A new international intergovernmental organization for the environment

The World Nature Organization came into existence at the beginning of this month as a result of an international treaty, the WNO Treaty, coming into force. Under the Treaty the WNO shall promote sustainable development, information and knowledge transfer among states, organizations and the economic sector, as regards preserving the natural environment, environmentally-friendly technologies, green economies, renewable energies, protection of resources, protection of water, forest, air, oceans and climate, with due consideration of:

a) national and international priorities, as well as the advantages which result from sustainable development within the natural environment;

b) the contribution which is offered to the conservation of the environment by responsible conduct as regards natural resources, by the significant reduction in pollution of the earth, air and water, by the reduction in deforestation and by the effective reduction in desertification and loss of biological diversity;

c) the contribution to economic growth and social cohesion which can be offered by environmental and climate protection, including the alleviation of poverty and safeguarding conditions for the existence of these and future generations.

The WNO promotes sustainable development in support of the following UN declarations and treaties:

  • United Nations Millennium Development Goals
  • Kyoto Protocol
  • Rio Declaration on Environment and Development (Agenda 21)
  • Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES)
  • Johannesburg Declaration on Sustainable Development
  • World Summit Outcome (New York, 2005)

The WNO states that, as a centre of competence for environmental protection, green technologies and sustainability, and as a mediator and initiator, making available experience of practical applications and strategies, offering support on all issues related to responsible conduct as regards the natural environment and its resources and assisting States to benefit from efficient development and from scientific and technology transfer, the organization shall carry out the following activities

1) For the benefit of its members, the organization will: 

a) analyze, observe and, without obligation towards the policies of its members, systemize contemporary practice and development in the area of green technologies and also projects for the sustainable protection of the environment, including: policy instruments, incentive systems, investment mechanisms, proven courses of action and available technologies, together with success and failure factors;

b) promote discussion with other governmental and non-governmental organizations and networks in the field of environmental protection and all related fields and safeguard cooperation with them;

c) improve relevant scientific and technological transfer and promote development of capacities and environmental competence in situ in the member states;

d) support members in establishing green economies, by training, education and transfer of knowledge;

e) advise and encourage members in their requests for financing of sustainable projects and support them within the parameters of its financial means;

f) support research and stimulate scientific work, as well as supporting research networks;

g) grant its members pertinent advice and support for their requests;

h) encourage exchanges among members and international discussions on sustainable conduct as regards the natural environment;

i) inform about the development of national and international endeavors and projects;

j) inform the public about environmental problems, in particular those of the global environment, and in this way promote public debate, awareness and ecological sensibility for citizens, the economy and state departments;

k) promote synergies between the members, scientific institutions and governmental and non-governmental organizations.

2) In the performance of its activities:

a) the organization shall act in accordance with the aims and principles of the United Nations for the promotion of peace and international cooperation;

b) the organization shall use its assets in such a way that their economic application to this end is secured, that all its aims can be pursued appropriately and its activities can be carried out, to achieve the greatest possible benefit for its members and in all parts of the world, taking account of the particular needs of the emerging nations and remote and isolated regions and islands;

c) the organization shall work closely with existing establishments and organizations and shall endeavor to bring about mutually beneficial relationships , in order to avoid unnecessary duplication of effort;

d) the organization shall pay heed to the resources and current measures of governments and of other organizations; and

e) shall inform its members about its activity in the form of an annual Activity Report and shall inform them about cooperation between the members and other organizations.

The organization is temporarily based in Liechtenstein and its first Secretary-General is Count Oliver of Wurmbrand-Stuppach.  The WNO has declared it as its task, to protect climate, air, water, earth and biological diversity and to still support economic development, which is in the interest of every country. Nevertheless, the WNO is anxious to promote a transition to environmentally friendly, low-carbon and resource-efficient, greener economies.

The WNO is currently preparing for the first World Nature Conference, joined by government representatives, scientists and experts of industrial and developing countries. The following lectures and presentations are planned at the two-day conference:

  • the consequences and impact of climatic change on economy, politics and society;
  • renewable energy, environment protections and climate policy;
  • environmental protection through innovation: renewable energy, biodiversity and sustainable development.

It is not known whether Canada plans to join the WNO.

Lots more information about the WNO is available at http://www.wno.org

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