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Publications archive - International Activities and Commitments


Key departmental publications, e.g. annual reports, budget papers and program guidelines are available in our online archive.

Much of the material listed on these archived web pages has been superseded, or served a particular purpose at a particular time. It may contain references to activities or policies that have no current application. Many archived documents may link to web pages that have moved or no longer exist, or may refer to other documents that are no longer available.

World Summit on Sustainable Development
2-11 September 2002

Update - October 2001

Environment Australia
29 October 2001

As part of the on-going public consultation process, Environment Australia will produce regular updates for stakeholders on Australia's preparations for the World Summit on Sustainable Development (WSSD) and feedback on preparatory meetings.

Updates will be posted on Environment Australia's web site and will be accessible from

To receive the update via email or post, contact:

World Summit on Sustainable Development
Environment Australia
PO Box 787
Canberra ACT 2601
Facsimile: 02 6274 1858

In this Update:

Outcomes of Public Consultation Fora - National Summary

The Commonwealth Government held consultation fora on Australia's preparations for the World Summit on Sustainable Development (WSSD) in six capital cities between 27 August - 3 September 2001. Public invitation was through an advertisement in The Weekend Australian on 11 August 2001 and via Environment Australia's web site. We also invited many of our key stakeholders directly by letter.

Approximately 170 people participated in the consultations representing a broad range of stakeholders. These included State Government agencies, representatives from Local Government, environmental NGOs, academia, a range of industry groups and peak representative bodies, development and social NGOs, small business, the health industry, the tourism industry, water associations, youth, legal associations, religious organisations and animal welfare groups.

Environment Australia representatives provided an oral summary at the completion of each forum to ensure that none of the issues raised had been missed or misinterpreted. The results from each forum were collated and compared to identify the key themes and issues, and summarised to determine a national picture.

Key themes for Australia's further preparations for the WSSD

The following key themes emerged as priority issues from the public consultations, based on the frequency an issue was raised and the length of attention given to discussion:

  1. Improved integration of the three pillars of sustainable development, namely, environmental, social, and economic.
  2. Education on sustainable development at all levels to enhance dialogue between and within key sectors.
  3. Leadership by governments and non-government actors (particularly the business sector) to progress implementation of sustainable outcomes on the ground.
  4. Empowerment of local communities and non-governmental actors.
  5. More effective assessment and monitoring of progress and capacity building and technology transfer at the local and international levels.

Environment Australia is presently observing the conventions of 'caretaker period', following the announcement of the 2001 election and the dissolution of the House of Representatives on 8 October. These conventions restrict EA from conducting certain activities during the caretaker period. This includes the publishing of certain materials on the EA web site. It has been decided that the national summary of the public consultation fora should not be distributed until after the caretaker period concludes. The caretaker period will end when the result of the 10 November 2001 election is clear. After this time, the national summary will be available on the Environment Australia web site at ( This summary is a national summary of key issues arising from the public meetings and is not intended to provide an exhaustive record of meetings. You can also request a hardcopy of the national summary from Environment Australia (see contact details on the last page of this update).

Public consultations: Next Steps

Environment Australia has received approximately thirty written submissions in response to our discussion paper on the WSSD. A summary of the written submissions will be made available on the Environment Australia web site ( after the caretaker period.

Environment Australia invites all stakeholders to provide further input on the key themes identified in the section above or expand on any issue raised in the national summary. Contact details for submitting written input are provided at the end of this update.

The public consultation, the written submissions, the outcomes of the Pacific sub-regional preparatory meeting (5-7 September 2001) and themes emerging from other sub-regional meetings (available at will inform Australia's position for the WSSD Regional Preparatory meeting in Cambodia 27 - 29 November 2001.

Report of the Pacific Sub-Regional Preparatory Meeting

The Pacific Sub-regional Preparatory meeting for the WSSD was held in Apia, Samoa from 5 - 7 September 2001. All Pacific Forum member countries were represented, and the USA and Denmark were present as observers. The negotiated outcomes of this meeting were collated as the 'Pacific Regional Submission to WSSD', which will be tabled during the Asia-Pacific Regional PrepCom in Cambodia (27-29 November 2001) as the Pacific sub-region's contribution to the WSSD.

Calendar of Meetings

Preparatory Committee Meetings (PrepComs)

Asia and Pacific Regional Preparatory Meeting
27-29 November 2001 Phnom Penh, Cambodia

PrepCom 2
28 January - 8 February 2002 UN Headquarters, New York

PrepCom 3
25 March - 5 April 2002 UN Headquarters, New York

PrepCom 4
27 May - 7 June 2002 Bali, Indonesia.

Other events related to the WSSD

18th World Energy Congress: Buenos Aires, Argentina.
21-25 October 2001

International Forum on National Sustainable Development Strategies: Accra, Ghana
7 - 9 November 2001

2001 Asia-Pacific Earth Charter Conference: Brisbane, Australia
29 November - 2 December 2001

Delhi Sustainable Development Summit 2002. Ensuring Sustainable Livelihoods: Challenges for Governments, Corporates and Civil Society at Rio + 10: New Delhi, India
9 - 11 February 2002

United Nations Pledging Conference for Development Activities: New York
November 2001

International Conference on Freshwater: Bonn, Germany
3-7 December 2001

International Conference on Renewable Energy For Rural Development: Dhaka, Bangladesh
19-21 January 2002

Sustaining Our Communities: International Local Agenda 21 Conference, Adelaide
3-6 March 2002

International Conference on Financing for Development: Monterrey, Mexico
18-22 March 2002

World Water Congress 2002: Melbourne, Australia
7-12 April 2002

Further information on upcoming international sustainable development events can be found at


WSSD Official web site

UN Commission on Sustainable Development web site

Agenda 21

United Nations Environment Programme

Information on the stakeholder segment of the Regional PrepCom for Asia and the Pacific

Information on national preparatory activities (57 country reports available as at 15/10/01)

National assessment reports (22 reports available as at 15/10/01)

UK Government's sustainable development web site

Coverage of major international environment and development related meetings

UNED Forum

Information on the multistakeholder process

29 October 2001

Download Update October 2001

The October 2001 Update is also available for downloading as a PDF file.

You will need Adobe Acrobat Reader installed on your computer to view it.

For further information or to obtain a hardcopy of this update please contact:

World Summit on Sustainable Development
Environment Australia
PO Box 787
Canberra ACT 2601
Phone: 02 6274 1138 Facsimile: 02 6274 1858