With environmental threats on the rise and more than 120 countries now in favor of reforming international environmental governance, conditions are right to create a new, specialized global environmental agency, says one of the world's leading scientists.
In a keynote address to government ministers meeting Tuesday in Kenya, Zakri Abdul Hamid, Science Advisor to the Prime Minister of Malaysia and former co-chair of the UN Millennium Ecosystem Assessment, says the world cannot afford the "overlapping mandates, funding requests and a lack of coordination and coherence," that characterizes today's "sprawling, decentralized regime" of global environment-related conventions and organizations.
Resources needed for effective program implementation are spent instead on administration, says Prof. Zakri.
"Besides making our limited resources work harder, we need to move beyond negotiating problem statements to capacity building and implementing solutions," he told the Ministerial Roundtable Discussion on the Institutional Framework for Sustainable Development, meeting at the Nairobi headquarters of the United Nations Environment Programme.
"We need better integration of science and policy in decision-making. We need to ensure that agendas set at the global level are not just abstract ideas at the local level, that we create resilient, resource efficient and prosperous communities treading lightly on the environment.
"We need transformative change."
Prof. Zakri noted that world leaders have "embraced and repeated the mantra that the status quo is not an option, that the time has come to act.
"At the end of each milestone global environmental event we declared: 'The planet is in peril and we must do something about it or humankind will be the ultimate losers. We agreed and formally recognized that, to address poverty, we have to address the environment and vice versa.'
"Today, however, we find our
|Contact: Terry Collins|
Malaysian Industry‑Government Group for High Technology