NGO GOVERNANCE - The Role of NGOs and Civil Society in...

This preview shows page 1 - 3 out of 24 pages.

  - The Role of NGOs and Civil Society in Global Environmental Governance Barbara Gemmill and Abimbola Bamidele-Izu summary This chapter identifies five major roles that civil society might play in global environmental governance: (1) collecting, disseminating, and analyzing information; (2) providing input to agenda-setting and policy development processes; (3) performing operational functions; (4) assessing environmental conditions and monitoring compliance with environmental agreements; and (5) advocating environmental justice. Three case studies – the Crucible Group, TRAFFIC , and global ecosystem assessment processes – illustrate the success NGO s have had in stepping up to these roles. International decisionmaking processes seek legitimacy through the involvement of civil society, yet formal mechanisms for NGO participation within the UN system remain limited. Ad-hoc civil society participation should be replaced by a strengthened, more formalized institutional structure for engagement. The chapter offers concrete suggestions for such measures, including: Wider use of the “commission” model for long-term, substantive involvement of civil society in global policymaking processes; Assistance for the development of NGO networks; Development of standards for civil society participation and engagement in international decisionmaking processes; Creation of a comprehensive database of information and analysis at different geographic and political levels; Involvement of a larger part of the public in issue spotting, assessment, and monitoring functions; Support for knowledge-generating institutions in developing countries.
   introduction Globalization has considerably weakened traditional governance processes. Increasing global economic integration has reduced the power of national governments while granting other economic and political actors access to the world stage. The 1990s witnessed a dra- matic increase in the involvement of non-governmental organizations ( NGO s) in global governance (Charnovitz, 1997). NGO s and other civil society groups are not only stakeholders in governance, but also a driving force behind greater inter- national cooperation through the active mobilization of pub- lic support for international agreements. Enabling the constructive participation of civil society in global environmental governance is thus one of the most important tasks for policymakers concerned with the effectiveness of global governance (Gemmill, Ivanova, and Chee, 2002). This chapter explores the potential for strengthened roles for civil society, and especially non-governmental organizations, within a new or a restructured global environmental governance system. We argue that civil society should play a major role in five key areas: Information collection and dissemination; Policy development consultation;

  • Left Quote Icon

    Student Picture

  • Left Quote Icon

    Student Picture

  • Left Quote Icon

    Student Picture