SPECIFIC COMMENTS ON THE SDGS
GOAL 1: Ending Poverty
- 1: Limited and problematic baseline Reference to 1.25 USD a day only.
- 3: Very general reference to social protection. The social protection clause also need to address the ongoing development financing process which focused on privatization of social services, curtailing access to the much needy and most vulnerable. A strong social protection mechanism with an explicit reference to over focus on areas such as high military expenditure, that diverts and consume resources, which otherwise could be utilized for social spending.
- 4: The reference to access and ownership of land by vulnerable should be considered in line with the earlier reference to application of human rights.
- 5: The integration of climate change concerns and focus to end vulnerable of communities is highly appreciable. However, building resilience and reducing vulnerability of climate extreme events is also overly focused by world bank group. Such resilience measures should not be another forms of privatization of development and promotion of infrastructures for profits.
- a; Domestic resource mobilizations, meeting ODA and untying aid and ending aid conditionality are some of the specific initiatives that can be focused.
- b: The policy formulation emphasized here is more focused in creating an enabling environment for an accelerated investment for poverty eradication, rather than focusing on domestic resources mobilizations. The formulation of policies at the national level (such as in India), which is increasingly seen as fostering corporatization of development and exploitation of peoples land and resources, should be through a rightful (or right based) participatory process and a consideration of inherent rights and role of marginalized communities. States should promote development effectiveness principles and ensure an enabling environment for CSO’s to rightfully contribute in sustainable development, as a rightful development stakeholders in their own rights.
Goal 2: Ending Hunger
- Para 2.1 tends to be more of promoting food security and not so much of sovereignty.
- 3 insists more of increasing food production and equal access to land. The concept of equal access can be challenging for indigenous communities which usually has collective ownership of land. Such concepts need be sensitive to certain realities. The rightful access of land is crucial. The concept of promoting non-farm activities while referring to increase production is irrelevant and the objective lacks basis, but also connotes undermining agriculture as a viable economic activity and which sustains lives of several marginalized communities.
- 4 The focus on climate resident crops for adaptation should not lead to introduction of GMO crops, which makes soil unsustainable and which caused environmental and health contamination. Rather the effort to integrate adaptation climate change aspect should be to focus rather more on mitigation of climate change etc. The process to define climate resilient or climate smart agriculture will ultimately lead to commercialization and commodification of agriculture. The process should rightfully involve small scale farmers and other communities whose livelihood depends on sustainable agriculture.
- 5: benefit sharing concept from use of genetic resources and applicable traditional knowledge is a concept, that will undermine indigenous peoples’ rights. Rather, the outlined process will facilitate appropriation or theft of traditional and genetic resources of indigenous peoples. While there’s emphasis on access and equitable use of genetic resource and traditional knowledge, there’s limited reference to ensure protection of indigenous peoples rights, who are usually the rightful holders of such knowledge. The Outcome Document is weak because nowhere in the draft outcome document for post 2015 is the explicit reference to the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, which should clearly protect indigenous peoples’ rights.
- plans to increase investment (need to formulate concerns) on plant and gene banks is dangerous. The investment on these priority areas will only help create gaps and consolidation of so called knowledge as against the traditional knowledge on sustainability. The intellectual property regime, associated with such research and creation of gene banks, not only led to denial of access, but also is primary means of corporate control of both agriculture, health and allied services. The focus on gene banks for plants and livestock is also dangerous, as several outbreak of diseases is attributed to such research and promotion of genes banks.
- 2c: The focus to securing markets for commodity supply is simply promoting corporatization of agriculture, supply and distribution processes.
Sustainable Management of Water and Sanitation
- 4, 6.5, 6.6 should be implemented in a way that reviews the current pattern of water management, such as through creation of reservoirs and protection of water sources, many of which led to infringement of several communities rights and access to natural water sources, water shed areas. A rightful involvement of communities is crucial in all development decision making on management of water bodies and other watershed areas. The protection of forest, water, mountain ecosystem is only possible with employment of local traditional knowledge in sustainable management.
- The sustainable water management need to reconsider development projects or processes, which led to destruction of forest, wetlands, ecosystems, mountain, water bodies etc, such as mega dams, mining projects, plantations and other large scale infrastructure projects.
- a: Water management initiative plans should also focus on local traditional ways of water harvesting (creation of family and community ponds for communities in Manipur)
Goal 7: Access to affordable, reliable, sustainable, modern energy for all:
- 2: share of renewable energy should not include mega dams, due to its multiple environmental destruction/challenges as there’s a problematic classification of mega dams as part of renewable energy options.
- a insisting on promoting investment on energy infrastructure should focus on alternative energies, which can substantially minimize social and environmental impacts, and defined in participatory environment, with due recognition of rights of communities, whose survival depends on the land where such initiatives are planned with.
- The limited reference to indigenous peoples’ rights and the application of UN Declaration on Indigenous Peoples Rights, 2007 is a key limitation of the draft outcome document.
- a: The insistence on international cooperation should be on the principle of promoting development effectiveness, rights based development and promoting country ownership which locates people and the environment at the center.
- b: the expansion of modern and efficient energy should not be another area for seeking & reinforcing corporate profits.The consolidation of knowledge on efficient and reliable energy through Intellectual Property Rights Regime further hinders the actual propagation of real knowledge. Further the corporate bodies propriety rights under IPR of such knowledge only led to commercial development for profits and restricts access to those concerned. And the only impact is increased unsustainability of our Earth.
SDG 8: Inclusive Economic Growth
- 1: Sustaining high economic growth is of little relevance in promoting sustainable development. The insistence of many countries for economic growth only led to corporate expansionism with limited accountability, with increased destruction of peoples land, lives and their future. Unfortunately, there is no suggestion of drastic or new measures to reverse the current economic and political architecture that fosters inequality. The current prescription is a mere consolidation of the development paradigm that is overtly concentrated on economic growth. Despite sustained economic growth, inequality in many developing countries has widened further. For instance, India’s focus on Economic Growth has only led to increased land alienation, environment degradation, human rights violations and unaccountability of corporate bodies. Without a clear reference to respect of human rights and regulations to hold corporate and financial bodies accountable, inclusive economic growth will remain a mere rhetoric.
- 5 – 8.10: The prescription of process to promote decent work, jobs and employment for young persons is with clear lack of reference to human rights based approach to development.
Goal 9: Build Resilient Infrastructure, inclusive and sustainable industrialization.
- 1: Focus on infrastructure, including cross border infrastructure as key for sustainable development, is worrisome for many communities. This is clearly agenda of private sector expansion and to increase role of international financial institutions involvement in development processes. There is lack of reference for accountability of stakeholders to be involved in promoting such resilient infrastructure.
- Definition of inclusive and sustainable industrialization is meaningless without clearly outlining a process, mechanism where the intended beneficiaries are directly involved in the decision making on a rights basis. This is very much a corporate agenda and unless peoples view are integrated, the infrastructure created will only ruined their culture, livelihood, lives and future.
Goal 10; Reduce Inequality within and among countries.
- 7: promotion of well managed migration policies is controversial. The promotion of such process is indeed, reinforcing inequality. The failure to address the causative factors of people migrating in search of work, while encouraging such phenomenon and without facilitating country ownership of development will render the goals outlined in the draft outcome document impractical and meaningless.
- 5: The process to improve regulation of international financial market and institutions is very general. What requires is drastic measures to change and democratize the modus operandi of such institutions.
- c: This is a clear promotion of migration, remittance money running countries. (a clear recommendation to stop encouraging migration need be formulated)
Goal 13: Take urgent action to combat climate change and impacts:
- Weak commitment on climate change mitigation measures.
- There is no focus on addressing impacts of false climate solutions.
- Another economic interpretation of climate change response. (climate financing of 100 Billion – issues of States failing to fulfill commitments, accessibility issues remains unresolved).
- The collective responsibility of both developed and developing countries to mitigate climate change and to end destructive unsustainable projects in the territories of indigenous peoples and other marginalized peoples, which aggravates climate change need be highlighted.
Goal 15: Sustainably manage Forest, Combat Deforestation.
- 2 to halt deforestation, restoring degraded forest, and increasing afforestation and reforestation are languages commonly and exactly outlined in some of the false solution to climate change, currently promoted aggressively worldwide and especially in indigenous peoples’ territories. The para, formulated without mentioning REDD and REDD+ measures, will only lead to restricting communities access to their livelihood sources, especially forest. A mere consideration of forest as carbon stocks, liable for carbon and emission trading is an impractical proposition, insensitive to the rights of communities depending on forest for their livelihood and survival. There are also possibilities of promoting plantations and indeed, destruction of forest in the pretext of protecting forest. Any false climate change solutions should respect indigenous peoples’ self-determined rights over their land and their right to free, prior and informed consent.
- 4: To really protect mountain system, states should stop building mega dams across mountains ecosystems. The rightful involvement of communities living and depending on mountain ecosystem should be the foremost criteria.
- b: This is a clear encouragement of introducing REDD+ or other climate solutions that sees forest only as mere carbon stocks. The financialization of forest management will led to corporatization of peoples’ forest and other rights violations. Further, indigenous peoples traditional practices that sustained rich forest ecosystems will be undermined.
Goal 16: Promote Rule of Law and Accountability
- Repeal all emergency laws, that violate IP rights to RSD over their land and resources and which facilitate unsustainable development and exploitation of their land, through unsustainable destructive projects.
- 7: Recognize IP right to Self Determination and Free, prior and informed consent accordance with UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, 2007.
- Formulate policies and establish institutions towards a clear regulatory mechanism to ensure corporate accountability.
- Promote Human Rights Based Approach in development processes
- Advance the role of NHRI’s, SHRI’s, Information Commissions etc.
- Promote an enabling environment for CSOs, HR bodies,
- Promote the rights of Human Rights Defenders and other organization.
- Stop targeting CSO’s for advancing development effectiveness and corporation.
- International Financial Institutions should be subjected to accountability through rigorous monitoring and review mechanism.
Goal 17: Strengthen Means of Implementation and Global Partnership for Sustainable Development:
- Trade Section is problematic with its clear insistence and legitimization of WTO
MEANS OF IMPLEMENTATION:
- Para 5 emphasizing private sector for means of implementation
- b: emphasis on preventing trade distortions and restrictions on world agriculture market etc is promoting liberalization of agriculture sector, to allow corporatization and commercialization of agriculture, at the cost of small scale farmers who cannot compete with Agri-corporate giants and monopolists.
- A: Goal 12’s focus on sustainable consumption is seriously misplaced. The need and focus should be to change the way of life in developed countries, which promoted unsustainable consumption and production. The focus on scientific and technologically capacity to reduce consumption is highly misleading. The UN is leading in the global consumption with all its scientific research and technological advancements and to sustain such consumption pattern and life style, led to destruction of land, forest and resource rich areas in development countries, including in indigenous peoples territories.
- b: Reducing the scope of the entire discourse on sustainable consumption and production to only tourism, sustainable tourism etc is highly limiting. And the current pattern of tourism industry is essentially part of the highly consumeristic way of life of Northern countries primarily.
- a: The focus on protection of ecosystems, forest etc is highly conservation oriented, which has already led to widespread contestations in indigenous peoples territories and to the extent of creating multi layered conflicts and human rights violations
- b: is overt focusing on pursuance of false climate solution targeting forest.
- a & b: Reference to human rights, HRBA, IP Rights etc is weak. There is focus on combating terrorism, which is subjected to controversial state definitions, to suit their interests. The emphasis should also be to promote peoples right to Self-determination, to end all forms of colonization etc. and further to promote corporate accountability. IFIs regulatory framework should be ensured.
- 17: problematic referencing to WTO and trading mechanism. There’s no drastic changes. Its business as usual with revised objectives and languages.
- Multistakeholder partnership to promote development effectiveness, Busan agenda for DE, Corporation etc.
FOLLOW UP AND REVIEW: (HLPF ASPECT)
- Voluntary Reference for review and monitoring (no commitment and obligations). The two different aspects of national ownership of review process need be addressed. The current pattern in India at the national regulatory mechanism is extremely business friendly, while conscripting CSO voices and their enabling environment for DE.
9: HLPF review of State’s Complance to SDGs as a voluntary measures is concerning. Mentions the participation of major groups and other stakeholders.
No clarity on the manner of review (selected countries like UPR, or collective review of all at once). The latter will simply is impractical and unrealistic.