Institutional Arrangements to Follow Up the United Nations Conference on Environment and Development BACKGROUND PAPER # 1 Prepared by the Division for Sustainable Development for the Commission on Sustainable Development Fourth Session 18 April - 3 May 1996 New York I. INTRODUCTION 1. The Commission on Sustainable Development first considered Chapter 38 on International Institutional Arrangements at its second session in 1994. The review at the time consisted of sketching the general framework of the post-UNCED structures, particularly at the United Nations, and at the inter- agency and national levels. The present document provides a factual overview of progress made in the institutional arrangements since Rio within the UN system, by bilateral organizations, regional organizations and financial institutions, and at the national level. In case of progress made at the national level, the overview is limited to post-UNCED institutional, structural arrangements. The legal, policy, programme and other aspects related to national Governments are covered by reports of the Secretary-General and their addenda on Chapters 8 (E/CN.17/1996/11) and on Chapter 40 (E/CN.17/1996/18), and on National Reporting (E/CN.17/1996/19). Information regarding the non-governmental organizations is provided in the report of the Secretary-General on Major Groups (E/CN.17/1996/12). The present report is largely descriptive in character, but it may provide the factual basis for analytical assessment of post-UNCED institutional arrangements for 1997 overall review. The institutional entities presented in the report follow the order in which they appear in Chapter 38. II. INSTITUTIONAL STRUCTURE A) General Assembly 2. The General Assembly has reviewed policy recommendations contained in the report of the Commission on Sustainable Development at every session since 1993. At its forty-ninth session, the General Assembly called upon the Commission on Sustainable Development in accordance with Chapter 38 of Agenda 21, to develop close and clear relationships with other relevant international organizations and entities, such as the conferences of parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, the Convention on Biological Diversity, and the United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification and the Global Environment Facility, in order to increase its effectiveness in monitoring the implementation of Agenda 21 and other decisions of the United Nations Conference on Environment and Development. 3. At its fiftieth session, the General Assembly adopted resolution 50/113 entitled "special session for the purpose of an overall review and appraisal of the implementation of Agenda 21". The Assembly plans to hold a special session in June 1997 at the highest possible level. In this regard, it requested the Commission on Sustainable Development and its Ad Hoc Open-ended Inter-sessional Working Group to prepare for the session. The General Assembly also requested contribution to the special session from Governments, the Governing Council of UNEP, relevant regional and subregional organizations, all other relevant organizations and bodies of the United Nations system, conferences of parties or other regulatory bodies of the Rio conventions, and major groups. Furthermore, the Assembly requested an effective and coordinated system-wide response through the Inter-Agency Committee on Sustainable Development to the preparation of the special session. B) Economic and Social Council 4. The Economic and Social Council reviews reports of the Commission on Sustainable Development, one of its functional commissions, and endorses its recommendations as appropriate. 5. The Economic and Social Council, in its agreed conclusions adopted at its substantive session in 1995 on "Coordinated follow-up by the United Nations system and implementation of the results of the major international conferences organized by the United Nations in the economic, social and related fields", decided to promote a coordinated and integrated follow-up to and implementation of major international conferences in the economic, social and related fields. In this regard, the Council decided to carry out a review of cross-cutting themes common to major international conferences and to contribute to an overall review of the implementation of the programme of action of a United Nations conference. In the follow-up to United Nations conferences, the Economic and Social Council also decided to ensure the harmonization and coordination of the agendas and work programmes of the functional commissions by promoting a clearer division of labour among them and providing clear policy guidance to them. 6. In the agreed conclusions on "Coordination of the policies and activities of the specialized agencies and other bodies of the United Nations system related to science and technology for development"adopted at its substantive session in 1994, the Council stated that it should be strengthened as a forum for coordination among all United Nations policy- making bodies concerned with science and technology for development. In this regard, it was recommended to more systematically review and compare, on a periodic basis, the policies adopted and actions advocated by all relevant policy-making bodies of the United Nations organizations in the field of science and technology, giving special attention to the Commission on Science and Technology for Development and the Commission on Sustainable Development and their interactions with the regional commissions. C) Commission on Sustainable Development (CSD) 7. The Commission on Sustainable Development, established as a functional commission of the Economic and Social Council, meets annually for two to three weeks and reports to the Council. The Commission has been reviewing the progress made in the implementation of Agenda 21, following the multi-year thematic programme of work adopted at its first session in 1993. Each session has had a high-level segment attended by a large number of ministers and high-level decision-makers from all over the world, which is increasingly taking the form of dialogue on priority issues of concern. 8. Commission activities are not limited to its annual sessions. the Commission provides a framework for a larger process of inter-sessional meetings, the outcomes of which it subsequently reviews and analyses. It has also established two Ad hoc Open-ended Inter-Sessional Working Groups that hold sessions prior to the meetings of the Commission in order to prepare its discussions on specific agenda items. Duration of those ad hoc working group meetings, as well as subjects to be discussed, are determined by the Commission at its consecutive sessions and remain flexible but harmonized with its programme of work. These year-round activities are coordinated by the Bureau of the Commission, which meets regularly in order to take the best advantage of the above-mentioned events while preparing for the main session of the Commission. 9. At the third session of the CSD, an open-ended ad hoc Intergovernmental Panel on Forests was established, with the mandate to pursue consensus and formulation of coordinated proposals for action aimed at combatting deforestation and forest degradation and promoting management, conservation and sustainable development of all types of forests. The Panel is to submit a progress report to the 1996 session of the CSD and its final report to the 1997 session. Secretariat support to this Panel is being provided by a small team under the Department for Policy Coordination and Sustainable Development. 10. To be noted also is the active participation of major group representatives in the deliberations of the Commission. The major groups not only interact directly and substantively with CSD delegates during the sessions, but have also organized quite a few side events on particular aspects of topics under consideration by CSD. D) Rio Conventions 11. The United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change entered into force on 21 March 1994 and has received 142 ratifications. The first session of the Conference of the Parties (COP) decided to establish the "Berlin Mandate Process" to strengthen the commitments of developed countries and those with economies in transition for the period beyond 2000, through the adoption of a protocol or another legal instrument. This will initially involve analysis and assessment, aimed at the negotiation of a protocol or other legal instrument to be adopted at COP3 planned for 1997. The secretariat is due to move to Bonn by July/August 1996. 12. The Convention on Biological Diversity entered into force on 29 December 1993 and has received 128 ratifications. The first Executive Secretary of the Convention took up his appointment on 1 September 1995. At the COP2 meeting held in Jakarta in November 1995, it was decided that the Secretariat of the Convention will be established in Montreal. According to its programme of work, COP3 will consider its contribution to the special session of GA in 1997. 13. The United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification was opened for signature in Paris in October 1994. It has been signed by 112 countries and ratified by 8, and will enter into force 90 days after the 50th ratification, probably in the course of 1996. The Intergovernmental Negotiating Committee is still meeting to prepare for the first COP (tentatively planned for 1997) and to review the status of ratifications, implementation of the resolution on Urgent Action for Africa, actions in other regions, and other matters related to implementation. The next session of the INC is scheduled for February 1996 in Geneva. 14. Pursuant to the mandate emanating from Agenda 21, UNEP has convened three Meetings (March '94, May '95 and July '95) on Coordination of Secretariats of Environmental Conventions in the interest of promoting the coherent coordination of the functioning of environmental conventions, including their secretariats, with a view to improving the effectiveness of the implementation of the conventions. The machinery and modalities which are agreed upon at these meetings are aimed at and beginning to result in: improving the effectiveness in the implementation of international actions to protect the environment through enhanced coordination of activities of international conventions and in approaching issues common to those conventions; cost effective administration of the UNEP-administered global and regional convention; and a synergy of substantive activities undertaken by Convention Secretariats and UNEP. 15. Agreement relating to Conservation and Management of Straddling Fish Stocks and Highly Migratory Fish Stocks: The Agreement for the Implementation of the Provisions of the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea of 10 December 1982 relating to the Conservation of Management of Straddling Fish Stocks and Highly Migratory Fish Stocks, was adopted in August 1995. On December 4, 1995, the Agreement was opened for signature. It will enter into force after ratification by 30 countries. The Agreement seeks to ensure the long-term conservation and sustainable use of straddling and highly migratory fish stocks, and responds to problems identified in Agenda 21. E) Inter-Agency Coordination 16. The Inter-Agency Committee on Sustainable Development (IACSD) was established in October 1992 by the Administrative Committee on Coordination (ACC) pursuant to the recommendation of UNCED, and meets twice a year. The work of IACSD and its system of the Task Managers received support both from the ACC, as well from Governments during previous sessions of CSD and at the forty-ninth session of the United Nations General Assembly. As recognized by ECOSOC in its agreed conclusions 1994/1, they have proven to provide an effective and, at the same time, flexible mechanism for system-wide coordination in the follow-up to UNCED, implementation of Agenda 21, and in sustainable development work in general. 17. In accordance with the decision of the ACC, the IACSD has launched a review of its functioning in 1994. This review is expected to lead to a full assessment of the United Nations system response to Agenda 21 in preparation for 1997 overall review. 18. IACSD is now moving beyond its initial phase of activities related to procedural and organizational discussions and reporting arrangements. It is devoting more time to conceptual and policy-oriented aspects of coordination in the field of sustainable development. Likewise, an increasingly important function of the Task Managers is recognized to be the development of joint programmes and approaches for implementation at country level. IACSD agreed at its sixth session in July 1995 that greater reliance on the Task Managers for more concrete forms of cooperation would also assist the Committee in promoting a more focused approach to coordination within a concrete context, and elaborating action-oriented recommendations on main policy and cooperation issues. 19. ACC at its second regular session of 1995 endorsed the initiative of the Secretary-General calling for a more coordinated follow-up to the implementation of commitments and plans of action emanating from recent international conferences. In this connection ACC established three task forces to carry forward the work on this issue: (1) the enabling environment for social and economic development; (2) employment and sustainable livelihoods; and (3) basic social services for all. F) High-level Advisory Board on Sustainable Development 20. The High-level Advisory Board on Sustainable Development consists of 21 eminent persons knowledgeable about sustainable development, who are appointed by the Secretary-General in their personal capacity for a two-year term of office. The Board serves as a source of expert advice for the Secretary-General in formulating policy proposals, elaborating innovative approaches and courses of action and identifying emerging issues to be brought to the attention of relevant intergovernmental and coordinating bodies of the United Nations system. The first Board members completed their term of office on 30 June 1995. At its fourth session, they welcomed the Secretary-General's intention to continue the Board as a "think-tank", an independent advisory body, and a group of influential people able to serve as "Ambassadors" for the United Nations in the field of sustainable development. 21. At its fifth session, the Board, in its new composition, agreed to contribute to the preparatory process for the 1997 special session of the General Assembly. G) Secretariat support structure 22. The secretariat function for the Commission on Sustainable Development is carried out by the Division for Sustainable Development under the Department for Policy Coordination and Sustainable Development (DPCSD). The Division is composed of Energy and Natural Resources Branch, Human Development Institutions and Technology Branch, Economics and Finance Branch, National Information Analysis Unit and the secretariat for the Intergovernmental Panel on Forests. A Small Island Developing States Unit has also been established. H) Organs, programmes and organizations of the United Nations system (Also see Annex I) 1) United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) 23. The UNEP Governing Council (at its seventeenth session) concluded that virtually all of UNEP's activities are addressed in Agenda 21, and that the general thrust of Agenda 21 does not alter the mandate of the Council as established by General Assembly in 1972. Rather, it reinforces UNEP's mandate and stimulates constructive change in UNEP's programme emphasis in support of sustainable development. The Governing Council also reviewed in detail UNEP's Programme for the Bienniums 1992-1993 and 1994-1995 to ensure that it provided maximum support to Agenda 21. In its decision 17/32 adopted in 1993, the Council noted that the UNEP's programme was in transition and would require further development to fully incorporate the results of UNCED. 24. It was felt that change would be needed in UNEP's focus and priorities, its relationship with other partners and its institutional base. In response, the UNEP Secretariat engaged in a broad consultative process about the future of UNEP. The Secretariat presented to the 18th Governing Council a policy and programme framework for the 1996/97 biennium that addresses the requirements for organizational effectiveness: a firm institutional setting, a sound scientific base, a broader constituency, a capacity to catalyze action, a sound financial footing, a role in conflict prevention and resolution, and a more focussed, prioritized and fully integrated, issue-oriented approach. 25. Chapter 38 of Agenda 21 established priority areas for UNEP action. These priorities have been grouped into three functional response categories: assessment, policy and management. UNEP's 18th Governing Council, in decision 18/2 of 26 May 1995, decided to review, at its nineteenth session, the governing structures of the Programme with a view to taking action or, where necessary, recommending to the General Assembly to take action to modify and streamline those structures to produce greater efficiency, effectiveness and transparency. 26. The Governing Council, at its 17th and 18th sessions, decided to create a strong regional representation, in line with Agenda 21, and adopted a plan of action to strengthen the Regional and Liaison offices. Changing the role of the Regional Offices within UNEP was seen by the Governing Council as a prerequisite for success. By those decisions, the role of Regional Offices has been strengthened: a) to be equal partners with Headquarters in design and delivery of programmes; b) to be the coordinators of the overall programme portfolio of UNEP's resources and services intended to respond to the specific needs of each region; and c) to build strong outreach programmes, partnerships and networks in their regions. 27. The key internal measures to institutionalize the changes in the role or Regional representation is expected to be fully carried out by the end of the 1994/95 biennium and the full impact will be felt in the coming 1996/97 biennium. They include: new Regional Director reporting relationships; new Regional Director core-functions; Regional programme consultations requirement; new management strategy. 28. The 18th session of the Governing Council (1995) adopted other decisions which deal with UNEP's relationship with CSD and with other agencies. The Council urged the Executive Director to pay special attention in: "Ensuring that the work under the subprogramme 'Globalization and the environment' includes activities which the United Nations Environment Programme was invited to undertake by the Commission on Sustainable Development in its decisions on trade, environment and sustainable development and consumption and production patterns adopted at the second and third sessions of the Commission. In so doing, the UNEP should cooperate with all relevant international organizations." (Decision 18/3 of 26 May 1995) The Council "stressed the need for the UNEP to focus on those system-wide activities of the UN system for which it has been assigned a special responsibility by Agenda 21, and the major policy issues and challenges in the field of the environment, as determined by the Governing Council;" and also "Emphasized the need for the UNEP, in accordance with its mandate and in implementation of Agenda 21, to continue to provide effective support to the work of the CSD as the high- level policy forum for the discussions to follow up the UNCED, inter alia, through the provision of scientific, technical and policy information and advice on the environment;" (Decision 18/7 of 26 May 1995) 29. Apart from playing its role and assisting in furthering the inter-agency arrangements, UNEP has established the Inter-Agency Environment Coordination Group pursuant to Governing Council decision 17/9 of 21 May 1993. The Group is recognized by the Council as "a flexible consultative and advisory body, meeting as and when required, to enable the UNEP to discharge effectively its coordination mandate." The IAECG is to "focus on assisting the Executive Director in coordinating the activities of the UN system in addressing the major challenges, as set out in the programme of work for the biennium 1996-1997." The Council further stressed that "in determining the terms of reference and future activities of the Group, full account should be taken of the role, responsibilities and work of the IACSD." (Decision 18/14 of 26 May 1995) 30. The 18th Governing Council also decided that UNEP should concentrate its activities in the following major areas: ------------------------------------------------------------------------------ Examples of priority actions taken by UNEP in relation to Chapter 38 a) Strengthening UNEP's catalytic role in stimulating and promoting environmental activities and considerations throughout the UN system: By its decision 18/13 the Governing Council endorsed the assessment of the Executive Director that there is a need for a system wide strategy document in the field of the environment to, inter alia, enable the UNEP to discharge its policy guidance and coordination mandate within the UN system, and requested her to prepare and submit such a document to the Council at its regular session in 1997, with a view to its becoming operational in 1998. b) Developing and promoting the use of such techniques as natural resource accounting and environmental economics: workshops and expert group meetings organized by UNEP have resulted in: (i)a framework action programme in valuation of environmental and natural resources; (ii) a manual for the application of the modelling techniques for planning sustainable development; (iii) guidelines for planners in assessing socioeconomic causes of environmental degradation; (iv) creation of an international working group for the preparation of a user-friendly manual on environmental and natural resource accounting; (v) a framework action programme for the use and application of environment instruments for environmental management and sustainable development; (vi) guidelines, principles, recommendations for further research requirements, etc. to facilitate the implementation of policies and measures for internalization of environmental costs. c) Environmental monitoring and assessment: UN system-wide Earthwatch, to which UNEP provides a secretariat, is being revitalized; UNEP also co-sponsors other monitoring systems as part of Earthwatch activities (details in E/CN.17/1996/18 and its addendum). d) Raising general awareness and action in the area of environmental protection:initiative to celebrate World Environment Day in various regions of the world; entered into a major cooperative agreement with IUCN focusing on regional delivery; focus on women, children and youth has also been revitalized. e) Further development of international law: see document E/CN/17/1996/17 and its addendum. f) Further development and promotion of the widest possible use of environmental impact assessments: refer to documents E/CN.17/1996/11 and E/Cn.17/1996/18 and their addenda. g) Information exchange on environmentally sound technologies: see document E/CN.17/1996/13 and its addendum. h) Provision of technical, legal and institutional advice to Governments: Re-orientation of UNEP's technical assistance programme since UNCED has focused on: (i) the integration of the programme within the over-all framework of endogenous capacity-building established by Agenda 21; (ii) building of partnerships with other agencies involved in capacity-building in developing countries and countries with economies in transition; associating major stakeholders and utilizing existing national expertise. ------------------------------------------------------------------------------ "(a) Assessing and addressing existing and emerging critical issues in the field of the environment; (b) Promoting international cooperation in the field of the environment and recommending as appropriate policies to this end; (c) Acting as a catalyst to address major threats to the environment; (d) Monitoring the status of the global environment through gathering and dissemination of reliable environmental information; (e) Facilitating the coordination of the activities of all UN bodies on matters concerned with the environment, ensuring through cooperation, liaison and expert participation, that environmental considerations are taken into account in their activities; (f) Supporting, upon request, environment ministries and other national environmental authorities, in particular in developing countries and countries with economies in transition, in the formulation and implementation of their environmental policies, and related capacity-building activities; (g) Furthering the development of international environmental law; (h) Providing expert advice on the development and use of environmental economic concepts and instruments; (i) Developing regional programmes for the environment." (Decision 18/1 of 26 May 1995) 31. Chapter 38 also calls for closer cooperation and collaboration between UNEP and other organizations. The collaborative relationship between UNEP and UNDP is reflected in a joint statement issued by the UNDP Administrator and UNEP's Executive Director in May 1994. Three particular areas of cooperation are envisaged by the two organizations: (i) the development of national frameworks for sustainable development; (ii) assistance to governments in the servicing and implementation of the Rio and post-Rio conventions; and (iii) mobilizing UNDP's country-based strengths for the dissemination of environmental information. In the context of this cooperation agreement several specific agreements have been or are being concluded, on information exchange, desertification control, and capacity building. 32. Between UNEP, the UNDP, the World Bank and other agencies, cooperate closely as partner agencies, also together with UNIDO, in programme implementation under the Multilateral Fund of the Montreal Protocol. Collaboration is also highly visible between these three agencies within the context of the Global Environmental Facility. A third example of collaborative effort between UNEP and the UNDP, in close collaboration with the World Bank, FAO and IUCN, has been the development of a joint project on the development of environmental legislation and institutions in Africa. 2) United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) 33. UNDP created a new Sustainable Energy and Environment Division in the fall of 1995. This Division consolidated the units and entities in UNDP which were primarily concerned with environment and natural resources management. The Division consists of five units: Capacity Building, including Capacity 21 and the Sustainable Development Networking Programme; Natural Resources Management Programme; Energy and Atmosphere Programme, including the Energy Account and the Montreal Protocol; UNSO - the Office to Combat Desertification and Drought; and the Global Environment Facility. The creation of this consolidated division has resulted in a stronger focus on sustainable development in the organization. In addition, it facilitates better coordination among the entities, which, in turn, means better support to the UNDP Country offices, regional bureaux and partner countries in the area of natural resource management and integration of environment and development. 34. Capacity 21 Unit was established as a direct response to the Rio Conference and UNDP's mandate in capacity building emanating from Agenda 21. The mandates of the Unit are: - To assist the integration of sustainable development issues into development policies; - To assist the involvement of all stakeholders in development planning and environmental management; and - To create a body of expertise in capacity building for sustainable development and capacity-building. ----------------------------------------------------------------------------- Examples of UNDP-led coordination at the national level Costa Rica: UNDP led the formation of the Inter-Agency Commission on Agenda 21, an interim organization charged with promoting Agenda 21 with more than fifty members of NGOs, International Organizations and the UN system. The work ended in 1994 when the President of Costa Rica took the leadership role of promoting and dictating new strategies. India: UNDP Resident Coordinator accelerated UN system coordination efforts through regular meetings of UN heads of agencies and the establishment of inter-agency working groups and task forces on specific initiatives. Nepal: UNDP has been instrumental in the coordination of activities with NGOs through the organization of meetings with National and International NGOs and the establishment of a networking mechanism to discuss and promote institutional capacity at the local level. Philippines: Inter-Agency working groups led by UNDP were established in selected thematic areas related to environment and sustainable development. Apart from information exchange, these groups promote conceptualization of country specific issues and the implementation of joint initiatives. These groups participated actively in the formulation of the Country Strategy Note for UN Agency cooperation activities in the country. Central African Republic: UNDP was selected during a multi-donor consultation to become the lead agency for environmental issues. UNDP promotes UN system coordination efforts, particularly with FAO and the World Bank. Sudan & Mozambique: UNDP has strengthened its relationship with UNEP, the World Bank and FAO through cooperation in the area of environmental management and particularly with UNICEF, on Sustainable Human Development. ------------------------------------------------------------------------------ 35. There are Capacity 21 focal points in each of the five Regional Bureaux at the UNDP Headquarters as well as in each country where a Capacity 21 programme is being implemented. Additional staff has also been assigned to deal with such initiatives as the Montreal Protocol and the Global Environment Facility. In addition, at the field level, 41 Sustainable Development Advisors ( one national officer per country) assist in developing national programmes, mounting workshops and monitoring programme implementation at the national level. The Sustainable Development Network Programme aims to facilitate access to information and is operational in 30 countries as of 1995 where Capacity 21 programmes are underway. 3) Office to Combat Desertification and Drought (UNSO) 36. There is a special section in Chapter 38 of Agenda 21 concerning the United Nations Sudano-Sahelian Office which is now renamed the Office to Combat Desertification and Drought, calling for the strengthening of its role in combatting drought and desertification and management of land resources, while operating under the umbrella of UNDP and with the support of UNEP. ------------------------------------------------------------------------------ UNSO's role in combating drought and desertification and land resource management a) Support to the Negotiation Process of the Convention: provided technical and financial support to the African group which played a lead role in the negotiation of the Convention; contributed to the partnership arrangements to ensure implementation at national level and the process for developing National Action Programmes. b) Support to the Urgent Action for Africa: preparatory activities for launching the National Action Programme process under the Convention, including development of the concept and methodology for the National Desertification Funds. c) Support to the Sub-Regional/Regional Action Programme process under the Convention: participated in sub-regional meetings and presented a concept paper, "Sub-Regional Action Programme Process, a Possible Approach". ------------------------------------------------------------------------------ 37. UNSO has been strengthened substantively by its integration into the Sustainable Energy and Environment Division of UNDP. UNSO has been designated the central entity within UNDP responsible for spearheading and supporting the organization's work in desertification control and dryland management in all affected regions. In line with the objective of the Convention to Combat Desertification, UNSO has refocused its work by broadening its geographic focus, developing a partnership with UNEP and placing a major emphasis on "up stream" support for action plans and capacity building. 4) United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) 38. Since UNCED, UNCTAD's governing body, the Trade and Development Board (TDB), has placed increasing emphasis in its work programme on issues relating to sustainable development. A decision was taken in 1993 to consider an issue relating to sustainable development at each of its semi-annual sessions. In 1994, the TDB established an Ad Hoc Working Group on Trade, Environment and Development, which is the primary mechanism for ensuring the linkages sought among these three issues. The Working Group has so far dealt with issues relating to eco-labelling, competitiveness effects of environmental legislation, environmentally friendly products and emerging environmental policy instruments with a trade impact. The output of this Working Group has been fed directly into the discussions at the World Trade Organization (WTO)'s Committee on Trade and Environment. 39. In the realm of primary commodities, the Standing Committee on Commodities has incorporated in its work programme issues relating to internalization of costs and environmentally preferable products. The UNCTAD secretariat has also undertaken work on the role of re-use and recycling in sustainable resource management of developing countries; and analysis of environmentally-effective and cost-efficient economic instruments to meet the objectives of the Basel Convention. Following UNCED, the UNCTAD Intergovernmental Group of Experts on International Standards of Accounting and Reporting, has begun to focus attention on environmental accounting. 40. In 1993, the science and technology programme was transferred to UNCTAD, including the role to serve as the secretariat to the Commission on Science and Technology for Development (CSTD). The CSTD, at its first session, decided to contribute to the work of the CSD and chose to focus on "science and technology aspects of integrated land management". Through the work of one of its panels, CSTD provided substantive input to the CSD deliberations on Chapter 10 of Agenda 21 at its third session. 41. Regarding SIDS, one of UNCTAD's main orientations is to facilitate the strategic choices of these countries in their specialization or re-specialization in the context of trade liberalization and globalization. Of related interest is the continued work of UNCTAD on the construction of an indicator to measure development sustainability and vulnerability from the economic point of view, to complement the work of other organizations concerned with the construction of sustainable development indicators involving physical and environmental aspects, in accordance with the relevant recommendation of the Barbados Programme of Action. These activities on specialization and vulnerability, in which the issue of natural disasters is taken into consideration, are carried out by the Division for Least Developed, Landlocked and Island Developing Countries in the UNCTAD secretariat. For operational activities to assist SIDS, the UNCTAD cooperates with IMO to carry out activities in the field of marine transportation dealing with such issues as marine pollution. 5) United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF) 42. At the intergovernmental level, a policy was adopted by the Executive Board in 1993 to integrate Primary Environmental Care in all UNICEF-assisted programme. The essence of this policy is to reinforce the necessary synergy at the community level among three basic elements: a) meeting people's basic livelihood and health needs; b) optimal use and sustainable management of natural resources; and (c) empowering local groups or communities for self-directed sustainable development. The Board decision also emphasizes the need for promoting children and women's active participation and for enhancing sustainable partnership with NGOs and other UN agencies, with special attention to ecologically stressed and vulnerable areas. ------------------------------------------------------------------------------ Regional Primary Environmental Care (PEC) demonstration projects 1. Sahelian Initiative on Primary Environmental Care: Nine countries in the Sahel jointly started an initiative in mid-1994 to integrate PEC activities into UNICEF-assisted country programmes. On the basis of the assessments, demonstration activities have been identified which, at the present stage, have focused on two broad areas, i.e. community-based environmental education and reduction of women and children's workload in terms of water, fuel and fodder collection, and food preparation. 2. Child Protection and Primary Environmental Care: Started in 1993, the programme covers eight countries in the Amazon. Countries may take different approaches according to national situations, but with one overall strategy of addressing child protection issues in conjunction with ecological considerations. Project components include "Primary Care for Indigenous Environments", "the Displaced Amazon Children", etc. ------------------------------------------------------------------------------ 43. At the secretariat level, UNICEF has recently undergone some restructuring at the headquarters to improve efficiency and better coordination. As a result, the Environment Section has been merged with the Water and Environmental Sanitation Section to form the new Water, Environment and Sanitation Cluster with a view to facilitating incorporation of Primary Environmental Care in UNICEF-supported country programmes. At regional and country levels, programme officers for water and sanitation have been assigned the responsibility of coordinating and promoting activities relating to primary environmental care in their respective countries. 6) United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) 44. At the intergovernmental level, the International Conference on Population and Development (ICPD), consistent with Agenda 21, recognized that there can be no sustainable development without the full and equal participation of women. As a result of the ICPD's Programme of Action, UNFPA is concentrating its funding in three core areas: (a) reproductive health/family planning including sexual health; (b) population and development strategies; and (c) advocacy. Within each of these programme areas, support is provided for research, training, awareness creation and information dissemination, ensuring the complimentarity of programme activities both within each programme area as well among the three core areas. 45. At the headquarters level, and at the regional level, UNFPA's Country Support Teams/Technical Support (CST/TSS) System established in 1992, is central to UNFPA's efforts to facilitate the implementation of Agenda 21 and the ICPD Programme of Action. The CST/TSS system provides technical backstopping to countries in all the programme areas of the Fund as well as conducting training sessions and organizing workshops on pertinent issues, with a clear aim of integrating population variables with those of the environment and natural resources. 7) United Nations Centre for Human Settlements (Habitat) 46. Efforts are underway to establish an open-ended Urban Forum to stimulate a broad-based dialogue among all key stakeholders in the urban scene. This initiative has emanated from the preparatory process of the Habitat II Conference (June 1996) by several United Nations agencies (e.g. UNDP, UNEP, WHO, ILO, UNIDO, ESCAP, the World Bank) and local government associations . The proposal was based on the consensus opinion of these agencies that while the individual agencies were going ahead with the implementation of Agenda 21 on sectoral lines, many human settlements related issues which were truly cross-sectoral in nature needed better co-ordination and distinct ownership. The Urban Forum is expected to serve as a vehicle of collaboration between all the parties concerned in identifying priorities for actions for exchange of information on best practice, and to develop joint programmes and other specific and targeted initiatives. ----------------------------------------------------------------------------- New Programmes of Habitat since Rio - The Settlements Infrastructure and Environment Programme (SIEP) was launched by UNCHS in July 1992 to assist governments and communities to develop practical policy options and local capacity in critical areas of infrastructure delivery and management. The primary emphasis of the programme is to strengthen the means of implementation identified in Agenda 21, particularly the scientific and technical means, which are critical for priorities identified in chapters 7, 18 and 21 of Agenda 21. - Sustainable Cities Programme (SCP) launched in 1990 jointly with UNEP. The programme has expanded its operations since UNCED, providing municipal authorities and planners in public, private and community sectors in developing countries and transition countries with an improved environmental planning and management capacity. City-level demonstration activities at various stages in the project cycle are currently underway in several countries. UNDP, the World Bank, WHO, DANIDA and other multi- and bi-lateral agencies are supporting these activities. ------------------------------------------------------------------------------ 47. UNCHS has committed itself to addressing in a strategic manner the Agenda 21 priorities related to human settlements principally in five areas: a) financing sustainable human settlements development, focusing on defining improved global-to-local financial instruments; b) sustainable land resource management for human settlements; C) changing consumption patterns in human settlements; d) promoting "best practices" in human settlements delivery mechanisms using appropriate urban environmental indicators; and e) integrated environment upgrading demonstration projects for human settlements in selected cities. 8) United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) 48. At the intergovernmental level, the Executive Committee adopted a conclusion on refugees and the environment in October 1994, with the aim of mitigating the environmental impact of the presence of refugees. 49. UNHCR introduced the Interim Guidelines for Environment-sensitive Management of Refugee Programmes in July 1994. The fundamental principle enunciated in the interim guidelines was the integration of an environmental perspective into UNHCR programme, planning and implementation. The reformulated policy on the environment based on UNHCR's past experience in environmental matters and on an assessment of the effectiveness of the interim guidelines was adopted by the Executive Committee in 1995. 50. The reformulated policy applies to environmental issues associated with the presence of refugees, such as: deforestation, soil erosion and depletion and degradation of water, as well as the accompanying socio-economic problems for refugees. The basic environmental principles relate to: integration, prevention, cost- effectiveness, and participation. In addition, the organizational principles of the reformulated policy address: the role of actors concerned, emergency phase, care-and-maintenance phase and finally, durable solutions. 51. At the secretariat level, UNHCR created the Office of the Senior Coordinator on Environmental Affairs in April 1993, as a first step to follow up on UNCED. The prime responsibility of the Senior Coordinator was to develop policies and guidelines to ensure that environmental considerations are systematically incorporated into UNHCR's programmes. In December 1994, UNHCR's Senior Management Committee decided to establish an internal Working Group on the Environment. The Working Group elaborated a series of practical steps to assist UNHCR in integrating environmental concerns into day-to-day programmes. 9) Specialized agencies of the United Nations system and related organizations and other relevant inter-governmental organizations a) International Labour Organization (ILO) 52. At the intergovernmental level, the Governing Body of ILO convened a Tripartite Advisory Meeting on Environment and the World of Work in November 1992 to advise on future ILO work relating to this subject and particularly on the ILO's follow-up to UNCED's Agenda 21. An explicit decision was taken then not to establish a separate organizational unit to deal with environment and sustainable development issues, but rather to promote the integration of these issues within the ILO's mainstream programmes. The integration strategy is promoted and coordinated by the Focal Point responsible for environment and sustainable development matters. The Committee on Employment and Social Policy of the Governing Body regularly reviews ILO activities related to environment and sustainable development, and especially ILO collaboration within the UN system. 53. At the secretariat level, ILO environment activities are focused on four core themes. These included the integration of environment and sustainable development considerations within its (a) major programmes and (b) in the design and implementation of its technical cooperation activities; (c) collaboration with the United Nations system and other international and regional institutions; and (d) support to the ILO's tripartite constituents (i.e. employers' and workers' organizations and ministries of employment and labour), to enable them to deal directly and effectively with relevant environment and sustainable development matters. ----------------------------------------------------------------------------- ILO priority programmes of work related to Agenda 21 (a) Preparation, adoption and support for the implementation of new International Labour Standards which, while focused on the working environment, also take into account implications for the public and the environment, e.g. Convention and Recommendations concerning Safety in the Use of Chemicals at Work(1992), concerning the Prevention of Major Industrial Accidents (1993), and concerning Safety and Health in Mines (1995); (b) Role of workers and trade unions in environment and sustainable development; (c) Role of employers' and their organizations; (d) Harmonization of classification and labelling systems of chemicals; (e) Environment, sustainable development and women; (f) Environment, the world of work and indigenous and tribal peoples. ----------------------------------------------------------------------------- 54. The 1994-1995 Programme and Budget included specific environment- related activities in eight major programmes as well as an Interdepartmental Project on Environment and the World of Work aimed at assisting its tripartite constituents to implement world of work activities related to Agenda 21. 55. There is a plan to create, as part of the ILO's Active Partnership policy, of a system of Multidisciplinary Teams in 14 sub- regions around the world which enable ILO to serve more directly and effectively the specific and immediate needs of its constituents in Member States, including issues related to environment and the world of work. b) Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) 56. At the intergovernmental level, the FAO Conference decided following UNCED, that FAO should integrate sustainability criteria into its programmes and activities. Governing bodies have identified sustainable development/follow-up to UNCED as an organizational priority in the context of FAO's Programme of Work and Budget. Accordingly, sustainable development and environment was recognized as a major priority of FAO in the 1992-1993 and 1994-1995 Programme of Work and Budget and in the Medium-term Plan 1992-1997. ------------------------------------------------------------------------------ New programmes of FAO since UNCED New programme relating to sustainable development for 1996-97: Technology Development and Transfer; Women in Development; People's Participation; Rural Development and Agrarian Reform; Environmental Information and Management; Coordination and Promotion of Sustainable Development. Work on international instruments: Code of Conduct for Responsible Fisheries and another instrument on Flagging; International Undertaking on Plant Genetic Resources; development of a legally binding instrument on Prior Informed Consent, jointly with UNEP. ------------------------------------------------------------------------------ 57. UNCED helped to crystallize shifts in policy, programme and structure which had been underway for some time within FAO. The objectives and activities of Agenda 21 permeate FAO programmes in agriculture, fisheries and forestry. Specific programme shifts are more relevant to sectoral chapters of Agenda 21. 58. At the Headquarters, the main structural change has been the creation of a Sustainable Development Department. The Assistant Director-General of this new Department took up his duties in January 1995. The new Department has as its mission to catalyze and integrate cross-sectoral action in agriculture, forestry, fisheries, rural development and nutrition, and to follow-up on UNCED and other global conferences and related agreements to promote concepts, strategies and methods for sustainable development. Inter-departmental working groups at FAO headquarters have adjusted their work programmes to address relevant Agenda 21 programme areas and to support FAO in its Task Manager role for chapters 10, 11, 13 and 14, of Agenda 21. At the regional and sub-regional level, new Sustainable Development Multidisciplinary Teams have been established, which involve the decentralization of headquarters staff, in accordance with their capacity and the needs of the region/subregion. 59. FAO has seconded staff to the Secretariats of the Intergovernmental Panel on Forests and of the Convention on Biological Diversity. 60. An Integrated Pest Management Facility was established in June 1995 under the co-sponsorship of FA and the World Bank. This Facility will support, inter alia, the implementation of programme area related to toxic chemicals of Chapter 19 of Agenda 21. c) United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) 61. At the intergovernmental level, the governing bodies of UNESCO gave great importance to reorienting the environmental science programmes of UNESCO and its Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission, as well as the environmental education programmes. These programmes now focus on the interlinkages between development and environment and thus on sustainable development. The new Medium-Term Strategy of the Organization for 1996-2001 states that it is through UNESCO's intergovernmental and international programmes in environmental and social sciences, and through increased cooperation between them, and by combining research, training, education, information and awareness-raising, that relevant solutions to the key issues of socially and environmentally sustainable development will be sought. A main focus of such activities will be human resources development and capacity building in developing countries. 62. At the secretariat level, a number of institutional changes have taken place to reflect these policies. The Bureau for Coordination of Environmental Programmes created during the UNCED preparatory process now serves as the focal point within UNESCO for UNCED follow-up and is responsible for assuring a coherent cross-sectoral and inter-programme policy for effective and coherent UNESCO input to both intergovernmental and inter-agency coordination and monitoring mechanisms established after UNCED. Moreover, the Director-General has established a small Committee for UNCED follow-up consisting of five outside experts to advise him on enhancing cross-sectoral and interdisciplinary approaches in UNESCO's activities aimed at addressing the interlinkages between environment and development. Additionally, an integrated management unit was created outside the structure of the Organization's programme sectors for the new interdisciplinary and inter-agency Project on Environment and Population Education and Information for Development. ------------------------------------------------------------------------------ UNESCO's new initiatives in response to Rio 1. Transdisciplinary Project on Environment and Population Education and Information for Development: a UNESCO's tool in leading and integrating efforts aimed at fostering both education for sustainable development and population education as mandated in Agenda 21 and the Action Plan of the International Conference on Population and Development. 2. International Project on Environment and Development in Coastal Regions and in Small Islands: a new framework for enhanced cooperation with Member States in response to Chapter 17 of Agenda 21 and the Programme of Action of the Global Conference on Sustainable Development of Small Island Developing States. ------------------------------------------------------------------------------ d) International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) 63. The Committee on Aviation Environmental Protection, the institution created by the Council of ICAO to develop international standards and recommended practices relating to control of aircraft noise and aircraft engine emissions, was established before UNCED. 64. The ICAO Assembly, at its meeting in September/October 1995 (resolution A31-11), adopted a resolution comprising a "Consolidated statement of continuing ICAO policies and practices related to environmental protection". In the statement, the ICAO Assembly, inter alia: - Declared that ICAO is conscious of and will continue to take into account the adverse environmental impacts that may be related to civil aviation activity and its responsibility and that of its contracting States to achieve maximum compatibility between the safe and orderly development of civil aviation and the quality of the environment; -Requested the Council to continue to pursue all aviation matters related to the environment and also maintain the initiative in developing policy guidance on these matters, and not leave such initiatives to other organizations; -Requested the Council, with the assistance and co-operation of other bodies of the Organization and of other international organizations, to continue with vigor the work related to the development of Standards, Recommended Practices and Procedures and/or guidance material dealing with the impact of aviation on the environment. e) World Health Organization (WHO) 65. In response to UNCED, the Director-General has established the post of an Executive Director, Health and Environment for directing the implementation of programmes related to agreements reached at the Earth Summit. The former Division of Environmental Health has been reorganized into the Division of Operational Support in Environmental Health and an Office for Global and Integrated Environmental Health, each under a Director. 66. At regional offices, new Directorates for Environmental Health have been established at the Pan American Health Organization/World Health Organization Regional Office for the Americas in Washington, at the Regional Office for Africa in Brazzaville and at the Eastern Mediterranean Regional Office in Alexandria. In the African Region, a Regional Environmental Health Centre for Africa is going to be established in South Africa. ------------------------------------------------------------------------------ Agenda 21-related activities of WHO WHO/UNDP Initiative - launched in 1993 with linkage to UNDP's Capacity 21 Programme, to promote and support the involvement of the health sector in national planning for sustainable development and, where relevant, to prepare action plans for health and environment. AFRICA-2000 - initiative on water supply and sanitation Inter-organization Programme on the Sound Management of Chemicals - WHO cooperates with ILO, UNEP, UNIDO, FAO and OECD to work on national profiles to assess the current capabilities and capacities for management of chemicals. Regional plan for investment in the environment and health - launched in the American Region of WHO, complementary to the regional action plan for environment and health adopted by the Pan American Conference on Health and Environment in Sustainable Human Development. ------------------------------------------------------------------------------ 67. In late 1992, the Director-General's Council on the Earth Summit Action Programme for Health and Environment was established to advise on organizational, institutional and financial issues related to the implementation of agenda 21 and the Global Strategy for Health and Environment, the latter adopted by the World Health Assembly in 1993. The Council highlighted the importance of supporting countries in their development and implementation of national action plans for health and environment in support of national planning for sustainable development. f) International Telecommunication Union (ITU) 68. There has been no specific change in the Union's organizational structure as a result of UNCED, and the last restructuring took place in 1989 when the Telecommunication Development Bureau (BDT) was created to deal with the development sector on equal footing with the traditional Standardization and Radiocommunication Sectors of the ITU. Nevertheless, sustainability has become an important criterion for all programmes and activities of the BDT. Specifically, reference to Agenda 21 is made in the Buenos Aires Action Plan adopted in 1994 in two of the programmes; namely, Programme No. 9 on Integrated Rural Development, and Programme No. 12 on Development of Telematics and Computer Networks. 69. One of the two global Development "Study Groups" deals with questions related to telecommunication and information policies and strategies and to financing of telecom development. One of these questions relates to "Telecommunication support for the protection of the environment" The question is based on the notion that telecommunication and information technology have an important role to play in protecting the environment and in promoting development activities at low risk to the environment in the following manner: - Their application, especially those associated with space systems can be extremely useful in implementing and conducting environment protection activities such as monitoring air, river, harbor and sea pollution, as well as forestry, wildlife studies and others. - The application of telecommunication technology contributes to reducing paperwork which ultimately saves forests and, if sufficiently promoted in rural areas, could reduce urban congestion. ------------------------------------------------------------------------------ Buenos Aires Action Plan implemented by ITU Programme 9: Integrated Rural Development: aims at improving access to adequate telecommunication services in rural and remote areas in developing countries, a key element for integrated rural development for sustainable development advocated by UNCED. The Programme will create "Community Telecentres" to offer telematic services and support and public phone booths for rural communities. Programme 12: Development of Telematics and Computer Networks: aims at contributing to sustainable development by facilitating access to information resources available in many countries, and by establishing connections to computer networks from many locations, including rural communities -- through electronic forum, globally coordinated regional pilot projects to develop telematics and computer networks. ------------------------------------------------------------------------------ g) World Meteorological Organization (WMO) 70. At the intergovernmental level, the Executive Council in 1993 approved the "Guidelines on the Role of National Meteorologies and Hydrological Services in the Implementation of Agenda 21 and the Framework Convention on Climate Change" and the role of WMO in providing scientific information and advice on climate and climate- related activities. 71. At the secretariat level, a review of WMO Programmes was carried out, together with regional associations and technical commissions, to determine WMO's continued contribution in implementing Agenda 21. As the result, activities related to UNCED follow-up have been incorporated in the existing scientific and technical Departments at the Headquarters and the Regional Offices, as well as in the WMO Fourth Long-Term Plan and the Programme and Budget for the twelfth financial period. In addition, the Resource Mobilization Unit was established within the WMO Secretariat since March 1993 to mobilize resources for projects in meteorology and operational hydrology for improvement in the monitoring of the atmosphere and related activities. 72. In December 1993, the new Sun Foundation, an Alliance for Air, Water and Environment, a non-governmental and non-profit foundation linked with WMO was inaugurated to enable the mobilization of resources from the private sector for carrying out environmental projects of interest to WMO members. h) International Maritime Organization (IMO) 73. At the intergovernmental level, the Marine Environment Protection Committee (MEPC) has been designed as the focal point for UNCED follow-up within the Organization. MEPC established a Working Group for the purpose, which in turn identified the following issues as requiring action: - mechanisms for the funding of facilities in ports for ship- generated wastes; - application of the precautionary approach to IMO's work; and - development of an IMO-UNCED Strategy for Extra-budgetary Activities relating to Environmentally Sustainable Development. Other issues of relevance to Agenda 21 have been referred by MEPC to other intergovernmental organs of IMO, such as the Maritime Safety, Legal and Technical Co-operation Committees. 74. At the secretariat level, the post of Senior Deputy Director in the Marine Environment Division was temporarily designated Special Assistant to the Director, Marine Environment Division in late-1992, with responsibility for coordinating IMO's follow-up to UNCED. This arrangement ceased in late-1995 when the necessary follow-up activities were clearly established within the Secretariat. IMO has minimal representation at the regional level and there has been no need for structural change. i) United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO) 75. At the intergovernmental level, the Fifth Session General Conference of UNIDO established new organizational priorities, one of which, Environment and Energy priority has four operational components: 1. Supporting the formulation and implementation of national strategies for Environmentally Sustainable Industrial Development (ref. Chapter 2 of Agenda 21); 2. Supporting the transfer of technology for clean and safe industrial production (ref. Chapter 34); 3. Supporting developing countries in the implementation of international protocols, conventions and agreements (ref. Chapter 9 and 39); 4. Supporting developing countries, conform in the implementation of industry related norms and standards (ref. Chapter 4). 76. At the secretariat level, the restructuring of UNIDO in January 1994 resulted in the creation of a new Industrial Sectors and Environment Division which: i) integrated UNIDO's environment programme development and implementation with its technical expertise; ii) enabled a closer coordination between the policy dialogue in the CSD and the implementation of operational activities implied by Agenda 21; and iii) combined industry-wide environmental activities with its subsectoral operational activities. j) International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) 77. Agenda 21 follow-up was seen by IAEA as having broad implications for all its programmes. In this regard, an Inter-Departmental Co- ordination Group on Agenda 21 has been set up within the Agency's Secretariat to ensure in-house co-ordination and follow-up of the large number of environment and sustainable development projects involving several Departments. The mandate of the Group is to review and co-ordinate the contribution of the Agency to the activities being carried out within the framework of Agenda 21. It supervises inclusion in the Agency's programme of projects and tasks relating to Agenda 21 themes, ensures their appropriate priority, and monitor the relevant results and impact of the Agency's programmes. 78. The activities of the IAEA cover many of the chapters of Agenda 21. Prominent areas include: food and agriculture, land conservation and agroforestry, fresh water, human health, comparative assessments of energy sources, nuclear safety and radiation protection, radioactive waste, protection of the oceans the seas and coastal areas, biotechnology and environment-friendly technologies, environmental monitoring and finally, such cross-sectoral issues as capacity building, major groups and international legal instruments. k) Department for Economic and Social Information and Policy Analysis (DESIPA) 79. DESIPA has established a Microeconomic Issues and Policies Unit whose work has included the analysis of innovations in pricing systems which have been instituted in an effort to reduce environmental pollution and allocate natural resources more effectively. One such issue is the use of pollution taxes and tradeable permits to reduce carbon emissions in electric power generation. The unit is also studying pricing systems in the supply of fresh water, as numerous countries are instituting or considering schemes to de-regulate and/or privatize their systems of water supply. 80. The Statistical Commission in 1993, created a Task Force on Environment Statistics, of which the United Nations Statistical Division is the convener. The objective of the Task Force is to improve coordination and cooperation among international agencies by eliminating duplication and improving the focus of their environment statistics programmes. 81. In response to Agenda 21, the Statistical Division has developed methodologies in the fields of: i) environmental indicators and indicators of sustainable development; and ii) integrated environmental and economic accounting. In order to meet the increased demand for work in this area, DESIPA reallocated existing staff to strengthen the Environment Statistics Section. l) Department for Development Support and Management Services (DDSMS) 82. A new Division for Environment Management and Social Development was established in 1995 with the following Branches: Natural Resources and Environment Planning and Management; Energy Resources Planning and Management; and Social Development Management. 83. ------------------------------------------------------------------------------ Illustrative activities of DDSMS Assistance in formulating National Sustainable Development Strategy: provision of an integrated package of policy advice on environment and development issues. The Coalbed Methane Recovery Project: aimed at improved mine safety and productivity, decreased methane-based atmospheric environmental impacts, and production of high-quality methane fuel to be used as a replacement for coal. The Northeast Asian Programme: Atmospheric Pollution from Coal Combustion: which includes the People's Republic of China, Republic of Korea, Democratic People's Republic of Korea and Mongolia, addressed problems associated with transboundary air pollution in the sub-region in the sub-region caused by the combustion of coal. ------------------------------------------------------------------------------ 84. In the wake of UNCED, the Department has reoriented its policies on technical cooperation activities so as to increase its emphasis on environmental protection. In accordance with Agenda 21, DDSMS substantive missions now ensure that development policies relating to minerals, water and energy strike a balance between development on the one hand and the environmental consequences of production on the other hand. All technical cooperation projects have been re-evaluated to include environmental concerns. DDSMS is in the process of preparing environmental guidelines for mining with UNEP and has published a training manual in environmental management of mine sites. 85. The recent policies place an emphasis on a decentralized monitoring and implementation system which takes the Rio principle of subsidiarity seriously. Human resource capacity-building as well as emphasis on broad-based, effective mass and specialized environmental education are accorded priority. I) Regional and subregional cooperation and implementation 86. Agenda 21 recommended that the regional commissions, within their respective agreed mandates, contribute to enhancing regional and subregional cooperation in three ways: (a) by promoting regional and subregional capacity-building; (b) by promoting the integration of environmental concerns in regional and subregional development policies; (c) by promoting regional and subregional cooperation, where appropriate, regarding transboundary issues related to sustainable development. In this regard, the commissions were urged to review the need for modification of ongoing activities in the light of Agenda 21. 87. A meeting of Regional Institutions was held in New York from 6 to 7 December 1995 attended by respresentatives of the five Regional Commission, regional offices of UNEP and some Regional Development Banks. The need for a regional focus for sustainable development was stressed, as well as the actual and potential role of the regional institutions in this regard. Ministerial level meetings have been held in all of the regions as follow-up to UNCED and as a means to identify regional priorities for programmes. The policy directives of the ministerial conferences are generally aimed at promoting institutional development and capacity building at the national level. 1) AFRICA: Economic Commission for Africa (ECA) 88. At the intergovernmental level, the Commission adopted a resolution in 1993 on the restructuring of its intergovernmental machinery to establish organs dealing with overall development issues on the one hand, and thematic conferences of ministers on the other. Among thematic conferences, the Conference of African Ministers is responsible for Sustainable Development and the Environment. It will address, in an integrated manner within the framework of Agenda 21 and the other Rio outcomes, the challenges of sustainable development and environment in Africa, particularly in terms of promotion of strategies and programmes based on the inter-relationships between agriculture especially food supply, rural development and water resources, population, the environment and human settlements. Ã Ã89. Capacity building is clearly recognized as essential for the successful attainment of the objectives of many regionally agreed and nationally implemented strategies, programmes and plans of action. 90. The new "Framework Agenda for Building and Utilizing Critical Capacities in Africa" initiated by ECA will provide a mechanism for collaboration, coordination and harmonization and for monitoring of efforts by African member States, their inter-governmental organizations and other partners, including United Nations agencies, towards African capacity building. 91. At the inter-agency level, the UNEP/ECA/OAU joint secretariat established since 1985, has been providing assistance to African countries in relation to servicing the African Ministerial Conference on the Environment (AMCEN). Since 1994, the cooperation between ECA, UNEP and UNCHS has been strengthened. An inter-agency Task Force was established to look into programme activities. ----------------------------------------------------------------------------- Framework Agenda for Building and Utilizing Critical Capacities in Africa 1. Critical capacities in support of good governance, human rights, political stability, peace and security in Africa; 2. Building and utilizing policy analytic and development capacity; 3. Building and utilizing human capacities; 4. Developing entrepreneurial capacities for public-and private-sector management; 5. Developing capacity for building and maintaining physical infrastructure; 6. Capacities to exploit natural resources and diversify African economies into processing and manufacturing; 7. Strengthening capacities for food security and self-sufficiency; 8. Capacities for the mobilization and efficient allocation of financial resources; 9. Capacities to manage the African environment and ecological resources for development; 10. Capacities to harness science and technology for accelerated growth and development. ------------------------------------------------------------------------------ 92. At the secretariat level, the programme of work of ECA was revised to reflect concerns of the Commission in integrating the environment in various sectors of priority action for Africa. The Medium-term Plan for the period 1992-1997 was revised to realize the linkages and relationships between food and agriculture, population, the environment and human settlements. The sub-programme on Poverty alleviation through sustainable development attempts to exploit the synergy in these relationships and the maintenance of the right balance in this nexus. A project document on building capacities for SIDS has been prepared and consultations are underway for possible joint activities. 2) EUROPE: Economic Commission for Europe (ECE) 93. At the intergovernmental level, the Ministerial Conference "Environment for Europe" held in October 1995, adopted the Environment Programme for Europe prepared by ECE. It aims at setting out a common direction to make Agenda 21 more operational in the region by highlighting a number of long-term environmental priorities. The Programme calls for the preparation of a convention on public participation and includes guidelines on environmental information, public participation and environmental decision-making. 94. At the secretariat level, ECE since UNCED, has developed the following work orientations: (i) mainstreaming environmental issues into its different programmes and activities; (ii) completing and expanding the regional legal framework for sustainable development which is negotiated under ECE auspices; (iii) providing advisory services and technical existence to countries in transition; and (iv) facilitating cooperation among organizations active in the environmental field at a regional and subregional level. 95. The structural changes within ECE as a result of UNCED involved setting up of: (a) a task force involving all substantive divisions to coordinate activities related to sustainable development; (b) an Environmental Performance Review Unit within the Environment and Human Settlements Division. 96. Support to capacity building focuses on eastern and central European countries in the following two categories of activities: (a) support to institutions in charge of applying ECE environmental Conventions; and (b) strengthening of environmental management and planning capabilities. Moreover, regional and sub-regional cooperation is organized mainly around the ECE environmental conventions. The conventions negotiations so far deal with the transboundary aspects of air pollution, the protection and use of water resources and lakes, the effects of industrial accidents and the environmental impact of various types and projects. ----------------------------------------------------------------------------- ECE activities that have been modified in the light of Agenda 21 - Review of compliance with protocols to the Convention on Long-range Transboundary Air Pollution is being strengthened. - A multi-pollutant, multi-effect approach has been adopted to the strategies for further reduction of air pollution. - Energy efficiency 2000 has been greatly enhanced. - The working parties on Coal, Gas and Electric Power attached to the ECE Committee on Energy have put more emphasis on the environmental impact of energy production and distribution. - The ECE/UNEP project in Strengthening Environmental Management Capabilities in eastern and central European countries has resulted in the preparation of Guidelines on Integrated Environmental Management in Countries in Transition. ------------------------------------------------------------------------------ 3) LATIN AMERICA AND CARIBBEAN: Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean (ECLAC) 97. At the intergovernmental level, the ninth Meeting of the Ministers of Environment of America and the Caribbean, held in Havana, Cuba in September 1995, reiterated the validity of the principles and commitments proclaimed at the UNCED and in the Barbados Declaration on the Sustainable Development of Small Island Developing States. The Meeting agreed further to consolidate and strengthen the Meetings of Ministers of the Environment of Latin America and the Caribbean, with a view to achieving consensus on environment-related common positions, formulating policy and strategy and give greater importance to such activities in the region which are a continuation of previous programmes. ---------------------------------------------------------------------------- Sample programme activities of ECLAC - Technical assistance to governments of the region regarding protection of the oceans and coastal areas, including marine biodiversity, implementation of the Law of the Sea and the preparation of the Global Plan of Action to Protect the Marine Environment from Land-based Activities. - Organization of expert meetings such a on environmental indicators (June 1995), economic instruments for environmental management (July 1995): on integrated water resources management in Latin America and the Caribbean (November 1995); on uses of geothermal energy (October 1995); on "Issues in the Privatization of Water Utilities in the Americas" (September 1995); on implementation of Chapter 18 of Agenda 21 (December 1995). - Technical assistance in the preparation of the Hemispheric Summit on Sustainable Development to be held in 1996 in Santa Cruz, Bolivia. ------------------------------------------------------------------------------ 98. ECLAC wants its work on environmental issues to be part of an integral analysis of development. Thus, it is expected that an important part of such work will be carried out through cooperation among different Divisions, and not only in the Environment and Natural Resources Division. 99. At the secretariat level, a new Environment and Natural Resources Division was created in June 1995. Through this Division, ECLAC has been carrying out extensive work that falls under the heading of Capacity Building for Agenda 21, integration of environmental concerns into development policy, as well as strengthening national capacities. The Division is constituted by three units: a Natural Resources and Energy Unit; an Environment Unit, and a Human Settlements Unit. 100. The activities aimed at capacity building of member States within the region can be classified into: (a) support to governments (at national, provincial and local levels) in policy formulation and use of policy instruments; and (b) contribution to building up human resources and capacity. 101. Technical support was given to courses on environment and development held in the region, in such areas as economic instruments for environmental policy, environmental impact assessment, environmental requisites in international trade and environmental aspects in the sub-regional trade agreements. 4) ASIA AND THE PACIFIC: a) Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (ESCAP) 102. At the intergovernmental level, another Ministerial Conference on Environment and Development for the region was held in November 1995. It was a major activity for promoting integration of environmental concerns in the development policies of the region to promote implementation of Agenda 21. A regional action programme has been developed whose primary objective is to foster regional cooperation to strengthen national capacities for the pursuit of environmentally sound and sustainable development. ------------------------------------------------------------------------------ Sample ESCAP projects - The Ministerial Conference on Space Applications for Development in Asia and the Pacific was held on 19-24 September 1994 to promote regional cooperation for capacity-building to derive optimum benefit from application of space technology for sustainable development. The Regional Strategy and the Action adopted by the Conference are now under implementation. - The regional project of Programme for Asian Cooperation on Energy and the Environment )PACE-E) funded by UNDP and the Asia Energy Efficiency 21, a regional project imitative (AGE 21) focus on issues and activities of energy and environment interface and energy efficient processes and products in line of the provisions of Agenda 21. - Promotion of subregional cooperation on environment in the North-East Asian countries through projects for control of CO2 emissions, improvement of operation of existing power plants for pollution control and monitoring and intercalibration of environmental data, being initiated in cooperation with the Asian Development Bank and through discussion with member States. - Joint projects with the Asian Development Bank for developing strategies for greenhouse gas reduction in the Democratic People's Republic of Korea, development of environment related investment projects in the coastal areas of Viet Nam, Cambodia and Hainan Island of China. ------------------------------------------------------------------------------ 103. At the inter-agency level in the region, the Inter-agency Committee on Environment and Sustainable Development in Asia and the Pacific was established, following the 1990 UNCED-preparatory Ministerial-level Conference on Environment and Development in Asia and the Pacific. The organizations of the United Nations, multilateral financing institutions and other intergovernmental bodies involved in environment-development activities in the region are members of this Committee. In conducting its coordination task, the Committee established a database on the 1994-95 work programme in line with the programme areas of Agenda 21. 104. At the secretariat level, in accordance with the Commission resolution 48/2, ESCAP has taken a thematic approach and restructured its subsidiary structure by establishing The Committee on Environment and Sustainable Development, which functions as the main body to carry out, review and monitor the regional implementation of Agenda 21. It also reoriented its work programme. The subprogramme on Environment and Sustainable Development for biennium 1994-1995 is under the purview of a multi-divisional Working Group of all substantive divisions within the secretariat headed by the Division of Environment and Natural Resources Management. b) UNEP Regional Office for Asia and the Pacific 105. Good examples of regional cooperation promoted by the UNEP Regional Office include: a) Network on Environmental Training at Tertiary Level in Asia and the Pacific This Network was established in 1992 to enhance the environmental expertise of decision makers as well as to strengthen the overall environmental expertise in the region at technical, management and policy levels. It presently consists of 205 institutions and 2023 individuals from 37 countries in the region active in environmental education and training. Advancement of the Network objectives is facilitated by the use of Thematic Networks covering three areas: Coastal Zone Management, Toxic Chemicals and Hazardous Waste Management and Environmental Economics. Additional themes planned to be added are: Environmental Law, Environmental Technologies and their transfer, Environmental Assessment and Planning and Tertiary Training for Environmental Educators. One of the important roles of the Network is to implement targeted technical Training and Resources Development Workshops for tertiary level environmental educators. A regional consultative meeting is held once every two years. b) Safe Handling and Use of Pesticides and Household Chemicals The main objectives of this project relate to enhancing the awareness of women leaders on the human health and environmental impacts associated with the misuse of pesticides and other chemicals through training as well as providing trained women leaders with the skills needed to impart their knowledge to larger audiences at the village level. Following a successful experience in Thailand, similar training workshops were conducted for China, Sri Lanka, Malaysia, the Socialist Republic of Vietnam, Myanmar, Pakistan and Iran. Another series of workshops in other countries in the region is planned for the 1996-1997 biennium. c) Regional Environmental Management Seminars UNEP Regional Office for Asia and the Pacific conducted an environmental management seminar in Thailand in October 1995. The seminar was designed to raise awareness and transfer skills related to environmental administration and management at national, regional and international levels. 5) WEST ASIA: Economic and Social Commission for Western Asia (ESCWA) 106. At the inter-agency level in the region, ESCWA has established the "Joint Committee on Environment and Development in the Arab Region" in 1993 with the membership of UNEP, FAO, ECA and other regional Arab organization for the joint implementation of priority areas of Agenda 21. This Committee meets on annual basis to enhance and strengthen regional cooperation in the formulation, review, monitoring and reporting of activities and initiatives within the region for the promotion of Agenda 21. ------------------------------------------------------------------------------ ESCWA illustrative projects with direct link to Agenda 21 ESCWA/UNEP projects for 1992-95: - Strengthening environmental management and planning capabilities in Jordan; - Assessment of water resources using remote-sensing techniques in the ESCWA region; - Regional survey of production and consumption of materials harmful to the ozone layer; - National plan of actions to combat desertification in selected ESCWA countries; - Expert Group meeting on the Implementation of Agenda 21 for Integrated Water Management in the ESCWA region. - A regional symposium on water use and conservation (1993). ------------------------------------------------------------------------------ 107. At the secretariat level, the thematic reorganization of substantive activities was undertaken by ESCWA. To reinforce ESCWA's role and responsibilities to further regional cooperation to implement Agenda 21, the Commission decided in 1995 to establish: (i) a Committee on Energy in the Economic and Social Commission for Western Asia; and (ii) a Committee on Water Resources in the Economic and Social Commission for Western Asia. These committees of an intergovernmental nature, will be formulating programme priorities for the Commission in the years to come. J) International financial organizations 1) World Bank 108. After UNCED, the World Bank created the post of Vice President for Sustainable Development. At the programme level, the Bank adopted a four-fold agenda which includes: 1) Assisting its borrowing countries in promoting environmental stewardship - currently active portfolio of loans are targeted to reduce pollution, protect soils, forests and parts, and strengthen environmental policies and institutions. 2) Second Environmental Screening of all Bank-financed projects to "do no harm" - every operation of the Bank, in addition to those invested specifically in environmental projects, are reviewed to ensure that the environmental dimensions will be properly addressed. 3) Promoting "win-win" strategies - by investing in people, especially through empowering women, and by promoting the efficient use of resources 4) Addressing global and regional challenges - coordinates external assistance and financing in a number of regional seas and river programs, and is an implementing agency, along with UNEP and UNDP, for the Global Environment Facility and the Montreal Protocol Fund. 2) International Monetary Fund (IMF) 109. The Fund has been promoting the integration of environmental concerns in national policies in two ways. First, the IMF, in cooperation with the World Bank, assists member countries in the preparation of Policy Framework papers which describe three-year policy frameworks for macroeconomic and structural adjustment policies including environmental policies. The World Bank takes the lead in advising on environmental matters. Second, in cooperation with the national authorities, the Fund staff analyzes the macroeconomic and financial implications of environmental policies in the context of their policy dialogue with member countries. 110. IMF furthers and supports Agenda 21 by helping member countries achieve certain conditions for sustainable development such as monetary stability and having adequate external financial resources, through its advice on sound macroeconomic management and provision of financial support for adjustment efforts. ----------------------------------------------------------------------------- Four ways in which IMF supports sustainable development 1) Use of briefing notes on environmental concerns in most Fund member countries as background information for their discussions with country authorities. 2) Assistance to member countries in adopting desirable structural policies, including subsidy and price reform, trade liberalization, and tax reform, which help mobilize budgetary and domestic resources necessary for sustainable development. 3) Assistance to countries with the design and implementation of social safety nets aimed at protecting the poorest in society from the effects of adjustment. 4) Integration, upon request, of the macroeconomic and financial implications of sustainable development strategies into their policy dialogue with member countries. ------------------------------------------------------------------------------ 111. Since UNCED, the Fund staff has expanded its understanding of the interrelationships between macroeconomic policies and the environment. 3) International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) 112. As part of a broader process of re-engineering its core business processes to increase efficiency and effectiveness, IFAD has also revised its project cycle to place emphasis on the Fund's clients, the rural poor, in line with the Agenda 21 focus on poverty and environment. The new project cycle emphasizes a process approach, moving from a blueprint approach towards flexible implementation. In addition, an Economic Policy and Resource Strategy Department has been created, which focuses inter alia on resource mobilization for environmentally sustainable rural poverty alleviation efforts. 113. In order to ensure optimal complementarity between the Fund's operations and the Convention to Combat Desertification (CCD), an Interdepartmental Task Force has been created, under the Chairmanship of the Assistant President, Programme Management Department. IFAD has also established a Technical Assistance Grants Programme for Assistance to African Countries in the Implementation of the CCD in the Interim Period. 114. Moreover, IFAD established an accelerated institutional learning programme on the integration of environmental dimensions in the Fund's lending operations. The programme, entitled Preliminary Development and Testing Phase of Natural Resource Management for Rural Poverty Alleviation (PDTP), consists of pro-active environmental assessments, thematic studies of recurrent natural resource management issues in IFAD's projects, environment-related pre-investment studies, and the development of guidance material on sustainable agriculture in marginal areas. The PDTP has resulted in the adoption of formal EA procedures for the project cycle and the creation of the post of Environment Adviser. 4) Asian Development Bank (ADB) 115. In 1995, the Office of the Environment and the Social Dimensions Unit, which had served as the focal point for integrating social concerns and for Bank-NGO collaboration, have been merged into the Office of Environment and Social Development to consolidate all Bank activities related to social and environmental concerns and to better focus on how the Bank should address primary issues of sustainable development. The post-Rio assessment of the Bank's role resulted in what is in effect the Agenda 21 of the Bank - A Strategic Framework for Post-UNCED Environmental Action, published in 1993. 116. The Bank's lending operations since 1992 has increasingly focused on areas that are the concerns of Agenda 21. The Medium-Term Strategic Framework (MTSF) requires that at least half of the total number of projects the Bank will fund in a given year must aim at environmental enhancement and social development as primary or secondary objectives. Environmental concerns have been integrated at the strategy level of the Bank's policies for development in the region through the MTSF, Country Operational Strategy Studies and Country Assistance Plans. At the operational level, this is realized through a rigorous review of environmental aspects during project processing. ------------------------------------------------------------------------------ Example of capacity-building support by the Asian Development Bank in the environment sector The Bank provides a series of technical assistance to Indonesia to strengthen the capability for environmental impact assessment in several ministries of the country. In line with the approved Bank operational strategy for Indonesia, the Bank has helped upgrade the performance of line agencies responsible for planning and implementing environmental management and control. Technical assistance was provided for formulating environmental regulations and quality standards, strengthening enforcement procedures, training staff in environmental and natural resources planning and management, and providing monitoring equipment and facilities. The Bank has also assisted Pacific Island Developing Countries to build and strengthen their national institutional capabilities for environmental planning and management. The outputs included formulation and implementation of national environmental management strategies and training on environmental impact assessment. ----------------------------------------------------------------------------- 117. The Bank closely cooperates with other regional organizations like ESCAP and non-regional organizations working in Asia and the Pacific such as the World Bank and the IMF. The cooperation is not only project-related to ensure project sustainability but also policy-related with a view to introduce sustainable policies in the Bank's developing member countries. 5) Caribbean Development Bank (CDB) 118. In 1994, the Projects Department was reorganized in an effort to increase efficiency. This included creation of a Social Development Division and within it a distinct Unit to address environment and poverty issues to incorporate social and environment considerations in the Bank's activities. The reorganization provided the framework for increased lending for poverty reduction, human resources development and environment programmes in the member countries in keeping with its Directional Plan/Strategy to the Year 2000. The Bank's Special Development Fund resources are being replenished to give priority, among others, to investments in the area of environment. 119. Environmental Review guidelines were prepared to provide guidance to staff on the application of the Bank's environmental policy as approved by the Board of Directors in 1993. The Bank completed training workshops in 1994 for staff in all financial institutions in its member countries. The workshops were designed to strengthen the basic skills necessary for the environmental screening of projects submitted to them for financing. 120. As a result of the UN Conference on Sustainable Development for Small Island Developing States, a project was developed for strengthening the management capacity for sustainable development in six member countries. The project is being financed by UNDP under the Capacity 21 Programme and is being executed by CDB. The implementing agency is the Caribbean Centre for Development Administration. 6) Central American Bank of Economic Integration (BCIE) 121. The Environmental Fund for Central-America was created by the Bank in 1994. The other funds that exist at the Bank which could be oriented towards environment and sustainable development include the Fund for Social Development and the Fund for Debt Reconversion. In the context of the Programme for Social Development, the Sub-programme for Preservation of the Environment was created with the objective to: a) contribute to the sustainable usage of natural resources, paying respect to the vital cycles of nature; b) orient the social objectives of development towards environment in the service of social well-being. 122. In October 1992, the Bank entered into agreement with the Central-American Commission for Environment and Development for inter- institutional cooperation to coordinate in the field of environment. 123. Environmental assessment is applied in project appraisal, monitoring and evaluation of the Bank-supported projects. 7) European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) 124. The EBRD is responsible for a number of support activities including the provision of training and technical advice to local environmental consultants who work with these institutions. The Bank's training activities are closely linked to ongoing project work as well as to institution-building. The policy studies on environmental impact assessment, harmonization of environmental standards and legislation, environmental liability and public participation provide a rich input for training. 125. In carrying out its projects, EBRD is concerned with promoting: a) environmentally sound banking; b) sector-specific environmental impact assessment; c) public participation and conflict resolution in investment decision-making; and d) environmental audits and environmental management in industry. 126. The Bank's Environmental Advisory Council is an independent body of environmental specialists which advises the Bank on environmental protection and natural resources management at the national, regional and local level in central and eastern Europe. It provides a forum to discuss priority policy issues, measures to strengthen legislative and regulatory frameworks, institutional and human resource concerns, technical developments, emerging trends and future opportunities. 127. The Environmental Appraisal Unit within the Bank seeks to ensure that Bank-supported projects comply with the EBRD's commitment to "environmentally sound and sustainable development". The Unit staff screen and review all investment projects and all technical cooperation projects submitted to the EBRD's Operations Committee, in compliance with the Bank's Environmental Procedures. 128. In August 1995, the EBRD created a new sector team within its Banking Department: Municipal and Environmental Infrastructure. The team prepares and implements investments in environmental infrastructure and services, mainly for municipal authorities, which are emerging as important client group for the Bank. These projects cover such areas as water supply, sewage and waste-water treatment, sanitation, solid-waste management and district heating. 8) Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) 129. In 1994, a new Social Programs and Sustainable Development Department (SDS) was ceated with the primary objective of contributing significantly to the continued improvement of the quality and effectiveness of Bank's policies and programmes that address the environment and natural resources, in support of the sustainable development of the region. Three newly created operational regional departments each have an environmental and natural resources division as well. 130. Following the Earth Summit, the Bank approved programmes to strengthen environmental institutions in several countries of the region. These programmes contribute to sustainable development through more effective environmenal management, enhanced pollution control, and the prevention of environmental degradation. 131. The Bank is supporting implementation of the Action Plan that resulted from the Miami Summit of the Americas (1994), and is assisting member countries to prepare for the 1996 Summit Conference on Sustainable Development. K) National implementation 1) Country level 132. Many countries have established new entities or coordinating mechanisms within their government structures for the purpose of implementing Agenda 21 and following up on UNCED commitments. Some countries have restructured or added new mandates to the existing institutions. There are yet other countries which have Ministries of Environment or similar institutions, but it is not clear if these entities are directly responsible for the implementation of Agenda 21. 133. Annex II provides information on the institutional arrangements at the country level and was prepared on the basis of national reports received by DPCSD, the Earth Council and through inquiries made to the Permanent Missions to the United Nations. 134. While the picture of national institutional arrangements is not complete, the information currently available indicates that 68 countries created new institution or coordinating mechanism and 40 countries restructured existing institution or added new mandates to them. 135. UNDP, through its Capacity 21 programme, has promoted national implementation. The examples of such activities at the national level are also reflected in Annex II. Some of these activities are also supported by the Global Environmental Facility (GEF). 136. It is planned that detailed information covering more countries would be prepared for the 1997 overall review. This exercise will be undertaken in cooperation with the member States, and other intergovernmental and non-governmental organizations concerned with such data. 2) Bilateral donors 137. Most bilateral aid donors had begun by the late 1980s to address the environmental impacts of their ongoing programme and project activities. This trend was given added impetus and a sense of direction by UNCED and the mandate for action laid out in Agenda 21. The 1990s has consequently seen a new dynamism in bilateral agencies with respect to support for environmental and sustainable development goals. This has been characterized notably by increased efforts among bilateral donors to work together towards coherent approaches to contributing to environmental sustainability through aid policies and programmes. There is also growing evidence that increased attention is being paid by bilateral aid agencies to integrating environmental concerns at the institutional, policy and programme levels. Increasingly, these issues are being approached from both a cross- sectoral and global point of view. Review and evaluation of emerging trends and assessment of their effectiveness is another feature of the commitment among bilateral donors to the pursuit of environmental and sustainable development goals. 138. For many bilateral agencies, the concept of sustainable development now serves as the guiding principle of development cooperation, at the policy, programme and project levels. The ramifications of global environmental issues for development processes are receiving increased attention and are taken into account in designing, monitoring and evaluating projects. With the help of new guidelines, procedures and instruments, programme support staff are increasingly incorporating such concerns into day-to-day project management. Environment and sustainable development-related issues are also being linked to capacity building, another focus of development assistance in recent years. 139. Throughout the UNCED process and its follow-up, there has been increased coordination efforts among aid agencies and other departments of ministries concerned. Such coordination is not only a subject of discussion of development cooperation policies, but also related to formulating common positions in international fora as the Commission on Sustainable Development, Global Environment Facility, UNCED Conventions, and UNEP. CASE STUDIES OF BILATERAL ORGANIZATIONS* (* Based on the inputs received.) ----------------------------------------------------------------------------- Australian Agency for International Development (Aus AID) ----------------------------------------------------------------------------- Since UNCED, AusAID has instituted a more detailed system for integrating environmental issues into the design of its aid activities. It aid programme has been subject to annual independent environment audits of its activities since 1991. Organizationally, its Environment Section created in 1990 has been expanded to become the Environment, Agriculture and Physical Infrastructure Section in recognition of the close linkage of environmental issues with sectoral policy in agriculture, infrastructure activities and energy programmes. AusAID is producing Country Environment Profiles for selected recipients of Australian Government assistance, aiming, inter alia, at outlining a country's main environmental issues in the context of ecologically sustainable development. ------------------------------------------------------------------------------ German Technical Cooperation (GTZ) ------------------------------------------------------------------------------ A separate division on Environment and Protection of Resources was created. Since UNCED, investment in the Tropical Forestry Action Plan has tripled while that in Strengthening Environmental institutions has doubled. There were no changes within the technical assistance programmes, since technical assistance as a result of governmental policy has been oriented towards the areas of Agenda 21 for more than 10 years. Coordination efforts of GTZ have been concentrated on the Forestry Action Plan with FAO. ------------------------------------------------------------------------------ Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) ------------------------------------------------------------------------------ In 1993, the original environmental unit was upgraded into Environmental, WID (women in development) and Other Global Issues Division. Japan's fifth medium-term ODA target, determined by the Cabinet in 1993, calls for a special emphasis on international cooperation to address environmental degradation as one of global issues. This was further stressed in the Basic Environmental Law, established in the same year. JICA is now required to take the environment and other global issues into account in administering its aid programs. Environmental cooperation is the target area of US-Japan cooperation. Also in 1993, JICA initiated project formulation surveys in the environmental field at its overseas offices. A Reference Manual for Operation is currently under preparation to promote the application of guidelines developed earlier to take into account environmental issues in development projects as early as possible in the project cycle. ------------------------------------------------------------------------------ ** TABLES NOT INCLUDED **
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Date last posted: 3 December 1999 10:27:35