The global environment governance has the mandate of managing the environment and reduce pollution and the consequences associated with the environmental pollution. Its projects aim to facilitate thoughts and actions for strengthening environmental policy making at the global level. There are various international organizations that have been taking part in the governance. The united nation has several bodies that attempt to realize these goals. However, the concept has had many challenges that have proven to be quite technical. Some of these challenges are highlighted below.
To start with, there is the problem of lack of corporation and coordination among international organizations. There are various organizations whose functions have been cross cutting in nature. The UN has the UNEP which was designed as the chief coordinator. However, the organization has encountered much bigger and well endowed as well as politically powerful institutions that had significant t environmental impact. The UNEP which supposed to be the main global environmental governing body is younger in comparison to these organizations and least endowed.
Most of the Countries that are members to the organization have never granted the UNEP the political capital or the required resources to meet the mandated of coordination which it so much needs. This is more seen in the Northern countries which are the highest contributors to environmental degradation. In some circumstances arguments have always been raised that among these member countries some have intentions to actually see that UNEP fail its mandate. These claims have been directed to the North and the developed countries that are members of this organization.
This failure of coordination has been evident since the creation of the UNEP itself. Some well established agencies like the WHO, FAO, WMO and World Bank among others refused to be coordinated by the new organization which looks weak and lacking. Furthermore there are several features which have limited the UNEP’s ability to realize this almost impossible mandate. For example the UNEP runs as subsidiary body to the general assembly rather than being a separate, autonomous organization.
Secondly its financial structure is overly dependent on voluntary contributions and therefore is unreliable and subject to donor notions. Finally the organization only has one headquarter location in the South that is in Nairobi. This has made the organization to be more South friendly as compared to the North. It has also lead to some resistance from the North and kept it far from gaining influence in the North. The other challenge to the global environmental governance is the proliferation of the multilateral environmental agreements (MEAs) and the fragmentation of global environmental governance.
There has been rapid establishment of environmental agreements, MEA-related instruments and geographically dispersed institutions have left environmental governance in disarray. These agreements have lead to inconsistencies in rules and norms, and the hectic pace of activities can overwhelm and financial drain some, especially the poorest countries (Steiner, 2005). The GEG lacks the capacity to address complex interconnected environmental threats. In fact it has been observed that their incoherent system solution is become more complex than the problems it was meant to address.
These have raised five concerns related to the problem proliferation of these MEAs. These include treaty congestion, institutional fragmentation, states struggle to meet institutional demands, duplication and conflicting agendas in GEG and diminishing role of science in the GEG. Part b: The solutions With the above problems identified above it therefore follows that to be able to reach the goals and effectively accomplishing the environmental governance process there are considerations that must be engaged. Some reforms must be effect ted in the organization in order to reach the goals.
The reforms to be effected should not come as a package with the wide UN reform systems. Instead, they should be specific to the UNEP and the GEG system. The organization ought to realize the important strides it has already made with their global environment policy over the past few decades. The reforms to be implemented should work towards strengthening the elements of GEG systems that work. Furthermore, the reform agenda should be meaningful and targeting the most important challenges and concerns as well be contextualized within a larger and long term vision of what the eventual state of GEG system should be like.
The organization ought to identify the goals that it can achieve fast and easily and put them in sight. To solve the problem of coordination within the organization and the related institutions the GEG should improve its performance. The institutions that make up the GEG system should be well managed; they should have the resources they need and should use them efficiently as well as effectively implementing them. Poor performance goes together with poor implementation. This calls for radical inputs from both international institutions and state members.
This can be achieved if the GEG efforts are directed towards investment that facilitates compliance with and implementation of global environmental policy. Furthermore there should more investment in the environmental organization like UNEP. The organization should be allowed to have its own budget. Finally the resources that GEG system has should be utilized more effectively for environmental improvement. To resolve the problem that has come up due to proliferation of MEAs, the GEG system ought to become more coherent. This would call for reasonable coordination and regulation among the organizations.
Three types of international organizations which are very important and would create distinctions need to be set up (Najam, 2006). The first is an organization whose primary role is to focus on the environment, like the UNEP or MEA secretariat. The second d should be organization with a broad mandate of development of projects like the World Bank and finally that which has activities which relates to environment but not concerned directly with it like the WFP, and ICAO. With the coherent organization like the UNEP it would help strengthen the GEG system. Furthermore coherent GEG would help combat he proliferation of the MAEs.
This can be achieved by better horizontal integration of the GEG. The reporting of various MAEs should be a streamlined, clustered and made to focus on implementation. The expansion of MAEs mandates need to be checked. Their roles should be to facilitate negotiations processes. For instance, science related activities, and capacity building and conference service can be appropriately outsourced in the other sections of the GEG system. The MAEs secretariats should not be autonomous as are the legal agreements. Question 2 The Failure of GEG and the Concept of Sustainable Development Part a:
The world has increasingly been experiencing great many effects that relate to poor environmental management in the recent years. There are drastic climatic change disasters and high levels of environmental pollution. All these point to the fact that efforts towards environmental governance are not bearing any good fruits. The GEG main goal was to sustainably manage the environment and eventually leads to sustainable development. However, the current effects of environmental degradation all seem to rule out this and portray the concept of global governance and sustainable development as contradicting and just oxymoron.
The idea of sustainable development spring up from numerous environmental movements in earlier decades. The UN was the organization most responsible for initiating serious discussion of the concept of sustainable development. One of the agenda of the UN concerns is sustainable development. The Brundtland Report reorganized that there was a wide spread of poverty and environmental degradation in the countries of periphery and proposed this agenda to solve them (Carlos, 2004). Many efforts have been put towards realizing this but all seem to have gained very little development.
The World Bank has emphasized that main factors that have contributed to gross environmental degradation are poverty, uncertainty, and ignorance. These three are great allies to environmental degradation and addressing them would be the first requirement for effective policies. However, this is not what the GEG systems have addressed which has then leads to failure in its goals. Sustainable development required elimination of poverty as the primary task. This is because destruction of environment is directly attached to poverty in the developing world. Most of people in these countries rely on environment to sustain their living.
They fell trees and engage in poor farming practice. It therefore calls for improvements of the economy of these countries in order to avert their participation in environmental destruction. According to the World Bank economic growth is essential means of enabling development. There is also the need to eliminate ignorance. A lot of emphasis should be put on this because it is a central tenet of what we might call the culture of development (Collins, 2004). Ignorance would be eliminated by implementing participatory approaches. According to Carson, this would give planners a better understanding of the local values, knowledge, and experience.
They can win the community backing for their projects objectives and community help with the local implementation. Finally they can help in resolving problems arising due to use of resources (Carson, 2004). The UN has not succeeded eliminating any of the above named problems. This therefore leaves no room for the realization of sustainable development. And with this problems still unsolved global environment governance efforts would all be futile hence completely thwart the sustainable development. Part b: As mentioned in above discussion, the global environmental governance process has not had much progress on its mandate.
He climate change effects is the biggest pointer to this. Because of the failure to system the buildup of green house gasses emission in the atmosphere is then the resulting to the fears that the world is suffering the effects of climate change. There is global warming, sea level rise, increased intensity of windstorms, changed rainfall patterns and other problems. This adds to the urgency to the quest for a better functioning international environmental regime. According to the Kyoto protocol it is quite important for the countries both developed and developing to accept and ratify the treaty.
This is because if there is limited participation in the treaties, then there can be some implications. The first is that it compromises the environmental effectiveness of the treaty, since not all countries that are responsible for the problem are part of the solution. The second implication of limited participation is the leakage of the pollutants. This occurs when some of the polluting activities shift to other countries which have not set regulations on pollutions or those that have not ratified the treaties.
For example one country may migrate s its activities to another that has not set regulation on management of pollutions (Sevasti, 2009). These are just some of the contributors to the climate change. Then here is the proliferation of poverty in the developing countries. Poverty in the developing countries appears not to be subsiding atoll. Though strategies for eliminating poverty have been increasingly emphasized and are now, for example, a criterion for receiving aid from the World Bank, they have seldom explicitly addressed sustainable environmental management as an instrument of growth.
Lack of human capacity is a big stumbling block. In order to achieve an equitable and environmentally viable growth, managing the environment in terms of local access to resources, innovations and technologies for using the resources, and equitable marketing structures requires considerable institutional, organizational and technological capacity. In these countries there is little support for local-level technologies and income sources based on utilization of indigenous plants, or management’s strategies based on customary rules and authorities. These poor countries have had very insignificant voice in global environment governance.
The countries have been marginalized from the multilateral negotiations and policy making due to deficiencies in negotiating regimes and the lack of support for capacity building and access to technical, human and financial resources. The industrialized countries have had their priorities dominating environmental debates. Most of the developing countries governments argue that global environmental processes are dominated by the Northern scientific interests and do not adequately reflect the most pressing environment and developing priorities of the South.
In conclusion the idea of sustainable development and global environment governance are oxymoron. The actions that have been taken by the GEG system do not adequately qualify to create any sustainable development. Therefore a lot still need o be done to realize these goals and set the sustainable development strategies into pace. Reference Carlos J. (2004), Sustainable Development, mainstream and critical perspectives, Sage publication, Oregon Collins & Andrew C.
(2004), the diverse and contested meanings of sustainable Development, University of Leicester Najam A & Michaela P (2006), Global Environmental Governance A Reform Agenda, International Institute for Sustainable Development, Winnipeg, ISBN 1-895536-91-x Sevasti V. (2009) The Climate Change Regime Post-Kyoto: Why Compliance is Important and How to Achieve it, Massachusetts institute of technology. Steiner A. & Ellen H. (2005), The Effectiveness and Legitimacy of International Environmental Institutions, university Of Oslo