The Switch is a monthly newsletter distributed by the Northern Alliance for Sustainability (ANPED) on initiatives that are making the switch to a sustainable society. The Switch covers various campaigns, new book releases, academic papers, policy processes and more. It takes a holistic and progressive approach to the sustainability debate and does not shy away from addressing controversial topics. The Switch also keeps you updated on upcoming conferences and events.
The Switch is open for your news, events and articles as well. So please send them to us !!
If you have any other recommendations or comments, dont hesitate to contact the editor of The Switch, Koen Stuyck, koenstuyck[at]gmail.com
Short survey of relevant indexes and sets of indicators concerning
development towards sustainability.
March 2010: A new report of ANPED, written by Geurt
van de Kerk and Arthur Manuel of the Sustainable Society Foundation. This new publication gives a very good
overview of the various indexes and sets of indicators used nowadays by NGOs
and governments. Policymakers find it always difficult to measure sustainable
development, because of the complexity. Nevertheless it is very urgent to use
alternative indicators, to know the progress or decrease of the SD-goals. As is
mentioned in this publication the "perfect" index or set of
indicators does not exist. But that does not mean that we cannot start using
alternative indicators right away.
Fact is that the 'golden calf indicator', the GDP,
does not measure anything remotely connected to sustainable development.
Process and the 10-Year Framework of programmes on Sustainable Consumption and
As we enter the
UN's 18th session of the Commission on Sustainable Development (CSD
18), one of the five themes to be discussed amongst member-States is the
development of a 10-Year Framework for Programmes on Sustainable Consumption
and Production in support of regional and national initiatives (10YFP). The development of a framework of programmes
was a mandate issued by the World Summit on Sustainable Development to fill an
implementation gap in achieving sustainable patterns of consumption and
production, manifested through the worsening ecological and social trends
afflicting the world.
In order to provide support and guidance to
the process, a number of civil society organizations representing most of the
UN's Nine Major Groups have been issuing thought pieces and statements to the
Marrakech Process Steering Committee over the past years. A variety of groups self-organized around the
time of the 3rd International Meeting of Experts on sustainable
consumption and production that took place in Stockholm, June 2007, to discuss Marrakech-related
issues and collaborate to produce some key recommendations to the Steering
Committee on moving forward. These
included asking the Committee to focus on 'support
for regional and national initiatives', as well as identify and clarify the specific
programmes to be provided by the UN 10-Year Framework, and how and when
these programmes are intended to support national and regional initiatives.
Many within civil
society are concerned that after three Public Drafts, the 10YFP still does not
provide answers as to the programmes that are to be provided by the UN in order
to support the thousands of
organizations around the world that are undertaking a wide range of projects to
change various parts of the production and consumption patterns at the root of
humanity's most serious global and local crises. Many of these initiatives are struggling
against imposing odds, and would benefit from various regional and national
'programmes of support' organized through the United Nations. These programmes can include funding,
political support, technical support, multi-stakeholder dialogue, access to
relevant information, and so forth.
Indeed, the UN is in the unique position to broker information,
encourage cooperation and advocate for resources and political recognition at
the global level in ways that local, national and regional organizations and
initiatives cannot. In turn, it is the
leadership shown by thousands of initiatives by governments, public interest organizations,
businesses, and citizen organizations working within each economic sector, at
all levels of society, that will make the actual changes needed to create a
green, just and sustainable economy.
The United Nations
Environment Programme has posted the first three Public Drafts of the 10YFP on
its website, as well as the comments received by governments, UN Major Groups
(NGOs; Business & Industry; etc.) and other stakeholders: http://www.unep.fr/scp/marrakech/10yfp.htm.
information about the Marrakech Process, see http://www.unep.fr/scp/marrakech
(UNEP) and http://esa.un.org/marrakechprocess (UN DESA).
Written by Emmanuel
Prinet, One Earth
Initiative, Vancouver, Canada
2010 = A new two year
cycle of CSD 18 and 19
- Waste Management (Hazardous
& Solid Waste)
- 10 Year Framework of Programmes on Sustainable
Consumption & Production Patterns
Read more information including papers of all stakeholders
If you want to be updated and participating on our discussions and
process work during those two years, please write a mail to leida[at]anped.org,
and we will subscribe you.
for a human right to a healthy environment in European convention on human
Stand Up For Your Rights is an International Human Rights NGO based in The Netherlands, which
focuses on Human Rights issues that are intertwined with a sustainable future
of people and all life on the planet.They started a campaign to have the
human right to a healthy and clean environment codified in the European
Convention on Human Rights (ECHR).
As it happens, codifying this right in the
ECHR is currently on the agenda of the Council of Europe. The Parliamentary Assembly of the Council advised in recommendation 1885
with an almost unanimous vote to add this human right to the European
Convention on Human Rights. The Steering Committee on Human Rights (CCDH)
on the other hand advised The Committee of Ministers recently not to follow the
recommendation and to deny this human right, despite the vast support for it in
The Parliament. The arguments of CDDH, however, have been dealt with by The
Parliament in the recommendation process and have been proven to be invalid.
You can support their call by downloading a
concept letter on the website of Stand up for your rights and send it to your
Minister of Forreign Affairs: http://www.righttoenvironment.org/default.asp?pid=92.
Everyone is encouraged to use its local
and international contacts and networks in all 47 Council of Europe countries
and beyond to spread the message and to have other organizations and
individuals send such a letter to their Ministers. They also ask organizations
to partner up with them on this theme and to confirm that they can use your
name and logo as an officially on the quest to have this human right
codified under ECHR.
People's Conference on Climate Change and the Rights of Mother Earth
From 19 till 22nd of April, Cochabamba
in Bolivia will be the host city for the World People's Conference on
Climate Change and the Rights of Mother Earth. The conference proceedings will
take place at the Hotel Regina in a small town just outside of Cochabamba
The conference will
seek to advance an international global warming referendum. According to
Bolivia's United Nations Ambassador Pablo Solon, "the only thing that can
save mankind from a [climate] tragedy is the exercise of global democracy.
A priority of the meeting would be discussing the possibility of a global
referendum with the goal of reaching two billion people, he told reporters.
The outlines of the
conference remain vague, and it is so far shaping up to be something between an
environmental forum and a political rally. It is expected to tackle many of the
themes Morales raised at the Copenhagen summit last year, including creating a
climate court of justice and the need to change the system of capitalist
consumerism proposals that could be included in the suggested global
Solon said the summit's
conclusions would be delivered to the next U.N.-sponsored meeting on climate
change, currently scheduled for December in Mexico.
Footprint Forum: Meet the Winners of the 21st Century
- Second Partner Conference from Global Footprint Network
The Forum Roundtables are a
series of fast-paced, highly interactive conversations on critical topics,
designed to move the sustainability agenda forward during a time of increasing
resource constraints. The aim of the sessions is to overcome barriers to
action, fill gaps in knowledge, and identify strategies that inspire further
sustainability investments and bring about systemic change. Footprint Forum
will foster the kind of learning and idea-sharing that will support government
innovation, strengthen corporate strategy and advance human development.
Attendees will include
international leaders in government, non-profits, development agencies and
business, sharing the common mission of creating healthy societies where all
people can live well, within the means of our planet. The Forum will allow governments
to discuss strategies for maintaining a competitive economy during a time of
resource scarcity, corporations to gain an understanding of how to build a
robust business strategy that will withstand ecological pressures, and
development agencies to explore what is needed to make development gains last
while preserving natural capital. The academic side-conference provides a forum
for researchers to share the latest in Ecological Footprint science.
Copenhagen COP15 showed
us that national governments and political leaders are finding it difficult to
act collectively in the global interest. Global Footprint Network is convinced
that climate action will only gather momentum once nations see that decisive
action is in their own best interest. This compelling self-interest story
becomes obvious once we understand climate change in the context of ecological
resource constraints, as one of a number of related crises food, energy,
water, biodiversity, and so forth emerging from humanitys systematic overuse
of available resources. This reframing presents a great impetus for
transformation. The focus of Footprint Forum 2010 is on how we can capitalize
on this opportunity.
WHEN: June 7-12, 2010. The events of the Forum include:
WHERE: Colle di Val dElsa, Italy, just outside of Siena
CALL FOR ABSTRACTS: Global Footprint Network is calling for abstracts for presentation at
Footprint Forum: Meet the Winners of the 21st Century. Click
here for more information.
Early registration rate
available if you register by March 31, 2010. For more information contact:
Bree Barbeau email@example.com
'The Daly News' brings in-depth articles that challenge predominant
The Daly News
is a new source of information for innovative ideas about building a
better economy. Each week, The Daly News will provide a thought-provoking
feature essay that challenges the predominant economic paradigm and explores
creative solutions to our profound economic and environmental problems. The
first essay by Herman Daly appeared on March 1 2010. In addition to Professor
Daly, the core rotation of authors at The Daly News includes Brian Czech
(wildlife biologist, ecological economist, and author of Shoveling Fuel for a
Runaway Train), Brent Blackwelder (former president of Friends of the Earth and
founder of American Rivers), and Rob Dietz (environmental scientist and executive
director of CASSE). The Daly News also will present guest posts and news
briefs about economic growth and sustainability. Readers are invited to
subscribe to the RSS feed (http://steadystate.org/feed/) or read it directly on the CASSE website (http://steadystate.org/learn/blog/).
CASSE is the
Center for the Advancement of the Steady State Economy. The mission is to
advance the steady state economy, with stabilized population and consumption,
as a policy goal with widespread public support. CASSE is an organization
that explores economic growth in earnest, including its downsides. We refuse to
ignore the costs of economic growth, and our position (which can be signed
online) sets the record straight. We recognize the conflict between economic
growth and various goals for society, and we stand up for rational economic
policies. Continuous economic growth on a finite planet is wishful
thinking. We confront the truth that there are limits to growth, and we explore
other possibilities for managing our economic affairs.
report: Business failing to close the corporate gender gap
Leading companies are
failing to capitalize on the talents of women in the workforce, according to
the World Economic Forum's Corporate Gender Gap
Report 2010. It is the first study to
cover the world's largest employers in 20 countries and benchmark them against
the gender equality policies that most companies should have in place but are
in fact widely missing. The report is based on a survey of 600 of the heads of
Human Resources at the worlds largest employers. The survey contained over 25
questions and assessed companies on representation of women within their
establishments and the use of gender-equality practices such as measurement and
target-setting, work-life balance policies and mentorship and training. The
survey also asked respondents to identify the biggest barriers to womens
leadership and their opinion on the probable effects of the economic downturn
on womens employment in their countries and industries.
Released on International
Women's Day, 8 March, the report provides a guide on what firms need to do to
close the corporate gender gap. It was written by Saadia Zahidi from the World
Economic Forum and Herminia Ibarra from INSEAD.
passed by UN General Assembly for 'Rio+20' Earth Summit in 2012
On 24th December 2009 the UN passed a
resolution agreeing to hold a UN Conference on Sustainable Development in 2012.
The resolution was welcomed by governmental and non-governmental stakeholders
alike, many of whom had been advocating for a Rio+20 Summit for over a year. It outlines four areas of focus :
- Green Economy in the
context of Poverty Eradication and Sustainable Development
Framework for Sustainable Development
The full UN resolution is available at the UN website.
Stakeholder Forum played a key role in organising a number of events and bringing
together key stakeholders at crucial points in the run-up to the Resolution.
Stakeholder Forum will continue to play a key role in the preparatory process
for Earth Summit 2012, and will provide updates, background information and
analysis on their website www.earthsummit2012.org. They will present more information about the milestones leading to
Earth Summit 2012, the thematic areas to be addressed by a Summit, and the
activities of the Major Groups.
Civil Society in Germany succeeded in putting forward a
radical proposal for an unconditional general basic income.
The campaign now runs in full speed and
inventive means are being used. There's been a long debate about the
possibility of a basic income. Many different models have been conceived. Even
Thomas More's Utopia in 1516 talks about basic income to prevent people from
becoming thieves. In Germany the proposition talks about 1000 euro a month,
together with a simplified tax-system. It's been calculated that this is
possible, because it can replace expensive social security systems and
One initiative contributed considerably to
the campaign. It was an online petition by a woman, Susanne Wiest, that
was launched in December 2008. The petition managed to gather 50.000 signatures
in only a few months, enough to extort a parliamentary debate. In this
proposition the amount is even 1500 euro for grown-ups and 1000 euro for
Propositions have also been launched for a
global basic income, and there's an international network called BIEN (Basic
Income Earth Network). At a conference in Seoul, a statement was drafted in
which a demand for a global basic income was presented.
The subject gathered momentum through the
global financial crises. Many people got into financial problems. Moreover, the
amount of money that was suddenly available to save banks and car factories
brought about the question: 'why not for ordinary people?' Striking in the
German situation was the high number of local groups that started working with
the idea. Symbol for the campaign became a golden crown made from cardboard. There's also
a facebook-group with more than 19.000 members.
Politicians and the 'ruling classes' look at
the idea with horror. They claim that it would mean the end of working
ethics. They are afraid of people refusing to do poorly paid little jobs. Theyre
also afraid that a general basic income would cost too much and it would pull
away money from company subventions. Nevertheless, by now, there are also
advocates in conservative parties and confederations, they favor a limited
Actually not the complete left is
automatically in favor. Some party members of 'Die Linke' think that basic
income might bring wages down. Other constraints could be the emergence of the
so-called 'flat-tax' by which rich people would pay as much taxes as anybody
else or a limited implementation of the basic income and an exclusion of
'foreigners' to the area. But the pro-movement was able to prove otherwise. If
the implementation can take place in a good fashion then it will help equality
and justice in society.
Text translated from an analysis by Kees Stad on http://www.globalinfo.nl
What Would It Mean to Win? by John Holloway
Connecting some of the more
remarkable events of the last decade including the rioting in Oaxaca and
in the outskirts of Paris and the modern crises of neoliberalism,
this critical analysis suggests new strategies for the progressive Left and
that forward-moving change is possible. It examines the concept that movements
generally develop at times of acceleration and expansion, but ultimately
naturally slow down without consideration of their actual effects stifling new
developments, suppressing the emergence of new forms of politics, or failing to
see other possible directions. Global in scope and including writings from
Leftist struggles, victories, and defeats, this collection of essays ponders
the possibility of a winning movement with lasting change and presents
opportunities in all corners of the world.
Order this book: PM Press (April 1 2010)
economy - 10 Years, 100 Innovations, 100 Million Jobs, by Gunter Pauli
The Blue Economy began as a project to find one hundred of the best
nature-inspired technologies that could effect the economies of the world,
while sustainably providing basic human needs - potable water, food, jobs and
healthful shelter. Starting with 2,231 peer review articles Dr. Pauli found 340
innovations that could be bundled into systems that function the way ecosystems
do. These were then additionally reviewed by a team of corporate
strategists, expert financiers, and public policy makers. Further meetings
with entrepreneurs, financial analysts, business reporters and corporate
strategy academics reduced the list to one hundred. These are listed in an
appendix of The Blue Economy.
Many of the innovations inspired by nature are so interesting by
themselves it is easy to forget that the key to the book is their integration
with real world economies as ways to provide sustainable benefits to the
commons. The Blue Economy is presented in fourteen chapters, each of
which investigates an aspect of the world's economies and offers a series of
innovations capable of making aspects of those economies sustainable. Following
are "in-a-nutshell" descriptions of the chapters with very brief
examples. Please see the Table of Contents (upper right column) for further
Order this book: Trade paperback book; 1st edition (april 2010)