Be as it may, protection of the environment is essential to enable us to utilize the available natural resources and ensure that they are not depleted but preserved for future generations to come. The global environmental governance issue has resulted in a heated discussion as to whether there is a need for a global governance system or not. According to Biermann (2002), the establishment of a number of new international organizations over the past years indicate that governments are ready to reinforce global governance by creating organizations that develop into semi-autonomous actors. The purpose of this paper is to establish whether we need a World Environmental Organization or not. The paper will achieve this by summarizing two articles. One is in support of the need for a World Environment Organization while the second is against World Environment Organization. After that, I will provide my position on whether we need a World Environment Organization or not.
Do We Need a World Environment Organization?
Biermann (2002), posits that the development of a World Environment Organization is an idea whose time has come. According to the paper, existing environmental organizations such as UNEP do not have mandates to adopt treaties, have unpredictable funding, and few employees to deal with environmental discourse. Therefore, there is a need for a strong global body having a substantial mandate, sufficient employees, and substantial resources.
A new body in charge of the environment is required to cover the deficiencies of the current state of global environmental governance. One such shortcoming is coordination shortfall in the international governance structure that results in sub-optimal policy consequences and substantial costs (Biermann, 2002). Additional multilateral environmental regimes have resulted in a considerable fragmentation of the environmental system. The second reason is to get away with disparate processes. Creating a World Environment Organization will help to back the regime-building process, particularly by instigating and formulating new treaties. A WEO will also help in improving the overall implementation of international environmental stands.
Consequently, the existence of international organizations with a specialized mandate that has some relation to environmental matters has made the situation a little better. However, the individual efforts of these organizations, like the UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), which have over the years introduced various programs that are environmentally focused have created harmony in the world environmental situation. The individual effort of such organizations is significant. However, there is not much cooperation and coordination of policies and programs between these organizations (Biermann, 2002). Government and political analogy call for the abolishment of environmental ministries at the national level. Thereby transferring the mandate, policy implementation strategies, and programs to different ministries of the nation that include mining, industry, energy, and agriculture. Due to such shortcomings, it is evident that the time for an environmental body that has a worldwide mandate to initiate environmental programs and implement policies has come. Finally, the introduction of WEO will act as ad-hoc support for less developed countries by building environmental capacities.
Najam (2003) starts by mentioning that to consider the idea of a world of global environmental organizations would be used as a premise to undermine the organization itself. It shows that most international organizations that are formed are given a mandate larger than they can handle and are therefore used as scapegoats for failed programs of which they did not have proper resources to undertake. Furthermore, the initiation of such organizations always results in the underappreciation of the achievements that the organization has realized for a given period. Such organizations would be used to drive attention away to the more pressing matters that need to be tackled about the initiation of a world environmental preservation and maintenance approach.
The author argues that the creation of an environmental organization with a global or world-oriented mandate is not a foreseeable outcome. One underlying school of thought for this rationalization is that most organizations that are created with a worldview in mind do not level up to the expectations of most nations involved in initiating them (Najam, 2003). Consequently, these organizations, referred to as super organizations are placed on a high pedestal and approached with a significance that does not merit their existence. Such organizations are accredited to perform policy implementations for which the resources have not been provided by involved nations.
Ideally, the world or global environment organization would create an opportunity for the world to have some organization responsible for the failures of undertaking implementation of environmental policies that have a global impact. Correspondingly, these organizations most of the time are accorded responsibilities that they have no capability to undertake. Moreover, they are attributed to the importance that they do not hold. Therefore, creating an avenue for superficial faults to be attributed to them without a sound basis of arguments (Najam, 2003). To create an organization of environmental responsibilities of a global impact would eventually culminate in the failure of the organization in matters that they had not the ability to influence, implement or even attempt to get involved with. Additionally, the organization's achievements would not be recognized as their impending status of responsibilities was placed much higher than what they could be able to attempt to accomplish.
The idea of the creation of an environmental organization with a global mandate on environmental issues is an idea whose probable success is not foreseeable in this modern age. National ministries whose core mandate is an environmental-related issue have shown not to be successful in achieving the absolute implementation of environmental policies and programs. It is evident that these national ministries and organizations have been created with an environmental approach in mind without being provided with the necessary resources to implement their mandate. If organizations that have a national impact have not been successful, why would one with a global impact be?
The most important fact underlying environmental organizations is the importance with which most people perceive them. For instance, the world or global environment organization would be held with much importance in the eyes of the world. Najam argues that the importance accorded to such bodies is that which they do not deserve or are not worthy of. Consequently, the world will look up to these bodies to perform superficial tasks that aim at preserving and maintaining the environment. Unfortunately, these bodies are given mammoth-sized tasks to which mammoth importance is attached. The act of attributing the falsely gained importance of these organizations without considering their ability to deliver is what ails the world. Creating such an organization would be creating a scapegoat to be used when the nations fail in their approaches to conserve the environment. A global environment organization would, therefore, be there for the sole purpose to be blamed for environmental issues for which they were given the responsibility and mandate to perform but lacking the needed resources to do so.
History has shown that most organizations formed with a global impact in mind fall prey to the institutionalization that ails the global environmental governance. These organizations are created by an act of trying to rearrange the existing organizational chairs on our planetary approach to these issues (Najam, 2003). As such, there seems to be the issue of institutions being formed as a measure to create rules of environmental governance that seem to already exist. What most nations do not realize or want to accept is that the issue of environmental governance is what dangers the organizations created to accomplish it.
Environmental governance has over time been defined and redefined to come up with a specific definition of what needs to be done to accomplish its goals and objectives. These definitions are crucial to understanding what ails environmental governance. The specific issue is that the organizations created to accomplish these goals and objectives are created without a thought in mind of the persisting issues that need to be addressed at a global front (Najam, 2003). Unless the core issues that face the institution of environmental governance are addressed, the formation of any organization will lead to nothing but a blame game that seems to go on forever since what needs to be done is not given the attention and importance it deserves.
Indeed, environmental issues that affect the world need to be addressed. However, the formation of a world or global organization is not the solution to the issue of global environmental governance. It is evident that environmental issues would have been done with if not for the fact that the most pertinent issues seem to be ignored day in day out. Therefore, creating such an organization will culminate in a series of events guided by false importance and significance attached to an organization that does not befit or even can be attached to such significance.
Biermann, F. (2002). Green global governance: The case for a World Environment Organisation. New Economy, 9(2), 82.
Najam, A. (2003). The Case Against a New International Environmental Organization. Global Governance, 9(3), 367.
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