Impact of Development | Agenda 21 and UN Goals | Alison
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Sustainable ArchitectureProf. Avlokita AgrawalDepartment of Architecture and PlanningIndian Institute of Technology, RoorkeeLecture - 09Agenda 21 and UN goalsGood morning. Welcome to the online course on Sustainable Architecture. This is week2 and in today’s lecture we will be talking about Agenda 21 of UN. In previous lecturesprior to this lecture we have discussed at length about what sustainability is, what do weunderstand by sustainable development, what are the impacts of built environment onnatural environment and how is it affecting us as human beings.Now, all the impacts and discussions that we have had in the last three lectures suchdiscussions have been conducted or have been having in the world since more than 3decades.(Refer Slide Time: 01:29)The result of all those discussions as we have also seen in the history of sustainabledevelopment was the report Our Common Future which was published in 1987. Evenafter this report was published there was no legally binding convention or protocol,where the world would come together and act towards making the world a moresustainable place to live. (Refer Slide Time: 02:07) (Refer Slide Time: 02:13)Looking at the discussions and the concerns which were growing around the world postpublishing of this report Our Common Future, for the first time in 1992 United Nationsorganized the first Conference on Environment and Development, at Rio de Janeiro in1992 which was informally and most popularly known as the First Earth Summit. Thisearth summit for the first time brought all the nations together, all the interested partiestogether around 190 of them at that time to discuss about the future course ofdevelopment and how environment will be taken care of. (Refer Slide Time: 02:49)The discussions of the earth summit of 1992, the first Earth Summit of Rio resulted inseveral very important documents.(Refer Slide Time: 02:55)There were three non-binding and voluntary documents which were produced. The firstone was Rio Declaration on Environment and Development which contains 27principles. The second was Agenda 21 which lists out how this development, sustainabledevelopment is to be carried out in various sections. And, it is a long document whichdetails out how nations should progress. The third one was the Forest Principles. These three were non-binding voluntary documents, then simultaneously at earth summitRio Earth Summit three important legally binding agreements were also opened up forsignature, for the parties to agree on. The first one was Convention on BiologicalDiversity. The second one was Framework Convention on Climate Change: UNFCCCwhich has resulted in many very significant treaties and protocols in the later years. Forexample: Kyoto Protocol, Montreal Protocol, Paris Agreement, Copenhagen Agreement.So, all these were a result of this UNFCCC which was opened up for signature in 1992 atthe Rio Earth Summit. And, the last one was United Nations Convention to CombatDesertification. I will go in detail over the first two non-binding voluntary documentswhich have shaped the policies of the world since 1992. However, the kind of impactwhich was envisaged through Agenda 21 or UNFCCC or other documents which wereproduced after Rio Earth Summit, they have still not been fulfilled.The expectation has still not been fulfilled, yet the world is moving towards that and weare trying to formulate policies and action plans based upon the principles which werelaid out in Agenda 21 and other documents.(Refer Slide Time: 05:30)I will start discussing the Rio Declaration on Environment and Development first. Thisdeclaration is a short document which contains 27 principles. This is again a non-bindingand a voluntary document. The first and foremost principle of Rio declaration states thathuman beings are the center of all the concerns. Till this time there was a growing concern over how environment is getting affected. And, there was a lot of discussion onhow developing nations such as India and China should limit their emissions.And, the way progress is being made, developer development is being made at the costof environment. And, the discussions largely centered around or there were debatesbetween the developing nations and developed nations on achieving a certain threshold,certain minimum level of development in developing countries without looking muchtowards the environment. The discussion acts as somebody very rightly put was at arestaurant when everybody has eaten up, the question is who pays the bill?.So, developing nations were accusing developed nations that they have alreadydeveloped at the cost of environment which was to be shared, which was a sharedresource of the entire world. And, now when it is time for developing nations to grow,they are restricting the growth of these nations which definitely is also hampering theenvironment. For the first time, it realized that human beings are at the center of all theconcerns and human beings would need certain minimum quality of life to be ensured,achieved and they would be the first of the concerns.The second principle was that states have the sovereign right to exploit their ownresources. So, every nation has the right to consume and exploit the resources which arewithin their boundary and develop their own developmental policies. However, it doesnot imply that the damage to the environment of other states be inflicted by thedevelopmental policies or the environmental processes which are taking place in onestate. So, this in turn gives rights to the developing nations to choose their owndevelopmental path.How they wanted to grow, how they wanted to develop and that is why over years wehave seen countries like India and China growing, developing very fast. Though a lot ofcriticism from across the world is being seen, is being faced because there is anincreasing environmental degradation. But, at the bottom of it, the point is thesedeveloping nations still need to develop and come up to a level where the developmentdeveloped nations have already reached.The third principle is an extension to what I was just saying the right to developmentmust be fulfilled; so, as to equitable meet development and environmental needs ofpresent and future generations. Now, here the developmental needs of the present and future generations have to be met equitably. This implied that developing nations begiven the right to development.(Refer Slide Time: 09:37)The fourth principle states in order to achieve sustainable development environmentalprotection shall constitute an integral part of the development process, that is why wehave seen the development of environment protection bodies. For example, greentribunal, National Green Tribunal in India and such similar bodies across the world ineach of the nations. Pollution Control Board, green tribunal which have been created toensure that the environmental protection is taken care of and it goes hand in hand withthe developmental process.The next principle says, principle 5: all states and all people shall cooperate in theessential task of eradicating poverty. Poverty was identified as one of the main aims thatneeds to be eradicated and that has to be an indispensible requirement for sustainabledevelopment. AgainAgain, putting people at the center of it, talking about economy; wecannot talk about environment alone while our people are still not having access to thebasic needs, to the basic facilities and they are still poor. So, eradicating poverty was oneof the main principles.The next principle, principle 6 states that the special situation and needs of developingcountries, particularly the least developed and those most environmentally vulnerableshall be given special priority. And, the international actions in the field of environment and development should address the interests and needs of all countries. That is why wehave seen that through United Nations a lot of impetus, a lot of push is being given fromdeveloped countries to the developing and underdeveloped countries to take care of theirenvironment and developmental programs. This was done in order to ensure that there isequity, equity of development amongst nations. Not just within the nation, betweendifferent classes of the society, but between nations.(Refer Slide Time: 12:00)The next principle states that the states shall cooperate in a spirit of global partnership toconserve, protect and restore the health and integrity of the earth’s ecosystem. There hasbeen an increased emphasis and focus on how earth’s ecosystem shall be protected. It isnot just the forests; it is equally the entire ecosystem; our oceans, our seas, our glaciers,mountains, hills, forests, even deserts. All of this earth’s ecosystem needs to beconserved, protected and restored wherever it has deteriorated.(Refer Slide Time: 13:06)Principle 8 states that to achieve sustainable development and a higher quality of life forall people, States should reduce and eliminate unsustainable patterns of production andconsumption and promote appropriate demographic policies. Such principles have led todevelopment of more and more efficient industrial processes. And, formation of policieswhich have boosted the demand for efficient machinery, efficient industries to be set up,such that the pattern of production becomes more and more efficient and there is lesseramount of resource which is consumed, that is one part of it.Besides this, also the consumption pattern of the population, the way people consumehas also to be taken care of is what it implies. Principle 9 states that state shouldcooperate to strengthen endogenous capacity building for sustainable development byimproving scientific understanding through exchanges of scientific and technicalknowledge. This has led to a lot of inter country exchanges on scientific and knowledgesharing ideas. We see a lot of collaborative research happening across the world whichwas actually triggered by this principle of First Earth Summit.Today, it might appear a very common thing to us where the world collaborates togetherto work on various research programs, various research problems and comes up withscientific and technological solutions which are also implemented worldwide. Such wasthe strength of this principle at that time when the vision was thought of. (Refer Slide Time: 15:20)The principle 10 talks about environmental issues are best handled with the participationof all concerned citizens, at the relevant level. Unfortunately, prior to this we have seen alot of protests from people against certain developmental, infrastructural developmentprograms, schemes. For example, large dams; majority of the times people, the citizen,the concerned citizens were not brought into the discuss. People were left out and thepolicies or decisions were made which is where we have seen some of the historic eventstaking place which were actually protests in those times.For example: Greenpeace, the formation of Greenpeace as a foundation. Forexampleexample, the protest of Jane Jacobs while, the highway was passing through hervillage or several such or even the Silent Spring, where people started protesting afterthis book was published against the use of pesticides. The policies were not designed bytaking, by engaging people into the decision making. This principle emphasized onparticipation of all concerned citizens at all the relevant levels for discussing anyenvironmental issue.Principle 11 states that states shall enact effective environmental legislation, till that timevery strong environmental legislations were not in place. In the first place theorganizations, the bodies were not there and that most definitely the policies were notthere to enforce the environmental protection conservation. This saw the rise and formation, creation of a lot of environmental protection bodies across the world in all thecountries.Further the legislations were put in place, in almost all the countries today legislation forprotection of environment is in place. How much is it being implemented is a secondquestion; however, the first step towards it which was creation of an environmentalpolicy and legislation has been to a large extent achieved. Principle 12 states that statesshould cooperate to promote a supportive and open international economic system. Thishas led to creation to motivation to global trade , global trade and economy.Earlier nations were separate economy; I am not talking about around 1992, but almost acentury prior to that the nations were independent economies. They were hardlydependent on the trade across the globe, while in today’s times almost all trade is global.There are global products available in all the nations; there is a larger economiccooperation. And, there are international legislation laws, binding laws which allow forthis international economic system to be robust and be implemented.(Refer Slide Time: 09:10)Principle 13 states that states shall develop national law regarding liability andcompensation for the victims of pollution and other environmental damage. This hasvery strictly been done across the world, where the victims of environmental damages orpollutions are being compensated. However, there is much more scope to make thepolicies and legislation stronger in this domain. Yet we have seen that there has been a substantial growth towards this, whether the people are compensated for their shiftingbecause of large infrastructural projects such as say dams or canals or any other largeinfrastructural project or it be the victims of pollution.For example, the gas leaks or the nuclear leaks or some other other pollution problems,the victims have been compensated because there were policies in place. How fairly hasit been implemented is again the question of implementation, but the policies andlegislation has been institutionalized. The next principle 14 states that, states shouldeffectively cooperate to discourage or prevent the relocation and transfer to the otherstates of any activities and substances that cause severe environmental degradation or arefound to be harmful to human health.Despite international laws being formulated to strengthen this principle based on thisprinciple, yet we see these policies are not being adhere to; that is why we see a lot ofwaste being dumped in the seas, oceans and on uninhabited lands which is in totalviolation of this principle and the policies which govern this principle. Principle 15 statesthat in order to protect the environment the precautionary approach shall be widelyapplied by states. So, instead of working on the damage once it has happened, the statesshould work on the precautionary approach where no environmental damage takes place.(Refer Slide Time: 22:09)Principle 16 states that national authorities should endeavor to promote theinternalization of environmental costs. So, the environmental costs of any project should be internalized within a state. And, they should not be passed on to the other states,neighboring states which is very close to the principle 14 as we have just discussed.Principle 17 states that environmental impact assessment as a national instrument shallbe undertaken for proposed activities. This led to the creation of international protocols,international laws and policies and also setting up of organizations which would carryout environmental impact assessment.We have seen the codes being developed; we have seen the frameworks, methodologiesand protocols being developed to carry out environmental impact assessment for each ofthe nation. Principle 18 states that states shall immediately notify other states of anynatural disaster or other emergencies that are likely to produce sudden harmful effects onthe environment of those states that is why there have been no wars over such issues likenatural disasters. For example: flooding, flooding of a river in one state has very rarelybeen a cause of concern to the state where, the impact of flood could be passed on;because of the international treaties, because of the international understanding of thesubject.(Refer Slide Time: 24:03)Principle 19 states that states shall provide prior and timely notification and relevantinformation to potentially affected states on activities that may have a significance,significant adverse trans boundary environmental effect, which is continuation ofprinciple 18 only. Principle 20 very clearly emphasized upon the vital role of women in environmental management and development. Besides placing human beings at thecenter of the entire discussion, women particularly were given a lot of emphasis as far asenvironment to management and development was concerned.And, the states were urged to device developed policies to ensure the full participation ofwomen for achieving sustainable development. Principle 21 places a larger emphasis onthe creativity ideas and courage of the youth and that the youth be brought to the centerof the discussion. So, besides humankind as a large a bigger subset women and youthwere emphasized specifically identifying, understanding the significance, the role,importance of the role in these two groups towards sustainable development.(Refer Slide Time: 25:41)Principle 22 emphasized on integrating and respecting indigenous people and theircommunities and other local communities who have been identified to play a pivotal rolein environmental management and development. Because, of their traditional knowledge,because of the traditional practices that these communities possess. Principle 23 statesthat the environment and natural resource of people under operation, domination andoccupation shall be protected.That is why we have seen a lot of protests happening all across the world which were bypeople and communities who were not so powerful, yet had a larger control over theenvironment and natural resources of a certain area, largely the indigenous communities.Principle 24 states war, warfare is inherently destructive of sustainable development and that the states shall respect international law in order to reduce the armed conflict, that iswhy we have seen very few wars after World War II that have taken place. This isbecause of the very strong international policies which are in place.(Refer Slide Time: 27:20)Principle 25 states that peace, development and environmental protection areinterdependent and indivisible. So, states should emphasize on peaceful developmentsimultaneously taking care of the environment. Principle 26 states that states shallresolve all their environmental disputes peacefully and by appropriate means inaccordance with the charter of the United Nations. And, principle 27 which was the lastof this principle of Rio Declaration states that states and people shall cooperate in goodfaith and in a spirit of partnership in the fulfillment of the principle embodied in thisdeclaration and in the further development of international law in the field of sustainabledevelopment and that happened reasonably well.So, a lot of new a number of new laws treaties, protocols were developed in the field ofsustainable development which were abided, which are being abided by large number ofcountries, larger part of the world and that is why world is progressing towardssustainable development together. However, as the initial view principle state that thedeveloping and underdeveloped nations and communities needs to develop and come upto a level where they have an access to all the basic facilities, needs of life and they havea good quality of life. Till that point is achieved, till that state is achieved it is an ongoing process. The sustainable development has not yet been achieved; this was the RioDeclaration where these principles were laid out.(Refer Slide Time: 29:27)If we look at Agenda 21 which was the second document which was the product of EarthSummit at Rio in 1992, it was a non-binding, voluntarily implemented action plan. So,while the declaration only stated the principles and it was a brief document; Agenda 21was actually an action plan of United Nations with regard to sustainable development. Itis actually an action agenda for the UN, United Nations and other multilateralorganizations and individual governments around the world, that can be executed at alllevels.Local level, national level and global level and this 21, in Agenda 21 actually refers to21st century. It was in 1992 that this was opened up for signatures of interested partiesand in 1995, the first conference of party was held and which later led to the KyotoProtocol. (Refer Slide Time: 30:46)Agenda 21 is divided into 4 main sections, section I deals with social and economicdimensions, section II discusses about conservation and management of resources fordevelopment, section III talks about strengthening the role of major groups. So, thesethree sections first one talks about socio economic dimension, section II talks about theenvironmental dimension largely, section III largely talks about the socio culturalsociocultural dimension.So, all the three dimensions of sustainable development are addressed here in Agenda 21and section IV talks about the means of implementation of all that has been discussed insection I, II and III; let us quickly look at all these sections independently. (Refer Slide Time: 31:50)Section I which is on social and economic dimension. So, the first agenda is internationalcooperation to accelerate sustainable development in developing countries and relateddomestic policies. Emphasizing upon the principles of Rio Declaration, these agendaswere defined, these agendas were designed. And, the first one is to exhilarate sustainabledevelopment in developing countries. This was done in order and this was afteridentifying the needs of developing countries to develop further and, identifying the needthat in the process of development these countries will be exerting, putting a largerpressure on the environment.Thus, helping the developing countries to develop domestic policies in order toaccelerate sustainable development through trade; through making the trade andenvironment mutually supportive, providing adequate financial resources to developingcountries. So, a lot of funds through the mechanism, through the operations of UnitedNations is transferred from developed countries to developing nations for achieving thisparticular agenda which is of accelerating sustainable development in developingcountries. The second agenda is of combating poverty, enabling the poor to achievesustainable livelihoods.Now, this was individual states or countries responsibility to formulate policies in orderto eradicate poverty. We will look at how much has Agenda 21 been successful eversince it was it first came into existence; let us first go through all the agendas listed in Agenda 21. The third agenda is changing consumption patterns. So, focusing as theprincipal also stated focusing on sustainable patterns of production as well asconsumption.(Refer Slide Time: 34:03)The fourth agenda is on demographic dynamics and sustainability. So, understanding thelinks between demographic trends and factors and sustainable development so, it is notjust that by placing emphasizing on environmental dimension and economic growth, wewould be able to achieve sustainable development.(Refer Slide Time: 34:39) This was essential to identify the demographic trends and identifying the link betweenthese demographic trends and sustainable development. The next agenda was protectingand promoting human health, meeting the primary health care needs, controlling thecommunicable diseases where the research from one country has helped to control thecommunicable diseases in the under developed and developing countries andcommunities who are underprivileged. Protecting vulnerable groups, groups which arevulnerable to a lot of damage.(Refer Slide Time: 35:17)Meeting the urban health challenge, reducing health risks from environmental pollutionand hazards were all part of improving the health. The next agenda which is mostimportant for us as architects, designers, planners is Agenda 6 which says promotingsustainable human settlement development, identifying the need that settlement or houseis one of the most fundamental needs, basic needs of every human being. It was realizedthat as the world develops, grows every human being must have a shelter, a settlement,sustainable human settlement.Thus, this agenda which says it should be providing adequate shelter for all the state,improving human settlement management. So, management of services in these humansettlements in a sustainable manner, promoting sustainable land use planning andmanagement, promoting the integrated provision of environmental infrastructure that iswater, sanitation, drainage and solid waste management. All of that should be provided in an integrated manner in a human settlement. Promoting sustainable energy andtransport systems in human settlements; now, pay attention that this agenda was draftedin 1992, Agenda 21.And, all these issues, all these aims which we are reading here as part of Agenda 21 stillneed to be met. We are still struggling to develop the human settlements in such amanner that there is an integrated provision of environmental infrastructure, where theyare sustainably managed, where we have sustainable energy and transport systemsavailable. So, a lot of work in this regard is still needed; as we have emphasizedestablished that the built environment or human settlements which are being developedare impacting the natural environment in an adverse way, in an adverse manner. So, weunderstand that this Agenda 6 which is most important for us to understand still holdsgood, it is unfulfilled and a lot of research and work is still required to be done in thisregard.(Refer Slide Time: 38:11)Agenda 7 talks about integrating environment and development in decision making, atthe policy planning and management level through provision of a anan effective legaland regulatory framework. This would also be done by making use of economicinfrastructure and market. (Refer Slide Time: 38:41)In section II there was a larger emphasis which was placed on conservation andmanagement of resources for development. The first and foremost being the protection ofthe atmosphere, promoting sustainable development through energy development,efficiency and consumption, transportation, industrial development and terrestrial andmarine resource development.AgainAgain, emphasizing that there is a direct link, there is a direct impact of the wayhuman settlements grow. The way we develop our infrastructure whether it betransportation whether it be industries whether it be energy, all of this has a direct impacton atmosphere. That is why besides having a separate agenda under the socioeconomicsocio-economic dimension, there is again a repetition, there is again anemphasis on promoting sustainable development while, talking about protecting theatmosphere. (Refer Slide Time: 39:43)The next agenda is integrated approach to the planning and management of landresources which is the key to sustainable development. Anything which is sustainable isintegrated; it is an interconnected system where all the systems are coming together. Thenext is combating deforestation, forests are the paving way for a lot of developmentalactivities whether they be settlements whether they be infrastructure whether they beindustries. Forests are being cut, they were being cut and they are being cut. So, theagenda still holds good combating deforestation.(Refer Slide Time: 40:30)

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