United Nations
Commission on Sustainable Development

Background Paper

Review of trends in progress achieved in implementing Agenda 21 Chapters 23-32
on Major Groups

Prepared by the Secretariat of the Commission on Sustainable Development for
the Second Session of the CSD 16-27 May 1994, New York.


Agenda 21 recognizes nine Major Groups as partners in sustainable development
efforts. These groups include Women, Children and Youth, Indigenous People,
Non-governmental Organizations, Local Authorities, Workers and Trade Unions,
Business and Industry, Scientific and Technological Communities and Farmers.
Their particular roles and contributions to sectoral and cross-sectoral
sustainable development activities, in partnership with Governments and
international organizations, are outlined in the appropriate chapters
throughout Agenda 21. Chapters dedicated to each major group (23 through 32,
in Section III of Agenda 21) outline the activities through which Governments
and inter-governmental bodies should support, enhance and encourage the role
and contributions of Major Groups to sustainable development.

The relationship of the CSD to Major Groups is described in the institutional
chapter (38) of Agenda 21 as follows (emphases added):

     "The Commission should provide for the active involvement of organs,
programmes and organizations of the UN system, international financial
institutions and other relevant intergovernmental organizations and encourage
the participation of non-governmental organizations, including business and
industry and scientific communities". (paragraph 38.11)

     "The Commission on Sustainable Development should have the following

     (d) to receive and analyze relevant input from competent non-
governmental organizations, including the scientific and private sector in the
context of the overall implementation of Agenda 21

     (e) to enhance dialogue within the framework of the United Nations, with
non-governmental organizations and the independent sector as well as other
entities outside the United Nations system". (paragraph 38.13)

     "Within the inter-governmental framework, consideration should be given
to allowing non-governmental organizations, including those related to major
groups, particularly women's groups, committed to the implementation of Agenda
21 to have relevant information available to them, including information,
reports and other data produced within the United Nations system." (paragraph

     "The non-governmental organizations and major groups are important
partners in the implementation of Agenda 21. Relevant non-governmental
organizations, including the scientific community, the private sector and
women's groups, should be given opportunities to make their contributions and
establish appropriate relationships with the United Nations system. Support
should be provided for developing countries' non-governmental organizations
and their self-organized networks." (paragraph 38.42)

     "The United Nations system, including international finance and
development agencies, and all inter-governmental organizations and forums
should, in consultation with non- governmental organizations, take measures

     (a) Design open and effective means to achieve the participation of
non-governmental organizations, including those related to major groups, in
the process established to review and evaluate the implementation of Agenda 21
at all levels and promote their contribution to it;

     (b) Take into account the findings of review systems and evaluation
processes of non-governmental organizations in relevant reports of the
Secretary-General to the General Assembly and all pertinent United Nations
agencies and intergovernmental organizations and forums concerning
implementation of Agenda 21 in accordance with the review process." (paragraph

     "Procedures should be established for an expanded role for
non-governmental organizations, including those related to major groups, with
accreditation based on the procedures used in the Conference. Such
organizations should have access to reports and other information produced by
the United Nations system. The General Assembly, at an early stage, should
examine ways of enhancing the involvement of non-governmental organizations
within the United Nations system in relation to the follow-up process of the
Conference." (paragraph 38.44)

Key words for the relationship between the CSD and Major Groups are then,
receiving and analyzing inputs, enhancing dialogue, designing an open and
effective mechanism of participation, and expanding the role of major groups
in the UN system. Chapters 23 through 32 make specific suggestions on the
particular supportive relationship the CSD, the UN system and the Governments
should have with each group.

The review below includes information on (i) the international experience:
supportive relationships between inter-governmental bodies and major groups
within the framework of Agenda 21 activities; (ii) national experience:
supportive relationships between Governments and national major groups in the
implementation of Agenda 21; and (iii) Major Group views: summaries of
activities undertaken by each Major Group for Agenda 21 implementation based
on the inputs and reports received by the CSD Secretariat.

Analysis in the report is limited to the information that was made available
to the CSD Secretariat by Governments, the UN system, and the Major Groups.
Inputs received from non-UN organizations, such as the British Commonwealth
and the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), are also
included in the report as appropriate. As this report is part of the UNCED
follow up process, the summaries focus on the post-1992 activities unless the
earlier activities are still relevant or have been enhanced in response to
UNCED. This is particularly the case in handling the information about UN
Agency activities on environmental concerns some of which had been initiated
prior to UNCED.


The following review is indicative rather than comprehensive. Two annexes are
provided to assist with the reading of the information. Annex I contains a
list of activities that Agenda 21 requests from inter-governmental bodies in
support of Major Groups. Annex II provides a similar set of summarized
activities that focus on the activities requested from Governments.

A.   Chapter 23 -- Preamble

There are no "activities" in the Preamble. The chapter contains two broad
objectives as a general framework for the rest of the chapters on major
groups. These objectives emphasize that implementing Agenda 21 requires broad
public participation in decision-making, and that, to accomplish the first,
there is a need for new forms of participation.


Major Groups, particularly NGOs, have been and are involved in the work of
international organizations for decades. For example, all UN Agencies have had
traditional ties and established contacts with the specific non-governmental
groups that are directly relevant to their mandates as well as with a wide
range of other actors in civil society. As the subsequent sections of this
report summarize, all UN Agencies who submitted information to the CSD
Secretariat have sustainable development programmes that involve one or more
Major Groups. Furthermore, many UN bodies, such as the Economic Commission for
Europe (ECE) indicate that UNCED or Agenda 21 were not the first instance when
the UN system focused on the subject of promoting public participation in
environmental decision making.

Agenda 21's focus on Governmental, inter-governmental and Major Group
partnerships is different both quantitatively and qualitatively. The
sustainable development agenda requires the involvement of a broader range and
expanded number of actors from civil society. More importantly, it requires
that the Major Groups are given new opportunities to take part in the decision
making processes relevant to achieving sustainable development. The latter may
include, among other things, Major Group participation in setting programme
priorities, designing programmes, participating in the resource allocation
decisions, and being active in the programme implementation and in the
evaluation of the implemented programmes.

The inputs received from UN system agencies indicate only limited change in
the access of major groups to the decision making and programme design process
of the organizations. Although many Agencies report that they hold
consultations with NGOs, for example, most instances of consultations appear
to be ad hoc or Programme specific rather than being based on reliable,
consistent, stable or formal mechanisms of Major Group involvement in
decision- making.

The World Bank's NGO Committee, established in 1982, is one of the few formal
mechanisms that exit in this context. This Committee involves over two dozen
NGOs and senior Bank officials. Through the Committee, NGOs are able to take
part in the design of up to 30 per cent of the Bank's programmes. In 1993, 73
out of a total of 245 projects benefited from such NGO participation (same
figure in 1990 was 50 out of 228 projects). This Committee is not a follow up
to UNCED. However, its official status, and its stable and predictable nature
is likely to influence the Bank's UNCED follow-up activities.

UNESCO is another agency that includes NGOs that are in category A
consultative status with the Organization in the various stages of programme
planning and execution. In addition, UNDP's current policy highlights greater
NGO participation including in the design and implementation of country
programmes. The extent to which UNDP is able to translate this objective into
stable mechanisms of participation in decision making largely depends on the
relationships between Governments and NGOs at the national level.

Another development favorable to greater participation of Major Groups is
emerging through the growing influence of commercial and non-commercial
electronic networks. The UNCED process increased interactions and interest in
a number of existing networks (such as Econet/Peacenet) and catalyzed the
formation of new ones (such as TogetherNet). Many commercial networks also
responded to the growing demand for environmental information, activism and
contacts. One inter-governmental affect of this development is taking shape in
the Organization of American States. According to secondary sources, the OAS
is engaged in a project that aims to help connect South American and Caribbean
academic institutions through the electronic media.

There are also examples of UN Agency activities that expand interactions with
Major Groups by undertaking projects with groups other than the nine that are
recognized in Agenda 21. For example, UNEP's programmes treat consumers groups
and religious groups as distinct "Major Group" categories. Through joint
programmes with religious groups, UNEP contributes to issues related to
environmental ethics. Similarly, UNEP's focus on consumer groups enables joint
programmes that focus on life-styles and sustainable consumption patterns.
Another UN body, ESCAP, works with the representatives of the Media. ESCAP was
instrumental in the formation of Asia Pacific Forum of Environmental
Journalists (AFEJ) which provides region-wide assistance in generating and
disseminating environmental information.


Nine countries provided information relevant to the objectives outlined in the

Austria reported a number of supportive legislation for participation of
particular major groups such as women and youth. This country indicated that
NGOs participate both in the decision- making and in the implementation of the
decisions taken and that the public sector provides financial support to major
group participation. Belgium indicated that a wide range of NGOs are full
participants in national environment and development policies. Ecuador
reported that an environment NGO will be participating in a national advisory
committee on environment. Iceland indicated that there is a long-tradition of
participation by non-governmental groups and organizations in decision-making
and that this is a given and integral part of local and national policy

Japan reported that it plans to increase NGO participation in decision-making
and that, at present, national policy making process take into account the
views of Major Groups. Spain reported that it plans to allow NGO participation
in the Ministerial level sustainable development debates. Spain has
established an Advisory Council that involves high-level Government officials
and organizations that represent social interests. Tunis reported that NGO
representatives officially participate in the work of the sectoral committees
established by the Government to coordinate environmental activities. The
United Kingdom reported a number of initiatives to increase participation of
the "voluntary sector" in various governmental panels, round-table's and other
similar fora. The United States recently established a high-profile
sustainable development council (the President's Council for Sustainable
Development- PCSD) which includes representatives of national NGOs.

There was insufficient information to conclude whether there are new forms of
participation for several reasons, including (I) an overall low level of
reporting from countries; (ii) lack of specific information on Major Groups'
participation in the reports received; and (iii) lack of criteria for what
should be considered new in each national context.


Major Groups have traditionally welcomed more participatory and consultative
mechanisms and have been demanding them at every local, national and
international opportunity. For many Major Groups organizations and
representatives, participation in decision making is particularly crucial in
the pursuit of sustainable development which they see as a broad environmental
governance issue. Almost all of the general and thematic inputs received from
Major Groups organizations highlighted the need for more substantive
participation. The outcomes of many NGO-organized conferences, seminars and
workshops on sustainable development also repeatedly suggested broad-based
people's participation in decision-making bodies.

A great many of the calls for greater participation concerned participation in
international institutions, particularly those that provide funding or
investments in environment and development. For example, at the recent
inter-governmental meetings on restructuring the Global Environmental Facility
(GEF), NGOs provided proposals and made statements. Among their suggestions
were (I) the granting of observer status to NGOs as part of the
democratization and transparency of the GEF and (ii) the involvement of NGOs
and community representatives in project design, formulation and evaluation.
Subsequent discussions showed support of many developing and developed country
Governments to these suggestions, particularly to the granting of observer
status to NGOs in the new GEF with the provision that a set of guidelines are
developed. Some governments also supported expanded consultations relevant to
the GEF at the local and national levels.

The process experienced in the GEF is not an isolated incident but a microcosm
of the overall thrust in many other fora. Greater electronic and other
connection among "ordinary citizens" enable a greater awareness of how
decisions in international fora affect their daily lives which in turn leads
to more demands to be allowed to take part in the making of these decisions.
It should also be noted that the non-governmental demands for participation
often emphasize more transparency and accountability of the existing public
institutions rather than being a thrust to create alternative institutions.

Meeting the demands for greater Major Group participation at the national and
international levels will require continued commitments to Agenda 21
principles by governmental and inter- governmental bodies. However, these
efforts need to be met half-way by Major Groups organizations who will need to
be prepared to take on new roles as they are granted more access to the
decision making of national and international institutions. It is essential
that Major Groups continue to see the "right to participate in decision-
making" as a means to greater contribution rather than as an end in itself.
Lack of preparedness for new responsibilities by Major Groups contains the
danger of undoing what is being gradually achieved in the many national and
international fora. The current evolution in the national and international
institutions is therefore as much a testing ground for the Major Groups as it
is for the governmental and inter-governmental bodies.

B.   Chapter 24-- Global action for women towards sustainable and equitable


The activities relevant to the provision of support from international
organizations in this chapter focus on strengthening the position of women in
UN bodies and institutions (paragraph 24.9 and 24.10) and in development
programmes, in particular, of UNICEF, UNIFEM and UNDP (paragraph 24.11)

Progress to date under paragraphs 24.9 and 24.10 include the Secretary
General's commitment to improve the gender ratio among the United Nations
staff by 1995. To this effect, the Secretary- General has issued an
Administrative Instruction titled "Special Measures to improve the status of
women in the Secretariat" was circulated in March 1993 (ST/AI/382).  The
Instruction  puts special emphasis on recruitment of women by Departments with
less than 35 per cent  women staff overall and less than 25 per cent at senior
levels. This procedure has not had wide application to date, in part due to
the continuing restructuring of the Organization.

According to information received from the Secretary General's Focal Point for
Women, as of November 1993, women in the UN system constitute 31.8 per cent of
the staff (this is an increase of 1.1 per cent, from 30.7 per cent in December
1992). At the higher levels (D1 and above), the current percentage is 13.3 per
cent; a ratio below of one to five. The very few cases where the number of
women staff exceeds that of men is mostly in the lower professional
categories. Women in the UN system are still concentrated in the traditional
areas of administration and social sectors. Additional information received
from the Division for Advancement of Women, of DPCSD, indicates that in the
12-month period ending June 1993 (one year after UNCED) fewer women were
recruited by the UN than were in the previous 12-months.

The formation of the Division for the Advancement of Women within the DPCSD
may serve to emphasize the gender issue through its central location within
the UN system. This Division is currently working on a more complete report on
the advancement of women which is expected before the end of 1995.

A number of UN Agencies reported on-going programmes that are relevant to
strengthening the position of women in their sustainable development
programmes. For example, ILO reported that it has prepared a Briefing Note on
Women in Environment and Development. This Agency has also launched several
pilot demonstration activities dealing with the linkages between women and
sustainable development

UNIFEM was one of the first UN bodies to respond to Agenda 21 by preparing the
guidebook Agenda 21: An easy reference to the specific recommendations on
women. The guidebook contains extracts of Agenda 21's activities related to
the role of women in environment and development.

FAO reported that its activities regarding Chapter 24 are related to
international networks that focus on gender and sustainable development
issues. Among the networks mentioned are the Association of Women in
Development (AWID), the Global Assembly of Women and the Environment, and the
Network of Women In Development and Environment (WorldWIDE). FAO reports
numerous projects that aim to strengthen women's role in sustainable
development, many of which are initiated before the on-set of UNCED and the
adoption of Agenda 21. Among the more recent FAO initiatives is the Country
Specific Policy Guidelines on Women, Population and Environment for Asia.
These guidelines aim at raising awareness and developing practical tools to
promote "holistic" approaches to policy design, programming and investments in
the rural development context.

IFAD's key target group in this category is poor women heading households. The
objective of IFAD in this area is to develop and promote cost-effective
approaches that will increase women's social and economic status in the
process to achieve sustainable development. Among IFAD's specific programmes
for women are the small-holder development project focusing on protecting
women's access to land (in Gambia); and the national extension project
modifying the extension system to reach rural women (in Kenya). IFAD has an
informal target to earmark at least 30 per cent farm credit for women.

The UNCHS carries out country-based workshops on gender-awareness. these
workshops involve NGOs and community based organizations and aim to develop
strategies for gender-aware approaches to human settlements development. The
information received from UNCHS indicates extensive information-based efforts
including data-bases of women experts in the field, case studies of successful
integration of gender issues in human settlements development, and training
materials. UNCHS activities also include exchange visits for women in local
governments and NGOs and collaborating in UN system-wide sharing of
information on gender-awareness. The Centre conducts gender sensitization
seminars for its staff and its staffing policy places a priority on the hiring
of women candidates.

UNIDO reports that its gender related focus is anchored in the fact that the
global industrial sector at present involves 160 million women, half of whom
are in the developing countries. UNIDO's programmatic focus is on improving
the understanding of women's access and control of resources in the industrial
sector. Programmes involve mainstreaming women into the programme target
groups, removing obstacles to greater participation in industrial development
and designing projects specifically for women.UNIDO recommends protective
legislation, design and dissemination of labor saving technologies, training
of women in resource management, increasing women's access to education and
training and strengthening women's influence on industrial decision making.
The Organization feels that its future work in this area will need more
expertise in gender analysis and its application in development and delivery
of programmes.

The Agency reports also include information on inter-agency collaboration
relevant to strengthening of women's role in programmes and projects. For
example, FAO and UNFPA are currently collaborating to produce FAO's Country
Specific Policy Guidelines on Women, Population and Environment for Asia for
other regions. The World Bank, UNDP and FAO are undertaking a gender analysis
training programme titled Socio-Ecomomic and Gender Analysis Training Program
(SEGA). SEGA was initiated in 1992 and is aimed for country-level
implementation. The collaborating agencies have produced a common theoretical
perspective on SEGA, which process involved the stockholders.

Some UN system bodies have a high level of participation by women's groups in
project implementation. For example, in the case of UNFPA, women's groups act
as executing agencies for the Fund. In 1992, these groups handled 16 per cent
of the total funds allocated by UNFPA.

Gender issues have a high priority among non-UN organizations as well. OECD's
Development Assistance Committee (DAC), for example, feels that participation
of women, is one of the most urgent areas relevant to participatory
development and good governance. DAC considers both these concepts integral to
the concept of sustainable development. The British Commonwealth also places a
priority on gender oriented training in sustainable development. This
organization is running programmes that train women to train others in waste
management and water safety.


Six countries mentioned women's groups specifically in their reports.

Austria reported that it has supportive labor laws for equal pay, protection
against sexual discrimination, and for extended family care and maternity
leave. This country also has national frameworks that ensure access of women
to decision-making functions and other measures aiming at the advancement of
women and requirements for employers to submit affirmative action schedules
and binding commitments to increase the percentage of women in the public
sector. Austria provides public financial support for associations pursuing
objectives of particular interest to women.

Belgium mentioned the particular role of women, among other groups, in the
national environment and development activities. Finland's input concentrated
on the crucial role of women in health care, management of household waste and
household consumption. This country also highlighted the important
contribution of women to information dissemination and awareness raising in
the context of sustainable development. Japan reported that it plans to
promote the participation of women in national advisory councils. This country
also reported that the Government supports women's participation at national
and international sustainable development and other meetings, conferences and
related events. This country particularly highlighted the importance of
utilizing the knowledge and experience of women in sustainable development

Spain mentioned specific programmes that address women's needs and roles in
the field of health focusing on educational materials, and support for rural
women and single-mothers. Tunis reported that representatives of the national
union of women actively participate in the National Commission on Sustainable

Although little information was received from developing countries on the role
of women and other Major Groups categories, some developing countries have
included women in their Delegations to the CSD and are doing the same in the
preparatory process of the Fourth World Congress of Women to be held in
Beijing in 1995.


Two relevant inputs were received from the International Federation of
University Women (IFUW) and the International Center for Public Enterprises in
Developing Countries (ICPE).

IFUW is an international organization with 150,000 members in 59 countries.
The Federation reported that it established an Environment and Development
Programme as part of its contributions to the UNCED process. This Programme is
the main focus of IFUW's follow up activities. The report highlights the
importance of education to women's futures in the context of environmental
sustainability. The Federation has established an Environment and Development
Network consisting of members from developing and developed countries who are
experts in environment and development issues. IFUW has also developed "Green
Audit" which is a tool for the use of individuals to evaluate their commitment
to sustainable development. The audit is being distributed through the UNESCO
NGO Working Group on the Environment.

National chapters of IFUW hold additional programmes on environment and
development issues. For example, the Sierra Leone Association works with
school children and women's groups on environment and development education.
The Argentina Association holds series of three-day education and awareness
meetings with teenage girls to help them become  leaders in the environment
and development area. The Russian Association is preparing an international
symposium to take place in June 1994 on women, politics and environmental

ICPE's input was a report on the "Social impact assessment of
investment/acquisition of technology projects in developing countries, with
particular reference to the position of women", jointly prepared with INSTRAW.
This report proposes "social impact assessments" (SIA) as a precondition for
authorization of new projects or development plans. ICPE feels that SIAs can
balance the current predominance of economic models and legalistic solutions
for development by focusing the attention on human rights, on vulnerable
groups such as women and on the pressing social needs. The report suggests a
preliminary SIA framework that take women as a base-group.

Despite the lack of more written inputs to the CSD Secretariat from women's
groups, these groups have a forceful and strong place in the UN's proceedings
as well as in carrying out sustainable development projects in the field and
developing practical tools. For example, the Women's Environment and
Development Organization (WEDO) has developed the Community Report Card
programme that help local women take part in independent evaluation of the
local environment and development needs and progress.

Local women's organizations also take Agenda 21 seriously as a guide for their
work towards empowering local women through training, and innovative community
generated financial mechanisms that enable sustainable economic activities.
Among these is a grassroots organization of and for rural women, the Country
Women's Association of Nigeria (COWAN). COWAN is currently involved in testing
alternative banking strategies (such as the Responsive Credit System) that
respond better to the financial needs of local women entrepreneurs.

C.   Chapter 25-- Children and youth in sustainable development


Activities suggested for inter-governmental bodies in this chapter focus on
reviewing youth programmes and their coordination, promotion of the UN Trust
Fund for International Youth Year (25.10); and UNICEF to cooperate with other
UN organizations, governments and NGOs to develop programmes for children

No information was available on the UN Trust Fund for International Youth

A successful example of cooperation between UNICEF and other UN organizations
as well as NGOs is the Children's edition of Agenda 21. This project was a
collaborative effort of UNICEF, UNDP, UNESCO, and UNEP. The effort was led by
the NGO, Peace Child International. The production of the Children's Edition,
released in April 1994, involved youth from 40 countries. The volume
articulates the views of children and youth on implementing Agenda 21. UNDP
reports that it is taking steps to formulate ways to implement the Children's

Among the other agencies that have reported on Youth related programmes are
UNEP and WHO. UNEP's programmes in this area involve leaders from the Youth
communities. UNEP reports that a Regional Youth Focal Points Round Table
(December 1993) led the Programme to decide that its youth programmes need to
be more proactive. To this effect, UNEP is currently working on putting a
youth network in place through its Regional Youth Advisers.

WHO's programmes focus on youth education and advocacy within the health
sector. For example, WHO's programmes on sexually transmitted diseases,
including AIDS, focus on health education programmes for youth in schools as
well as for youth out of school through formation of advocacy groups and peer
education, as examples of long-term and proactive efforts in protecting and
promoting the health of vulnerable groups such as the Youth.


Five countries provided information on youth related programmes or mentioned
this group as a particular focus group in overall sustainable development

Austria mentioned "protection, provision and participation" as the three main
principles driving the national policy for enhancing the role and contribution
of children and youth to sustainable development. Austria provides
international assistance that is specifically focused on building vocational
capacity among the Youth. Finland reported that the national Youth Cooperation
Alliance has produced a booklet on sustainable development for NGOs and
grassroots organizations as well as participated in international meetings and

Japan also stressed the importance of providing education and awareness
activities and opportunities to express their views on environmental
conservation as a way of increasing the role of children and youth in
sustainable development. Norway reported that priority is placed on activities
that enhance knowledge and influence attitudes of children and youth. Norway
has prepared a national "environmental education for all" strategy to be used
by all education institutions. The United Kingdom mentioned the Green Brigade
Programme which involves children in environmental action.


One youth organization, Q2000 of Sweden,  submitted a report to the CSD
Secretariat. This input focuses primarily on consumption patterns,
particularly in relation to energy use, transportation, and food production.
Q2000 reported that much of it information originated from proposals of public
and local authorities, NGOs, scientific institutions and others who responded
to the circulation of Agenda 21 by the Government of Sweden to various social

A particular emphasis of the Q2000 report is the concept of "environmental
space" which is originally introduced by an NGO, Friends of the Earth of the
Netherlands. Environmental space allocates available environmental resources
globally on a per capita basis using a number of criteria such as absorptive
and regenerative capacity. Any use above the allocated "space" is a violation
if sustainability is to be achieved. The concept enables quantifiable local
profiles on which policies can be built. Q2000's report provides numerous
examples of good practice or innovative approaches to making the environmental
space concept work both in the context of Sweden and globally. For example,
the report provides case studies of renewable energy sources use and
alternative transportation programmes in specific cities in Sweden and in

Q2000 recommends (i) new partnerships with citizens through increased
participatory consultations on policy and implementation, (ii) creation of new
partnerships with developing countries through fair trade, and promotion of
technology transfer; and (iii) new partnerships with the younger generations
by integrating sustainable development in the curricula of schools at all
levels including practical experience in finding local solutions to
environmental problems. Q2000 also suggests that a Youth representative is
included in the Swedish Delegation to the CSD.

There are a number of other Youth initiatives that also relevant to UNCED
follow up. For example, the Model UN programme that has been an on-going part
of high-schools and some universities, primarily in North America, is focusing
on Agenda 21, the CSD and sustainable development in 1994. Youth groups also
show a high level of interest in the "UN reform process" particularly in the
context of the newly established organs such as the CSD. For example, a Youth
Conference on UN Reform (September 1993, New York), brought together hundreds
of Youth representatives from nearly 50 developing and developed countries.
The participants reviewed the workings of a range of UN institutions including
the CSD. Most participants at this meeting showed a good understanding of the
background of the CSD and seemed to hold high expectations for the CSD in
terms of assuring inter-generational equity.

Assuring the rights of children and youth for a healthy environment is a
fundamental  part of the sustainable development concept. In this regard,
there appears to be greater need both to increase interactions between
national and international decision-makers and the children and youth and
integrate their concerns and expectations into the relevant programmes. Such a
focus may bear the proof that both the governmental and inter-governmental
bodies are coming to grips with the inter-generational aspect of the
sustainable development concept.

D.   Chapter 26-- Recognizing and strengthening the role of indigenous people


Activities relevant to international organizations within this chapter suggest
that the General Assembly adopt a declaration on the rights of the indigenous
(26.4); that each organization appoint focal points, hold an annual
coordination meetings, assist governments to inform indigenous people and
incorporate their views into policy and program design,  provide technical
assistance for capacity building,  and use data collection/analysis to support
resource management efforts of indigenous groups(26.5); and that agencies
assist in education and training of indigenous peoples for sustainable
development (26.9)

The Sub-Committee on Prevention of Discrimination and Protection of Minorities
of the Commission on Human Rights reviewed the Draft Declaration on the Rights
of the Indigenous Peoples in August 1993. The subsequent decisions of the
Sub-Committee agreed on the use of "Peoples" as opposed to "People";  decided
to consider the draft at the 46th session of the Commission in 1994; and
requested the Secretary-General to submit the Draft Declaration to the
Commission for technical revision. The Subcommittee also requested the
Secretary-General to transmit the text to indigenous peoples and organizations
as well as to Governments, inter-governmental and non-governmental
organizations after the completion of the technical review.

Among the Sub-Committee's decisions, was the recommendation to the Commission
on Human Rights and the Economic and Social Council that they take special
measures to enable indigenous peoples to participate fully and effectively,
without regard to consultative status, in the consideration of the draft
declaration. The draft Declaration may be submitted to the Commission on Human
Rights in 1995.

Numerous UN system bodies that have programmes related to indigenous groups
including  UNDP, UNEP, ILO, IFAD, and FAO.

UNDP and ILO report that they have a focal point/staff specifically assigned
to work on issues related to indigenous peoples. Along these lines, the CSD
Secretariat has a standing joint proposal with the ILO, made during the Cry of
the Earth meeting (November 1993.)The proposal involves engaging a Junior
Professional Officer, selected from within the indigenous groups, to function
as the CSD Secretariat's focal point in this area.

UNDP's programmes, coordinated by a focal point at the Headquarters, encourage
national consultations with indigenous peoples and focus on indigenous
knowledge preservation, promotion and strengthening. Particular focus is on
the nexus between indigenous knowledge and the implications of the dynamics of
intellectual property rights. UNDP's training programmes emphasize the value
of traditional knowledge. the Programme views training as a "mutual exchange
of knowledge rather than a uni- directional flow with indigenous people merely
as the receiver". UNDP also acknowledges the merits in indigenous resource and
community management systems and emphasize their further strengthening.

ILO's work is guided by two conventions on indigenous people. For example, the
Indigenous and Tribal Peoples Convention of 1989 (No. 169) recognizes the
right of the indigenous peoples to participate in the management of natural
resources. More recently, ILO has organized consultations with indigenous
peoples in collaboration with the UNCHR. The consultations focused on
identifying the ways and means to increase indigenous and tribal peoples'
access to and participation in decision-making at the national and
international levels. Another recently launched effort is the Inter-regional
Programme to Support Self-reliance of Indigenous and Tribal Communities
through Cooperatives and other Self-Help Organizations (INDISCO)  This
programme is initially developed in India and in the Philippines and focuses
on natural resource management among other things.

Indigenous peoples are one of the target groups for IFAD. The relevant
programmes of this organization concentrate in Latin America and Asia. For
example, IFAD is financing tribal development projects in India emphasizing
food security. IFAD has initiated 17 projects for indigenous peoples in Latin
America for a total of US$ 176 million. It is currently funding a technical
assistance grant to the Andean Development Corporation  for the Regional
Program in Support of the Indigenous Peoples in the Amazon Basin.

According to the information received from FAO, its programmes also have a
component of empowerment and self-development. FAO's input does not indicate
new programmes that are specifically in response to Agenda 21. However, its
prior programmes have led to institutions with long-term implications for
Agenda 21 follow up. For example, FAO organized a series of international
workshops on pastoral populations and their associations based on indigenous
structures between 1990-1992 (in Mongolia, Jordan and Kenya). The workshop in
Mongolia in 1990, has led to setting up a research network there through FAO's
assistance. The network coordinates regional work on animal husbandry in the
context of indigenous people and pastoral development.

Regional commissions are also involved in programming to assist indigenous
people. ECLAC, for example, is formulating a programme to inventory the
policies, community and private solutions to the main problems of indigenous
groups in South and Central America. The programme aims to generate social
indicators, information on designing poverty alleviation programmes and
collection of good management experiences. It will also propose areas of
action and objectives for international cooperation. ECLAC's ultimate goal in
this programme is assuring the well-being of indigenous groups through full
participation in sustainable development including legal, cultural and
economic issues.


Four countries reported on their activities related to indigenous peoples.

Austria and Japan referred to their international development
cooperation/assistance programmes that focus on the needs of indigenous
peoples' in the developing countries. Austria's programmes involve health-care
and training, protection of indigenous cultures and lifestyles and financial
support on protection of tropical forests where most inhabitants are
indigenous peoples. Japan reports that it provides financial support to the UN
Voluntary Fund for Indigenous Populations.

Canada and the United States mentioned indigenous people specifically in the
context of protecting and promoting the health of "vulnerable groups" under
chapter 6 on health. Canada also mentioned participation of indigenous
peoples' organizations in national round-table's and in the national advisory
boards. The United States mentioned its plans to utilize the experiences it
has gathered through its overseas development assistance programmes in
national programmes for vulnerable groups such as the indigenous peoples.


The CSD Secretariat received no written reports from indigenous peoples'
organizations. However, the Secretariat was made aware and/or invited to take
part in a number of meetings organized by indigenous peoples. One such meeting
was the Cry of the Earth held at the United Nations Headquarters in New York,
in November 1993, which focused on sustainable development in its broad
context. There were also meetings that focused on specific Agenda 21 themes
such as freshwater. Among the latter was the International Conference on
Indigenous Peoples and Water Resources Development Projects, held in Montreal,
Canada, in April 1994.

For indigenous peoples, adoption of a Declaration on their rights appears to
be the necessary first step to increasing their role and contribution to
sustainable development in particular and to the global community in general.

E.   Chapter 27-- Strengthening the role of non-governmental organizations:
Partners for sustainable development


The activities requested from international organizations within this chapter
focus on supporting greater NGO participation in implementing Agenda 21. The
activities suggest a number of support functions including greater financial
and administrative support for NGOs. More specifically, the activities include
NGO participation in UN system procedures, assuring their inputs into
reporting and providing NGOs with timely information (27.9, 9b, 9c, 9d, 9e and
9g); and increasing financial and administrative support for NGOs,
particularly in developing countries (27.12)

Some of the information provided under the review of the Preamble, such as the
NGO Committee of the World Bank, is relevant for this section as well.

UNDP's Capacity 21 programme involves local communities, community service
organizations and local assemblies in the design and implementation of its
programmes. It has also initiated regional networking projects in Africa and
in Asia Pacific regions. The Africa 2000 Network provides support to
grassroots organizations through small grants in 11 counties. Similarly, its
Asia-Pacific 2000 network supports urban NGOs and grass-roots organizations in
their efforts to provide affordable environmental services, as well as in
strengthening local organizations and networking in 5 countries. These
activities of UNDP, especially its Capacity 21 programme, are direct responses
to Agenda 21.

IFAD has a Consultative Group to facilitate closer work with NGOs. This Group
meets annually and has helped increase the flow of information between IFAD
and the NGOs. A number of NGOs are also part of the IFAD/NGO Core Group which
sets the agenda for the Consultative Group. IFAD reported that, in 1992, 74
NGOs participated in 59 IFAD projects. A majority of these NGOs were from
Sub-Saharan Africa (64 per cent). IFAD provides grants to NGOs (for up to US $
75, 000) through its IFAD/NGO Extended Cooperation Programme established in
1987 with the objective of funding grassroots pilot innovative approaches to
poverty alleviation.

FAO's input indicates that the organization has been working with NGOs in
rural agricultural development since 1981. FAO lists the Asian Coalition for
Agrarian Reform and Rural Development (ANGOC) which represents 23 national
networks in nine Asian countries involving 3,000 grassroots organizations,
among its primary NGO partners. The Organization's collaboration with NGOs
aims to empower the rural poor through people's participation, and to poverty
alleviation and sustainable development.

Providing timely NGO access to information on UN sustainable development
programmes (paragraph 27.9g) is crucially important for increased NGO
participation. One of the most successful information dissemination and access
system is housed in the UN-NGLS, a service created and funded by multiple UN
system agencies including UNDP, UNEP and FAO. NGLS provides information to
thousands of NGOs around the world (including those working on environment and
development issues). NGLS also assists the NGOs to coordinate their activities
during official meetings, and provides a  well-organized and effective means
to increase access to documentation. Another wide reaching and UN-based
information dissemination mechanism is the UN-Department of Public Information
(DPI). DPI has assigned staff to deal with information needs related to NGOs
and sustainable development.

The information outreach of the CSD Secretariat is based on an information
nodes system started in September 1993. The "nodes" concept involves
non-governmental and inter-governmental contact points who agree to
disseminate the Secretariats special bulletins for Major Groups. The concept
allows for a wide outreach on the basis of existing networks. The NGLS and the
UNDPI were early collaborators of the Secretariat in this context. UNICEF, FAO
and UNFPA have also responded to the Secretariat's request for contact points
for further outreach through their information networks. The nodes also
involve the generous support of a number of non- governmental organizations
and groups. Among these are the Center for Our Common Future, the
International Network for Environmental Management (INEM), the Third World
Network, and the World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF). The Secretariat hopes to
increase the number of nodes to expand its outreach in the coming years.

Awareness raising and information programmes that increase participation of
NGOs are areas that involve UNDP and UNEP. UNDP focuses on working with the
media and the NGOs to facilitate public participation in decision-making and
policy formulation, particularly in Asia and the Pacific. UNEP reports that it
is currently preparing an action guide for organizations and individuals.

A number of inter-governmental bodies responded to the issue raised in
paragraph 27.12: increasing financial and administrative support for NGOs
including provision of training for NGOs in developing countries. The GEF's
small grants programme, which involves 30 countries, is one example of access
to financial resources. These grants are for community based activities on
biodiversity, land degradation and desertification, global warming and
pollution of international waters in accordance to the GEF's mandate. UNDP's
Partners in Development Programme and the Grassroots Initiatives Support Funds
are other sources for financial support for NGOs. IFAP, UNFPA, and UNESCO are
among the other agencies who have financial support programmes for NGOs.

There are also opportunities for linkages between larger international NGOs
and smaller groups in developing countries in terms of mobilizing financial
resources. Large international NGOs supply 16 per cent of the total annual
official development assistance and thus make up a substantial funding source
often channeled through international agencies. Through inter-agency
coordination this resource can be channeled more effectively to assist local
NGOs working on sustainable development. This type of financial support may
need to be covered in more detail under the annual review of chapter 33 on
finance by the CSD.

Outside the UN system, the European Community has direct grants that are
specifically earmarked for NGOs (amount unknown). The British Commonwealth
reports that it has established an NGO Desk to serve as a focal point for
coordination, especially with those NGOs dealing with economic and social
issues at the grassroots level. The Commonwealth has also agreed on criteria
for accreditation of NGOs to increase their participation in the
Commonwealth's meetings, including those at the Head of Government level. And,
the OECD has research programmes that include NGO consultations on trade and
environment issues as well as on promoting participatory development through
local institutions.


Sixteen national reports mentioned NGOs in general or under specific
programmes. The information ranged from general references to the important
role played by NGOs in sustainable development to detailed information on
special supportive governmental programmes for NGOs.

Austria reported that NGO representatives participate in the political
decision making-process and in the practical implementation of the decisions
taken by various governmental bodies. This country provides financial support
for the activities of the NGOs. The same is also the case in Austria's
development cooperation programmes particularly focusing on supporting self-
help and community groups. Belgium reported that NGOs are full participants in
the national sustainable development activities. Bolivia mentioned the
technological potentials that exist in the NGO domain (that most
environmentally sound technologies rest with the NGOs) and acknowledged the
contributions of NGOs in tackling the problem of chemical products and toxic

Canada indicated the participation of NGOs in various national round-table's
and advisory committees. This country also involves NGOs in programme
implementation and design including the international development cooperation
programmes. NGOs are official partners in this country's national Agenda 21
implementation process. The Czech Republic mentioned that two particular NGOs
(Society for Sustainable Living and the Green Circle) have been participating
in national efforts. No details on the type of participation were available.
This country indicated that NGOs have been increasingly active since 1989.

Ecuador mentioned that a representative of the national organization, NGOs for
the Protection of the Environment, will be a participant in the national
advisory environmental committee. Ecuador also mentioned the contributions of
the Natura Foundation to the draft law on Natural Protected Zones. Finland
reported that national NGOs are major implementation partners in regional and
overseas development cooperation programmes. This country also indicated
having an NGO support center particularly focusing on NGOs working with/in
developing countries. The report of Finland also included information on the
success of the NGO-led "Percentage Movement" which aims to increase the
country's allocation of GNP percentage to development cooperation to 0.7 per
cent with the additional .3 per cent to be allocated specifically to
international environmental cooperation.

Iceland mentioned the long national tradition of consulting with interest
groups and NGOs during the development of major governmental policies. This
country also mentioned that it has established seven task forces in follow up
to UNCED and one on environmental education has the specific responsibility to
find ways to increase participation of NGOs and major groups in general. Japan
reported that governmental bodies take into account the views of NGOs in the
process of policy formulation.  This country stated that is assists national
and international NGOs through funding, training courses and support for
conference participation. Myanmar mentioned that its activities focus on
environmental education and awareness raising as well as securing the
involvement of community groups in national efforts.

The Netherlands mentioned  NGOs as the most important among community-based
groups active in the implementation of Agenda 21 and reported that several
national advisory bodies involve NGOs and other major groups. Norway mentioned
the particular contributions and initiatives of NGOs on the issue of
consumption patterns. Spain reported that NGOs will participate in the debate
on the National Strategy Project for the Conservation of Biodiversity and
listed several sector specific programmes that promote cooperation with NGOs.
Tunis reported that NGOs actively participate in the national Commission for
Sustainable Development, as well as in the sectoral committees established by
the Ministries of the Environment and Land Management.

The United Kingdom reported that it has a "thriving" voluntary sector with an
estimated membership of 4.5 million people. This country also indicated that
it is reviewing the need for new initiatives to encourage and help smaller
groups and non- environmental NGOs to be more involved in sustainable
development efforts. This process includes representatives of large national
NGOs. The United States mentioned NGO involvement under most of the sectoral
and cross-sectoral programmatic information included in its report. NGOs in
this country participate in the national consultative processes through a
local and central environmental councils created as part of national follow up
to UNCED, including the President's Council for Sustainable Development.


The CSD Secretariat received inputs from 14 organizations of which three were
from developing countries. Six NGOs (1 from a developing country) submitted
reports specific to the sectoral themes before the CSD in 1994. The rest
submitted information on general sustainable development issues and/or
description of their environment and development activities related to Agenda

The six thematic reports were submitted by the following organizations:
Greenpeace (international group), People's Forum 2001 (coalition of Japanese
NGOs), Small Earth (of the Netherlands), Sustainable Development Network (of
Pakistan), Wemos (of the Netherlands) and the World Wide Fund for Nature
(international group). These organizations submitted a total of 17 reports.

The Greenpeace report, which was submitted for the Intersessional Ad Hoc Open
Ended Workshop on Technology Transfer (February 1994), covered technology
transfer, hazardous waste and toxic chemicals. Under hazardous wastes,
Greenpeace reported that there have been some success in reducing trade in
hazardous waste. The Greenpeace report called on the CSD to recommend that all
countries join the growing international consensus to ban all waste trade from
OECD to non-OECD countries including those exports slated for recycling and

Under the toxic chemicals topic, The Greenpeace report focused on the phasing
out of a number of banned substances particularly organochlorines and heavy
metals. The report indicates that Greenpeace has compiled information on such
substances and proposes to use this list as a model to expand global efforts
to reduce the use of banned toxic substances. The report suggests an export
ban on nationally banned pesticides.

Under technology transfer, the report indicates a list of hazardous
technologies that should not be transferred. Greenpeace will provide a more
detailed list of these technologies to the second session of the CSD. Among
relevant recommendations of Greenpeace are (i) funding for technology
assessment capacity and (ii) encouragement of NGOs to participate in
technology assessment centers and clearinghouses. The Greenpeace report also
provides a case study on an available substitute (natural hydrocarbons) to
ozone depleting substances.

The input of the People's Forum 2001 is a critique of the national action plan
for Agenda 21  and includes sections on energy, trade, health, international
assistance, women and decision-making. Under health, this organization asserts
that pollution victims need greater protection and that preventive measures
should be emphasized. In addition, the People's Forum 2001 suggests that a
national framework to restore polluted media should be instated. An overall
recommendation is to increase the involvement of NGOs and other community
groups in the national evaluation and design of sustainable development action
plans. Particular emphasis in this context is placed on the role of women,
particularly in decision- making. The need for greater emphasis on education,
information disclosure, and support for community based organizations and NGOs
are also mentioned. The People's Forum 2001 is planning to prepare a citizen's
action plan for Agenda 21.

Small Earth of the Netherlands focuses on the human settlements issue.  The
input suggests an eco-city campaign that would link the existing initiatives
on environmentally sound urban management and thus strengthen awareness and
cooperation. An eco-city award is suggested on the basis of evaluation of city
submissions on a sustainability index. The suggestion aims to provide a
tangible incentive for local people to participate in Agenda 21
implementation. Special emphasis is on increasing coordination and cooperation
between existing efforts by international and local organizations.

The Sustainable Development Network of Pakistan submitted information on the
Network's efforts related to the five sectoral themes before the second
session of the CSD.SDN-Pakistan reports that its activities demonstrate the
benefits of electronic communications in achieving sustainability. This
organization has provided information on disposing off toxic materials and has
assisted the National Tariff Commission to assess environmental impact of
toxic chemicals through its access to international networks. The SDN-Pakistan
is currently in the process of establishing a data centre on human settlements
as part of its advisory work for the Ministry of the Environment and Urban
Affairs. This NGO suggests that enhancing information access, particularly
through electronic networks, needs to be further supported by  Governments and
inter-governmental organizations rather than be left to market forces alone.

Wemos is a Dutch NGO working on health and development issues. It has
submitted three reports (on health, breast-feeding and use of medical drugs).
This organization's recommendations on health is summarized in the report on
chapter 6 on health. Wemos' report on breast-feeding focuses on risks from
exposure to chemicals by nursing mothers. The report summarizes the
environmental benefits of breast-feeding but indicates that there needs to be
drastic pollution reduction efforts to make the process safer. In the paper on
rational use of medical drugs, the report focuses on trade in pharmaceuticals
and suggests greater use of "prior informed consent" (PIC) procedures. Wemos
suggests that existing legislation in France and Germany show that the PIC
principle can be successfully applied to legislation relevant to trade in

WWF submitted ten reports ranging from a cross-sectoral overview report to
technology transfer, transnational corporations and toxic chemicals. The
cross-sectoral overview highlights the issues and areas that are missing or
inadequately treated in Agenda 21. Among these WWF lists the issues of trade,
consumption patterns, financial resources, technology transfer and the role of
transnational corporations. A criticism WWF forwards is that the deliberations
of the CSD, so far, have not been structured enough to promote an exchange of
programmatic, project or field experiences relevant to issues or the clusters
of Agenda 21 chapters.

The WWF reports makes dozens of recommendations to the CSD and to the UN
institutions in general related to Agenda 21 and sustainable development. For
example, under technology transfer, WWF  calls on the CSD to (i) call on the
UN agencies to help develop technology assessment capacities (ii) encourage
local development of detailed plans to use environmentally sound technologies
(iii) identify the means to improve capacity to develop and manage
environmentally sound technologies and (iv) promote model national programmes
for research and development. Similarly, under toxic chemicals, WWF calls on
the UN institutions to adopt PIC as a legally binding procedure in the context
of international trade in banned or severely restricted chemicals and to
establish a system to monitor illegal traffic in toxics.

WWF also reports its ongoing collaborative work on sustainable development
indicators  and calls on the CSD and its Secretariat to (i) initiate a broad
consultation process to define a pilot set of indicators (ii) ensure
widespread agreement on a common approach by November 1994 (iii) incorporate
recommended indicators into the review of chapter 8 scheduled for 1995 and
(iv) review thematic clusters to define appropriate targets and measures in
the process of assessing progress.

In addition to the above, a  number of NGOs provided information on their
on-going activities for various environmental sustainability issues. For
example, the Urban Ecology Institute of Australia provided information on the
Halifax eco-city project. The New Economics Foundation of the United Kingdom
shared several papers and project frameworks on developing "sustainable
development indicators". The NEF has been participating with a number of other
NGOs, such as WWF, on the indicators work. The Nayudame Centre for Development
Alternatives of India submitted information on a "solar water heater on
wheels" that the Centre has developed and is disseminating in India.

The Center for Research in Rural and industrial Development of India shared a
list of its on-going local projects that focus on reducing poverty and
violence among other things. The Society for International Development (SID)
shared a summary of the proceedings of its task force meeting on sustainable
development and subsequent plans for UNCED follow-up. The World Conservation
Union (IUCN) submitted a brief input on chapter 36 on education including a
number of proposals for future activities such as holding regional meetings
that focus on national education and communication experiences; expanding
regional networks; and building on the lessons learned.

The United Nations Environment and Development of United Kingdom (UNED-UK)
shared information on its national activities under Agenda 21 chapters. Some
of UNED-UK's activities have provided inputs to the national reports. This
organization also submitted a number of papers on freshwater issues. UNED-UK
also helps enhance participation at the national level by organizing
round-table's that include a wide range of actors from among the Major Groups.
UNED-UK is among NGOs that are already planning activities to generate
information along the themes of the 1995 CSD session.

NGOs were also active in the intersessional meetings held in preparation for
the second session of the CSD. For example, 2 NGOs participated in the
preparation of the Ministerial conference on Drinking Water and Environmental
Sanitation, 19-23 March 1994, Noordwijk, the Netherlands. Twenty NGOs were
present at the meeting where they distributed a position paper (in five
languages) and made interventions on the issues of water and peace; water and
people; water, health and the environment; water and finance and water and
equality. NGOs at this meeting also participated in the deliberations of the
working groups and promoted a number of ideas for action proposed by the

NGO participation at the two Intersessional Ad Hoc Open Ended Expert Group
meetings of the CSD on finance and technology transfer (February 1994, New
York) was less than expected. Nevertheless, the NGO statement on finance was
well-appreciated for its tangible proposals on innovative methods to raise
funds. These proposals ranged from consumption taxes on unsustainable products
and processes to channeling repatriated tariffs on developing country products
into a fund to help industries in the South and consideration of a global
"Marshall plan" for sustainable development.

In addition, 53 NGOs, who could not be present at the Intersessionals in New
York submitted a letter to the CSD Secretariat and to the CSD Bureau. This
communiqu expressed the following concerns regarding technology and finance
transfers: (i) the imbalances in global financial and other resource flows;
(ii) the need to direct financial and technological support to projects that
are developed by, and build upon the interests, concerns and capacities of
local communities; (iii) the need to build upon and strengthen indigenous and
traditional technological knowledge; and (vi) the need to support the flow of
best available technologies to Southern and Eastern European with a focus to
apply precautionary principles to all hazardous technologies.

During the course of the year, many NGOs organized numerous conferences that
brought together hundreds of non-governmental organizations from developed and
developing countries to focus on a range of sustainable development issues.
For example, the Environment and Development Research Centre, based in
Brussels, organized two international conferences. "Striking A Green Deal"
(November 1993, Brussels) focused on trade and environment and involved 200
people representing NGOs, international organizations, and  governmental
institutions. The Conference made recommendations to the European Community as
well as to the GATT and the CSD, among other international institutions. The
second conference, titled "Down To Earth: Between the Summits" (December 1993,
Copenhagen), focused on the broader issue of the linkage between the
environment, development and social agendas. Between the summits referred to
the mid-point between the Earth Summit of 1992 and the Social Development
Summit of 1995. This conference involved over 100 NGO and international
organization representatives and produced a set of "how-to" books for use of 
NGOs in pursuing sustainable development objectives. In addition, many
participated in the intersessional meetings on the 1994 themes, when it was

Many other NGOs and individuals in their personal capacity submitted articles,
information and other materials to the CSD Secretariat. These inputs were
utilized to the extent they were applicable to the thematic reports. A sizable
number of NGOs indicated that they would require more information from the
Secretariat and from other UN Agencies regarding the type and scope of
information required. Others,  took the initiative to disseminate information
about UNCED follow up and the work of the CSD through their networks,
organized regional nodes of information and contact points and called for more
NGO and major group participation in the CSD process.

There was a particularly low level of NGO involvement among the NGOs
accredited to the CSD, through their involvement in UNCED. As the embodiment
of what came to known as the "spirit of Rio" these NGOs may have a particular
responsibility in being involved in the CSD process. Such continued
participation will not only honor the inherent NGO commitments made at Rio but
also indicate that their participation at Rio was not a one-time shot and
signal the up- coming international conferences that the NGOs that are
currently active in their processes will be reliable partners in the follow up

The CSD and its Secretariat may need to take more direct measures to encourage
and recognize the participation of NGOs. For many NGOs the uncertainty of how
their inputs would be utilized and the lack of criteria for information and
other more participatory types of involvement were disincentives to prepare
reports which invariably require allocation of scarce resources on the part of
the NGOs. Although this report has summarized the inputs as much as possible,
it appears to be insufficient in the eyes of the organizations who wish to
make a contribution to the process along with the reports that are part of the

The CSD Secretariat as well as the UN system as whole have learned useful
lessons from the first year's experience of monitoring activities under Agenda
21 and are likely to improve the process in the following years. However, it
seems necessary to tackle the problem areas such as defining clear criteria
and clarifying the specific use of NGO inputs to the CSD, more directly and
through consultative processes with NGOs. This is especially pertinent for the
CSD and its Secretariat. Unlike many UN Agencies and bodies with long
histories and established mechanism the CSD and its Secretariat are new
institutions assigned to carry out tasks that do not have many precedents.
Thus it is particularly important for the CSD to identify and establish
self-specific mechanisms that better concentrate NGO attention on Agenda 21
follow up.

F.   Chapter 28-- Local authorities' initiatives in support of Agenda 21


Activities of this chapter focus on three areas in which the UN system
agencies are to play a role. These are forging partnerships among
international organizations in support of local authority programs (paragraph
28.4); particular reference to Habitat in strengthening information gathering
on local authorities' strategies and their needs for support (paragraph
28.4a); and establishing a consultation process with developing countries to
mobilize support for local authorities (paragraph 28. 4b).

The partnership in paragraph 28.4 involves UNDP, Habitat, UNEP, World Bank,
regional banks, IULA, World Association of the Major Metropolises, Summit of
Great cities of the World, and the United Towns Organization. Information on
this and on paragraph 28.4(a) regarding UNCHS (Habitat) strengthening its
information gathering on local authorities' strategies and needs, are covered
and presented in detail in the report on Human Settlements prepared under the
management of UNCHS (Habitat). Additional examples on this issue have been
received from the regional Economic Commissions.

The Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific, for example has
supported the establishment of CITYNET which is a regional network of local
authorities and NGOs. CITYNET was a partner of ESCAP in preparing for the
regional Ministerial Conference on Urbanization in Asia and the Pacific
(November 1993). CITYNET also provides advisory services, training, services
as well as undertakes applied research and shares information on urban
development issues.

Under consultation processes with local authorities, UNDP and UNEP have been
active in addition to UNCHS (Habitat). UNEP's support was instrumental in the
formation of the International Council on Local Environmental Initiatives
(ICLEI) which is currently active in promoting local authorities' involvement
in sustainable development. UNDP has initiated the Local Initiative Facility
for Urban Development (LIFE) which is now in its pilot phase. LIFE is an
interregional small-scale grants programme to promote local- local dialogue
among municipalities, NGOs, community based organizations and groups and to
improve the quality of the urban environment. It is a consultative process
involving Majors, NGO networks, Cities' Associations and international
agencies. Programmes on local government strengthening, planning and
administration make up 32 per cent of UNDPs projects, implemented through LIFE
and the Urban Management Programme (UMP). The latter is an on-going joint
programme of the World Bank and Habitat since the early 1980s.


Seven reports particularly mentioned the role of local authorities in Agenda
21 implementation.

Austria mentioned the "subsidiarity" principle as the framework for local
authority participation and particularly referred to the success of the
Climate Alliance project which links many European cities and towns with each
other and with their counterparts in the developing world. Finland mentioned
the collaboration of local authorities with relevant international
associations such as ICLEI in developing and implementing pilot projects
aiming to improve dialogue and division of responsibilities between the
central and local governments. Japan attributed the success of national
environmental conservation efforts to the involvement of local authorities.
This country reported that it supports Local Agenda 21 design and
implementation process internationally and suggests that experience gained
from this process for use at the inter- governmental level.

Myanmar and Sri Lanka mentioned local education, awareness and local Agenda 21
programmes as best ways to share the overall sustainable development
responsibilities of the public sector. These countries also indicated their
need for assistance from international funding institutions and large
international NGOs for improving the capacity of local authorities
particularly to deal with sustainable human settlements infrastructure and
promotion of health of local populations. Tunis mentioned local authorities
among target groups of the national programmes that promote effective

The United Kingdom reported that the local governments are extremely active in
developing environmental management tools such as local sustainability 
indicators and eco-audits. This country reported that the central and local
governments are working on a voluntary scheme for eco-management and
eco-audits. The scheme is expected to be in place by 1995.


The CSD Secretariat received three sets of inputs from local authorities: two
from local authorities and related organizations in the UK and one from the
International Council for Local Environmental Initiatives (ICLEI).

The inputs made by the Scottish Academic Network on Global Environmental
Change (SANGEAC) provides a mini-case study of local environmental problems
and policies of the city of Glasgow in the context of Agenda 21, particularly,
the sectoral themes before the CSD in 1994. The SANGEAC report highlights
poverty alleviation as the top priority. Although the report acknowledges the
importance of other issues relevant to sustainable human settlements
development, such as infrastructure development and community empowerment, it
emphasizes that these efforts have limited success if poverty remains. SANGEAC
believes that efforts must aim to empower municipal administrations, train for
sustainable technology and integrate the health and social costs of poverty
into policies. In other words, the current paradigm has a limited vision and
should be substantially transformed if sustainability is to become an
achievable goal.

The second input from the UK local authorities was a joint report of five
local authority associations in England, Wales, Scotland, and Northern
Ireland. These associations are also part of the International Union of Local
Authorities (IULA) and have programmatic links with both IULA and ICLEI. A
Steering Group, composed of representatives of the five associations, design
and monitor the relevant work programme. A number of individuals from national
organizations representing workers,. business and industry, environment and
development NGOs and women have also been invited to be on the Steering Group.

The Steering Group has formulated a work programme, through 1995, specifically
on Agenda 21 activities relevant to the leadership of local authorities. Among
the Programme's activities are developing sustainable development indicators,
training programmes for local government staff, and round table series aiming
to formulate practical guidelines for local sustainable development
activities. The Steering Committee has published guides on eco-management and
auditing, local Agenda 21, and examples of good practice. The round-tables
have focused on community participation, North-south linking for sustainable
development, greening of the local economy, education and awareness raising,
transport/planning interface, green purchasing and on rural sustainability.
The Steering committee's priorities for 1995 are producing a design guide for
sustainability, holding five round tables (on issues ranging from environment
and health to energy and coastal issues), following up and monitoring the
previous initiatives, and producing training materials.

Overall, the groups from the UK constitute a model major group response to
Agenda 21. Their approach is clearly anchored in Agenda 21 as well as in the
local priorities and the work programme is participatory and practical.
Furthermore, collaboration between local authorities through international
organizations and the cooperation with other local major groups enable a
forceful voice

ICLEI's report focuses on chapter 7 on human settlements and the relevant
policy suggestions. It particularly emphasizes the crucial role of local
authorities in bridging the spheres of local needs and national  policies as
well as linking local communities with international organizations and
institutions. The report also emphasizes the shifting of environmental
responsibility from the national/federal to local governments both in
developed and developing country cities. ICLEI calls on the CSD to join in the
preparations for the 1996 Habitat II conference in order to further integrate
Agenda 21 and sustainable development objectives into human settlements and
local management agendas. ICLEI's proposals are summarized in more detail in
the report on Chapter 7 on human settlements.

The Global Forum 1994 may help increase participation of and consultation with
local authorities. The 1994 Forum focuses on the theme of  "Cities" and its
programme involves representatives from 50 cities from around the world. The
Forum will host panels on issues ranging from urban transportation to
partnership and governance. The Forum is assisted by a number of NGOs and
other major groups. For example, ICLEI is assisting in the organization of one
of the key sector meetings on local authorities and local Agenda 21

The 45th World Congress of the International Union of Local Authorities (1995)
is another Major Group forum that will focus on local authorities and Agenda
21 among other things. The particular focus of the Congress is on
municipalities and the experience of decentralized international cooperation.
Outcomes of this and other local authorities programmes are likely to produce
substantial inputs to future CSD sessions.

G.   Chapter 29-- Strengthening the role of workers and their trade unions


The activities relevant to inter-governmental bodies in this chapter relate to
involving trade unions in the sustainable development activities of the UN and
other international organizations (Paragraph 29.10); and assessing the need
for enhanced worker training programmes (Paragraph 29.11).

FAO indicates that it holds joint consultations with rural workers'
organizations. It has on-going collaboration with the International Federation
of Agricultural Producers (IFAP) to promote national policies and activities
directed to small agricultural producers including the strengthening of their
organizations, management capacities and participation. However, financial
constraints have negatively affected some of the earlier initiatives. For
example, FAO's biannual consultations with major international labor unions
have been temporarily stopped, since 1990, for financial reasons.

Workers' organizations play an active and equal role with employers'
organizations and governments in the development of all ILO International
Labour standards, policies and programmes related to the achieving sustainable
development objectives within the mandate of the organization. ILO's
environmental support for workers and their organizations place a particular
emphasis on occupational health and safety and health training aimed at
improving the working environment. An inter-regional effort, which ILO
initiated in 1990, on workers' education and environment involved 16 national
workshops and has produced seven booklets (on workers' education and
environment)  which are being widely disseminated.


There were few responses on the role of workers and trade unions. The three
specific reports relevant to this group were made by Austria, Finland and

Austria reported that national policies focus on preventive measures to reduce
occupational health and safety. This country reported that workers and trade
unions participate in the elaboration of relevant laws and regulations and
hold semi-annual regional meetings on occupational health safety with
governmental and business representatives. Verification of compliance with
regulations is reported as the most important tasks of worker representatives
at the plant level. Finland reported that the central organization of trade
unions prepared an information package on company-based environmental
agreements and conducted environmental education activities. Japan reported
that workers and trade unions have developed the eco-union concept and that
they are involved in collaborative efforts with industry and NGOs. This
country reported that it supports the participation of workers in decision
making and in various environmental education campaigns by and for workers and
their associations.


The CSD Secretariat received one report from the International Confederation
of Free Trade Unions. The report's main focus is on eco-audits as a mechanism
that can link  "local and workplace actions to meet global goals". The report
calls on the UN in general, and the CSD in particular, to support the growing
interest in the use of eco-audits.

ICFTU has adopted policies that support sustainable development in 1992, and
has held an international conference on eco-auditing in 1993. It is also one
of the coordinators of the panels on the Global Forum 1994. For this event,
ICFTU is coordinating the participation of 120 trade unions from 50 countries
as well as preparing documentation on eco-auditing in the urban context.

ICFTU calls on the CSD to actively encourage the eco-auditing related items of
Agenda 21 through consultation processes that involve a broad range of social
partners, defining industry targets and monitoring of relevant activities.

A relevant set of efforts involve the development of environmental guidelines,
business charters (such as that prepared by the ICC), and other business based
environmental codes of practice. These have often include issues of worker
health and safety as well as in-house training and assessment of further
training needs.

H.   Chapter 30-- Strengthening the role of business and industry


This chapter focuses on various avenues of cooperation and support between
international organizations and business and industry. The activities include:
education, training and awareness and information dissemination (30.15 and
30.16) on cleaner production methods and technologies; financial and other
support for small entrepreneurs and small firms in developing countries
engaged in activities that contribute to environmental sustainability (30.21
and 30.28); and ensuring input of business and industry in the UN policy
process (30.28).

UNEP and UNIDO, both mentioned in paragraph 30.16, report that their networks
continue to support the efforts of business and industry.

UNIDO reports extensive activities in the area of environmental information
systems targeting business and industry in developing countries. The
Industrial and Technological Information Bank (INTIB) network supports new
technology development, supplemented by technical assistance and expertise
provided in the field. The Energy and Environment Information System (EEIS) is
designed to assist small and medium  sized industries in developing countries.
UNIDO also carries out technical assistance programmes in developing countries
focusing on a range of environmental issues from waste minimization (in India)
to establishment of cleaner production centers, to effluent reduction and
control projects (in Myanmar, Egypt and China).

UNEP's International Cleaner Production Clearing House (ICPIC) continues to
evolve as a collaborative effort between this agency and various industrial
sectors. A recent development that may help increase access to ICPIC's
information is its availability on diskette for the use of other UN agencies
and clients. Another UNEP initiative in collaboration with UNIDO is a two-year
programme (1994-1996) to establish National Cleaner Technology Centers in
seven developing countries.

The Environment and Industry Office of UNEP, in Paris, is producing guidebooks
and manuals on financing cleaner production, audits and emission reduction,
environmental reporting and on partnerships with industry and non-governmental
organizations. It has also prepared a questionnaire on the basis of Chapter 30
which will be distributed annually. This effort is likely to generate
substantial information on the progress achieved under the chapter and to
motivate and mobilize private and public sector partners for sustainable

UNEP has also identified a number of constraints in the area of business and
environment. These include lack of (i) awareness (of Agenda 21 and on-going
sustainable development activities as well as generic environmental issues);
(ii) access to information and expertise; (iii) capital for cleaner production
investments; (iv) regulatory framework and enforcement systems; (v) economic
incentives for environmental excellence; and, (vi) a focus on a life-cycle
approach to cleaner production. UNEP's near-future plans include looking at
the role of multinational companies in developing countries in relation to
knowledge transfer and environmental awareness. This would involve joint
training workshops for partnerships between public and private sectors at
.national and local levels, and development of technology assessment and
cleaner production activities.

Several UN agencies provide training and education programmes involving
business and industry. A joint project of UNEP, WHO and ILO, initiated in
1993, is especially relevant to endogenous capacity building through the
training of trainers. ILO has been carrying out various environmental support
programmes for employers' organizations, including "training the trainers"
programmes. ILO finds that regional training of trainers seminar and study
tours have been particularly useful tools in spreading awareness and skills
among employers and enterprises.

In terms of financial support, UNIDO has identified three fundamental
investment promotion factors that influence sustainable development efforts in
industry: incentives for adopting cleaner production practices, awareness of
industry related environmental issues, and awareness of available
technological solutions. The examples of UNIDO's investment promotion
programmes do not indicate a particular environmental/sustainable development
perspective. However, investments promoted through the Trust Funds include
environmental consulting as a form of assistance relevant to sustainable

Both UNDP and UNEP focus on promoting public-private partnerships. UNEP's
efforts in this area are integral to the programmes summarized above. UNDP's
focus is on  concrete and repeatable solutions to environmental problems that
affect urban and peri- urban dwellers. Its specific emphasis is on water,
sanitation, waste management and energy. It has an on-going partnership
arrangement with the Business Council for Sustainable Development (BCSD) in
these efforts.

Inputs from ECLAC indicated that its programmes also have a business and
environment focus, particularly on the link between consumption patterns,
competitiveness, demand side management, natural resource use by business and
industry, and linkages between small and large enterprises in transfer of
technology. ECLAC's input does not indicate current programmes or allocations
of resources but rather express the above as planned regional activities.

OECD reports that it has programmes on enhancing the role of the private
sector, coping with environmental threats, trade and environment, rural
development programme, management development, national innovation systems and
the link between industrial and environmental policies at the regional level.


Similar to the earlier major groups category, there were few specific inputs
on the role of business and industry. Relevant information was available from
Austria, Finland, Japan, the United Kingdom and the United States.

Austria reported that its national environmental standards for business and
industry are stricter when compared with international standards in general.
This country reports intensive training and counseling of enterprises by the
Economic Promotion Institutes of the national Chambers of Commerce which also
serves to encourage environmentally sound development practices. Austria
provides environmental subsidies as incentives to adopt clean technologies.
Further improvements are expected through voluntary agreements between the
Government and individual private sector operations.

Finland reported that its businesses supports the Business Charter for
Sustainable Development (formulated by the International Chamber of Commerce)
and that they conduct a national Responsible Care programme (formulated by the
Chemical Manufacturers Association of the United States of America). The
national confederation of industry and employers provide publications and
training and support the improvement of environmental management in small and
medium sized enterprises (SMEs). This country reported that voluntary energy
efficiency is a national competitiveness factor.

Japan reported that it provides economic and institutional assistance for
technology development, energy conservation and environmentally sound
manufacturing processes. This country also indicated a particular focus on
supporting small and medium-sized enterprises. Japan reported that it will
participate in harmonizing environmental audit methods and integrate such
methods into business activities and regulatory frameworks that affect
business and industry.

The United Kingdom reported that national businesses have adopted voluntary
environmental management practices and are engaged in consultations with the
government on environmental management issues. Current focus of this country's
support focuses on small businesses.

The United States also mentioned voluntary initiatives by national business
and industry groups. Many of the currently environmentally pro-active
international business associations have roots in this country. The United
States Environmental Protection Agency (USEPA) has numerous programmes that
provide incentives to business and industry to develop energy efficient
products such as the "Energy Star" programme for the computer industry. The
United States recently announced a number of new incentive programmes and
other initiatives to enlist greater support of the private sector in national
and international sustainable development efforts. For example, the United
States will provide guarantees for a fund to direct private capital to
environmental businesses working in developing countries.


The Secretariat received information from three business and industry groups;
Appropriate Technology International based in the United States, the
Confederation of Indian Industries (CII) and the International Network for
Environmental Management (INEM- international).

ATI's input was primarily information regarding its on-going work in
international diffusion of technologies and systems to small producers.

INEM is a network of national and regional industry associations aiming to
promote environmental management and sustainable development. In 1993, INEM
initiated the "Industrial Agenda 21" programme. Industrial Agenda 21 is a
document in which individual companies set quantified environmental
performance targets to be reached by certain dates. The formulation of this
document is seen as the next logical step to adopting voluntary company-wide
environmental codes, standards or principles. The member association of INEM
endorsed the concept which will be fully launched in the 1994-1995 period. The
INEM Secretariat provides advisory assistance to its members and others who
wish to formulate an Industrial Agenda 21. INEM collaborates with a number of
inter- governmental bodies including UN agencies such as UNEP. UNIDO, UNCTAD
and UNESCO as well as with bilateral development agencies..

The CII indicates that its initial response to Agenda 21 was the creation of
the Environment Management Division whose objectives come directly from
paragraph 6 of chapter 30.  Through this Division, the overall activities of
the CII focus on enabling public-private partnerships to improve the
eco-efficiency of Indian business and industry. Among the specific initiatives
aiming at cleaner production are promoting a mix of regulatory and economic
incentive measures; catalyzing the process of best-performance reporting by
industries; technology cooperation for cleaner production; environmental
management training and awareness programmes for workers; and collaboration
with international organizations (UNIDO, UNDP and EEC), bilateral agencies
(USAID, NORAD, and CIDA) and other business associations (BCSD).

CII's programmes under promoting responsible entrepreneurship involve
encouraging the establishment of sustainably managed enterprises, catalyzing
environmental venture capital funds, supporting research and development for
environmentally sound technologies; acting as an information bridge between
small and medium sized businesses and the international financial
institutions; promoting environmentally responsible foreign investments and
supporting developing country SMEs for resource conservation and waste

No written inputs was received from the business and industry associations
accredited as NGOs to the CSD. The International Chamber of Commerce, which is
in consultative status with the ECOSOC, has participated in the Intersessional
meetings of the CSD. ICC also participated in some of the intersessional
workshops and other meetings organized by member Governments such as the
meeting on transfer of technology organized by the Governments of Columbia and
the United States, in Cartagena, November 1993. The ICC has indicated that it
will submit a report to the CSD separately.

The Business Council on Sustainable Development (BCSD), which was created for
a period of three years during the UNCED process, has decided to continue its
work. Secondary sources indicated that the Council is working on establishing
partnerships with the International Finance Corporations (IFC), the UNDP, the
Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA) and the Confederation of
Indian Industries (CII). The partnership is to create new businesses (jointly
owned by public and private authorities) to develop sustainable municipal
infrastructure projects in cities.Other key policy areas of focus for the BCSD
are internalizing environmental costs to increase eco-efficiency; providing
improved information for the financial markers; and accelerating sustainable
development in Central/Eastern Europe. National Business Councils are also
being established, including in developing countries. A BCSD chapter has been
formed in Mexico and is expected to be fully operational in May 1994.

I.   Chapter 31 -- Scientific and technological community


The activity that involves the UN system in this chapter is in paragraph 31.4d
on strengthening science and technology advice at the highest levels of the UN
and other organizations. Relevant progress is covered, to some extent, in the
Secretary General's report on the work of the Commission on Science and
Technology for Development for 1994.

Networks of academic and research institutions are part of most UN system
agencies. FAO for example works with colleges and universities focusing on
agricultural issues. It is also working to improve agricultural extension
services to strengthen the role of farmers in local environmental conservation
and protection as well as management, in collaboration with the South East
Asian Ministries of Education Organization (specifically its Regional Centre
for Graduate Study and Research in Agriculture), and the Asian Association of
Agricultural Colleges and Universities.

Most agencies have advisory boards and experts bringing the scientific
knowledge and experiences into the decision making of the agencies. UNDP has a
network cooperation programme, coordinated by the Massachusetts Institute of
Technology, which is part of the organization's capacity building efforts.
This collaboration aims to expand UNDP's work in capacity building into
universities in developing countries.


Four countries mentioned the role and contribution of the scientific and
technological communities in their reports.

Austria mentioned that it has a technology policy strategy developed in 1989
which gives top ranking to the environmental relevance of proposed projects.
This country also lists other relevant priority targets in environmental
research including development of environmentally sound technologies and
technological assessment, research on ecosystems particularly related to
deforestation; and bioengineering and genetic engineering. Education  in
science and technology is part of this country's international development
assistance programmes.

Japan reported that two  priorities in this area are (i) improving
communication and cooperation among scientific and technological communities,
the decision makers and the public and (ii) promoting codes of practice and
guidelines related to science and technology. This country supports
international cooperation relevant to the above overall priorities. The
Netherlands mentioned that universities and research institutes play an
important role in the national sustainable development efforts as well as in
the country's development cooperation work. Tunis listed academic scientific
community, researchers and professional organizations as partners in central
and regional governmental efforts in sustainable development.


The Secretariat received inputs from six organizations based in the following
countries, Bangladesh, India, Japan,  Russia and the United States. Of these,
only one, the Japanese Scientists Association (JSA), made inputs directly
relevant to the themes before the 1994 CSD session.

JSA indicated that it would submit two thematic papers on health and toxic
chemicals along with a critique of the national environmental policies
although only the paper on health was received at the time of drafting of this
report. The recommendations of JSA under the theme of health are summarized in
the report on Chapter 6 on Health.

An organization based in the United States, the Chicago Area Sigma Xi (CASX)
submitted information on its Sustainable Development Forum which is a follow
up to Agenda 21 focusing on networking scientists around Agenda 21 activities
at the national and international level.

The remaining inputs were received from Centre for Development Research of
Bangladesh, the People's Science Institute of India, the African Environmental
Research and Consulting Group (offices in the United States and Ghana), and
the Future Generation Problems Research Centre of Russia. The first three
inputs summarized the work of the organizations. These inputs did not specify
if the organizations had taken Agenda 21 follow up activities. All three
appeared to have on-going local environmental and developmental work and/or
potential to provide significant service to national and regional sustainable
development activities as partners. The Research Centre of Russia submitted a
paper emphasizing the welfare of future generations as the most fundamental
issue in sustainable development research, policy and overall efforts.

J.   Chapter 32-- Strengthening the role of farmers


The activity that involves the UN system Agencies in this chapter is contained
in paragraph 32. 9 on involving farmers in the programmes of FAO, IFAD, WFP,
and development banks.

FAO is closely involved with farmers associations in its overall programme.
FAO's Plan of Action on People's Participation in Rural Development emphasizes
active participation of rural people and their organizations as a "key
ingredient to achieving agricultural and rural development". FAO has been
working with the International Federation of Agricultural Producers (IFAP).
IFAP has 82 affiliated member organizations in fifty countries and is FAO's
main non- governmental partner in implementing the aforementioned Plan of
Action. FAO estimates that it reaches over half a million small farmers,
forest dwellers and "fisher-folk"  on a regular basis through the People's
Participation Programme.

FAO's programmes promote cooperation among farmers, NGOs, national
agricultural research and extension services through its regional NGO
Cooperation programmes in Asia, Latin America and Africa. It also consults
regularly with several major farmer's organizations through the Inter-agency
Committee for Promotion and Advancement of Cooperatives. Among these
organizations are the IFAP, the International Cooperative Alliance (ICA), the
World Council of Credit Unions (WCCU), and the International Federation of
Plantation and Allied Agricultural Workers (IFPAAW).

IFAD's projects are geared toward assisting small farmers in the transition to
sustainable agriculture. In this context, IFAD collaborates extensively with
farmers' associations and cooperatives. The programmes have a participatory
planning approach throughout the stages of a project-cycle. A milestone for
this approach was IFAD's International Consultation on Environment and
Sustainable Development and the Role of Small Farmers held in 1988 which
formulated the evolving strategies that IFAD follows today..

UNDP is working on creating a Farmers-Sustainable Agriculture Network and
Extension (SANE) to support developing countries in applications of
agro-ecology to rural development. UNDP's programmes in this area aim to
facilitate sharing of experiences, demonstration of local solutions,
institutional capacity building and networking local institutions in relation
to farmers. Its Farmer Centered Agricultural Resource Management programme
(FARM) is one such programme that focuses on enhancing capacity for
conservation, management and use of natural agricultural resources through
increasing local participation.


Three provided information specific to farmers.

Austria reported that it focuses on networking agricultural objectives with
regional, social and environmental goals. This country believes that changes
in consumer purchasing habits is a precondition to enable food produced by
environmentally sound methods obtain fair prices in the market. In addition,
Austria takes the view that the use of renewable sources of energy derived
from regional production needs to be awarded to encourage environmentally
sustainable farming practices. This country also has several  measures
supporting ecological management of agriculture including caps for animal
stock, duties on fertilizers, promotion of crop rotation and subsidies for
organic farmers.

Finland indicated that it has a specific environmental programme for rural
areas which involves agricultural producers and their organizations in the
implementation process.  Japan reported that it provides funding support for
training programmes for Asian farmers and shares national experiences in land
conservation internationally.


One relevant organization submitted information: the International Federation
of Agricultural Producers (IFAP).

Environment has been a priority for IFAP particularly since the establishment
of an Environment Committee, in June 1992, shortly before the Rio conference.
This committee's three regional meetings (in Europe late 1992, America April
1993 and Asia September 1993) have led IFAD's activities in follow-up to
UNCED.IFAP's relevant initiatives involve (i) ensuring priority is given to
environment in the Federation's overall work, (ii) maintaining and
strengthening contacts with multilateral agencies and international research
centres; (iii) increasing dialogue with groups and organizations active in
environment and development; and (iv) reinforcing the Federation's programmes
in capacity and institution building  particularly in developing countries.

IFAP's report indicates relationships with numerous regional and international
inter-governmental organizations and programmes including the Sustainable
Agriculture and Rural Development programme (SARD) of FAO, the Sustainable
Agriculture Network and Extension programme  (SANE) of UNDP. The Federation is
also seeking ways to collaborate with the EC in the region of Latin America
and with the OECD in the area of rural development. Dialogue with other major
groups' organization is also part of IFAP's efforts. These contacts range from
formal to informal arrangements as well as information-based exchanges through
publications of NGOs and other major groups. The Federation is also in
continuing consultation process with a number of international agricultural
research institutes such as the African National Agricultural Research, the
international Institute of Tropical Agriculture, and the International Rice
Research Institute.

Capacity-building is an area of particular importance to IFAP. The Federation
feels that "the main obstacles to solving environmental problems are not in
the technical field but rather in the political, economic and social domain".
The Federation places particular emphasis on building institutional capacity
of farmers in developing countries. IFAP has launched a world-wide programme
to address this area of need in October 1993.


The fundamental idea behind requests of progress review reports that combine
information from governments, inter-governmental bodies and major groups was
to compare evidence for and against progress and thus identify the gaps or
bottlenecks that need to be overcome in the coming years. This process,
however, appears to need comprehensive information from all the three sectors.
Such comprehensiveness has not been the case particularly in terms of
information received on Major Groups chapters.

Inputs received from the Governments was spotty or had little information on
the involvement of major groups at the national level. The few exceptions were
inputs made by less than a handful of developed countries, which provided
information on each major group in some detail. However, the degree of detail
between countries, as well as lack of information made comparison very

At the inter-governmental level, there was a greater response rate to the
information requests of the CSD Secretariat. The UN Agencies, in particular,
appear to be have a great deal of activity that involves NGOs and other major
groups, including various support programmes. One clear area of need appears
to be establishing reliable and stable mechanisms that enable major groups
participation in the decision-making process of the international
organizations. The need is especially emphasized, by NGOs, in the case of
international financing and development institutions.

Major Groups, particularly those that are accredited to the CSD, appear to be
less involved in the CSD than they were in the UNCED process where they were
accredited initially. However, other major groups entities have made inputs to
the CSD which is a positive trend indicating that lack of accreditation does
not necessarily prevent commitment to the CSD's work.

A number of inputs received from major groups included innovative and/or new
approaches to sustainable development, including financial mechanisms,
developing indicators, tools for local sustainable development implementation
and evaluation, and so forth. If governments and inter-governmental bodies are
to benefit from ideas emerging from the major groups sphere, as suggested by
the partnership spirit of Agenda 21, there needs to opportunities to discuss
and consider these ideas in more detail.

The following recommendations could be suggested on the basis of the
information above:

1-   There is a clear need to improve the quantity and the quality of
information relevant to the role and contributions of major groups. The CSD
may wish to request that the Governments and inter- governmental bodies
provide information on the extent of involvement of major groups
organizations. This information may include, among other things, the following

(a)  involvement of major groups organizations in sustainable development
activities including participation in project design, implementation and
evaluation at the national, regional and international levels.

(b)  the new and innovative ways that increase and enhance the quality and
quantity of consultations with the major groups organizations

(c)  the relevant indicators such as financial and other resource
allocations, and the success and failures related to the institutional and/or
technical assistance provided.

(d)  identification of bottlenecks and suggestions for future needs to
overcome them

2-   The CSD may wish to commission detailed and periodic surveys of the
sphere of major groups in sustainable development to identify the specific
actors, assess needs and collect innovative suggestions.

3-   The CSD might also consider requesting the production of a coordinated
series of "success stories" related to major groups' involvement in
sustainable development efforts of the UN Agencies as well as of Governments.
Such a series can be managed by the Secretariat and might be coordinated
through the Inter-Agency Committee on Sustainable Development.

4-   The CSD might consider a more proactive role with respect to the role
and contribution of major groups to Agenda 21 implementation. This might
include holding seminars and round- tables on the thematic topics of each year
as well as co-sponsoring relevant conferences with major groups and UN

5-   The CSD may wish to discuss how best to utilize inputs from major groups
in the reports and other information, discussion and negotiation processes. An
annual or biannual publication composed of major groups inputs could be a
beginning to signaling the major groups that their efforts and inputs are not

6-   The CSD may wish to urge those UN agencies with field offices and other
national or regional presence to increase efforts to create and enhance local
environmental support institutions for major groups organizations. Such
support could include institutional, technical, managerial, and financial
aspects of community involvement in sustainable development.

7-   The CSD may wish to suggest that the member governments, to the extent
possible and feasible, include representatives of national Major Groups in
their Delegations to the CSD, in order to increase Major Groups participation.

8-   The CSD may wish to take note of some of the conceptual and practical
sustainable development tools developed and proposed by the Major groups such
as the use of social impact assessments targeting particular groups,
environmental space, eco-audits and green audits, local agenda 21 frameworks,
community report cards and consolidated lists of hazardous and toxic


Extracts of Agenda 21 activities in Section III, on Major Groups

Activities requested from Inter-governmental bodies

Women (Chapter 24)

(paragraph 24.9) The Secretary-General should strengthen all UN institutions
with a focus on women.

(Paragraph 24.10) UN bodies should increase the number of women in senior
policy-level posts.

(Paragraph 24.11) UNIFEM, UNICEF, and UNDP should strengthen participation of
women in development through their programs.

Youth and Children (chapter 25)

(paragraph 25. 10) Review youth programs, and their coordination; promote UN
Trust Fund for International Youth Year.

(Paragraph 25. 15) UNICEF to cooperate with other UN organizations,
governments, and NGOs to develop programs for children.

Indigenous People (Chapter 26)

(paragraph 26.4) Adopt a declaration on indigenous rights in the UNGA.

(Paragraph 26.5) Appoint focal points on indigenous peoples in each
organization; hold annual coordination meetings.

(Paragraph 26.5) Assist governments to keep indigenous people informed and
incorporate their views in policy/program design.

(Paragraph 26.5) Provide technical and financial assistance for
capacity-building for indigenous people.

(Paragraph 26.5) Use data collection and analysis to support Agenda 21
programs aiding indigenous people in resource management.

(Paragraph 26. 9) Assist in education and training of indigenous peoples for
sustainable development.

Non-Governmental Organizations (Chapter 27)

(paragraph 27.9) Report on ways to enhance NGO contributions to UN system
decision making.

(Paragraph 27.9b) Enhance procedures of all UN agencies to include the views
of NGOs.

(Paragraph 27.9c) Review UN financial and administrative support for NGOs with
a view to augmenting their role.

(Paragraph 27.9d) Design effective means to achieve NGO participation in UN
implementation of Agenda 21.

(Paragraph 27.9e) Promote and allow NGOs and their self-organized networks to
contribute to evaluation of UN programs to implement Agenda 21.

(Paragraph 27. 9f) Take into account NGO findings in reports of the
Secretary-General and UN agencies on implementation of Agenda 21.

(Paragraph 27.9g) Provide timely NGO access to information on UN sustainable
development programs.

(Paragraph 27.12) Increase financial and administrative support for NGOs;
provide training for NGOs in LDCs.

Local Authorities (Chapter 28)

(paragraph 28.4) Forge partnerships among international organizations (UNDP,
Habitat, UNEP, World Bank, regional banks, IULA, World Association of the
Major Metropolises, Summit of Great cities of the world, United Towns
Organization) in support of local authority programs.

(Paragraph 28.4a) Habitat to Strengthen information gathering on local
authorities' strategies and their needs for support.

(Paragraph 28. 4b) Establish a consultation process with developing countries
to mobilize support for local authorities.

Workers and Trade Unions (Chapter 29)

(Paragraph 29.10) Involve trade unions in sustainable development activities
of the UN and other international organizations.

(Paragraph 29.11) Assess need for enhanced worker training programs.

Business and Industry (Chapter 30)

(Paragraph 30.15) Collaborate with industry to increase education, training,
and awareness activities to achieve cleaner production.

(Paragraph 30.16) Disseminate information on cleaner production methods by
cooperatively using UN and industry association databases. (UNEP/ICPIC,

(Paragraph 30.21) Support small entrepreneurs engaged in sustainable
activities through financial aid.

(Paragraph 30.28) Ensure business community input into UN policy process to
improve environmental aspects of foreign investment.

(Paragraph 30.29) Support research to improve technology and management in
small firms in LDCs.

Science and Technology (Chapter 31)

(Paragraph 31.4d) Strengthen science and technology advice to the highest
levels of the UN and other organizations.

Farmers (Chapter 32)

(Paragraph 32. 9) Involve farmers in FAO, IFAD, WFP, and development bank


Extracts of Agenda 21 activities in Section III, on Major Groups

Activities requested from Governments

Women (Chapter 24)

(Paragraph 24.3a) Establish policies to increase the proportion of women as
decision makers.

(Paragraph 24.3b) Strengthen women's non-governmental organizations.

(Paragraph 24.3c) Eliminate illiteracy among females and promote universal
access to primary and secondary education.

(Paragraph 24.3d) Promote day care facilities, equal sharing of household
tasks, and other measures to reduce women's drudgery.

(Paragraph 24.e) Establish facilities with reproductive health care and family

(Paragraph 24.3f) Strengthen equal employment opportunities, remuneration, and
support facilities.

(Paragraph 24.3g) Establish rural banking systems to increase rural women's
access to credit.

(Paragraph 24.3h) Design consumer awareness programs that appeal to women.

(Paragraph 24.3i) Eliminate negative attitudes and prejudices against women.

(Paragraph 24.3j) Prepare a report to the 1995 world conference on women.

(Paragraph 24.4) Ratify and enforce all relevant conventions pertaining to

(Paragraph 24.5) Strengthen the Convention on the Elimination of
Discrimination Against Women.

(Paragraph 24.6) Avert environmental and economic degradation.

(Paragraph 24.8) Develop gender-sensitive databases and information systems.

(Paragraph 24.8b) Undertake research on the effects on women of structural

(Paragraph 24.8d) Conduct research on linkages among gender relations,
environment, and development.

(Paragraph 24.8e) Develop accounting mechanisms to integrate value of unpaid
work to better capture the economic contribution of women.

(Paragraph 24.8f) Monitor the gender impact of policies and programs.

(Paragraph 24.8g) Create training, research, and resource centers to
disseminate environmentally sound technologies to women.

Youth and Children (Chapter 25)

(Paragraph 25.9a) Establish procedures for consultation with youth in decision

(Paragraph 25.9b) Consult youth organizations regarding programs on
environment and development.

(Paragraph 25.9c) Consider incorporating into policy the recommendations of
youth conferences.

(Paragraph 25.9d) Ensure access for all youth to a wide range of educational

(Paragraph 25.9e) Implement strategies to create employment opportunities.

(Paragraph 25.9f) Establish task forces to develop educational and awareness
programs to reach young people.

(Paragraph 25.9g) Encourage their involvement in project identification,
design, implementation and follow up.

(Paragraph 25.9h) Include youth representatives in delegations to
international meetings in accordance with UNGA resolutions.

(Paragraph 25.14a) Implement programs for health, education, and poverty

(Paragraph 25.14b) Ratify the Convention on the Rights of the Child.

(Paragraph 25.14d) Expand educational opportunities for children and youth.

(Paragraph 25.14e) Use schools and health centers to educate communities about
environmental issues.

(Paragraph 25.14f) Incorporate children's concerns into policies for
environment and development.

Indigenous People (Chapter 26)

(Paragraph 26.4a) Ratify and apply all existing conventions relevant to
indigenous people.

(Paragraph 26.4b) Protect indigenous intellectual and cultural property and
customary (including economic) practices.

(Paragraph 26.6a) Improve capacity to assimilate technology and soundly manage
resources through research and education programs.

(Paragraph 26.6b) Consult with indigenous people to incorporate their values
and traditional knowledge into development programs.

(Paragraph 26.8) Incorporate the rights and responsibilities of indigenous
people in legislation.

(Paragraph 26.9) Commit resources to education and training for indigenous

Non-governmental Organizations (Chapter 27)

(Paragraph 27.8) Allow the participation of NGOs in conception, establishment
and evaluation of official mechanisms and formal procedures to review
Agenda 21

(Paragraph 27.10a) Enhance dialogue with NGOs to channel their input into
policy processes.

(Paragraph 27.10b) Encourage partnerships between local NGOs and local

(Paragraph 27.10c) Involve NGOs in national programs to carry out Agenda 21.

(Paragraph 27.10d) Consider findings of non-governmental monitoring of
Agenda 21.

(Paragraph 27.10e) Expand the role of NGOs in education and public awareness.

(Paragraph 27.10f) Provide access for NGOs to timely information.

(Paragraph 27.12) Provide more bilateral financial and administrative support
for NGOs to evaluate Agenda 21.

(Paragraph 2713) Strengthen legislation to ensure the legal rights of NGOs to
protect the public interest through legal action.

Local Authorities (Chapter 28)

There are no activities specifically requested from Governments in this
chapter. Most activities indicate activities for Local Authorities and the
inter-governmental bodies.

Workers and Trade Unions (Chapter 29)

(Paragraph 29.3a) Ratify ILO conventions.

(Paragraph 29.4) Promote workers' rights to freedom of association and to

(Paragraph 29.5) Promote participation of workers and unions in sustainable
development policies and programs.

(Paragraph 29.6) Promote the cooperation of unions, employers, and governments
in sustainable development.

(Paragraph 29.7) Use collaborative employee/employer mechanisms to deal with
safety, health, and environmental issues.

(Paragraph 29.8) Ensure that workers are provided with all relevant
information to participate in decision-making.

(Paragraph 29.12) Provide workers with training in environmental awareness,
safety, health, and employable skills.

Business and Industry (Chapter 30)

(Paragraph 30.7) Strengthen government and business partnerships for
sustainable development.

(Paragraph 30.8) Employ an appropriate policy mix to promote cleaner

(Paragraph 30.9) Develop methodologies cooperatively to internalize
environmental costs into accounting and pricing.

(Paragraph 30.11) Promote technology cooperation among enterprises.

(Paragraph 30.19) Encourage sustainably managed enterprises through economic
instruments, regulation, and administrative streamlining.

(Paragraph 30.20) Encourage establishment of venture capital funds for
sustainable projects.

(Paragraph 30.21) Support training in environmental aspects of enterprise

(Paragraph 30.22) Encourage transnational firms to establish worldwide
policies on sustainable development.

Science and Technology (Chapter 31)

(Paragraph 31.4a) Review national scientific and technology activities re
adequacy for sustainable development needs.

(Paragraph 31.4b) Promote cooperative mechanisms to address regional needs of
science and technology for sustainable development.

(Paragraph 31.4c) Improve scientific input to negotiating international

(Paragraph 31.4e) Improve programs for disseminating research, including
transfer of skills, sharing data, and non-technical publications.

(Paragraph 31.4f) Improve cooperation between government and private research

(Paragraph 31.4g) Promote the role of women in science and technology.

(Paragraph 31.4h) Enhance technologies for the dissemination of information.

(Paragraph 31.10b) Establish national advisory groups on ethics to develop
common values between scientific communities and society.

(Paragraph 31.10c) Integrate development and environmental ethical issues into
education curricula and research priorities.

Farmers (Chapter 32)

(Paragraph 32.6a) Implement all Agenda 21 programs related to sustainable
rural development.

(Paragraph 32.6b) Promote sound farm-level decisions through economic
instruments and trade policies.

(Paragraph 32.6c) Involve farmers and their organizations in policy

(Paragraph 32.6d) Recognize women's rights to land tenure, credit, technology,
and inputs.

(Paragraph 32.6e) Support farmers' organizations with adequate legal

(Paragraph 32.8a) Document and disseminate local agricultural experience as a
basis for new policies/projects.

(Paragraph 32.8b) Establish information networks on resource conservation, use
of chemicals and farm wastes.

(Paragraph 32.8c) Develop pilot projects and extension services that address
needs and knowledge of women farmers.

(Paragraph 32.12a) Develop environmentally sound farming technologies.

(Paragraph 32.13) Develop ecological curricula for agricultural colleges.

(Paragraph 32.14a) Create legal mechanisms to ensure land tenure for farmers.

(Paragraph 32.14b) Strengthen rural institutions through credit systems,
technical assistance, etc.

(Paragraph 32.14c) Improve the capability of farmers to ensure food security.



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Date last posted: 1 December 1999 12:18:30
Comments and suggestions: DESA/DSD