The following are the outputs of the captioning taken during an IGF intervention. Although it is largely accurate, in some cases it may be incomplete or inaccurate due to inaudible passages or transcription errors. It is posted as an aid, but should not be treated as an authoritative record.
>> JENNIFER CHUNG: For our session, just making sure we have all of our panelists and co‑chairs online and making sure that the captioner can hear what we're saying in room and same with the Zoom. Okay, I see that there is some captioning going on, so that's correct. Okay. I see Rainer Krug online as well and Flurina. Perfect! So, I think we're good to start. Okay.
Hello, everyone. My name is Jennifer Chung. I have many, many hats, and this hat I have on for today is the moderator for this session, and this is the session for the Dynamic Coalition on Environment. We're really happy to have a really full agenda for you. We have community presentations. We have an address from our Co‑Chair, Rainer Krug, and we also have Flurina Waspi, who was the lead for the Policy Network on Environment, give us a little bit more of the history of the Policy Network and then the subsequent transition of this work into the Dynamic Coalition.
After presentations from the community members, we will have feedback as well as impressions from other Dynamic Coalitions on what they are looking at, their work in conjunction with our work at the Dynamic Coalition on Environment. And then, finally, we'll have an open floor where, of course, members of the floor and also online, will be able to ask us any questions, any comments, any, you know, suggestions and concerns you have for the work that the Dynamic Coalition is doing. I am suddenly not in Zoom anymore. I will assume that everybody else is still in Zoom, that, somehow, I have dropped, but that doesn't matter.
I would like to actually give the floor right now to Flurina Waspi, the Policy Network Lead on Environment. Flurina, if you would like to take the floor to give us background on the Policy Network and its work and the subsequent, I guess, transition to the DC? The floor is yours.
>> FLURINA WASPI: Hi, everyone. Can you hear me? Great. I'll quickly share my screen, if that's okay. I have a little presentation that I would like to share with you. So, let me just set this up. And yeah.
So, hi, everyone. Nice to meet you, see some of you again. So, I was invited just to give a little bit of background or a little bit of some information about what happened with the PNE in 2021. So, last year ‑‑ so, I'm happy to do that and answer any questions you might have. I don't want to take too long because I think you have a full session that will take place.
The Policy Network was founded in 2021 ‑‑ or actually, 2020 ‑‑ following the first environmental session or the session about the environment at the IGF in 2020. And because there were just people, or there was this feeling that this topic was interesting to many people, and so it would be a good idea to start a policy network to connect people, to have a concrete output to go on. And so, the plan was this, as you see with this visual. So, the idea was to have a Policy Network, which should fulfill several functions. One of them, the main one that I'm going to talk about, is this report.
So, we had a concrete goal starting, going into this mandate that I had for the PNE, for the IGF last year. I started this in, I believe March or April, so that's when we got kind of the first group together. It started out with a group of experts and a bit of a loose network already that was alerted to this Policy Network and invited to join the work on the report.
In the beginning, or from the beginning, the idea of this report was to formulate concrete, actionable policy recommendations on how we could achieve some kind of global action in this kind of intersection between the environment and digitization, so the idea of sustainable digitalization ‑‑ how can we get there, what do we have to do, and what are the different aspects of this topic. So, it's kind of laid the groundwork.
This is a bit of an overview of what happened with the PNE. So, we've had over 65 meetings, so quite a lot in 2021. Obviously, almost all of them were online, via Zoom. We've had participants from Germany, Switzerland, like Europe, but also Asia, Australia, New Zealand. So, we've had to handle juggling the time zones, as well as, I'm sure all of the IGF participants know from their own projects, so that was quite interesting. We've had 87 individual participants who participate in any of the events that we've had, and we have almost 28,000 words written in this report, and we've also had several interesting guest speakers during our PNE meetings and quite a good gender balance for the kind of technological topics where sometimes we see a bit of, yeah, some more male presence, but I believe we've had quite a good gender balance. And really, honestly, from my part, it was a great experience. We've had a really good community build‑up during this time. It was very interesting, all of the work that we did together, and I'm really happy to have been part of this, even though it was a limited contract, though I get to this point a bit in the end of my presentation also.
So, if you want to check up on the report, I've linked this here. I'm also happy to share the slides with you later with the Chair, so you may distribute it. So, here's the link to the Policy Network site where you can read up on what we did, just also the links to all of the presentations and transcripts of the meetings, as well as, of course, the final PNE report, which I will show you in a minute.
So, this is the overview of the report that we've in the end drafted or published. So, we've decided together with the group that we're going to focus on different thematic chapters. Obviously, there would have been, could have been many others or different titles chapters because the topic is so large, but we have decided to focus on those, also based on the interests of the members that were part of the PNE.
So, this is the final report. This is our lovely title page. I've linked it again. It's open for you to check out, read, and all of the recommendations that we formulated. So, I won't present all of the recommendations, because I think they will be too long, and you're happy to check it out or ask questions, but just a couple of them. But first, just to make it clear, like, we were really focusing our recommendations on environmental sustainability. So, we have these two axes of how to use ICT for sustainability and how sustainable is ICT itself, so the sustainability of the ICTs. And obviously, when we talk about sustainability, sustainability's much larger than just environmental sustainability, but we've had limited resources and we really wanted to make a point, so we chose to kind of focus our work on the environmental sustainability side. But obviously, social and economic also play a huge part when we discuss ICTs and environment.
So, where do our recommendations situate, or how can you understand them when you read them? So, it's important to kind of understand that we focused really at the high‑level recommendation level. So, when you think about a policy recommendation, if there are different elements to a policy, so there's like the action, the instrument, who's the target of it, who's the policy owner, so who's responsible of carrying it out, the recommendation. But we've really focused on the objective of the policy, so what does the policy aim to do, what do we suggest to reduce, prevent, encourage, strengthen, et cetera. So, that's really where our recommendations are focused or situated at, and that's also something I think would be interesting to pursue now, to like start from these recommendations or add to them and really think about what's the action that we want to take, what's the specific instruments that we could propose or introduce, and who's the actual ‑‑ who should be responsible, or who could we call upon to carry out these policy recommendations, because that's, like I said, it's some groundwork. So, we really started high level with this.
So, here's the overview of the recommendations. I won't go, like I said, into detail with all of them, just mention this one chapter. So, I don't think I've mentioned this, but the way we work in the PNE is we've had work groups established that were focusing on these different topics. So, for example, we had a work group on food and water systems and how this is related to ICT and sustainability, and these were the three recommendations that they came up with over these five months.
So, first of all, I think it was really interesting or nice or also illustrative of how the IGF works, is the sensitivity to local contexts, to, like I said, the first one that we really want to stress is that it should be applied, like digitalization in food systems should be really applied with contextual specificity and sensitivity, so really take into account the local context, not just push digital measures. But they also said we should increase our capacities for the use of space throughout Earth science data, so really ‑‑ and we've had a group only focused on environmental data, but obviously, environmental data permeates throughout all of the different topics. It's a huge, important topic. So, this also is found again here. So, the group thought it was really important to stress this point of the space‑derived Earth science data and shifting to Elon Musk or other private individuals who harvest this data. That's for me an interesting topic to discuss, maybe in a forum like this as well, how we can democratize or give access to researchers, to the bigger public, to this kind of space data.
And finally, the third recommendation of this group was to prepare national and regional plans and strategies to optimize the water systems, so especially with a focus on developing countries. So, that's just to give you a bit of a quick overview of how these recommendations look like. And as I said, you're very welcome to check out the other recommendations in the report that is linked on the PNE website.
Yeah. And so, finally, I want to say some words about kind of what happened next, since we are here now, one year later, basically. (Background chatter) I think someone has their microphone open. It's not a question, or is it? No, I don't think so. Okay, I don't see, if anyone raises their hand, feel free.
But otherwise, what I wanted to say, just to finish this presentation, is after I have ‑‑ so, basically, my contract was a limited one, so I only had ‑‑ I was only contracted until December, so until right at the end of the IGF. So, what happened is, obviously, we have produced this report of which I'm really happy and I'm really proud of it and the work we did with this huge group. You'll see when you look at the report, we've had almost 40 co‑authors, so it was really, really a great pleasure, but it was a bit disappointing for me, because as I said, I think that's probably part of also how the IGF has worked so far.
Because it's kind of contractual work and this kind of very dynamic and there is very different waves of work, it was a bit difficult for me to actually disseminate this report because my work had ended officially and I have had to move on to other ‑‑ or have another main job as a researcher. So, I have presented the report, for example, at Arab IGF and the EuroDIG this year and I've had really a lot of interesting discussions also in the Swiss context with colleagues, with other international colleagues, but it's been really difficult to have a concrete follow‑up. There was no concrete follow‑up because there were no, really, resources allotted to this contract‑based assignment that I had that were intended for follow‑up and for actual communication outreach after the end of this contract, so that's really something I'm interested in or hoping that maybe this has developed.
I know that now it has turned into a DC, so Dynamic Coalition might be able to have more resources to follow up on this, because for me, it was a bit of a shame that so much work went into this report but there were no really resources there to actually follow up on the report. So, yeah. But I mean, it's there. The report is there to share. It's there to work and build upon it. So, yeah, I'm really optimistic and I'm hoping that this will contribute to the great work I'm sure the DC will be doing in the future.
Yeah, as I said, that was it. Feel free to ask any questions you might have. Also, you can reach out to me via email. Yes, thanks again to all the co‑authors. Some of them maybe are here today. It really was a big pleasure. Of course, Rainer also. And feel free to contact me at my work email at BFH, so, the university where I am working at. Thank you very much.
>> Jennifer Chung: Thank you very much, Flurina, for that presentation. I guess the first question I have for you is is it possible for you to drop the link to the report?
>> FLURINA WASPI: Of course.
>> Jennifer Chung: In the chat, so the participants are able to take a look at this incredible report. I also wanted to see if there are any questions so far for Flurina from the floor or from the Zoom room? Not quite yet. I think people are getting a little warmed up. So, in that case, I think I would like to pass the floor over to the Co‑Chair of the Dynamic Coalition, Rainer Krug is joining us online and he'll be able to give us some context on how the Dynamic Coalition has taken up this great work from the Policy Network and what the vision and mission are for the Dynamic Coalition going forward. Rainer, the floor is yours.
>> RAINER KRUG: Thanks a lot, Jennifer. I'll essentially pick up where Flurina just finished, and I think she gave a brilliant overview of the work in the PNE and the resulting product. And, whoops! Started with the last slide. I don't want to start at the end. Okay. That looks better.
So, I'm going to talk about how the Dynamic Coalition on the Environment actually was formed. And it actually started with the PNE. The PNE created a great report, and Flurina outlined it, as already mentioned quite nicely. And there were many, many good discussions happening during the writing of the report, which actually couldn't get into the report because it was too much limited in space and time.
So, we decided shortly after the PNE report was released, really, the work should continue. And the idea came up that Dynamic Coalition could be formed, and that happened quite quickly after that. And the DCE was formed. There was some collection of ideas, what the DCE could do. But in general, the idea was that the basis is the PNE report. The PNE report gives guidelines, gives information on what can be done, what should be done. But ‑‑
>> Jennifer Chung: Rainer, I think you might have muted yourself? We can't hear you.
>> RAINER KRUG: Sorry. Pressed the wrong key. Wasn't the way to mute with that key. So, we wanted to go beyond the PNE report. And the focus of the DCE, obviously, is on the environment and on the interaction of environment with Internet governance. So, we didn't do much in the last year, so we don't have any real products which we can show, because there was lots of discussion going on in which direction we want to move, how we want to formulate ourselves.
So, the main things which came up in the last year, but I think which are essential, really, to go forward with the DCE to be really efficient in the work is that we decided on the structure and some vision and mission for the DCE, really we should work along.
Looking at the structure of the DCE. The DCE has quite strong two faces. The one is on the side of the IGF, and the second side is the environmental sector. I'm coming from the environmental sector, and I wasn't that much aware ‑‑ essentially, I was not aware at all of the IGF and the work of the IGF before I was drawn into the PNE. So, you really have these two distinct sides which the DCE should address or should include.
To reflect these two sides of the same coin, of the same story, we decided to have two chairs ‑‑ two co‑chairs ‑‑ of the Dynamic Coalition, where one comes from the IGF side, has experience on the IGF side. The one is Michael Oghia. And the other is coming from the environmental side. So, we have even in that structure embedded the interests or the missing knowledge about IGF from the environmental side and the inner workings of the IGF.
Last, but not least, we had extremely valuable support from the IGF Secretariat in the form of Anja Gengo. Other organizational issues, they helped extremely and, I would say sometimes to push us to do something after we were sitting at home and contemplating and thinking too much about this whole issue, to really move forward with meetings and decisions.
Some info on the background of the two co‑chairs. Michael, I'm sure most of you know. He has long experience in the IGF DCs. He worked on sustainable infrastructure since 2017. He calls himself an ICT sustainability advocate, and he definitely is one. And he has a decade of professional experience in conflict resolution, journalism, media, policy, and development. He is really at home in the IGF infrastructure. He knows many people there. He knows inner workings. And he is extremely interested in sustainability.
On the other hand, that's myself. I have a background in biodiversity. I am active in IPBES, in the Task Force on Knowledge and Data, focusing on data management ‑‑ free data, fair data, care data. And so, that activity came interested in indigenous and local knowledge. And these two backgrounds supplement each other very nicely in our work towards bringing the DCE forward and developing the vision, which I will present now.
The first thing which the DCE wants to do is engagement of the environmental sector in Internet governance and policy‑related discussions and processes. There is definitely already going on a lot, but it is coming, mainly coming from the IGF side and not that much from the environmental side, because the environmental side is not aware of it. So, we are talking about an increase of that already existing engagement. And the aim of those activities are to efficiently address environmental concerns and questions. And the framework which this will be done in is in a sustainable, fair, and open, successful and inclusive development of the Internet.
So, putting these things together and putting some words in there to read nicely, the vision of the DCE is: To increase the engagement of the environmental sector in Internet governance and policy‑related discussions and processes to more efficiently address environmental concerns and questions essential for the sustainable, fair, open, successful, and inclusive development of the Internet.
This resulted in a mission, which I'm just going to read. To be the forum to ensure the environmental perspective is included in the key debates around all Internet governance‑related questions and the very diverse environmental community ‑‑ and that's an important point ‑‑ the environmental community is not a homogeneous community; it is extremely heterogenous community, ranging from climate, biodiversity, different regions, different focus, different scales. Providing an entry point for stakeholders with an environmental perspective to contribute to the IGF on public policy and governance issues. And overall, the aim is to facilitate research in the interface of IG and environment, initiated by IGF members as well as environmental players. There are many things going on from the IGF side initiated but not many by the environmental players.
So, the values of the DCE, the framework in which it will be working on is essentially based on the FAIR Data Principles, which are focusing on data‑sharing, data accessibility, data reusability, and the CARE Principles for Indigenous Data Governance within the respect of collective benefits aspects like these. They are playing an essential role, and they are nicely encapsulated also in the UNESCO recommendations on Open Science. These three documents form the base, the guidelines of the DCE, how the work is done and which is included in the work.
Coming to the nitty gritty stuff, to activities, which we are planning. First one is outreach to environmental community in fora/events such as sessions and workshops and scientific conferences, really to get out, say, "Hi, we are here." "I'm sure you have questions. We can help. We can work together to address questions."
Another option are side events at UN conferences, for example at the COP which is happening now in Montreal. Then environmental key organizations like IPBES or IPCC in the DCE, bringing their voices in. And last, but not least, an activity which is cross‑sectoral UN report writing, writing reports together with UN organizations.
The second main area is form cross‑cutting interest groups throughout other DCs to assess DC overarching environmental issues. Then organizing events, issue‑oriented workshops, et cetera, in collaboration with other Internet/ICT/environment governance‑related organizations. And the last one is really focusing on old work that one specific topic is chosen for each year and then a yearly issue report on an issue specifically relating to the environment is written, developed together with players from the environmental side and from the Internet governance side, really to come up with over the years with a set of specific topics addressed in these reports, which give an overall overview of this topic.
That's all which I want to talk about. I'm open for questions. Thank you.
>> Jennifer Chung: Thank you very much, Rainer. Are there any questions for our Co‑Chair, Rainer, from the floor or in the Zoom room? I'll pause a little bit.
I guess maybe just a little bit of reflection from myself as well. I mean, I am guilty of not really being so involved with the work of this DC, but it seems to me that the diversity, especially from the environmental sector, is actually extremely a very strong point for the IGF and the IG community to continue to create more connections and more, I guess, sharing of information data as what Rainer has said, and to be able to outreach to both different communities so that we can learn from each other that this work is not siloed. So, this is a very important point I wanted to bring up from what Rainer has mentioned.
Now, I think I'd like to bring us to the second segment of our session, and this is a segment where we have the community presentations. I'm very happy to pass the floor to our very first presentation from Reina Otsuka, the Lead for Nature and Climate Energy. Reina, the floor is yours. If you can give her ‑‑ yes, she is able to screen share.
>> REINA OTSUKA: Thank you, Jennifer. Good morning, everybody. And also, good morning, good afternoon, good evening, if you're online. I would like to present a coalition for digital environmental sustainability. And I am from UNDP, but today I'm trying to represent the co‑champions that are organizing this coalition.
So, I guess Rainer really outlined it very well, but basically, there are two different dynamics going on in the world right now. One is the digitalization, where we actually ‑‑ well, one is digitalization, and the second one is climate change, nature degradation and pollution, which are called the triple planetary crises. And by intertwining these two, the world can go in two very different directions. CODES was created as a response to two blind spots in the SDGs as well as the Roadmap for Digital Cooperation. We recognized that in the Digital Cooperation Roadmap, there was no environmental roundtable when it started. So, all of us, the Co‑champions, including UNEP, UNDP, together with Germany, Kenya, the International Science Council, as well as Future Earth, you can see it's a mixture of different organizations, from UN, governments, and international society.
And so, we got together and started this coalition. We recently actually published the Action Plan for a Sustainable Planet in the Digital Age at the Stockholm Plus 50 International Conference. And I'd like to walk you through a little bit about how we framed the intertwined area of digital and environment, which I think really correlates with what was just presented today.
This was the process we took. It started ‑‑ well, CODES started in March 2021. We actually had a lot of roundtables around the digital cooperation roadmap as well as major events such as the United Nations Environmental Assembly, and CODES‑directed events as well.
So, the framework that we are proposing is to really move together as a global community toward the Klee systemic shifts. The first is to align digitalization with sustainable development. We really feel that the alignment between the digital and the environmental sustainability is still lacking, and I'm really glad that the DCE is happening in that sense.
The second part that we think is really important is to mitigate the negative impacts of digitalization. We are aware that the ICT sector is, you know, it's really increasing in the energy use, as well as carbon emission. So, how can we make sure that we mitigate this negative impact, is the second area that we really want to propose.
The third, we really want to make sure digital innovation helps to accelerate our sustainability goals, especially in the environmental field, including climate change adaptation, mitigation, environmental management, waste management. In all of these fields, digitalization has a very important role to play. And in order to do this, we are proposing nine impact initiatives so that it doesn't become just, you know, an agenda‑setting, but we really want to make sure that things start to take action.
The nine impact initiatives ‑‑ I won't go into detail because we don't have time today ‑‑ but we do have a session at 3:00 p.m. today, if anybody's interested. It's actually on the basement floor, should we say, on the ground floor, in the press conference room. So, we'd love to talk with you there as well. But basically, you can see that we have three initiatives in each of the three shifts that we think will really help capitalize the changes that we're trying to go for.
As CODES, we have a few other milestones lined up in the future. So, there will be a Summit for the Future. It was planned in 2023, but it's going to be in 2024, we heard. And then there is another UNEA in 2024. So, the next milestone will be in 2024.
And how you can join CODES. We do have a community called the CODES Spark Blue, which is basically where we run a lot of online consultations, and anybody can join and submit their views. So, please do join the community. You can also engage with us directly in the roundtables. You can also choose to co‑lead one of these impact initiatives, together with other organizations. And of course, we are always happy if you can advocate for CODES and the three shifts that we are presenting.
And maybe a call‑out to the IGF and the DCE. We do have a stakeholder mapping going on, and it would be great if you can also submit IGF and all the activities in the mapping tool that we have so that then we can start to connect you with other stakeholders that are in the CODES community. Yep! I guess that's about it. I'll be here if you have any questions on CODES. We'll be happy to take those as well. Thank you.
>> Jennifer Chung: Thank you very much, Reina. I guess I want people to know what time the afternoon session might be, so if they're interested to join CODES.
>> REINA OTSUKA: Sure, it's 3:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m., again, in the press conference or press briefing room downstairs.
>> Jennifer Chung: Excellent. I guess I think one of the things that you already suggested that the DCE might be able to take up is to submit, you know, IGF and its works on the environment to the stakeholder mapping. I think that's very important for us to make sure we are aligned and also communicating on the works that we're doing.
Any questions from the floor right now for Reina or in the room? Okay, if not, we do have a larger, I guess, Q&A session at the end of the segment.
And now I'd like to pass the floor over to our second presenter. Dino Cataldo is the Chief Information Officer at the United Nations Joint Staff Pension Fund. Dino, the floor is yours.
>> Dino CATALDO: Thank you very much. I am pleased to share with this forum an experience of the United Nations Pension Fund as an example of a sustainable solution. I introduced this concept yesterday afternoon during the panel on Open Forum. I hope this can serve as an example of the United Nations practicing what it's preaching. That was exactly my introduction yesterday. So, I will illustrate how we went about the solution and what are the elements that support the solution as an environmentally sustainable solution.
So, here, I'm sharing with you the ‑‑ I hope that you can see the screen? The slides? Yeah, perfect. So, this is the actual presentation on the Internet website of the UN Joint Staff Pension Fund in January 2021, when we went live with the deployment of this application. Fundamentally, it's a system that makes use of an app on devices that can be used by anybody around the world. And it's called Digital Certificate of Entitlement. It is a digital entity solution that the Pension Fund developed for its beneficiary and retirees. And as you will see in the details of the following slides, we are talking about a population over 84,000 individuals residing in more than 190 countries around the world.
So, first and foremost, as already referenced by my esteemed colleagues in the panel, of course, in developing the solution, we made sure to be aligned with the SDG, in particular, the 16.9, which is about digital identity, and the 17.8, which is about ICT, sustainable ICT. We are also very pleased to be the recipient of the United Nations Secretary‑General Award on Innovation and Sustainability for 2021, as a result of the successful implementation of the solution.
We also wanted to make sure that in deploying this solution, we were also going to provide assurance to our users, to our client. As you can appreciate and as you will see in the following slides, this solution makes use of new technologies; in particular, biometrics, specifically, facial recognition and blockchain. And therefore, as you can appreciate, many users were relatively skeptical at the beginning in embracing a technology that requires them to capture their own biometrics data.
So, one of my primary concerns, also because of my background is in IT auditing, was to find a way to provide assurance. And this is also a theme that is being addressed and I believe is an item for discussion in other fora. There is, unfortunately, not much of a standard for providing assurance on new technology, specifically biometric and blockchain. Nevertheless, there is something already in place, such as the ISO 27001 standard security management system. And for lack of better tools, this is the one that they use to certify the solution. And indeed, this is actually a screen shot of the certificate that we received upon the successful completion of the audit.
So, what was the problem that we tried to address? The problem was defined into four elements. First and foremost, to provide a means for identity authentication to our user. Second of all, allow them to prove that they are alive ‑‑ proof of existence. Third, proof of transaction. And fourth, proof of location. This was a problem, because for 70 years, the beneficiary ‑‑ the 84,000 beneficiaries of the pension fund ‑‑ were required and are required to confirm that they are still alive at least once a year in order to continue receiving the benefit of the UN Pension Fund. And for 70 years, this process has been handled with a paper‑based form that was mailed once a year by the United Nations to the 84,000 individuals in 193 countries, and by them, signed and returned. As you can now appreciate, this was often the source of many problems related to the fact that this form was not received or related to the fact that it was received with substantial delays. And when those delays, or the no receipt occur, the pension fund was forced to suspend the payment.
In addition to this, the pension fund has always been questioned by governing bodies, by oversight bodies, by stakeholders, as to whether we could attest that there was no fraud. Because as you can appreciate, again, talking about a paper‑based form with a signature is relatively easy to forge, but proving a negative is impossible. And therefore, hence here the adoption of biometric and facial recognition to prove instead a positive evidence and confirmation that someone, indeed, is still alive.
So, from a manual snail mail, as we often mention, paper‑based form certificate, to a biometric‑based solution which uses a mobile application, blockchain to create an immutable record and registry, and also GPS technology, because in certain cases for the Pension Fund, it's important to also know the specific location of the user, vis‑a‑vis, certain payment are provided in local currencies.
So, what did we use? We used blockchain to provide the proof of identity in transaction, by creating an immutable, independently auditable, traceable, triple‑entry distributed ledger. Specifically speaking, we use a solution provided by Hyperledger. The Hyperledger ended.
Second of all, we use biometrics to provide proof of identity and proof of existence by using facial recognition which, however ‑‑ and this is definitely an important element to emphasize ‑‑ it is stored only on the device of the user. It is never transferred and is never transmitted to the server of the organization, in order to authenticate the user, and the event, the enrollment and certification are recorded on the blockchain.
Then there is the global positioning system that I alluded to before. It's used only in certain cases where also the location is an important element to take into account for the process itself.
So, coming to the environmentally friendly aspects of the application, I highlighted in yellow on the top and bottom of this slide. We are dealing with 84,000 beneficiaries. We are dealing with beneficiaries that reside in more than 195 countries. So, the immediate benefit of using this application was that we were able to achieve savings in energy, in materials, and in transportation.
For example, we are no longer using paper; we are no longer printing forms; we are now mailing this form through 193 postal service two times, because it was the sending of the form by the UN and then the return of the signed form by the user to the UN. We are no longer conducting signature verification once the form was received. And here, I apologize for the acronym and the technical reference. We are now using proof of work, which is a known consensus mechanism, for example, of permissionless blockchain such as Bitcoin, and that it's very well known to use a lot of energy. So, unfortunately, for those who were not very familiar with this technology, when the term "blockchain" is heard, it is often associated with Bitcoin. So, I always try to make a point in clarifying that we are not using the same type of technology used by Bitcoin, but a different kind, which is permission‑based and does not use this highly energy consumption technology.
And finally, also, we are no longer using paper archiving because everything is digitalized and stored in our server. So, this is in a nutshell the main element of the solution, the aspect of the solution, and I believe an example of how the UN itself can contribute within its own internal processes in meeting many of the principles stated in its policies and procedures. Thank you.
>> Jennifer Chung: Thank you very much, Dino. It's a very elegant case study of this problem and its solution, and it's actually extremely important to understand even such a simple problem will have such a big impact on the environment, and the solution, itself, is extremely elegant, as you have presented. Thank you so much, Dino.
I would like now to pass the floor to our third community presentation. His name is YZ Yau. The floor is now yours.
>> YZ YAU: Thank you very much, Chair, Moderator. As she has introduced me, I work for the Center for Information Technology and Development, an affiliate of the Association for Progressive Communications ‑‑ APC. So, I am going to speak on behalf of the Environmental Sustainability Group of the APC. And I will discuss some of the work that the group has been doing over the last two years. My colleague, Mike, who is participating online, will fill in the gap. I will focus more on the African aspect of the work, and he would speak on the global dimension of the work we do.
Just to provide a background on how we come into the intersection of the digitization and the environment. The African continent is virtually an ICT consumption continent. In other words, that we do very little of production of ICT products on devices, so much of what we get imported. Because of that, devices are often more costly in the African continent than in other parts of the world, and that means that affordability tends to be quite low within the continent. And so, in response to the growing demand for digitization and access to digital devices, many African countries have responded to this gap through the importation of not just new products, but also secondhand ICT devices, some of these which have nearly reached the end of this lifespan. And what this means to the countries, that within a few months or years of this arrival, they become part of a growing legion of e‑waste in the continent. So, that's one aspect of the problem. Across African countries, you are building an ocean of huge e‑waste, and therefore, there is a challenge of how do you manage this waste.
The second challenge is that, again, Africa is energy‑challenged. And of course, we know that ICT require energy to be useful in the society. And so, there is how do you ensure that there is clean energy across the continent for effective use of ICT. Much of the use, I mean, the energy available, is oil‑based, which pollutes the environment, and which also further, through the extracted nature constitutes a challenge to environmental sustainability.
So, when APC decided to constitute a team, these are some of the challenges that it gave to the group to look at. And so, over this, some of the key engagements in this area include, first of all, undertaking the research to understand the nature, the extent of the e‑waste and its distribution across the continent, but of course, also global layers. Mike will talk about that. But also, their research also includes exploring the opportunities for repair or reuse as part of major contributions to building the satellite economy in the ICT sector.
And one particular project or work that has been done is within Nigeria where there has been extensive work in terms of repair of handsets, and today they are still fairly democratized within the country. Although Nigeria does not produce handsets, any type of handsets can be repaired within that country, and that helps to extend the lifespan of those equipment, and therefore, reduce the rate at which e‑waste is piling up in the environment, which constitutes not only health hazards to the citizens but also the environment itself.
The second strand of the work is actually building capacity across the continent on repair and reuse, not just of handset, but also of other strands of ICT devices, so that, again, because the major sources of these devices are secondhand, the idea is that through repair and reuse means you'll be extending the lifespan of those facilitates.
The third area is in terms of building capacity for managing e‑waste within the continent, and that's not only to ordinary citizens, but also to government agencies who have responsibility for herbicide and for monitoring and taking action, in terms of addressing e‑waste in the country. And to be able to do that, we also need to generate data in terms of doing research around the types of policies that can be articulated and implemented in terms of managing the e‑waste in the continent.
So, another strand of work that we do invokes advocacy around developing and implementing effective policies that would enable state actors to manage e‑waste in these respective countries. Many of the countries have some policies, but the implementation has always been problematic, whether they are poorly implemented or they are simply not implemented.
Then the final aspect is that Africa is a site of intense extractive work, extracting gold, other minerals. So, we think it's also important to hold (?) in the space, the extractive space, to account not just in terms of what they extract, but in terms of managing the waste that they produce and how they are able to remove those waste and make the environment sustainable. So, these are some of the strands of the work that the Environmental Sustainability Group of the APC does within the African continent. And I think that Mike Jensen would probably add on to what it does globally. Thank you very much.
>> Jennifer Chung: Thank you very much, YZ. I think we will be hearing from Mike Jensen a little bit later when we're looking at the reactions from the DCEs, but if, Mike, you would like to take the floor now to give a little bit more context, you are welcome to do so. Okay.
>> Mike Jensen: Thanks very much. Can you hear me all right?
>> Jennifer Chung: Yes, we can.
>> Mike Jensen: Yes. And thanks, YZ. I think you've actually wonderfully summarized APC's work in the area of environmental sustainability. The African context is really where a lot of our work has been taking place. But you know, this provides a very good model that is also being replicated in Latin America and Asia, where we can. A lot of this has been traditionally around capacity‑building to create more awareness about the circular economy. And I will touch in my presentation shortly on some of the other aspects that we think are important as well. It actually focuses very well on our work within the other Dynamic Coalitions. Thank you.
>> Jennifer Chung: Thank you, Michael. So, when we go back to the other DCEs, we'll hear your presentation as well. I guess now I will put on my second hat for this session. Ooh, okay. And then that is as another presenter for a particular interesting project called EcoInternet. And I'm going to share this very quickly. Okay.
So, in my second hat for this session, I'm actually the Director of Corporate Knowledge for dot‑Asia organization. We have a registry but are a non‑profit organization with a lot of interesting community initiatives and projects, and this is one of it. When The Policy Network on Environment first started back in ‑‑ I think it's 2020 or 2021? I think that was the first year that there was the work on the PNE ‑‑ we looked at specifically to consider what the carbon footprint of the Internet is, because in 2020, the world kind of went into lockdown. There was a pandemic. Everybody started to live their lives online. And of course, the activity of daily life, social life, work life, everything has turned into the Internet, turned to a digital kind of realm, and how has that really impacted? What is the actual carbon footprint of the Internet?
We were very lucky to have a partner with APNIC Foundation, so this ‑‑ and also a very generous grant from HBS ‑‑ their headquarters in Hong Kong ‑‑ to initiate this study. Here's our tiger, who is a mascot and champion for the Sustainable Development Goals that our own organization does work on. And this is a group of advisors and experts that we have consulted, because we are experts in Internet governance, but as Rainer and also Reina has mentioned, the environment industry, the sector, is extremely diverse, and the expertise extremely varied, and we were very lucky to receive advisors and expert advice on this particular project.
You could see, probably, you know, in the past two years, when you have these ‑‑ actually more than the past two years ‑‑ where you have these headlines in the news, in the media, saying, you know, what is the carbon footprint of streaming a video? You're killing X amount of trees when you watch a certain movie. This kind of sensational clickbait type of headlines makes for good reading, but is this really the actual reality of things? The pollution effect on data, of course, it is studied and looked at, especially when you're talking about cloud computing and cloud storage.
But when you think about the way that we use the Internet since the pandemic, especially since that activities that have moved online has replaced more traditional activities of, for example, if I wanted to watch a movie at home, stream it on my TV, I can do that in the comfort of my own home; whereas, before, perhaps I would have taken my car, driven myself to a large movie theater, watched there and done that. And the carbon footprint of that compared to, you know, streaming something on Netflix, that could be an interesting, I guess, lens to look at it ‑‑ what it replaces, right?
So, here I'm not really going to go into too much details on our findings. We actually focused our first pilot project on these six jurisdictions that you've looked at. And you can see gradually through the years that there was, of course, a big increase of the hours spent online on these six different economies. This, in particular, is from Hong Kong. This is the usage patterns between 2019 and 2020, when everybody started staying home for much, much longer periods of time. And then, here's a small breakdown on the time spent on video, on social media, on music and audio, on gaming, and on other things.
And then, we did a little bit of calculation as well, as to the energy consumption per day and the carbon footprint per kilowatt. And then we also did some more calculations on the total carbon footprint of Hong Kong, in specific to do with Internet users and Internet usage.
This I already touched on a little bit in the beginning, so I'm not going to really talk about too much, but you can see on the screen that, you know, for the past 2 1/2 years, our meetings have been Zoom. You can see all these little screen caps of everyone. And previously, you know, everybody drove their car to the office for these meetings. And looking at the Internet footprint versus a physical footprint is also a very interesting way to consider, you know, whether or not the carbon footprint of the Internet, the benefits outweigh the negatives.
In our pilot study, we looked into three axes. The first one is the economy. So, this looks at the Internet usage and the digital economy. What that means is, the actual Internet usage, the carbon footprint of that, as opposed to the benefits that each economy received in terms of digital economy output. The second axis we looked at was energy. And this is actually through our first study, this turned out to be the biggest factor. In each economy, the energy grid and the power grid is the most important. When you're looking at an economy such as India, perhaps the power grid still uses a lot of carbon‑based energy, whereas if you look at different countries, such as Singapore, their carbon footprint may be different because they use a different type of renewable energy. They do also use natural gases, which is a fossil fuel. But it's interesting to note that a large part of this study really depends on the actual power grid and the grid emission factor and the renewable source of this energy.
And then, finally, the final axis, the third axis of our project is to look at the efficiency. And this is probably the most, with direct correlation to Internet governance. This is to talk about the bandwidth and the speed and the peak Internet's traffic variance. When I go through the slides later, we'll look at kind of the peaks and the troughs of the Internet traffic that goes through the ISPs. And this is very interesting, because if we have a very large bandwidth and the peaks and the trails are very extreme, that means we're not really efficiently using the available resources to us.
And I really touched on this. I'm going to fly through here. And here you see the grid emission factor comparison of the six economies we looked at. And this really does depend very highly on the power grid of each of the countries. Australia, of course, a lot of their power comes from a renewable resource, so it is actually looking very interestingly higher there, whereas when you look at Singapore, it is much lower, even though they do use natural gas as a large part of their power grid.
Here, you can see ‑‑ I'm going to move this little bit over ‑‑ the non‑renewable versus the renewable resource in the electricity fuel mix. Green, of course, is the renewable part, and then red is the non‑renewable. And this is in comparison to the grid emission factor that you can see up there.
It's interesting to note that China does have a very large ‑‑ well, compared to the other jurisdictions you see here ‑‑ part of the power grid as renewables, and Singapore, as I mentioned, even though they are quite conscious of that, because a large part of their power grid depends on natural gas, that is a non‑renewable resource, which is why you can see there there's a large part of that bar is shaded in red.
Earlier, when I talked about efficiency, the third axis we looked at is about really the capacity and bandwidth of the Internet infrastructure. I think people here are quite familiar already with this map, and this is a map of the undersea submarine cables that go around the world, and it's very interesting to note that when you're looking at that part of the component of this critical axis, when you look at the advantage you receive, moving these more traditional, going to the office in person, driving a car, taking planes ‑‑ like a lot of us have done to come to the Internet governance Forum ‑‑ what is the advantage to actually turning these activities into, you know, going to do this online? And the advantage really is to look at the economy, the benefits that it brings to each of the jurisdictions.
Here's actually a little bit of a graph ‑‑ I'm sorry, it's a little small there ‑‑ to look at the peaks and the troughs of the Internet traffic. When you're talking about efficiency or efficient use of this, if you see something that is a little bit less up and down ‑‑ of course, as you see in Hong Kong ‑‑ there is a huge peak and trough. There is a peak time and definitely a down time there. If we're able to, for example, if there's mass computing that's needed, mass emails that's needed, data downloads and uploads, if those can be spread out across the hours, this would be a much more efficient use of the networks and a more efficient, I guess, deliberation and distribution of the Internet traffic.
I've touched on these three earlier, and this is just a more, I guess, summarized version of what I just explained to everyone. I would like, actually, to stop sharing and end my presentation with a short video that we did, if I'm able to also share sound. Bear with me.
>> Total carbon emission has dropped in 2020 due to COVID lockdown and economic slowdown, but it is expected to bounce back in part due to skyrocketing Internet usage. So, how does the Internet emit carbon? What is the carbon footprint of the Internet? Any kind of online activities, such as watching videos, playing games, sending emails, involves the transfer of data. The Internet takes approximately 0.015 kilowatt hours of power to transfer 1 gigabyte of data, and that does not include the electricity powering the device you are using. However, this carbon footprint is still way less than driving to the cinema to watch a movie or sending a letter for the post office to deliver it. Nevertheless, with booming Internet usage, we still need to be more carbon conscious about Internet usage.
One way to improve the eco‑friendliness of the Internet is to choose to have more renewable energies for the power grid that is powering the Internet. To learn more, go to EcoInternet.Asia. Do more, waste less.
>> Jennifer Chung: And I will stop here with my presentation. Thank you very much. Do we have any questions from the floor or in the room? Oh, I see a hand up already. Do we have a roaming mic, maybe? Oh. We do need to give you a mic because the Zoom room might not be able to hear you. So, if you don't mind stating your name and then your question.
>> AUDIENCE: Hi. My name is Radika, and I come from India. So, the way that we see climate, you know, climate justice with digital rights is no connection at all. They consider it to be like two worlds apart, like in the sky and the land. I am just wondering, what are the issues that we need to be more conscious about as ‑‑ I'm a digital rights activist. As a digital rights activist, one of the things that we need to recognize at this stage itself, because while doing our work, we want to be a little more cautious about climate justice. What we basically ‑‑ like, there was a major issue that we saw that happened in India, a climate activist was jailed because I think there was a Google Doc that she was using and it was thumbed as a toolkit and the government put her in jail, saying that, you know, she is just misleading and doing all sorts of things and sedition. And that's like the only thing we've seen evolving in the country, but I would really like to understand what are the key issues and the key focuses on the relationship between the two that we should be looking at. Should I pass on the mic for another question?
>> AUDIENCE: Hi. My name is Raul Plummer. I'm with the Electronic Frontier Finland here. And hearing of all this talk about getting the Internet to become more environmental. I think especially the IGF and the ICANN should be compensating for their carbon footprint. And like, we should become carbon‑neutral. And also, our supply chains, the ICANN's, and IGF's supply chains should become carbon‑neutral.
Also, I'm a carnivore, but I would actually like to see vegetarian meals here at the IGF. I think everybody could get by with those, because, mainly because meat‑eating has been identified as one of the biggest reasons for the climate change or biggest factors driving it. And, yeah, I really think we have to show example as thought leaders and sort of put our money where our mouth is. Like, I don't want us to remain only theoretical leaders on this, and we should really take initiative and be more practical about it and make our own supply chains environmentally sustainable.
>> AUDIENCE: Hi. Just a short question. My name is Daniel. I come from Colombia, and I found your research on carbon footprint really interesting. I was just wondering if you have any thoughts on the environmental impact of constructing and managing data centers near waters ecosystems?
>> AUDIENCE: Thanks so much. My name is Mattuos, working for the UN Office of Disaster Risk Reduction. And actually, my kind of question goes to Reina, who spoke about something related to the subject we are dealing with. Just a quick question whether or not, you know, disaster risk reduction is also being considered as part of the initiatives that you highlighted earlier? Also, the speakers that spoke before you ‑‑ Rainer, I think ‑‑ also did mention about the IPCC and climate change, and we cannot support climate change and disaster risk reduction. The two are (?). So, I would love to hear more about that. Thank you.
>> Jennifer Chung: Thank you for the three questions and a really interesting comment. Is there one more question? One more question.
>> AUDIENCE: Sorry. I am part of the rapporteur, but then I cannot just sit down and not participating. I have a question, especially towards the e‑waste management from the Africa. I would like to understand, how do you address the situation that maybe there is some social aspect when addressing the e‑waste. Like, that the people understand that they are using waste. Is that a problem, the way you socialize the repair and the reuse mechanism? And how do you engage stakeholders, especially the, maybe the corporate stakeholders that is around in Africa? Thank you.
>> Jennifer Chung: Thank you for this question as well. I think there were two questions directed to Reina, if you would like, if you're ready to take that first?
>> REINA OTSUKA: Sure. On the first question on climate justice, I might have missed some of the point, but to the best of what I can answer now. So, for example, in the CODES Action Plan, the second shift talks about the unintended consequences of digitalization or digital technology. So, when we think about, you know ‑‑ I think what you were mentioning was about climate justice and how it's also intertwined with the justice of ‑‑ Internet justice, I guess.
So, when we think about, what are the unintended consequences of digital, it could be something about environment, you know. It could be about the environmental impact, but it could also be about exclusivity and making sure that it doesn't exclude people that don't have connection, for example. It could also be about ‑‑ we might be unintendedly ‑‑ how should I say ‑‑ exaggerating behavior, unsustainable behavior by consumers by having, you know, algorithms that try to increase consumption. So, we're trying to really look at it in a holistic way, and I would really love you to post that into our community as well as if there are any ways of mitigating things like that happening. So, I think my invitation to that question is to really post that as an important question to CODES. And I think people in the community will have a lot of views about it. So, I guess that will be the invitation.
The second question, I think the last question was about disaster risk. Yes. So, I think I might want to speak to that one more from the UNDP perspective, because UNDP is the arm in the CODES community that really looks at this issue of climate change adaptation and disaster risk reduction, especially in developing countries.
So, digitalization plays a really important role in the climate change and adaptation and disaster risk. For example, it's about early warning systems. It is about climate risk assessments. You do need all these new data sources, such as satellite imagery or forecasts, to actually plan and mitigate better the future climate‑induced disaster. So, we really look at digital technologies as an important enabler for this kind of planning.
We also do something called the Digital Readiness Assessment for the disaster risk reduction. This actually looks at everything from, you know, government regulation, infrastructure, how are the people's digital literacy, so that we try to approach it in a whole‑of‑society way. It's not just about having new technology. It's really about making sure that we build additional ecosystem in the country so that everybody can benefit from the digitalization and the connectivity. So, I guess the answer is, yes, digital technology and digitalization is really an integral part and it's a very important part for a climate change adaptation as well as disaster risk reduction. Thank you.
>> Jennifer Chung: Thank you, Reina. I think there's a few more questions, but I'm also trying to be conscious of the time since we only have ten more minutes left in this session. Maybe if I can pass the answer to the question on e‑waste to YZ for a quick response before we go to the DCs.
>> YZ YAU: Okay. Thank you very much. What we do is, first of all, build public awareness about the e‑waste itself, and then build a hierarchy of motives as to how people relate with e‑waste ‑‑ its processing, recycling, and so forth. So, the first label of those who engage with e‑waste at the level of entrepreneurship, as you can recycle some of the waste and get some income out of that process.
The second hierarchy is to deal with the question of health. If you don't deal with e‑waste, it can constitute health hazards, too. So, if you are not won over on the basis of entrepreneurship, then, hopefully, you will be won over on the question of health.
And then, the third hierarchy, which is more fundamentally for us, is about promoting sustainable digital inclusion, meaning that since people need to have those devices, you need to lengthen this lifespan so that they can be able to afford, and therefore, in that process, increase affordability.
In terms of involving the different stakeholders, yes, we do, including the corporate organizations, but also government agencies. With respect to corporate organizations, I think some of the key demands that we make on them is to ensure that the availability of components for the replacement and so forth, because if there are no components or if there are reparatory or if actors have processes that you can't put across component from other manufacturer, then you would have a problem. So, we are assuring that no actual put restrictive policies around components availability and so forth, but we also begin to advocate about technology design that would take into account the need to lengthen, rather than increasingly promoting quick up-sellers, because that's what many of the actors are doing, just to make sure they have a quick turnover. So, you produce products whose life span is really getting more and more lesser than what it's ‑‑ you know, so these are some of the... Thank you.
>> Jennifer Chung: Thank you, YZ. Very conscious of the time. I know I had two questions directed to me. I'm just going to respond very quickly. The question about whether or not we're looking at data centers and the kind of power that they are using, the electricity consumption they're using, whether or not it's closer to, I think, water source or something? We're going to be looking at that in the second stage of our project. We're going to be looking at that, because in our, I guess, research, we looked at the, I guess, big tech companies ‑‑ Google, Meta, Microsoft ‑‑ and their pledges to net zero by 2030. And although they do pledge that if you look into it closer, there's a lot of it that ‑‑ a lot of nuance into what people would term as green‑washing certain, I guess, data and statistics. But we are happy to look forward to that in the second stage of our project.
And in regards to the online question, there was one directed to Dino, who will respond online. And I would like to turn this ‑‑ because they have been waiting so patiently ‑‑ to Dr. Rajendra Pratap Gupta, to give us a little bit of context from the Dynamic Coalition on Internet and Jobs and also the Dynamic Coalition on Digital Health. Maybe two minutes from you, Dr. Gupta?
>> Rajendra Pratap Gupta: Thank you. I will talk about the Dynamic Coalition on Health. It is expected health will be one of the biggest contributors to the so‑called environmental impact. And we are on Internet and jobs, where we are looking at leveraging Internet for jobs, so connecting almost everyone. But very important point I think that has come out, which we believe is very relevant today is that digital footprint has a carbon footprint. And I think my colleagues have talked about that. Our lives revolve around Internet today. It's not a question of that I ask you, do you have a mobile phone or do you browse the net? But if I asked you today, how many of you sent an SMS, how many of you used to send an email or to browse the net, can you raise your hands, please? Almost everyone.
So, let me give you a very factual number, you know, and we are releasing this report day after tomorrow called "Responsible Internet Usage," and that's probably the reason I am here. So, for every SMS you sent, it is 0.8 grams of carbon emission. For every email you send, it is 0.326 grams of carbon emission. So, nothing we do is not denominated by a carbon footprint. And that's probably why deserts are having floods and rainforests are facing drought. We are seeing it in every part of the world. And I would actually say that, you know, some places we keep reading that people are doing intermittent fasting for health. I would sincerely insist that, please do Internet fasting for planetary health. That is very important.
And we will be releasing this report, "Responsible Internet Usage." We have a complete, detailed session on this on the second of December at the adjoining banquet hall from 10:45. I would like you to all join this. But one thing I would tell Jennifer and those who work, that when we present collective numbers for the country, me and my friend representing Africa and India, we are at a loss. I think we should talk about per‑capita emissions, because that's how we do justice to nations that have still not reached a level of development. Otherwise, we are kind of putting ground denominators at the overall number, which don't do justice. So, I think the key thing is going to be responsibility and let's work towards it. Thank you.
>> Jennifer Chung: Thank you, Dr. Gupta. Very, very important reminder, especially when you're looking at per capita. It is very important to look at it in this way. Now I'd like to turn the floor over to Minda Moreira. She has been waiting very, very patiently online to give us a bit of a view from the Internet Coalition on Internet Rights and Principles. Minda, the floor is yours.
>> MINDA MOREIRA: Thank you, and no problem. It has been a great session. And thank you, Dynamic Coalition on Environment for inviting me to join this very special first meeting. So, I'm here representing the Internet Rights and Principles Coalition, and we are delighted to be part of this coalition, too, as we believe that it is an essential addition to the IGF intercessional work. So, I'll take the next few minutes just to share with you, although we are addressing the issues at the intersection of environment, digital technologies and human rights, also commitment to bring these issues to the many agendas of the IGF and why we support and congratulate the efforts to put together this DC.
So, the RPC is a coalition based here at IGF that works to make human rights work for the Internet. And in 2011, we published a chart of human rights and principles for the Internet, which is our main outreach document. It translates existing human rights law to the online environment.
Interestingly, Article 4 of the Charter ‑‑ the right to development through the Internet ‑‑ includes a clause on environmental sustainability, which is now being further developed as a result of the many discussions over the last few years. And it was in this context, and by choosing to reflect on issues linked to Article 4, Dynamic Coalition started discussing environmental sustainability and was committed to bring what we saw as an important emerging issue to the main agendas of the Internet Governance Forum.
So, our annual meetings between 2018 and 2020 all focused on issues at the intersection of environmental sustainability, ICTs, and human rights, and we also organized and participated in many other sessions within the IGF community and beyond.
So, very early on, we realized there are discussions that resonated deeply with some other members of the IGF community, especially the youth, and we listened to those who have been affected by the harmful consequences of technology on the environment, natural resources, energy consumption, the increase of e‑waste and its devastating consequences for biodiversity and also for the health of entire communities. And we were joined by environmental activists, scientists, members of the technical community, politicians, ICT sector representatives, and heard about the major challenges, but also the commitments and the potential of digital technologies to bring about solutions to help us fight the climate crisis and to ensure environmental sustainability and a great and green digital future.
Throughout our discussions, we realized that the tools and the know‑how to help eliminate the harmful effects of technology on environment already existed, and we also realized that many of the possible solutions to harness the potential of Internet‑connected technologies, to create a green digital transformation were there, too. What was missing was a unifying voice and a joint effort between all stakeholders and communities to develop a concerted strategy and to work together to deliver and achieve visible results.
So, we believe that the Internet Governance Forum, as a multi‑stakeholder platform, is in a privileged position to bring together these discussions and to create spaces for effective collaboration. And in this context, I think that the Dynamic Coalition on Environment is now essential and long overdue. So, the DC can be the missing link to bridge the IGF community with the wider environmental communities; it can offer a space for dialogue and collaboration on issues at the intersection of environmental sustainability, digital technologies, and Internet governance; and I think that together with other initiatives, such as the Coalition for Digital Environmental Sustainability ‑‑ CODES that was mentioned here earlier, too ‑‑ the DCE can be a great example of cooperation.
So, I think there is a lot still to be done, and we don't have that much time ahead. And I wish our sister coalition all the best in this important endeavor, and we also look forward to future collaborations. Thank you very much.
>> Jennifer Chung: Thank you very much, Minda. I'd like to now turn the floor back over to Mike Jensen to hear from the Dynamic Coalition on Community Connectivity. Mike, if I could ask maybe if you could limit your intervention to maybe two minutes since we are overrunning a little bit? Thank you, Mike. The floor is yours.
>> Mike Jensen: Thanks very much. And thanks very much for inviting APC to this very important coalition. We view this area with a very high priority. APC was actually founded almost 30 years ago by a group of civil society organizations helping environmental groups come online in the early days, and we continue to work in this area and support the Dynamic Coalition on Community Connectivity. We call it the DC3, which was founded at the 10th IGF in Brazil in 2015.
And the Community Connectivity Coalition is really focused on supporting small‑scale, local networks, which we basically call community networks, in the Global South, generally, but members are from all over the world. And generally working in many areas that have congruence with environmental priorities. I'll just touch very briefly on some of the areas that the members of the Dynamic Coalition are working towards, and I think that many of these areas are fertile ground for future collaboration with the Dynamic Coalition on the Environment.
So, for example, some of our members have been developing open hardware wireless routers that are very much easier to repair than the traditional proprietary technologies that are available off the shelf. One of these is called the Liberalta. We also have a project to develop a very low‑cost, open hardware solar battery charger unit that increases the life of batteries, reducing the need for recycling them, or at least extending their life so that they don't have to be recycled as often and have an impact on the environment there.
We're also supporting projects in the area of building mosques in local communities using local resources, such as bamboo. So, we are prototyping designs there to improve the carbon footprint from traditional mosque material such as steel.
And an area of particular interest is many small‑scale, local networks who are members of the DC3 are looking at drawing on the emergence of low‑cost sensor devices to monitor environmental degradation. So, for example, some of the members of the coalition are monitoring water quality, and then when it reaches a certain threshold, the results are tweeted out to the public so that they are aware of the degradation in water quality. Similarly, in remote rural areas, pollution is still a problem, say for example, from the burning of patty fields, and this pollution is now being detected by some of the members of the coalition, and the information can then not only feed into advising parents about whether their children should be walking to school or not, for example, but also to work directly with local politicians to provide them with the evidence for policy change and to improve the quality of the air or the local environment in the ways in which these many sensor technologies can work.
Another aspect is the ability of these small‑scale networks to support local knowledge and traditional knowledge preservation, which means that people can continue to conduct their livelihoods in rural areas and not migrate to the city, for example. Just touching on a few areas there that I think we could definitely work with the coalition on supporting, some case studies to inform how these small‑scale networks and the Dynamic Coalition can really support environmental priorities. Thank you.
>> Jennifer Chung: Thank you very much, Michael Jensen, for that. I know we're running quite a little bit over time, but I'd like to pass the floor right back to our Co‑Chair, Rainer, to wrap up and take a look at next steps. And before that, I also want to note that our other Co‑Chair, Mike Oghia, is also in the Zoom room. First to Rainer.
>> RAINER KRUG: Thanks a lot. First of all, a big thank you to everybody who contributed to this session. We had very fascinating, interesting talks, and they gave a really nice picture, and it is really encouraging to see that there is so much interest in the DCE and ideas in which direction we could go.
A few points, observations, or thoughts which came to me while listening to the talks and the discussion. The first one, essentially to approach two technical problems. The first is top down and the second one is bottom up. And that's what Mike Jensen just, in the last talk, highlighted quite nicely. There are many things which have to be tackled bottom up. We have always to keep the communities in mind. We have to include them in our work. We have to include them in coming up with our questions which we want to address. And also at the same time, we have to think globally. This is a really big challenge which has been ‑‑ which is present in many problems at the moment.
To include communities, and particularly when you're thinking about Indigenous People, local communities previously and currently disadvantaged communities, it is really important to have their trust to work with their data, when you're using their data, and that is one of the reasons why we've written the CARE Principles, which are standing for collective benefit authority to control responsibility and ethics to the data. So, it is really the involvement of the communities in the work to consider the communities, the needs and capabilities of the communities and their rights.
This is essentially what my thoughts which came up, and it is a picture of what the DCE should do in the next time, is really growing at the moment. And I think, and I guess that Michael will agree, this session gave many thoughts which need to be now distilled in a coherent picture how to continue, in particular choosing the main topic for next year.
With this, again, I would like to thank you and just hand over to Michael, if he wants to add some points. Thanks.
>> MICHAEL OGHIA: Hi, Rainer. Hi, everyone. I hope you can hear me okay. I really don't have anything else to add. Apologies for being late, but I just really appreciate the fact that everyone was able to be here. Thank you to our transcriber, and also, a big thank you to both our speakers and to Jennifer for stepping in to moderate. So, thank you all so, so much. That's really it from me. And Jennifer, I'll give the floor back to you.
>> Jennifer Chung: Thank you for such a wonderful session. We have overrun, but everything is very interesting. We can talk for much, much longer, but quick thank‑yous to our speakers, Reina, Dino, YZ, Mr. Gunpointer, our rapporteur, Ellen, and our online moderator, and of course, the tech people. Thank you for your
indulgence for letting us overrun. Thank you very much, everyone.