Report is an independent report. It is commissioned by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and is the product of a selected team of leading scholars, development practitioners and members of the Human Development Report Office of UNDP. The Report is translated into more than a dozen languages and launched in more than 100 countries annually.

In addition, UNDP has helped more than 120 developing countries produce their own National Human Development Reports, which provide a basis for informed local debate about priorities and policies. These Reports also help donor governments to measure the impact of their aid dollars, and to communicate the way in which aid is making a positive difference both to direct beneficiaries and to electorates at home.



Capacity 21

As task manager for Chapter 37 of Agenda 21, UNDP was appointed to serve as the implementing agency for Agenda 21. Capacity 21 was established within UNDP's Bureau of Development Policy in the Operational Policies and Applied Research Group (OPARG), and works with developing countries and countries in transition to find the best ways to achieve sustainable development and meet the goals of Agenda 21 and to build their capacities (supported through the UNDP Capacity 21 Trust Fund) to integrate the principles of Agenda 21into national development.

Working with governments, civil society and the private sector, Capacity 21 programmes support the development of integrated, participatory and decentralized strategies for sustainable development. Capacity 21 programmes are country-owned, country-driven processes that support and influence national and local decision-making to build long-term capacities at all levels of society. Three principles lie at the heart of any Agenda 21 process and are the main building blocks for Capacity 21:
· Participation of all stakeholders in programme development, implementation, monitoring and learning.
· Integration of economic, social and environmental priorities within national and local policies, plans and programmes.
· Information about sustainable development to help people make better decisions.

Capacity 21 is operational in each of UNDP's 5 regions: Africa, the Arab States, Asia, Europe and the Commonwealth of Independent States, and Latin America and the Caribbean.

Since 1993, Capacity 21 has worked with over 75 developing countries and countries in transition to adopt innovative capacity-building approaches to address environmental degradation, social inequity and economic decline.

The Capacity 21 website features an on-line library with many publications and background documents (stone.undp.org/maindiv/bdp/dl/search.cfm).



United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP)

UNEP services and functions cover:
- Environmental Policy Development and Law
- Environmental Policy Implementation
- Early Warning and Assessment
- Convention Secretariats
- Secretariat to the Convention of Migratory species of Wild Animals
- Other Convention Secretariats
- Climate Change
- Regional Seas Conventions
- Desertification
- Rotterdam PIC
- Ozone Secretariat
- Multilateral Fund Secretariat for the Implementation of the Montreal Protocol
- Secretariat for the Basel Convention
- Secretariat of the Convention on Biological Diversity
- Secretariat of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild - Fauna and Flora
- Global Environment Facility Coordination
- Secretariat of the Scientific and Technical Advisory Panel (STAP)

See also the UN's version of global data collection on the environment and Grid Arendal's global environmental database..



Global Environment Outlook (GEO)

Project launched in 1995 with two components:

· A global environmental assessment process, the GEO Process, that is cross-sectoral and participatory. It incorporates regional views and perceptions, and builds consensus on priority issues and actions through dialogue among policy-makers and scientists at regional and global levels.
· GEO outputs, in printed and electronic formats, including the GEO Report series. This series makes periodic reviews of the state of the world's environment, and provides guidance for decision-making processes such as the formulation of environmental policies, action planning and resource allocation. Other outputs include technical reports, a Web site and a publication for young people.

A coordinated network of Collaborating Centres is the core of the GEO process. These centres have played an increasingly important role in preparing GEO reports. They are now responsible for almost all the regional inputs, thus combining top-down integrated assessment with bottom-up environmental reporting. A number of Associated Centres also participate, providing specialized expertise. Four working groups - on modelling, scenarios, policy and data - provide advice and support to the GEO process, helping coordinate the work of the Collaborating Centres to make their outputs as comparable as possible.

Other United Nations agencies contribute to the GEO Process through the United Nations System-wide Earthwatch, coordinated by UNEP. In particular, they provide substantive data and information on the many environmentally-related issues that fall under their individual mandates; they also help review drafts.

Regional consultations and other mechanisms to promote dialogue between scientists and policy-makers are an essential element of the GEO process. More than 850 people and some 35 centres contributed to the production of GEO-2000.



UN Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO)

FAO was founded in 1945 with a mandate to raise levels of nutrition and standards of living, to improve agricultural productivity, and to better the condition of rural populations. Today, it is one of the largest specialized agencies in the UN system and the lead agency for agriculture, forestry, fisheries and rural development. Since its inception, FAO has worked to alleviate poverty and hunger by promoting agricultural development, improved nutrition and the pursuit of food security - defined as the access of all people at all times to the food they need for an active and healthy life.

Drawing on its widespread information networks and the skills and experience of its technical staff, FAO provides independent advice on agricultural policy and planning, and on the administrative and legal structures needed for development. The organization also advises on national strategies for rural development, food security and the alleviation of poverty.

FAO is composed of eight departments: Administration and Finance, Agriculture, Economic and Social, Fisheries, Forestry, General Affairs and Information, Sustainable Development and Technical Cooperation.

The work of the Sustainable Development Department covers four main areas:

a) Conventions and agreements

FAO is a key partner in the implementation of three environmental UN conventions, namely, the Convention on Biological Diversity - FAO's mandate involving agrobiodiversity; the Convention to Combat Desertification and the Framework Convention on Climate Change
FAO's work addresses mainly technical and policy issues related to these three conventions. It deals mostly with normative activities (such as policy and technical guidelines and databases), but it also includes information on field programmes. Selected technical and institutional links to many other partners that support these conventions are also included under this theme.

  • Energy and technology
  • Geoinformation, monitoring and assessment.
    FAO is concerned with all aspects of geoinformation data acquisition, analysis and dissemination, such as the activities themselves and the tools and techniques used. Examples of activities are the Africover project and the ARTEMIS environmental monitoring information system. Others are the standardization of geographic data, various software tools such as WinDisp, and the website METART, where near real-time data from the ARTEMIS system can be visualized and analysed. Specific data sets, such as global climatic maps and other agrometeorological and GIS databases, are also made available.
  • Environmental policy and integrated management.
    FAO deals with areas in which governmental or international policy are directed towards improving environmental quality at the national, regional or global level. While this subject area is broad, the focus is on the use of policy mechanisms and techniques aimed at strengthening human and institutional capacity to effectively deal with environmental issues. This might be done, for example, through training in environmental impact assessment (EIA), through a policy study in a Ministry of Agriculture, or guidelines aimed at improved natural resource management.

    This theme includes specific topics such as: environmental impact assessment (EIA); national and regional environmental action plans; implementation of Agenda 21; indicators of sustainable development; integrated coastal area management (ICAM); organic agriculture; energy policy; natural resource conservation; environmental accounting; life cycle analysis; and indigenous knowledge.

In view of FAO's mandate, much of the content relates to the agricultural or rural dimension of environmental policy and integrated management. In many cases, the topics are also directly related to other categories such as environmental conventions or environmental monitoring and assessment activities. To the extent possible, the appropriate links and cross-references are provided.

In the past, though the Forestry Department, FAO led the Tropical Forestry Action Programme (TFAP) which saw many countries develop National Forestry Action Plans. FAO is now working with the World Bank (PROFOR) and other organisations to establish an National Forestry Programme (NFP) Support Facility to provide advice and capacity-building support to developing countries.



World Bank

The World Bank Group is one of the world's largest sources of development assistance. In Fiscal Year 2001, the institution provided more than US$17 billion in loans to its client countries. It works in more than 100 developing economies with the primary focus of helping the poorest people and the poorest countries. The Bank is composed of five organizations:

  • IBRD (International Bank for Reconstruction and Development): provides loans and development assistance to middle-income countries and creditworthy poorer countries;
  • IDA (International Development Association): the Bank's concessional lending window. It provides long-term loans at zero interest to the poorest of the developing countries;
  • IFC (International Finance Corporation): promotes private sector investment, both foreign and domestic, in developing member countries;
  • MIGA (Multilateral Investment Centre Guarantee Agency) promotes foreign direct investment by offering political risk insurance (guarantees) to investors and lenders, and by providing skills and resources to help emerging economies attract and retain this investment;
  • ICSID (International Centre for Settlement of Investment Disputes): provides facilities for the settlement - by conciliation or arbitration - of investment disputes between foreign investors and their host countries.


Environmentally and Socially Sustainable Development Network

The Bank's Environmentally and Socially Sustainable Development (ESSD) Network comprises three "families of practice": Environment, Rural Development, and Social Development. ESSD's mission is not just the integration of the environmental, social, and rural aspects of development. More broadly, it is to mainstream sustainability in all Bank activities.

The goal of ESSD is stated as to contribute to the Bank's mission of fighting poverty by improving poor people's livelihoods, health, and security today and in the future. ESSD aims to do this by helping to: enhance environmental quality and natural resource management; maintain the global ecosystems; improve access to natural resources; and generally increase poor people's capacity to improve their lives and influence the decisions that affect them.

The Environment group aims to ensure that the environment is taken into account in Bank projects and programme. This is accomplished in part through its responsibilities for the environmental assessment procedures and safeguard policies.

The Rural Development group seeks to enhance global food security and rural well-being by stimulating rural growth and development, eliminating rural poverty, and intensifying agricultural systems in a sustainable way.

The Social Development group aims to promote equitable, inclusive, and sustainable development. That is, to bring people and their traditional values, cultures, and organizations into economic and social development, and to give development a human face.

ESSD is investing substantially in fostering partnerships in the forest sector. The Alliance for Forest Conservation and Sustainable Use, jointly managed by the World Bank and WWF, pursues measurable targets for forest conservation and management worldwide. Another important partnership is the Forest Market Transformation Initiative, which includes the CEO's Forum for Forests, Forest Trends, and the Concession Management Program. In addition, the Bank has stepped up its participation in international forums and regional consultations on forest issues.

Beyond the forestry sector, there are several other new partnerships, such as:

  • The Prototype Carbon Fund (PCF) - established in the World Bank with contributions from governments and private companies, the PCF is the world's first market-based mechanism to address climate change and promote the transfer of finance and climate-friendly technology to developing countries;
  • The Provention Consortium, an international partnership that equips developing countries with the means to better cope with natural disasters such as earthquakes, hurricanes and floods, and reduce the loss of life and destruction they cause;
  • The Bank-UNDP-UNEP-GEF partnership on Land-Water Degradation in Africa to address the degradation of land and water resources in Africa and the associated adverse impact on global environmental values;
  • The Bank-IFAD-UNDP partnership on the facilitation committee of the Global Mechanism to facilitate implementation of the Convention to Combat Desertification by mobilizing financial resources;
  • Water sector activities such as the Global Water Partnership, Regional Seas Programmes in the Baltic, Red Sea, and Gulf of Aden, and the Africa Water Resources Management Initiative;
  • Bank-NGO partnerships, which are extensive and include relations with the Bank-NGO Working Group and NGO networks in all regions;
  • Post-conflict and development partnerships, including founding membership in the Conflict Prevention and Post-Conflict Reconstruction Network (CPPR), along with over 30 key partners;
  • and The Cultural Assets for Poverty Reduction group, which is fostering a number of very successful partnerships to mainstream culture and development by working in collaboration with technical agencies, NGOs, governments, foundations, and the private sector
  • The International Coral Reef Initiative (ICRI) is a partnership among nations and organizations that seeks to implement international Conventions and agreements for the benefit of coral reefs and related marine ecosystems.

See also:

  • World Bank acronyms: CDF, HIPC, PRSP, PRGF, and PRSC and others are defined - with links to these topics (www.worldbank.org/poverty/strategies/define.htm)
  • Poverty Reduction Strategy Papers (PRSPP). For these papers, see www.worldbank.org/poverty/strategies/index.htm
    PRSP Sourcebook (www.worldbank.org/poverty)
  • Comprehensive Development Framework (CDF). For papers on the Comprehensive Development Framework (CDF) look at
  • Green Accounting. For green accounting (genuine savings) and indicators, see (www.worldbank.org/environmentaleconomics).
    This is to the Bank's environmental economics and indicators web site. Five focal areas are presented: environmental indicators, green accounting, environmental valuation, environmental policy, and a section on new initiatives. A range of documents can be downloaded.
  • Participation. See Participation Sourcebook (www.worldbank.org/wbi/sourcebook/sbhome.htm)

Private sector

International Chamber of Commerce (ICC)

Founded in 1919, ICC has thousands of member companies and associations from over 130 countries, coordinated through National Committees. ICC speaks on their behalf and promotes an open international trade and investment system and the market economy. ICC makes voluntary rules governing the conduct of business across borders which have become part of the fabric of international trade; and also provides essential services, foremost among them the ICC International Court of Arbitration, the world's leading arbitral institution.

Business leaders and experts drawn from the ICC membership establish the business stance on broad issues of trade and investment policy as well as on vital technical and sectoral subjects. These include financial services, information technologies, telecommunications, marketing ethics, the environment, transportation, competition law and intellectual property, among others.

The ICC has been heavily involved in sustainable development activities since the UNCED conference in Rio de Janeiro in 1992. In preparation for that historic meeting, the ICC established an industry milestone with the ICC Business Charter for Sustainable Development, and has worked with businesses around the world to improve environmental management systems in pursuit of the key principles of the Charter. The ICC Working Party on Sustainable Development monitors key issues and challenges surrounding the international efforts of the UN Commission on Sustainable Development (UNCSD), including participation in the recent meetings of CSD9 and CSD10, the UN Global Compact, key Multilateral Environmental Agreements (MEAs), and other relevant inter-governmental negotiations and processes.

The ICC Working Party on Sustainable Development aims to identify areas where Business can play a constructive role, including: providing cheap and sustainable energy for everyone; ensuring clean water for all; developing accessible and affordable health care; encouraging market access for products from the developing world; provision of employment, social services and environmental care; mainstreaming responsible behaviour; pursuing transparency and reporting of performance of governments; and maintaining open dialogue with key stakeholders and civil society in general

In preparation for the World Summit on Sustainable Development in 2002, the ICC has joined with the World Business Council for Sustainable Development to initiate a campaign to mobilize business organisations under the title 'Business Action for Sustainable Development' (see: www.basd-action.net).



Prince of Wales Business Leaders Forum

The Prince of Wales Business Leaders Forum is an international not-for-profit organization founded by HRH The Prince of Wales in 1990 and active in 30 countries around the world. The Forum promotes socially responsible business practices that benefit business and society and which help to achieve social, economic, and environmentally sustainable development. Fifty CEOs, Chairs and senior executives from leading international companies form the

Board and Council of the Forum.

The Forum works around the world with leaders in business, civil society, and the public sector to:

  • Encourage continuous improvement in responsible business practices, with emphasis on the company's core business practices, social investment strategies, and engagement in policy dialogue;
  • Develop geographic- or issue-based cross-sector partnerships to take effective action on social, economic and environmental issues; and
  • Help create an enabling environment which provides the right conditions for responsible business practices and cross-sector partnerships to flourish.

INSIGHT, the Forum's capacity-building program, is based on direct cross-sectoral and cross-cultural exchanges of experience. They are administered on local, regional, and international levels, bringing participants from all three sectors together within corporate-community initiatives. The Forum aims to build the capacity of intermediaries to work together and to initiate, nurture and sustain practical business-community projects through its cross-sector practitioner workshops, study tours, and production of manuals. Furthermore, it hopes to encourage replication of these sustainable development projects.

The International Hotels Environment Initiative encourages continuous improvement in the environmental performance of the international hotel industry and thereby promotes sustainable development. It is made up of the chief executives of 11 global hotel chains representing 8,000 hotels.

Partnerships for Health Promotion is a project which develops new alliances between private and public sectors and communities, promotes and shares existing good practices through publications and the Forum's Web site, and creates a network of partners in health promotion.

The International Financial Services Leaders Initiative encourages greater participation of financial services companies in development programs focusing on corporate governance, education and social development in emerging markets.

The Forum's Web site contains a searchable database on socially responsible business practices and cross-sector partnerships, electronic versions of the Forum's newsletter and summaries of its publications, and details of upcoming events.



World Business Council for Sustainable Development (WBCSD)

The World Business Council for Sustainable Development (WBCSD) is a coalition of 150 international companies united by a shared commitment to sustainable development via the three pillars of economic growth, ecological balance and social progress. Its members are drawn from more than 30 countries and 20 major industrial sectors. WBCSD also benefits from a Global Network of 30 national and regional business councils and partner organizations involving some 700 business leaders globally.

The WBCSD mission is to provide business leadership as a catalyst for change toward sustainable development, and to promote the role of eco-efficiency, innovation and corporate social responsibility. Its objectives and strategic directions, based on this dedication, include:

  • Business leadership: to be the leading business advocate on issues connected with sustainable development;
  • Policy development: to participate in policy development in order to create a framework that allows business to contribute effectively to sustainable development;
  • Best practice: to demonstrate business progress in environmental and resource management and corporate social responsibility and to share leading-edge practices among our members;
  • Global outreach: to contribute to a sustainable future for developing nations and nations in transition.

WBCSD is a member-led organization governed by a Council composed of the Chief Executive Officers of its member companies, or other top-level executives of equivalent rank. It meets annually to decide the organization's priorities and to discuss strategic issues connected with sustainable development. These Council meetings provide a forum where business leaders can analyze, debate and exchange experiences on all aspects of sustainable development.

Council activities include:

a) Projects to develop new concepts and approaches toward sustainable development.

Council projects include: sustainability through the market, corporate social responsibility, climate and energy, innovation and technology, sustainable development reporting, and natural resources (biodiversity, and access to water).

Member-led projects include: cement, electric utilities, forestry, mining, and mobility

b) Capacity-building activities to allow members to mutually enhance their competencies and practices. They cover four streams: education and training, stakeholder dialogues, learning by sharing, and scenartios to strengthen understanding of the future.

c) Advocacy and awareness raising to creates momentum behind formulating the policy framework that enables business to realize a successful transition toward sustainable development.


Government Departments

The Netherlands Ministry of Housing, Spatial Planning and Environment (VROM)

The site includes an international section (in English) designed to provide a comprehensive source of information for international policy makers, managers, and professionals as well as for the general public. It features articles, news items and press communiqués on domestic policy issues and on the ministry's international activities. It is planned to add an on-line magazine as a forum of international debate on its policy areas.

VROM's goal is to make a policy in pace and harmony with current social, technological and political developments. It implements that policy in close co-operation with other ministries, local and regional governments, social organisations, businesses and interest groups as well as other national governments.

The Memorandum on the Implementation of the Climate Policy based on various international agreements is a good example of that. Other major components of VROM's policy are: the Memorandum Living in the 21st century, the Fifth Memorandum on Spatial Planning as well as the National Environmental Policy Plan No. 4. These memoranda serve as guidelines for laws and regulations and are also important guidelines for provinces and municipalities.

The site has a downloadable summary of the new National Environmental Policy Plan (NEPP4) (available in Engish, German, French and Spanish) which outlines strategies the Netherlands has chosen in order to resolve several long standing environmental problems. These include external safety, climate change, the adverse effects on biodiversity as well as health risks caused by chemical substances, problems and around genetically modified organisms.

Details are provided of the process to develop the Dutch National Strategy for Sustainable Development.



UK: Department for Environment, Food & Rural Affairs (DEFRA)

DEFRA leads on sustainable development policy across the UK government, but works closely with other government departments in delivering on this policy. From 2002, all departments are required to produce a sustainable development report outlining the sustainable development impacts of their bids for budget support.

DEFRA's Sustainable Development Unit (SDU) was established to service a new Cabinet Committee on the Environment, to plan a powerful new Parliamentary Environmental Audit Committee to scrutinise Government Departments' policies and operations and strengthen the role of Green Ministers.

In April 2001, a new Sustainable Development Research (SDR) Network was established sponsored by the SDU and co-ordinated by the Policy Studies Institute (PSI), in association with the Centre for Sustainable Development (CfSD) at the University of Westminster and the Centre for the Study of Environmental Change and Sustainability (CECS) at the University of Edinburgh. The SDU has also commissioned several projects: sustainable development research and opportunities, sustainable prosperity, and leadership for sustainable development.

Since 1998, DEFRA has sponsored the Sustainable Development Education Panel covering schools, further and higher education bodies, and education in work, recreation and the home (www.defra/environment/sustainable/educpanel)

The government has established the Sustainable Development Commission, subsuming the UK Round Table on Sustainable Development and the British Government Panel on Sustainable Development. It has done so jointly with the Scottish Executive, the National Assembly for Wales and the Northern Ireland Executive. The Commission's specific objectives are to: review how far sustainable development is being achieved in the UK in all relevant fields, and identify any relevant processes or policies which may be undermining this; identify important unsustainable trends which will not be reversed on the basis of current or planned action, and recommend action to reverse the trends; deepen understanding of the concept of sustainable development, increase awareness of the issues it raises, and build agreement on them; and encourage and stimulate good practice (www.sd-commission.gov.uk).

DEFRA provides a Secretariat for the Trade Union Sustainable Development Advisory Committee (TUSDAC), set up in 1998, is the main forum for consultation with trade unions on policy which aims to enable constructive dialogue with Government on sustainable development and other related environmental issues; to provide a trade union perspective on the employment consequences of climate change, and the response to it; and to help mobilise the trade union movement to become involved in the move towards better environmental practice in the workplace (www.defra/environment/tusdac).

The SDU has policy responsibility for Regional Sustainable Development Frameworks -

overarching documents which inform all other strategies and policies at the regional level - and has prepared guidance for developing these frameworks. They are prepared by a range of bodies at the regional level, including Government Offices, Regional Development Agencies and Regional Chambers.

DEFRA also has policy responsibility for Community Strategies which local authorities are under a duty to prepare. The SDU ha also prepared guidance for developing these strategies. They should be developed by Local Strategic Partnerships and should promote or improve the economic, social and environmental well-being of the area, as well as contributing to the achievement of sustainable development in the UK. The SDU has interest in ensuring that Community Strategies take account of sustainable development, including use of sustainable development indicators.

The DEFRA website provides information about the law on access to environmental information, and on Proposals for a European Community Directive on Public Participation in Certain Environmental Matters

The Government's main sustainable development website is at sustainable-development.gov.uk   which copies can be found of the UK's sustainable development strategy, A better quality of life, and copies of the first and second government annual reports, Achieving a better quality of life, covering 2000 and 2001. This website reports on progress by the United Kingdom as a whole towards sustainable development.



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