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National council/commission for sustainable development
Examples of structures:
The Philippines: Philippine Council for Sustainable Development (PCSD)
The PCSD was initially established to monitor the country's compliance with Agenda 21 requirements. However, its role has since expanded into an advisory body to NEDA in regards to the integration of environmental considerations into economic decision-making. It also functions as a forum for debate on environmental issues.
The Director General of the National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA), who is also Secretary of the Department of Socio-Economic Planning, chairs the Philippine Council for Sustainable Development (PCSD) as a way of promoting the effective integration of environment concerns in economic policy making. The PCSD membership includes representatives from public service, private sector, labour unions, academia and NGOs.
Philippine Council for Sustainable Development (PCSD)
The Philippine Council for Sustainable Development (PCSD) was established in 1992 to develop and coordinated the country’s Agenda 21 strategy. It is a round table body with representatives from different government departments, NGOs, business and trades unions. The PCSD is chaired by the Director General of the National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA) with the vice-chair coming from the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR). The Council is supported by a secretariat comprising NEDA and a national group of NGOs (the Civil Society Counterpart Council for Sustainable Development)
The major activities of the PCSD include
- Formulating and implementing the Philippine Agenda 21
- Formulating the Philippine Strategy for Biological Diversity Conservation and the National Biodiversity strategy and action Plan
- Incorporation of PA21 principles into various government plans including the Medium-Term Philippine Development Plan for 1993-1998
- Quarterly meetings with the Philippine president to ensure that issues and concerns on sustainable development are promptly responded to by government
Strengths and weaknesses:
environmental considerations into economic policy making processes: Philippines)
- The overlap of the mandates and functions of Boards and Cabinet
- Having various systems helps ensure that an issue is examined from all possible perspectives.
- PCSD is essentially only a venue for discussing issues and it has only a recommendatory function. This is especially true for issues that are the specific concerns of the policy-making bodies (e.g. trade, financial incentives, tax reforms etc.) The decision it makes still has to go through other policy-making bodies whose members may not necessarily have the same perspective on sustainable development. Also, these bodies may have other priorities, as dictated by their mandates. In most cases, these bodies view environmental concerns as only a secondary issue instead of an integral component of the decision at hand.
- The level of membership in the PCSD committees reflect the level of priority by the different agencies in the integration of environment in policy-making with many agencies sending junior officials.
- PCSD provides the structure for the involvement of the private sector, NGOs and public enterprises (POs) in addressing development issues and in formulating consequent policy recommendations. The Council provides a venue for these sectors to voice their concerns and perspective on specific policy issues. For instance, the NGO/PO members of the council provided a critic of the Medium-Term Philippine Development Plan. Their comments led to the review of some policies espoused in the plan (e.g. fast tracking of the formulation of the Land Use Code; review of the Key Production Area Approach of the Department of Agriculture etc.)