In acknowledgement of the urgent need for more effective and interlinked regional feminist responses from the economic south involving and in support of women advocates working in areas of gender and development, DAWN is organising a series of regional consultations and training institutes on “Strengthening Policy Analysis and Advocacy on Gender, Economic and Ecological Justice” in three regions - the Pacific, Africa and Latin America - in 2010 and 2011.
This advocacy is part of DAWN’s on-going effort to help promote awareness on and resolution to three major challenges highlighted in global governance debates: The first challenge is the existence of double standards in the response to the triple crisis. An unequal playing field in key policy areas is a major obstacle to coordinated response. The second challenge is the search for a sustainable model of economic recovery, growth, and development. The focus on financing climate change mitigation and adaptation is too narrow given the significant resource flows needed for developing countries to shift from high carbon, fossil-fuel energy to low carbon, renewable energy sources; to address the food crisis exacerbated by extreme and frequent climate events, floods, droughts, storms, loss of arable land and biodiversity; and to provide social protection for groups most vulnerable to the impacts of climate change including disease, landlessness, migration, poverty, and much more. Thus, far solutions to all these challenges have tended to be market- or technology-oriented and driven by corporate interests, which have created new inequalities between the North and the South. The third challenge is the inconsistencies between international trade rules (both WTO and regional trade mechanisms) and international environmental agreements.While economic south governments and civil society acknowledge some of these converging crises, as in other regions of the globe the inter-linkages between them are often ignored.
This project brings together actors working in various spheres of the areas of gender, economic and climate justice in the three regions of the Pacific, Africa and Latin America, in settings where people can raise difficult questions and political challenges in an atmosphere of trust and collective reflection. Specifically, participants include researchers and analysts from academia and civil society; policy makers from government, inter-governmental and regional institutions; and young and local women activists. The training institutes and consultations aim to provide venues for sharing information on a range of global and regional responses to the world multiples crises, including new initiatives that challenge hegemonic thinking and systems in finance, trade and monetary, and environmental policymaking, as well as for mapping current measures, mechanisms and programs at national and regional levels; and discuss possibilities, constraints and contradictions. The women’s rights activists from local and regional organizations will have their own facilitated input process.
Through the process, DAWN also hopes to encourage young feminists and women’s rights advocates to increase their engagement in transforming global economic and climate change governance structures; build capacity in policy analysis and advocacy on key gender, economic and climate justice issues, and their interlinkages; and encourage solidarity and support to contribute to policy proposals and social movement activism toward and during regional and global policy advocacy targets including the Tarawa Climate Change Conference (Kiribati, Nov 9-12 2010), CBD COP 10 (Nagoya, 27-29 October 2010), UNFCCC COP 16 (Mexico, Nov 29-Dec 10, 2010), Rio+20' Earth Summit (New York, May 2012), UNFCCC COP 17 (South Africa) and others.*
The GEEJ series began in the Pacific last September 2010, followed by Africa in November 2010, and to be continued in Latin America in March 2011.
International Law Supports Moratorium on Experimental Seabed Mining
International law supports moratorium on experimental seabed mining
Monday 27th August 2012
Pacific civil society organisations today launch a legal opinion on the application of the precautionary principle to deep sea mining in the Pacific Region. Given the considerable risks and uncertainties surrounding the environmental impacts of mining activities, "the correct interpretation of the precautionary principle leads to only one plausible result ‐ a moratorium on deep sea bed mining."
Maureen Penjuli, Coordinator of PANG says "This legal opinion comes at a very important time when Pacific Islands Forum Leaders (PIFLs) are meeting in the Cook Islands to discuss our future. It is clear that we do not know what the impacts of seabed mining will be on our vitally important ocean environment and international law makes clear our responsibility to proceed with unprecedented caution in this area. "
In a 10-‐page legal opinion, The Environmental Law Alliance Worldwide (ELAW)1 concludes that the application of the precautionary principle supports a moratorium on seabed mining until the risks of harm to the marine environment and coastal people are better known and understood.
The precautionary principle dictates taking a cautious approach in matters that affect the environment when there is scientific uncertainty about the negative impacts. The principle is widely used in international environmental law and has been applied in the courts in areas such as climate change, hazardous waste, fisheries and sustainable development.
"The precautionary principle is clearly cited in the Rio Declaration," says Effrey Dademo, Program Manager for ACT NOW!, "and there is a clear obligation on all States to widely apply the principle". This includes the need for an open, informed and democratic process involving all potentially affected parties and this is something that has just not happened prior to the introduction of experimental seabed mining. The Northern Territory Government of Australia, took the precautionary approach, in issuing a moratorium on seabed mining early this year."
According to legal opinion, "The significant risks and uncertainties surrounding deep seabed mining implicate strict application of the precautionary principle. Little is known about seafloor mining technology, its efficacy, safety, and the impacts that may arise from the process. In addition, the deep sea environment is a unique and diverse realm that has not been extensively researched and is not well understood. Both of these uncertainties warrant unprecedented caution and attention before proceeding with full-‐scale development of deep seabed mining."
"We need wisdom and political leadership. Do not undermine the Pacific," says Maureen Penjueli.
For media enquiries contact:
Serah Aupong – Media Liaison Officer
1 ELAW is a worldwide network of more than 300 advocates working in 70 countries who promote environmental protection through law and science in order to promote justice for their communities.
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