Decisions: 17th session of the Commission on Sustainable Development
Commission on Sustainable Development

12. Strong economic performance in Africa is needed to ensure an enabling environment for sustainable development. African countries have taken the leadership in addressing sustainable development challenges, including challenges for sustainable agricultural development, and charting the way forward at the local, national, regional and continental levels, through such initiatives as the New Partnership for Africa?s Development. Nonetheless, average gross domestic product growth remains below the minimum target of seven per cent set by the Partnership and has often occurred in sectors with little impact on employment and income for the majority. Africa still faces challenges in meeting the Millennium Development Goals targets, which are not on track, inter alia, as a result of poorly developed infrastructure, the lack of institutional capacity, and the continuing needs for investment in agriculture. Africa needs a green revolution to help to boost agricultural productivity, food production and national and regional food security in a way which supports ecosystem functions. This would provide a strong foundation for addressing rural poverty, land degradation, drought and desertification. The ongoing multiple global crises pose a serious challenge to the sustainable development prospects of Africa, including sustainable agricultural development. Actions are therefore required at the local, national, regional and global levels to support the ecologically and socially sustainable use of natural resources, the diversification of African economies as well as an African green revolution and the economic, social and environmental dimension of Africa?s sustainable development. Actions are needed to:

(a) Revitalize agriculture as the basis for sustainable rural development. In that context:
(i) Reaffirm the political declaration on Africa?s development needs;11 adopted at the high-level meeting of the General Assembly, on 22 September 2008;
(ii) Take note of the High-level Ministerial Declaration on African Agriculture in the Twenty-First Century: Meeting the Challenges, Making a Sustainable Green Revolution,18 adopted in Windhoek on 10 February 2009 and other relevant meetings such as the Second African Conference on Sanitation and Hygiene, held in Durban, South Africa, in February 2008, and the Eleventh Ordinary Session of the African Union Assembly of Heads of State and Government, held in Sharm El-Shaik, Egypt, in July 2008;
(iii) Also take note of the International Conference on Water for Agriculture and Energy in Africa, held in Sirte, Libyan Arab Jamahiriya, in December 2008, and the African Conference of Ministers in Charge of Environment on Climate Change for Post 2012, held in Algiers, in November 2008;
(iv) Accelerate agricultural development in line with the Comprehensive Africa Agriculture Development Programme of the New Partnership for Africa?s Development, including the implementation of the Maputo Declaration on Agriculture and Food Security in Africa;
(v) Encourage and facilitate investment in rural infrastructure specifically to address the socio-economic development of rural communities and vulnerable groups;
(vi) Stimulate private investments in agriculture while supporting small farmers, gender equality, and promoting corporate social responsibility and environmental sustainability;
(vii) Increase donor support in order to meet existing commitment for the further development of African agriculture to complement domestic resource mobilization;
(viii) Increase research and development efforts for sustainable agriculture and rural development;
(ix) Support the revision and implementation of sustainable public agricultural policies, involving civil society and the private sector, for strengthening smallholder farms;
(x) Promote equitable access to land and clear and secure land tenure, in particular for women, indigenous peoples and other vulnerable groups;
(xi) Improve land governance, address reasons causing land conflicts and reduce land conflicts;
(xii) Take measures to boost productivity and sustainability, including by access to microfinance and skills development for farmers, especially women farmers;
(xiii) Ensure the equitable and sustainable use, as well as promote integrated management and development, of national and shared water resources in Africa, in accordance with existing international agreements and national priorities;
(xiv) Incorporate the social aspects of agricultural transformation into policy decisions, including managing rural-urban migrations, including through strong urban and rural job creation;
(xv) Support African countries to integrate climate change adaptation and disaster risk reduction based on scientific and traditional knowledge and local experience into agricultural policies as well as national development plans;
(b) Integrate African farmers and local entrepreneurs into agricultural supply chains. In that context:
(i) Provide timely access by farmers to affordable public and private inputs and credit and access to public and private insurance instruments;
(ii) Support further the participation of farmer organizations into decision-making processes at all levels;
(iii) Facilitate and support the strengthening of commercial and technical capacity of farmer organizations, including through extension services;
(iv) Increase support, from all sources, to the improvement of market infrastructure and market information systems, including the development and strengthening of rural-urban linkages;
(v) Increase efforts to lower barriers and improve infrastructure to create and expand sustainable domestic and regional food markets;
(vi) Develop national systems incorporating both public and private initiatives to reduce pre- and post- harvest losses, especially through infrastructure and transport development, improvement of storage capacity and supply chains functioning and technology transfer where mutually agreed;
(vii) Foster agro-industries and generate local value added;
(viii) Encourage agro-ecological practices, including the promotion of traditional agricultural practices and, in general, indigenous knowledge, as some of the resources to develop sustainable agricultural production models;
(c) Promote an enabling environment for sustainable development. In that context:
(i) Reaffirm that good governance at all levels is essential for sustained economic growth, poverty eradication and sustainable development;
(ii) Welcome and further encourage the progress many African countries have made with respect to implementing pro-poor economic policies, deepening democracy, protecting human rights and strengthening active participation of civil society and other major stakeholders;
(iii) Stress the importance of African-led initiatives to strengthen political, economic and corporate governance, such as the Africa Peer Review Mechanism;
(iv) Underline that development, peace and security and human rights are interlinked and mutually reinforcing;
(v) Stress that conflict prevention, resolution and management and post-conflict consolidation are essential for the achievement of sustainable development in Africa;
(vi) Welcome and encourage the continuing progress that the African Union and the subregional organizations have made in this regard, inter alia, through the strengthening of Africa?s peace and security architecture;
(vii) Support and strengthen Governments? capacities to manage their resources by strengthening and adhering to their policies and legislations;
(viii) Acknowledge that Africa is the first regional group to have already adopted a regional Ten-Year Framework of Programmes on Sustainable Consumption and Production, which could be used as a tool for poverty eradication;
(d) Ensure the integration of Africa into world trade. In that context:
(i) Improve the access and integration of farmers into local, regional and world markets;
(ii) Accelerate Africa?s regional integration and integration into world markets;
(iii) Encourage further coordination among the African Union, the New Partnership for Africa?s Development partners and the regional economic communities;
(iv) Encourage and support African regional economic organizations to play a key role within the context of the ongoing multiple global crises. Regarding food security, underline the key role that regional economic organizations should play in terms of: support to and coordination of national strategies and policies for agricultural development and food security; improvement of the institutional environment for the agricultural economy; and sustainable management of trans-boundary water resources, in accordance with international agreements;
(e) Continue to reduce the debt burden of African countries. In that context:
(i) Continue efforts, including through effective debt management, to achieve long-term debt sustainability, which is an essential underpinning for growth, as well as for efforts to achieve national sustainable development goals, including the Millennium Development Goals;
(ii) Continue to focus on the poorest countries, but also extend debt restructuring, as necessary and appropriate, even to those countries that are not eligible for assistance under the Heavily Indebted Poor Countries Initiative;
(f) Increase development aid to Africa. In that context:
(i) Scale up international community support for the implementation of various programmes under the auspices of the New Partnership for Africa?s Development, in particular its Comprehensive Africa Agriculture Development Programme and its environment programme;
(ii) Urge donors to meet commitments in particular the Group of Eight commitment to double official development assistance to Africa by 2010 in order to support efforts to achieve the Millennium Development Goals, in particular poverty eradication;
(iii) Ensure that increases in the volume of official development assistance are accompanied by improvements in the effectiveness of aid, including the full implementation of the Accra Agenda for Action;
(iv) Ensure the official development assistance is supportive of national development priorities and poverty reduction programmes and respects national systems of recipient countries so as to increase national ownership and effectiveness;
(v) Increase efforts to promote North-South, South-South and triangular cooperation to further the implementation of sustainable development in Africa;
(g) Increase domestic and foreign investment. In that context:
(i) Increase investment in all types of infrastructure and maintenance of existing infrastructure, in particular rural infrastructure to support rural development, and investment in renewable energy and energy efficiency, where appropriate;
(ii) Encourage private capital to increase flows to Africa by developing a conducive investment climate through international cooperation and global partnership;
(iii) Support economic diversification through investments and focus on activities that add value for exports;
(h) Improve income distribution and promote social development. In that context:
(i) Increase socio-economic benefits to the general population, in particular rural communities and women;
(ii) Promote actions to improve the access of African populations, in particular the most vulnerable ones, to basic primary services and support sustainable economic growth in order to improve the livelihoods of African populations;
(iii) Prioritize, where appropriate, national expenditures on and international aid flows to water and sanitation, as well as for capacity-building, the promotion of integrated water resources management and public-private partnerships;
(iv) Encourage support in strengthening health systems, in particular on reducing infant and maternal mortality and addressing HIV/AIDS, tuberculosis and malaria, and highlight the need to provide access to adequate nutrition to affected communities and households;
(v) Encourage all efforts to support access to basic primary education and promote improvements in the quality of education in all African countries at all levels, focusing in particular on women?s and girls? education and education in post-conflict areas;
(vi) Support existing centres of excellence and encourage the establishment of new centres;
(vii) Support efforts to generate and deepen knowledge and research, inclusive of technical and vocational training and higher education systems;
(i) Promote, enable and support adaptation to climate change. In that context:
Promote, enable and support the implementation of the three Rio Conventions in Africa, and in this context ensure cooperation and coordination while respecting the individual mandates.


1. In the past few years, agriculture has risen once more to the top of national and international policy agendas. Agriculture lies at the centre of sustainable development. It plays a crucial role in addressing the food security needs of a growing global population and contributing to the progressive realization of the right to adequate food and is inextricably linked to poverty eradication and attainment of the internationally agreed development goals, including the Millennium Development Goals. To this end, there must be mobilization of the political will and commitment of Governments and other relevant stakeholders, at the international and national levels, to revive the agricultural sectors in developing countries.

2. Boosting agricultural productivity, improving soil quality, ensuring the safety of food and, as appropriate, enhancing the nutritional quality of food is essential and needs to be done in ways that are socially, economically and environmentally sustainable. Moreover, a comprehensive approach integrating post-harvest storage and processing to reduce losses and add value, distribution and marketing infrastructure to link to markets and capacity-building at all stages, particularly in developing countries, is needed. Farmers and farm workers, female and male, especially small, and resource-poor, indigenous people and rural communities, need to be central actors in a green revolution in a sustainable way, with a sound balance and mutually beneficial linkages among small- and large-scale agricultural enterprises.

3. Such a revolution should be implemented by vitalizing sustainable agriculture and rural development in developing countries, in particular in Africa and the least developed countries. It needs to take into account national priorities and mutually beneficial linkages among farms enterprises of all scales adapted to site-specific agroecosystems and climate, building on local knowledge and experience while availing of the best available science, technology and know-how.

4. These efforts should include creating and promoting an enabling environment to increase and sustain investment in agricultural sectors of developing countries, as well as to ensure that trade is supportive of agriculture. Market access for agricultural products should be substantially improved, the parallel elimination of all forms of export subsidies and disciplines on all export measures with equivalent effect should be ensured, and trade-distorting domestic support should be substantially reduced, in accordance with the mandate for the Doha Round and the Hong Kong Ministerial Declaration on the Doha Work Programme, adopted at the Sixth Ministerial Conference of the World Trade Organization, held in Hong Kong, China, from 13 to 18 December 2005. Special and differential treatment for developing countries shall be an integral part of all elements of the Doha Round and shall enable them to effectively take account of their development needs, including food security and rural development.

5. Agriculture is also dependent on climate and sensitive to climate change. Sustainable agricultural practices as well as sustainable forest management can contribute to meeting climate change concerns. Sustainable soil, land, livestock, forest, biodiversity and water management practices, and resilient crops are essential. To this end, international, regional and national efforts to strengthen the capacity of developing countries to enhance agricultural productivity and to promote sustainable practices in pre-harvest and post-harvest agricultural activities are urgently needed.

6. The following actions will be required at the local, national, regional and global levels in accordance with national priorities and legislations:
(a) Enhance agriculture production, productivity and sustainability. In that context:
(i) Employ science-based agricultural approaches, and local and indigenous knowledge, while undertaking research and development, to improve plant varieties, livestock, and soil. Encourage development and adoption of locally appropriate farming systems and agricultural practices;
(ii) Promote the use of soil conservation and improvement techniques, including integrated nutrient management and nutrient use efficiency, especially to prevent degradation of vulnerable land and restore degraded land;
(iii) Promote sound water management and saving in agriculture through efficient irrigation, water harvesting and storage, treatment and reuse;
(iv) As appropriate, support countries to strengthen research in areas of growing market demands, such as organic agriculture;
(v) Encourage the production and use of sustainable bio-based products in agriculture;
(vi) Expand public investments and incentives, in particular for small-scale producers in developing countries, including women, to increase production of a wide spectrum of traditional and other crops and livestock, and to accelerate the transition to sustainable production;
(vii) Recognize that forests and trees outside forests provide multiple economic, social and environmental benefits, and emphasize that sustainable forest management contributes significantly to sustainable development and poverty eradication;
(viii) Recognize the importance of achieving the objectives of the International Treaty of Plant Genetic Resources for Food and Agriculture and the full implementation by its Parties;
(ix) Recognize the importance of achieving the objectives of the Global Plan of Action for Animal Genetic Resources and its implementation by committed countries;
(x) Conserve and use sustainably biodiversity in order to strengthen the resilience of agriculture and enhance food security in accordance with international obligations as well as national laws and regulations with regard to fair and equitable sharing of benefits;
(xi) Encourage the adoption of measures for the management and control of invasive species;
(xii) Provide targeted and timely technical assistance and support to farmers, especially small-scale farmers, including women, in developing countries for accessing affordable inputs;
(xiii) Encourage and support safe and effective integrated pest management strategies for agriculture;
(xiv) Enhance international knowledge-sharing, cooperation, capacity-building and support on sustainable agriculture, including the exchange of good agricultural practices;
(xv) Assist countries in the enhancement of the nutritional quality of foods, where appropriate;
(xvi) Underline the need for greater access to microfinance, including microcredit, in developing countries, in particular for small farmers, which can contribute to increasing agricultural productivity and rural development;
(xvii) Assist developing countries, especially those affected by natural disasters, in the development and design of risk management systems for agriculture, including crop insurance policies;
(xviii) Take action to reduce the loss of pollinators, including through international cooperation and partnerships;
(xix) Increase awareness of non-trade distorting models where farmers are encouraged to adopt practices that would restore, maintain and enhance ecosystem services;
(b) Create a strong enabling environment for sustainable agriculture. In that context:
(i) Raise the share of government budgets devoted to agriculture, as appropriate, and encourage donors to respond to requests from developing countries to increase the share of official development assistance for agriculture and rural development, as appropriate;
(ii) Encourage greater direct investment, including foreign direct investment consistent with national agricultural and land-use policies and international obligations, in the agriculture sector in developing countries, in particular in Africa, to support their efforts to boost sustainable agricultural production, in order to achieve the Millennium Development Goals;
(iii) Underscore the importance of support to agricultural research, and calls for continued support to international agricultural research systems, especially for sustainable agriculture, including through the international research centres of the Consultative Group on International Agricultural Research, as well as other relevant international organizations;
(iv) Strengthen research education and extension that advances the practice of sustainable agriculture and rural development. Improve linkages among research, instruction in schools and universities, and diffusion of knowledge by extension services;
(v) Expand agricultural extension services to help smallholders to access and take advantage of modern information and communications technology;
(vi) Strengthen multi-stakeholder participation and partnerships in the development and implementation of the sustainable agriculture and rural development practices;
(vii) Provide increased technical assistance to developing countries to strengthen national innovation capacity, training and extension services in sustainable agriculture, fish, livestock and integrated crop-forest and crop-livestock production systems;
(viii) Support the capacity of developing countries to rehabilitate and develop rural and agricultural infrastructure sectors;
(ix) Provide access for small and resource-poor farmers to the legal system and legal services;
(c) Manage sustainably competing uses of water and land resources. In that context:
(i) Support the implementation of sustainable and efficient water resources development and management schemes, including integrated water resources management within each country, and, where appropriate, through international cooperation, and improve irrigation efficiencies, ground water and on-farm soil, and water management practices, including for drinking water to overcome water shortages, improve water quality, and enhance food security;
(ii) Emphasize that it is essential to address the challenges and opportunities posed by biofuels, in view of the world?s food security, energy and sustainable development needs, noting ongoing efforts in this regard at the international, regional and national levels;
(iii) Promote continued research and development with a view to continuously enhance the sustainability of biofuels and other bioenergy sources, including through South-South, North-South, and triangular cooperation, and through the exchange of information and technical cooperation;
(iv) Foster expanded scientific and technical cooperation, including North-South and South-South cooperation, in the development, inter alia, of sustainable bioenergy production, arid and semi-arid agriculture, and in combating desertification;
(v) Assist developing countries to enhance their capacity to implement sustainable land management policies and programmes;
(d) Develop sustainable agricultural value chains and improve farmers? and agro-industry enterprises access to and participation in markets. In that context:
(i) Sustainably develop, in accordance with national circumstances and capabilities, the production and marketing of high-value and quality food staple crops and their processing. Create plans to increase the quantity and quality of the production of small-holder farmers as well as its value in local markets, including by increasing the contribution of local communities? products with the view to substantially increase the income of farmers, in particular smallholder and family farmers;
(ii) Assist developing countries to enhance their capacity to develop agro-industry;
(iii) Diffuse more widely pre- and post-harvest technologies to enable farmers in developing countries, including small-scale and women farmers, to realize greater value from their crops;
(iv) Support efforts to enhance food quality and safety and reduce wastage along the food chain by improving food handling, food testing, processing equipment, storage techniques, cold chain systems and transportation infrastructure;
(v) Encourage strong rural-urban linkages and partnerships between countryside and communities, to enhance livelihoods and food security;
(vi) As appropriate and in accordance with national conditions, build efficient and effective agricultural marketing institutions, including small-scale market infrastructure, and distribution networks, and enhance the availability of market information to farmers and farmer organizations through the effective use of information and communications technologies;
(vii) Advance the process of regional and global trade integration, including in Africa, thereby expanding markets and permitting economies of scale in agro-processing and agricultural input production;
(viii) Improve market access for high value-added agricultural exports, including processed agricultural exports, of developing countries;
(ix) Strengthen the assistance from the United Nations system and all relevant international organizations, appropriate to their mandates, to developing countries, to put in place the policies and measures to help farmers, particularly small-scale producers, increase production and integrate with local, regional and international markets;
(x) Enhance coordination and coherence among the United Nations system and all relevant international organizations, while respecting their individual mandates, in providing capacity building to small holder farmers in developing countries;
(e) Provide secure access to food and social safety nets. In that context:
(i) Encourage the development and implementation, as appropriate, of national, regional and international food security strategies for developing countries;
(ii) Invite international financial institutions and other funding agencies to put in place, as needed, streamlined procedures for timely disbursal of funds for food and agricultural input purchases;
(iii) Strengthen and coordinate the international community?s response to the global food crisis and longer-term support to sustainable agriculture.


11. Desertification and land degradation in arid, semi-arid and dry sub-humid areas are global problems that require a global response through concerted efforts, as recognized in the United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification. Desertification and land degradation continue to adversely affect agricultural activities, rural and urban development, land use, water resources and efforts to eradicate poverty and hunger and promote health and well-being. Combating desertification and land degradation and mitigating the effect of droughts require policies that, inter alia, link land use, food security and livelihoods to the goals of sustainable development, taking into account the adverse impacts of climate change and land use on land degradation, biodiversity losses and desertification and on the achievement of the Millennium Development Goals. Actions are needed to:
(a) Strengthen the institutional framework for policy implementation. In that context:
(i) Enhance cooperation among the Rio Conventions, while respecting their individual mandates, concerned by the negative impacts that desertification, land degradation, loss of biodiversity and climate change have on each other, and recognizing the potential benefits of complementarities in addressing these problems in a mutually supportive manner;
(ii) Call upon Governments where appropriate in collaboration with relevant multilateral organizations, including the Global Environment Facility implementation agencies, to integrate desertification and land degradation into their plans and strategies for sustainable development;
(iii) Integrate national action plans related to drought and desertification into national development strategies;
(iv) Ensure that national action plans in small island developing States address desertification of coastal areas;
(v) Support the implementation of the provisions of the United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification as well as the ten-year strategic plan, including through regional and international cooperation, provision of adequate and predictable financing, technology transfer and capacity-building;
(b) Implement practical measures to combat land degradation and desertification. In that context:
(i) Recognize the interrelationship between climate change, biodiversity loss and desertification and the need to intensify efforts to combat desertification and promote sustainable land management;
(ii) Promote sustainable land use and livelihoods, enhanced soil productivity, water use efficiency and greater tenure security for people living in the affected areas, including pastoralists;
(iii) Protect land resources through community-based sustainable natural resources management, based on scientific and indigenous knowledge;
(iv) Promote the rehabilitation and improved management of degraded lands, including increased integration of pastoral and agricultural land uses and the use of best farming and rangeland management practices;
(v) Promote sustainable water management and efficient irrigation, water conservation and utilization of alternative water sources, including flood water and subsurface flows;
(vi) Encourage land users to invest in soil and water conservation, including through land tenure security and access rights to land and natural resources for the rural population, particularly women, indigenous people and other vulnerable groups;
(vii) Reduce soil erosion and promote soil water retention through sustainable forest management and sustainable agroforestry practices;
(viii) Undertake measures and provide international assistance, promote national action and encourage subregional, regional and international cooperation to prevent sand dune movement, and reduce the frequency and severity of sandstorms, inter alia, by strengthening early warning systems and restoring vegetation and supporting related initiatives of rural communities in affected areas, particularly in developing countries;
(ix) Support appropriate traditional practices and local knowledge concerning land use, water management and agricultural activities;
(x) Harmonize various sectoral policies and programmes at the national level for arresting and reversing land degradation, and build coordination through convergence;
(c) Enhance capacity-building, transfer technology and financing. In that context:
(i) Promote scientific research and strengthen the scientific base on desertification and drought, which is essential for informed decision-making on sustainable land management and to measure the results and monitor the impact of programmes combating desertification;
(ii) Support the improvement of existing and the establishment of new centres of excellence and monitoring in developing countries to combat desertification and promote capacity-building to adopt and implement, inter alia, integrated techniques for the conservation of natural resources and their sustainable use, and invite regional and international programmes and funds as well as donors to provide support to affected countries in their endeavours to combat desertification;
(iii) Support the establishment of and strengthen existing disaster management capacities at all levels, including information and early warning systems that allow effective management of the risks associated with drought, desertification, land degradation and the adverse impacts of climate change;
(iv) Expand access to appropriate technologies to assess, analyse and quantify the nature, severity and impacts of land degradation and desertification and remedial actions, using remote sensing and Geographical Information Systems;
(v) Support developing countries in the development, deployment and diffusion of technologies on mutually agreed terms, including the sharing and scaling up of best practices and lessons learned in approaches undertaken at all levels to combat desertification such as sustainable agricultural practices, and conservation and rehabilitation of vegetation cover;
(vi) Build the capacity of affected communities to address the impacts of desertification by promoting participation, including through participatory approaches that involve civil society, local communities, indigenous people and other major groups, in particular women in decision-making and policy formulation;
(vii) Invest in sustainable land management, including land-use planning, sustainable management of forests and other natural resources, as it relates to combating desertification and land degradation in arid, semi-arid and dry sub-humid areas;
(viii) Mobilize adequate, predictable and timely financial resources for the implementation of the ten-year strategic plan of the United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification, in accordance with article 20 of the Convention, and continue to support the awareness-raising and policy work of the Convention secretariat;
(ix) Encourage developed countries and invite the Global Environment Facility Council to provide in the fifth replenishment of the Global Environment Facility adequate, timely, and predictable financial resources, including new and additional financial resources, for the focal area on land degradation;
(x) Invite the Global Environment Facility to facilitate access by affected countries, particularly those in Africa, to the full range of Global Environment Facility funds relating to land degradation and desertification;
(xi) Enhance regional cooperation in particular within the framework of the United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification, including through its five regional implementation annexes, and support regional initiatives and related national programmes for combating desertification, including the environment programme of the New Partnership for Africa?s Development and the Comprehensive Africa Agriculture Development Programme, the TerrAfrica Programme and other regional initiatives;
(xii) Strengthen international development cooperation, taking into account the relevance of addressing desertification and land degradation in accordance with the commitments under paragraph 18 of the Johannesburg Plan of Implementation to mobilize adequate and predictable financial resources from all sources.


10. Drought continues to threaten the livelihoods of millions of people. Combating drought is necessary to achieving sustainable development goals, including the maintenance of ecosystem services, and improving the livelihoods of millions of people living in drought-prone regions. The effects of climate change heighten the risk of droughts and drought severity and increase the need for effective drought management and disaster risk reduction. Drought must be addressed in an integrated fashion with the other themes of the current Commission on Sustainable Development cycle, considering social, economic and environmental aspects. Strategies for drought management, including contingency planning should be incorporated into sustainable agricultural practices, soil conservation, crop diversification and integrated water resources management and combating desertification, taking into account the legal framework and mandate of the United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification and its role in mitigating the effects of drought. Actions are needed to:

(a) Create a robust enabling environment for drought preparedness and mitigation. In that context:
(i) Prepare national drought management plans and/or risk reduction strategies and invite donors to assist developing countries in their efforts to integrate issues related to drought into national, regional and global sustainable development strategies and plans;
(ii) Support more proactive drought risk-management approaches;
(iii) Integrate policies and strategies for climate change adaptation and disaster risk reduction, taking into account the Hyogo Framework for Action, 2005-2015: Building the Resilience of Nations and Communities to Disasters and the Millennium Development Goals into national drought management plans and/or risk reduction strategies;
(iv) Highlight the importance of integrated water resources management as called for in the resolution of the Commission at its thirteenth session;
(v) Promote and implement effective national, regional and global drought information, forecasting and early warning systems that disseminate reliable information for communities living in drought-prone regions to enable them to take appropriate and proactive measures, with adequate support from their respective Governments, relevant institutions such as new and existing drought observatories and the international community;
(vi) Implement sustainable forest management, in particular reducing deforestation and promoting conservation and rehabilitation of vegetation cover, to combat desertification, mitigate drought effects and reduce land degradation as well as the adverse impacts of climate change;
(vii) Promote sustainable management of soil as one means for mitigating drought effects;
(viii) Promote North-South, South-South and triangular cooperation and partnering for capacity-building and improving effectiveness in planning, monitoring and implementation of drought management plans, including data gathering, information management, modelling, and forecasting;
(ix) Continue to mobilize financial resources from all sources to mitigate the effects of drought, including in accordance with the United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification, particularly articles 5, 6 and 20;
(b) Strengthen the knowledge base and information-sharing on drought, water stress and drought risk management. In that context:
(i) Invest in research and development, robust data collection, including through remote sensing, and information to assess and identify risk and to predict, plan for and manage droughts across time scales from seasonal to multi-year events, including short-, medium- and long-term events, taking into account traditional knowledge;
(ii) Promote the exchange of information, experiences and lessons learned in relation to drought risk management and reduction and increase public awareness about traditional and adaptable practices;
(iii) Encourage, and where appropriate, establish scientifically based drought- and desertification-related local, national, and where appropriate, regional indicators and benchmarks and related web-based information systems, bearing in mind the set of indicators under development within the United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification regarding the ten-year strategic plan and framework;
(iv) Establish guidelines for the development of drought indices for use in different parts of the world to facilitate the compilation and reporting of drought conditions;
(v) Increase knowledge-sharing and information on weather forecasts and climatic conditions among relevant key stakeholders, and increase the capacity to use such information before, during and after drought events;
(vi) Mobilize and enhance funding and support research and development on the underlying causes and effects of drought, including social, economic and environmental perspectives, as well as for improved techniques and practices that can improve food security and reduce human vulnerability;
(vii) Facilitate access to climate-related data relevant to mitigating the effects of drought, in accordance with national legislation, to relevant stakeholders for sustainable development;
(c) Enhance the resilience of communities to drought. In that context:
(i) Enhance social and economic resilience in drought-prone communities by encouraging community-based land tenure based on good governance principles, mixed livestock production and cropping, the implementation of water management schemes and the expansion of weather insurance schemes;
(ii) Continue to mobilize funding for research on and development of drought-tolerant seed varieties targeted towards national specificities, and facilitate access to such varieties, especially in drought prone countries in the developing world, while bearing in mind the use of improved irrigation techniques and enhancing water efficiency measures;
(iii) Encourage support for new and current strategies of rural communities to cope with and increase resilience to drought;
(iv) Promote sustainable land-use practices, including sustainable agricultural practices aimed at mitigating the effects of and adapting to drought;
(v) Promote globally improved information communications and data sharing, modelling and forecasting capabilities, including indigenous knowledge and improved user-based community resilience planning and implementation for rural and other communities, particularly in developing countries;
(vi) Promote innovative technical solutions and practices, combining them with traditional knowledge, for drought forecasting, impact assessment and early warning information systems and sustainable integrated water management;
(vii) Promote the participation of local communities in mitigating the effects of drought, combating desertification and land degradation, in particular by encouraging the involvement of vulnerable groups, including women, youth, pastoralists and indigenous peoples in decision-making processes leading to policies related to drought risk reduction;
(d) Enhance capacity-building, technology transfer and financing. In that context:
(i) Promote access to affordable, appropriate and necessary technology, and provide corresponding capacity-building to enable drought forecasting and planning, development of user-based drought-related management triggers across time scales, and sustainable management, including efficient use of scarce resources and arable land, as mutually agreed;
(ii) Provide technical support and enhance financial means to implement national and regional early warning systems to address drought, allowing for, inter alia, improved drought management plans, preparation, rapid mitigation and adaptation to drought, especially in developing countries;
(iii) Invite the Conference of the Parties to the United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification to continue to include drought risk reduction strategies and drought management plans in its work;
(iv) Strengthen cooperation and coordination among the three Rio Conventions to mitigate the effects of drought, while respecting their individual mandates.


13. Following the significant work already undertaken, coherence should continue to be enhanced between and within international processes and institutions having an impact on agriculture, food security and rural development, such as the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, the World Food Programme and International Fund for Agricultural Development, while noting the work already undertaken by the United Nations Secretary-General?s High-level Task Force on the Global Food Security Crisis.

14. Policy options and practical measures to expedite implementation should be participatory, multidisciplinary, multisectoral and mutually reinforcing. Policy options should take into consideration the interlinkages among the issues of the thematic clusters as well as cross-cutting issues in order to realize synergies and co-benefits.

15. The eradication of poverty and hunger remains the overarching objective of sustainable development. To this end, the immediate objective should be to meet the Millennium Development Goal of halving, by 2015, the proportion of the world?s people whose income is less than one dollar a day and the proportion of people who suffer from hunger in accordance with the Millennium Declaration target.

16. National sustainable development strategies should address in an integrated manner the social, economic and environmental pillars. These strategies should address, inter alia, the social dimension of globalization, the challenges of international migration, gender equality, multi-stakeholder engagement and policy coherence, as well as strategic assessments, in accordance with national legislation.

17. Revitalizing agriculture and promoting rural development can make an important contribution to eradicating poverty and hunger and to achieving food security as well as to improved health, the empowerment of women and the creation of productive employment opportunities for women, youth, indigenous peoples and local communities. Actions are needed to:

(a) Improve funding and strengthen public health systems in order to better combat, in particular, communicable diseases such as tuberculosis, malaria and HIV/AIDS;
(b) Increase investment in education infrastructure, and promote universal and free access to primary education and development of human resources capacity through appropriate education and training programmes in particular for rural youth in poor and vulnerable communities and expand access to education opportunities at all levels;
(c) Promote education and extension services related to agriculture and the food value chain in rural areas at all levels;
(d) Improve the knowledge base for national and regional policy responses to environmental threats to health by strengthening international capacity-building initiatives that assess health and environmental linkages;
(e) Undertake measures to improve and sustain the livelihoods of vulnerable groups such as women, youth, children, seniors, nomadic pastoralists, indigenous peoples, persons with disabilities and people living in very remote areas in developing countries;
(f) Empower rural women and promote land ownership and secure land tenure for women farmers; target capacity-building strategies at women farmers and women-headed households;
(g) Strengthen the human resources and institutional capacity of small island developing States and Africa for integrated rural development and sustainable management of natural resources, including in coastal zones and marine fisheries, wetlands, and build the capacity of small island developing States and Africa?s rural communities to help themselves, including by empowering women and youth;
(h) Promote the role of local authorities in partnership with other major groups to exchange information, build networks and create markets for small farmers, especially women and youth.
18. All countries and the international community should strive to manage biodiversity, water, land, and forest in a sustainable manner that also supports ecosystem functions, for the benefit of present and future generations and to facilitate the achievement of the Millennium Development Goals.
19. The Johannesburg Plan of Implementation sets out three overarching objectives of, and essential requirements for, sustainable development. Fundamental changes in the way societies produce and consume are indispensable for achieving global sustainable development. Actions include:
(a) Promoting sustainable consumption and production patterns, taking actions, including through the Marrakech Process, with developed countries taking the lead, with all countries benefiting from the process and taking into account the Rio principles including, inter alia, the principle of common but differentiated responsibilities and respective capabilities;
(b) Encouraging and promoting the development of ten-year frameworks of programmes in support of regional and national initiatives, to accelerate the shift towards sustainable consumption and production, to promote social and economic development within the carrying capacity of ecosystems by addressing and where appropriate, delinking economic growth and environment degradation through improving efficiency and sustainability in the use of resources and production processes and reducing resource degradation, pollution and waste, for deliberation at the eighteenth and nineteenth sessions of the Commission on Sustainable Development. In this regard, all countries should take action, with developed countries taking the lead, taking into account the development needs and capabilities of developing countries through mobilization, from all sources, of financial and technical assistance and capacity-building for developing countries;
(c) Supporting sustainable agricultural production including alternative methods of farming;
(d) Encouraging science-based approaches, such as life cycle analyses, which can help promote more sustainable production practices and offer consumers more sustainable consumption choices;
(e) Promoting education, awareness raising and information, as these can change consumers? behaviour and thus function as a means towards more sustainable lifestyles.
20. Climate change is an urgent global priority that has emerged as a key interlinkage that must be addressed in the context of sustainable development in accordance with the principle of common and differentiated responsibilities and respective capabilities. It impacts all themes under consideration in the current Commission on Sustainable Development cycle namely agriculture, land, rural development, drought, desertification, and Africa. The United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change is the key instrument for addressing climate change. Deliberations on this issue at the Commission should not prejudice the ongoing negotiations under the Framework Convention. In this regard, take actions to:
(a) Support the integration of climate change adaptation measures and disaster risk reduction strategies in agricultural and rural development strategies, sustainable land management and action plans to combat drought and desertification, in particular in developing countries;
(b) Support the development, transfer and diffusion of new technologies in developing countries, across the six themes as appropriate, including, inter alia, for resilient crop varieties and soil management methods to decrease vulnerability to climate change;
(c) Implement the Mauritius Strategy for the Further Implementation of the Programme of Action for Sustainable Development of Small Island Developing States in a manner that addresses climate change adaptation needs.
21. As contained in many outcomes of major United Nations conferences and summits such as the Johannesburg Plan of Implementation, the provision of means of implementation is critical to achieving global, regional and national policies in various areas, including the thematic areas of this cycle. The means of implementation encompass a range of policy options and practical measures. To complement local and national actions, international cooperation is essential. The internationally agreed development goals including those contained in the Millennium Declaration and Agenda 21, as well as in the Johannesburg Plan of Implementation, will require significant financial resources as elaborated in the Monterrey Consensus, including through new and additional financial resources, in particular to developing countries, to support the implementation of national policies and programmes developed by them, improve trade opportunities, access to and transfer of environmentally sound technologies, awareness-raising, and capacity-building. Actions are needed to:
(a) Enhance availability and effective use of finance for sustainable development. In that context:
(i) Call for the fulfilment of all official development assistance commitments, including the commitment by many developed countries to achieve the target of 0.7 per cent of gross national income for official development assistance to developing countries by 2015, and to reach the level of at least 0.5 per cent of gross national income for official development assistance by 2010, as well as the target of 0.15 0.20 per cent of gross national income for official development assistance to least developed countries, and urge those developed countries that have not yet done so to make concrete efforts in this regard in accordance with their commitments, recognizing the essential role of official development assistance, and the importance of other sources of financing for development, and deliver on commitments made in the Monterrey Consensus of the International Conference on Financing for Development;
(ii) Increase efforts to improve the quality of official development assistance and to increase its development impact. The Economic and Social Council Development Cooperation Forum, along with recent initiatives, such as the High-level Forums on Aid Effectiveness which produced the 2005 Paris Declaration on Aid Effectiveness and 2008 Accra Agenda for Action, make important contributions to the efforts of those countries, which have committed to them, including through the adoption of the fundamental principles of national ownership, alignment, harmonization, and managing for results. Bearing in mind that there is no-one-size-fits-all formula which will guarantee effective aid assistance, the specific situation of each country needs to be fully considered;
(iii) Enhance multilateral support, in particular from the Global Environment Facility and international financial institutions, and simplify Global Environment Facility procedures;
(iv) Create an enabling environment at all levels for public and private capital flows, including foreign direct investment, taking into account national policies, to boost economic growth and contribute to technology transfer, employment generation and infrastructure development;
(v) Continue to address all relevant issues regarding external debt problems, including through the United Nations, and consider ways to explore enhanced approaches of sovereign debt restructuring mechanisms based on existing frameworks and principles, with broad creditors? and debtors? participation and ensuring comparable burden-sharing among creditors, with an important role for the Bretton Woods institutions;
(vi) Improve access to finance, including microfinance, in particular to local communities, farmers, and small businesses;
(vii) Support and encourage good governance at all levels recognizing that it is essential for achieving sustainable development;
(b) Support the world trading system, recognizing the major role trade plays in achieving sustainable development. In that context:
(i) Promote a universal, rules-based, open, non-discriminatory, and equitable multilateral trading system;
(ii) Provide duty-free and quota-free market access for all least developed countries in accordance with previous commitments;
(iii) Assist developing countries, particularly least developed countries, with the aim to help developing countries with trade policies and regulations, trade development, building productive capacities, trade-related infrastructure, trade-related adjustment and other trade-related needs;
(c) Enhance and promote capacity-building efforts and promote the transfer of technologies to developing countries. In that context:
(i) Implement targeted capacity-building programmes in areas relevant to the thematic cluster, their interlinkages and the cross-cutting issues, in coordination with local, national and regional institutions;
(ii) Strengthen South-South, North-South and triangular cooperation and enhance support from the United Nations development system in promoting such cooperation to enhance financial resources, comprehensive capacity-building, exchange of information and know-how and technology transfer;
(iii) Implement fully the Bali Strategic Plan for Technology Support and Capacity-building, and continue to work towards achieving the goals contained in Agenda 21, including those in chapter 34;
(iv) Increase investments in training, research and development, in particular on sustainable practices and technologies, including agricultural technologies, and accelerate the transfer and diffusion of such technologies, information, methods, practices to reach all users, including farmers, women, youth and indigenous people and those in remote rural areas;
(v) Build capacity for land-use planning aimed at managing land within ecological capacity taking into account long-term potential, soil information and integrating scientific and indigenous knowledge;

Follow-up on agriculture and rural development

2. Calls upon Member States to strengthen the capacities of the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, the International Fund for Agricultural Development and the World Food Programme, within their mandates, to provide increased assistance to developing countries, in particular in Africa, on sustainable agriculture and rural development and food security, and requests the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, in collaboration with the International Fund for Agricultural Development and the World Food Programme to follow up the implementation of the provisions of this decision on agriculture and rural development;

Follow-up on land, drought and desertification

3. Further calls upon Member States to support and strengthen the United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification for the implementation of the Ten-Year Strategic Plan and Framework to Enhance the Implementation of the Convention, and encourages enhanced coherence among United Nations programmes, funds, agencies and entities working on desertification, drought and land issues, in cooperation with the Convention secretariat;

Follow-up on Africa

4. Decides to devote, in 2012 and 2016, without prejudice to the programme, organization and methods of work of the Commission adopted at its eleventh session, a separate segment at its review sessions, to monitor and follow up the implementation of its decision on Africa taken at the Commission?s seventeenth session.


9. Land plays a crucial role for achieving poverty eradication, food security and sustainable development. Sustainable land management provides multiple benefits, such as sustaining agricultural productivity and food security and enhanced living conditions for local populations, providing ecosystem services, sequestering carbon and contributing to the regulation of climate. Land policies need to promote sustainable land management, effective administration, integrated planning and equitable land access, in keeping with Rio principle 2 on the sovereign right of States to exploit their natural resources. Actions are needed to:

(a) Promote sustainable and integrated land-use planning and land management practices. In that context:
(i) Ensure a balance between sustainability in its social, economic and environmental aspects, rural and urban livelihoods and food productivity in land policies and land management;
(ii) Encourage the development and implementation of systems to inventory, assess, monitor and further understand the capacity of the land to support ecosystem functions, including by integrating new tools such as the Global Soil Map with indigenous and local knowledge;
(iii) Implement long-term strategies for land-use and spatial planning, taking into account the ecological potential and availability of the land to support ecosystem functions;
(iv) Strengthen national and subnational capacities for implementing an integrated and sustainable approach to land management, including in the planning of rural and urban areas;
(v) Further strengthen the role of domestic authorities at all levels in implementing sustainable land policies consistent with national priorities;
(vi) Strengthen partnerships, networks and the participation of all relevant stakeholders in land planning and management, to facilitate a common understanding on community land resource management, including by taking into account community goals and traditional knowledge, including indigenous knowledge;
(vii) Incorporate sustainable development principles in land-use planning to enable land development and identify potential areas for conservation;
(viii) Promote transparent and decentralized land tenure and administration that is equally accessible to all citizens in accordance with national sustainable land management priorities;
(ix) Provide science-based, targeted incentives, including financial resources, for public and private investment in infrastructure and research for sustainable land management and reducing land degradation, and enhance access to credit for farmers, especially for small-scale farmers, particularly in developing countries;
(x) Enhance access to microcredit to support initial start-ups of small-scale and especially resource-poor farmers in acquiring land management technologies and adopting sustainable practices;
(xi) Promote the conservation and sustainable use of biological diversity as well as sustainable forest management as an integral part of sustainable land management and combating deforestation and forest degradation;
(xii) Promote the improvement of existing and establishment of new centres of excellence in developing countries in land policy, tenure and management to enhance the knowledge and expertise necessary for the implementation of sustainable land planning, administration and management;
(xiii) Encourage the development, as appropriate, of a set of domestic land policy indicators for policy review, monitoring and evaluation, taking into account existing initiatives;
(xiv) Utilize the best available, useful and cost-effective technologies for the implementation of sustainable land management, including Geographic Information Systems for land administration and municipal planning and satellite imagery for land-use mapping;
(xv) Improve existing and develop new risk management tools that build landscape resilience, including resilience of land to natural disasters, and the impacts of climate change and systematically integrate them into land-use and spatial planning strategies;
(xvi) Strengthen and fill gaps concerning national and regional knowledge management networks and a database of land experts;
(xvii) Include key stakeholders in the establishment of knowledge management networks and a database of land experts to achieve optimum land-use sustainability while ensuring land ownership;
(xviii) Promote the exchange and transfer of information on new and improved technologies and best practices, as appropriate, through North-South, South-South and triangular cooperation;
(b) Reduce land degradation and rehabilitate degraded land. In that context:
(i) Strongly encourage the development of policy measures to reduce land degradation that also contribute to poverty eradication and the creation of employment opportunities in developing countries;
(ii) Conserve and protect land and soil resources through land-use and spatial planning which promotes sustainable development in rural and urban areas as well as through measures such as sustainable agricultural practices, establishment of perennial vegetation land cover, agroforestry, ecoagriculture and diversification and reduced tillage, and provide capacity-building in developing countries for these purposes;
(iii) Implement policies that address the direct and indirect drivers of land degradation, such as desertification, erosion, loss of soil organic matter, salinization, pollution and unsustainable urban growth;
(iv) Implement policies that lead to the recovery of the soil?s physical integrity, improving the nutrient status and increasing the amount of organic matter in the soil;
(v) Work together to strengthen capacities especially in developing countries, to apply new and existing tools and technologies for monitoring soil quality and land degradation, including by addressing the lack of current data on the extent of land degradation, and evaluating biophysical and socio-economic information.
(c) Promote policies to manage water and land resources in an integrated manner. In that context:
(i) Promote integrated land and water resource management in addressing land degradation, water scarcity and adapting to impacts of climate change;
(ii) Promote efficient, effective and sustainable use of water resources, including water diversification by exploring the sustainable use of groundwater and effluent waste, sustainable desalination, rainwater harvesting and support water conservation and demand management initiatives, balancing among different water uses in all ecosystems;
(iii) Strengthen the coordination and cooperation among authorities responsible for managing water and land resources;
(iv) Improve the efficiency of irrigation and water management practices, such as the use of rainfall harvesting, so as to help to address water shortages;
(v) Address the threat of coastal erosion and land losses caused by sea-level rise, in particular in small island developing States and low-lying coastal States and areas, through land-use planning and climate change adaptation programmes;
(vi) Address the problems, in particular in small island developing States, of saltwater intrusion into freshwater supplies and agricultural land;
(d) Promote equitable access to land and clear and secure land tenure, in particular for women, indigenous peoples and other vulnerable groups. In that context:
(i) Encourage the establishment of effective and cost-effective land administration systems that include transparent tenure and registration systems to help to promote investments and good land management, making use of the latest appropriate information technologies;
(ii) Recognizing the existence of different laws and/or systems of land access and tenure among States, strengthen the institutional and legal framework for the long-term administration of property rights and tenure systems, that take into account the established land tenure of indigenous peoples, smallholder farmers, and the rural poor as well as customary tenure arrangements and local practices, without discrimination against women and girls; and adopt policies and implement laws that promote secure and equitable access to land, and land tenure, particularly to the poor, through the recognition of equitable land rights and guarantee enforceable and secure land rights, in particular for women, indigenous people and other vulnerable groups;
(iii) Encourage the establishment of additional collaborative knowledge and information dissemination mechanisms and civic education campaigns on land rights;
(iv) Provide recognition for other use rights such as grazing and gathering wood, which are often critical sources of livelihood, especially for women;
(v) Ensure that pastoralist grazing rights are adequately protected, including facilitating mobility, as appropriate;
(vi) Promote and enable women?s equitable role in decision-making related to land management and planning and access to land;
(vii) Resolve to take further effective measures to remove obstacles to the full realization of the rights of the peoples living under colonial and foreign occupation, which are incompatible with the dignity and worth of the human person and must be combated and eliminated;
(e) Enhance capacity-building, technology transfer and financing. In that context:
(i) Mobilize financial resources, including new and additional resources from all sources, for land policies in developing countries in order to promote sustainable land management, effective administration, integrated planning and equitable land access;
(ii) Provide technical and financial assistance to developing countries as well as countries in transition that are undertaking land tenure reforms in order to enhance sustainable livelihoods;
(iii) Promote and scale up the development, transfer, as mutually agreed, dissemination and adoption, as appropriate, of safe and science-based practices, products and technologies, including advanced technologies and corresponding know-how, that enhance the sustainable use of land resources, particularly for developing countries taking into account local conditions;
(iv) Support countries? efforts, particularly in developing countries, to enhance the scientific understanding of land resources systems through strengthened technological capacity, including, as appropriate, support for testing research findings through pilot projects;
(v) Further develop and improve human resources and capacities, particularly in developing countries, for sustainable land management through education and training activities.


7. The achievement of the Millennium Development Goals is at the centre of sustainable development. Sustainable rural development is vital to the economic, social and environmental viability of nations. It is essential for poverty eradication since global poverty is overwhelmingly rural. The manifestation of poverty goes beyond the urban-rural divide, it has subregional and regional contexts. It is therefore critical, and there is great value to be gained, by coordinating rural development initiatives that contribute to sustainable livelihoods through efforts at the global, regional, national and local levels, as appropriate. Strategies to deal with rural development should take into consideration the remoteness and potentials in rural areas and provide targeted differentiated approaches.

8. A healthy and dynamic agricultural sector is an important foundation of rural development, generating strong linkages to other economic sectors. Rural livelihoods are enhanced through effective participation of rural people and rural communities in the management of their own social, economic and environmental objectives by empowering people in rural areas, particularly women and youth, including through organizations such as local cooperatives and by applying the bottom-up approach. Close economic integration of rural areas with neighbouring urban areas and the creation of rural off-farm employment can narrow rural-urban disparities, expand opportunities and encourage the retention of skilled people, including youth, in rural areas. There is considerable potential for rural job creation not only in farming, agro processing and rural industry but also in building rural infrastructure, in the sustainable management of natural resources, waste and residues. Rural communities in developing countries are still faced with challenges related to access to basic services, economic opportunities and some degree of incoherence with regard to planning related to rural-urban divide. Investments in environmental protection, rural infrastructure and in rural health and education are critical to sustainable rural development and can enhance national well-being. Beyond meeting basic needs, investments must be linked to the potential to raise productivity and income. The vulnerabilities of the rural poor to the economic and financial crisis and to climate change and water shortage must be addressed. The success of sustainable rural development depends on, inter alia, developing and implementing comprehensive strategies for dealing with climate change, drought, desertification and natural disaster. Related actions include:

(a) Promoting poverty eradication in rural areas;
(b) Promoting pro-poor planning and budgeting at the national and local levels;
(c) Addressing basic needs and enhancing provision of and access to services as a precursor to improve livelihoods and as an enabling factor of people?s engagement in productive activities;
(d) Providing social protection programmes to benefit, inter alia, the vulnerable households, in particular the aged, persons with disabilities and unemployed many of whom are in rural areas. Actions are needed to:
(a) Build social capital and resilience in rural communities. In that context:
(i) Empower women and small-scale farmers, and indigenous peoples, including through securing equitable land tenure supported by appropriate legal frameworks;
(ii) Promote equitable access to land, water, financial resources and technologies by women, indigenous peoples and other vulnerable groups;
(iii) Support and promote efforts to harmonize modern technologies with traditional and indigenous knowledge for sustainable rural development;
(iv) Provide access to credit and other mechanisms as well as resources for farm-based activities, especially for small-scale farmers, including women in particular, in developing countries to better manage the various risks they face, including price, weather, climate, water shortages, land degradation and natural disasters, including by providing aid and promoting the development of agricultural insurance markets;
(v) Protect and ensure sustainable use of traditional knowledge, including indigenous knowledge in accordance with article 8 (j) of the Convention on Biological Diversity, for the management of natural resources to address the challenges of sustainable development;
(vi) Facilitate the active participation of vulnerable groups, including women, youth and indigenous peoples and rural communities, in the elaboration of local and national planning of rural development, taking into account national legislation;
(vii) Build the resilience of rural communities to cope with and recover from natural disasters;
(viii) Promote and scale up labour-intensive recovery activities in addition to capital-intensive programmes;
(ix) Support training and capacity-building of rural communities to effectively implement adaptation programmes to climate change at the local level;
(x) Invest resources to enhance research aimed at adapting to the challenges of climate change;
(xi) Foster and strengthen capacities of rural communities for self-organization for building social capital, taking into account national legislation;
(b) Strengthen the human capacities of rural people. In that context:
(i) Strengthen rural health-care facilities and capacities, train and increase the number of health and nutrition professionals and sustain and expand access to primary health-care systems, including through promoting equitable and improved access to affordable and efficient health-care services, including provision of basic health-care services for the poor in rural areas, in particular in Africa, for effective disease prevention and treatment;
(ii) Create and develop educational programmes for rural communities aimed at disease prevention;
(iii) Eliminate old and new forms of illiteracy in rural communities and ensure provision of primary education and access to secondary and tertiary educational opportunities as well as vocational and entrepreneurship training including proactive and market-related elements to build capacities within rural communities, in particular for youth, young girls, women and indigenous people;
(iv) Encourage rural communities? participation in decision-making, promote rural communities? empowerment and rural leadership;
(v) Improve access by rural people and communities to information, education, extension services and learning resources, knowledge and training to support sustainable development planning and decision-making;
(c) Invest in essential infrastructure and services for rural communities. In that context:
(i) Increase public and private investments in infrastructure in rural areas, including roads, waterways and transport systems, storage and market facilities, livestock facilities, irrigation systems, affordable housing, water supply and sanitation services, electrification facilities, and information and communications networks;
(ii) Improve access to reliable and affordable energy services, including renewable and alternative sources of energy for sustainable rural development;
(iii) Enhance access of rural populations to safe drinking water and adequate sanitation;
(iv) Develop and improve access of rural populations to information and communications technologies, inter alia, to support Internet access and build capacities for an effective use of these technologies;
(v) Develop rural public and private services that realize the potential of those technologies, including cellular banking and e extension services;
(vi) Promote the development of rural organizations such as community-driven cooperatives to enhance investment in essential infrastructure and services, and recognize the role of urban areas in fostering rural development;
(vii) Support improved access for all to strengthened rural health-care services and facilities;
(d) Stimulate the creation of new jobs and income opportunities in rural areas. In that context:
(i) Support rural diversification, including on-farm diversification towards non-agricultural and other non-primary production activities;
(ii) Provide appropriate land-use frameworks in order to support the establishment of agricultural activities and both agricultural and non agricultural services related to sustainable rural development, while respecting the rights of rural communities and indigenous people;
(iii) Provide entrepreneurial training, credit and other support to off-farm and other non-primary production activities;
(iv) Strengthen the links between agriculture and other sectors of the rural economy;
(v) Develop sustainable ways to add value to agricultural products locally, subregionally and regionally to generate additional income;
(vi) Support the development, transfer and use of safe and environmentally sound construction technologies and practices, in particular for housing, to improve living standards and to create employment in rural areas;
(vii) Support as appropriate, sustainable tourism as a valuable source of employment and income supplement to farming and other primary production activities, as well as sustainable natural resource management;
(viii) Actively promote sustainable forest management;
(ix) Increase access of rural populations, particularly women, youth, indigenous people and other vulnerable groups, especially in disadvantaged areas, to markets as well as affordable financial and business advisory services, such as market literacy, microcredit, loan guarantees and venture capital;
(x) Expand access to markets by assisting rural producers, associations and firms, especially those from developing countries, to respond to market demand;
(xi) Increase employment opportunities through labour-intensive approaches including green jobs and development of rural infrastructure, taking into account the decent work agenda of the International Labour Organization as an important instrument to achieve the objective of full and productive employment and decent work for all;
(xii) Develop the necessary infrastructure and encourage data collection, including disaggregated population data, synthesis and analysis, to enhance the understanding of the contribution of non farming activities to poverty reduction and income generation in rural areas;
(xiii) Support the development of integration into market of smallholder family agriculture and sharing of experiences and best practices;
(xiv) Promote non-agricultural industries such as mining, service industries, construction and commerce, in a sustainable manner, as a source of employment and income for rural populations;
(e) Ensure environmental sustainability in rural areas. In that context:
(i) Encourage the use of land resources in a sustainable manner to prevent land degradation that is caused by unsustainable exploitation of land resources;
(ii) Encourage the use of environmentally friendly practices;
(iii) Promote sustainable natural resources use and management, including ecosystem conservation through community-based programmes;
(iv) Promote safe and environmentally sound waste management practices;
(f) Promote women?s empowerment and gender equality. In that context:
(i) Involve women in decision-making in all activities related to rural development;
(ii) Take measures that promote access to and ownership of means of production, including land, capital, entrepreneurship, by women;
(iii) Promote gender equality as well as take measures to achieve equal opportunities for women and men in all aspects of rural development;
(iv) Carry out extensive education, and awareness-raising on the rights of women and the concept of empowerment and gender equality in rural areas.


The Commission on Sustainable Development,
Recalling the decision of the General Assembly, in its resolution 63/213 of 19 December 2008, to convene a two-day high-level review in September 2010 as part of its sixty-fifth session, to assess progress made in addressing the vulnerabilities of small island developing States through the implementation of the Mauritius Strategy for the Further Implementation of the Programme of Action for the Sustainable Development of Small Island Developing States (?Mauritius Strategy for Implementation?),

Recalling also that the high-level review should be preceded by national and regional preparations in a most effective, well-structured and broad participatory manner, and stressing that the review should provide the international community with an opportunity to conduct an assessment of the progress made, lessons learned and constraints encountered in the implementation of the Mauritius Strategy for Implementation and agree on what needs to be done to further address the vulnerabilities of small island developing States,

1. Welcomes the work in progress in all small island developing States to continue implementation of the Mauritius Strategy for Implementation, and calls upon the international community, United Nations agencies and intergovernmental bodies to further support the efforts of small island developing States in this regard;

2. Requests the Commission on Sustainable Development, at its eighteenth session, to use the Small Island Developing States day as a preparatory committee meeting for the high-level review;

3. Decides that the one-day preparatory meeting shall consider a synthesis report to be prepared by the Secretary-General on the basis of:

(a) National and regional reports, where available;
(b) The outcomes of three regional review workshops to be organized by the Division for Sustainable Development, in collaboration with members of the specialized agencies, relevant regional and international agencies and organizations, in accordance with the rules of procedure of the Commission on Sustainable Development, the rules of procedure of the World Summit on Sustainable Development and the established practices of the Commission, and encourages all countries and relevant entities of the United Nations system to participate fully in the activities identified for the preparations for the high-level review of the Mauritius Strategy for Implementation.

United Nations