CEESP TSEAPRISE Chair’s Update
20 November 2013 | Article
Diana Shand, the Theme on the Social and Environmental Accountability of the Private Sector Chair, gives updates on updates on various activities done by TSEAPRISE members.
The IUCN World Parks Congress, held every ten years, will take place in Sydney Australia on 12-19 November 2014. Diana Shand, Chair of Theme on the Social and Environmental Accountability of the Private Sector (SEAPRISE), will be working with the CEESP Vice-Chairman, Richard Cellarius, to coordinate CEESP work on WPC Stream Five, Reconciling Development Challenges. It is excellent to note that Richard has just been appointed to the steering committee of the ICMM-IUCN Review of Biodiversity Performance Project which plans a report for the Congress.
While there are TSEAPRISE opportunities in familiar interest areas e.g. the Citizen Advisory Councils concept; certification issues; here is also the opportunity to contribute on perspectives such as on issues in accounting for Natural Capital and ecosystem services; public policy frameworks which facilitate business to better decision-making and operations – to name some.
Expressions of interest are welcomed or could be explored in the TSEAPRISE forums.
World Bank Environmental and social safeguard policies
The World Bank has been reviewing and updating its environmental and social safeguard policies, which set forth requirements that the Bank and borrowers must follow when implementing projects with environmental and social effects. Members of TSEAPRISE have been discussing and endorsing the Natural Justice submission which can be read on http://naturaljustice.org/library/our-publications/legal-research-resources/legal-submissions.
Supply chains and certification
The IUCN Business Engagement Strategy adopted in 2012 aims to encourage transformational and demonstrable change at the company sectoral level in how biodiversity is valued and managed by businesses in order to conserve and restore the biodiversity and to ensure that biodiversity benefits are shared equitably (http://cms.iucn.org/about/work/programmes/business/bbp_aboutus/strategy/). Standards and certification schemes are key elements in promoting and monitoring such change, and TSEAPRISE has a particular interest in these tools for accountability.
TSEAPRISE members are forming a Working Group on Certification Issues. Some are interested in following IUCN’s engagement in the Aluminum Stewardship Initiative (ASI); another is involved with IRMA, the initiative for Responsible Mining Assurance (http://www.responsiblemining.net/), and Doris Cellarius Chair, CEESP Task Force on Agri/Biofuels is leading off the discussion in her article, Learning about Sustainability Certification Systems, by comparing them. She is encouraging a comparative study of experiences and procedures that assure effective stakeholder involvement in certification systems. Further expressions of interest to join this TSEAPRISE Working Group on Certification are invited.
An article on Genetic Modification (GM) http://us6.forwardfriend2.com/forward/show?u=29cbc7e6c21e0a8fd2a82aeb8&id=9916946173 has rekindled a lively TSEAPRISE discussion on where to next. There have been three IUCN resolutions
- GM – 2.31: Genetically Modified Organisms and biodiversity adopted by the Amman WCC http://cmsdata.iucn.org/downloads/res2_31.pdf;
- 3.007: A moratorium on the further release of Genetically Modified Organisms (GMOs), http://cmsdata.iucn.org/downloads/wcc3_res_007_1_.pdf;
- 3.008: Genetically Modified Organisms (GMOs) http://cmsdata.iucn.org/downloads/wcc3_res_008_1_.pdf] adopted in Bangkok.
There were no further IUCN resolutions on GM after WCC 2004, yet research is now accumulating substantial evidence of problems with GMOs. While there is longstanding TSEAPRISE interest in GM, no one leader has come forward to develop a programme of work in this area – but the opportunity is open.
SDGs and Post-2015
IUCN has been involved in the Post-2015 Development Agenda, i.e. the direction the world should take to achieve sustainable development after 2015 when the period of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) ends. The Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) initiated at Rio+20 might develop from the MDGs. CEESP was asked to contribute to the IUCN positioning paper and TSEAPRISE members were active in coordinating and contributing comment on this.
Members have been involved in responding in various forums to the Post 2015 report of the High Level Panel of Eminent Persons. Such documents and IUCN position papers are also available on the web pages of the IUCN Global Policy Unit: http://www.iucn.org/about/work/programmes/global_policy/
TSEAPRISE will continue to contribute in this area.
The TSEAPRISE forum has also been discussing the continuing deeply concerning developments of the Canadian Tarsands. Here the spokesperson for the Athabasca Chipewyan First Nation, has described the ongoing tar sands expansions on native lands throughout the province as a form of 'cultural genocide.' Both Shell and the regulators admit that the 40% expansion will significantly harm wildlife despite any mitigation efforts. This gigantic project is worthy of IUCN attention and TSEAPRISE is asking those of its members who are involved if there is a role where it could contribute.