Sustainability in North-South Perspectives

Chair:       Hanna Kaisti & Mira Käkönen, Finland Futures Research Center
Time:        Thursday 9th June, at 13-15
vvvivvvv Friday 10thJune, at 10:30-12:30 & 14:30-15:30
Venue:     Lecture room B3110
vv
v
Sustainabilty in a Multipolar World
Aurélie Basha i Novosejt1, Rob Weterings2, Erik Frinking1 & Marjolein de Ridder1
1The Hague Centre for Strategic Studies, The Netherlands & 2Research team Innovation and Environment TNO, The Netherlands
v
The Club of Rome and the Brundtland Commission on Development and Environment have initiated an international momentum to secure the needs of both present and future generations through a joint policy agenda for sustainable development. Institutions such as the United Nations played a key role in developing multilateral agreements. However, the international landscape has gradually changed. More and more it appears to be characterized by national interests rather than multilateralism. In such a multipolar world the role of international bodies, such as the UN, is weakened and cooperative polices for common good issues become more difficult to pursue.
v
This paper raises the question what room exists for co-operative sustainability strategies. It offers an international comparison of sustainability policies of six countries (the Netherlands, China, India, Russia, South Africa and Mexico). The comparison reveals on what points there is international divergence or convergence in these countries’ visions and strategies regarding economic, environmental and social sustainability. Furthermore, it presents a meta-analysis of foresight studies in answering the question whether an internationally shared concept of sustainability is likely to emerge in the future. The paper concludes with recommendations for European policy-makers on how to effectively pursue a sustainability agenda in a multipolar world.
v
Copenhagen Failure and North-South Dynamics
Teea Kortetmäki
University of Jyväskylä, Finland
v
The North-South clash plays a crucial role in climate negotiations, forming agreement-preventing obstacles between developed and developing countries. These barriers contain eg. questions about South’s right to financial compensation and fair burden-sharing in emission mitigation. In this paper, I present the main results of my master’s thesis in which I analyzed the most important Copenhagen Climate Convention’s speeches, in relation to the mentioned obstacles and the clash between North and South. Analyzed speeches include the United States, China, the Climate Group, the African Union and Zimbabwe. I will argue that the tension concerning development issues is evident in the speeches and that the “Copenhagen failure” was built already in these speeches. In conclusion I shall discuss how this kind of rhetorical analysis provides understanding that can help the opposite sides to converge in their opinions and researchers to approach the North-South dynamics from rhetorical viewpoint.
v
Prospects of Deliberative Global Governance
Mikko Rask1 & Richard Worthington2
1The National Consumer Research Centre, Finland & 2Pomona College, California, USA
v
Global governance is often equated with international institutions such as the United Nations and the World Bank that were established after World War II to address problems transcending national borders. While these institutions incorporate norms of representative democracy that evolved in national societies, their legitimacy is often questioned on grounds of limited effectiveness and remoteness from the citizens they purportedly serve (Bexell 2010). The arguments of many democratic theorists (e.g., Dryzek 2006) that deliberation among ordinary citizens can generate unique opinions and legitimize policies that heed these views thus bear important implications for global governance.
v
The world’s first global deliberation, World Wide Views on Global Warming, was held in 38 countries on all inhabited continents in 2009.  In this paper we address:  (1) the main successes and challenges of this project based on case analyses from WWViews sites around the world (Rask, et al., 2011); (2) the picture of democratic expectations that emerges from the 488 recommendations that citizens developed using their own ideas and words and that were submitted to their national delegates to the 2009 UN climate summit in Copenhagen; and (3) the factors that are critical in the future shaping of global deliberation practice.
v
References
v
Bexel M, Tallberg J & Uhlin A (2010) Democracy in Global Governance: The Promises and Pitfalls of Transnational Actors in Global Governance (forthcoming).
Dryzek J S (2006) Deliberative Global Politics. Discourse and Democracy in a Divided World. Cambridge: Polity Press.
Rask M, Worthington R, Lammi M (2011, forthcoming). Citizen Participation in Global Environmental Governance. Earthscan, London.
v
Sustainability of Solar Power: Objectives and Implementation of World Bank’s Off-grid Program in Laos
Hanna Kaisti & Mira Käkönen
Finland Futures Research Centre, Finland
v
Current trends in energy supply and use are unsustainable – economically, environmentally and socially. Without decisive action, energy-related emissions of CO2 will more than double by 2050 and increased oil demand will heighten concerns over the security of supplies. Alternative energy solutions replacing fossil fuels are needed. At the moment solar power meets only a tiny fraction of the world’s electricity needs, but International Energy Agency (IEA) has predicted that this could change in the next decade. According to the IEA solar power could produce nearly 25 % of global electricity by 2050. Solar energy is considered to be extremely promising, especially in countries with optimal access to the sun’s rays – and very little other resources. As a result, several development assistance organizations and multilateral development banks are funding solar panel programs in developing countries. It has been argued that solar power is the best choice for sustainability and renewable energy in developing countries, especially in the very remote locations where electricity grid extension is unlikely in the near future. Unfortunately solar panels have not always been proven a panacea as it was hoped for. This paper is a case study of one solar panel program, and it explores the objectives and implementation of the World Bank’s solar panel program in Laos, Southeast Asia. Based on expert interviews and village-level fieldwork, the paper analyses the gap between the electrification and poverty reduction objectives defined by the World Bank, and the challenges of the actual implementation of the program.
v
Keywords: solar panels, renewable energy, Laos, World Bank
v
Global Governance of Water Security in Agro-Food Value Chains and Networks
Suvi Sojamo
Aalto University, Finland
v
This study investigates the sustainability of water security and the global political economy of agro-food value chains and networks. As agriculture is the biggest water user sector, it is emphasized that crucial decisions regarding water security are made by farmers managing irrigation efficiency with different techniques and water endowments, by traders sourcing from farmers in different parts of the world, by processors branding their products, by retailers setting value standards to their brands and by the consumers buying the products.
v
However, as power in the global value chains and networks is concentrating in the hands of few conglomerates of transnational corporations and state-led enterprises especially from China, there are stark asymmetries in decision making between different parts of the agro-food system in the global “South” and “North”. The findings of the study suggest that the growing water security risks may further change the dynamics of the agro-food system for the benefit of the powerful bargaining actors. Hence, in order to ensure sustainability of water security from local to global level, actors of the agro-food supply chains and networks need to be brought under greater stakeholder scrutiny and interaction in the context of global water governance and just international trade.
v
The Role of Legislation and Policies in Promoting Ecological Sanitation: Case Zambia
Mia O’Neill
Tampere University of Technology, Finland
v
The aim of this paper is to analyse how ecological sanitation (ecosan) is considered in Zambian legislation and policies and the prospects of ecosan in the current political environment. The term ecosan means sanitary methods which facilitate the recycling of human excreta back into the soil preferably in the form of fertiliser.
v
Zambian legislation does not mention ecosan specifically in any way. The sanitation legislation is written rather generally, and the legislation on fertilisers does not specifically disallow utilisation of human waste. On the policy level, sanitation is often seen as a housing and health issue, while environmental and sustainability perspectives are left out entirely. Overall, the ministries have varying interests, which leads to uncoordinated and conflicting policies.
v
In practice ecosan is used by communities, though the method is not widely accepted. Theoretically, ecosan is supported by authorities but because the decision making process is widely decentralised, the responsibilities have become unclear. Ultimately, the result is a continuous cycle of policy and practice affecting each other without change and with little regard to the multidisciplinary nature of governance. To break the cycle, the policies ought to conform to the practices in order to promote and ensure safe and sustainable sanitation.
v
Keywords: Ecological sanitation, legislation, Zambia
v
Developing Tibet into a Special Sustainability Zone of China?
Tarja Ketola
University of Turku, Finland
v
China has developed many Special Economic Zones (SEZs), such as Shenzhen, Xiamen, Shantou and Zhuhai, and several countries (e.g. Brazil, India, Pakistan, South Korea, North Korea and Russia) have followed its example. China could also take a lead in developing Special Sustainability Zones (SSZs). Sustainability integrates economic, social, cultural and environmental sustainability. China is already experimenting the integration of economic and environmental sustainability in Jilin where a Low Carbon Zone (LCZ) is piloted. Becoming one of the world’s superpowers China needs to address also the social and cultural aspects of sustainability in addition to its economic and environmental aspects. What could be a better place to start than Tibet, the focus of global interest and yardstick of China’s willingness to cooperate internationally? Turning Tibet into a Special Sustainability Zone would enable the meeting China’s and Tibetan people’s needs simultaneously: (1) physiological needs: water, food and energy; (2) safety needs: sovereignty and peace; (3) social needs: good relations and cooperation with others; (4) esteem needs: respect by/of others; (5) self-actualization needs: morality and creativity; and (6) self-transcendence needs: united consciousness. This paper drafts a plan for developing Tibet into a Special Sustainability Zone, which attempts to ease the politically charged situation.
v
Gendered Impacts of Conservation Agriculture among Smallholder Farmers in Zambia
Progress H. Nyanga1, Fred H Johnsen1 & Thomson H Kalinda2
1Norwegian University of Life Sciences, Norway & The University of Zambia, Zambia
v
Conservation agriculture (CA) is claimed to potentially optimise crop yields and profits while maintaining a balance between agricultural, economic and environmental benefits. Several donors are supporting CA in developing countries like Zambia. Few studies have addressed gendered effects of CA. The paper assesses gender dimensions among smallholder farmers under CA Project (CAP) in Zambia. Focus group discussions, key informant interviews and questionnaire survey were used. Results indicate that women and children have experienced reduction in labour with respect to clearing of fields before tillage, reduced labour during weeding where herbicides were used and an improvement in household food security.  Men’s labour increased with herbicide use. Digging of conservation basins is labour intensive and the chaka hoe is heavy for women. CA increases labour for women more than men during weeding without herbicides use. Results suggest that herbicides are necessary but several constraints contribute to their low usage. Use of Atrazine in CA raises concerns as to what extent CA is environmentally sustainable. Interventions on CA approaches need to be both gender sensitive and eliminate tradeoffs between socio-economic benefits and environmental sustainability by using environmentally friendly herbicides and weed control methods.
v
Keywords: gender, smallholder farmer, conservation agriculture, Atrazine, Zambia
v
“Just Begin”: A Case Study in Creating Experimental Spaces in a Time of Transition
Barbara Heinzen
Barbets Duet, UK
v
The Barbets Duet (named after tropical birds that sing in duet) is a twenty-year experiment to create the market mechanisms and institutional arrangements that will support people who support the natural world. The founding partners are working with two knowledge systems – African and Western, traditional and modern – to create the social/ecological institutions they need to adapt to a changing world.  This engagement has already redefined the North/South relationship and its underlying assumptions and throws new light on this difficult issue.
v
The experiment began in seven learning sites in five countries (five in East Africa, one each in the United Kingdom and USA) and was started by a small group of people who first worked together to create future scenarios stories for East African societies.
v
This case study will describe the evolution of the Barbets Duet idea from futures work in East Africa to the early progress of the learning sites.  The results of these initial experiences will be used to see what policy proposals might be emerging from the experience of developing the concepts and practices of the Barbets Duet.