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Timeline Events / The Belgrade Process on International Environmental Governance

The Belgrade Process towards International Environmental Governance involved a first meeting of the Consultative Group of Ministers or High-level Representatives in Belgrade, 27 – 28 June 2009.

The premise of the process is the complex, fragmented and inadequately coordinated institutional context for international environmental governance of growing environmental challenges affecting societies and ecosystems at all scales from local to global.

To date, there are more than 500 multilateral environmental agreements in existence, dozens of agencies mandated to comply with and implement these agreements and address a multitude of other environmental aims and needs, with still fairly limited and dispersed funding sources.

In the last couple years, the persistent debate on how to reform international environmental governance (IEG) has grown and ‘gained significant momentum through processes put into place by the UNEP Governing Council, statements made by Heads of State, as well as through initiatives taken by intergovernmental bodies such as the Commonwealth, and by civil society such as the Global Environmental Governance Project’.

The Consultative Group of the Belgrade Process began by identifying the ‘possible core objectives and underlying functions of the system’ with the aim to find a form for IEG that effectively fits its function. This identification represents a critical step towards defining a pathway for improving IEG, and was a first. It also shows a growing recognition that only when there is a clear analysis of what is needed of the IEG system, followed by an assessment of what exists, can the international community embark upon an effective reform of the system. (UNEP, 2009)

Summary of the Consultative Group activities:
1. The Belgrade Meeting, June 2009 – Output: Roadmap
2. The Rome Meeting, October 2009 – Output: Set of Options for Improving IEG
3. The Bali Meeting, March 2010 – Output: Nusa Dua Declaration (Climate change, sustainable development, Green economy Biodiversity and ecosystems)

UNEP aims to coordinate the development of a ‘functioning IEG system that provides the international framework to support governments in successfully addressing environmental challenges and meeting their commitments at the national level’ and is, ‘in many cases, a precondition for UNEP to carry out other activities effectively’. (UNEP, 2009)

Timeline entry contributed by Biljana Ledenican

Source: Ministry of Environment and Spatial Planning of the Republic of Serbia. (2010). Retrieved January 18, 2011, from http://www.ekoplan.gov.rs/en/Klimatske-promene-46-p1-list.htm; UNEP (2009) UNEP Annual Report 2009. Retrieved January 15, 2011, from file:///D:/MA%20study%20programme/Innovations%20for%20Sustainability/week%202/Content.aspx.htm ; UNEP (2010) Proceedings of the Governing Council/Global Ministerial Environment Forum at its eleventh special session: UNEP/GCSS.XI/11. Retrieved January 17, 2011, from http://www.unep.org/gc/GCSS-XI/proceeding_docs.asp

Link: http://www.unep.org/gc/GCSS-XI/proceeding_docs.asp

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