IGF 2020 WS #343 Imagining an internet that serves environmental justice

Time
Wednesday, 11th November, 2020 (11:20 UTC) - Wednesday, 11th November, 2020 (12:20 UTC)
Room
Room 2
About this Session
This 'birds of a feather' session aims to map key policy ‘crossroads’ for environmental justice and internet governance.

The workshop will be framed by the following questions:

1. How are environmental rights intersecting with digital rights?

2. How can environmental rights defenders and digital rights defenders work together towards shared priorities?

The workshop will include interpretation in English, Portuguese and Spanish.
Thematic Track

Organizer 1: Shawna Finnegan, Association for Progressive Communications
Organizer 2: Olivia Bandeira, Intervozes - Coletivo Brasil de Comunicação Social
Organizer 3: Pavel Antonov, BlueLink
Organizer 4: Karen BANKS, Association for Progressive Communications (APC)

Speaker 1: Olivia Bandeira, Civil Society, Latin American and Caribbean Group (GRULAC)
Speaker 2: Yunusa Ya'u, Civil Society, African Group
Speaker 3: Kemly Camacho, Civil Society, Latin American and Caribbean Group (GRULAC)

Additional Speakers

Iara Moura, Intervozes - Coletivo Brasil de Comunicação Social

Maryellen Crisóstomo, representative of the National Coordination of Articulation of Black Rural Quilombola Communities (CONAQ)

Alan Finlay, Open Research

Leandro Navarro, Pangea

Paula Martins, APC

Moderator

Pavel Antonov, Civil Society, Western European and Others Group (WEOG)

Online Moderator

Karen BANKS, Civil Society, Asia-Pacific Group

Rapporteur

Shawna Finnegan, Civil Society, Western European and Others Group (WEOG)

Format

Birds of a Feather - Auditorium - 60 Min

Online duration reset to 60 minutes.
Policy Question(s)

What are the key policy "crossroads" between internet governance and environmental justice? What is needed to further a holistic policy agenda for internet governance?

Environmental justice is deeply intertwined with how the internet 'works' - from the extraction of natural resources to produce and power the machines that connect us, to the increasing health and environmental impacts of electronic waste. Dominant narratives focus on the relationship between technolgy and environment at the 'end' of the process, often taking a 'technocentric' perspective. Development of technologies, and processes of participation in that development, are still far from the core of internet governance discourse.

SDGs

GOAL 3: Good Health and Well-Being
GOAL 6: Clean Water and Sanitation
GOAL 7: Affordable and Clean Energy
GOAL 8: Decent Work and Economic Growth
GOAL 11: Sustainable Cities and Communities
GOAL 12: Responsible Production and Consumption
GOAL 13: Climate Action
GOAL 14: Life below Water
GOAL 15: Life on Land
GOAL 16: Peace, Justice and Strong Institutions
GOAL 17: Partnerships for the Goals

This 'birds of a feather' session aims to map key policy ‘crossroads’ for environmental justice and internet governance.

The workshop discussion will be framed by two questions:

  1. How are environmental rights intersecting with digital rights?

  2. How can environmental rights defenders and digital rights defenders work together towards shared priorities?

This session will make a first step in crafting a shared policy advocacy agenda for internet governance processes to mitigate the impact of the environmental crisis and promote environmental justice and sustainability.

The workshop will include interpretation in English, Portuguese and Spanish.

Expected Outcomes

A map of the key policy "crossroads" between internet governance and environmental justice, starting from the intersections of environmental rights and digital rights.

Participants will be invited to reflect on the framing questions and share input to the discussion through the chat and with a tool that will be introduced during the session. There will be 10 minutes for spoken interventions from participants towards the end of the workshop.

Relevance to Internet Governance: This session aims to map key policy crossroads between internet governance and environmental justice, and identify opportunities to develop shared principles, norms, and programmes of work among the global internet governance community. 

This workshop further aims to contribute to the debate on how environmental rights should be incorporated into internet governance processes, and how the internet should be governed in a way that enables environmental justice and sustainabilitity.

Relevance to Theme: This session will contribute to understanding of how the internet and digital technologies impact the environment, positively and negatively, emphasizing best practices to reduce the negative impact of technology and further develop positive initiatives and policies for climate action.

Online Participation

We invite participants to contribute to the discussion through input in the chat, and through a tool that we will present in the workshop.

Workshop participants are encouraged to 'live-tweet' the workshop with the hashtags #ImagineAnInternet #EnvironmentalRights #DigitalRights

Agenda

Time

Duration

Activity

11:20 – 11:26 UTC

6’

Opening and welcome, background

11:26 - 11:29 UTC

3’

Introduction to analytical framework

11:29 - 11:32 UTC

3’

Introduction to questions and speakers

11:32 – 11:40 UTC

7’

Presentation of initial findings from research: Mapping the gaps: Responding to the needs of environmental justice movements in the global South.

11:40 – 12:05 UTC

25’

Interventions based on question(s) from moderators / each speaker answers 1 question of their choice (max 5 min per speaker)

12:05 – 12:15 UTC

10’

Floor open for discussion (max 2 min per speaker)

12:15 - 12:20 UTC

5’

Concluding reflections on discussion, graphical recording

1. Key Policy Questions and related issues
1. How are environmental rights intersecting with digital rights?
2. How can digital rights defenders and environmental rights defenders work together towards shared priorities?
3. How can environmental law and governance inform governance of the internet as a global commons?
2. Summary of Issues Discussed
  • Environmental rights and digital rights are human rights. Governance of the internet must be rooted in respect for human rights, including the right to a healthy environment.

  • Practices and governance of indigenous movements can inspire governance of the internet that serves environmental justice, particularly: (1) consent; (2) self determination; (3) informed prior free consultation.

  • Meaningful access to the internet and digital technologies enable environmental rights, including related rights to freedom of expression, assembly, education, and participation in political and public life. Affordability and accessibility continue to be barriers to meaningful access, while communities find alternative solutions for connectivity.

  • The Durban Declaration, one of the most comprehensive multilateral instrument on issues related to racism and racial discrimination, points out the need to promote the use of ICTs, and that all states must recognise the importance of community media.

  • Environmental governance models and processes are valuable resources for governance of the internet as a global commons. Natural and social boundaries can be identified.

  • Principles of environmental law, such as the 'precautionary principle', provide a basis for governance of the internet as a global commons.

  • SDG Goal 7 emphasizes access to affordable and clean energy, and the internet and digital technologies have huge demands for energy. Individuals must be able to choose options that support affordable, clean energy.

  • Multi-stakeholder processes like the IGF are uncommon for environmental governance, and are more likely to be focused narrowly on conservation, which is not aligned with the principles of environmental justice movements.

  • While environmental and social justice movements have grown from the grassroots, digital rights movements are still quite top-down. Digital rights defenders need to work to demonstrate the relevance of internet governance to grassroots movements.

3. Key Takeaways
  • The internet must be governed as a global commons with natural and social boundaries.

  • Practices and governance of indigenous movements can inspire and guide processes for governance of the internet that serves environmental justice particularly: (1) consent; (2) self determination; (3) informed prior free consultation.

6. Final Speakers
  • Pavel Antonov, BlueLink, – co-moderator

  • Paula Martins, APC - co-moderator

  • Iara Moura, Intervozes - co-organiser and speaker

  • Maryellen Crisóstomo, National Coordination of Articulation of Black Rural Quilombola Communities (CONAQ) - speaker

  • Yunusa Ya’u, CITAD - speaker

  • Alan Finlay, Open Research - speaker

  • Leandro Navarro, Pangea - speaker

  • Sonaksha Iyengar – graphic recorder

  • Jennifer Radloff, APC - rapporteur

  • Veronica Ferrari, APC - rapporteur

  • Shawna Finnegan, APC - rapporteur

7. Reflection to Gender Issues

This session discussed environmental and digital rights, including specific discussion of discrimination and exclusion based on gender, race, and socio-economic context.

8. Session Outputs

A graphical recording of the session can be found here: https://share2.apc.org/index.php/s/DZswm7QZjQFcdp6