Reactions to the Zero Draft

The UN's zero draft report is now available. What do you think? This is the key agenda for the Rio+20 meeting which will be discussed by governments, civil society, private sector and others over the next weeks. What are your thoughts about this? Let's share our thoughts about this.

First impressions of the zero draft

I admit that when I first looked through the zero draft I was disappointed. Most of the recommendations that myself and others had submitted to the Compilation Document were not here. While there are phrases highlighting the importance of civil society and the need to improve civil society engagement, I could not find much there as to concrete steps to implement or even describe the nature of that improvement. There is a separate section on "major groups" yet the very term "NGO" does not appear anywhere in the entire document. Nor was there any acknowledgement that the "9 major groups" highlighted in Agenda 21 is only part of civil society, whose improved participation and engagement requires much more than what is offered in this text.

I was glad to see that the "Ten Year Framework on Sustainable Consumption and Production" was included here, given the failure of CSD-19 to approve the text painfully negotiated throughout that session. It is not very clear what shape this will take or if there will be any oversight to ensure that it doesn't turn into a bureaucratic program eating up scarce budget in circular chat-fests while avoiding the difficult and controversial issues underlying our global crises. Hopefully there will be a good discussion regarding the options for implementing this important framework and finally developing the necessary programs that are needed. We will see how that evolves.

Those were my first impressions. Overall, I am quite glad to know we now have a basis for a meaningful discussion on what we can expect and hope to achieve in Rio.