German NGO Forum on Environment & Development
The Secretariat is the Forum's voice as well as its instrument for coordination. It disseminates publications by the working groups, maintains contacts to organizations in developing countries, works with international organizations and networks on joint activities and monitors the international Rio follow-up in the context of the UN system.
It is one of the main objectives of the Secretariat to educate the German public on the link between environment and development. Moreover, it promotes change in the wasteful consumption and production patterns in the industrialized countries which deplete natural resources and deprive millions of people, particularly in the South, of their right to live in dignity.
The tasks of the Secretariat are defined by the Steering Committee which advocates the positions and demands of the Forum on Environment & Development towards government and the public.
The Secretariat is partially funded by the German Ministry for Environment, Natural Resources and Nuclear Safety and The Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development.
Six months after the UNCED in Rio, on December 16, 1992, thirty-five organizations founded the German NGO Forum on Environment & Development in order to promote the following objectives:
- Taking seriously the outcome of Rio and to try to do whatever possible to eradicate poverty world-wide and to protect the environment
- Lobbying both at national and international level to implement the decisions passed in Rio, particularly Agenda 21
- Establishing working groups which, for example, develop position papers on the most pressing issues in the Rio follow-up
- Coordinating education and information programs
- Increasing pressure on government and legislative bodies by joint NGO actions
- Acting as a contact for international partners.
The major purpose of the Forum on Environment & Development is to prepare joint NGO position papers and strategies which can help open new political perspectives and coordinate the input of German NGOs into the international process. Therefore, working groups were established, in which every member organization of the Forum can participate. The Secretariat is in charge of coordination and information.