Bali, Indonesia,  May 31, 2002 – WWF, Greenpeace, Friends of the Earth International – The Earth Summit is in danger of collapse. This assessment by major environment groups emerged at the end of the first week of the final preparatory meeting in Bali for the Johannesburg Earth Summit, due to begin late August.

WWF, Friends of the Earth and Greenpeace, sent a salvo to the UN Secretary General Kofi Annan in a bid to rescue the stagnant Bali meeting which is set with the task of deciding the format for an agreement at the Summit on key global issues including water, energy, health, agriculture, biodiversity and corporate globalization.

“Unless Kofi Annan intervenes to raise the political stakes before Ministers arrive on Monday, the Earth Summit will end up as ‘Rio minus 10’, not Rio plus 10,” said Remi Parmentier, Political Director of Greenpeace International.

“The EU and G77 countries must come together to ensure this conference has a benefit for people and the planet. Otherwise they will be caving in to the Bush administration whose key objective seems to be a Summit that produces no real consequences,” said Kim Carstensen, CEO of WWF Denmark and Head of WWF’s delegation in Bali.

“People all over the world are protesting against corporate globalization – but governments continue to sacrifice the Earth Summit on the altar of Exxon, Monsanto and co,” said Daniel Mittler Earth Summit Coordinator for Friends of the Earth.

In the letter to Kofi Annan , the groups warned that: No-one amongst governments seems to have taken any notice of your request that at the Earth Summit “We must rehabilitate our one and only planet”.

Governments continue to put corporate globalisation before the interests of people and the planet. Your vision that “together, we can and must write a new and hopeful chapter in natural – and human – history” is being flatly ignored. Governments have failed to respond to the global call to establish social and environmental limits to economic globalisation.

Nittin Desai, the Summit Secretary General said that WSSD “is expected to provide the impetus for specific action that will comprise a major departure from business as usual” and that “We have to think big and go to scale”.

And Dr Emil Salim, the Chairman of the Summit´s Preparatory Committee said that “If we continue as we have done in the past, we will sink”.

Mr Annan, the Earth Summit is sinking.

The central problem is a lack of concrete actions, targets and timetables and the absence of means of implementation and financial resources.

Susan Cavanagh press officer Bali Tel +62 (0)817 971 0052 or +316 212 969 10
Remi Parmentier Bali Tel +62 (0)817 971 0054, Kim Carstensen Bali Tel +62 (0)817 9707827
Daniel Mittler Tel +49 173 9234747