IGF 2020 Sustainable Internet Governance & the Right to Development

Friday, 6th November, 2020 (13:10 UTC) - Friday, 6th November, 2020 (14:40 UTC)
Room 1
About this Session
This meeting continues groundbreaking work drawing links between environmental sustainability and human rights. Its focus is Article 4 of the Charter of Human Rights and Principles for the Internet in light of the urgent need to identify and rectify the adverse environmental impacts of internet technologies. This meeting will contribute to emerging action plans to ensure that environmental sustainability and the full realization of human rights are cornerstones of internet governance.

Internet Rights and Principles Coalition

Other - 90 Min
Format description: We are looking into flexible seating that promotes interaction between participants. Circle, U shape or any more intimate setting would help.

New Online Format
Birds of a Feather

Internet-connected technologies can, and should play a vital role in helping to achieve the full realisation of human rights, online and offline. All around the world emerging technologies are contributing to the effort of eradicating poverty, hunger, and diseases and promoting gender equality and empowerment of women and youth. Digital technologies are also increasingly central to our current efforts to find solutions to the climate crisis and to promote environmental protection. However in this still highly digitally divided world we live in, the drive for digital overconsumption is creating unprecedented levels of e-waste, a burden that affects mostly developing countries with the huge environmental cost, and the consequent exposure of entire populations to serious health conditions.

This year the IRPC meeting will be looking into Article 4 of the Charter of Human Rights and Principles for the Internet  - Right to Development Through the Internet. We will address emerging action plans for how human development and environmental sustainability can be achieved through internet-dependent technologies. Secondly speakers, and participants will identify courses of action to address the adverse environmental impact that Internet-connected technologies also have on the natural and built environment in which we all live and depend upon. Finally the meeting will agree on a number of action points and outputs for this meeting to carry forward to the IRPC Workshop (WS #226) on 16th November.

Meeting Format

Opening Remarks and brief introduction to the Internet Rights and Principles Coalition, Minda Moreira, co-Chair IRPC

Presentations from invited Speakers, Q&A from participants,discussion, closing remarks

Objectives of this session:

  • Address the major issues arising from the rapid growth of the ICT industry and digital overconsumption in view of the human rights directly affected by resulting environmental hazards
  • Consider further the specific impacts on human and sustainable development goals as these intersect with “greening the internet” policymaking.
  • Bring together representatives of all sectors committed to work on the urgently needed solutions to ensure that next generation of internet-connected technologies enable human development and a sustainable environment for full realisation of human rights.

Policy questions that this meeting will address include:

  1. How does the environmental impact of internet-connected technologies affect human rights especially the right to development?
  2. As the UN SDGs look to “connect the next billion”, how can internet policymakers, designers, and citizens better respond to the environmental issues arising from the growing energy demands, manufacturing, consumption and disposal of internet-connected technologies?
  3. In which specific areas can different stakeholders cooperate more closely to work towards environmentally sustainable and human rights-respecting internet futures?

This session follows up to Coalition's annual meetings organised at IGF2018 in Paris and IGF2019 in Berlin, as well the 2019 EuroDIG in The Hague, and Plenary 4 from the EuroDIG 2020. It is part of the IRPC’s ongoing outreach and dissemination work based on the Charter of Human Rights and Principles for the Internet.

Relevance to IG

In the last few years, the Internet Rights and Principles Coalition has been focusing on issues at the intersection of emerging technologies, human rights and environmental sustainability in a bid to create awareness to the need to address the adverse effects of the ICTs.

In this session, the IRPC looks into Article 4 of the Charter of Human Rights and Principles for the Internet: Right to Development Through the Internet (IRPC Charter Booklet, page 15). Article 4 is the entry point in this session to continue previous discussions, and policy recommendations on the importance of making a human rights-based and environmentally sustainable Internet a working reality. Second, in refining policy and design agendas that can effectively and equitably connect the next billion, by ensuring the promotion of sustainable human development by being part of the solution to the degradation of our natural and built environments, rather than part of the problem.

Relevance to Theme

Environmental sustainability and human rights are intrinsically connected, and the IGF community has a responsibility to ensure that both are fully embedded in the Internet Governance practices and discussions to promote an inclusive and sustainable internet for all. However, solution-oriented discussions around sustainability and the environmental impact of ICTs have been largely absent from Internet Governance agendas, despite the current global climate crisis and the energy demands and environmental impact of a fast-growing digital industry, which - if not urgently tackled, may have devastating consequences on human rights, poverty, and inequality (Climate change and poverty - Report of the Special Rapporteur on extreme poverty and human rights, 2019).

As the UN SDGs look to connect the next billion, human rights and environmental sustainability must be fully considered in the IGF community agendas and embedded in the rules, policies, standards and practices that coordinate and shape the Internet. There is an urgent need to work together to develop human rights-based and sustainability-by design approaches to Internet-connected technologies.


Marianne Franklin, Internet Rights and Principles Coalition Steering Committee

Minda Moreira, Internet Rights and Principles Coalition Co-Chair


Ms Minda Moreira, Co-Chair of the Internet Rights and Principles Coalition

Ms Noha Ashraf Abdel Baky (Youth Coalition in Internet Governance) is Senior Data Storage Analyst at Dell EMC. She is also a Dell University Relations Committee Member and a Dell Social Media Ambassador. She has previously worked for multinational companies like Microsoft and Orange Business Services. Noha has participated in the Mozilla Open Leaders Program, and is a Fellow to the Middle East and Adjoining Countries School of Internet Governance (MEAC SIG). She was selected as an ISOC Youth@IGF Fellow in 2017, and after the Geneva IGF, she co-founded Digital Grassroots with other fellows, a youth-led initiative to promote digital citizenship. She has completed several ISOC online courses, and is currently part of the organization’s group of qualified moderators.

Ms Hanane Boujemi (former co-Chair IRPC, former Manager the HIVOS IG-MENA Program), is executive director of Tech Policy Tank. She is an international expert in Internet Governance and has extensive experience in global Internet Governance processes at the UN level. She specialises in the economic and legal aspects of Internet Policy and Governance. Her work focuses on the policy and regulatory challenges deploying emerging technologies. . She peer reviews Chatham's House Cyber Policy Journal and She lectured on the subject at Clingendael Institute, University of Amsterdam, and University of Toronto. Ms Boujemi has a master's degree in international law and a master's degree in diplomacy with specialisation on Internet Governance and serves on various expert groups at OECD, African Union, European Commission, and the Innovation centre hosted at the UK parliament.

Mr Ilias Iakovidis (PhD) is currently an Adviser at the European Commission, DG CONNECT working on Green digital transformation. The work involves a development of EU wide measures to improve the energy and material efficiency of the ICT sector, in particular datacentres, electronic communications and digital devices. Ilias is also working on maximising the positive contribution of digital solutions (networks, technologies and applications) to accelerate the transition to circular economy, and, to support the sustainability goals in sectors such as energy networks, manufacturing, transport, and agri-food. He is exploring with stakeholders development of consistent and  transparent methods to estimate the net impact of digital solutions on environment/climate. Before that, he was leading and managing eHealth and ICT for active and healthy ageing units and activities of the European Commission.

Mr Rigobert Kenmogne (IRPC Steering Committee), is Cameroonian, Holder of a master’s in public and Private Administration obtained at the University of Yaoundé 2 in 2013. Web journalist, researcher in Digital Rights, and writer (Cameroon: the true face of governance), he was committed for nearly ten years in the development of digital and in defense of Digital Rights to provide a response to development and human rights in Cameroon and Africa. In 2017, he became a Digital Rights Program Officer for Francophone Africa at Paradigm Initiative, based in Nigeria, he is the regional expert on digital issues and evaluates digital public policies in 30 countries in Francophone Africa. One of its main objectives in the region is the promotion and leadership in ICT in Africa for future generations. Its role also includes the influence of actions related to violations of digital rights and Internet freedoms in French-speaking countries. With respect to the issues of Internet freedoms, he is an elected member of the Internet Rights and Principe Coalition Steering Committee since early 2019. At the local level, since 2016, he is one of the volunteer local leaders of Digital Access. He is also one of the local leaders of Internet Society.

Ms Vesna Manojlovic (RIPE Network Coordination Centre), is the Senior Community Builder with a focus on measurement tools. She joined the RIPE NCC as a Trainer in 1999. In 2003, she took responsibility for developing and delivering advanced courses, such as RPSL, Routing Registry, DNSSEC and IPv6. In 2008, she lead efforts to establish IPv6 RIPEness as a measure of IPv6 deployment among LIRs. In 2011, she joined the Science Division as Manager of the Measurements Community Building team. Vesna also takes part in and gives presentations at many technical conferences and workshops.Vesna received a BS in Computer Science and Informatics from the School of Electrical Engineering, University of Belgrade. She has three children.

Ms Raashi Saxena (Youth4DigitalSustainability Program) is a consultant for Gapminder Foundation and a Local Expert for studio intO, a fast-growing international research consultancy. As a member of the Scientific Committee with Missions Publiques, she currently works on rebuilding structures with citizens on matters pertaining to Internet Universality and Governance. Raashi has been a speaker at several international forums such as UN Internet Governance Forum, RightsCon, World Learning events, Campus Party and Communities & Technologies for her valuable contributions in the Internet Governance Space. Her capacity building & advocacy efforts in digital rights, gender rights and youth participation have strengthened the Internet freedom movement in several parts of India. Raashi is a dynamic community builder, currently serving as a Do School Fellow and Young Leader with Women Deliver. She has been an active member of the TED community. In 2019, Raashi was trained by Al Gore to become a certified Climate Reality Leader. Raashi was the Vice Curator of the Bangalore Chapter of the Global Shapers Community, a World Economic Forum initiative. As a Global Shaper, she serves as a steering committee member for the Shaping Fashion Project, a grassroots initiative across the globe to transform the fashion industry into a more sustainable one.
Onsite Moderator

Marianne Franklin, IRPC

Online Moderator

Michael Oghia IRPC


June Parris, IRPC


GOAL 1: No Poverty
GOAL 7: Affordable and Clean Energy
GOAL 10: Reduced Inequalities
GOAL 11: Sustainable Cities and Communities
GOAL 12: Responsible Production and Consumption
GOAL 13: Climate Action

1. Key Policy Questions and related issues
1) Bring youth networks into consultations and key policy and design decisions as these take place at the nexus of human rights online, the Right to Development, climate crisis mobilization, and environmental sustainability
2) Forge stronger practical and strategic partnerships between the Charter of Human Rights and Principles for the Internet and Greening the Internet initiatives
3) Generate Protocol 1 for Article 4 of the IRPC Charter: Additional clause (4c) – “Usage of the Internet for the protection of the environment MUST BE balanced with protecting the environment *from* the growth of the Internet”.
2. Summary of Issues Discussed

- General consensus it that Internet Governance, Human Rights, and the Environment are fundamentally linked, underscored by the 2020 global pandemic and its impact on commitments to address climate change urgently.

- There was broad support for initiatives to address rights and environmental implications of supply chains

- Broad agreement for a cross-sector, multistakeholder strategy which requires strong advocates from all sectors and regions.

- That the technical community and private sector actors must be on board was strongly supported.

- Most supported a approach that includes tackling E-waste (Basel Convention) but is not confined to recycling or zero-carbon policies

- The meeting agreed that Global North historically generates and the Global South is expected to fix the environmental hazards of ICT manufacture and inbuilt obsolescence.

3. Key Takeaways

- Private Sector must be involved along with Governments and Civil Society in fulfilling any Greening ICT agendas.

- AI development, along with roll  out of mobile networks need to be monitored within environmental impact and human rights frameworks.

- Internet technologies need to be green by design calling for accountability mechanisms for governmental and private sector actors

- The meeting supported calls for clearer standards in procurement and designs that supply hardware-software elements of the internet, including electricity and consumer items

6. Final Speakers

Ms Minda Moreira, Co-Chair internet Rights and Principles Coalition

Ms Marianne Franklin (Moderator), Internet Rights and Principles Coalition Steering Committee

Ms Noha Ashraf Abdel Baky Youth Coalition in Internet Governance/Dell)

Ms Hanane Boujemi, Executive director of Tech Policy Tank

Mr Ilias Iakovidis, Adviser at the European Commission, DG CONNECT

Mr Rigobert Kenmogne, Digital Rights Program Officer for Francophone Africa at Paradigm Initiative

Ms Vesna Manojlovic, RIPE Network Coordination Centre

Ms Raashi Saxena, Youth4DigitalSustainability Program

7. Reflection to Gender Issues

Highest number of attendees was 64 including panellists. Activity on the Chat was substantial with equivalent input from male and female participants.

The speakers were predominantly female, from youth coalitions, and from the Global South.