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United Nations Environment Program

OakMUN 2012

UN Environmental Programme
Oakridge Model UN 2012
Background Guide…

Format of Position Paper
Name of Delegation : Topic: (State clearly): Problems/stand of the country: ______________________________________________________________ _________________________________________________________________________________________ _________________________________________________________________________________________ _________________________________________________________________________________________ _________________________________________________________________________________________ _________________________________________________________________________________________ _________________________________________________________________________________________ _________________________________________________________________________________________ Solutions : ________________________________________________________________________________ _________________________________________________________________________________________ _________________________________________________________________________________________ _________________________________________________________________________________________ _________________________________________________________________________________________ _________________________________________________________________________________________ _________________________________________________________________________________________ _________________________________________________________________________________________ _________________________________________________________________________________________ _________________________________________________________________________________________ _________________________________________________________________________________________ _________________________________________________________________________________________ _________________________________________________________________________________________

national and international economies. and of which the effects are not yet fully understood. . will require new global.sustained use of resources. and of political instability in oil exporting countries warranting greater energy independence. Insofar as unintentional occurrences are concerned. Current environmental governance arrangements are inadequate and have led to continued degradation of the environment. Considerations for a reformed regime must take into account the economic and social benefits of preserving the environment as well as Disaster Management. and environmental damage from processing. the spectre of sabotage and nuclear weapons is raised. managing environmental threats.United Nations Environment Program OakMUN 2012 Topics: Topic 1: The Decommissioning of Nuclear Reactors and Related Environmental Consequences. particularly those that cross political borders such as air pollution and biodiversity loss. it was said that the debate on nuclear power had reached intensity unprecedented in the history of technology controversies. In regard to the issue of political instability. Good environmental governance takes into account the role of all factors that impact the environment. Many of the world’s nuclear reactors are aging towards the end of their designated life span. Governing our planet’s rich and diverse natural resources is an increasingly complex challenge. Advocates point to nuclear power as a much-needed energy source in an era of rising demand and the need to curb carbon emission levels. Effective environmental governance at all levels is critical for finding solutions to these challenges. national and local responses involving a wide range of stakeholders. at a time when the long withstanding problem of radioactive nuclear waste disposal is still unsettled. economies and people. managing environmental threats. Non-sustainable uses of natural resources threaten individual livelihoods as well as local. as a fuel source). transport and mining (uranium. the controversy over nuclear power has resurfaced today with a similar gravity. However. Topic 2: Environmental Governance.border threats. In our globalised world of interconnected nations. one needs only to look back on the March 2011 Fukushima nuclear accident in Japan—a disaster of major proportions. Opponents cite public health and safety risks. especially cross. A few decades ago. and Disaster Management. regional.

the more prepared you come. Please research as much as possible. I enjoy the (rather rare these days) quite evenings curled in bed with a book while sipping lemon tea (my favourite). Mehek Vajawatt Director. Today we stand at one of the most crucial junctures in human history. from fanfiction and fiction to political publications. the better you can contribute to the committee and more you can get out of it. I am rather occupied with my philosophy books! I have also found a recent love for classical music and French Opera. It is my pleasure to invite you to the UNEP Committee at OakMUN 2012. While some of the problems seem insurmountable. drama. My name is Mehek Vajawatt and I have the privilege of being the Director of what promises to be one of the most stimulating committees here. Two decades since the Rio Conference. I read diversely. Please do not hesitate to contact me over anything. informing. Remember. I am a student of the IBDP programme here at Oakridge and enjoy debates. UNEP OakMUN 2012 . Looking forward to seeing all of you this Fall! Best. and of course. we hope to replicate the UNEP Mission which is “to provide leadership and encourage partnership in caring for the environment by inspiring. and enabling nations and peoples to improve their quality of life without compromising that of future generations”. what this committee requires is a fresh approach and commitment so strong that a global solution to the environmental issues is laid out unequivocally. we live in an evolving world. to be the change we wish to see.United Nations Environment Program OakMUN 2012 Welcome Note: Dear Delegates. since I grew up in the picturesque City of Lakes. as today we don’t fear each other but what we fear for is our common future. they are also opportunity avenues for international co-operation and for ordinary beings like me and you to make a difference. we find ourselves faced with new and old challenges which require us to reach the boundaries of negotiating capabilities with a diverse mix of enriching discussions and intense debates. Our ecosystems are hanging by a thread and what we have ahead of us is a race against time. I am curious by nature and love a challenge! At this committee. MUNing. I am always willing to learn something new. I hope to help provide an enriching experience. I love to travel. Nature has always been my first love. And when I am not occupied with school. But these days. where there is always something new to be learnt. Welcome. Consequently.

1 billion. there are international crises. . I also enjoy playing cricket which is the Indian in me because all Indian have cricket in their blood. Regards. I went to my first Model United Nations conference in grade 9 and after that I have just gotten heavily involved. Not to pose myself as a MUN cyborg or anything on those lines. My name is Aryan Chhabria. I am currently in my first year of the IB program (basically grade 11) in Mumbai at Singapore International School. This gives rise to the need of effective environmental governance on all levels. so OakMUN would be my 12th MUN. These disadvantages have to be tackled without any malpractices which has brought a lot of attention towards the decommissioning of nuclear reactors. Today when the population is reaching about 7.United Nations Environment Program OakMUN 2012 Letter from ADs Dear Delegates. yet. Aryan Chhabria Assistant Director. I believe that since the beginning of time when humans walked the earth. humans have polluted and created issues but the impact of these actions weren’t as harmful as the population of humans wasn’t that big. debating with passion and showing that after MUN you can move to UN. Photography along with music is the artistic side of me and I think as I live in Mumbai I have always wanted to make movies but I haven’t really done that. and I am going to be one of your United Nations Environment Program Assistant Directors at OakMUN 2012. UNEP. I hope to see all of you at OakMUN with very good preparation. If there is anything I truly love in the world that is food and I think that will never change. The exponential growth for need of power and the depletion of nonrenewable resources has led to advanced scientific discoveries such as nuclear power but everything has its advantages and disadvantages. the impact is a lot bigger and when that is combined with natural disasters.

I have attended a variety of national and international MUN conferences. This will be the second time I am part of the Executive Board and I am looking forward to meeting the committee. I enjoy reading a lot and am often found with my nose in a book. This is one of the reasons why I love MUN-ing! In today’s age. With man becoming extremely selfish and resources becoming scarcer and scarcer. Since then. UNEP .United Nations Environment Program OakMUN 2012 Hello Delegates. The UNEP aims to preserve today’s environment so that our future generations have similar resources as we did. Welcome to UNEP. there is a need for sustainable development. I am a student of IB at Oakridge International School and love to MUN and debate. The UNEP committee at OakMUN 2012 promises to be a simulating committee with great debate. I am a person who enjoys learning new things and meeting new people. I was introduced to MUNs in 9th grade when I attended THIMUN in Singapore. man has destroyed the environment for his own selfish reasons. I look forward to meeting you all and hope that OakMUN 2012 will consist of heated debates and great research. My name is Divija Zoldeo and it is my pleasure to be the Assistant Director of one of the most simulating committees in OakMUN 2012. Regards. Divija Zoldeo Assistant Director.

Current President: Oliver Dulić Executive Director: Achim Steiner . UNEP is the United Nations system’s designated entity for addressing environmental issues at the global and regional level. adopted at the UN Conference on Environment and Development (the Earth Summit) in 1992. adopted by the UNEP Governing Council in 1997. adopted in 2000. and • Recommendations related to international environmental governance approved by the 2002 World Summit on Sustainable Development and the 2005 World Summit.United Nations Environment Program OakMUN 2012 Introduction to the Committee: Mission: To provide leadership and encourage partnership in caring for the environment by inspiring. and enabling nations and peoples to improve their quality of life without compromising that of future generations. informing. • The Malmö Ministerial Declaration and the UN Millennium Declaration. • The Nairobi Declaration on the Role and Mandate of UNEP. The mandate and objectives of UNEP emanate from: • UN General Assembly resolution 2997 (XXVII) of 15 December 1972. Its mandate is to coordinate the development of environmental policy consensus by keeping the global environment under review and bringing emerging issues to the attention of governments and the international community for action. • Agenda 21.

establishing UNEP's programme priorities. Sweden. regional and international environmental legislation worldwide. In the subsequent two decades. 1972 creating: • The UNEP Governing Council. with the rank of UN Under-Secretary-General. held in Stockholm. composed of 58 nations elected for four-year terms by the UN General Assembly. and it provided the impetus for new national. to provide a focal point for environmental action and coordination within the UN system. to be supplemented by trust funds and funds allocated by the UN regular budget. the UN General Assembly adopted Resolution 2997 on 15 December. controlling the movement of hazardous wastes and reversing the depletion of ozone layer. a proliferation of environmental conferences and conventions addressed various environmental issues. The most successful and well-known convention from this period was the 1987 Montreal Protocol of the Vienna Convention for the Protection of Ozone Layer. responsible for assessing the state of the global environment. The Stockholm Conference marked the formal acceptance by the international community that development and the environment are inextricably linked. and • A voluntary Environment Fund to finance UNEP’s environmental initiatives. It prompted a growing body of research that has greatly improved understanding and awareness of critical environmental issues over the past threeplus decades. headed by an Executive Director. and approving the budget. with its headquarters in Nairobi. In response. proposed the creation of a global body to act as the environmental conscience of the UN system. Kenya. • The UNEP Secretariat. an example of international environmental cooperation whose inspiration reverberates to this day. . 1972-1992 UNEP was established after the 1972 UN Conference on the Human Environment. including conserving endangered species.United Nations Environment Program OakMUN 2012 Brief History of UNEP: FROM STOCKHOLM TO RIO.

one needs only to look back on the March 2011 Fukushima nuclear accident in Japan—a disaster of major proportions. with far-reaching implications including an increase in the production of radioactive waste. Given that the decommissioning process may take several decades. as aging NPPs are taken offline and nuclear submarines finally dismantled. Why is this important? A few decades ago. decontaminating and dismantling the reactors and the plant itself. including releases of radioactive elements and fires and floods affecting the storage sites. and ensuring that potentially harmful radioactive materials are not released into the environment and that the site complies with safety decommission as set forth. Greater funding and international cooperation are required to share information and expertise on the decommissioning of nuclear reactors and submarines. Making best use of the Joint Convention on the Safety of the Spent Fuel Management and on the Safety of Radioactive Waste Management is one of the steps to take in this direction. The primary problems arising from decommissioning relate to reprocessing and removing radioactive wastes for subsequent storage or disposal. Detailed procedures and “best practice” policies are needed to minimize the danger posed to human health and the environment by decommissioning nuclear facilities. . as a fuel source). the spectre of sabotage and nuclear weapons is raised.United Nations Environment Program OakMUN 2012 Statement of the issue: Topic 1: The Decommissioning of Nuclear Reactors and Related Environmental Consequences. transport and mining (uranium. safety and the environment when not properly managed. since protective safety barriers are dismantled and a large amount of radioactive substances can migrate outside the confines of the units (Bylkin and others 2011). it is important that plans are defined in advance. and environmental damage from processing. and of political instability in oil exporting countries warranting greater energy independence. and of which the effects are not yet fully understood. Some unexpected incidents have been reported during decommissioning. at a time when the long withstanding problem of radioactive nuclear waste disposal is still unsettled. health and security issues. Many of the world’s nuclear reactors are aging towards the end of their designated life span. The costs of decommissioning and waste disposal include the possibility of risks to public health. it was said that the debate on nuclear power had “reached an intensity unprecedented in the history of technology controversies” (Kitschelt 1986). One of the greatest dangers arising during equipment disassembly is exposure to radiation. cleaning up the site. Decommissioning reactors will become a major operation over the next 50 years. financial and labour resources to the building of the unit. In regard to the issue of political instability. This is followed by removing radioactive and other wastes. Conclusions The decommissioning of a nuclear power plant is a large-scale organizational and technical process comparable in time. socioeconomic impacts and inevitable technical challenges. Decommissioning involves characterising. However. Opponents cite public health and safety risks. Insofar as unintentional occurrences are concerned. However the Unquantifiable Costs of Decommissioning cannot be ignored. Advocates point to nuclear power as a much-needed energy source in an era of rising demand and the need to curb carbon emission levels. the controversy over nuclear power has resurfaced today with a similar gravity.

The International Atomic Energy Agency has defined three options for decommissioning. Entombment (or 'Entomb'): This option entails placing the facility into a condition that will allow the remaining on-site radioactive material to remain on-site without the requirement of ever removing it totally. the site is then available for re-use. The expected improvements in mechanical techniques should also lead to a reduction in the hazard and also costs. Usually. Safe Enclosure (or 'Safestor'): This option postpones the final removal of controls for a longer period. <http://www. 2012. 3 were entombed. World Nuclear Association. Following removal from regulatory control. that will last for a period of time to ensure the remaining radioactivity is no longer of concern. have been retired from About 85 commercial power reactors. Apr.html>.1 Definition: Nuclear decommissioning refers to the dismantling and decontamination of a nuclear plant. 2012. 9 Sept. and for others the decommissioning strategy was not yet specified. thus reducing radiation hazard during the eventual dismantling.United Nations Environment Program OakMUN 2012 History of the issue: Topic 1: The Decommissioning of Nuclear Reactors and Related Environmental Consequences. usually in the order of 40 to 60 years. Over the past 40 years considerable experience has been gained in decommissioning various types of nuclear facilities. The experience and skills of operating staff can also be utilised during the decommissioning program. about 51 were being dismantled. Web. 9 Sept. depending on the facility. World Nuclear Association." Nuclear Decommissioning: Decommission Nuclear Facilities." Nuclear Decommissioning: Decommission Nuclear Facilities. In the case of immediate dismantling (or early site release). responsibility for the decommissioning is not transferred to future generations. 2012. 45 experimental or prototype power reactors. Safe Enclosure (or Safestor) allows significant reduction in residual radioactivity. about 15 had been fully dismantled. the final dismantling or decontamination activities begin within a few months or years.2   1 "Decommissioning Nuclear Facilities. <http://www. the definitions of which have been internationally adopted:  Immediate Dismantling (or Early Site Release/'Decon' in the US): This option allows for the facility to be removed from regulatory control relatively soon after shutdown or termination of regulated activities. 48 were in Safestor. This option usually involves reducing the size of the area where the radioactive material is located and then encasing the facility in a long-lived structure such as concrete. 2012. Web. Apr. 2 "Decommissioning Nuclear Facilities. as well as over 250 research reactors and a number of fuel cycle Of these.html .worldnuclear. The facility is placed into a safe storage configuration until the eventual dismantling and decontamination activities occur.

varying amounts of soil might have to be removed. For example.United Nations Environment Program OakMUN 2012 Implications3: 1. some do not have detailed inventories of waste. Extensive research indicates that significant numbers of countries have plans in place for disposal of LILW-SL and some LILW-LL. In some cases. increasing the cost of the decommissioning. The Decommissioning of Nuclear Reactors and Related Environmental Consequences. of which only seven per cent has been disposed off to date (Figure 3). Many were one-off Decommissioning activities produce 68 per cent of LILW-LL waste. While the case cited is an extreme example.php?article_id=70>. <http://na. built as experiments to test new approaches and ideas. In turn. no waste management systems exist and the dismantling will be deferred to a later date. The boundary between the bedrock and soil deposits and the flow pathways in the soil will affect the direction and rate in which the radioactive material will be transported. The case of the United States illustrates these difficulties in a developed country (Department of Energy USA 2011): problems associated with the selection of a site for the long-term disposal of high-level waste and spent fuel have been ongoing for many years. but rather deciding what the task is. Soil contamination Based on past decommissioning experiences. Waste A large number of sites will be required to store radioactive waste from decommissioned NPPs and other nuclear reactors over the long term. Some lack reliable design drawings. . Soil testing below the buildings cannot be carried out until access has been made safe. most countries have no designated sites for high-level waste due to political and public perceptions and long-term uncertainties surrounding the issue. The Decommissioning of Nuclear Reactors and Related Environmental Consequences. Therefore the challenge is often not how to tackle a particular task. the soil volume contaminated was higher than expected and 33 000 m3 of soil had to be removed. leading to an increase in costs as solutions are considered. the infrastructure itself will also eventually have to be decommissioned. This is known as scoping. package and store resultant wastes will need to be constructed to handle output from newly decommissioned reactors. action is presently suspended. this factor has 3 UNEP. For instance. It is likely that additional buildings and facilities to treat. 2." 3. UNEP Global Environment Alert Service. Limited information The Nuclear Decommissioning Authority (2011) of the UK states that: "One of the biggest difficulties we face is the limited information we have for a number of legacy facilities. Aug.unep. Web. in the case of the decommissioning of the Connecticut Yankee NPP in the United States. Depending on the results of these tests. 2012. it has been shown that the pattern and extent of soil contamination cannot be planned until late into the decommissioning process. 2011. 9 Sept. which cannot be determined until the decommissioning process is well underway. Countries facing greater economic constraints will have even more serious difficulties dealing with radioactive waste disposal. However.

In fact.United Nations Environment Program OakMUN 2012 to be taken into account. These concerns have been proven to be real. either through migration of the contaminants through the soil to the water table. although no NPPs have yet been fully decommissioned despite the closure of ten NPPs since 1973. the price of housing and land use. major progress has been made. The dismantling of the Brennilis power station was meant to be a learning experience to acquire technological knowledge to apply to other sites in France. Indeed. Congo. for example. Security Once the spent fuel is removed from the reactors prior to decommissioning. the risks to the public and environment are relatively small. 6. In France. such as spent fuel. Although one was later recovered in Italy. Decommissioning should be carried out in steps to avoid such problems disrupting the overall plans (EPRI 2011). The risks associated with radioactive leaks due to human errors might be higher during decommissioning. the perception of risk is lower after high-activity inventory. two reactor rods in a temporarily closed-down research station were stolen. and in particular when they are placed in "safe-store" mode or entombed. the other has never been recovered. But where facilities are under decommissioning. As some NPP sites will be placed in safe storage for up to 60 years. In 1998 in Kinshasa. Concerns exist about the risks associated with the possible use of nuclear devices created from stolen nuclear material as well as sabotage of power stations (Bunn and Bunn 2008). Negative public perception remains the most serious challenge to opening radioactive waste repositories (Oldenburg and Birkholzer 2011). Reporting any leaks during the lifetime of the NPP will enable decommissioning plans to be more precise (EPRI 2011). The release of sites for other uses may help to limit the social impacts. Operations have been interrupted since 2007. Need for trained professionals An increased number of trained professionals will be needed (IAEA 2005) and techniques need to be improved to ensure safer dismantling. however. . These impacts should be taken into account when selecting a strategy for decommissioning (IAEA 2005). or through the variation in water table height. 5. 4. Security at the site is still considered highly unsatisfactory (McGreal 2006). One of the possible consequences of soil contamination is the subsequent contamination of groundwater. but other constraints still need to be considered. Socio-economic impacts Decommissioning NPPs affects local employment rates. due to security issues concerning radioactivity levels and tracing wastes (EDF 2007). This is a costly factor that countries will need to take into account. the risk is not negligible due in part to the process being unregulated (Iguchi and Kato 2010). it can come into contact with contaminated soil. has been removed. professionals will have to be trained now to decommission them at a much later date. to avoid losing current knowledge about how to conduct the decommissioning. site surveillance has to be maintained to protect the contents from theft and malicious use. since as the water rises.

This international collaboration. documentation on the data used to estimate costs is in fact missing (GAO 2010). International Action The IAEA. Based on several studies. the OECD Nuclear Energy Agency launched an International Co-operative Program for the Exchange of Scientific and Technical Information Concerning Nuclear Installation Decommissioning Projects. cutting techniques.United Nations Environment Program 7. The important areas where experience is being gained and shared are the assessment of the radioactive inventories. 8. World Nuclear Association. 9 Sept. Cost estimates are only accurate from -5% to +15% (Laguardia 2006). < decontamination methods. the exact costs of accomplishing this phase are unknown (Ramana 2009). has produced a great deal of technical and financial information. remote operation.4 The IAEA has 4 "Decommissioning Nuclear Facilities. although studies vary greatly in estimating the amount produced. 2012. Estimates vary from 9% to 200% of the construction costs (Lenzen 2008). resulting in delayed decommissioning plans (Thomas and Hall 2009). Web. Data are often not made available to the public owing to contractual arrangements. Additionally. the projected trend toward increased private financing of NPPs can be expected to bring with it more extensive and different types of reporting and documentation needs. A report estimating the cost of decommissioning a site in the United States shows that for some projects.worldnuclear. Apr. thus. In 1985. Decommissioning is one of the processes that produces CO2. while the mean emission level over the lifetime of a nuclear power plant is estimated to be 66 g CO2 e/kWh (Sovacool 2008). the total energy required for decommissioning can be as much as 50% more than the energy needed for the original construction (Fleming 2007). as well as premature or "on-time" NPP shutdowns. property rights and other reasons. While this cost varies according to technique and reactor type.html ." Nuclear Decommissioning: Decommission Nuclear Facilities. Cost OakMUN 2012 Since few NPPs have been fully decommissioned. it is important to note that recent worldwide economic instability could jeopardise these decommissioning funds. There are examples of funds for decommissioning plants in the United States losing 10% of their value during the financial crises in 2008. relevant operators and governments need to act. the full life-cycle of a nuclear power station is not "CO2-neutral". 2012. the OECD's Nuclear Energy Agency and the Commission of the European Communities are among a number of organisations through which experience and knowledge about decommissioning is shared among technical communities in various countries. CO2 production Although in general nuclear energy generation does not produce any CO2. radioactive waste management and health and safety. The aims are to minimise the radiological hazards to workers and to optimise the dismantling sequence and timing to reduce the total decommissioning cost. Moreover. covering 15 reactors and six fuel-cycle facilities. it produces an estimated mean of 12g of CO2 emission per kilowatt hour (12 g CO2 e/kWh).

Bloc Positions Figure 1: Number of reactors shut down Figure 2: List of operating Nuclear Power Plants as of August 2011. .United Nations Environment Program OakMUN 2012 devised an action plan for the decommissioning of nuclear reactors and has setup guidelines to deal with challenges that arise from the decommissioning of nuclear reactors.

The Decommissioning of Nuclear Reactors and Related Environmental Consequences. Questions a resolution must answer: Is there any scope for further international cooperation? What steps can countries take to ensure that any possible effects can be controlled? Can there be any steps taken to speed up the process of nuclear decommissioning? Is it economically viable to dismantle nuclear reactors? Can any alternatives be considered instead of nuclear decommissioning? How can we regulate the environmental effects of nuclear decommissioning? Bibliography: IAEA.1. In addition to this. 9 Sept. World Nuclear Association. UNEP. Web. <http://na. <http://www. 9 Sept. UNEP. 2012. Web. UNEP Global Environment Alert Service.php?article_id=70>.United Nations Environment Program OakMUN 2012 Decommissioning is going to increase in the next 50 years as countries start to realize the costs of a nuclear power plant. Decommissioning of Nuclear Power Plants and Research Reactors.unep. Apr. WS-G-2. The Decommissioning of Nuclear Reactors and Related Environmental Consequences. 2012. 2012." Nuclear Decommissioning: Decommission Nuclear "Decommissioning Nuclear Facilities. Closing and Decommissioning Nuclear Power Reactors. waste management processes are going to improve significantly further reducing costs of decommissioning. 2011.html>. .org/info/inf19.

regional. cooperation is critical to achieving effective governance that can help us move towards a more sustainable future. particularly those that cross political borders such as air pollution and biodiversity loss. the private sector and civil society. Our goals Effective environmental governance at all levels is critical for finding solutions to these challenges. forests or agriculture. Non-sustainable use of natural resources. Considerations for a reformed regime must take into account the economic and social benefits of preserving the environment as well as Disaster Management. especially cross.sustained use of resources. water. and helping states successfully implement these policies. managing environmental threats. policies and institutions that shape how humans interact with the environment. developing sound environmental policies. identifying threats at an early stage. threaten individual livelihoods as well as local. national and international economies.border threats. . We need to bridge the science and policy gaps by keeping the state of the global environment under review. From delivering expert scientific assessments to providing international platforms for negotiation and decision making.United Nations Environment Program OakMUN 2012 Statement of the issue: Topic 2: Environmental Governance. Almost half the jobs worldwide depend on fisheries. practices. From governments to NGOs. national and local responses involving a wide range of stakeholders. UNEP’s mandate is to be the leading global environmental authority. Current environmental governance arrangements are inadequate and have led to continued degradation of the environment. In our globalised world of interconnected nations. economies and people. Good environmental governance takes into account the role of all factors that impact the environment. Governing our planet’s rich and diverse natural resources is an increasingly complex challenge. Environmental Governance comprises the rules. UNEP’s Environmental Governance sub-programme promotes informed environmental decision-making to enhance global and regional environmental cooperation and governance. will require new global. and these forests and fisheries. and Disaster Management. managing environmental threats. including land.

e. procedures.g. processes. and civil society.. state. especially cross. market. Consumption of renewable resources State of environment Sustainability More than nature's ability to replenish Equal to nature's ability to replenish Less than nature's ability to replenish Environmental degradation Not sustainable Environmental equilibrium Environmental renewal Steady state economy Environmentally sustainable Problems: The challenges of environmental governance itself can be split into five parts: . Environmental issues entered the international agenda in the early 1970s. Definition There are multiple definitions for environmental governance which are perfect for their particular field and at the international level it is ‘the sum of organizations. Thus.border threats. and Disaster Management. policy instruments. in formulating and implementing policies in response to environment-related demands and inputs from the society. managing environmental threats. bound by rules. harvesting wood from forests at a rate that maintains the biomass and biodiversity). global environmental politics and policies have been developing rapidly. There is great awareness of environmental threats and numerous efforts have emerged to address them globally.. for example. whether in formal and informal ways.’International Institute of Sustainable Development(IISD). and widely-accepted behavior. which interact with one another. The environmental governance system we have today reflects both the successes and failures of this development. but not limited to. entails using water sustainably. international/global) among. and sustainable material supplies (e.sustained use of resources. three main actors. rules. procedures and norms that regulate the processes of global environmental protection. This. financing mechanisms. i. While the UNEP’s definition is ‘Multi-level interactions (i. environmental sustainability demands that society designs activities to meet human needs while indefinitely preserving the life support systems of the planet.’ Goals: The goal of environmental governance is to foster sustainable development while having a special focus on the safety of the environment and to put mechanisms in place to combat any disasters efficiently as possible. national. local. possessing characteristics of “good governance”. Environmental sustainability is the process of making sure current processes of interaction with the environment are pursued with the idea of keeping the environment as pristine as naturally possible. only utilizing renewable energy.e. At the same time—and partly because of the rather spectacular growth in awareness and initiatives— the Global Environmental Governance system has outgrown its original design and intent.United Nations Environment Program OakMUN 2012 History of the issue: Topic 2: Environmental Governance. for the purpose of attaining environmentally-sustainable development.

d) Inefficient Use of Resources The concern that is usually raised is that the system as a whole seems to have significant (even if insufficient) resources. but the duplication and lack of coordination within the system can mean that resources are not always used most efficiently. geographical dispersion and inconsistency in rules and norms. as the different secretariats have limited opportunity to interact and cooperate. the dimensions of our current resource use are such that the chance of future generations and developing countries to have access to their share of scarce resources is reducing. Cross.” Basically this drains scarce human and institutional resources in developing countries and tends to distract the best resources towards global governance rather than towards national implementation. However. Geographical dispersion leads to higher travel and personnel costs. All of these compounds in continued destruction of nature resulting in long-term higher costs and more lasting effects than in many other arenas of global issues. larger reporting burdens and “negotiating fatigue. Then the focused areas can be split into 3 parts: Sustained use of resources It is basically a subset of sustainable development. particular elements of the system remain under-funded. with duplicative mandates. The MEA secretariats are located in disparate parts of the world. This stems from the fact that wind and water don’t respect national boundaries. However. and increasingly the private sector but governance mostly is a system run by a nation. UNEP has never been given the resources or the political capital to fulfil this mandate. capital stocks are built up which are supposed to add to the wealth of present and future generations. international organizations. c) Lack of Implementation. coordination and unrealized potential. such coordination is part of UNEP’s natural mandate as it is the principle body for EG coordination. e) Non-state Actors in a State-centric System Most actors in EG are NGO’s. but interrelated. In using and transforming them. Theoretically. Enforcement and Effectiveness People on all levels are more worried about negotiating different agreements than implementing the ones already in place or reviewing the progress. Compliance. One country’s pollution . b) Lack of Cooperation and Coordination among International Organizations The concern here is the absence of any meaningful coordination mechanisms for EG. As resources are the backbones of every economy. environmental problems. which is development that meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs. ii) Fragmentation leads to conflicting agendas.border threats Nature is an asset of the world. when anyone harms the environment the whole world losses out. a government thus there are a lot of problems as lack of funding.United Nations Environment Program OakMUN 2012 a) Proliferation of MEAs and Fragmentation of EG i) There are too many organizations engaged in environmental governance in too many different places. have varying levels of autonomy and focus on separate. Thus in spite of this impressive pool of money. UNEP’s ability to “coordinate” other UN agencies is further hampered by the sheer number of agencies and programs in the UN that have some stake in environmental protection.

become another country’s environmental and economic crisis. and often does. development and lasting peace. and provide a strong platform for recovery. undermine human security and tear apart the fabric of sustainable development. they destroy infrastructure. Disaster Management When a disaster takes place all forms of human actions and interaction get interrupted and even destroyed. Disasters in addition to their tragic human toll. Their impacts are disproportionately borne by the most vulnerable sectors of society.United Nations Environment Program OakMUN 2012 quickly can. or to increased exposure and vulnerability to natural hazards. . Degraded or poorly managed ecosystems can lead to conflict over dwindling water. the environment can play a pivotal role in human security and well-being. such as landslides or flash floods. food or fuel resources. And because the problem originates in another country. leaving the local people who are most affected with few real options. affecting livelihoods and compounding poverty. solving it becomes a matter of diplomacy and international relations. sustainable management of natural resources can help reduce the risk of disasters and conflict. As a victim or a driver of crisis. Conversely.

which had diminished since the creation of the Commission on Sustainable Development (CSD). Kofi Annan placed the issue of improving the coordination and effectiveness of environmental institutions on the international political agenda by releasing his 1997 program for reform ‘Renewing the United Nations. It was established by the UN Secretary General to “enhance UN system-wide inter-agency coordination” Each of these organizations has a defined environmental mandate and many have specified environmental activities. Kofi Annan. 9. . including the secretariats of the Multilateral Environmental Agreements. UN Secretary General. The UN Task Force on Environment and Human Settlements (1997) was appointed by the Secretary General. (Appendix for list) Governing council (GC/GMEF) The Governing Council was established in accordance with General Assembly resolution 2997 (XXVII) (Institutional and financial arrangements for international environmental co-operation) of 15 December 1972. The Inter-agency Environment Management Group (1999) was established as a mechanism to provide UNEP with an effective and strong coordinating role within the UN system on environmental matters. The Malmo Declaration (2000) was adopted by the GMEF. The Nairobi Declaration on the Role and Mandate of UNEP (1997) restated UNEP’s role as the leading authority in the field of the environment. The Task Force’s recommendations were adopted by the General Assembly.United Nations Environment Program OakMUN 2012 Past UN action: 1. In its eleventh session. 6. Commission Sustainable Development (CSD) The Commission on Sustainable Development was created as an outcome of the Rio Earth Summit in 1992. Governing Council reports to the General Assembly through the Economic and Social Council. for four-year terms. 58 members of the Council are elected by the General Assembly. programmes and organs of the UN. with each cycle focusing on selected thematic clusters of issues. leading to the creation of two new coordinating bodies: the Environmental Management Group (EMG) and the Global Ministerial Environment Forum (GMEF). including how to strengthen UNEP and broaden its financial base and how to better incorporate non-state actors into the GEG system. the Environment. Kofi Annan. and Development (2006) was created after the World Summit in New York (2005) Main International Actors: UN Environment Management Group (EMG) The Environment Management Group is a UN system-wide coordination body. Its role is to enhance inter-agency cooperation on environmental issues. The Declaration was adopted by the UNEP. and its mandate reaffirmed and expanded in the 2002 Johannesburg Plan of Implementation. plus the Bretton Woods Institutions and the World Trade Organization. to focus on inter-agency linkages and the revitalization of UNEP. The UN Summit (2005) called for strengthening coordination within the framework of international environmental governance and for the integration of environmental activities at the operational level into the broader sustainable development framework. 8. 3. taking into account the principle of equitable regional representation. 5. 4. launched a UN-wide reform initiative (1997).’ 2. Governing Council and endorsed by the UN General Assembly to revive UNEP and re-establish its authority. It requested that the World Summit on Sustainable Development (WSSD) review the requirements for an enhanced institutional structure for GEG. A High Level Panel on UN-wide Coherence in the Areas of Humanitarian Assistance. The EMG membership consists of the specialized agencies. 7. it was decided that the CSD’s multi-year programme of work beyond 2003 would be organized on the basis of seven two-year cycles.

It is made up of leading scientists. UNEP’s Disasters and Conflicts sub-programme Works to understand and reduce the impacts of environmental degradation from disasters and conflicts on human health. . International Institute for Sustainable Development (IISD) The IISD is an independent. Climate change and energy. New York. delivering wide-ranging environmental expertise to national governments and partners in the UN family. was organized by the United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs and included participation from 192 UN member states — including 57 Heads of State and 31 Heads of Government. Between 1990 and 2009.United Nations Environment Program OakMUN 2012 United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development (UNCSD) The UNCSD also known as Rio 2012. UNEP has responded to crisis situations in more than 40 countries since 1999. disaster risk reduction. From the Balkans to Afghanistan. Manitoba and has additional offices in Ottawa. the environmental impacts from production and consumption and metal recycling. or “Earth Summit 2012” was the third international conference on sustainable development aimed at reconciling the economic and environmental goals of the global community. It also emphasizes the role of healthy ecosystems and sustainably-managed resources in reducing the risk of disasters and conflicts. Measurement and assessment. Economic policy. Lebanon. and the role of communication technologies in sustainable development. Sudan and Nigeria. private sector companies. The Panel will delivers reports on topics including the decoupling of environmental degradation from economic growth. and Geneva. Natural resources management. NGOs and other groups. environmental cooperation for peace building. set up in 2007 under the auspices of the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) to provide authoritative and independent advice to decision makers globally. IISD is headquartered in Winnipeg. livelihoods and security. IISD focused its policy and research efforts in six core areas: International trade and investment. It is a three-day high-level UN conference. non-profit and non-governmental research organization founded in Canada in 1990. International Panel on Sustainable Resource Management The Panel provides scientific evidence to underpin the delivery of policies on resource efficiency. post-crisis environmental recovery. It provides four main services to Member States: post-crisis environmental assessments. Rio+20. The decision to hold the conference was made by UN General Assembly Resolution A/RES/64/236 on 24 December 2009.

United Nations Environment Program OakMUN 2012 On-going UN Action: .

Political ecology is the study of the relationships between political. They are predominantly produced by the United Nations. . economic and social factors with environmental issues and changes Sustainable development is development that meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs A multilateral environmental agreement (MEA) is a legally binding agreement between three or more states relating to the environment. It is called a bilateral environmental agreement if the agreement is between two nation states.United Nations Environment Program OakMUN 2012 Questions a resolution must answer: Are the numbers of bodies involved enough? Is there scope for new bodies to work which would improve the overall working of the system? What are the ways of obtaining more funds while reducing the duplication of efforts? How could coordination be improved is the fastest possible manner? Is the implementation of a monitoring and early warning system or framework improvable? How can cross border environment threats be dealt with on an international level? How can nations be urged to move to a more sustainable development model? Could the overall reform of the environmental governance system be a possibility? If yes how? Terms Public goods: In economic terms. is a good that is both non-excludable and non-rivalled in that individual’s cannot be effectively excluded from use and where use by one individual does not reduce availability to others.

Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) Secretariat United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) United Nations Human Settlements Programme (HABITAT) United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) United Nations Industrial Development Organization Appendix EMG members: Basel Convention Secretariat Convention on Biodiversity (CBD) Secretariat Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES) Secretariat Convention on Migratory Species (CMS) Secretariat Economic and Social Commission for Africa (ECA) Economic Commission for Europe (ECE) Economic and Social Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean (ECLAC) Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (ESCAP) Economic and Social Commission for West Asia (ESCWA) Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) Global Environment Facility (GEF) International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) International Labour Organization (ILO) International Maritime Organization (IMO) International Strategy for Disaster Reduction .United Nations Environment Program OakMUN 2012 (ISDR) Secretariat International Trade Center (ITC) International Telecommunication Union (ITU) Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) Ramsar Convention on Wetlands Secretariat Convention to Combat Desertification (CCD) Secretariat UN Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) UN Department of Economic and Social Affairs/ Division for Sustainable Development (UNDESA/DSD) United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) United Nations Educational.

unep. Microeconomic Analysis ISBN 0-393-95735-7.United Nations Environment Program (UNIDO) United Nations Institute for Training and Research (UNITAR) United Nations University (UNU) Universal Postal Union (UPU) World Food Program (WFP) World Health Organization (WHO) World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) World Meteorological Organization (WMO) The World Bank World Trade Organization (WTO) OakMUN 2012 Sources: Hal World Bank http://www.worldbank. CBD / Reuters .int EU http://ec.un. UNEP UN publications CSD UNEMG http://www.reuters.shtml UN documents IISD http://www.europa.un. .guardian. http://www. 6.html 7. http://www. http://www. 5.United Nations Environment Program OakMUN 2012 Recommended Reading: 1. 3.