Good government requires the unequivocal independence of regulatory bodies from those whom they seek to regulate. Therefore, as a matter of policy, those being regulated or supervised by a body should have no representation upon, or financial connection with, that body.
It is also important that such influence as stakeholders do have is exercised in a transparent way. Diaries of all meetings of decision-makers in the field of environmental and health regulation with lobbyists of any persuasion should be kept and should be on the public register, as should records of any financial contributions received from whatever source and in whatever form.
The considerable sums of money spent by large multinational corporations in maintaining lobbying and research staff in all major centres of government far outweigh the funding that can be applied by public-interest NGOs. Whereas some stakeholders have well established channels of communication with government, public-interest NGOs often do not. Therefore, efforts should be made to compensate for the large imbalance in resources and influence available to different categories of stakeholder, so as to create a more level playing field.
This strategy features in the framework of Agenda 21 as formulated at UNCED (Rio de Janeiro, 1992), now coordinated by the United Nations Commission on Sustainable Development and implemented through national and local authorities.