Archive for the 'Millennium Development Goals' Category

More Transparency Talk within the Environmental Debate

The panel on post-Rio+20 challenges highlighted the reasons why environmental degradation should be seeing as a sign of corruption.

As the negotiations in Doha, Qatar, unfold during the 18th UN Conference on Climate Change many of the issues that were discussed at the recent 15IACC have came to my mind. It was
a month ago that I had the pleasure to moderate the panel about sustainable development and transparency at the meeting in Brasilia.

At that opportunity, some of the panelists expressed optimism on multilateral efforts among countries to address urgent planetary problems. Others, nonetheless, have pointed that we are running late to save humanity, and corruption is part of the fail.

The participants were the ministry of Environment of Brazil, Izabella Teixeira, the acting president of the World Resources Institute (WRI), Manish Bapna, the director of World Vision International, Beris Gwyne, and the executive director of Greenpeace, Kumi Naido. The secretary of UNEP, Achim Steiner, has sent a video message.

Manish Bapna, Executive Vice President and Managing Director of the World Resources Institute

I ask them to give us an overview on their expectations after the agreement reached at the Rio+20 summit, in June this year. Minister Izabella was the optimist: she mentioned the start of a new moment, a new process to set the Sustainable Development Goals. But Kumi explained why he sees the agreement as the “longest suicidal note” in history. For him, governments are ceding to lobby of powerful sectors of economy, delaying action.

I thought that Manish Bapna brought new insights by mentioning that access to information can revolutionize the transparency movement. The reporter Jessica Weiss, one of the fellows of the young journalists grant, has wrote a nice piece on the ideas presented by the president of the WRI, see here

It was somehow surprising to me at the beginning to listen Steiner saying that it was not more laws, frameworks or conventions that we are lacking, but enforcement. Sounds obvious, but I like his examples on the necessity of giving governments technical capacity to be transparent, by equipping laboratories, environmental institutes and so on.

Beris Gwynne, from World Vision International, came with a broader issue to be discussed: the power itself of influencing decisions. Has the power really shifted hands with all the instruments and means of civil society participation, she asked?

I think the Kyoto Protocol, which the first period finishes this year, is a good example. Right now, while I sit in my office in rainy São Paulo the treaty is being discussed at the dry Arabian Peninsula. What this piece of international law represents on my life is difficult to know at the present. But, if the climate scenarios are confirmed, its failure could one day be felt by all in the future. When this moment arrives, will society look back and see the environmental degradation as a sign of corruption?

Gustavo Faleiros, Knight International Fellow

By Gustavo Faleiros. Gustavo is a Brazilian journalist, Knight International Fellow. He moderated the panel Rio+20: can we live in a corruption free World? at the 15th IACC

A Climate of Corruption? Transparency Challenges for Cancun and Beyond

This post has been crossposted from World Resources Institute blog. By Manish Bapna and Jacob Werksman.

An update from the International Anti-Corruption Conference.

At the start of the international climate conference in Cancun, the international anti-corruption movement is weighing into the debate on how to shape a new global treaty and deliver effective climate financing to developing countries.

Issues of transparency and accountability have long been a source of contention, and a barrier to progress, in the UN-led climate negotiations. Disagreement between developed and developing countries over how to make actions and policies taken by countries robust and comparable has undermined the trust essential for effective global cooperation to halt rising temperatures. More recently, the issue of climate financing has become a bone of contention, with developing countries questioning whether the money pledged by industrialized countries is new, or simply diverted development aid.

Last month in Bangkok, Transparency International organized the 14th International Anti-Corruption Conference (IACC), which focused in part on the the transparency and corruption challenges associated with climate policy, climate finance for mitigation and adaptation, and carbon markets. WRI prepared the IACC background document on climate change and corruption and has been advising Transparency International on the 2010 Global Corruption Report, which also take climate change and corruption as its theme.

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Corruption and Poverty – A Complicated Relationship

Global Youth Anti-Corruption Network’s Joseph Mansilla just e-mailed me a link to the coolest visual tool to quantify links between corruption and other societal problems that I’ve seen this week. (Ricardo Valdes’ CPI+US Trafficking in Persons Report comes in close second).  Below is a still image from the highly interactive “Gapminder” graph that vividly depicts the positive correlation between poverty and corruption.  Click here to visit the interactive version.

So, what’s this all mean? Does corruption lead to poverty or does poverty cause corruption? Or, is the relationship more complicated than that?

That’s your cue: Let us know what YOU think by tweeting with the hashtag #14iacc.

– Jimmy