RIO Report Summary 2003

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Government of Canada

SUBJECT
GRADE
.
1. Commitment to Increase Overseas Development Assistance to 0.7% of GDP
B-
.
2. Commitment to Reduce Greenhouse Gases
A
.
3. Federal Commitment to Biodiversity
B+
.
4. Commitment to Review and Reform Pesticide and Toxic Policies
C+
.
5. Commitment to Environmental Assessment
C
.
6. Agenda 21 Commitment to Make Trade and Environment Mutually Supportive
F
.
7. Commitment to the Conservation and Sustainable Use of Living Marine Resources
C
.
8. Forests
C+
..



Canadian
Provinces, Territories

PROVINCE / TERRITORY SUBJECT
GRADE
.
Newfoundland and Labrador Biodiversity
C+
. Climate Change
C+
.
Nova Scotia Biodiversity
F
. Toxic Chemicals/ Pollution
F
. Climate Change
C
.
Prince Edward Island Biodiversity
C-
. Climate Change
B+
.
New Brunswick Biodiversity
C+
. Climate Change
B
.
Quebec Biodiversity
B
. Climate Change
A-
.
Ontario Biodiversity
D-
. Climate Change
F
.
Manitoba Biodiversity
D-
. Climate Change
B+
.
Saskatchewan Biodiversity
D-
. Climate Change
C
.
Alberta Biodiversity
F
. Climate Change
F
.
British Columbia Biodiversity
F
. Climate Change
F
.
Northwest Territories Biodiversity
B-
. Climate Change
C
.
Yukon Biodiversity
D-
. Climate Change
B-
.
Nunavut Biodiversity
D-
. Climate Change
C-
.



INTRODUCTION

Sierra Club of Canada has been researching, writing and producing the Rio Report Card every year since 1993, marking the first anniversary of the Earth Summit in Rio de Janeiro, and every anniversary since. In this, our eleventh year, we are altering our approach and updating the concept. What was recent news when we began, the Earth Summit has slipped into history. New promises have been made, and yet the Earth Summit commitments remain as unfulfilled as they are important.

Nevertheless, eleven years after the Earth Summit, our Report Card from “G.H. Brundtland High School” began to feel dated. In 2003, Dr. Gro Harlem Brundtland is better known for SARS and her role as head of the World Health Organization, than as the Norwegian Prime Minister who spearheaded the work of the World Commission on Environment and Development, which led to the Earth Summit.

To broaden the scope of measurable government promises, this report card is now continuing the name RIO, as an acronym and not a city. R.I.O. now stands for “Report on International Obligations.” We will continue to measure progress on environment and development commitments, whether reached in Rio, Kyoto, Johannesburg or Stockholm.

Canada has numerous international commitments respecting the environment and one of the challenges to the new R.I.O. is selecting which to report on. Canada's international promises and agreements stretch across subject areas and across regions of the world. Many of these commitments are embodied in multilateral environmental agreements (MEAs) - and there are over 200 MEAs worldwide. The RIO Report Card grading team at the Sierra Club of Canada has chosen from among these many commitments those that most logically chart the road ahead as it leads from the ground already covered in the 10 years since the Earth Summit.

We hope that this sleight of hand will keep the RIO Report Card current. It is important to maintain a well–researched national review of progress, and lack thereof, in promises to sustainable development.


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