Greening Governance in Asia-Pacific: Executive Summary

Chapter: IV 2012

The twin themes of Rio+20, the United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development, are extensively addressed in this White Paper, as IGES views 2012 as a turning point in the future path towards sustainable development. At the International Forum for a Sustainable Asia-Pacific (ISAP) organized by IGES in Yokohama in July 2011, more than 800 participants discussed the Rio+20 themes of a green economy within the context of sustainable development and poverty alleviation, and the institutional framework for sustainable development. The regional stakeholder consultation at ISAP 2011 not only informed the subsequent regional consultations on preparations for Rio+20 at the Asia and Pacific Regional Preparatory Meeting held in Korea in October 2011, it also accorded IGES an opening for key messages to be incorporated into the draft documents for Rio+20. IGES publications, including this White Paper throughout its drafting process, have been used to inform these important United Nations and major group processes and documentation in the lead up to Rio+20.

Nevertheless, the White Paper is not only about Rio+20. The equally important topic of regional, national, and community level governance addressed by the White Paper has generally been overlooked by a global summit which has focussed on issues affecting relations between the developed and developing world and the need to implement a new development paradigm and reconsider existing global institutional arrangements that may have outlived their usefulness. By focusing on these neglected levels of governance at regional, national, and community levels, IGES hopes to draw attention to the overwhelming necessity of complementary efforts to the global debate at levels where real world action takes place. Long overdue governance reforms at regional, national, and community levels in Asia-Pacific are needed, whatever the outcomes of Rio+20 might be, and this White Paper aims to support reform with cases of best practices, analysis of current governance arrangements, and recommendations for both incremental and sweeping reform.