Decisions: 8th session of the Commission on Sustainable Development
Commission on Sustainable Development
Reference
E/CN.17/2000/20
[Arabic] [Chinese] [English] [French] [Russian] [Spanish] 8th session of the Commission on Sustainable Development
E/CN.17/2000/20 - 10-year review of progress

Decision 8/1
Preparations for the 10-year review of progress achieved in the implementation of the outcome of the United Nations Conference on Environment and Development


The Commission on Sustainable Development decides to bring to the attention of the Economic and Social Council and the General Assembly the following recommendations:
(a) The Commission on Sustainable Development underscores the political importance of the forthcoming 10-year review of progress achieved since the United Nations Conference on Environment and Development. The Commission stresses that the review should focus on the implementation of Agenda 21, the Programme for the Further Implementation of Agenda 21, adopted by the nineteenth special session of the General Assembly in 1997 and other outcomes of the Conference. Agenda 21 should constitute the framework within which the other outcomes of the Conference are reviewed. Agenda 21 should also be the framework from within which new challenges and opportunities that have emerged since the Conference are addressed;
(b) The Commission stresses that Agenda 21 should not be renegotiated and that the review should identify measures for the further implementation of Agenda 21 and the other outcomes of the United Nations Conference on Environment and Development, including sources of funding;
(c) The Commission recommends that the review should focus on areas where further efforts are needed to implement Agenda 21 and other outcomes of the United Nations Conference on Environment and Development and should result in action-oriented decisions and renewed political commitment and support for sustainable development;
(d) The Commission stresses the importance of early and effective preparations for the 2002 review and assessment of progress achieved in the implementation of Agenda 21 and the other outcomes of the United Nations Conference on Environment and Development, to be carried out at the local, national, regional and international levels by Governments and the United Nations system, so as to ensure high-quality inputs to the review process. The Commission encourages effective contributions from, and involvement of, all major groups;
(e) While specific decisions on the preparatory process will be determined by the General Assembly at its fifty-fifth session, the Commission invites early preparations at the local, national and regional levels which should commence immediately after the conclusion of the eighth session of the Commission. In this context, the Commission invites all Governments to undertake national review processes as early as possible. The national reports that have been prepared by Governments since 1992 on national implementation of Agenda 21, and to which major groups have contributed, could provide a fair basis for guiding the national preparatory processes;
(f) The Commission invites the United Nations Secretariat, working in close cooperation with the United Nations Environment Programme, the regional commissions, and the secretariats of the United Nations Conference on Environment and Development-related conventions as well as other relevant organizations, agencies and programmes within and outside the United Nations system, including international and regional financial institutions, to support preparatory activities, in particular at the national and regional levels, in a coordinated and mutually reinforcing way. The Commission, while allowing for the originality of regional contributions, has agreed that a certain uniformity is needed in regional preparatory processes. The Commission also underscores the importance of using the high-level intergovernmental processes that exist at the regional level;
(g) The Commission invites the Governing Council of the United Nations Environment Programme, in line with the Nairobi Declaration on the Role and Mandate of the United Nations Environment Programme, to promote the coherent implementation of the environmental dimension of sustainable development in the United Nations system and to provide its views to the Commission at its tenth session as an important input to the preparatory process on the environmental aspects of the implementation of Agenda 21 and the other outcomes of the United Nations Conference on Environment and Development;
(h) The Commission requests the Secretary-General, in preparing his report on the 2002 review to be submitted to the fifty-fifth session of the General Assembly in accordance with Assembly resolution 54/218 of 22 December 1999, to take fully into account the views expressed during the Commission?s high-level segment on preparations for the 10-year review of progress achieved since the United Nations Conference on Environment and Development and the recommendations of the eighth session of the Commission, and to include in his report further information on specific activities and actions undertaken and planned in the United Nations system in support of the preparatory process;
(i) The Commission recommends that the General Assembly at its fifty-fifth session give consideration to organizing the 2002 event at summit level and to holding it outside United Nations Headquarters, preferably in a developing country;
(j) The Commission also recommends that the General Assembly decide that the meetings of the tenth session of the Commission are to be transformed into an open-ended preparatory committee that would provide for the full and effective participation of all Governments. The Commission acting as the preparatory committee should undertake the comprehensive review and assessment of the implementation of Agenda 21 and the other outcomes of the United Nations Conference on Environment and Development. It should identify major constraints hindering the implementation of Agenda 21 and propose specific time-bound measures to be undertaken, and institutional and financial requirements, and identify the sources of such support. The Commission invites all relevant United Nations organizations and the secretariats of Conference-related conventions to review and assess their respective programmes of work since the Conference and to report to the Commission at its tenth session on progress made in the implementation of sustainable development-related objectives. The comprehensive review and assessment of the implementation of Agenda 21 and the other outcomes of the Conference should also address ways of strengthening the institutional framework for sustainable development and define the future programme of work of the Commission;
(k) The Commission recommends that the General Assembly, in light of paragraph (j) above, invite the Economic and Social Council to decide that the first meeting of the tenth session of the Commission, to be held immediately after the closure of the ninth session of the Commission, in accordance with Council resolution 1997/63 of 25 July 1997, should be expanded, so that the Commission could thereby start its work as the preparatory committee for the 2002 event;
(l) The Commission stresses that the preparatory meetings and the 2002 event itself should be transparent and provide for effective participation and input from Governments, and regional and international organizations, including financial institutions, and for contributions from and active participation of major groups, consistent with the rules and regulations established by the United Nations for the participation of major groups in intergovernmental processes;
(m) The Commission recommends that necessary steps be taken to establish a trust fund and urges international and bilateral donors to support preparations for the 10-year review through voluntary contributions to the trust fund and to support participation of representatives from developing countries in the regional and international preparatory process and the 2002 event itself. The Commission encourages voluntary contributions to support the participation of major groups from developing countries in regional and international preparatory processes and the 2002 event itself;
(n) The Commission invites the Economic and Social Council to consider, at its substantive session of 2000, the reports requested by the General Assembly in its resolution 54/218 and submit its views to the Assembly at its fifty-fifth session;
(o) The Commission invites the General Assembly at its fifty-fifth session to decide on the agenda, possible main themes, timing and venue of the 2002 event, the number of intergovernmental preparatory meetings and other organizational and procedural matters related to the 2002 review including the clarification of the term ?United Nations Conference on Environment and Development-related conventions? as referred to above, taking into account the views of the Commission, the Governing Council of the United Nations Environment Programme and the Economic and Social Council.


Reference
E/CN.17/2000/20
[Arabic] [Chinese] [English] [French] [Russian] [Spanish] 8th session of the Commission on Sustainable Development
E/CN.17/2000/20 - Agriculture

Decision 8/4
Agriculture


1. Introduction


1. Agriculture as an economic sector is being considered by the Commission on Sustainable Development at its eighth session from the broad perspective of sustainable development, highlighting the linkages between economic, social and environmental objectives. As contained in Agenda 21, particularly chapter 14, and the Programme for the Further Implementation of Agenda 21, adopted by the General Assembly at its nineteenth special session, agriculture has to meet the fundamental challenge of satisfying the demands of a growing population for food and other agricultural commodities, especially in developing countries. The particular focus of the discussion has been promoting sustainable agriculture and rural development (SARD), in accordance with the principles of the Rio Declaration



on Environment and Development and the internationally agreed objectives contained in chapter 14 of Agenda 21 as well as, inter alia, the Rome Declaration on World Food Security and the World Food Summit Plan of Action adopted by the World Food Summit (Rome, November 1996). The basis for achieving SARD in all countries is contained in these and other commitments; what is needed is their full implementation at all levels.
2. Agriculture has a special and important place in society because it ensures the production of food and fibre, is essential to food security and to social and economic development, employment, maintenance of the countryside, and conservation of land and natural resources, and helps sustain rural life and land. The major objectives of SARD is to increase food production and enhance food security in an environmentally sound way so as to contribute to sustainable natural resource management. Food security ? although a policy priority for all countries ? remains an unfulfilled goal. About 790 million people living in developing countries and 34 million in industrialized countries and in countries with economies in transition are undernourished. While some improvement in the situation has recently been noted, the international community must be concerned that the average annual decrease of undernourished people is insufficient to achieve the target set at the 1996 World Food Summit to reduce by half the number of undernourished by 2015 (Plan of Action, para. 7).
3. Progress in poverty eradication is critical to improving access to food and promoting food security. About 1.5 billion people in the world live in poverty and recent trends indicate this number could rise to 1.9 billion by 2015. In addition, the gap between rich and poor is widening, and the poor in general ? especially women, disadvantaged groups, rural people living in poverty and indigenous communities ? are being increasingly marginalized. The inextricable link between hunger and poverty means that the goals of achieving food security in the context of SARD and pursuing the eradication of poverty, among both urban and rural people living in poverty, as agreed, inter alia, at the World Summit for Social Development (Copenhagen, 1995), have to be addressed in an integrated manner. It remains essential to continue efforts for the eradication of poverty, through, inter alia, capacity-building to reinforce local food systems and improving food security. The concept of SARD offers such an approach.

2. Priorities for action


(a) Implementation of sustainable agriculture and rural development (SARD) goals

4. Governments are encouraged to complete the formulation and elaboration of national strategies for sustainable development by 2002, as agreed in the Programme for the Further Implementation of Agenda 21. Local Agenda 21 and other local sustainable development programmes should also be actively encouraged. In this regard, Governments are encouraged to integrate agricultural production, food security and food safety, that upholds food security, environmental protection and rural development as central elements in those strategies.
5. All Governments are urged to reaffirm their individual and collective commitments to achieving food security, particularly through sustainable development of domestic food production, combined with the importation, where appropriate, and storage of food, and to reaching the important goal of reducing the number of undernourished people by one half by 2015, as agreed at the World Food Summit. In this regard, Governments and international organizations are encouraged to make available and provide technical and financial assistance to effectively support the achievement of food security in developing countries.
6. Governments are urged to develop coherent national policy and legal frameworks for sustainable rural development, with the emphasis on, inter alia, socio-economic diversification, employment, capacity-building, participation, poverty eradication, empowerment and partnerships. Governments should take a cross-sectoral approach to integrating agriculture in rural development frameworks and strategies so as to maximize synergies and improve coherence. In particular, Governments are encouraged to assess the effects of agriculture on ecosystems.
7. Governments are urged to promote agricultural practices based on natural resource management, inter alia, through integrated farm input management, agro-ecological, organic, urban and peri-urban agriculture and agroforestry, with a view to providing sustainable management of all types of production systems and other benefits, such as soil, water and land conservation and agro-biodiversity enhancement and recognizing the need for technical and financial assistance to developing countries to this end. Environmentally sound traditional and local knowledge should be recognized, protected and promoted.
8. Governments are encouraged to continue studying the economic, social and environmental aspects of SARD, the major objective of which is to increase food production in a sustainable way and enhance food security, based on chapter 14 of Agenda 21, avoiding unjustifiable trade barriers and taking into account the discussions in the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) and other international organizations.
9. Governments are encouraged to pursue an ecosystem approach to SARD, taking into account, inter alia, the actions necessary to mitigate the negative impacts and to enhance the positive impacts of agriculture and animal production on natural ecosystems, in particular on those with high biodiversity. In this regard, it is important that Governments and international agencies continue developing studies on the impact of agriculture on forests with the objectives of identifying appropriate activities and recommendations. The international community is urged to support, inter alia, the United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification in those Countries Experiencing Serious Drought and/or Desertification, particularly in Africa, and its Global Mechanism which should also contribute to conserving and rehabilitating the natural resources in lower-potential land and to controlling land degradation, especially in developing countries.
10. Governments are urged to pay particular attention to the social dimension of SARD, including health protection. Governments should take fully into account the interests of small-scale farmers and agricultural workers, including the effects of agricultural practices on human health and safety in terms of both consumption and production.
11. Taking into account countries? common but differentiated responsibilities and their specific national and regional development priorities, objectives and circumstances, the Conference of the Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, within its operational requirements, is encouraged to promote the use of its relevant mechanisms to support initiatives in line with national programmes promoting SARD that result, inter alia, in reduced greenhouse emissions or carbon sequestration, as well as increased investments in energy efficiency and the use of renewable energy sources.
12. The Conference of the Parties to the Convention on Biological Diversity, the Conference of the Parties to the United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification in those Countries Experiencing Serious Drought and/or Desertification, particularly in Africa, and the governing body of the Global Environment Facility (GEF), within their established work programmes and operational programmes, are encouraged to promote the use of their relevant mechanisms to support SARD-related initiatives, in line with national programmes, that result, inter alia, in the conservation and sustainable use of agro-biodiversity.
13. The Conference of the Parties to the Convention on Biological Diversity and Governments are encouraged to support the strengthening and effective implementation of the work programme of the Convention on agricultural biological diversity and to support FAO and other relevant institutions in their roles in the implementation of this work programme.

(b) Access to other resources

14. Governments are encouraged to adopt and implement measures that guarantee access to technology and research, in particular for women, disadvantaged groups, people living in poverty, and indigenous and local communities, in order to ensure a sustainable use of land and water resources. Access to credit, particularly through rural microcredit schemes, is also important.

(c) Poverty eradication

15. All Governments and the international community are urged to implement the relevant commitments they have entered into for the eradication of poverty, including those contained in the Copenhagen Declaration on Social Development and Programme of Action of the World Summit for Social Development adopted by the World Summit for Social Development, and to further promote income-generation through agriculture to achieve this goal in accordance with SARD. Special emphasis should be given to those zones with high levels of poverty and high biodiversity.

(d) Financing for SARD

16. The financing for the implementation of Agenda 21 is expected to be met, in general, from domestic resources. All Governments are urged to provide an enabling environment for mobilizing domestic and international resources.
17. Additional international financial support will be very important for developing countries. The international community is urged to fulfil the commitments undertaken for the provision of financial assistance for promoting SARD as set out in Agenda 21. Developing countries and their partners should make particular efforts to ensure that a substantial share of official development assistance (ODA) is directed to the agricultural and rural development sectors in developing countries, especially in the least developed countries and net food importing countries, in accordance with national development strategies in recipient countries, given that ODA provided to these sectors has been steadily declining during the past two decades.
18. The international community, including the United Nations system and the international financial institutions, is urged to provide support to institutional reform and development of market infrastructure and access for achieving SARD in developing countries, in particular the least developed countries, and countries with economies in transition.
19. Governments and the international community, including the United Nations system, are urged to assist developing countries, in particular the least developed countries, in developing strategies and implementing measures to attract and to promote private capital flows and investment in SARD directed to a wider range of developing countries, in particular the least developed countries, and countries with economies in transition, and to support the private sector?s decision to direct a larger share of this capital to agriculture and rural development.

(e) Technology transfer and capacity-building

20. Governments, relevant international organizations and the private sector are urged both to continue and to increase their contribution to capacity-building and the transfer of appropriate technology, in particular environmentally sound technology, to developing countries and countries with economies in transition, as well as to promote partnerships for fostering sustainable agriculture and food security and promoting rural development.
21. International financial institutions are encouraged to further promote the transfer of technology and capacity-building, with emphasis on the allocation of funds to enable developing countries to achieve food security through enhanced agricultural production, including food storage systems and agro-food industries.
22. Relevant international, regional and national bodies and the private sector are encouraged to support developing countries in their efforts to increase research and to achieve national integrated natural resource management, appropriate technology and sustainable agricultural methods to achieve the objectives of food security and SARD, including participatory approaches, and to disseminate information on the results of their research and its applicability. Research should be carried out in a cooperative way involving both developed and developing countries.
23. Governments and the international community are encouraged to promote and share natural disaster early warning systems and enhance national capacities to prevent and mitigate the effects of natural disasters.

(f) Biotechnology

24. Governments are encouraged to explore, using transparent science-based risk assessment procedures, as well as risk management procedures, applying the precautionary approach, as articulated in principle 15 of the Rio Declaration and recalled in the Cartagena Protocol on Biosafety to the Convention on Biological Diversity, the potential of appropriate and safe biotechnology for enhancing food security for all and sustainable agricultural techniques and practices, taking into account possible effects on the environment and human health.
25. Governments are urged to sign and ratify the Cartagena Protocol on Biosafety to the Convention on Biological Diversity and to support its effective implementation.
26. Governments are encouraged to develop the appropriate legal frameworks, and administrative and other measures and put into action appropriate strategies for SARD, the protection of biodiversity, and the risk analysis and management of living modified organisms.
27. Governments and United Nations organizations are encouraged to promote only those applications of biotechnology that do not pose unacceptable risks to public health or the environment, bearing in mind ethical considerations as appropriate.

(g) Genetic resources

28. Governments are urged to strengthen their efforts for the sustainable use, conservation and protection of genetic resources. In this regard, Governments are urged to finalize the negotiations on the International Undertaking on Plant Genetic Resources for Food and Agriculture, as soon as possible, and to implement the Global Plan of Action for the Conservation and Sustainable Utilization of Plant Genetic Resources for Food and Agriculture adopted by the Leipzig Technical International Conference on Plant Genetic Resources, and to implement and actively contribute to the further development of the Global Strategy for the Management of Farm Animal Genetic Resources. Governments are further encouraged to strengthen their efforts in effectively implementing the Convention on Biological Diversity, with the support of their development partners.

(h) Integrated pest management and integrated plant nutrition

29. Governments are urged to promote only the safe and sustainable use of plant protection products and plant nutrition in agricultural production and to strengthen practical ways to enhance the application of integrated pest management and integrated plant nutrition. All stakeholders, including farmers, the private sector and international organizations, are encouraged to form effective partnerships with Governments, including those that provide capacity-building assistance for this purpose.
30. Sanitary and phytosanitary measures are relevant to SARD. Their implementation must be in accordance with World Trade Organization agreements.

(i) Desertification and drought

31. Combating desertification and mitigating the effects of drought are crucial elements of SARD. Governments and relevant international organizations should promote the integration of national action programmes to combat desertification, developed under the United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification in those Countries Experiencing Serious Drought and/or Desertification, particularly in Africa, into national strategies for sustainable development.

(j) Access to land and security of land tenure

32. Recognizing the existence of different national laws and/or systems of land access and tenure, Governments, at appropriate levels, including the local authorities, are encouraged to develop and/or adopt policies and implement laws that guarantee to their citizens well-defined and enforceable land rights and promote equal access to land and legal security of tenure, in particular for women and disadvantaged groups, including people living in poverty and indigenous and local communities.

(k) Emergency preparedness

33. International agencies and other relevant organizations should assist Governments and regional entities, as appropriate, in developing and building capacity for the development and effective use of systems for early warning, natural disasters and environmental monitoring. Efforts to improve resilience of both agricultural and social systems dealing with natural hazards are also encouraged.

(l) Water resources

34. Water resources are essential for satisfying basic human needs, health and food production, energy, and the restoration and maintenance of ecosystems, and for social and economic development in general, and SARD.

3. International cooperation


(a) Trade

35. Commodity exports, particularly primary commodity exports, are the mainstay of the economies of many developing countries in terms of their export earnings, the livelihood of their people and the dependence of general economic vitality on these exports. Commodity earnings instability continues to be problematic. Programmes that enhance commodity-based diversification in developing countries, in a manner supportive to sustainable development, inter alia, through improved market access, particularly for least developed countries, can contribute to increase foreign exchange earnings and employment, as well as provide increased income from value-added production.
36. The Commission stresses the need to implement the Marrakesh Ministerial Decision on Measures Concerning the Possible Negative Effects of the Reform Programme on Least Developed and Net Food-importing Developing Countries, the comprehensive and integrated Plan of Action for the Least Developed Countries of the World Trade Organization and the joint commitment by the heads of the International Monetary Fund (IMF), the World Bank and the World Trade Organization to work together to assist developing countries in their adjustment process.

(b) Information exchange and dissemination

37. Governments and relevant international organizations are urged to disseminate widely, and to promote the access of farmers and those engaged in agriculture to, information on relevant sustainable agricultural practices, technologies and markets, inter alia, through capacity-building programmes, by utilizing information technology. In this context, special attention must be paid to the needs of women, marginalized groups and indigenous and local communities.

(c) United Nations and other international activities

38. FAO and other relevant international organizations, particularly the World Bank and IMF, are urged to assist countries in developing concrete policies and actions for the implementation of Agenda 21 concerning sustainable production and farming methods aimed at achieving the goals of the World Food Summit and of SARD. In particular, FAO is encouraged to develop a cross-sectoral programme on organic agriculture as part of its contribution to SARD.
39. Relevant international organizations are also urged to assist countries in developing policies for providing food security.
40. The International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) is encouraged to strengthen its assistance to rural communities in developing countries in support of their efforts to achieve SARD, primarily as a means to eradicate rural poverty.
41. Relevant organizations and bodies are encouraged to make further efforts, with special attention to the gender perspective, in developing methodologies and improving coordination for data collection, indicators analysis, monitoring and evaluation of public and private efforts to support SARD.
42. Governments are urged to ratify the relevant legal international instruments, if they have not already done so, and to implement them in order to promote SARD.
43. In this regard, Governments are urged to finalize the negotiations on the international legally binding instrument for the implementation of international action on certain persistent organic pollutants (POPs) as soon as possible.
44. The Consultative Group on International Agricultural Research (CGIAR) is invited to increase research and pursue partnerships in integrated natural resource management and to disseminate the results.


(d) Participation

45. Effective implementation of the SARD objectives requires participation of a wide range of stakeholders. Empowerment, participation and partnerships are critical to success in achieving SARD, in particular involvement of women, bearing in mind their important role in SARD. Governments and relevant international organizations are therefore urged, as appropriate, to further develop innovative institutional mechanisms to ensure effective stakeholder participation in decision-making related to SARD.
46. As part of the ongoing review of progress towards SARD and within existing structures and resources, FAO and the Commission secretariat, in consultation with Governments, relevant international organizations and all major groups, are invited to continue the stakeholder dialogue on SARD, including facilitating the adequate and meaningful participation of stakeholders from developing countries. In preparing for the tenth session of the Commission and the 10-year review of the outcome of the United Nations Conference on Environment and Development, this dialogue should emphasize the identification of specific examples and the development of case studies that illustrate or support the principles of SARD.


Reference
E/CN.17/2000/20
[Arabic] [Chinese] [English] [French] [Russian] [Spanish] 8th session of the Commission on Sustainable Development
E/CN.17/2000/20 - Economic growth, trade and investment

Decision 8/6
Economic growth, trade and investment


Introduction

1. Activities regarding economic growth, trade and investment should be pursued in accordance with Agenda 21 and the Programme for the Further Implementation of Agenda 21, with the overarching objective of sustainable development. Further steps to achieve this should also build on the outcome of the tenth session of the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD), taking also into account developments in other international forums. In this regard, cooperation and coordination between UNCTAD, the United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO), the World Trade Organization, the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) and other relevant institutions should be strengthened.
2. Trade and investment are important factors in economic growth and sustainable development. Both economic growth and the lack of it can have adverse environmental effects. Poverty and environmental degradation are closely interrelated. While poverty results in certain kinds of environmental stress, the major cause of the continued deterioration of the global environment is the unsustainable patterns of consumption and production, particularly in industrialized countries, which are a matter of grave concern, aggravating poverty and imbalances.
3. In consequence, there should be a balanced and integrated approach to trade and environment policies in pursuit of sustainable development, taking into account the economic, environmental and social aspects, as well as the different levels of development of countries, without undermining the open, equitable and non-discriminatory character of the multilateral trading system or creating disguised barriers to trade. Developed countries should take the lead in addressing unsustainable production and consumption patterns, taking into account common but differentiated responsibilities as set forth in principle 7 of the Rio Declaration on Environment and Development. One of the main challenges is to promote social equity and ensure that economic growth does not result in environmental degradation. Improved market access for products from developing countries, particularly least developed countries, would make a valuable contribution to sustained economic growth and sustainable development in accordance with the relevant General Assembly resolutions and the outcomes of recent United Nations conferences.
4. In particular, for developing countries and countries with economies in transition it is an important challenge to stimulate domestic investment and attract foreign direct investment (FDI) to promote sustainable development, taking into account the rights and obligations of investors and host countries. At the same time, the international community should strive to avoid the risks that can be associated with the volatility of short-term private capital flows and to enhance the contribution that investment can make to sustainable development.

Priorities for future work

5. Economic growth, trade and investment will be considered as part of the 10-year review of progress since the United Nations Conference on Environment and Development. Priority areas for future work will include the following:
(a) Promoting sustainable development through trade and economic growth;
(b) Making trade and environment policies mutually supportive;
(c) Promoting sustainable development through investment;
(d) Strengthening institutional cooperation, capacity-building and promoting partnerships.

Promoting sustainable development through trade and economic growth

6. Governments and international organizations are urged to support efforts of developing countries, in particular the least developed countries, in building capacity to eradicate poverty, expand productive employment, and improve living standards with a view to achieving sustainable development. The promotion of trade, investment and sustained economic growth is essential to support such efforts. Furthermore, appropriate policies have to be implemented at the national level to ensure environmental protection and sustainable resource management, equitable distribution of benefits and provision of basic social services to all.
7. Governments, particularly in developed countries and, as appropriate, international organizations, are also urged to improve market access, provide technical assistance and establish capacity-building initiatives in favour of developing countries and countries with economies in transition with a view to helping them to increase export opportunities, promote diversified export-oriented production and enhance their ability to trade, and to implement their commitments in existing multilateral agreements, including World Trade Organization agreements. The international community should continue to assist countries seeking integration into the world trade system, in particular accession to the World Trade Organization. Governments and international organizations are encouraged to continue studies and work on impacts of trade liberalization on developing economies in a manner that promotes the equitable distribution between nations of gains from trade in order to achieve sustainable development.
8. Commodity exports, particularly primary commodity exports, are the mainstay of the economies of many developing countries in terms of their export earnings, the livelihoods of their people and the dependence of general economic vitality on these exports. Commodity earnings instability continues to be problematic. Programmes that enhance commodity-based diversification in developing countries, in a manner supportive to sustainable development, inter alia, through improved market access, particularly for least developed countries, can contribute to increased foreign exchange earnings and employment, as well as provide increased income from value-added production.
9. Governments and international organizations should endeavour to improve the functioning of commodity markets with the aim of achieving greater transparency, stability, and predictability, particularly with regard to commodity export earnings. In this regard, UNCTAD should enhance its support to developing countries in accordance with the Plan of Action adopted at the tenth session of UNCTAD. There should be further evaluation of mechanisms for reducing the impacts of price volatility in primary commodities. Countries, particularly developed countries, should provide improved market access for primary commodities from developing countries and particularly from least developed countries, especially in their processed forms. Developed countries should endeavour to respond favourably to requests for technical assistance aimed at enhancing the diversification of exports, in a manner supportive of sustainable development, in those developing countries that are highly dependent on the export of a limited number of commodities. Existing mechanisms for helping to stabilize commodity export earnings should be improved so as to respond to the real concerns of developing-country producers.
10. Governments are urged to pursue continued trade liberalization through, inter alia, the elimination of unjustifiable and discriminatory trade practices and non-tariff barriers to trade, notably in order to improve market access for products of export interest to developing countries. Governments in developed countries should devise policies and measures to assist developing countries, and in particular least developed countries, in diversifying their export base in a sustainable manner taking into account existing agreements and arrangements for special and differential treatment for developing countries.
11. Market access conditions for agricultural and industrial products of export interest to developing countries, in particular least developed countries, should be improved on as broad and liberal basis as possible. Concrete steps need to be urgently taken to implement the commitments by developed countries to grant duty-free and quota-free market access for essentially all exports originating in least developed countries and to further examine options for other proposals to maximize market access for least developed countries. Consideration should also be given to proposals for developing countries to contribute to improved market access for least developed countries? exports. Modernization and operationalization of special and differential treatment, in particular in terms of maintaining and expanding export opportunities for developing countries, may be needed to adapt it to changing international trading conditions and to make special and differential treatment a better instrument for development, enabling developing countries, in particular the least developed countries, to gradually integrate into the multilateral trading system.
12. Food security as a priority area for sustainable agricultural development should be strengthened, in particular both by and for developing countries. More focused financial and technical assistance, as well as the transfer of agricultural technology that is environmentally and economically viable, upon mutually agreed terms, should be provided to address effectively the issue of food security, including development of an enabling policy environment and the problems of net food importing countries, as outlined in the Rome Declaration on World Food Security and the World Food Summit Plan of Action.
13. Governments and international institutions are encouraged to ensure that the benefits arising from increased trade liberalization are equitably distributed and reach those living in poverty, in particular in developing countries, by establishing policies and programmes that will enable their participation. Measures are required to ensure enhanced trade opportunities for developing countries and to provide greater security and predictability in a liberalized trading system, with particular emphasis on vulnerable groups like women and children, and that trade contributes to employment-generation and social development.
14. Governments and international organizations are encouraged to examine ways and means to promote the indigenous development of environmentally sound technologies (ESTs) in developing countries and the transfer and dissemination of ESTs to developing countries. In this regard, Governments are encouraged to implement relevant provisions in the Agreement on Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPs).
15. Governments should fully implement the Plan of Action adopted at the tenth session of UNCTAD and, in particular, examine the use and effect, particularly on trade, of incentives to attract FDI with high technological content. UNCTAD should analyse all aspects of existing international agreements relevant to transfer of technology to be supported, as appropriate, by developed-country funding.
16. Governments and international organizations, in collaboration with the business community and other representatives of civil society, are encouraged, where appropriate, to promote markets for environmentally friendly products, environmentally sound technologies and environmental services.

Making trade and environment policies mutually supportive

17. Governments and international organizations, such as the World Trade Organization, and the secretariats of multilateral environmental agreements (MEAs), are encouraged to cooperate and to continue to explore ways to enhance the complementarities between trade liberalization and environmental protection and to make the multilateral trading system more responsive to sustainable development concerns. All relevant parties are encouraged to identify and pursue opportunities where trade liberalization holds particular promise for promoting sustainable development, including actions to address subsidies with the aim of eliminating effects that are both trade-distortive and environmentally harmful, in a way that would result in trade, environmental and developmental benefits.
18. Certification and labelling schemes can be important tools for the promotion of sustainable consumption and promotion patterns. If introduced, such schemes, whether voluntary or mandatory, should be designed and implemented in an open and transparent manner and should not constitute a means of arbitrary or unjustifiable discrimination or a disguised restriction on trade. Governments and international organizations are urged to facilitate effective participation of developing countries in the standard-setting process. They are also urged to further explore the concept of equivalency and its application.
19. The pursuit of effective environmental policies should be ensured both nationally and internationally. However, environmental measures must not be used for protectionist purposes. Governments should also avoid imposing unilateral measures that are inconsistent with the Rio Declaration on Environment and Development, in particular principle 12.
20. Governments and international organizations are urged to further consider the relationship between MEAs and World Trade Organization agreements, including the relationship between the Convention on Biological Diversity and the Agreement on TRIPs, recognizing the importance of trade and environment agreements? being mutually supportive, and taking into account that both trade agreements and MEAs are developed and negotiated in pursuit of legitimate multilateral objectives in support of sustainable development. In this regard, it is essential to improve dialogue and cooperation between trade, environment and other relevant policy makers at the national level, as well as among relevant international organizations, including secretariats of MEAs. UNEP and UNCTAD are urged to continue to study and examine economic and development implications of MEAs.
21. Developed countries and international organizations, in accordance with their commitments under multilateral environmental agreements, are encouraged to assist developing countries in implementing the agreements by promoting the transfer of environmentally sound technology, in particular those arising from publicly funded research and development, as well as promoting capacity-building.

Promoting sustainable development through investment

22. Governments are encouraged to promote a stable, predictable, non-discriminatory and transparent investment climate nationally and internationally that encourages domestic investment and foreign capital flows, including FDI, while addressing, as appropriate, the rights and obligations of investors in order to promote sustainable development. Governments in developed countries and international organizations are encouraged to provide adequate support for developing countries in their efforts to formulate and implement the appropriate domestic policies.
23. Governments and international organizations are encouraged to address the potential risks that may arise from the volatility of short-term capital flows.
24. It is recommended that in order to enhance the potential of investment, including FDI, to contribute to sustainable development, Governments and international organizations, in cooperation with relevant private sector organizations and stakeholders:
(a) Explore ways to ensure that a larger number of developing countries and countries with economies in transition benefit from investment, in particular FDI;
(b) Seek to promote the use of environmental management systems in and transfer of environmentally sound technologies to developing countries and countries with economies in transition;
(c) Encourage companies to take responsibility to promote sustainable development by applying best practices and promoting environmentally responsible corporate behaviour and information policies, especially those related to public disclosure procedures;
(d) Explore the potential for improving environmental performance along the supply chain and in waste management;
(e) Explore the potential role of voluntary guidelines for making investment more broadly supportive of sustainable development.
25. Governments and international organizations are encouraged to develop, as appropriate, mechanisms for the environmental assessment of export credit projects.

Strengthening institutional cooperation, capacity-building and promotion of partnerships

26. The Commission noted that the tool of environmental impact assessment, following previous recommendations, is being used by many countries and that some are developing other assessment tools. The Commission also noted the work under way in UNEP and UNCTAD on this issue. In response to the concerns expressed by many countries, the Commission stressed that the assessments of trade policies should be conducted with a view to promoting sustainable development and should not serve as a disguised barrier to trade.
27. Governments and international organizations are urged to improve policy coherence and coordination in promoting sustainable development through trade and investment. Countries are also urged, with the full participation of international organizations, to improve coherence and coordination to ensure that technical assistance and capacity-building in developing countries and countries with economies in transition enable them to benefit from globalization and trade liberalization and to better integrate into the world economy. Governments and international organizations are further encouraged to promote capacity-building with a view to enabling recipient countries to implement and enforce effectively environmental policies, inter alia, through the design and use of economic instruments, taking into account the specific conditions and the different levels of development in individual countries.
28. Governments and international organizations should foster partnerships between the public and private sectors at the national and the international level for the promotion of trade and economic growth in a manner conducive to sustainable development. Dialogue, consultations and information-sharing with stakeholder and civil society organizations should also be promoted.
29. International cooperation and support for capacity-building in trade, environment and development policy formulation should be strengthened through renewed system-wide efforts and with enhanced responsiveness to sustainable development objectives by the United Nations, the World Trade Organization, the Bretton Woods institutions and national Governments.


Reference
E/CN.17/2000/20
[Arabic] [Chinese] [English] [French] [Russian] [Spanish] 8th session of the Commission on Sustainable Development
E/CN.17/2000/20 - Finance

Decision 8/5
Financial resources


Introduction

1. The principal objectives of activities in the area of financial resources and mechanisms should be pursued in full accordance with Agenda 21 and paragraphs 76-87 of the Programme for the Further Implementation of Agenda 21. It is important that all countries take a holistic approach to sustainable development, taking fully into account the interconnectedness of the trade, financial, economic, environmental and social aspects of sustainable development; in view of the different contributions to global environmental degradation, States have common but differentiated responsibilities as stated in principle 7 of the Rio Declaration on Environment and Development. One of the main challenges is to promote social equity and ensure that economic growth does not result in environmental degradation.
2. The rapid process of globalization and liberalization provides countries with opportunities, as well as brings risks and challenges for the mobilization of adequate and more stable resources for sustainable development. Globalization may have contributed to the increased supply of private capital flows, including foreign direct investment (FDI), to developing countries; however, this investment has been concentrated in a small number of developing countries. It has also been accompanied by a decline in official development assistance (ODA) during the 1990s. In some cases, developing countries have benefited from globalization, while others, in particular least developed countries, face further marginalization. There is a need to strengthen international cooperation efforts and to further reform and improve the existing international financial system, with a view to preventing recurrence of financial crises and providing better mechanisms for financial crisis management in order to support and reinforce sustainable development.
3. As a result of the process of globalization and its economic, social and environmental consequences, an increasing number of issues cannot be effectively addressed by countries individually. The financing for the implementation of Agenda 21 is expected to be met, in general, from domestic resources; additional international financial support will also be very important for developing countries. So far, the provision of financial resources required for the implementation of Agenda 21, particularly in developing countries, has fallen far short of needs. Therefore, all financial commitments entered into under Agenda 21, particularly those contained in chapter 33, and the provision with regard to new and additional resources that are both adequate and predictable need to be urgently fulfilled. As recognized in Agenda 21, the cost of inaction could outweigh the financial costs of implementing Agenda 21.

Priorities for future work

4. The Commission will continue to address financial resources and mechanisms within the context of the themes to be discussed in 2001. The next comprehensive discussion of financial resources and mechanisms for sustainable development will take place at the comprehensive review, in 2002, of progress since the United Nations Conference on Environment and Development. The review will benefit from the outcome of the high-level international intergovernmental event on financing for development which will take place in 2001. In support of the preparatory process leading up to the comprehensive review, a further meeting of the Expert Group on Finance for Sustainable Development is planned to be held in 2001 in Budapest, Hungary.
5. Priority areas for future work of the Commission will include the following:
(a) Mobilization of domestic financial resources for sustainable development;
(b) Promotion of international cooperation and mobilization of international finance for sustainable development;
(c) Strengthening of existing financial mechanisms and exploration of innovative ones;
(d) Improvement of institutional capacity and promotion of public/private partnerships.

Mobilization of domestic financial resources for sustainable development

6. Considering the importance of mutually supportive international and national enabling economic environments in the pursuit of sustainable development, Governments are urged:
(a) To promote the mobilization of domestic financial resources and to establish the basis for an enabling environment through, inter alia, sound macroeconomic policies; a dynamic private sector; and transparent, effective, participatory and accountable governance, conducive to sustainable development and responsive to the needs of the people;
(b) To increase cooperation for addressing capital flight and for considering issues related to capital repatriation in order to broaden the domestic resource base for financing sustainable development;
(c) Taking into account their levels of development and institutional capacity, to consider ways and means to integrate environmental considerations into the management of public policies and programmes, including public finance;
(d) Where they have not already done so, to continue to design and implement national sustainable development strategies, which are due by 2002, in accordance with the Programme for the Further Implementation of Agenda 21;
(e) To conduct studies and research on ways and means of implementing a range of economic instruments, including, inter alia, the application of the polluter pays principle, and fiscal instruments, including wider use of environmental taxes and charges; such policies should be decided by each country, taking into account its own characteristics and capabilities, especially as reflected in national sustainable development strategies, and should avoid adverse effects on competitiveness and on the provision of basic social services for all;
(f) To provide the necessary incentives for sustained private investment, including macroeconomic, legal, environmental policy and regulatory frameworks that would reduce risks and uncertainty for investors; assistance for capacity-building should be provided to developing countries and countries with economies in transition to enable them to design effective environmental regulation and market-based instruments and to use them widely, taking into account their different levels of development.

Promotion of international cooperation and mobilization of international finance for sustainable development

7. Sustainable development requires that countries pursue consistently pro-sustainable development policies in all areas. Developed countries should work in partnership with developing countries to help develop, adopt and implement effective strategies to achieve sustainable development. Developed countries should integrate into their strategies effective and concrete measures to support developing countries in achieving sustainable development, in accordance with commitments made at Rio, taking into account the sustainable development policies of recipient countries to the maximum extent possible.
8. Governments are encouraged to develop policies to enhance the efficiency and effectiveness of aid; policy dialogue; transparent, effective, participatory and accountable governance, conducive to sustainable development and responsive to the needs of the people; sound management of public affairs; and the participation of civil society, in cooperation, as necessary, with donors and international organizations.
9. For many developing countries, in particular least developed countries, ODA is the main source of external funding. Donors are urged to improve the allocation of ODA to more effectively reduce poverty. Governments of developed countries are urged to increase the quality and quantity of ODA. Governments of developed countries that have not yet fulfilled the commitments undertaken to reach the agreed United Nations target of 0.7 per cent of gross national product (GNP) for ODA are urged to do so as soon as possible, and where agreed, within that target, to earmark 0.15 to 0.20 per cent of their GNP for the least developed countries. In this regard, new ODA should preferably be provided in the form of grants, taking into account, inter alia, the needs and financial situation of recipient countries. All aid should be carefully targeted to achieve maximum effectiveness, taking into account the specific circumstances of the recipient countries. The eradication of poverty, the enhancement of productive employment and the reduction of unemployment, and the fostering of social integration through sustainable development in the framework of international development are important elements in achieving the targets derived from the United Nations conferences and summits of the 1990s.
10. Creditor countries and international financial institutions are urged to implement speedily the enhanced Heavily Indebted Poor Countries (HIPC) Initiative to provide ?deeper, broader and faster? debt relief to the eligible countries in order to allow as many countries as possible to benefit from assistance under the initiative as soon as possible. In this regard, donors are urged to implement their financing pledges for the enhanced HIPC Initiative, and without further delay agree on an overall financing plan for the HIPC Trust Fund, and to provide cancellation of bilateral official debt to countries qualifying for the enhanced HIPC Initiative. In this context, it is noted that multilateral debt-relief funds can have a positive impact in respect of assisting Governments in safeguarding or increasing expenditures on priority social sectors, and donors are encouraged to continue efforts in this regard.
11. HIPC countries are urged to develop their national poverty strategies in a participatory way so that debt relief is linked with poverty eradication and allows debtor countries to utilize budgetary savings for social expenditures in order to have maximum impact on poverty eradication. Eligible countries that have not yet entered the HIPC process are urged to implement the necessary policy measures to enable them to participate as soon as possible. The debt-relief programme should form part of a comprehensive macroeconomic framework to facilitate the release of substantial resources for financing for development and to enable debtor countries not to fall back into arrears. Efforts should be undertaken to eliminate the structural causes of indebtedness. Debt relief alone is not enough and should be complemented, inter alia, by increased market access for developing countries, taking into account existing agreements and arrangements for special and differential treatment for developing countries, provision of ODA and promotion of private investment, as well as by necessary domestic reforms.
12. It is recognized that the highly indebted middle-income developing countries and other highly indebted middle-income countries have difficulties in meeting their external debt and debt-servicing obligations, and it is noted that the worsening situation in some of them in the context, inter alia, of higher liquidity constraints, may require debt treatment, including, as appropriate, debt reduction measures. Concerted national and international action is called for to address effectively debt problems of middle-income developing countries with a view to resolving their potential long-term debt sustainability problems through various debt-treatment measures, including, as appropriate, orderly mechanisms for debt reduction. All creditor and debtor countries are encouraged to utilize to the fullest extent possible, where appropriate, all existing mechanisms for debt reduction, including debt swaps.
13. In order to attract foreign investment, including FDI, Governments are urged to put in place the policies, institutions and capacities needed for their economies to function in a predictable, transparent, non-discriminatory and stable fashion to facilitate market-driven investment within the appropriate regulatory framework. The international community should support the efforts of developing countries, in particular the least developed countries, and countries with economies in transition, to develop their capacity to deepen this process to attract FDI and to devise appropriate measures by providing assistance in capacity-building, in developing and implementing sound economic policies, and in promoting the transfer of environmentally sound technology, including publicly owned technologies, to developing countries as stipulated in Agenda 21 and the Programme for the Further Implementation of Agenda 21. Ways and means of utilizing ODA for the leveraging of private investment in sustainable development should be further explored.
14. Given the potentially important role that private capital flows play in supporting sustainable development, Governments, in cooperation with international organizations, are urged to consider and implement appropriate measures to increase and enhance their productivity through prudent macroeconomic management and financial sector supervision, and to promote regional and subregional cooperation in this regard. There is also a need to address the destabilization of countries arising, in part, from volatile, speculative and rapid movements of private capital. In this regard, measures are also needed in order to promote stable and transparent financial systems at the national and international levels.

Strengthening of existing financial mechanisms and exploration of
innovative ones

15. Innovative approaches should be pursued in order to further strengthen the existing financial mechanisms of multilateral environmental agreements (MEAs) in a stable and predictable manner. The global mechanism of the Convention on Biological Diversity also requires strengthening.
16. Governments are encouraged to promote the use of innovative financial mechanisms. In this regard, Governments in cooperation with international organizations and major groups should continue to engage in study and research on ways to make such mechanisms more practical and effective, inter alia, by learning from the experience of others, and to adapt those mechanisms to the particular circumstances of individual countries. These mechanisms are not a substitute for other sources of finance for sustainable development, namely, ODA, FDI, funding from international financial institutions, foreign portfolio investment and domestic resources.
17. The Global Environment Facility (GEF), which is an important mechanism for providing funding to developing countries and those with economies in transition for projects and activities targeting global environmental benefits in sustainable development, should be strengthened and broadened within its mandate.







Improvement of institutional capacity and promotion of public/private partnerships

18. The private sector can play a major role in promoting and contributing to sustainable development. International organizations and Governments should initiate further innovative pilot projects and partnership arrangements that encourage the private sector and other major groups to finance sustainable development.
19. International organizations are urged to better coordinate their work in the area of finance for sustainable development in order to avoid duplication and to raise their effectiveness, focusing on their respective areas of competence where they have a clear comparative advantage. In this regard, better cooperation and dialogue are needed between international organizations, including the Bretton Woods institutions, the World Trade Organization, the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD), the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and GEF.
20. Governments and international organizations should improve their coordination efforts, using the United Nations Development Assistance Framework (UNDAF), the Comprehensive Development Framework proposed by the World Bank and the poverty reduction strategy process initiated by the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund (IMF), taking into account all aspects of sustainable development.
21. International organizations, Governments and major groups are encouraged to undertake further research and other activities in the following areas:
(a) The relationship between FDI and sustainable development, with a view to identifying how FDI can best promote sustainable development;
(b) Capacity-building for the mobilization of foreign and domestic financial resources for sustainable development;
(c) ?Green? budget reforms as well as the various aspects of an effective implementation of environmental taxes and charges;
(d) Innovative international financial mechanisms.
22. The Commission discussed the proposal of convening an ad hoc intergovernmental panel to undertake an analytical study of the lack of progress in the fulfilment of the commitments made in the areas of finance, with a view to making recommendations to synchronize the progress on sectoral issues with cross-sectoral areas, but no agreement could be reached on the convening of such a panel.


Reference
E/CN.17/2000/20
[Arabic] [Chinese] [English] [French] [Russian] [Spanish] 8th session of the Commission on Sustainable Development
E/CN.17/2000/20 - Forests

Decision 8/2
Report of the Intergovernmental Forum on Forests on its fourth session


The Commission on Sustainable Development:
(a) Welcomes the report of the Intergovernmental Forum on Forests on its fourth session and endorses the conclusions and proposals for action contained therein;
(b) Invites the Economic and Social Council and the General Assembly, as appropriate, to take action on the proposed terms of reference for an international arrangement on forests, as recommended by the Forum and contained in the appendix to chapter III of the report of the Forum on its fourth session, and as reproduced in the annex to the present decision;
(c) Invites the President of the Economic and Social Council to initiate, before the substantive session of 2000 of the Council, informal consultations on options for placing the United Nations Forum on Forests within the intergovernmental machinery of the United Nations system.

Annex

International arrangement on forests


I. Objective

1. The main objective of this international arrangement on forests is to promote the management, conservation and sustainable development of all types of forests and to strengthen long-term political commitment to this end. The purpose of such an international arrangement would be to promote the implementation of internationally agreed actions on forests, at the national, regional and global levels, to provide a coherent, transparent and participatory global framework for policy implementation, coordination and development, and to carry out principal functions, based on the Rio Declaration on Environment and Development, Non-legally Binding Authoritative Statement of Principles for a Global Consensus on the Management, Conservation and Sustainable Development of All Types of Forests (Forest Principles), chapter 11 of Agenda 21 and the outcomes of the Intergovernmental Panel on Forests (IPF)/Intergovernmental Forum on Forests (IFF) process, in a manner consistent with and complementary to existing international legally binding instruments relevant to forests.

II. Principal functions

2. To achieve the objective, this international arrangement on forests will perform the following functions:
(a) Facilitate and promote the implementation of the IPF/IFF proposals for action as well as other actions that may be agreed upon, inter alia, through national forest programmes and other integrated programmes relevant to forests; catalyse, mobilize and generate financial resources; and mobilize and channel technical and scientific resources to this end, including by taking steps towards the broadening and development of mechanisms and/or further initiatives to enhance international cooperation;
(b) Provide a forum for continued policy development and dialogue among Governments, which would involve international organizations and other interested parties, including major groups, as identified in Agenda 21, to foster a common understanding on sustainable forest management and to address forest issues and emerging areas of priority concern in a holistic, comprehensive and integrated manner;
(c) Enhance cooperation as well as policy and programme coordination on forest-related issues among relevant international and regional organizations, institutions and instruments, as well as contribute to synergies among them, including coordination among donors;
(d) Foster international cooperation, including North-South and public-private partnerships, as well as cross-sectoral cooperation at the national, regional and global levels;
(e) Monitor and assess progress at the national, regional and global levels through reporting by Governments, as well as by regional and international organizations, institutions and instruments, and on this basis consider future actions needed;
(f) Strengthen political commitment to the management, conservation and sustainable development of all types of forests through: ministerial engagement; developing ways to liaise with the governing bodies of international and regional organizations, institutions and instruments; and the promotion of action-oriented dialogue and policy formulation related to forests.

III. Structure

3. To achieve the objective and to carry out the functions outlined above, the Economic and Social Council and the General Assembly would:
(a) Establish an intergovernmental body which may be called the United Nations Forum on Forests (UNFF);
(b) Invite the executive heads of relevant organizations of the United Nations system and heads of other relevant international and regional organizations, institutions and instruments to form a collaborative partnership on forests to support the work of UNFF and to enhance cooperation and coordination among participants;
(c) Within five years, on the basis of the assessment referred to in paragraph 2 (e) above, consider with a view to recommending the parameters of a mandate for developing a legal framework on all types of forests. This process could develop the financial provisions to implement any future agreed legal framework. The process could also consider recommendations made by expert groups (see para. 8 below) on the establishment of mechanisms on finance, technology transfer and trade;
(d) Take steps to devise approaches towards appropriate financial and technology transfer support to enable the implementation of sustainable forest management, as recommended under the IPF and IFF processes.

IV. Working modalities of UNFF

4. UNFF should be open to all States and operate in a transparent and participatory manner. Relevant international and regional organizations, including regional economic integration organizations, institutions and instruments, as well as major groups, as identified in Agenda 21, should also be involved.
5. UNFF would initially meet annually, for a period of up to two weeks, subject to the review referred to below. UNFF would have a high-level ministerial segment for two to three days, as required. The high-level segment could include a one-day policy dialogue with the heads of organizations participating in the collaborative partnership, as well as other forest-related international and regional organizations, institutions and instruments. UNFF should ensure the opportunity to receive and consider inputs from representatives of major groups as identified in Agenda 21, in particular through the organization of multi-stakeholder dialogues.
6. UNFF would work on the basis of a multi-year programme of work, drawing on the elements reflected in the Rio Declaration on Environment and Development, the Forest Principles, chapter 11 of Agenda 21 and the IPF/IFF proposals for action.
7. At its first meeting UNFF will adopt its multi-year programme of work and develop a plan of action for the implementation of IPF/IFF proposals for action, which will address financial provisions.
8. UNFF may recommend, as appropriate, the convening of ad hoc expert groups of limited duration, involving experts from developed and developing countries, for scientific and technical advice, as well as to consider mechanisms and strategies for the finance and transfer of environmentally sound technologies; and encourage country-sponsored initiatives, such as international expert meetings.

V. Institutional coordination and cooperation for implementation

9. The collaborative partnership referred to in paragraph 3 (b) above could build on a high-level informal group, such as the Inter-Agency Task Force on Forests, which would receive guidance from UNFF; facilitate and promote coordinated and cooperative action, including joint programming and submissions of coordinated proposals to the respective governing bodies; and facilitate donor coordination. Such a partnership would submit coordinated inputs and progress reports to UNFF, operate in an open, transparent and flexible manner, and undertake periodic reviews of its effectiveness.

VI. Secretariat

10. A compact secretariat, comprised of highly qualified staff, constituted in accordance with established rules and procedures of the United Nations and strengthened through staff from secretariats of international and regional organizations, institutions and instruments, should be established to support the work described above.

VII. Financial support

11. The funding for the functioning of the arrangement should be mobilized from the regular budget of the United Nations, within existing resources, resources of organizations participating in the partnership and extrabudgetary resources provided by interested donors. Specific modalities would be determined by relevant bodies of the United Nations and the governing bodies of the other organizations concerned.

VIII. Review

12. The international arrangement on forests should be dynamic and adapt to evolving conditions. Accordingly, the effectiveness of this arrangement would be reviewed in five years.


Reference
E/CN.17/2000/20
[Arabic] [Chinese] [English] [French] [Russian] [Spanish] 8th session of the Commission on Sustainable Development
E/CN.17/2000/20 - Land

Decision 8/3
Integrated planning and management of land resources


1. Introduction

1. The main objectives of activities in the area of integrated planning and management of land resources must be pursued in full accordance with Agenda 21 and the Programme for the Further Implementation of Agenda 21. It is important that countries address sustainable development through a holistic approach, such as ecosystem-based management. This approach would address interactions among land resources, water, air, biota and human activities, in order to meet the priority challenges of desertification and drought, sustainable mountain development, prevention and mitigation of land degradation, coastal zones, deforestation, climate change, rural and urban land use, urban growth and conservation of biological diversity. Integrated watershed management provides one of the commonly understood frameworks for achieving a holistic approach to sustainable development. The application of the ecosystem-based approach should take into consideration the livelihood opportunities of people living in poverty in rural areas, and a balance should be found through the use of policy instruments between environmental conservation and rural livelihood.
2. The importance of integrated planning and management of land resources derives from the unprecedented population pressures and demands of society on land, water and other natural resources, as well as the increasing degradation of resources and threats to the stability and resilience of ecosystems and the environment as a whole, in part as a result of climate change. These trends highlight the need for each country to ensure for its citizens within the limit of its national legislation, equal access and rights to land, water and other natural and biological resources, and to resolve competition among various domestic sectors for land resources.


3. The challenge is to develop and promote sustainable and productive land-use management systems as part of national and local strategies for sustainable development and to protect critical natural resources and ecosystems through balancing land, water and other natural resources. Governments are encouraged to provide transparent, effective, participatory and accountable governance conducive to sustainable development and responsive to the needs of people. Social and health aspects of land-use systems deserve particular attention and should be integrated into the overall planning process.

2. Priorities for future work

4. The review of implementation of Agenda 21 in 2002 will benefit from the outcome of the eighth session of the Commission on Sustainable Development. Priority areas for future work should be defined by CSD and should include the following:
? Prevention and/or mitigation of land degradation;
? Access to land and security of tenure;
? Critical sectors and issues: biodiversity, forests, drylands, rehabilitation of mining areas, mountain areas, wetlands and coastal zones, coral reefs, natural disasters, and rural-urban and land management interactions;
? Access to information and stakeholder participation;
? International cooperation, including that for capacity-building, information-sharing and technology transfer;
? Minerals, metals and rehabilitation in the context of sustainable development.

3. Prevention and/or mitigation of land degradation

5. Governments and the international community are urged to make concerted efforts to eradicate poverty and to review unsustainable patterns of production and consumption as a crucial means for reducing land degradation, desertification, deforestation and destruction of biological diversity. Appropriate policies for planning and development are essential for ensuring the sustainable livelihoods of people living in poverty, inter alia, among rural communities.
6. Governments and the international community are encouraged to promote soil, water and vegetation conservation, protection, restoration and enhancement measures as a prerequisite of sustainable land management, agricultural production, food security and the protection of biological diversity, as well as of the prevention and mitigation of land degradation and natural disasters. In this regard, Governments, the international community, international organizations and other stakeholders are encouraged to develop partnerships to share information on and promote access to appropriate technologies and traditional knowledge.
7. The Commission recognized the important role that the international community, particularly States involved in the deployment of mines, can play in assisting mine clearance in mine-affected countries through the provision of necessary maps and information and appropriate technical and material assistance to remove or otherwise render ineffective existing minefields, mines and booby traps. Governments, the international community and other relevant actors are encouraged to formulate and implement strategies that specifically deal with the rehabilitation of land degraded by landmines, which cause human and environmental hazards and obstruct development plans, in accordance with international norms, standards and agreements.
8. Governments are encouraged to strengthen national, regional and local institutional frameworks for cross-sectoral cooperation in the formulation and implementation of land policies, taking into account specific national conditions and legislation.

4. Access to land and security of tenure

9. Recognizing the existence of different national laws and/or systems of land access and tenure, Governments, at appropriate levels, including the local authorities, are encouraged to develop and/or adopt policies and implement laws that guarantee to their citizens well-defined and enforceable land rights and promote equal access to land and legal security of tenure, in particular for women and disadvantaged groups, including people living in poverty and indigenous and local communities.
10. Governments are encouraged to develop adequate land administration systems supporting sustainable land tenure on the basis of land cadastres, land management, land valuation, land planning and monitoring and supervision of land use, where appropriate.
11. Governments are encouraged to include traditional landowners, land users and the landless, when undertaking land tenure reform, including the development of land cadastres, so as to focus on making traditional landowners and the landless active participants in the planning and development of land resources.
12. The international community and United Nations agencies and organizations are encouraged to provide technical and financial support to Governments? efforts to minimize socio-economic obstacles related to access to land and security of tenure.

5. Critical sectors and issues


(a) Biodiversity

13. Governments are urged to sign and ratify the Cartagena Protocol on Biosafety to the Convention on Biological Diversity and to support its effective implementation.
14. Governments and United Nations organizations are encouraged to promote only those applications of biotechnology that do not pose unacceptable risks to public health or the environment, bearing in mind ethical considerations, as appropriate.
15. Appropriate authorities are encouraged to ensure that land management plans and policies reflect priority consideration of: (a) areas containing high concentrations of biological diversity; (b) threatened ecosystems; and (c) species at risk.

(b) Forests

16. Governments and the international community are urged to effectively implement proposals for action emanating from the Intergovernmental Panel on Forests (IPF)/Intergovernmental Forum on Forests (IFF) to promote the management, conservation and sustainable development of all types of forests.

(c) Drylands

17. Governments and the international community are urged to undertake appropriate measures to address recurring droughts, desertification, the degradation of fragile land resources, and the depletion of scarce water resources in drylands. Priority is to be given to areas where there are high-population pressures and droughts.

(d) Mountain areas

18. Governments are urged to adequately plan and manage land resources in mountainous areas and associated lowlands, whose ecological processes are highly interdependent, and which are crucial for the integrated management of watersheds. In this regard, Governments and other mountain key players are also urged to recognize that small-scale livelihood systems are best suited to the niche economies that characterize fragile and complex mountain environments.
19. In cases where general use of mountain resources occurs, Governments are further urged to ensure that a significant proportion of derived benefits is reinvested locally for continued conservation and sound management of these critical land areas by local communities.

(e) Wetlands and coastal zones

20. Governments at all levels are encouraged to take into account the importance of conserving wetlands and critical coastal zones, including protected areas and other fragile ecosystems, in the formulation of national and subnational sustainable development strategies. Governments and the international community are encouraged to implement the recommendations of the Global Programme of Action for the Protection of the Marine Environment from Land-based Activities.

(f) Natural disasters

21. Governments and the international community are encouraged to formulate and implement strategies, in particular preventive ones, both short-term and long-term, for disaster management ? including the development of appropriate early warning systems and intervention plans ? to address phenomena associated with natural disasters, which result, inter alia, in land degradation and other negative social and economic impacts. In this regard, Governments and relevant regional and international organizations are urged to provide financial and technical assistance for relief and remedial support to developing countries and those with economies in transition.

(g) Rural-urban and land management interactions

22. Governments at national and local levels are urged to take strategic land management approaches aimed at creating enabling conditions, inter alia, for rural-urban interactions in which the development of human settlements can benefit disadvantaged groups, especially people living in poverty in rural and urban areas. Governments at national and local levels should also take strategic urban planning approaches aimed at managing urban growth and limiting urban sprawl.
23. Governments at national and local levels are encouraged to take into account land-use interdependence between rural and urban areas, and undertake implementation of integrated approaches to their administration, which is essential to sustainable rural and urban development and a more sustainable livelihood for people living in poverty. Governments at national and local levels and the international community are encouraged to adopt strategic urban planning approaches and to integrate them into urban land management planning with strategies for sustainable development, with particular reference to transportation, housing, infrastructure and urban agriculture. In this context, Governments are also urged to promote sustainable development at the peripheries of existing urban areas including informal settlements and urban sprawl.
24. Governments are urged to take into account the strategic role and responsibilities of local authorities and stakeholders in sustainable land use and are encouraged to empower local governments and local communities in the formulation and implementation, through, inter alia, financial and technical support, of sustainable land-use practices that promote interaction between rural and urban areas.

(h) Minerals, metals and rehabilitation in the context of sustainable development

25. Governments, the international community and other relevant actors are urged to examine the social, economic, and environmental impacts of minerals extraction and metals production and are encouraged to formulate and implement strategies that provide for the rehabilitation of land degraded by mining.

6. Stakeholder participation

26. Governments are urged to develop and strengthen capacity and institutional frameworks for effective participation of all stakeholders, including women, land workers, people living in poverty, indigenous and local communities and young people, in rural and urban land-use planning and management, and their access to information thereon.
27. Governments are invited to pursue or strengthen, as appropriate, the participation of all stakeholders in land-use planning and management.

7. International cooperation, including that for capacity-building, information-sharing and technology transfer

28. Governments and the international community are urged to fulfil the financial commitments as set out in chapter 33 of Agenda 21 to effectively support the implementation of integrated planning and management of land resources in developing countries, taking into account priorities identified by those countries.
29. The United Nations system is urged to support Governments in further promoting the implementation of the Habitat Agenda, adopted by the United Nations Conference on Human Settlements (Habitat II) (Istanbul, June 1996) and in linking it to the implementation of Agenda 21, including local Agenda 21 programmes. Support for the five-year review of Habitat II is encouraged.
30. Governments, in particular those of developed countries, and international organizations are further urged, inter alia, through appropriate arrangements, to provide technological assistance to developing countries and countries with economies in transition in implementing the integrated planning and management of land resources, as recommended in Agenda 21.
31. Governments and relevant international institutions are encouraged to develop and to use at all levels appropriate land-use indicators, best practices and related monitoring systems.
32. Governments are invited to consider cooperating, as appropriate, in the area of integrated planning and management of land resources, through information- and experience-sharing.
33. Governments, in particular those of developed countries, are urged, through appropriate arrangements, to further strengthen the use and transfer of appropriate technologies that are best adapted and suited to local conditions in developing countries, including decision support systems, such as geographical information systems (GIS) and global positioning systems (GPS), for integrated planning and management of land and other natural resources. In addition, Governments are urged to strengthen the capabilities of developing countries for the application of these technologies.
34. Governments are urged to promote land-related research, and extension and dissemination of technological information and innovative practices, and to undertake training programmes for land users, including farmers and agro-food industries, women and local communities, where appropriate, and other relevant stakeholders. In this regard, developed countries and the international community are urged to improve access to up-to-date information and technology by developing countries.
35. Governments are encouraged to sign, ratify and support the effective implementation of relevant international agreements, including the United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification in those Countries Experiencing Serious Drought and/or Desertification, particularly in Africa, as vital instruments for achieving integrated planning and management of land resources, and calls for additional support for their implementation.
36. States that have not yet done so are encouraged to sign and ratify the United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification in those Countries Experiencing Serious Drought and/or Desertification, particularly in Africa, the Convention on Biological Diversity and the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change and to take account of the complementarities among the relevant international instruments in order to improve land-use and land management, to promote sustainable forest and land-use practices and to generate the multiple benefits that may accrue from the implementation of these instruments, in particular with respect to combating desertification, loss of biodiversity and degradation of freshwater resources and carbon sequestration.
37. Governments are urged to ratify the Kyoto Protocol to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change.
38. The United Nations and other international development organizations are urged to assist developing countries in their efforts to achieve integrated planning and management of land resources, through financial support, transfer of environmentally sound technologies on mutually agreed terms, capacity-building and education and training.
39. Governments are encouraged ? taking into account work being done by, inter alia, the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD), the United Nations Centre for Human Settlements (Habitat), the regional commissions, other United Nations bodies and the Commission on Sustainable Development, as well as national and regional organizations, as appropriate ? to further consider the development and use of appropriate land-use indicators and monitoring systems for the purpose of assessing progress in the implementation of programmes for sustainable development, with special attention to the gender perspective.


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