Partnerships between international organisms and community activist groups were the subject of discussion at the Earth Summit in Johannesburg on Wednesday. There is again a rift between the Europeans and the Americans, this time supported by China and India.
The issue is over collaboration between international organisations and local groups of activists, who, claims the European Union, often do more good. The example quoted was the great progress made against the illegal logging industry in Indonesia by local pressure groups, where the UNO and international organisms had proved ineffective. It is argued that funding for these groups will enable them to become more effective as they pit local expertise against problems created locally, with far more understanding of the issues than an expert from abroad.
The USA, however, backed by China and India, are against the idea of funding these pressure groups because funding could be used towards violence and the interests of foreign firms may be put at risk. China and India are worried that such a development would threaten their sovereignty.
Timothy BANCROFT-HINCHEY PRAVDA.Ru
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