Decisions: 7th session of the Commission on Sustainable Development
Commission on Sustainable Development
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Decision 7/4. Education, public awareness and training
1. The Commission on Sustainable Development:
(a) Recalls its decision 4/11 establishing a work programme on education for
sustainable development, and its decision 6/3 on the further implementation of the work
programme;
(b) Takes note of the report of the Secretary-General;18
(c) Reaffirms that education, public awareness and training are critical for promoting
sustainable development and increasing the capacity to address social, economic and
environmental issues, and that therefore the further implementation of chapter 36 of Agenda
21 will influence the progress made in the implementation of all the other chapters of Agenda
21;
(d) Emphasizes having discussed the issues of "Oceans and seas", "Consumption
and production patterns" and "Tourism", that enhancing public awareness through education
and training and the media is particularly important for achieving sustainable development;
(e) Recognizes the need to broaden cooperation at the international level, building
on past experience, and involving all relevant bodies of the United Nations system,
Governments and major groups, including non-governmental organizations, business and
industry, and youth, as well as the educational community, taking into account national plans
and priorities;
(f) Takes into account the cross-sectoral nature and the importance of education,
public awareness and training for sustainable development.
2. The Commission calls upon all key actors, notably the United Nations Educational,
Scientific and Cultural Organization as task manager, Governments, relevant United Nations
bodies and non-governmental organizations, to intensify their collaborative efforts in the
implementation of the work programme.
3. The Commission encourages Governments, relevant United Nations bodies and
non-governmental organizations to give priority, as appropriate, to the integration of aspects
of sustainable development in their educational policies and to cooperation in the framework
of the work programme.
4. The Commission requests the Secretary-General to report to it at its eighth session
on the progress made in the implementation of the work programme and, in this regard, to
give specific attention to the separate items contained in Commission decisions 4/11 and 6/3.


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Decision 7/1. Oceans and seas
I. General considerations
1. The Commission emphasizes the fundamental fact that oceans and seas constitute the
major part of the planet that supports life, drive the climate and hydrological cycle, and
provide the vital resources to be used to ensure well-being for present and future generations
and economic prosperity, to eradicate poverty, to ensure food security and to conserve marine
biological diversity and its intrinsic value for maintaining the conditions that support life on
earth. The Commission also reiterates the following general considerations:
(a) The United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS) sets out the
overall legal framework within which all activities in this field must be considered;
(b) Chapter 17 of Agenda 21 remains the fundamental programme of action for
achieving sustainable development in respect to oceans and seas;
(c) The Programme for the Further Implementation of Agenda 21,5 adopted by the
General Assembly at its nineteenth special session (especially its paragraph 36), identifies
the needs for urgent action in respect to oceans and seas.

2. The Commission, taking into full account the different situations of various countries,
calls upon Governments to strengthen national, regional and international action, as
appropriate, to develop integrated approaches to oceans and coastal area management, and
stresses that as in other areas, action should be taken on the basis of the principles set out in
the Rio Declaration on Environment and Development.
II. Major challenges at the national, regional and global levels
3. Following the 1998 International Year of the Ocean, the Commission emphasizes the
importance of international cooperation, within the framework of UNCLOS and Agenda 21,
in ensuring that the oceans and seas remain sustainable through integrated management, and
that while respecting the sovereignty, jurisdiction and sovereign rights of coastal States and
recalling their rights and obligations in relation to the protection of the marine environment,
all States can benefit from the sustainable use of the oceans and seas. The Commission further
emphasizes the threats to these objectives from overexploitation of marine living resources,
including through illegal, unregulated or unreported (IUU) fishing and unsustainable or
uncontrolled distant water fishing, and from pollution. In this context, the Commission
recommends that particular priority be given to:
(a) The conservation, integrated and sustainable management and sustainable use
of marine living resources, including the ecosystems of which they are a part;
(b) The prevention of pollution and degradation of the marine environment from landbased
and other activities;
(c) Better scientific understanding of the oceans and seas and their resources, of the
effects of pollution, and of the interaction of the oceans and seas with the world climate
system. This will be aimed at and facilitate proper assessment of the oceans and seas,
improving understanding of socio-economic issues, especially the effects of pollution,
developing better systems for the sustainable management and use of the resources of oceans
and seas, and comprehending and responding to such events as the El Niño phenomenon and
mitigating their impacts;
(d) Encouraging, at the national, regional and global levels, the steps necessary for
an effective and coordinated implementation of the provisions of UNCLOS and Agenda 21,
including institutional adjustments and improved coordination mechanisms for chapter 17
of Agenda 21, to support action at the national and regional levels in developing countries
and those with economies in transition and the provision of, inter alia, financial and technical
assistance for the transfer of appropriate environmentally sound technologies. In this context,
the international community should promote, facilitate and finance, as appropriate, access
to and transfer of environmentally sound technologies and the corresponding know-how, in
particular to developing countries, on favourable terms, including concessional and
preferential terms, as mutually agreed, taking into account the need to protect the intellectual
property rights as well as the special needs of developing countries for the implementation
of Agenda 21.
A. Capacity-building for action at the national level
4. In support of national action to implement the provisions of chapter 17 of Agenda 21,
the Commission invites the United Nations system and Governments, both in their bilateral
relationships and in the multilateral development and financial organizations in which they
participate, to review their programmes to ensure that priority is given to initiate or further
develop, within the context of national plans, programmes for building capacities relating
to, inter alia, marine environment science, the administration of fisheries and shipping, the
control of activities likely to pollute or degrade the marine and coastal environment, and
cooperation and coordination with other States on marine environmental matters, including
development of early warning systems so as to mitigate the impacts of natural disasters,
especially those resulting from inter-annual climatic variability, such as the El Niño
phenomenon. In this regard, it is also important that Governments, the organizations of the
United Nations system and donors coordinate their actions. For the purpose of capacitybuilding,
regional and national partnership meetings involving major groups can make a
significant contribution to these activities.

B. Capacity-building for action at the regional level
5. The Commission emphasizes the importance of cooperation, at the regional level, as
appropriate, within the relevant legal framework for the conservation and integrated and
sustainable management and use of regional seas. In this context, the Commission supports
the need to strengthen the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) regional seas
programme and to enhance cooperation with other regional seas and intergovernmental
organizations in order to permit the sharing of experience, in line with the recent conclusions
of the UNEP Governing Council at its twentieth session. The Commission invites
organizations of the United Nations system to work with appropriate intergovernmental and
regional organizations to facilitate the identification of appropriate technical solutions.
6. The Commission further invites the United Nations system and Governments, both in
their bilateral relationships and in the multilateral development and financial organizations
in which they participate, to review the priority given to building capacities needed to manage
regional seas organizations, intergovernmental regional fisheries organizations and
arrangements (RFOs) and regional monitoring systems.

C. International agreements
7. In order to achieve the goal of universal participation, the Commission recommends
that all States that have not done so consider becoming Parties to UNCLOS and the agreement
relating to the implementation of part XI of that Convention.
8. The Commission notes that although significant progress has been made in developing
global and regional agreements and programmes of action related to the conservation and
sustainable use of the oceans and seas, much more needs to be done to effectively implement
these agreements and programmes. To promote this, the Commission invites relevant
intergovernmental bodies to review, in accordance with their respective mandates, the status
of international agreements and programmes of action in their areas of work, as well as
obstacles to more effective implementation, and to propose possible actions that could be
taken to promote wider acceptance and implementation.
III. Areas of particular concern
A. Marine resources
1. Sustainable fisheries and aquaculture


9. The Commission notes that fisheries and aquaculture, when managed sustainably, can
contribute significantly to global food security and income generation for both present and
future generations, consistent with the Rome Declaration and Plan of Action adopted by the
World Food Summit of 1996. The Commission urges the international community to support
coastal and island developing States in the development of sustainable fisheries and
aquaculture.
10. The Commission encourages all States, unless they have already done so, to consider
becoming Parties to, or, as the case may be, applying the Food and Agriculture Organization
of the United Nations (FAO) Agreement to Promote Compliance with International
Conservation and Management Measures by Fishing Vessels on the High Seas of 24
November 1993, the United Nations Agreement for the Implementation of the Provisions of
the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea of 10 December 1982 Relating to the
Conservation and Management of Straddling Fish Stocks and HighlyMigratory Fish Stocks
of 4 August 1995, and the FAO Code of Conduct for Responsible Fisheries of 31 October
1995, and emphasizes both the vital role of these instruments in safeguarding fish stocks and
the need to implement them effectively.
11. In support of implementation of the FAO Code of Conduct for Responsible Fisheries,
the Commission welcomes the recent approval by the FAO Committee on Fisheries of:
(a) The International Plan of Action for Reducing the Incidental Catch of Seabirds
in Long Line Fisheries;
(b) The International Plan of Action for the Conservation and Management of Sharks;
(c) The International Plan of Action for the Management of Fishing Capacity.
The Commission in consequence urges the early formal adoption of these Plans of Action and
their effective implementation.
12. The Commission notes that further attempts were made in the course of its discussions
to resolve the other questions of subsidies related to fisheries but that no progress was made.
13. The Commission further emphasizes the important role of RFOs in improving, where
appropriate, the application of the principles contained in the instruments referred to in
paragraphs 10 and 11 above. In so doing, these organizations should be urged to apply sound
scientific knowledge of the fish stocks and to ensure, as appropriate, the involvement of major
groups.
14. The Commission notes the need for RFOs to be strengthened and the need to ensure
coverage by the RFO system of all fisheries which need to be managed in that way to ensure
their sustainability.
15. To support this, the Commission invites regional fisheries organizations, including those
operating under the aegis of FAO, to provide information to FAO on progress made and on
problems faced in applying these principles and recommendations. Such information could
be included in the reports of the Secretary-General to the General Assembly.
16. The Commission urges States to implement existing FAO technical recommendations
to minimize waste, by-catch and discards. The Commission strongly supports further measures
by States, in consultation with FAO and RFOs, as appropriate, on these issues. The
Commission also invites FAO to develop an international action plan to eliminate destructive
fishing practices, and urges States to enforce existing bans on such activities.
17. The Commission also emphasizes the importance of General Assembly resolution 53/33
of 24 November 1998, in which the Assembly urges all authorities of members of the
international community to take greater enforcement responsibility to ensure full
implementation of the global moratorium on all large-scale pelagic drift-net fishing on the
high seas. The Commission further invites States to develop additional measures to ban this
destructive fishing gear, including the confiscation and destruction of oversize nets.
18. The Commission supports the Rome Declaration adopted by the FAO Ministerial
Meeting on Fisheries (Rome, 10 and 11 March 1999), under which FAO will give priority
to its work to develop a global plan of action to deal effectivelywith any forms of IUU fishing.
This should include dealing with the problem of those States which do not fulfil their
responsibilities under international law as flag States with respect to their fishing vessels,
in particular those which do not exercise effectively their jurisdiction and control over their
vessels which may operate in a manner that contravenes or undermines the relevant rules of
international law and international conservation and management measures. It will also require
coordinated efforts by States, FAO, regional fisheries management bodies and other relevant
international agencies, such as the International Maritime Organization (IMO), as provided
in article IV of the Code of Conduct for Responsible Fisheries. The Commission further
encourages IMO, in cooperation with FAO and the United Nations Secretariat, to consider
the implications in relation to fishing vessels of the work requested in paragraph 35 (a) below.
19. The Commission discussed the question of schemes for improving the information
available to consumers of fish but was unable to reach a consensus.
20. The Commission encourages States to develop environmentally sound and sustainable
aquaculture in accordance with the Code of Conduct for Responsible Fisheries, and as called
for in the Plan of Action of theWorld Food Summit. The Commission further calls upon FAO
and Governments, in consultation with major groups, to achieve environmentally sound and
sustainable aquaculture, ensuring that appropriate evaluations and assessments are
undertaken.

2. Other marine living resources
21. The Commission endorses the International Coral Reef Initiative (ICRI) call to action,
its renewed call to action and its framework for action, and urges implementation of
complementary actions by States, intergovernmental organizations and other bodies (in
particular the Convention on Biological Diversity), non-governmental organizations and the
private sector. The Commission also asks the United Nations system to provide information
on progress in implementing ICRI objectives at the conclusion of the period of the current
framework for action in 2003.
22. The Commission encourages States to establish and manage marine protected areas,
along with other appropriate management tools, consistent with the provisions of UNCLOS
and on a basis consistent with the programme of work under the Convention on Biological
Diversity and its JakartaMandate in order to ensure the conservation of biological diversity
and the sustainable management and use of oceans.
23. The Commission calls upon RFOs and regional seas organizations to cooperate in more
effective integration of sustainable fisheries management and environmental conservation
measures.
24. The Commission notes the importance of protecting ecosystems and the need for further
study of approaches in this context.
3. Marine non-living resources
25. The Commission urges support, upon the request of the State concerned, for national
efforts to gain greater access to resource information and to develop appropriate policies to
facilitate the exploration and exploitation, with the State?s consent and in a manner consistent

6 A/51/116, annex II.
7 A/51/116, annex I, appendix II.

with the sustainability of marine living resources, of non-living marine resources within its
exclusive economic zones, or to the outer limits of the continental shelf, wherever applicable.

B. Land-based activities
26. The Commission expresses its grave concern at the slow rate of progress in many
aspects of the implementation of the Global Programme of Action for the Protection of the
Marine Environment from Land-based Activities.6 In this context, the Commission welcomes
the recent decision of the UNEP Governing Council on the implementation of the Programme
ofAction, especially the call for the Executive Director of UNEP to complete expeditiously
the establishment of the Hague coordination office. The Commission emphasizes the
importance of this implementation for the prevention of the pollution and degradation of the
marine environment.
27. In line with the 1995Washington Declaration on Protection of the Marine Environment
from Land-based Activities,7 the Commission urges the following:
(a) That Governments, organizations of the United Nations system and donors
cooperate to build capacities and mobilize resources for the development and implementation
of national action programmes, in particular for developing countries and those with
economies in transition. Partnership meetings, as described in paragraph 4 above, can make
a contribution here;
(b) That national and international institutions and the private sector, bilateral donors
and multilateral funding agencies accord priority to projects within national and regional
programmes to implement the Programme ofAction, and encourage the Global Environment
Facility (GEF) to support these projects;
(c) Completion of the establishment of the clearing house mechanism to provide
decision makers in all States with direct access to relevant information, practical experience
and scientific and technical expertise, and to facilitate effective scientific, technical and
financial cooperation as well as capacity-building and the transfer of environmentally sound
technology in the context described in paragraph 3 (d) above;
(d) Implementation of the Global Programme of Action by Governments and
international organizations, as appropriate, will contribute to the strengthening of the UNEP
regional seas programme, as called for in paragraph 5 above.
28. The Commission reiterates the appeal to the governing bodies of the relevant United
Nations agencies and programmes to review their role in and contribution to the
implementation of the Global Programme of Action within their respective mandates, as
recommended by the General Assembly in its resolution 51/189. The Commission further
invites those organizations to provide information on progress in this regard which could,
inter alia, be included in the reports of the Secretary-General to the General Assembly.
29. The Commission also stresses:
(a) The benefits of preparing the necessary national and local programmes within
a framework of integrated coastal area management;
(b) The value of further work by relevant international organizations, in conjunction
with relevant regional seas organizations, in promoting such management;

(c) The importance of supporting initiatives at the regional level to develop
agreements, arrangements or programmes of action on the protection of the marine
environment from land-based activities.
30. The Commission welcomes the agreement by the recent UNEP Governing Council to
explore the feasibility for UNEP to convene by 2000 a global conference to address sewage
as a major land-based source of pollution affecting human and ecosystem health. In this
context, the Commission encourages the establishment of links between this conference and
both the first intergovernmental review of the Programme of Action, planned for 2001, and
related intergovernmental conferences on the sustainable management of freshwater and
oceans.
31. The Commission welcomes the activities in progress under the aegis of UNEP to
develop an international agreement on persistent organic pollutants (POPs), and in this respect
underlines the need to provide adequate expertise and resources for reducing their reliance
on POPs, in the context mentioned in paragraph 3 (d) above, to developing countries,
including through the development and production of viable and environmentally safe
alternatives. The Commission encourages further international work on the reduction of
discharges, emissions and losses of hazardous substances.
C. Marine science
32. The Commission emphasizes that scientific understanding of the marine environment,
including marine living resources and the effects of pollution, is fundamental to sound
decision-making. Among other aspects of the global environment, this applies to the
interaction between atmospheric and oceanic systems such as experience with the 1997?1998
El Niño phenomenon. The Commission therefore:
(a) Regrets the lack of follow-up to its decision 4/15, reiterates those
recommendations and welcomes the intention of IMO, working in partnership with other
sponsoring organizations, to improve the effectiveness and inclusiveness of the Joint Group
of Experts on the Scientific Aspects of Marine Environmental Protection (GESAMP), and
encourages them to undertake the actions recommended by the Commission in its decision
4/15. The Commission further recommends exploring the possibility of establishing a means
for GESAMP to interact with scientific representatives of Governments and major groups;
(b) Invites the Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission of the United Nations
Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) to consider how the support
available for building scientific capacities needed for interdisciplinary, sustainable and
effective management of the marine environment in developing countries, particularly in the
least developed countries and small island developing States, could be extended and focused
more effectively. Recalling Commission decision 6/3 concerning the need for enhanced
science communication processes, the Commission encourages a contribution from the
forthcoming UNESCO World Science Congress on this question;
(c) Stresses the value both of the collection of reliable oceanographic data through
such systems as the Global Ocean Observing System, including the Global Coral Reef
Monitoring Network, and of periodic comprehensive scientific assessments of international
waters, such as the Global International Waters Assessment, including assessments of the
impact of physical and chemical changes on the health, distribution and productivity of living
marine resources.
33. To improve the scientific knowledge of fish stocks, the Commission invites RFOs,
within the framework of their competences, to cooperate with each other and consider
strengthening catch surveillance, where applicable, as well as mechanisms for catch
evaluation, using scientific peer review systems to improve the scientific quality of fish stock
assessments, exchanging information on assessment techniques with each other and generally
enhancing transparency. The Commission invites FAO to assist and support this process. The
Commission also invites FAO to strengthen its global monitoring of fish stocks by increased
coverage, more consistent methodologies and frequent updating of information, in close
cooperation with States and RFOs, as appropriate.
34. The Commission notes the impact throughout the world of the El Niño Southern
Oscillation (ENSO), an example of the linkage between oceans and the atmosphere, and its
environmental, social and economic consequences, particularly for developing countries. The
Commission welcomes the intergovernmental expert meeting held at Guayaquil, Ecuador,
in November 1998, the intergovernmental meeting to be held at Lima in September 1999,
and the meeting on desertification and the El Niño phenomenon to be held at La Serena, Chile,
in October 1999. The Commission:
(a) Requests the Secretary-General to gather information on all aspects of the impact
of ENSO, through national reports on the implementation of Agenda 21, and to provide this
information to the United Nations Inter-Agency Task Force on ENSO in order to contribute
to the development of an internationally concerted and comprehensive strategy towards the
assessment, prevention, mitigation and rehabilitation of the damage caused by ENSO,
including that to coral reefs;
(b) Decides to consider at its eighth session the impacts of ENSO as part of its
examination of the integrated planning and management of land resources;
(c) Registers the importance of including the ENSO issue in the next quinquennial
comprehensive review of Agenda 21, and requests the Secretary-General to provide a
comprehensive report on which decisions on including the ENSO issue could be based;
(d) Invites all intergovernmental agencies concerned with aspects of the oceans to
consider, within their respective mandates, whether their programmes of work make sufficient
allowance for considerations of the potential impact of increased climate variability, and to
review through the various coordination arrangements what more needs to be done to ensure
adequate understanding of the prediction and coastal and marine impacts of such phenomena
as the El Niño phenomenon.

D. Othermarine activities
35. The Commission:
(a) Invites IMO as a matter of urgency to develop measures, in binding form where
IMO members consider it appropriate, to ensure that ships of all flag States meet international
rules and standards so as to give full and complete effect to UNCLOS, especially article 91
(Nationality of ships), as well as provisions of other relevant conventions. In this context,
the Commission emphasizes the importance of further development of effective port State
control;
(b) Urges that the export of wastes and other matter for the purpose of dumping at
sea be stopped; the Commission further recommends that States be encouraged to become
Parties to and implement the 1996 Protocol to the Convention on the Prevention of Marine
Pollution by Dumping ofWastes and Other Matter of 1972;


(c) Repeats its goal in paragraph 29 of its decision 4/15 for States that have not yet
done so to become Parties to and implement the Basel Convention on the Control of
Transboundary Movements of Hazardous Wastes and their Disposal (1989);
(d) Discussed further the question of the right of States to prohibit the transboundary
movement of hazardous and radioactive wastes and materials within their jurisdictions
consistent with international law. It noted that some delegations urged the continuation of
efforts to ensure that transboundarymovements of such materials be undertaken in a safe and
secure manner, and that these delegations indicated support for the call for States that have
not done so to become Parties to and implement the Joint Convention on the Safety of Spent
Fuel Management and on the Safety of Radioactive Waste Management and to consider
making the Irradiated Nuclear Fuel (INF) Code a mandatory instrument. However, the
Commission was not able to reach a consensus on these proposals;
(e) Recommends that the international community be encouraged to cooperate fully
in the various efforts in accordance with relevant international agreements, such as the
International Convention for the Prevention of Pollution from Ships (MARPOL 73/78), to
assist in the prevention of the spread of harmful aquatic organisms through ships ballast water;
(f) Recommends that the programme for the development within the framework of
IMO of controls on harmful anti-fouling paints used on ships be carried out in accordance
with the timetable foreseen, underlining the need to provide adequate expertise and resources
to developing countries in the context mentioned in paragraph 3 (d) above;
(g) Welcomes the activities in the International Seabed Authority on a draft mining
code, including the aspect of marine environmental protection;
(h) Notes that the scrapping of ships presents an issue of concern with regard to the
pollution of the environment, and therefore calls on IMO to look into this issue and encourages
States to ensure that responsible care is applied with regard to the disposal of decommissioned
ships, taking into account the need to provide adequate expertise and resources to developing
countries in the context mentioned in paragraph 3 (d) above;
(i) Recommends that States consider ratifying, accepting or approving annex VI to
the MARPOL Convention on the control of air pollution from shipping;
(j) Recommends that in order to reduce the environmental risks and potential damages
associated with maritime transport, in particular when transiting areas are environmentally
sensitive, States fully implement the IMO regulation for the prevention of collisions at sea.
36. The Commission, taking into account its decision 4/15 and noting the outcome of the
international expert meeting on environmental practices in offshore oil and gas activities,
sponsored by Brazil and the Netherlands and held at Noordwijk, the Netherlands, in 1997,
recommends:
(a) That the primary focus of action on the environmental aspects of offshore oil and
gas operations continue to be at the national, subregional and regional levels;
(b) In support of such action, there is a need to share information on the development
and application of satisfactory environmental management systems, aimed at achieving
national, subregional and regional environmental goals;
(c) To promote the sharing of that information, to raise awareness and to provide early
warning of off-shore oil and gas activities and projects posing potential threats to the marine
environment, further initiatives should be undertaken, involving Governments, international
organizations, operators and major groups.

E. International coordination and cooperation
37. The Commission urges relevant institutions, whether national, regional or global, to
enhance collaboration with each other, taking into account their respective mandates, with
a view to promoting coordinated approaches, avoiding duplication of effort, enhancing
effective functioning of existing organizations, and ensuring better access to information and
broadening its dissemination.
38. The Commission also notes that oceans and seas present a special case as regards the
need for international coordination and cooperation. The Commission is therefore convinced
that, building on existing arrangements, a more integrated approach is required to all legal,
economic, social and environmental aspects of the oceans and seas, both at intergovernmental
and inter-agency levels. To achieve this goal, the Commission:
(a) Invites the Secretary-General to undertake measures aimed at ensuring more
effective collaboration between relevant parts of the United Nations Secretariat in order to
ensure better coordination of United Nations work on oceans and seas;
(b) Further requests the Secretary-General to complement his annual reports to the
General Assembly with suggestions on initiatives that could be undertaken in order to improve
coordination and achieve better integration, and to submit these reports well in advance of
the debate in the Assembly;
(c) Invites the Secretary-General, working in cooperation with the executive heads
of relevant organizations of the United Nations system, to undertake measures aimed at
improving the effectiveness of the work of the ACC Subcommittee on Oceans and Coastal
Areas, including through making the work of the Subcommittee more transparent and
responsive to member States, for example by organizing regular briefings on Subcommittee
activities;
(d) Recommends that the General Assembly, bearing in mind the importance of
utilizing the existing framework to the maximum extent possible, consider ways and means
of enhancing the effectiveness of its annual debate on oceans and the law of the sea.
39. In order to promote improved cooperation and coordination on oceans and seas, in
particular in the context of paragraph 38 (d) above, the Commission recommends that the
General Assembly establish an open-ended informal consultative process, or other processes
which it may decide, under the aegis of the General Assembly, with the sole function of
facilitating the effective and constructive consideration of matters within the General
Assembly?s existing mandate (contained in General Assembly resolution 49/28 of 1994), on
the basis set out below.

1. Principles
40. Because of the complex and interrelated nature of the oceans, oceans and seas present
a special case as regards the need for international coordination and cooperation:
1. The General Assembly is the appropriate body to provide the coordination that
is needed to ensure that an integrated approach is taken to all aspects of oceans
issues, at both the intergovernmental and inter-agency levels.
2. This exercise should be carried out in full accordance with UNCLOS, taking into
account the agreements reached at the United Nations Conference on Environment
and Development (UNCED), particularly chapter 17 ofAgenda 21. It should also
take into account the inputs provided by the Commission on Sustainable
Development and other United Nations bodies.

3. To accomplish this goal, the General Assembly needs to give more time for the
consideration and the discussion of the Secretary-General?s report on oceans and
the law of the sea and for the preparation for the debate on this item in the plenary.
4. The creation of new institutions should be avoided. The General Assembly should
work to strengthen the existing structures and mandates within the United Nations
system. This exercise should not lead to the duplication and overlapping of current
negotiations and particular debates taking place in specialized forums.
5. The role of the General Assembly is to promote coordination of policies and
programmes. It is not intended that the General Assembly should pursue legal
or juridical coordination among the different legal instruments. In fulfilling its
coordination function, the Assembly should bear in mind the differing
characteristics and needs of the different regions of the world.
6. Participation in this exercise byMember States and observers should be as broad
as possible.
7. This exercise should be carried out within the annual budgetary resources of the
Secretariat.
2. Practicalities
41. The informal consultative process referred to above or other processes which the
General Assemblymay decide would deliberate on the basis of the Secretary-General?s report
on oceans and the law of the sea. Its role would be to promote a comprehensive discussion
of that report and to identify particular emerging issues that would need to be considered by
the General Assembly. A general focus should be on identifying areas where coordination
and cooperation at the intergovernmental and inter-agency levels should be enhanced. The
informal consultative process would provide elements for the consideration of the General
Assembly and for possible inclusion in the Assembly?s resolutions under the item ?Oceans
and the law of the sea?.
42. The informal consultative process should also take into account the recommendations
made by the Commission on Sustainable Development to the General Assembly (through the
Economic and Social Council).
43. The informal consultative process would take place each year for a week, and would
promote the participation of the different governmental agencies involved in oceans and
marine issues. It would be most important to ensure appropriate input from representatives
ofmajor groups, and it is suggested that this may be best achieved by organizing discussion
panels.
44. The General Assembly should consider the optimum timing for the informal consultative
process, taking into account, inter alia, the desirability of facilitating the attendance of experts
from capitals and the needs of small delegations.
45. The General Assembly would review the effectiveness and utility of the process no later
than four years after its establishment.

Annex
Co-Chairmen?s summary of discussions on oceans and seas held by the Intersessional
Ad Hoc Working Group on Oceans and Seas and on the Sustainable
Development of Small Island Developing States, at its meeting from 1 to
5 March 1999
I. Introduction
1. The debate on oceans and seas was based on the report of the Secretary-General on
oceans and seas8 in the context of chapter 17 of Agenda 21. The United Nations Convention
on the Law of the Sea provided the overall legal framework, while Agenda 21 provided the
policy framework of the discussions under this theme. The 1998 International Year of the
Oceans helped to raise international awareness of the issues.
2. Many delegations pointed out that the seventh session of the Commission should build
upon the results and goals so far achieved. It was noted that particular attention should be
paid to Commission decision 4/15 and paragraph 36 of the Programme for the Further
Implementation of Agenda 21, adopted by the General Assembly at its nineteenth special
session.
3. The main starting points of the discussions included the recognition of the right of
countries to manage and exploit sustainably their marine resources and of the need to enhance
their capacities in this regard, as well as of the need to conserve actively marine ecosystem
functions, species and habitats. Many delegations noted that marine resources constitute a
critical source of food security as well as the livelihood for many coastal and island developing
States. Sustainable management of oceans and seas, as well as of adjacent coastal areas, has
important economic and social implications, particularly related to the issue of poverty
reduction.
4. Many delegations from developing and developed countries and countries with
economies in transition shared information on their policies, strategies and activities in their
countries in protecting and managing oceans and their living resources. Recent meetings that
provided useful contributions or have direct relevance to the debate were mentioned, including
an international expert meeting on environmental practices in offshore oil and gas activities,
co-sponsored byBrazil and the Netherlands and held at Noordwijk, the Netherlands, in 1997;
the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation oceans conference held in Hawaii in October 1998;
an intergovernmental meeting of experts on El Niño held at Guayaquil, Ecuador, in November
1998; an international tropical marine ecosystems management symposium held at Townsville,
Australia, in November 1998; a conference on cooperation for the development and protection
of the coastal and marine environment in sub-Saharan Africa, sponsored by the Advisory
Committee on Protection of the Sea, UNEP and the South African Government, held at Cape
Town in December 1998; and the Second London Oceans Workshop, sponsored by Brazil
and the United Kingdom in December 1998. Also mentioned were the work of the Independent
World Commission on Oceans and the fourth session of the ongoing multilateral high-level
consultations on highly migratory fish stocks in the Central and Western Pacific, held in
Hawaii in February 1999.


II. Major challenges at the national, regional and
international levels
5. Main priority issues raised by the Working Group related to the following: (a) the
conservation and management of marine living resources, including sustainable fisheries;
(b) the prevention of the pollution and degradation of the marine environment from land-based
activities; (c) the scientific understanding of the way in which the oceans and seas interact
with the world climate system; and (d) enhancing international cooperation and coordination.
A. Capacity-building for action at the national and regional levels
6. Many delegations noted that capacity-building was central to all actions to deal with
issues related to oceans and seas. They emphasized the need to build capacities at both the
national and regional levels to deliver actions in an integrated and holistic manner. Improving
scientific assessments of oceans was essential in this regard, building on the work and
experience of scientists from all countries and relevant organizations.
7. Many delegations stressed the need for financial resources and technology transfer in
achieving goals agreed in chapter 17 of Agenda 21.
8. Many delegations stressed the importance of taking practical steps at the regional level,
and thus the need for enhancing regional collaboration on the marine environment, particularly
through the UNEP regional seas programme and the corresponding agreements in other
regions to integrate marine environment policies among States. The need to revitalize the
regional seas programme was emphasized in this regard. A mention was also made that
regional fisheries management organizations and regional seas environmental protection
organizations should be called on to cooperate in the development of integrated fisheries
management and environmental protection, conservation and management, based on an
ecosystem approach. Some delegations emphasized the creation or strengthening of networks
at the regional level to exchange and disseminate scientific information related to oceans.
B. International agreements
9. Several delegations called for urgent ratification and full implementation of such
international agreements as the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea, the United
Nations fish stocks agreement and the FAO compliance agreement, the Convention on the
Prevention of Marine Pollution by Dumping of Wastes and Other Matter and its 1996
Protocol, and the International Convention for the Prevention of Pollution from Ships
(MARPOL 73/78). Also underlined was the importance of implementing the FAO
international plans of action for the management of fishing capacity, shark fisheries, and
incidental catch of seabirds in longline fisheries, and applying the FAO code of conduct for
responsible fisheries. These were recommended to be fully taken into account in formulating
and adopting national action plans.

III. Areas of concern
A. Marine living resources
10. Many delegations noted that different fishing patterns have different impacts on the
world?s regional fish stocks (examples given included commercial practices versus
subsistence fishing in developing countries, and long distance fisheries versus coastal
fisheries). The growing problem was mentioned, for example, of illegal, unreported and
unregulated fishing, particularly by vessels, often flying flags of convenience, that encroach
on the fisheries resources of coastal and island developing States as well as of the high seas.
Many delegations identified the urgent need to eradicate such practices, which often lead to
a significant loss of revenue and resources of those countries and affect small-scale
subsistence fisheries. They called for the enhancement of the surveillance and control
capacities of coastal and island developing States. Assistance was also needed for those
countries to control distant fishing fleets operating under access agreements. The need for
support for further work on the technical aspects of this issue was mentioned in this regard.
Some delegations noted that illegal, unreported and unregulated fishing practices might be
best dealt with in appropriate regional fisheries management bodies.
11. Many delegations mentioned the urgent need for measures and actions to reduce and
eliminate wasteful fishing practices. In this regard, they called for the bringing into force and
the implementation of the FAO compliance agreement and the international plans of action
for the management of fishing capacity, shark fisheries, and incidental catch of seabirds in
longline fisheries, adopted by the FAO Committee on Fisheries in February 1999, and intended
to bring fishing capacity worldwide to an optimum level and to conserve and manage shark
fisheries and seabird populations. In addition, some delegations urged the adoption of bycatch
reduction plans at the national, regional and global levels to minimize bycatch, and to the
extent that bycatch cannot be avoided, to minimize bycatch mortality. Such plans should
include restrictions on indiscriminate or harmful fishing gear and practices that contribute
to elevated bycatch or marine habitat degradation.
12. Many delegations linked calls to reduce global fishing capacity with the evaluation of
possible negative impact of subsidies, and the reduction and progressive elimination of
subsidies and other economic and fiscal incentives that in their view directly or indirectly
promote overcapitalization.Many other delegations felt that this was particularly applicable
to industrialized fleets. A view was expressed, however, that in a situation where there is a
system for licensing fishing vessels and the number of vessels is controlled, there were no
grounds for the claim that subsidies constituted a cause of excessive fishing.
13. Some delegations touched on the need for consumers to be better informed, including
through market incentives, such as eco-labelling of fish and fish products. Other delegations
cautioned that in ongoing discussions regarding eco-labelling, potential negative impacts of
these measures on market access should be properly taken into account. Other delegations
suggested that this matter should be left to be dealt with at the national level.Many delegations
stated that the concept of eco-labelling and related issues are still under consideration at the
Committee on Trade and Environment of the World Trade Organization; in any case, such
measures should not constitute barriers to trade. Some other delegations referred to the work
of FAO in this respect.
14. Many delegations mentioned that many countries need assistance in sound scientific
observation of their fish stocks. A suggestion was made for regional fisheries cooperation,
in particular through regional scientific peer review of information on the state of fish stocks
and catches.


B. Land-based activities
15. There was a general agreement that some progress has been achieved with the adoption
of the Global Programme ofAction for the Protection of the Marine Environment from Landbased
Activities but that urgent attention was needed for its effective implementation at the
regional and national levels. Some delegations stressed the importance of resuscitating
UNEP?s catalytic role in the development of a clearinghouse mechanism which would promote
action at the national and regional levels.
16. Many delegations emphasized the lack of financial resources as the major obstacle in
achieving the objectives of the Programme of Action. Unless assistance was provided, in
particular to developing countries, it would be difficult for them to implement the Programme
of Action.
17. Some delegations referred to the identification of steps to address sewage problems
as among the most important challenges. Also noted was the necessary link between
Commission work related to sewage aspects of freshwater and the Programme of Action.
C. Marine science and climate change
18. Several delegations referred to the El Niño/La Niña phenomena as having global
repercussions. Long-term strategy to tackle these phenomena was needed, in particular to
improve monitoring and prediction of climate variability, develop early warning systems at
the regional levels, and build capacity at the regional and national levels in these areas, as
well as in the prevention of natural disasters.
19. Several delegations noted that the recent El Niño phenomena had caused extensive
damage to vulnerable populations in several countries, their natural resources and their
livestock. In this connection, many delegations referred to a series of intergovernmental
conferences on the 1997?1998 El Niño within the International Decade for Natural Disaster
Reduction framework and in pursuance of General Assembly resolution 52/200, including
the intergovernmental meeting of experts on El Niño held at Guayaquil, Ecuador, in November
1998. The objectives of these conferences were to improve the scientific understanding of
and the ability to predict the environmental and societal impacts of the phenomena, and to
define improved operational and institutional approaches to reducing damage from future
occurrences.
20. Several countries indicated the need to improve scientific understanding of the role of
oceans in modifying climatic extremes, such as El Niño, through an extended network of
monitoring stations under the Global Ocean Observation System and other international
programmes.
21. Some delegations noted that oceanographic observation was of growing importance
in assessing the degree of climate change and other developments in the global environment.
They called for the cooperation of the relevant authorities to advance such work.
D. Othermarine pollution
22. Some delegations valued the contribution made by the Noordwijk expert meeting on
environmental practices in offshore oil and gas activities, the holding of which was welcomed
by the Commission at its fourth session.

See E/CN.17/1999/9 17 and Corr.1, sect. II.B, annex.

23. A mention was made of the importance of reaching an early agreement in IMO on
hazardous substances in anti-fouling paints and the spread of harmful aquatic organisms in
ballast water, and in the International Seabed Authority on environmental standards for seabed
prospecting and, eventually, for mining. Some delegations supported further consideration
within IMO of ways to control air pollution from shipping and mandatory ship reporting
systems.
24. Many delegations emphasized the importance of reaching early agreement, under the
aegis of UNEP, on persistent organic pollutants.
25. Some delegations expressed continued support for improving the operation of GESAMP,
while noting at the same time that regional approaches were most practical for improving
access to sound scientific understanding. It was also noted that such an improved GESAMP
should provide transparency, accountability and consultation.

E. Coral reefs and marine protected areas
26. Some delegations proposed the development of a global representative system of marine
protected areas within and across national jurisdictions. A note of caution was voiced for
applying the concept of marine protected areas on the high seas without any agreement on
their sustainable use. It was recommended to focus on coastal areas and on encouraging every
State concerned to exercise its national jurisdictions. It was also emphasized that further work
in this area should be in line with the Programme for the Further Implementation of Agenda
21 adopted by the General Assembly at its nineteenth special session.
27. Referring to the ICRI international tropical marine ecosystems management symposium
held at Townsville, Australia, in November 1998, many delegations welcomed the renewed
call to action by ICRI, and requested the Commission to reaffirm the importance of ICRI with
a view to achieving its principal goals.
IV. International coordination and cooperation
28. There was general agreement that coordination within and among Governments as well
as among bodies within the United Nations system was vital and could be improved. The
meeting welcomed the acknowledgment in paragraph 52 of the report of the Secretary-General
on oceans and seas of the case for reviewing the working of the ACC Subcommittee on Oceans
and Coastal Areas with a view to improving its effectiveness in coordination.
29. Some delegations drew attention to the need for greater synergy and better integration
of oceans affairs within the United Nations system. It was mentioned that the annual debate
on oceans and the law of the sea needs to be more transparent, more systematic, more
responsive and better prepared. It was further mentioned that the Commission has a role to
play in relation to oceans in preparing for the next review of the implementation of Agenda
21. The involvement of non-governmental actors was also underlined by some delegations.
30. Many delegations argued for the need for improved coordination at the
intergovernmental level for achieving a holistic approach for global action on oceans. In this
regard, some delegations mentioned specific proposals, some of which were presented in
written form.9 Other proposals may emerge. Other delegations, however, cautioned against
the establishment of a new institution before the problems and gaps in existing arrangements

had been identified. They stressed instead the need for streamlining and reinforcing existing
mechanisms.
31. Some delegations pointed out that further discussions would be needed to examine the
purpose, format, timing, duration, frequency and reallocation of available funds, consistent
with the relevant rules and regulations of the United Nations, when considering new
organizational arrangements. Some other delegations pointed out that it is essential to identify
problems in the existing international arrangements, and that if improved coordination is
desirable in certain areas, attempts should first be made to make better use of the existing
framework of relevant conventions and organizations.


[%doctitle%]

Decision 7/2. Changing consumption and production patterns

1. The Commission on Sustainable Development:
(a) Reaffirms the basis for action as called for in chapter 4 of Agenda 21;
(b) Bears in mind the statement of commitment adopted by the General Assembly
at its nineteenth special session on 27 June 1997;
(c) Takes fully into account that States have common but differentiated
responsibilities, as set forth in principle 7 of the Rio Declaration, and different levels of
development as well as national conditions and priorities;
(d) Reaffirms the objectives and policy measures elaborated in chapters 33 and 34
ofAgenda 21 in relation to financing and the transfer of environmentally sound technologies;
(e) Recognizes that the implementation of sustainable consumption and production
approaches suited to country-specific conditions can lead to reduced costs and improved
competitiveness as well as reduced environmental impacts.

2. The Commission decides on the measures set out below.

3. The principal goals of changing consumption and production patterns should be pursued
by all countries, with the developed countries taking the lead, in full accordance with Agenda
21 and paragraph 28 of the Programme for the Further Implementation of Agenda 21, taking
into account the situation of developing countries adversely affected by the process, while
ensuring that all countries benefit from the process. Governments face a collective challenge
that requires reaffirmed commitments, strengthened cooperation and greater efforts towards
concrete action, taking into account that States have common but differentiated responsibilities
in accordance with principle 7 of the Rio Declaration. Governments, relevant international
organizations, the private sector and all other major groups as defined by Agenda 21 have
a role to play in changing unsustainable consumption and production patterns and need to
take action to this end. Special attention should be paid to unsustainable consumption patterns
among the richer segments in all countries, in particular in developed countries.

4. Developed countries should continue to take the lead in efforts to reverse unsustainable
trends in consumption and production, especially those that threaten the global environment.
Developing countries? priorities are to eradicate poverty, with international support for
achieving poverty reduction targets as agreed in United Nations conferences and summits,
and improve standards of living, including meeting basic needs and lessening the burden of
external debt, while taking all possible steps to avoid environmental damage and social
inequity, for the furtherance of sustainable development. Countries with economies in
transition face the challenge of integrating policies to make consumption and production
patterns more sustainable into the reform process, for which international support is also
needed. Developed countries should therefore fulfil the commitments undertaken to reach
the accepted United Nations target of 0.7 per cent of gross national product as soon as
possible. This will require a reversal in the current downward trend of overall official
development assistance (ODA) as a percentage of gross national product (GNP). Governments
should ensure that the basic needs of the people are met.
Priorities for future work

5. The Commission on Sustainable Development reaffirms that poverty eradication and
changing unsustainable consumption and production patterns remain the overriding issues
of the Commissions?s work programme. These two issues are to be integrated, as appropriate,
into the future themes of the work programme, in particular highlighting the linkages with
agriculture, financial resources, trade and investment in 2000, and energy and transport in
2001. In this regard, consideration should be given to developments in other relevant
international organizations and intergovernmental bodies. The two overriding issues should
also be given due regard at the comprehensive review at the Commission?s tenth session in
2002 in preparation for the 10-year review of progress made since UNCED.

6. Activities under the Commission?s international work programme on sustainable
consumption and production patterns, adopted at its third session in 1995, should continue.
In addition, the implementation of the international work programme will incorporate the
following four priority areas: (a) effective policy development and implementation; (b) natural
resource management and cleaner production; (c) globalization and its impacts on
consumption and production patterns; and (d) urbanization and its impacts on consumption
and production patterns. Progress on work and concrete results will be reported to the
Commission at its tenth session, in 2002.

Effective policy development and implementation

7. Governments, in cooperation with relevant international organizations and in partnership
with major groups, should:
(a) Further develop and implement policies for promoting sustainable consumption
and production patterns, including affordable, more eco-efficient consumption and production,
through disincentives for unsustainable practices and incentives for more sustainable
practices. A policy mix for this purpose could include regulations, economic and social
instruments, procurement policies and voluntary agreements and initiatives to be applied in
the light of country-specific conditions;
(b) In order to achieve sustainable consumption and production, promote measures
to internalize environmental costs and benefits in the price of goods and services, while
seeking to avoid potential negative effects for market access by developing countries,
particularlywith a view to encouraging the use of environmentally preferable products and
commodities. Governments should consider shifting the burden of taxation onto unsustainable
patterns of production and consumption; it is of vital importance to achieve such an
internalization of environmental costs. Such tax reforms should include a socially responsible
process of reduction and elimination of subsidies to environmentally harmful activities;
(c) Work to increase understanding of the role of advertising and mass media and
marketing forces in shaping consumption and production patterns, and enhance their role in
promoting sustainable development, inter alia, through voluntary initiatives and agreed
guidelines;
(d) Develop and implement public awareness programmes with a focus on consumer
education and access to information, in particular addressing youth, through, inter alia,
integrating the issue of sustainable consumption and production into teaching curricula at

all levels, as appropriate, and taking into account gender perspectives and the special concerns
of older people;
(e) Improve the quality of information regarding the environmental impact of products
and services, and to that end encourage the voluntary and transparent use of eco-labelling;
(f) Further develop, test and improve the preliminary set of indicators for sustainable
consumption and production developed under the Commission?s work programme, focusing
on the practical use of the indicators for policy development, taking into account the special
needs and conditions of developing countries;
(g) Ensure that implementation of measures for the above do not result in disguised
barriers to trade;
(h) Ensure that implementation ofmeasures for the above take fully into account the
ongoing deliberations in relevant international forums.

8. Developed countries should promote and facilitate the transfer of technical know-how,
environmentally sound technologies and capacity-building for implementation to developing
countries, in accordance with chapter 34 of Agenda 21, and also to countries with economies
in transition so as to foster more sustainable consumption and production patterns.
Furthermore, private-sector involvement should also be encouraged and promoted.
Natural resource management and cleaner production

9. Governments, in cooperation with relevant international organizations and in partnership
with major groups, should:
(a) Develop and apply policies to promote public and private investments in cleaner
production and the sustainable use of natural resources, including the transfer of
environmentally sound technologies to developing countries, in accordance with chapter 34
of Agenda 21, and also to countries with economies in transition;
(b) Collect and disseminate cost-effective best practice experiences in cleaner
production and environmental management;
(c) Undertake further analysis of the costs and benefits of demand-side management,
and where there is still insufficient information, of supply-side management, including cleaner
production and eco-efficiency, and assess the positive and negative impacts on developing
and developed countries and countries with economies in transition;
(d) Further develop and implement, as appropriate, cleaner production and ecoefficiency
policy approaches, through, inter alia, environmental management systems,
integrated product policies, life-cycle management, labelling schemes and performance
reporting, and in this context, taking fully into account the national circumstances and needs
of the developing countries as well as the relevant ongoing deliberations of the Committee
on Technical Barriers to Trade and the Committee on Trade and Environment of the World
Trade Organization (WTO). Best practices and results should be shared within the wider
community and used for capacity-building, in particular in small and medium-sized
enterprises, including in developing countries and countries with economies in transition;
(e) Engage industries and economic sectors, in both public and private sectors, and
all other major groups at the national and international levels, as appropriate, in activities
relating to sustainable consumption and production with the objective of developing optimal
strategies and/or programmes, including targets and timetables, at the appropriate levels for
more sustainable consumption and production, including cleaner production and affordable
eco-efficiency.


10. The United Nations Environment Programme and the United Nations Industrial
Development Organization should, inter alia, through their cleaner production centres,
enhance their support to enterprises, in particular small and medium-sized enterprises, in
developing countries and countries with economies in transition, especially in the areas of
auditing and certification, loan applications and financing, and the marketing of their products
on international markets as well as dissemination of information on environmentally sound
technology and technical know-how.

11. Recognizing that the implementation of cleaner production and eco-efficiency
approaches can lead to reduced costs and improved competitiveness, as well as reduced
environmental impacts, business and industry should be encouraged to implement these
approaches as a contribution to the achievement of sustainable production.
Globalization and its impacts on consumption and production patterns

12. Governments, in cooperation with relevant international organizations and in partnership
with major groups, should:
(a) Undertake studies of the impacts of globalization, including both positive and
negative impacts of trade, investment, mass media, advertising and marketing in all countries,
in particular developing countries. The studies should examine ways and means to mitigate
negative impacts and use opportunities to promote more sustainable consumption and
production patterns and open and non-discriminatory trade;
(b) Undertake studies on the role of the financial sector in promoting sustainable
consumption and production, and further encourage voluntary initiatives suited to national
conditions for sustainable development by that sector;
(c) Increase their efforts to make policies on trade and policies on environment,
including those on sustainable consumption and production, mutually supportive, without
creating disguised barriers to trade;
(d) Study the benefits of traditional values and local cultures in promoting sustainable
consumption.
Urbanization and its impacts on consumption and production patterns

13. Governments, in cooperation with relevant international organizations and in partnership
with major groups, while particularly taking into account the work of the Commission on
Human Settlements, should:
(a) Assess and address, in the context of sustainable development, the impacts of
urbanization, in particular those related to energy, transport, sanitation, waste management
and public health;
(b) Increase efforts to address the critical issues of fresh water and sanitation in human
settlements in developing countries through, inter alia, the transfer of environmentally sound
technologies and the provision of financial resources for implementation, as elaborated in
Agenda 21, as a priority of the international agenda on sustainable consumption and
production;
(c) Assess and address the impacts of urbanization on economic, environmental and
social conditions. In-depth studies on the key determining factors of quality of life should be
undertaken and used to strengthen appropriate human settlement development strategies suited
to national conditions, in the context of urbanization.
11 General Assembly resolution S-19/2, annex.
12 New York, Oxford University Press, 1998.

14. Governments at all levels are encouraged to incorporate sustainable consumption and
production policies in city planning and management, and to report to the review exercise
to be conducted at the tenth session of the Commission.

15. Governments at all levels, the private sector and other major groups as defined in
Agenda 21 are urged to cooperate in developing waste collection systems and disposal
facilities, and developing programmes for prevention, minimization and recycling of waste,
to safeguard and improve the quality of life in human settlements and coastal regions in all
countries, especially in developing countries. Dissemination of positive results of the
implementation of various policy instruments suitable to the national conditions and needs
of developing countries can facilitate the wider application of such policies.

Annex
Co-Chairmen?s summary of the discussions on consumption and production
patterns held by the Inter-sessional Ad Hoc Working Group on Consumption and
Production Patterns and on Tourism at its meeting from 22 to 26 February 1999
I
ntroduction
1. The debate on changing consumption and production patterns was based on the report
of the Secretary-General entitled ?Comprehensive review of changing consumption and
production patterns?,10 in the context of chapter 4 of Agenda 21 and paragraph 28 of the
Programme for the Further Implementation of Agenda 21.11

2. Many delegations from developing and developed countries and countries with
economies in transition described activities in their countries promoting sustainable
consumption and production patterns. Recent meetings that provided useful contributions
to the debate were mentioned, including a workshop at Kabelvåg, Norway, on the theme
?Consumption in a sustainable world?, hosted by Norway in June 1998, and a conference on
the theme ?Sustainable consumption patterns: trends and traditions in East Asia?, hosted by
the Republic ofKorea in January 1999, in cooperation with the United Nations Division for
Sustainable Development, and co-sponsored by Sweden and Norway. A number of delegations
welcomed the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) Human Development
Report, 1998,12 with its focus on consumption and human development, as a contribution to
the debate.
General considerations

3. Many delegations stated that unsustainable consumption and production patterns include
both adverse environmental impacts arising from the excess consumption of natural resources,
particularly in the developed countries, and unemployment, poverty and underconsumption
of basic goods and services, particularly in developing countries. They felt it would be useful
to have a coordinated programme of national and regional studies concerning destructive
patterns of consumption and production, notably in the areas of energy use, transport of waste
products and use of renewable and non-renewable natural resources, to assess their
sustainability. It was also considered important to ensure a sustainable development agenda
for energy that would cover all types of energy and address economic, social and
environmental aspects.

4. Many countries stated that achieving sustainable development required a transition to
sustainable patterns of production and consumption, particularly in industrialized countries.
It was noted that Governments face a collective challenge to strengthen cooperation and make
greater efforts towards concrete action, taking into account the principle of common but
differentiated responsibilities.

5. Many delegations stated that the biggest challenge for industrialized countries was to
minimize the negative effects of consumption and production and to assist developing
countries and countries with economies in transition in their efforts. Industrialized countries
must therefore continue to take the lead in finding ways to change unsustainable consumption
and production patterns.

6. Many delegations felt that the work programme on changing consumption and
production patterns as adopted by the Commission at its third session should be implemented
and further developed.

7. Many delegations emphasized that consumption and production patterns, together with
poverty, are overriding issues for the Commission for the period 1998?2002. The need to
change consumption and production patterns towards sustainable development should
therefore be addressed in the context of the themes for each session of the Commission, in
particular with respect to agriculture in 2000 and energy and transport in 2001.

8. Many delegations stated that changing consumption and production patterns to ensure
sustainability should not imply reductions in the quality of life or living standards and should
ensure that the basic needs of all people are met.

9. Some delegations noted that increases in consumption in recent decades have improved
the welfare of large numbers of people in the world. However, there are enormous, and in
many cases widening, disparities in consumption between and within countries. Increased
consumption has also, in many cases, resulted in the undermining of the sustainability of
development through environmental degradation and resource depletion. The most severe
environmental impacts are being felt in the poorest regions of the world.

10. Many delegations stated that Governments should ensure minimum standards of
consumption for poor people, with particular attention to nutrition, literacy and education,
health care, clean drinking water, sanitation and shelter. Improving opportunities for
productive employment, particularly in rural areas of developing countries, could contribute
to this objective. It was noted that rural communities in developing countries where access
to electricity was prohibitively expensive could be supplied with solar energy, thus improving
living standards and environmental conditions.

11. One delegation noted that its country had increased consumption in recent decades while
reducing pollution through measures such as increased energy and resource efficiency,
increased reuse and recycling, increased durability of goods, and improved management of
chemicals and waste. Nonetheless, it noted that much more needed to be done to promote
environmentally sound and sustainable consumption and production practices.

12. Another delegation noted that unsustainable consumption and production patterns,
particularly in developed countries, have produced global environmental degradation,
including depletion of fish stocks, deforestation, loss of biodiversity, ozone depletion and the
steady accumulation of greenhouse gases.

13. Some delegations stated that a variety of policy instruments should be used to promote
sustainable consumption and production patterns, including regulations, economic incentives,
ecological tax reform, information and education. It was noted that further work was needed
on assessing the effectiveness of policy instruments in providing economic, environmental
and social benefits. Further studywas also needed to assess the benefits and costs of phasing
out environmentally harmful subsidies and introducing environmental taxes and charges more
widely, with measures to assist vulnerable groups and enterprises that may be adversely
affected. It was proposed that the role of the financial services sector in facilitating
environmentally and socially responsible investments deserved further study and analysis.

14. Some delegations stated that development of indicators to measure changes in
consumption and production patterns was important for identifying areas where action is
needed and assessing the effectiveness of policy measures. It was also stated that, in
developing such indicators, consideration must be given to the situation of developing
countries, in particular to the satisfaction of basic needs, information availability and
accessible methodologies.

15. One delegation stated that information dissemination measures were sometimes
insufficient and that a shift to ?social system? measures was required.

16. Some delegations stated that Governments should ensure cleaner production and ecoefficiency
in their own operations and procurement, and introduce environmental management
systems. It was noted that the 1996 Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development
(OECD) Council Recommendation on Improving the Environmental Performance of
Governments and the Recommendation on Improving the Environmental Performance of
OECD were important contributions to this objective.

17. Some delegations noted that sustainable production and consumption, particularly with
respect to fossil fuel consumption and its links to climate change and sea-level rise, were of
particular concern to small island developing States. Other delegations were of the view that
fossil fuel consumption was not the conclusive cause of climate change.

18. Some delegations stated that further efforts were needed to improve access to
international markets for products from least developed countries in order to promote
sustainable consumption and production in those countries.

19. One delegation stated that work in the area of computer modelling of consumption and
production trends should reflect specific consumption and production trends at subregional
and national levels. Such computer models should be used to examine the possible impacts
of changes in policy.

20. Many delegations stated that progress towards more sustainable consumption and
production, and towards the implementation of the Commission?s work programme, would
require cooperation among Governments, business and industry, non-governmental
organizations and international organizations. Public-private partnerships should be promoted
towards this objective.

21. In addition to continuing work on the existing work programme, delegations proposed
new priorities and new areas of work as described below.
Natural resource management and cleaner production

22. Many delegations stated that developed countries should encourage the establishment
of best practices in cleaner production and environmental management. Developed countries
and international organizations should make further efforts towards capacity-building and
technology transfer to industrial sectors in developing countries and countries with economies
in transition.

23. Many delegations stated that increased efforts were needed to promote and facilitate
the transfer of environmentally sound technologies, in combination with financial resources,
to developing countries and countries with economies in transition and provide them with
technical assistance in support of their national capacity-building programmes. They looked
forward to developed countries? meeting their commitments to ODA, leading to more tangible
and visible results.

24. Some delegations stated that cleaner production and eco-efficiency, based on improved
skills, technologies and efficient use of energy and resources, were essential to sustainable
development in both developed and developing countries. In many cases, it was noted, cleaner
production provided large economic benefits as well as environmental benefits. It was also
noted, however, that these efficiency improvements have generally been outweighed by
increased volumes of production and consumption.

25. Some delegations supported the idea of developing national cleaner production and ecoefficiency
strategies and setting targets for eco-efficiency adapted to particular sectors,
products and processes. Governments, in partnership with industry, should develop and
implement comprehensive policy packages including cleaner production, eco-efficiency, lifecycle
management, product stewardship and pollution prevention. The development and
application of integrated product policies was seen as a useful approach to this objective.

26. Many delegations stated that Governments should encourage business and industry to
adopt environmental management systems and to publish information on the environmental
impacts of their activities.Where possible, they should be encouraged to provide information
on the environmental impacts of their goods and services, including the impacts of
distribution, use and disposal, as well as production processes.

27. Some delegations stated that business and industry could make important contributions
to making consumption and production more sustainable by developing and adopting cleaner
production technologies, environmental best practices, environmental management systems,
codes of conduct, voluntary guidelines and negotiated agreements. Governments should
promote dialogue and partnership with business and industry towards this objective.

28. Some delegations stated that increased research and investment are required to develop
more sustainable use of key resources in such areas as energy, transport and water, with a
view to improving access for poor people and conserving resources. It was noted that some
Governments were providing financial support for science and technology for sustainability
in such areas as energy and agriculture, and for incentives for consumers to improve energy
efficiency in homes and transportation.

29. Some delegations stated that regulations and economic incentives, including progressive
internalization of environmental costs, should be used to promote cleaner production and ecoefficiency.
Many small and medium-sized enterprises would need support from government
and other members of industry in meeting those objectives.

30. Many delegations were of the view that economic instruments and the internalization
of environmental costs might constitute a trade restriction and be counter-productive,
specifically in regard to the already limited comparative advantages of developing countries,
and therefore should be avoided in accordance with the principle of common but differentiated
responsibilities.

31. Some delegations stated that voluntary initiatives by the private sector, where
appropriate in cooperation with government and non-governmental organizations, could also
contribute to changing consumption and production patterns. It was noted that the Commission
secretariat, in consultation with other stakeholders, was organizing a multi-stakeholder experts
workshop, to be hosted by Canada in March 1999, to identify elements for a review of
voluntary initiatives and agreements and to report to the Commission.

32. Many delegations stated that the UNEP/UNIDO cleaner production centres should
provide additional support to enterprises, in particular small and medium-sized enterprises,
in developing countries and countries with economies in transition, for introducing cleaner
production technologies, financing technology transfer and undertaking capacity-building
for environmental management, auditing and certification.

33. Some delegations welcomed the International Declaration on Cleaner Production
launched by UNEP in October 1998 and invited Governments that had not already done so
to sign the Declaration.
Impact of globalization on consumption and production patterns

34. Many delegations noted that consumption and production patterns in developed
countries strongly influenced patterns in developing countries, particularly in the context of
globalization and trade liberalization. This occurred not only through trade and investment,
but also through communication, mass media, advertising and marketing. They stressed that
consumption and production patterns in developed countries should not be used to create
technical barriers to trade.

35. Some delegations stated that further efforts should be made to identify areas in which
changing consumption patterns in developed countries offer opportunities for enterprises in
developing countries. It was noted that some developing-country production processes are
more environmentally friendly than processes in developed countries.

36. Many delegations stated that trade pressure from developed countries had also
contributed to unsustainable consumption practices in developing countries. For example,
when developed countries seek, through various means, lower taxes on their exports to
developing countries, such as luxury cars, energy-wasting home appliances and other
expensive products, they affect the consumption patterns of developing countries. Those
delegations recommended that developed countries take steps to harmonize their policies on
trade and sustainable development, with particular reference to avoiding the tendency to
export unsustainable consumption and production patterns. It was suggested that countries
could consider applying environmental taxes on particular luxury and disposable goods that
have negative environmental impacts.

37. Some delegations stated that improvements in eco-efficiency would be beneficial to
all countries and that action to promote cleaner production and eco-efficiency should be
intensified, but that there might be some negative side effects for countries with a high
economic dependence on exports of natural resources.

38. Some delegations noted that economic and social development in oil exporting countries
could be adversely affected by measures such as energy taxes and that consideration should
be given to the situation of those countries.

39. One delegation stressed the importance of ensuring coherence between multilateral
agreements and instruments that address environmental and social standards, and the
multilateral trade rules.

40. Many delegations proposed that the role of communications, media and advertising in
promoting unsustainable consumption and production patterns and in disseminating
consumption and production patterns internationally should be studied. They suggested that
agreed guidelines might be considered.
Urbanization

41. Many delegations stated that further efforts are urgently needed to address problems
related to transportation and health in human settlements in developing countries, in particular
problems of air pollution and traffic congestion. New approaches to urban planning, land-use
management and public transportation were needed to address these problems in a
comprehensive way.

42. Many delegations noted that waste collection and disposal was a major environmental
issue in both developing and developed countries. They noted a need for research and
development in waste management systems and for developed-country support in introducing
such systems into developing countries. It was stated that waste prevention through cleaner
production, reductions in packaging, recycling and reuse, and consumer education and
information could make a major contribution to waste management. International exchange
of best practices in those areas would be of major importance.

43. Many delegations stated that urban infrastructure for clean drinking water and sanitation
in developing countries should be a priority.

44. Many delegations stated that developed-country expertise, technology and financial
resources could help in addressing the problems of urban infrastructure development, waste
management and comprehensive urban planning in developing countries.

45. Some delegations noted that urban planning and infrastructure development were key
determinants of long-term patterns of consumption and production, as they impose constraints
on changes in patterns of transportation and consumption of energy, water and materials.
Sustainability considerations should be integrated into land-use planning and urban
development.
Consumer information and education and social values

46. Some delegations stated that sustainable consumption and production required that
technology improvements be complemented by changes in lifestyles and new perceptions of
welfare, in particular among affluent consumers in all countries. This required that consumers
be active participants in sustainable development efforts.

47. Some delegations stated that information on sustainable consumption and production
should be integrated into educational curricula at all levels of education, particularly into
professional education.

48. Some delegations stated that eco-labelling and fair trade labelling could assist
consumers in taking environmental and social issues into account in their consumption. Such
measures, however, should not be disguised barriers to trade. Many delegations cautioned
that the concept of eco-labelling and related issues were still under discussion in the
Committee on Trade and Environment of the World Trade Organization.

49. One delegation stressed that issues related to eco-labelling should focus only on product
characteristics, taking due consideration of discussions in other multilateral forums, such as
the World Trade Organization Committee on Trade and Environment, in order to avoid
disguised barriers to trade.

50. Some delegations stated that the use of economic policy instruments, including
internalization of environmental and social costs, and the phasing out of environmentally
harmful subsidies, were also essential in promoting consumer choices that take into account
the impact on sustainable development.Many delegations questioned the idea of ?social costs?
and expressed preference for a reference instead to the social impacts of economic policy
instruments.

51. Some delegations stated that further research was needed on consumer behaviour,
including the choices made bywomen, men and children, and of the effect of advertising and
the media. The Oxford-based International Commission on Sustainability which is being

General Assembly 13 resolution 39/248 of 9 April 1985, annex.
14 Report of the United Nations Conference on Environment and Development, Rio de Janeiro, 3?14
June 1992, vol. I, Resolutions Adopted by the Conference (United Nations publication, Sales No.
E.93.I.8 and corrigendum), resolution 1, annex II.
15 See United Nations Environment Programme, Convention on Biological Diversity (Environment Law
and Institution Programme Activity Centre), June 1992.

established to look at the social-cultural dimensions that shape consumption and production
patterns should provide a valuable contribution to further consideration of this issue.

52. Some delegations stated that consideration should be given to how elements of
traditional knowledge, culture, practices and lifestyles can be combined with modern
approaches to promote sustainable consumption and production patterns. Efforts in this area
in East Asia should take into account the work of the conference on the theme ?Sustainable
consumption patterns: trends and traditions in East Asia?, held in the Republic of Korea in
January 1999.

53. Many delegations welcomed the agreement in informal consultations on new elements
on sustainable consumption for inclusion in the United Nations guidelines for consumer
protection.13

54. Some delegations stated that consumer information and education were essential for
enabling consumers to make informed choices. Consumers should be provided with
information on the impacts of consumer behaviour on the environment, health, quality of life
and poverty, and with information on alternative consumption possibilities. Governments,
in partnership with the business community, consumer organizations and other organizations
of civil society, should promote public availability of such information. It was noted that
public participation in policy-making at all levels and transparent legislative and regulatory
process promote public support of, and participation in, sustainable production and
consumption efforts. Public support was needed to strengthen the work of consumer
organizations in these areas.


[%doctitle%]

Decision 7/3. Tourism and sustainable development
1. The Commission on Sustainable Development:
(a) Recalls the outcome of the nineteenth special session of the General Assembly
for the overall review and appraisal of the implementation of Agenda 21,14 in particular
Assembly resolution S/19-2, annex, of 28 June 1997, in paragraph 69 of which the Assembly
requested the Commission on Sustainable Development to develop an action-oriented
international programme of work on sustainable tourism development, to be defined in
cooperation with theWorld Tourism Organization, the United Nations Conference on Trade
and Development, the United Nations Environment Programme, the Conference of the Parties
to the Convention on Biological Diversity15 and other relevant bodies, and stressed that policy
development and implementation should take place in cooperation with all interested parties,
especially the private sector and local and indigenous communities;
(b) Recalls also that the General Assembly, in its resolution 53/200 of 15 December
1998, proclaimed the year 2002 as the International Year of Ecotourism and in its resolution
53/24 of 10 November 1998 proclaimed 2002 also as the International Year ofMountains;
(c) Notes with appreciation the outcome of the multi-stakeholder dialogue at the
current session of the Commission and the progress made so far bymajor groups in promoting
sustainable tourism development.
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2. The Commission decides to adopt an international work programme on sustainable
tourism development, containing the elements outlined below, and to begin its implementation
with appropriate means and resources, especially for developing countries, which will be
reviewed in 2002 when the 10-year review of progress achieved since the United Nations
Conference on Environment and Development will be carried out.
3. The Commission urges Governments:
(a) To advance sustainable tourism development, inter alia, through the development
and implementation of policies and national strategies or master plans for sustainable tourism
development based on Agenda 21, which will encourage their tourism industry, assist in
attracting foreign direct investment and appropriate environmentally sound technologies, and
also provide focus and direction for the active participation ofmajor groups, including national
tourism councils and, as appropriate, tourism agencies and organizations, and the private
sector as well as indigenous and local communities;
(b) To consult, as appropriate, with all major groups and local communities in the
tourism development process, including policy formulation, planning, management and
sharing of benefits, which could reflect the need to harmonize the relationship among the
people, the community and the environment;
(c) To work in partnership with major groups, especially at the local level, to ensure
active participation in tourism-related planning and development;
(d) To undertake capacity-building work with indigenous and local communities in
order to facilitate their active participation, at all levels of the tourism development process,
including transparent decision-making and sharing of benefits, and to create awareness of
the social, economic and environmental costs and benefits that they are bearing;
(e) To create the appropriate institutional, legal, economic, social and environmental
framework by developing and applying a mix of instruments, as appropriate, such as integrated
land-use planning and coastal zone management, economic instruments, social and
environmental impact assessment for tourist facilities, including gender aspects, and voluntary
initiatives and agreements;
(f) To maximize the potential of tourism for eradicating poverty by developing
appropriate strategies in cooperation with all major groups, and indigenous and local
communities;
(g) To welcome the major groups? agreement to promote sustainable tourism
development through music, art and drama and to participate in such educational activities;
(h) To facilitate destination-specific in-flight educational videos and other materials
on sustainable development in relation to tourism and to encourage airline carriers to routinely
screen such videos on all international and long-haul domestic routes;
(i) To promote a favourable framework for small and medium-sized enterprises, the
major engine for job creation in the tourism sector, by reducing administrative burdens,
facilitating access to capital and providing training in management and other skills, in
recognition of the employment potential of sustainable tourism development;
(j) To take strong and appropriate action, through the development and enforcement
of specific legislation/measures, against any kind of illegal, abusive or exploitative tourist
activity, including sexual exploitation/abuse, in recognition of the fact that such activities have
particularly adverse impacts and pose significant social, health and cultural threats, and that
all countries have a role to play in the efforts to stamp them out;
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Report of the Global Conference on the Sustainable 16 Development of Small Island Developing
States, Bridgetown, Barbados, 25 April?6 May 1994 (United Nations publication, Sales No.
E.94.I.18 and corrigenda), chap I, resolution 1, annex II.
40
(k) To participate in international and regional processes that address issues relevant
to sustainable tourismdevelopment; to consider the ratification or adoption, and promote the
implementation and enforcement, as appropriate, of standards or guidelines relevant to the
travel and tourism industry, such as in the labour and health fields; and to support initiatives,
especially through organizations like the International Labour Organization and the World
Health Organization, that would make an early and positive contribution to sustainable tourism
development;
(l) To support appropriate measures to better inform tourists about cultural,
ecological and other values and provide accurate information on the safety of tourist
destinations, so as to enable consumers to make informed choices.
4. The Commission calls upon the tourism industry:
(a) To develop environmentally, socially and culturally compatible forms of tourism
and to continue the development and implementation of voluntary initiatives in support of
sustainable tourismdevelopment, bearing in mind that such forms of tourism and initiatives
should meet, or preferably exceed, relevant local, national, regional or international standards;
(b) To further commit itself to the goal of sustainable tourism development by working
towards guiding principles and objectives for sustainable tourism development and
information for tourists on ecological and cultural values in destination regions;
(c) To further develop voluntary eco-efficiency and appropriate management systems
to save costs and to promote sustainable forms of tourism;
(d) To take effective steps to reduce the volume of waste associated with travel and
tourism activities;
(e) To ?design with nature? in collaboration with planning authorities, by using low
impact designs, materials and technologies, so as not to damage the environmental or cultural
assets that tourists seek to experience and that sustain the local community, and to undertake
measures to restore tourist destinations with degraded environments;
(f) To distance itself publicly from illegal, abusive or exploitive forms of tourism;
(g) To meet or preferably exceed relevant national or international labour standards.
5. The Commission invites, as appropriate, Governments and major groups, as well
as the United Nations system, in close collaboration with the World Tourism Organization,
while building on relevant work carried out by the United Nations Environment Programme,
the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization, the United Nations
Conference on Trade and Development, the International Labour Organization and the United
Nations Development Programme and under the Convention on Biological Diversity and other
relevant conventions and organizations, and taking note of the Programme of Action for the
Sustainable Development of Small Island Developing States,16 adopted at Barbados in 1994,
to consider undertaking the following initiatives and to keep the Commission on Sustainable
Development informed on progress achieved:
(a) To promote sustainable tourism development in order to increase the benefits from
the tourism resources for the population in the host communities and maintain the cultural
and environmental integrity of the host community; to encourage cooperation of major groups
at all levels with a view to facilitating Local Agenda 21 initiatives and promoting linkages
within the local economy in order that benefits may be more widely shared; to this end, greater
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efforts should be undertaken for the employment of the local workforce, and the use of local
products and skills;
(b) To support national efforts by countries, especially developing countries and
countries with economies in transition, and major groups towards sustainable tourism
development through relevant capacity-building activities and programmes as well as
multilateral and bilateral financial and technical assistance, and appropriate technologies in
all aspects of sustainable tourism development, including environmental impact assessment
and management and education in the field of tourism;
(c) To encouragemore responsible behaviour among tourists through ensuring respect
for national laws, cultural values, social norms and tradition as well as by increasing public
awareness, in addition to other measures;
(d) To promote the application of integrated planning approaches to tourism
development at the local level, including through encouraging the use of Local Agenda 21
as a process for planning, implementing and monitoring sustainable tourism development
and recognizing the potential for integration of Local Agenda 21 with Agenda 21 for the
Travel and Tourism Industry as well as other such initiatives;
(e) To provide relevant direction on research activities, and collect and disseminate
information on best practices and techniques, including an appropriate mix of instruments
to minimize negative and to promote positive environmental, social and cultural impacts from
tourism in developed and developing countries and in countries with economies in transition;
(f) To promote the exchange of information on transportation, accommodation and
other services, public awareness-raising programmes and education, and various voluntary
initiatives and ways to minimize the effects of natural disasters on tourism. Possible forms
of this information exchange should be explored in consultation with relevant partners,
utilizing, inter alia, such means as bilateral and multilateral arrangements;
(g) To undertake studies on appropriate measures for promoting sustainable tourism
development, such as community planning in fragile ecosystems, including in coastal areas,
and to develop tools to assist local authorities in determining appropriate management regimes
and their capacity for tourism development;
(h) To further develop or support integrated initiatives, preferably through pilot
projects, to enhance the diffusion of innovations and to avoid, wherever possible, duplication
and waste of resources;
(i) To undertake activities that would be supportive of the preparations for both the
International Year of Ecotourism and the International Year of Mountains, as well as activities
of the International Coral Reef Initiative;
(j) To clarify further the concepts of sustainable tourism and eco-tourism;
(k) To develop core indicators for sustainable tourism development, taking into
account the work of the World Tourism Organization and other relevant organizations, as
well as the ongoing testing phase of indicators for sustainable development;
(l) To undertake a comprehensive survey and assessment of the results of
implementing existing voluntary initiatives and guidelines relating to the economic,
sociocultural and environmental sustainability of tourism, to be reported to the Commission
on Sustainable Development in order to identify best practices with respect to raising
awareness of sustainable tourism development;
(m) To consider establishing a global network, taking into account the work of the
World TourismOrganization, regional mechanisms and all major groups, as appropriate, to
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promote an exchange of information and views on sustainable tourism development, including
on ecotourism;
(n) To cooperate with the United Nations Environment Programme in further
developing guiding principles for sustainable tourism development;
(o) To encourage business and industry to take steps to implement eco-efficiency
approaches, in order to reduce environmental impacts associated with travel and tourism
activities, in particular the volume of packaging waste, especially in small island developing
States.
6. The Commission invites the World Tourism Organization to consider informed
major groups? participation, as appropriate, in the development, implementation and
monitoring of its Global Code of Ethics for Tourism, including those provisions relating to
a code of conduct for tourists.
7. The Commission invites relevant agencies, particularly the International Maritime
Organization, to evaluate whether existing regulations on marine pollution and compliance
with them are sufficient to provide adequate protection to fragile coastal zones from adverse
impacts as a result of tourist vessel activities.
8. The Commission invites the Conference of the Parties to the Convention on
Biological Diversity to further consider, in the context of the process of the exchange of
experiences, existing knowledge and best practice on sustainable tourism development and
biological diversitywith a view to contributing to international guidelines for activities related
to sustainable tourismdevelopment in vulnerable terrestrial, marine and coastal ecosystems
and habitats ofmajor importance for biological diversity and protected areas, including fragile
mountain ecosystems.
9. The Commission welcomes the work of major groups, especially the business
community, trade and tourism industry associations, non-governmental organizations and
other groups involved in travel and tourism, to contribute to efforts to achieve sustainable
tourism development, including through educational initiatives and action plans based on
Agenda 21 and other related documents, and particularlywelcomes their commitment through
the continuation of their work with all major groups, to do more, and to report to the
Commission on Sustainable Development on their progress.
10. The Commission invites the United Nations Secretariat and the World Tourism
Organization, in consultation with major groups and other relevant international organizations,
to jointly facilitate the establishment of an ad hoc informal open-ended working group on
tourism to assess financial leakages and determine how to maximize benefits for indigenous
and local communities; and to prepare a joint initiative to improve information availability
and capacity-building for participation, and address other matters relevant to the
implementation of the international work programme on sustainable tourism development.

Annex
Co-Chairmen?s summary of the discussions on tourism held by the Inter-Sessional
Ad Hoc Working Group on Consumption and Production Patterns and on Tourism
at its meeting from 22 to 26 February 1999
Introduction
1. As an outcome of the nineteenth special session of the General Assembly for the overall
review and appraisal of the implementation ofAgenda 21 in 1997, the Assembly, in paragraph
69 of the annex to its resolution S/19-2 of 28 June 1997 on the Programme for the Further
Implementation of Agenda 21, requested the Commission on Sustainable Development to
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17 E/CN.17/1999/5 and Add.1?3.
43
develop an action-oriented international programme of work on sustainable tourism, to be
defined in cooperation with theWorld Tourism Organization, the United Nations Conference
on Trade and Development (UNCTAD), the United Nations Environment Programme
(UNEP), the Conference of the Parties to the Convention on Biological Diversity and other
relevant bodies.More recently, the Assembly, in its resolution 53/200 of 15 December 1998,
declared the year 2002 as the International Year of Ecotourism and, in its resolution 53/24
of 10 November 1998, declared 2002 as the International Year of Mountains. The Economic
and Social Council, in its resolution 1998/40 of 30 July 1998, requested the Commission,
in the framework of its discussion of tourism during its seventh session, to recommend to the
Assembly, through the Council, supportive measures and activities which would contribute
to a successful International Year of Ecotourism. Many delegations stressed that policy
development and implementation should take place in cooperation with all interested parties,
especially the private sector and local and indigenous communities, in the context of Agenda
21.
2. The discussions on tourism and sustainable development were based on the
recommendations and proposals for action contained in the report of the Secretary-General
on tourism and sustainable development and its three addenda.17 In addition, many delegations
from developed and developing countries provided useful information on activities, policies
and strategies in their countries pertaining to sustainable tourism development.
General considerations
3. Many delegations noted that tourism is both currently and potentially a significant
contributor to sustained economic growth and sustainable development. In a number of
developing countries, tourism has emerged as a dominant economic contributor, providing
infrastructure development, jobs, foreign exchange earnings, government tax revenue and
other significant benefits to local communities. Developing countries experience trying times
with regard to not only environmental management, but also socio-economic welfare and
tourism market growth. Uplifting people is the biggest challenge facing the tourism sectors
of these countries, and the creation of sustainable job opportunities and the promotion of
emerging enterprises, as well as appropriate training, are of cardinal importance.
4. Many delegations also noted that the tourism industry is one of the fastest growing
economic sectors in the global economy and has important economic, social, cultural and
environmental impacts. Many delegations noted that the continued growth of the tourism
industry has important implications for the achievement of sustainable development,
particularly in small island developing States and tourist destinations with fragile ecological
environments.
5. Many countries emphasized that the tourism sector can be a major engine for economic
development in many developing countries because of its large potential contribution to
income- and employment-generation. Moreover, in some developing countries, particularly
those lacking adequate resource endowments such as the small island developing States,
tourism may be the only development alternative available in the short to medium term.
However, there was some concern that over-reliance on tourism, especially mass tourism,
carries significant risks to tourism-dependent economies since phenomena such as economic
recession and natural disasters can have devastating effects on the tourism sector.
6. Many delegations noted that international tourism can potentially introduce both positive
and negative social and cultural impacts in host destinations. Although tourism can create
positive impacts on social development through employment creation, income redistribution
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and poverty alleviation, it also has the potential to introduce negative social and cultural
change such as through drug abuse, child labour, prostitution, overcrowding, pressure on
resources, and challenges to established culture.
7. Many delegations stated that an important consideration in sustainable tourism
development is the tourist carrying capacity of host destinations in both environmental and
social terms which should adequately reflect the ability of a local community to absorb tourists
without submerging or overwhelming the local culture and its natural resources.
8. Many countries also stated that the tourism industry can present serious challenges to
environmental management, particularly through its consumption of resources, the pollution
and waste generated by the development of tourism infrastructures and facilities,
transportation and tourist activities. In the absence of proper planning and management,
tourism development can encourage the intensive or inappropriate use of land which can lead
to deforestation, soil erosion and loss of biological diversity. Ironically, damage to the
environment threatens the very viability of the tourism industry because tourism depends
heavily on the natural environment.
9. Coastal area development for tourism was identified as an issue of particular concern
bymany countries. Improperly planned development of tourism can despoil the pristine beauty
of coastal areas, contribute to beach destruction and coastal degradation and negatively affect
the livelihood of peoples in coastal communities. The treatment and disposal of liquid and
solid wastes generated by the tourism industry were identified as a serious problem,
particularly for less developed economies that lack the appropriate physical infrastructure
or adequate waste treatment capacity. The disposal of untreated effluents into surrounding
areas of land and sea often leads to the pollution of scarce inland freshwater resources, loss
of valuable marine life, destruction of coral reefs and the silting and erosion of coastal
beaches.
10. Some delegations, noting that the United Nations had declared 2002 as the International
Year of Mountains, pointed out that opportunities exist for obvious linkages with the
International Year of Ecotourism, also in 2002. Mountain regions represent a significant
portion of the tourism industry. These remote, fragile and highly biodiverse ecosystems are
homes to unique cultures and traditions which draw tourists from an increasingly urbanized
world. If it is not properlymanaged, and does not take into account local communities, local
control of resources, the integral role of women, equitable distribution of benefits and
appropriate infrastructure needs, tourism development in mountain regions threatens to
undermine ecosystems and cultures.
11. Many countries emphasized that fresh water remains a pressing concern. Since the
tourism industry is an extremely intensive user of fresh water, the problem of freshwater
supply could worsen as the industry expands globally unless steps are taken to minimize water
use in accommodation and other tourism activities. Some other delegations noted that,
although the tourism sector is only a minor contributor to global warming, air pollution could
worsen at the global level, for example, from increased carbon dioxide (CO ) emissions 2
related to energy use in tourism-related transportation, and air-conditioning and heating of
tourism facilities.
12. Many countries also emphasized that the tourism industry can help protect and
rehabilitate natural assets, such as parks, protected areas and cultural and natural sites, by
its financial contributions, provision of environmental infrastructure and improved
environmental management. It can also help to raise the awareness of the local population
regarding the financial and intrinsic value of natural and cultural sites, motivating communities
to reclaim their natural and cultural patrimony through environmental protection and
conservation. In general, the tourism industry has a vested interest in maintaining the
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environmental, social and cultural resources of destination areas which represent their core
business assets.
13. There was an attempt bymany delegations to define sustainable tourism. One delegation
suggested that sustainable tourism is, inter alia, development which ?... meets the need of
present tourists and host regions while protecting and enhancing opportunity for the future?.
Other delegations suggested that ?sustainable tourism must seek a balance between (a)
economic benefit and investment; (b) social participation, including local communities, with
direct earnings, and seeking preservation and consolidation of its cultural values and
traditions; (c) conservation and protection of environment and biological diversity, taking
into account regulations that allow an appropriate management of habitats and the introduction
of education and dissemination of information to promote an environmental consciousness
among the local population and visitors?. One delegation noted that ecotourism is an economic
activity that minimizes environmental impacts, valuing and contributing to the conservation
of ecosystems, and at the same time generates incomes for local communities.
14. One delegation noted that ecotourism has potential to create new patterns of tourism
but, at the same time, there are impediments to promoting ecotourism which include local
communities? hesitation to replace conventional tourism, the reluctance to adopt codes of
conduct to ensure the quality of ecotourism and the difficulty of promoting ecotourism in areas
unlikely to attract visitors.
Challenges
15. Delegations noted that there are a number of important challenges associated with
sustainable tourism development. These challenges include, inter alia, the following:
(a) A concentration of services and profits into very few big transnational
corporations, which often leads to the development of enclaves with no linkage to other socioeconomic
sectors of the local society;
(b) The lack of an adequate tourism infrastructure, which was seen as a serious
obstacle to tourism development in some countries, particularly developing countries;
(c) The need to improve the access of small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs)
to government incentives and publicity;
(d) The need to involve local communities, at all levels, in all aspects of the tourism
development process, such as policy-making, planning, management, ownership and the
sharing of benefits;
(e) The need to ensure that tourism development planning preserves the natural and
cultural legacy, heritage and integrity of tourism destinations and respects the social and
cultural norms of society, particularly among the indigenous communities;
(f) The need to inform people of the benefits to be gained from sustainable tourism
development through community awareness campaigns;
(g) The need to raise public awareness about sustainable tourism and to encourage
more responsible behaviour among tourists;
(h) The need to enhance the linkages of the private tourism sector with the other
sectors of the economy, and to ensure that domestic entrepreneurs are not marginalized by
foreign investors in the tourism industry;
(i) To ensure sufficient coordination between the public and private sectors to achieve
sustainable tourism;
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(j) To overcome the lack of regional cooperation for promoting the development of
sustainable tourism.
Action by Governments
16. Many delegations stressed that Governments should give appropriate attention and
priority to tourism in development planning so that it develops in harmony with overall
economic, social and environmental goals, within an integrated policy framework. In this
regard, Governments should develop national strategies or master plans for tourism, in the
context of Agenda 21, which will provide focus and direction to all stakeholders.
17. Some delegations stated that countries should consider the various options available
for financing tourism infrastructure projects, such as government outlays, financing by
multilateral and regional financial institutions, involvement of the private sector through buildoperate-
transfer schemes, and foreign direct investment (FDI). In addition, there are also
various options for private sector financing for, inter alia, training, education, management
and marketing.
18. Some countries noted that the use of economic instruments to promote sustainable
tourism, in particular the full-costing and pricing of energy and water, can promote ecoefficiency
in the tourism industry as well as provide additional revenue that can be used to
support improved management of these resources. In this regard, the polluter-pays principle
and user-pays systems are appropriate and should be more widely applied and supported.
19. Many delegations were of the view that government policies should be implemented
to encourage and support small and medium-sized enterprises in the tourism industry,
especially in developing countries and countries with economies in transition.
20. Many delegations stressed that Governments should promote partnerships between all
stakeholders and that they can play an important role by encouraging, supporting and
facilitating the involvement and commitment of all stakeholders, especially indigenous and
local communities, in the planning, development and management of tourism.
21. Many delegations emphasized that there needs to be an increase in the transfer of the
benefits from tourism to local communities through the creation of jobs, entrepreneurial
opportunities and social benefits if efforts to promote community participation are to be
effective.
22. Some countries emphasized that, in some cases, there is a need to control the rate of
growth of the tourism sector in order to preserve the natural and cultural legacy, heritage and
integrity of tourism destinations as well as the social and cultural norms of society, particularly
among the indigenous communities.
23. Many countries noted that it is necessary to promote capacity-building in sustainable
tourism, particularly among local governments. In many countries, local governments have
important responsibilities for tourism development and management, and capacity-building
programmes will enable them to better understand these responsibilities with respect to
sustainable tourism.
24. Some delegations pointed out that local and central governments should enhance their
capacity to monitor the performance of the tourism industry and to develop suitable indicators
of sustainable tourism that can be used in their decision-making.
25. Many delegations stressed that Governments should promote the role of the local
community in deciding what it is prepared to offer, how its cultural patrimony is to be
presented and which, if any, aspects of the culture are off-limits to visitors.
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26. Some delegations suggested that tourism, in particular mass tourism, should be regulated
and, where necessary, prohibited in ecologically and culturally sensitive areas. In protected
areas and where nature is particularly diverse, vulnerable and attractive, tourism should be
permitted onlywhere it meets the requirements of nature protection and biological diversity
conservation. In coastal areas where tourism can impose serious environmental damage, the
principles of integrated coastal area management should be implemented. Environmental
impact studies are an important tool for sustainable development and should be undertaken.
27. Many delegations noted that sustainability issues should be fully integrated into courses
at all levels of education in order to develop environmental awareness and the skills required
to promote sustainable tourism. In this regard, it is also important to raise public awareness
about sustainable tourism and to encourage more responsible behaviour among tourists.
28. Many countries emphasized that there is a need for further efforts to prevent and control
tourism-related abuse and exploitation of people, particularly women and children and other
disadvantaged groups. Some delegations felt that both sending and receiving countries had
roles to play in combating this serious negative impact of international tourism.
Action by the private sector
29. Many delegations stated that the tourism industry should ensure that their investment,
employment, operational and other business decisions take full account of the wider
implications of such actions for the long-term development and economic sustainability of
the destinations in which they operate.
30. Some countries suggested that the tourism industry, by modifying the products it
develops and offers the public, can directly influence the nature of tourism itself, directing
it towards sustainable forms of tourism. Marketing can be used to enhance the industry?s
initiatives for promoting sustainable development by, inter alia, raising awareness among
their clients of the potential environmental and social impacts of their holidays, and of
responsible behaviour. In some countries, the tourism industry is also increasingly interested
in eco-labels as a means of promoting those countries? facilities and destinations. Some
delegations cautioned, however, that the concept of eco-labelling and related issues are still
under consideration by the Committee on Trade and Environment of the World Trade
Organization.
31. Many delegations urged tourism enterprises to integrate environmental management
systems and procedures into all aspects of corporate activity. This would necessitate the
implementation of, inter alia, environmental and social audits, and training of staff in the
principles and practices of sustainable tourism management. Tourism enterprises were also
urged to take all appropriate measures to minimize all forms of waste, conserve energy and
freshwater resources, and control harmful emissions to all environmental media, as well as
minimize the potential environmental impacts from tourism development, for example, by
using local materials and technologies appropriate to local conditions. The tourism industry
was encouraged to promote wider implementation of environmental management, particularly
among small- and medium-sized enterprises.
32. Many delegations noted that the tourism industry had developed a number of
environmental codes of conduct and other voluntary initiatives in support of sustainable
tourism. It was suggested that an inventory and assessment should be made of such voluntary
initiatives on the part of industry, and improvements in the monitoring and reporting of
industry?s progress towards the objective of sustainable tourism. Some delegations requested
the preparation of an inventory of all existing codes of conduct, guidelines and voluntary
initiatives concerning sustainable tourism.
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Action by the international community
33. Many delegations stressed the need for the international community to promote the
recognition of the value of tourism as an economic tool for development, particularly for
developing countries, and the fragility of the resources on which it depends, as well as the
resulting need for international support to encourage its sustainable development.
34. Many delegations were of the view that international organizations and donor countries
should increase their efforts in training and capacity-building in the field of tourism in
developing countries, and that studies should be carried out on specific issues of interest to
developing countries. Technical and financial assistance to developing countries is critical
to enable them to develop competitive and sustainable tourism sectors.
35. Some delegations stated that the international, regional and multilateral agreements
and guidelines that address the issue of sustainable tourism need to be effectively translated
into practical programmes for implementation by the tourism industry, Governments and civil
society. There is also a need to consolidate as well as enhance the monitoring of these
initiatives.
36. Many delegations stressed that the international community has an important role to
assist developing countries, in particular the least developed countries, economies in transition
and small island developing States, through financial and technical assistance to Governments
at all levels.
37. Many delegations also stressed that the international community should strengthen
development cooperation to make tourism development more environmentally sustainable,
while emphasizing financial support and measures to accelerate the transfer of
environmentally sound technology to developing countries. Steps should be taken to facilitate
the international exchange of information, experiences and technical skills, especially between
the developed and developing countries. Some delegations said that international cooperation
should make tourism sustainable in respect of its economic and social aspects as well.
38. Some delegations emphasized that regional cooperation is an important policy approach
for promoting the development of sustainable tourism.
39. One delegation noted that, although it is important to allow for a variety of forms of
ecotourism that depend on the regional situation, there are benefits to be derived from global
standards to minimize negative ramifications of ecotourism and an international network to
promote an exchange of information and views.


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