ESTABLISHED: 27 May 1993

MISSION: The NGO Consultative Forum on International Environmental Issues will: a) act as a channel between the Government and the Australian community for the exchange of views and information on international environmental issues and conventions; b) exchange views and information on UNCED outcomes including international aspects of Agenda 21 and the Rio Declaration on Environment and Development; c) provide an opportunity for dialogue between Government and NGOs on Australia'sobjectives in meetings of the Commission on Sustainable Development and other international environmental meetings; d) consult with and, as appropriate, request submissions on specific topics from the wider NGO community; e) receive reports on outcomes of international meetings attended by Ministers, officials, Ambassador for the Environment and NGO participants; and f) periodically review Government and NGO consultative mechanisms in the international environmental field with a view to enhancing constructive dialogue.


a. COMPOSITION (Number of members per sector):

Ministries and governmental agencies:	 4  
Non-Governmental Organizations:      	17
Academic/Research Institutions:      	 0
Business/Productive Sector:          	 0
Others:                               		 0
TOTAL NUMBER OF MEMBERS:    		       	23

CHAIR: Mr. John Kerin, former Minister for Trade and Overseas Development Senator Gareth Evans, Minister for Foreign Affairs Senator John Faulkner, Minister for Environment, Sport and Territories Ms. Penny Wensley, Ambassador for the Environment (Geneva) Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Commission Australian Association for Environmental Education Australian Conservation Foundation Australian Council for Overseas Aid Australian Council of Trade Unions Australian Local Government Association Australian Mining Industry Council Business Council of Australia Community Aid Abroad Environment Management Industry Association of Australia Green Youth Action Greenpeace Institution of Engineers, Australia National Environmental Law Association National Farmers' Federation Women and the Environment Network World Wide Fund for Nature

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION: Australia is a federation. This means that work towards national strategies for Ecologically Sustainable Development (ESD) depends on co-operation between the Commonwealth (federal government) and the governments of the eight States and Territories. In December 1992, The Heads of Government endorsed a National Strategy for ESD (NSESD). The on-going process of implementing that strategy is managed by the NGO Consultative Forum and two other mechanisms:

1) The ESD Steering Committee (ESDSC), which contains officials of the Commonwealth Government, State and Territory Governments and local governments, monitors the performance and development of the strategy. It coordinates a report to the Heads of Government every two years. The process involves meetings of Heads of Government at the Council of Australian Governments, and coordination and reporting done by officials in the ESDSC.

2) The NSESD requires Commonwealth and State Ministers to hold a Ministerial-level Intergovernmental ESD Round Table with top community representatives biennially. The Round Table is seen as a mechanism which will enable ESD stakeholders to focus on the strategic directions of the NSESD and look at substantive long-term issues rather than focusing on short-term issues. As Ministerial representation is intergovernmental, the Round Table will emphasize issues of a cross-jurisdictional nature.