POINTERS TO THE REGIONAL MESSAGE TO RIO+10 FROM THE PACIFIC PERSPECTIVE
1. The Pacific islands are, like the quoted authorities above, concerned about the continued marginal level of support from either the governments or industries of the industrial countries. We note also the lack of definitive action on reducing greenhouse gas emissions, but welcome the progress made by Japan, China and others towards achieving this goal in the near future. The Pacific islands offer some cutting-edge solutions to improve our partnerships with the industrial nations and provide an impetus to positive action for sustainable development via an integrated and focused action plan. The plan has a theme, guidelines, a way to turn visions into a map of the future that can also measure progress and integrate development, and a new paradigm for mutual assistance partnerships with clear benefits to the Pacific islands as well as the industrial nations.
2. The Theme for sustainable development is "Choices", reflecting the ability of island people to choose their own vision for their economic and natural landscapes.
3. The guidelines that act as a compass to maintain direction are maintaining 4 system conditions. These are:
4. The chart of the future landscape is an electronic model of the island compiled by a process of Appreciative Inquiry with the whole of society. It is a geographic information system coupled with a database of ideas and processes for sustainable development.
5. Fuel for the sustainable development comes from mutual assistance partnerships between industrial nations, private industry and Pacific island countries. All partners benefit by advancing the technology and knowledge base for sustainable development.
6. The first two mutual assistance partnerships are; (1) networking all inhabited islands of the Pacific with links to the Internet in the Sky, low orbit satellites and; (2) Transforming all inhabited Pacific islands into hydrogen powered economies.
7. With low-cost renewable energy and full access to the world’s knowledge, the islands will be able to move rapidly towards their desired social, economic, and natural landscapes. The industrial nations will benefit from the partnerships by improving on-line diversity of content and by bringing hydrogen power into successful competition against the existing fossil fuel economy.
8. The people of the small developing island states of the Pacific have widened their understanding of environment to a whole-of-society process that creates their social, economic and natural landscape. They learn this in school, from the Sustainable Development Officer, and in workshops hosted by the Office of Sustainable Development.
9. Everyone knows the choices they make will modify the constantly changing island landscape, and are familiar with the four system conditions that need to be protected. Even the children know their decisions should: (1) Improve efficiency and equity in delivering basic human needs while; (2) Support the productivity and diversity of nature, and; (3) Assure that substances produced by society, such as persistent organic pollutants, are not systematically increased in the biosphere, and; (4) Prevent the systematic accumulation of molecules from the earth’s crust, such as heavy metals and carbon dioxide, in the biosphere.
10. The societies of the Pacific islands know what they want their social, economic and natural landscape to look like in 10 years. They have created an electronic model showing the desired physical, social, political, and industrial boundaries and the process linkages. The map includes community, government, and corporate vision statements, sustainable development policies, and action plans. It is a visual representation of the desired future landscape created by the whole-of-society cooperating with Lands and Survey cartographers. The Geographic Information System (GIS) of the island landscape is rich in detail and flexible in both display and revision. It is easy to use and government personnel, and even secondary school students can access the maps on-line. The mapping process helps link processes of governance and management into an organic whole. The building industry, manufacturing, supply, waste processing, agriculture, power and water delivery, travel and recreation are all networked, and making real improvements in management efficiency. Progress is measured by how rapidly the island landscape is changing to match everyone’s vision of the preferred landscape.
11. There is no hazardous waste on the islands and, in fact, there are no "wastes" at all. All of the waste products of society now are recycled and have become food for other processes, just as in nature. The coral reefs are coming back to life, fish populations are increasing as a result of community conservation areas, land erosion has slowed as communities join in annual environmental celebrations and plant trees and favoured indigenous plants in strategic locations.
12. People are eating better, because permaculture farms produce abundant, varied, and nutritious foods. The farms use no pesticides and are highly efficient, so costs for food have come down. The organic produce is a cornerstone for the tourist market as well as a valuable export commodity.
13. Choices are growing more abundant and diverse in the Pacific islands because all inhabited islands can access the Internet via inexpensive or free links to low orbit satellites. All citizens enjoy access to communications, information, government services such as health and education, entertainment and culture, goods and services from around the region and the world. They have the skills and knowledge to access what they need on-line, the opportunity to share experiences about cultures and ways of life throughout global society and to make creative contributions to the worlds stock of ideas and products
14. The Internet has helped improve co-ordination for sustainable development. Access to the knowledge of the world has made each person and every organization realize that how they communicate with others is important to the process of creating the cultural landscape. There is a new feeling of equality and enthusiastic cooperation between all of society.
15. Relationships with industrial countries have improved with the introduction of mutual assistance partnerships for sustainable development. The industrial countries and the island countries work together to manifest their visions of their own, unique cultural landscapes, while at the same time creating a more efficient and equitable global landscape.
16. The small island developing states are providing opportunities for the industrial nations to test and implement sustainable technologies and skills. The Pacific islands, in partnership with the industrial countries have, for example, created hydrogen powered economies throughout the ocean hemisphere of our planet. This is helping hydrogen power replace fossil fuels and the CO2 level in the atmosphere is dropping back to normal.
17. Low-cost renewable energy is making a significant difference in all the Pacific islands. The process of converting the islands to a hydrogen based economy has given new prosperity and meaning to the island people, especially in rural areas. Pacific islanders are becoming key players in the future of this clean, pollution free industry and are finding jobs and market opportunities for their skills in networking renewable energy technologies into a society-wide power economy.
18. Partnerships exist between industrial nations and the Pacific islands to develop new systems for organic farming, recycling of organic wastes, aquaculture, coral reef restoration, and ecosystem monitoring. Employment benefits for the Pacific islands have been highly rewarding. Tourism has increased 25% due to improvements in web-based tourist services. The islands export organically grown specialty foods to countries all over the world. They have expanded their knowledge base of the medicinal value of herbs and marine creatures and now gain income from the application of this knowledge by pharmaceutical firms all over the world. High seas fisheries are operating in a peaceful, sustainable way and contribute substantial income to the Pacific islands.
19. Economic choices have improved as the Pacific islands continue to discover new ways to implement a full service economy. The old import, sell and throw away economic model has been dumped. Investment, job creation and trade within the service and information economy bring growing benefits to the region, generating revenue, jobs and economic efficiencies. The people of the region are significant contributors of content to the on-line world.
20. With expanding power and full access to the world’s knowledge, the islands are moving rapidly towards their desired social, economic, and natural landscapes. Cultural life, and the whole environment, is flourishing and diverse. Economic efficiency, sustainable extravagance, and the information economy, have reduced isolation and brought home to all the people living on the islands how very special and delightful they and their island homes are for everyone on earth.Summary of Recommendations
Recommendation 1: Establish "Choice" as the theme for sustainable development, to assure everyone understands they have the opportunity and responsibility to build a sustainable social, economic and natural landscape that meets their collective best wishes.
Recommendation 2: Adopt the 4 system conditions of the Natural Step as guidelines to assure choices will lead to economic development as well as environmental improvement. These are: (1) Improving efficiency and equity in delivering basic human needs while; (2) Supporting the productivity and diversity of nature, and; (3) Assuring that substances produced by society, such as persistent organic pollutants and plastics, are not systematically increased in the biosphere, and; (4) Preventing the systematic accumulation of molecules from the earth's crust, such as heavy metals and carbon dioxide, in the biosphere.
Recommendation 3: Create a Sustainable Development Office within the National Planning/Development agency to; (1) facilitate a whole-of-society co-operation; (2) act as a clearing-house for ideas on how to meet the four system conditions for sustainable development and; (3) assist the integration of new sustainable mechanisms, including appropriate technology and regulatory measures into the existing economic, social and natural resource flow of the island.
Recommendation 4: Each branch of government can begin its participation in this program by writing its own vision statement, a sustainable development policy, and a plan to promote this. As the agencies develop their own websites, these design policies should be placed on a section of the website under the link, "Resolutions".
Recommendation 5: Regional organizations should investigate case histories of companies and government agencies where the four system conditions have been applied. They can adopt these procedures in unison and apply them to their own institutions as well as encourage them in all of their relationships. The regional organizations can set an example for others by designing a section of their websites to advance the four system conditions. Their "resolutions" section would integrate their vision statements, sustainable development policies, and their plans to advance this policy within their own operation. Examples of successful application of the guidelines within the Pacific islands can be posted on SIDSnet.org to spread best practices between island groups.
Recommendation 6: The application of geographic information systems to the vision making process recommended by Agenda 21. The techniques of community participation developed by the Vanuatu Land Planning Office, and the systems approach for island systems management programme developed by SOPAC, should be used as templates for designing and drafting interactive electronic maps of the community's vision to provide a basis for systems engineering, management of resources, project integration and physical development.
Recommendation 7: Governments consult with national environment units, coordinating committees, ministries, NGOs and other concerned representatives of civil society to determine the benefits of re-establishing the environment unit as a "Commissioner for the Environment." The office of the Commissioner for the Environment would act as an environmental ombudsman and monitor the impact of development efforts on the living systems of the island and report directly to Parliament (or equivalent elected body).
Recommendation 8: The meeting endorses the Pacific Island Forum's vision for a Pacific Information Economy and urges the international community, regional organizations, and the Pacific island nations to place this vision at the very top of the list of priority programmes for implementing sustainable development.
Recommendation 9: Pacific island countries should, with assistance of regional and international partners and private industry, deregulate communications and establish negotiations with private industry for open access to low-orbit Internet communication satellites.
Recommendation 10: Donors and recipients focus on co-operative projects beneficial to the donors as well as the recipients in their mutual effort to attain sustainable development. Priority be given to large scale, integrated mutual assistance projects which improve capacity for sustainable development through formal education, technical and scientific facilities and sustainable physical infrastructure.
Recommendation 11: Industrial nations and Pacific island countries join together in a mutually beneficial partnership to install hydrogen power economies on the inhabited Pacific islands. This would accomplish the original aims of the BPoA by (a) stopping CO2 pollution of the atmosphere and (b) generating major new sources of funds dedicated to attaining the goals of sustainable development in the small island developing states - as well as in the rest of the world.