WORLD SUMMIT ON SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT COMMUNICATIONS
1. KEY OBJECTIVES:
To help raise awareness of the World
Summit on Sustainable Development (WSSD) taking place in South
Africa in September 2002.
To use the Summit as a focus to encourage
the general public and stakeholders to commit to sustainable development,
and its potential for improving the quality of life of this and
future generations, demonstrating how the "global" aims
of WSSD are relevant at the local level.
To work with all the key stakeholders
(government departments and their agencies, local/regional/devolved
government, business, NGOs and other organisations) to ensure
widest possible support for the Summit's objectives and to demonstrate
that participation/contribution is bottom-up and not perceived
To demonstrate that the UK is meeting
it's international responsibilities, and is working to improve
the quality of life for this and future generations.
In order to achieve these objectives we need to
improve communications between all
the relevant stakeholders in the UK and to establish effective
links as appropriate; and
promote UK initiatives on sustainable
development and highlight UK achievements since Rio.
The World Summit on Sustainable Development
will take place in Johannesburg on 26 August to 4 September 2002.
It marks the tenth anniversary of the Rio Conference on Environment
and Development in 1992. The Prime Minister was the first Head
of Government to commit to attend the Summit on October 2000.
The UN decided that the Summit should be prepared
from "the bottom up" through regional preparatory meetings
to secure ownership from countries. In addition there have been
eminent person's roundtables in the five UN regions designed to
bring in fresh ideas. This preparatory process means there is
not yet a formal agenda. Key players agree, however, that the
overarching issue is the link between poverty, environment and
development. Other common themes emerging from these discussions
water, including oceans; and
2. TARGET AUDIENCES
These are wide-ranging, but can be broadly categorised
The "converted" public
and stakeholders, including NGOs, local authorities and business
who are active in this area.
The "unconverted" public
and stakeholders who might not be hostile but who are generally
sceptical or uninformed about sustainable development.
The "converted" media,
including most broadsheets, BBC News/documentaries, Channel 4,
ITN and SKY News and to some extent the regional media who note
the direct impact of policies and actions on their readers.
The "unconverted" media,
including the tabloids who whilst not necessarily hostile are
not particularly interested.
3. KEY MESSAGES
As the key aims and objectives of Summit itself
become clearer, we need to develop in more detail what the key
UK objectives will be for the Summit and what other messages we
want to convey to both the national and international audience.
DEFRA is the lead department but will work closely with FCO, DFID,
DTI, Cabinet Office and other departments. The newly established
Cabinet Committee will also want to consider what the UK's wider
global messages should be, particularly in relation to the events
of 11 September. We will consider this further in light of those
At this stage however the key domestic messages
we want to convey include:
The Summit will involve civil society,
business, local and regional government in putting sustainable
development at the heart of future policies.
It is a global conference which will
have direct local impacts"think globally, act locally"
involvement is a key part of the process.
It covers social, developmental and
UK has got a good story to tell so
far and is committed to continued progress.
"Negative" issues which we need to take
Overkillthe potential for
peaking/boring target audiences by promising much and delivering
Difficulty in giving a "steer"
from Government as to its aims and objectives for WSSD when the
Summit's own agenda has not been set.
Indifference/low level of understanding
of what sustainable development means.
Rio + 5 = poor delivery (seen as
Perceived US disengagement.
Despite positive action the environment
is still degrading.
Suspicion amongst developing countries.
"Globalisation" has a negative
September 11: negative impact on
business/security, attendance of world leaders/priorities etc.
Positive messages we should promote
PM the first leader to state he will
Significance of WSSD recognised in
the PM's Party Conference Speech and in subsequent Ministerial
Cabinet Committee set up to develop,
co-ordinate and deliver the Government's strategy for WSSD.
WSSD provides a focal point for progress.
Opportunity for a wide range of stakeholders
to take part.
Big business now more environmentally
aware and UK Business a leader [involvement in PM Business Initiatives].
Local authority activityLocal
Highlight links with other cross-cutting
policies e.g. Liveability.
September 11 raised awareness of
issues like poverty, resource issues, migration etc.
4. METHODS OF
As identified above, the target audience ranges
from the very knowledgeable to those who either have no knowledge,
no interest or both and we need to differentiate between them.
Unconverted public, stakeholders and media:
This is a key problem and this strategy does
not attempt to address all the issues. WSSD is just one element
in raising public awareness and understanding of sustainable development
in the wider context. Where possible therefore, we should link
in with existing/future campaigns and events, which are relevant
to the broad aims and objectives of WSSD. This should include
not only government departments but also NGOs and other stakeholder
groups. This should also help to reinforce the message that WSSD
is relevant at the domestic level. By adopting this approach,
it will be important to "brand" this activity by means
of a logo or similar to demonstrate a "joined-up" approach
(see Annex A).
Engaging the tabloids and regional media will
be vital if we are to influence this audience. Government Departments
will need to work together to ensure that Sustainable Development
features prominently within announcements, and that media handling
addresses this point. We need to use the full range of media,
including consumer/womens' magazines, exhibitions and websites.
DEFRA Communications Directorate will be setting out their own
proposals shortly and informing other departments.
Also important will be internal communication
to staff of Government Departments and agencies. DEFRA will be
work with House Magazine Editors and others to demonstrate the
relevance of sustainable development to their work.
We must be realistic about how much impact any
of this will have
We should also consider how we might engage
"celebrities" as a means of engaging a younger, more
diverse audience. The best way to do this will be through the
NGOs we are working with, some of which have celebrity sponsors/contacts.
These could include musicians, actors, sportsmen and women, writers,
members of the Royal Family etc, either with or without a known
interest in environment or development issues. We also need to
consider possible links with other events like the Queen's Jubilee
Converted stakeholders, public and media:
This includes mainly those government departments,
NGOs, local authorities and business who are actively participating
in the process or who have yet to decide what, if any, involvement,
they should have. Again, we need to use a range of tools to ensure
that this group is kept fully informed about UK preparations for
the summit at both a national and international level. Equally
importantly we need to ensure that their contribution/views will
DEFRA are proposing to set up a communications
group of interested stakeholders to discuss and take forward proposals
highlighted in this strategy. For more details see annex B. The
inter-departmental steering group on WSSD also provides a forum
within which government departments, their agencies and the devolved
administrations can consult and inform colleagues. To support
both of these groups DEFRA is currently redesigning parts of the
sustainable development website on WSSD (details at annex C).
|Cabinet Committee: MISC 18||OGDs and devolved administrations primarily but broader message to all the stakeholders
|Specialist Media||NGOs, Local Authorities, Business and other bodies
|Ministerial Activities (speeches, meetings, receptionseither as host or guest)
||OGDs, NGOs, Local Authorities, Business, Media and other organisations
|Official representation at relevant presentations, seminars, meetings etc
||OGDs, NGOs, Local Authorities, Business and other organisations
|Newsletters/other visual material||NGOs, Local Authorities, Business and other organisations
|Internet/Websites||NGOs, Local Authorities, Business and other organisations
|Launch of SDU report||NGOs, Local Authorities, Business, other organisations and informed members of the public
We also need to consider how we communicate with other countries
in both the developed and developing world.
|Ministerial visits/bi-laterals/attendance at international events
||Governments in both developing and developed world/NGOs and other key organisations
|Posts overseas/telegrams/briefing||Governments in both developing and developed world/NGOs and other key organisations
5. WHO ELSE
Key players/stakeholders include:
Office of the DPM and Cabinet Office Secretariat.
Departments: Ministers (Green Ministers), Special
Advisors, Permanent Secretaries, Communications Directorate, colleagues
in relevant policy areas.
Select Committees, MPs.
"Older People" Organisations.
Environmental and Developmental Organisations.
[Others to add/be identified].
[Others to add/be identified].
We would welcome additions to this list.