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Institute Online Update for September 2003

This Issue

Jason Morrison Elected Chair of New ISO NGO Group
Institute Begins New Community Training in N. Richmond
New Version of Water-Conflict Chronology Online


Jason Morrison Elected Chair of New ISO NGO Group

In late August, after a one-month ballot period
among the non-governmental organizations (NGOs)
actively participating in ISO/TC 207, the Pacific
Institute’s Jason Morrison was elected chair of
a new group within the technical committee that
is charged with improving the effectiveness of NGO
participation in ISO 14000 standards development.

At its July Bali plenary meeting Technical Committee
207 (TC 207) disbanded the NGO Task Group, which
Mr. Morrison had chaired since 2001, because it
had completed its two-year mandate. In its place,
TC 207 has created a joint group of NGOs and representatives
of the TC 207 leadership called the NGO-Chairman’s
Advisory Group (CAG) Task Force. Under Mr. Morrison’s
leadership, the NGO-CAG Task Force, in consultation
with international NGOs, is aiming to address the
issues raised by the NGO Task Group, which include
the lack of NGO participation in standards development
and the domination of standards setting by industry

Begins New Community Training in N. Richmond

Catalina Garzon, Jacki Kohleriter, and Meena Palaniappan
of the Pacific Institute began a series of trainings
on refinery flares for the Richmond Community Health
Initiative’s Air Monitors and Asthma Advocates.
Refinery flares are created when excess gases being
processed at the refineries are burned in the open
air. The first training discussed the chemistry
of refinery flares and the health impacts of the
air pollution created by flaring. Participants also
learned about how to play a role in the air pollution
regulatory process while developing strategies to
communicate information about refinery flares. Participants
searched a range of sources to find information
about local refineries emissions and potential health
impacts associated with those pollutants. For the
second half of the training, participants created
strategies to reduce refinery pollution. A third
training session in October will help participants
produce community outreach materials and develop
a campaign to reduce refinery flares.

New Version of Water-Conflict Chronology Online

A new, updated version of the Pacific Institute’s
Water and Conflict Chronology is now online. The
Water-Conflict Chronology, originally authored by
Peter H. Gleick for a 1994 article in Environment
magazine, now looks all the way back to 3000 bc.
The new version can be found online.

Staff Updates

Regulatory Innovation | Jason Morison participated
in an event organized by Harvard University’s Regulatory
Policy Program that brought together approximately
40 of the nation’s foremost researchers and policy
leaders for a conference on innovative approaches
to environmental protection. Held in Washington,
DC, “Leveraging the Private Sector: Management-Based
Strategies for Improving Environmental Performance,”
focused on distinctive efforts in the public and
private sectors to improve the environmental performance
of business firms.

8/19, Water Scarcity | Peter H. Gleick was interviewed
by Discovery Channel Canada for a documentary on
global water scarcity.

Environmental Justice | Meena Palaniappan attended
a Port of Oakland Technical Review Panel meeting
to discuss opportunities to reduce diesel pollution
from trucks traveling to and from the Port.

8/21, Salton Sea | Michael Cohen participated on
a panel entitled “Is the Salton Sea the Elephant
in the Room?” at the 10th Annual Southern California
Urban Water conference in San Diego.

Water Privatization | Meena Palaniappan made a presentation
to thirty-one mayors from China on the problems
and pitfalls of water privatization. The presentation
was part of a special Stanford University Executive
Education program on “City Management and Urban
Planning” held in Palo Alto.

8/22, Salton Sea | Michael Cohen was a featured
guest on “The Talking Stick,” a public
affairs program created by the Cabazon Band of Mission
Indians, who are based in Indio, California. The
show focused on the Salton Sea and related water
issues and was broadcast throughout the region on

Water and Climate | Peter H. Gleick testified at
the California Select Committee on California’s
Water Needs and Climate Change held by the Chair
of the committee Assemblyman John Laird.

8/25, Water and Conflict | Peter H. Gleick gave
a seminar on water and conflict to Australia’s senior
defense college via teleconference. The Centre for
Defence and Strategic Studies, located in Canberra,
Australia, brings together 24 of Australia’s senior
military officers and public servants, along with
an equivalent number from other countries in the
Asia Pacific Region, to discuss issues of strategic
importance to the region.

Water Efficiency | The Pacific Institute hosted
a one-day workshop on urban demand management for
state water experts, representatives of water agencies,
and Institute staff.

8/25-8/26, International Standards | Jason Morrison
attended his first meeting as the incoming Vice
Chair of the U.S. Technical Advisory Group (TAG)
to ISO Technical Committee 207 — Environmental
Management. With a membership currently around 170
people, the TAG is the national mirror body that
develops and negotiates U.S. positions in the ISO
14000 standards development. The meeting was held
in Washington, DC.

Environmental Justice | Pacific Institute, Richmond
Community Air Monitors, and Communities for a Better
Environment (CBE) held a joint meeting to discuss
their common goals relating to reducing refinery
flares in North Richmond.


Salton Sea (Santa Fe, NM) | Michael Cohen will participate
on a panel about the prospects for the Salton Sea,
at the Water Education Foundation’s biennial Colorado
River symposium. More information is available online.

9/19/03, Water Issues (San Francisco, CA) | Gary
H. Wolff will give a short presentation on global
water issues at the opening of an exhibition by
watercolor artist Tony Foster. Foster’s work features
pieces about rivers, lakes, waterfalls, and water.
The opening will be at the Montgomery Gallery in
SF (406 Jackson Street) from 5:30 to 7:30 pm. More
information: 415-788-8300.

10/23/03, Water Privatization (Oakland, CA) | Gary
H. Wolff is giving a short presentation on the economics
of water efficiency to the 6th Annual State of the
Estuary Conference, held at the Kaiser Convention
Center in Oakland.

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2003 Pacific Institute for Studies in Development,
Environment, and Security