United Nations
Commission on Sustainable Development

Background Paper

                               BACKGROUND PAPER 

                           Role of Major Groups 1/

                    Commission on Sustainable Development
                    Fourth Session, 18 April - 3 May 1996

                              Table of Contents

I. Introduction. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  2
II General Overview of Progress
       A. Experiences of major groups. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  3
     (i) Information collection process. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  4
     (ii) Overview of the inputs received. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  4
     (iii) Trends. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  5
     (iv) Obstacles. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 12
   B. Experiences of Governments . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 14
     (i) Developing Countries. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 14
     (ii) Countries in transition. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 17
     (iii) Developed country experience. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 18
   C. Experiences of inter-governmental bodies . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 20
     (i) Agencies and other bodies of the United Nations . . . . . . . . . 21
     (ii) Non-UN Inter-governmental organizations. . . . . . . . . . . . . 25
     (iii) Partnerships for Special Events at the CSD. . . . . . . . . . . 26
   D. Issues related to financial and capacity building partnerships . . . 28
III. Conclusions and Recommendations
   A. Conclusions. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . ..28
   B.  Recommendations for future action . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . ..30
     (i) Information dissemination and collection. . . . . . . . . . . . ..30
     (ii) Participatory arrangements . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . ..31
     (iii) Programme support . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . ..33

Annex I: Summaries of Major Group inputs to CSD96. . . . . . . . . . . . ..35
Annex II: Major Groups inputs grouped by geographical location.. . . . . ..54
Annex III: Summaries of responses to the national information guidelines
    for 1996. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .55

I  Introduction

This background paper is prepared in response to the requests of the
first, second and third sessions of the Commission on Sustainable
Development (CSD) for annual reports on the role and contribution of
major groups in the implementation of Agenda 21 and monitoring the
progress achieved at national, regional and international levels.

The primary basis for this paper is the Multi-year Thematic Programme
of Work of the CSD, adopted at the first substantive session
(E/CN.17/1993/3/Add.1). This work programme established the practice
of annual reports on progress achieved in implementing the activities in
Agenda 21, including those related to participation of civil society. 

Subsequent sessions of the CSD further elaborated on the content of
the annual major groups report. At its second session, the CSD
identified the main types of information that the annual report on major
groups should contain. The following four types of information were

    the extent of major group involvement in sustainable development
       activities at all levels;  
    innovative methods that have increased the quality and quantity of
       consultations with major group representatives and organizations; 
    identification of obstacles and difficulties related to major group
       participation and steps taken to overcome them; and, 
    indicators of major group involvement, including financial and
       resource allocations made to them,  as well as their own
       involvement in the provision of technical assistance and other
       types of support for Agenda 21 activities. 

These four points guided the preparation of the 1995 reporting on major
groups (E/CN.17/1995/9) and continue to be the criteria with which
information about, from, and on major groups is collected and analyzed
to prepare the annual reports. 

The third session of the CSD took decisions that requested the
secretariat to continue with special events that highlight the role of
specific major groups. The first of such events, the Day of Local
Authorities,  was prepared in response to a request of the second
session of the CSD. The third session of CSD suggested the
organization of a special event to be called the Day of the Workplace.
This special event would highlight the role of two major groups; namely,
business and industry (including small and medium sized enterprises),
and workers and trade unions. 

This report reviews the role of major groups in Agenda 21 and
summarizes the actions taken in response to the CSD■s requests for
special events. The analysis utilizes information received from major
groups organizations, as well as information made available by
governments and international inter-governmental organizations. The
report also utilizes publications and other materials that are made
available from governmental, inter-governmental and non-governmental
institutions or located through research. 

Two additional sets of background materials on major groups are also
available to the fourth session of the CSD. One is a set of 14 case
studies on sustainable development initiatives of business and industry
and workers and trade unions. These case-studies are one of the
outcomes of the Day of the Workplace process. The other is a set of
materials generated through the first Youth Inter-sessional. Further
detail on the processes and partnerships that enabled the production of
these additional materials is available in the body of the text below. 

II     General Overview of Progress

A.     Experiences of major groups

The analysis in this section is based on inputs received from 100 major
groups 2/ organizations and networks, as well as observations made
through contacts with major group actors throughout the year and (on-
line and literature) research. Summaries of all the inputs received form
major groups are in Annex I. A brief description of the information
collection process is provided below. 
(i)    Information collection process

Several methods were used to collect inputs from major groups during
the 1995-1996 period. These included distribution of the Guidelines for
Major Group Inputs  for CSD96 and the Survey on Major Groups (both
sent to 1100 major group organizations by mail and made available
electronically on the Internet). They also included calls for input through
the CSD Update, regular correspondence, the Internet, the NGO
networks, at inter-sessional meetings and personal contacts; and,
research through on-line and other sources. 
(ii)   Overview of the inputs received

At the time of drafting this report, the secretariat had received inputs
from 100 major group organizations many of which submitted several
reports on sectoral and cross-sectoral issues that are on the CSD96
agenda. Of this total, 79 organizations also responded to the Survey 3/.
This response rate is less than 10 per cent of the total number of
organizations that received the Survey by mail. Since this is not a
sufficiently representative sample for valid statistical analysis, it was
decided to continue distributing the Survey during the rest of the year
and submit an analysis of the results to the fifth session of the CSD in

The overall input rate in the 1995-1996 period was more than twice that
of the 1994-1995 period. (See Table 1 below) The organizations that
provided contributions constituted a broad range in  geographical scope,
thematic orientation, and major group categories. Responses and inputs
were received from local, national, regional and international
organizations whose membership often spanned the full range of major
groups. As was the case in previous years, a higher number of
responses and inputs were received from organizations that are located
in developed countries. However, unlike the year before, about the
same number of inputs were received from international and national
organizations. See Annex II for a summary of inputs by location of their

Table 1: Comparison of inputs received from major groups to CSD95
and CSD96 grouped by the geographical scope of the submitting

 Inputs   International  Regional   National  Provincial     Local    Totals
 CSD96      39             3          40          4            14       100
 CSD95      18             2          13          0            8        41

While these numbers are far from reflecting the full involvement of major
groups in sustainable development efforts around the world, they show
that more major groups organizations are becoming directly involved in
the CSD reporting process. The increase in numbers is, in part, due to
(i) the increased outreach efforts of the CSD Secretariat through its
regular newsletter, the Guidelines for Major Groups (now an annual
service to major groups) and the Survey on Major Groups; as well as
through a more aggressive use of the electronic media, (ii) support of
the UN-NGLS with outreach, and (iii) efforts of international, regional
and national networks of major groups organizations including the CSD
NGO Steering Committee. 
(iii)  Main trends 

The base-line of major group interest in and support for the CSD
process is sustained and has been gradually increasing since the first
session of the Commission. Inputs show numerous cases of positive
involvement by major groups at the local, national, regional, sub-regional
and international levels.  

Other main trends that were identified in the previous two reviews of the
role of major groups in Agenda 21 follow up, continue to be true as well.
That is, major group organizations continue to 

       participate in the CSD and other international processes that are
          related to Agenda 21 implementation and monitoring; 
       create partnerships and establish (or facilitate the creation of)
          networks among each other as well as with governmental and
          inter-governmental bodies; 
       develop internal and external frameworks and guidelines for
          sustainable development activities, and,
       share their knowledge with others so far as the sharing is
          welcome, invited and encouraged.

Some trends and illustrative examples for them are below:

Major group interest in Agenda 21 follow up is sustained and continues
to increase gradually. Overall, major group organizations at all levels
demonstrate a sustained commitment to Agenda 21 related issues,
through continued implementation, research, training, monitoring,
lobbying, advocacy and information dissemination efforts. An indicator
for this trend is initiatives derived from Agenda 21 that continue to
emerge. Among these are:  

       Education 21 -- an initiative of UK-based major groups led by the
          NGO network United Nations Environment and Development-
          United Kingdom (UNED-UK)
       Pact 21 -- a project of the Centre de Recherche et d■Information
          pour le Developpement (CRID) in support of on-going Local
          Agenda 21 initiative
       Ocean 21 -- initiated by International Centre for Coastal and
          Ocean Policy Studies (ICCOPS) to involve young scientists in
          ocean and marine management issues, and 
       Cooperative Agenda 21 -- an initiative of the International
          Cooperative Alliance (ICA) to integrate sustainable development
          into the activities of cooperatives  around the world

An early example of such initiatives was Local Agenda 21 launched by
local authorities through the International Council for Local
Environmental Initiatives (ICLEI) at UNCED. This process has been
highly successful in generating local interest and commitment to Agenda
21. Many of the existing Local Agenda 21 programmes are based on
consultative and participatory involvement of all major groups from the
community. ICLEI is currently planning a detailed survey of these efforts.
The results of this survey will be presented to Habitat II and a revised
version will be a contribution of local authorities to the 1997 review of
Agenda 21. 

Agenda 21-driven initiatives have several characteristics that make them
successful. They are sector or issue specific and therefore focus the
efforts of a particular constituency better. The process of formulating
them is often an education and training programme in itself. To
formulate an Agenda 21 derived programme, the major groups involved
need to study the agenda carefully and devise ways to apply its
objectives to their own specific needs, priorities and capacities. They
also are useful as implementation frameworks as they pool resources of
the major groups involved whether it is the inhabitants of a city or
members of a professional society. 

Major groups continue to build networks and create opportunities for
dialogue among all sectors of civil society. Many of the organizations
that submitted inputs to CSD96 and provide networking services to their
members, constituents and affiliates as well as to other interested
parties. Networking has traditionally been an essential tool for the non-
governmental community. However, there appears to be growing focus
on this area as new international and national sustainable development
processes emerge and need to be monitored. 

A particularly useful type of networking is that which occurs at the
national level led by a facilitating national NGO. A case in point is the
work of UNED-UK. This organization has been organizing national level
meetings linked thematically to the Multi-year Thematic Work
Programme of the CSD. The meetings, using a roundtable format, bring
together national and local organizations representing all major group
categories to enable dialogue between local and national major groups
and national governmental authorities. Some meetings also include
experts and representatives from various UN Agencies. The relatively
higher quantity and quality of inputs from UK-based major groups is in
part due to this networking and facilitating effort.

Major groups continue to collect, analyze, and disseminate information
about sustainable development activities and share their thematic
expertise, knowledge and monitoring capacity across countries. Almost
all of the organizations that provided input to CSD96 conduct various
levels of research, information collection, and information dissemination
projects. Most organizations, including the small community-based
groups have regular newsletters or bulletins as a vehicle for information

There are also efforts by national major group organizations to conduct
monitoring and information collection/dissemination efforts across two or
more regions and in cooperation with other major groups that are
connected by thematic focus rather than by geographical proximity. For
example, the Citizens Air Pollution Survey (CAPS) of the Citizens
Alliance for Saving the Atmosphere (CASA, Japan) involves multiple
countries in two separate regions. The CAPS project links citizens of
East and South Asia with those of Central and Eastern Europe and aims
to help them learn to monitor the local atmospheric pollution levels,
share their findings and help each other to improve their capacity in this

Box 1: Selected results from the Survey on Local Agenda 21 (LA21) by
Local Government Management Board of the UK. 

Over 71% of local authorities are committed and actively involved in
■   Most indicated they have made institutional changes to their
    administration: 79 % added to responsibilities of existing staff, 10 %
    appointed new staff
■   Nearly 49% undertook an internal environmental audit
■   Land use planning, green housekeeping and transport policies were
    the most frequent areas that involved integration of sustainable
    development principles.
■   Only 27 % used public consultation procedures
■   Nearly 6% established links with developing country counter-parts as
    part of their efforts
■   About 29% developed their own sustainable development indicators,
    45% considered using indicators developed by others instead.

Another trend in this area relates to efforts by international, regional and
national networks and organizations to ■map■ the NGO and major group
activities in sustainable development. For example, the Environment
Liaison Center International (ELCI) is currently undertaking a survey of
African NGOs to systematize knowledge of their activities, views, scope
and capacity as well as the manner in which they would like to shape
their relationships with international organizations. 4/ A national level
mapping exercise is the survey of local authorities in the United
Kingdom, conducted by the Local Government Management Board.
Some results of this survey are in Box 1.

Although surveys tend to be seen as time consuming and unproductive
by some NGOs and major groups, many others take it as an invitation
to express their views, and respond positively.  The welcoming aspect of
surveys needs to be emphasized: many local or community-based
groups feel they can not participate in a national or international
process, even when they are aware of it,  unless they are invited to
participate and contribute. This appears to be a factor for both southern
and northern major groups although less so in the case of the latter.  

Surveys and similar mapping exercises also help create or maintain
systematic data on activities, views, focus and capacity of major group
organizations. This type of systematic information is useful to
organizations that provide referral services which link the needs of one
group with the capacity or resources of another across continents and
major group sectors. In addition, reaching out to organizations to
conduct surveys is a way to inform and increase their awareness of a
particular national, regional or international process by asking their
opinions about them.

Major groups continue to participate in large numbers in major
international conferences where they take the lead in introducing and
forwarding sustainable development proposals. Most major groups that
are active in the CSD process continue to feel that sustainable
development is an appropriate umbrella framework to deal with other
global issues in the social, economic and political arenas. Hence, their
participation and contribution in other related fora, particularly in the
post-UNCED international conferences, is often linked to Agenda 21

Both the Copenhagen and the Beijing Conference in 1995 involved
thousands of non-governmental participants. 5/  Beijing Conference
currently holds the ■title■ for the largest non-governmental participation in
an international conference and for the largest gathering of
organizations of and for women. The Copenhagen Conference, on the
other hand was an excellent opportunity for environment and
development organizations to forge alliances with others that focus on
human rights, economic welfare and other issues that affect the
marginalized and the poor. Many NGOs and major groups that are
active in the CSD attended these meetings where they lobbied to
ensure that the results of these conferences not only reflect Agenda 21
objectives but also build upon them. 

Similarly, the preparatory process of Habitat II is already showing a
great deal of non-governmental interest. Environment and development
NGOs, with the support of the Conference Secretariat, are linking
Agenda 21 objectives with the Habitat II documentation, including the
adoption of the ■major groups■ concept. Currently the Habitat II
preparatory process has nearly 800 accredited NGOs and other major
groups, and the Conference Secretariat expects that the numbers will
continue to grow as the June 1996 event in Istanbul approaches.

Major Groups participate in the on-going and newly created international
institutions and negotiating processes. Major Groups are monitoring and
taking part in the meetings of the Conference of the Parties for the
Conventions on Climate Change, Biological Diversity and Desertification,
as well as in the work of the Inter-governmental Panel on Forests,
among other post-UNCED institutional developments.

The first meeting of IPF, in September 1995, involved 31 major group
representatives including 16 from developing countries. These
participants have since agreed to be part of an informal information
dissemination network to enable a broader level of awareness among
their networks, partners and other interested parties. The system of
dissemination and sharing involves a small e-mail group to which the
secretariat sends IPF related information as soon as it is available, and
the members on the e-mail list further disseminate it through their

Major groups collaborate across sectors to develop sector-specific
standards or guidelines. Collaborative projects and networking among
and between major group sectors have always been a part of the work
of the non-governmental entities. A recent development in this area is
related to joint efforts to develop standards that link environmental and
social responsibility. This effort involved the Social Venture Network
(SVN) and the New Economics Foundation (NEF) as well as a number
of academic research centers. SVN is a business-based network whose
members include such companies known about their social,
environmental and ethical commitments as the Body Shop and Ben and
Jerry■s. NEF is an NGO focused on researching economics of
sustainable development, including such areas as sustainable
development indicators and eco-audits.  

On-going collaboration between these organizations has led to the idea
of establishing an International Association of Social and Ethical
Assessment. This Association involves a consortium of research
organizations and corporations, and aims to focus on maintaining
standards and promote best-practices in social and ethical assessments
in the corporate community and in other sectors. 

Major groups continue to carry out Agenda 21 technical assistance
projects. Local, national and international major group organizations are
spear-heading implementation projects for Agenda 21. In some cases,
such as the Grupo Tecnologia Alternativa (GTA, Mexico) and Sajju
Institute and Research Foundation (SIRF, Nigeria), efforts focus on
developing, demonstrating and disseminating environmentally sound
technologies or practices. GTA has developed dry and wet waste
management systems using indigenous knowledge. The technology is
already implemented in several states in Mexico with highly successful
results including significant improvements in the health and economic
welfare of the communities. Similarly, SIRF is promoting the use of local
resources and traditional technologies, including demonstrations and
dissemination of rain-water harvesting techniques and saw-dust ovens
to local communities in Nigeria. In addition to being environmentally
sound, these technologies are easily implemented, useable throughout
Africa and are low-cost. SIRF■s efforts show that local communities need
to develop greater awareness of such technologies and learn that
indigenous technologies are not necessarily inferior to their high-tech
alternatives. Yet other organizations are involved in implementation by
providing resources to efforts of communities in this direction. Rotary
International and Community Aid Abroad are two organizations that are
involved in hundreds of assistance projects. 

The report of Rotary International mentions dozens of projects carried
out by local Rotarians and supported by the Rotary Foundation. For
example, the 3-H (Health Hunger and Humanity) Project  of this
Foundation is helping indigenous communities in Brazil to harvest brazil
nuts. This project helps raise the welfare of the communities and
preserve the rainforest. The Rotary Foundation provided a US$ 100,000
grant to the project, while the Rotary Club in Sao Paulo donated 50,000
seedlings. Other local Rotarian help monitor the project. 

Community Aid Abroad, located in Australia, acts as both a resource
provider and an educational service for Australian volunteers who want
to make a personal contribution to the welfare of global citizenry. The
organization funds projects around the world through local and
community groups, which CAA feels are key to successful efforts.
Projects are of all sizes and types but all are based on need. One
project in Vanuatu involved a US$ 80.00 grant to purchase a typewriter
for the National Community Development Fund for this organization to
run its community resource management workshops more efficiently.
Another project, in New Caledonia, involved a grant of US$ 7,000.00 to
cover the cost of training for workers to attend a Diplomacy Training
Course designed to train indigenous people in how to access the UN
and other international bodies. A third project involved US$ 552, 976.00
to assist with re-establishing basic health care services through training
an support of community health workers in southern Sudan.

Major groups take direct roles as partners in organizing special events
for the CSD. Since the presentation of the Day of Local Authorities for
CSD95, it has become regular practice to organize special events that
focus on show-casing the contributions of a specific major group sector
to sustainable development.

Preparations for these events involved partnerships with major groups
and UN Agencies, with the major groups carrying out the main
management responsibilities. Further detail on the UN agencies involved
in these events is in Section II.3 on International Experiences. A few
examples of results of one of these events, the Youth Inter-sessional,
are below.  

The preparations for the Youth Inter-sessional (YI) involved three major
group partners, Earth Council, Rescue Mission (Peace Child
International) and the Youth Working Group for the CSD. These major
group partners not only designed the project but each organization took
the managerial responsibility for one of its three modules. The major
group partners decided the content of the project and engaged in
consultations with many young people around the world through their
networks in order to make sure that their decisions reflected the
priorities of young people in general.

Box 2: examples from the menu of SDIs for Youth Kit

Human World
Consumption -- ■Chill Out!■
how much energy is used in your home/school/local council offices?
    (state indicator)
-   what are the sources of energy used in your area? (state)
-   how is eco-friendly industry supported? (response)
-   are sources of renewable energy developed? (response)

Making it Happen
Role of Governments-- ■Who is the Boss?■
does a national Agenda 21 exist? (state)
-   existence of green taxes, environmental accounting (state)
Role of Young People-- ■Our right to be heard■
extent of implementation of children■s rights (state)
-   existence of children■s councils, school council (state)

The YI produced several tools for young people. One was the
Sustainable Development  Indicators for Youth Kit prepared under the
leadership of Rescue Mission. The Kit took the list of indicators that
CSD95 had discussed and presented them in more youth-friendly
language and format. (See Box 2 for examples). The Kit has been
translated and distributed to hundreds of youth organizations around the
world. The young people are requested to use the Kit to make their
assessments of Agenda 21 implementation. The findings will be
presented to the CSD at a Youth Panel during the High Level segment
of the fourth session, as well as in the Youth and Agenda 21 exhibition
prepared for the CSD96. This exhibition was also conceived and
designed entirely by young people. 

Another tool that the YI produced was the Youth Information Packet, a
process led by the Earth Council. This packet includes information on
the history of environment and development from 1992 to present, and
examples of actions that youth have taken or can take for sustainable
development as well as useful contacts for further action. The Packet
has been distributed through the networks of the YI major group
partners and copies are also available for CSD96.

A third focus of the YI project was a Youth Workshop, led by q2000 (a
member of the Youth NGO Working Group for the CSD), on the two
days preceding the fourth session of the Commission. The workshop is
designed to assist up to 50 young people, mostly from developing
countries, to prepare themselves for effective participation in the fourth
session of the Commission. 

An important aspect of partnerships under special events was that the
major groups involved participated as the leading actors rather than
observers or mere implementing arms for a project designed and
conceived elsewhere. According to the feedback received from the
major group partners in these events, the process was empowering and
motivating them to take on further activities in the context of the 1997
review of Agenda 21.

(iv)   Main obstacles

The above trends and examples, as well as the summary of inputs in
Annex I show the continued major group commitment to Agenda 21
follow up in a manner that links various processes, a broad range of civil
society actors and thematic issues. This evidence, however, needs to be
seen in the context of continuing obstacles. The more challenging part
of major group involvement in Agenda 21 follow up is just starting,
particularly given that the first five-year review of Agenda 21
implementation is a year away.

The obstacles and problems that major groups had expressed before
also appear to continue to be valid. The most frequently raised
obstacles in the inputs this year, in the order of  frequency, were: lack
(or unreliable availability) of funding and other resources for their
activities and efforts; lack of resources for training and capacity building
for their staff as well as for the constituency that they serve; and, more
clear guidelines, processes and frameworks for their participation at the
national, regional and international levels.

NGOs and major groups report that they often have to halt or cancel
essential projects because funding that was previously available is no
longer so. Part of this problem is due to changing economic
circumstances of governmental donors, and reductions in budgets of
inter-governmental bodies. However, an emerging positive trend in this
area is the growing preference of a number of bilateral donors to
channel their project funding through NGOs.  6/

The obstacle related to lack of resources for training could be a function
of insufficient information rather than lack of such opportunities. Many
UN Agencies, governmental institutions as well as major group
organizations provide training services as well as resources for such
activities. However, information on their availability is not always widely
accessible. This area may require additional and coordinated efforts
from those that provide training related services and from those who
have benefited from them in the past.

Lack of clear and harmonized methods, guidelines and other
frameworks that facilitate and guarantee participation of major groups at
all levels is a growing obstacle. Proponents of this view feel there is a
discrepancy in the overall access to and participation in the UN and in
regional multi-lateral processes. They also mention lack of guarantees
for participation at the national level and point to Agenda 21 where
action and participation at the national level is repeatedly emphasized
as being essential to achieving global sustainable development

It should be noted that the proponents of this view include both large
international NGOs that have been involved in numerous international,
regional or national sustainable development decision making processes
and smaller local organizations which have never participated in them.
Many organizations, local and international, in fact, indicate that they
have been pushing to gain greater access to decision making
processes, that they have established promising new avenues of
dialogue, and that they will continue their efforts in this direction.
However, they also feel that a critical point has now been reached in
Agenda 21 follow up where more formal recognition of their
contributions must take place and transparent methods must be
formulated to allow their full participation and impact without
unnecessary frustration or confusion.

The kind of participation that major groups increasingly require goes
beyond being present in meetings or receiving reports/documents in a
timely manner. Although these are found useful on their own, and
should continue, major group organizations appear to be looking for
more effective participation that would enable them to make a direct
impact  on decision-making. 

This  growing demand may be a function of the Agenda 21
implementation and monitoring process itself. The work of the CSD and
other bodies working on sustainable development issues are
increasingly moving away from generalities to the more specific aspects
of sustainability. In many cases institutional structures and work
programmes are being created under specialized topics such as forests,
consumption patterns, indicators for sustainable development or transfer
of environmentally sound technologies. Major group organizations feel
they need to be equal partners in the creation and in the work of the
institutional structures as well as in the formulation of the work
programmes. The argument in favor of such participation is that major
group experiences and know-how, often derive from field level efforts
and through direct links with communities. 

Proposals in this directions revolve around, among other things, expert
groups and advisory bodies where representatives from major group
sectors interact with governmental and inter-governmental
representatives as equals. Major groups-based advisory or expert
groups already exist independently. The emerging desire is that such
groups are formally linked with the CSD and other relevant bodies.
Other proposals are based on precedents set in the recent past,
including the instances where non-governmental actors were part of
negotiations in a working group or even chaired the session. This was
the case, among other instances, at the meeting of the Conference of
Parties for the Convention on Biodiversity and in the International
Conference on Population and Development. At the latter meeting, the
NGOs involved were a part of their national delegation but made their
contributions as non-governmental participants.

Similar participatory demands are also made in the context of the
national level. Although there are numerous governmental and non-
governmental efforts to increase dialogue at the national level, there
appears to be growing demand for national participation with more
impact. These demands are made in a cooperative, rather than critical,
spirit. For example, NGOs from a number of developed countries
express their appreciation for being invited to make comments on their
national reports to the CSD, yet they feel they could have been involved
in its drafting as well. Positive NGO/major group experiences regarding
their involvement in the preparations of national reports may need to be
shared with others to enable transfer of knowledge in this area.

For major groups organizations, an important aspect of participation is
knowing what kind of participation is possible and how to get into the
process. Inputs of some  national and local NGOs and major groups
indicate that they are not aware that a national sustainable development
coordination mechanism exists or that these mechanisms involve
participation of representatives from national major group organizations.
This is a counter-point to the governmental views that national NGOs
and major groups are not interested, motivated or enthusiastic about
participating in the coordination mechanisms. These views may be
pointing to the need for a more concerted effort on the part of all actors
to take the responsibility ownership of informing each other and enabling
opportunities for greater dialogue between the governmental and non-
governmental sectors.
B.     Experiences of Governments

A set of questions in Part I of the 1996 National Information guidelines were
on the role of major groups (questions 2a through 2j). By mid-January of 1996,
the CSD Secretariat received 21 national inputs (20 from member states, 1 from
the European Union). Of this total, the following countries responded to the
major group related questions of the National Guidelines: Germany, Iceland,
the Netherlands, Peru, Sweden, Turkey, Uganda, Ukraine, and the United
Kingdom. Hungary and the European Union did not respond to the questions but
submitted written reports that included information on the role of major

Annex III provides tabular summaries of all national responses to the
questions on major groups in the 1996 national guidelines. A brief analysis of
national responses is below.
(i)    Developing Countries

Major group participation in the national coordination mechanism.  Further
detail in the report of Peru showed that its National Council for Sustainable
Development has three members representing local authorities and the private
sector. The report of Uganda listed one local authority representative as a
full member and four NGOs as advisory members. 

The Peruvian NCSD is integrated with other national councils that are
coordinating the implementation of related processes such as the Conventions
on Desertification, Biodiversity and Climate Change. A representative from
each of these three councils sits in the NCSD. The report of Peru indicates
that the other related national councils also include major group

The national efforts to establish coordination mechanisms that include major
groups need to be further encouraged by the international community.
Participation of major groups in NCSDs is an essential step to ensure that
national and local major group organizations not only focus on local and
national level implementation and monitoring efforts but also make
contributions to activities at the level where they are most useful and

Major group participation in local, national projects, policies and their
implementation. The response of Uganda showed there is more participation in
implementation and design of national sustainable development projects than in
national and local environmental impact assessment projects. For Peru the
participation under all categories is ■occasional■. Turkey indicated that
major groups participate in national and local environmental impact assessment
projects but not in national project design or implementation. 

Including major group representatives in national delegations to the CSD.
Developing countries continue to believe that including major groups in their
delegation to the CSD is useful but lack the funding to make it a reality. The
reports of Uganda in both 1995 and 1996 consistently expressed its openness to
the idea but that it would need to secure funding for this purpose. In the
past CSD sessions, a number of developing countries, such as Pakistan and the
Philippines, were able to include major groups in their delegations to the

The idea is rapidly gaining ground as a useful method among both governmental
and non-governmental actors. Many major groups feel their contribution to the
national Agenda 21 follow up process would be more significant if they could
have greater access to their government delegations at the CSD and greater
dialogue with their governments at home. Many developing country governments
are also acknowledging that working in partnership with local and national
organizations increases the overall success of programmes and policies for
Agenda 21 follow up efforts.

The support of the international community in this area must continue
including exploration of modalities to make funding available. A special fund
specifically created to cover the cost of including major groups in national
delegations to the CSD and other relevant meetings is one idea that has been
proposed in the past by various actors. Short of  such a development, other
options, such as bilateral funding support for this purpose between developed
and developing countries as well as  between developing country governments
and international organizations or large international NGOs could also be
explored and encouraged. Efforts in this direction are particularly important
in the context of the upcoming review of Agenda 21 by a Special Session of the
General Assembly in 1997.

International or bilateral assistance received to support the role of major
groups at the national level.  Country reports provide some supporting
evidence for the fact that many international agencies, from within and
outside the UN family, are working on sustainable development goals in
numerous developing countries and that these projects involve participation of
major groups. For example, the Uganda report mentions UNIFEM and this
organization■s support for the African Women Act on Agenda 21 programme.
However, lack of national information on this issue as well as comprehensive
information on the same from international bodies does not enable further
analysis of trends in this area.

Collaboration with international NGOs and other international organizations of
major groups.  The report of Peru indicated that an obstacle in this area is
that the country does not yet have a central authority for environmental
issues that would help improve collaboration with international NGOs and other
major groups. The report of Uganda indicates there is such collaboration
without further detail. Insufficient information under this issue clouds the
potential that exists given the growing role of large international NGOs as
project funding sources. However, some supporting evidence in this direction
does exist from inputs made by major groups. Several examples in this
direction were reported in the background paper on major groups prepared for
the third session of the CSD.

New or innovative methods. The report of Peru said there are no new and
innovative methods developed by this government for the same reason mentioned
earlier -- that is, lack of a central identifiable government body that can
lead such a process. Uganda mentioned positively the greater role that local
authorities play as a result of the on-going national effort on
decentralization of environment and natural resource management efforts.

Rating of local, national, regional and international major group
organizations. Peru rated the role of all four categories of major groups as
■quite useful■. Uganda rated the role of local and national major groups
higher (■essential■) than that of regional and international major groups
(■constructive and helpful■). Further responses to this question is likely to
provide useful feedback to major groups working at local, national, regional
and international levels.

Suggestions on enhancing and strengthening major group contributions. The
report of Peru mentioned timely and accessible information as well as
centralizing and simplifying national environmental efforts. The suggestion
should be observed in the context of this country■s expressed obstacle to
greater collaboration with major groups -- lack of a central national
authority. Contrary to this view, Uganda suggested that major groups should
recognize the need for decentralization and thus delegation of a greater role
to the level of implementation. 

These two responses provide support for the view that sustainable development
strategies, including those related to participation of major groups, are by
their nature different and dependent on the individual needs of countries.
Further information in this area would help both major groups and
international agencies to target their contributions more effectively
according to real needs and priorities of each country. 

(ii) Countries in transition

Hungary and the Ukraine submitted inputs to the 1996 CSD. 

Hungary did not respond to the National Information Guidelines but submitted
instead a written report that included sections on the role and state of
women, youth, local authorities, business and the scientific communities.
Because of the difference in the formats, information from Hungary is
difficult to compare with information received from other countries. However,
some of the information provided may be useful to summarize. 

Hungary stated that the rapid political and economic changes in the country
are affecting major groups and their participation in ways that are not always
desirable. For example, the report mentioned that women in Hungary continue to
have the legal rights and social expectations to play a role in politics,
economics and culture as has been the case before. However, various support
services that enabled greater participation of Hungarian women have ceased to
exist or become unaffordable to many in the transition process to a market
economy. Thus, the numbers of women in politics, business, and other areas
have been dropping as women find they need to return to being the care-givers
at home.

The report of Hungary also included information on the results of a year-long
initiative of national NGOs to formulate an alternative programme for
sustainable development in Hungary. These efforts have led to recommendations
for structural and functional changes in society, including such areas as
education, institutions, health, industry, trade, and agriculture. Among other
things, the NGOs recommended that economic transition should aim for a eco-
social market economy rather than a pure market economy; develop a new view of
resources; and, adopt a set of economic tools that internalize externalities
and establish various types of taxes on resource use. 

Ukraine■s response to the national information guidelines for CSD96 indicated
major groups participate at the national level and occasionally participate at
the local level. Ukraine did not include major group representatives in its
national delegation to the previous CSD meetings and does not plan to do so
for CSD96 or CSD97. This country also reported that it has not received
special assistance from international and bilateral donors in sustainable
development but it does collaborate with international NGOs such as IUCN and
Friends of the Earth International. Ukraine felt that contribution of local
major groups is ■quite helpful■, national major groups ■constructive and
helpful■, and international major groups ■not very useful■. 

(iii)Developed country experience

Major group participation in the national coordination mechanism. All
responding developed countries indicated that major groups are represented in
their national coordination mechanism. The reports of Germany and the
Netherlands also mentioned coordinating bodies that primarily involve non-
governmental actors. 

In the case of Germany, the German NGO Forum on Environment and Development,
in existence since the beginning of the UNCED process, monitors and promotes
implementation of Agenda 21 as well as the Conventions on  climate change,
biodiversity and desertification at the national and international levels. The
Forum received financial support from the Government. In the Netherlands, the
national Platform for Sustainable Development, involving 50 NGOs and other
major groups, plays a significant role in national sustainable development
efforts by stimulating public debate, conducting reviews of implementation of
Agenda 21 and organizing series of events that enhance dialogue between
experts, major groups and governmental institutions. 

Major group participation in local, national projects, policies and their
implementation. The responding developed countries appear to tend towards
greater participation of major groups in policy, programme design, and
national/local environmental impact assessments than on implementation of
national sustainable development projects.

Including major group representatives in national delegations to the CSD.
Iceland reported that it has not included major groups in the national
delegation to the past CSD meetings and is not planning to do so in the
future. This country explains that the major groups have various ways to take
part in Agenda 21 follow up at the national level. Germany, the Netherlands,
Sweden, the United Kingdom and the United States have included major group
representatives in their delegations to the CSD in the past and, except for
Germany, they plan to do so in 1996 and 1997. In addition, Sweden and the
Netherlands are planning to do the same in the context of Habitat II and
Sweden is planning to include major groups in its delegation to the Special
Session of the General Assembly in 1997. 

Collaboration with international NGOs and other international organizations of
major groups. Iceland reported that such collaboration takes place indirectly,
through informal consultations. The Netherlands and Sweden collaborate with
international NGOs and provided several examples. For example, the Netherlands
has collaborated with Friends of the Earth International, the Earth Council,
Centre for Our Common Future, and the Regional Environmental Centre for
Central and Eastern European countries. Similarly, Sweden reported its
collaboration with Greenpeace International, WWF, IUCN, and the Stockholm
Environment Institute. 

Bilateral or multilateral initiatives of the government in this area.  The
Netherlands and Sweden provided examples of their initiatives. The Netherlands
listed its support to the Sustainable Europe Study carried out by Friends of
the Earth International and the Earth Charter Project currently being promoted
by the Earth Council. Sweden indicated that it has provided bilateral support
to a global Water Survey conducted by the Stockholm Environment Institute and
for consultations on toxic chemicals to Greenpeace. 

New or innovative methods. In this area Iceland mentioned the positive results
of national sectoral working groups that involve major groups. The
Netherlands■ report mentioned several bilateral sustainable development
treaties with the Governments of Bhutan, Benin and Costa Rica. These projects
involve NGOs and other major groups in their implementation. Sweden mentioned
the benefit of consultation processes on sustainable development issues with
representatives from all major groups. 

Rating of local, national, regional and international major group
organizations. In this area Sweden placed a higher rating for the role of
local major groups than (■essential■ rating) Iceland and the Netherlands
(■constructive and helpful■ rating). On the role of national major groups both
Sweden and the Netherlands rated the role of national major groups as
■essential■ while Iceland rated it as ■constructive and useful■. Regional and
international major groups received lower ratings than the first two
categories by all three countries. 

Suggestions on enhancing and strengthening major group contributions. The
Netherlands and Sweden made several suggestions. Both mentioned including
major groups in national delegations as a useful approach. The Netherlands
also mentioned involving major groups in meetings that prepare national
delegations sent to sustainable development related  meetings. Sweden also
added transparency and open decision making processes and financial support as
ways that enhance and strengthen major group participation. 

Although they are more anecdotal than clearly discernible trends, the examples
of collaboration, cooperation and participation of major groups in national
mechanisms, projects and programmes are promising. However promising is not a
big step towards achieving the objectives of Agenda 21. The latter is a task
that requires a lot more than a handful of promising examples in a small
number of countries. The task ahead is to enable a stronger global
participatory trend as befitting to the requirements of Agenda 21 with respect
to true and effective collaboration, cooperation and partnership. This
requires, among other things, a more concerted and consistent awareness
raising and information dissemination campaign to empower major groups towards
taking action. A second essential layer of action is to create technical and
financial support systems that enable more effective use of the capacity and
potential of major groups.

C.   Experiences of inter-governmental bodies

For the CSD96 reporting process, the following UN agencies and other inter-
governmental bodies submitted reports: the European Community, FAO, IAEA,
UNESCO, UNICEF, and WFP. Information related to major groups was also
extracted from the inputs of ESCWA, Habitat, UNDP, UNEP, and UNSO/UNDP to
other sectoral and cross-sectoral topics of Agenda 21. Publications and
Internet sites of international organizations were also searched for further
materials. The latter provided information on major groups related work of the
World Bank, the Asian Development Bank and the Commonwealth. In addition,
information from the Fourth World Conference on Women in Beijing (1995), the
preparatory process of Habitat II conference   (Istanbul, June 1996) and
lessons learned from the World Summit for Social Development (Copenhagen,
1995) were also utilized.

Inputs from the UN agencies and other inter-governmental organizations on the
extent, quality and quantity of their work with and for major group
organizations were fewer in this cycle of the monitoring exercise compared to
the previous two cycles (1994 and 1995). 

However, fewer reports does not imply that interaction or collaboration
between major groups and inter-governmental bodies on Agenda 21 related issues
is decreasing. On the contrary, UN agencies and other inter-governmental
bodies not only continue to work with a range of issues related to major
groups and their role in achieving a sustainable future, but also show a
growing interest in and more focus on understanding, supporting and
encouraging the role of major groups in both Agenda 21 follow up and other
international processes.

There is a growing awareness and acknowledgment among all UN bodies about the
rapid expansion of the non-governmental sectors and its impact on the UN-NGO
relationship. There have been several recent developments in the UN
Secretariat regarding this issue. For example, an Open-ended Working Group of
the Committee on NGOs is in the process of reviewing ECOSOC Resolution 1296,
to determine whether and what kind of revisions it would need. This resolution
outlines the arrangements for NGO participation in ECOSOC and its subsidiary
bodies. The last meeting of the Open-ended Working Group, in January 1996, has
reached consensus on a number of issues. One area of agreement was to broaden
the type of NGOs that can be in consultative relationship with the ECOSOC to
include international as well as national, sub-regional and regional NGOs. 

Another development in the area of UN-NGO relationships in general was the
creation of an Inter-departmental Working Group on relations with NGOs,
chaired by an Assistant Secretary-General who is also designated as the Focal
Point in the Secretary-General■s office on all matters pertaining to NGOs. The
Working Group will focus on innovative ways and mechanisms as well as a
concerted strategy to benefit from relations with the NGO community and make
appropriate proposals to the UN Secretary-General. The announcement
establishing the Inter-departmental Working Group emphasized that the group
would aim at improving the Organization■s knowledge of the increasingly
complex universe of non-governmental organizations and developing common
approaches to collaborative relations between them and the United Nations. 

Other parts of the UN Secretariat are also gearing up to better coordinate
their activities related to NGOs and other major groups. For example, the
Department for Policy Coordination and Sustainable Development has recently
formalized a Departmental NGO task force that has met several times during
1994-1995 on an ad hoc basis. The DPCSD NGO Task Force will be a coordinating
group involving all NGO/major group focal points in the Department, and will
facilitate sharing of experiences and coordinating activities among the
NGO/major group focal points of the Department. The Task Force will also work
on developing a common Departmental data-base on NGOs to increase the
efficiency of their links with non-governmental communities.
(i)  Agencies and other bodies of the United Nations

A number of cases selected from the available information may help illustrate
the diverse ways in which inter-governmental bodies contribute to enhancing
the role of major groups in sustainable development. These cases are selected
for illustrative purposes only.-- they do not depict the full extent of the
work of UN Agencies or other inter-governmental bodies involving major groups.

National Agenda 21 implementation support: cases from UNDP.  The United
Nations Development Programme is a leading agency in assisting Agenda 21
implementation at the national level. UNDP provides this support through
several programmes including Capacity 21, Africa 2000 and the GEF Small Grants
Programme. The information from UNDP lists numerous examples on country action
programmes for Agenda 21. These programmes often involve major groups as
implementing partners or as target groups. For example, an environmental
awareness programme in Viet Nam is implemented by the national Youth Union and
almost all project staff are women. In Lesotho, workshops were organized
targeting business (to raise awareness on this group■s role in promoting sound
environmental management) and the media. In Mongolia, the national action plan
will involve women, youth and other major groups at the local level and sub-
district action plans will be developed through community participation.

Institutional changes to better respond to the sustainable development
challenge: a case of FAO.  The Food and Agriculture Organization created a new
Unit to facilitate FAO■s cooperation with NGOs. This Unit is located in the
Technical Cooperation Department of FAO. In addition, the new Sustainable
Development Department, through its People■s Participation Service, will
continue to address participation of farmers, indigenous peoples, trade unions
and other rural people■s associations.

Setting priority target groups for programme support: a case from UNESCO. The
report of the United Nations Education Science and Culture Organization to
CSD96  explains that its 28th General Conference (October-November 1995)
■designated women and young people ... as priority target groups for its
action during the six-year period of its new Medium Term Strategy 1996-2001■■.
The decision will lead UNESCO to devote a substantial proportion of its
efforts and resources to the target groups ■to make a significant contribution
in its fields of competence to improving the conditions of those groups■. 

Providing financial and technical support: a case from UNSO/UNDP. The United
Nations Office to Combat Desertification and Drought (UNSO) is promoting and
strengthening the role of major groups in recipient countries by, providing
technical support to the development of conceptual frameworks for effective
participation in the National Action Programme process, and financial and
technical assistance to the NGO Network on Desertification (known as RIOD) as
well as to member organizations within this network. The latter includes a US$
36,750 grant to African NGOs working on combating desertification under
National Action Programmes. 

Assisting major groups with articulating their views and being heard by
decision makers: cases from UNEP and UNICEF. The United Nations Environment
Programme and the United Nations Children■s Fund have each organized
programmes to help children and youth express their views, expectations and
demands from decision makers.

Box 3: Excerpts from the list of 26 Challenges made by participants of the
Eastbourne International Children■s Conference on Environment

We challenge all governments of the world to spend a fair proportion of fuel
tax on cycle lanes and cheaper means of transport
■We challenge the governments to use money from tourism to take care of
wildlife areas and endangered species
■We challenge the governments of the world to ban import of endangered species
and put some of their money and power into saving their habitats
■We challenge the governments of each and every country to learn how to be
friendly to the environment and put their findings into actions by being
environmentally friendly in every possible way
■We challenge the governments of the world to promote environmentally friendly
alternative technology like geo-thermal power. By doing this jobs are created
which is good for economies everywhere
■We challenge the UN to compel the governments to accept our challenges

(This conference was Organized by UNEP with support of the Eastbourne Borough 
Council and British Airways.)

UNEP organized the first International Children■s Conference on the
Environment. This meeting brought together 800 children from 83 countries in
Eastbourne, United Kingdom. The conference proceedings included dozens of
presentations, workshops, and excursions as well as a collection of challenges
by children made to Governments as well as to the media and the private
sector. (See Box 3 for excerpts)

UNICEF has conducted a similar exercise on the electronic networks (the
Internet). The Voices of Youth  project, organized in the context of the World
Summit for Social Development (Copenhagen, 1995), was a World Wide Web site
through which young people sent messages to leaders of the world on a range of
issues from environment to poverty. During the six weeks preceding the Summit
over 3,000 messages were received from young people in 81 countries. The
project grasped the attention of many leaders from governments, NGOs and
inter-governmental organizations some of whom sent responses to the young
people (See Box 4 for examples). This site is not receiving new messages at
present but is still available as an information source. UNICEF plans to
publish the youth messages in book format. 

Box 4: Examples from Voices of Youth project

I wish people would not pollute because the world is not a junkyard. I wish
people would not throw things around like in the streets or the lakes, ponds,
rivers and oceans because it stinks and it is bad for people.  
Egypt, Age 8

I think to take better care of the environment we should cut down on waste and
stop dumping things in the ocean because it poisons fish and when people eat
the fish they could become ill. We should also have a world clean up day like
Australia has a clean up day. Yours faithfully. Australia,  age 11

We can take better care of the environment by passing a law to stop cutting of
trees. Severe penalties should be imposed on the offender. There should be a
rule to plant four trees for every one cut. Because of our carelessness plant
and animal life is dying out. Animals are shot down for money. Our world is
becoming polluted and cruel. This should be stopped. I have voiced my opinion
and would be grateful if some notice is taken. 
India, age 10

Training and capacity building: a case from IAEA. The International Atomic
Energy Agency reports that it is providing training to ■ensure expansion of a
resource base of women scientists and technologists■. According to the Agency,
the number of women in its training programmes has been increasing as well as
the number of women nominated by their national authorities as project

Raising awareness and research: cases from ESCWA, World Bank. The Economic And
Social Commission for Western Asia reported a number of research projects that
compliment its technical assistance projects in this part of the world. The
Commission produced case-studies and other research on the condition of women
in specific industrial sectors in the countries of this region.

The World Bank continues to produce studies that focus on the participation
and role of a range of major groups as part of its Participation Series. Among
other titles, the series include studies on Participation and Indigenous
People, Designing Community Based Development, Participation in Education and
Participation in Forest and Conservation Management. The studies are products
of the Bank■s internal Participation Learning Group.  These studies provide
useful information for international and national organizations that are
involved in project design and implementation. For example, the study on
Indigenous People and Participation identifies several key elements that
project managers should keep in mind when designing or implementing a project
whose primary beneficiary is a group of indigenous people. Some of the
elements listed include legal and policy framework, rights to land and
national resources, culturally appropriate communication, and building on
traditional rights. 

Catalyzing dialogue and commitment: a case from UNEP. In late 1995, the United
Nations Environment Programme, finalized a series of discussions it initiated
with the banking industry. The discussions focused on the role of banks in
sustainable development and resulted with a Statement signed by 82 banks (as
of September 95) based in developed and developing countries as well as in
countries in transition. Some of the signatories were banks with operations
around the world. The Statement included several agreed general principles of
sustainable development, as well as commitments for environmental management
practices in the banks■ operations and for public awareness and communication.
(See Box 5 for examples)

Box 5: Excerpts from the Statement by Banks on the Environment and Sustainable

We regard sustainable development as a fundamental aspect of sound business
management. Principle 1.2

We subscribe to the precautionary approach to environmental management which
strives to anticipate and prevent potential environmental degradation. 
Principle 2.1

We will, in our domestic and international operations, endeavor to apply the
same standards of environmental risk assessment. 
Principle 2.4

We will foster openness and dialogue relating to environmental management with
all relevant audiences, including governments, clients, employees,
shareholders and the public. 
Principle 3.2

Developing strategies and frameworks for better partnerships with major
groups: case from the World Bank.  The World Bank has made significant efforts
to increase the Bank■s transparency and openness to participation of non-
governmental actors. As part of these efforts, the Bank has drafted a strategy
on improving the Bank■s linkages with NGOs. The strategy paper has been
finalized and is available. Among other things, the strategy paper provides a
brief analysis of the type of roles NGOs play in development (mainly
operational and advocacy roles), outlines why partnerships and dialogue with
NGOs are important for the Bank (such as their expertise, scale, links with
donors), and describes the evolution of NGO activities in the overall
development process during the last two decades as well as the opportunities
and challenges that these developments have posed to the Bank. A strategy
aiming to increase partnerships, encourage a more enabling environment for
NGOs at the grassroots level in donor countries and more active engagement
between the Bank is mapped out. The Bank has also organized a workshop on the
same issue in January 1996.

Formulating strategies and frameworks on relationships with NGOs and other
major groups has been an effort for many intergovernmental and international
organizations. These efforts reflect the growing role of non-governmental
communities around the world as project partners, sources of expertise and
resources, and as effective ways to link local concerns with global processes.
(ii) Non-UN Inter-governmental organizations

Developing strategies and frameworks to improve collaboration with major
groups: the cases of the Commonwealth and the ADB. The growing focus by
international organization on how to improve their relationships with the non-
governmental sectors was also a part of the work of the Commonwealth and the
Asian Development Bank. 

The Second Commonwealth NGO Forum (in June 1995) endorsed a document titled
Non-governmental Organizations: Guidelines for Good Policy and Practice. This
document describes what NGOs are accomplishing in the Commonwealth countries
and around the world and sets out guidelines to improve their impact and
effectiveness. The Guidelines are presented against the background of tangible
facts and figures about NGO role in the Commonwealth countries. This
background information includes such facts as numbers of NGOs, local and
community groups in the Commonwealth countries, their membership and project
reach, and the growing financial turn over rates. The Guidelines were a result
of a two-year process of consultations and discussions involving NGOs,
governments and other institutions of the Commonwealth countries, coordinated
by the Commonwealth Foundation.

In a similar vein the Asian Development Bank has published a paper on ADB and
NGOs: Growing Together which outlines the new direction in the development
thinking of the Bank due to the recent participatory trends in the region. 
The Bank aims to establish a closer cooperation with NGOs through information
sharing, project level practical assistance and co-financing. It will also
continue holding consultations with NGOs and organize various country level
meetings and conferences to promote greater cooperation with non-governmental

This paper is part of ADB■s overall efforts to increase its cooperation with
non-governmental actors, starting with its policy framework for cooperating
with NGOs adopted in 1987. This paper also provides numerous examples on how
NGOs make a positive difference at the grassroots, in communities and with
marginalized and disadvantaged groups of people.

Enabling dialogue: the case of the European Union. The report of the European
Union to CSD96 listed a number of opportunities that this inter-governmental
body provided for greater dialogue with NGOs and other major groups of the
region. For example, in 1995 the Commission organized roundtable discussions
with environmental NGOs as part of the review process of the Fifth Programme.
In addition, the Commission■s dialogue with business and industry as well as
with local and regional authorities in Europe was intensified. The latter
dialogue has led to the adoption of the Alborg Charter signed by 135 European
cities as well as to the Valencia Charter signed by European Regional
authorities.  Both these instruments reflect the signatories and the European
Union■s commitment to sustainable development. 
(iii)Partnerships for Special Events at the CSD

A number of UN agencies took part in the preparation of special events for the
annual CSD sessions. These events included the Day of Local Authorities for
CSD95, the Day of the Workplace for CSD96, and the Youth Inter-sessional
process for CSD96 and beyond. See Table 2 for a summary of the partnerships
developed under these special events, including governmental support when

Table 2: Summary of partners in the special events organized for the CSD

Special Event: Day of Local Authorities (CSD95)
Major Group partners : ICLEI (with UTA). 
UN Agency partners: DPCSD, UNCHS/Habitat
Government Support: Japan, UK

Special Event: Day of the Workplace (CSD96)
Major Group partners: ICC-- USCIB, ICFTU, INEM
UN Agency partners: ILO, UNEP
Government support: --

Special Event: Youth Inter-sessional (CSD96)
Major Group partners: Earth Council, Rescue Mission, q2000 (on behalf of the
Youth WG for CSD)
Government support: Finland, Sweden, Switzerland

The Day of Local Authorities was the first of these special events and
involved the collaboration of a major group partner representing the local
authorities (International Council for Local Environmental Initiatives), a UN
agency (the United Nations Centre for Human Settlements) and the CSD
Secretariat. This small scale format was expanded in the preparations for the
Day of the Workplace and the Youth Inter-sessional coordination.  The latter
two events were led by a Planning Group and a Steering Committee respectively.

The Steering Committee of the Youth Inter-sessional involved representatives
from 5 UN agencies (UNDP, UNEP, UNESCO, UNFPA, and UNICEF), three major group
partners (Earth Council, Peace Child International and the Youth NGO Working
Group for the CSD) as well as the Division for Social Development  of DPCSD
and the CSD Secretariat.  Similarly, the Planning Group of the Day of the
Workplace included partners from business (International Chambers of Commerce,
International Network for Environmental Management and the US Council for
International Business) from workers (International Confederation of Free
Trade Unions), and 2 UN agencies (the International Labour Organization and
UNEP Industry and Environment Office) as well as the CSD Secretariat. 

These special events focus on bringing case studies of major group initiatives
that contributed to the implementation of Agenda 21 to the attention of the
CSD. A particular effort is on helping bring information from the sources,
such as presentations made by municipal leaders in the Day of Local
Authorities, or by young people themselves in the Youth Panel. 

The UN Agency partners in these processes not only collaborated by sharing
their expertise but also by making their networks and contacts available to
the preparation processes. In some cases they also contributed financial and
other resources. For example, UNEP, UNESCO, UNICEF as well as the Department
for Policy Coordination and Sustainable Development, provided financial
support to the Youth Inter-sessional process. UNEP also provided other
resources to help with the regional  youth meetings organized in Africa.
Similarly, ILO provided financial and other resources to the preparation of
case-studies on the contributions and initiatives of labor unions to
sustainable development. 

The processes for the special events were excellent instances in which major
group partners led the process in terms of setting the content and managing
the preparations while the UN agency partners shared expertise and provided
advisory services. All decisions in preparing these events were by consensus.
The process also mobilized many networks both existing and new,  among major
groups and with the UN agencies involved. 

In addition to providing the CSD meetings with information from the source,
these efforts also catalyzed and mobilized major groups to take on longer-term
plans such as setting in motion processes that would help produce
comprehensive inputs on their sector contributions to Agenda 21 for the five-
year review by a special session of the General Assembly in 1997. The support
of UN agencies involved in these special events appear to have  been an added
incentive for the major group partners to take on more ambitious goals than
they would have without the experience of working together to organize the
special events.

D.   Issues related to financial and capacity building partnerships

Germany, Iceland, the Netherlands, Sweden  and Uganda responded to this
question. Germany reported that it provided over DM 2 million in 1995 to
support activities of environment and development  NGOs. Various awareness
raising programmes through school and non-school projects are also supported.
This country also reported that it has raised additional revenues for
environmental protection projects through sales of special postage stamps by
the German Post Office. These sales raised a total of DM 3.7 million in 1994
and 1995.

Iceland, consistent with its report last year, indicated that major groups in
this country maintain their financial independence but they receive some
government support ■one way or another■. 

The Netherlands reported that its has provided US$ 9 million to NGO for
projects and as structural subsidies; US$ 135 million to research and
development (going through the scientific and technological communities); US$
60 million to local authorities; US$ 3 million to Youth and related
environmental education projects; US$ 75 million to business and industry, and
US$ 280,000 to women■s organizations and issues. Sweden reported that it
annually provides US$ 1 million to local authorities and youth. Uganda
reported that it supports district environment offices, and by extension the
local authorities, under the capacity building for environmental management

Inputs from UN Agencies did not provide detail in this area. However, there
appears to be efforts to channel development assistance funds through NGOs and
major groups as well as efforts to increase direct participation of major
groups in project implementation.

Financial and technical capacity continues to be a problem for most major
groups, particularly those that are small, local or community-based
organizations that do not always have access to multilateral or bilateral
funding sources. There are instances of funding through private sources for
such organizations, such as the work of Community Aid Abroad of Australia,
described briefly earlier in this paper. However, it appears that there is
need for further efforts to increase funding for major group activities in
sustainable development. This need is particularly salient for direct funding
for projects, training and institutional infrastructure building.

III. Conclusions and Recommendations

A.   Conclusions

Major groups continue to show a sustained commitment to the goals of Agenda 21
at the local, national, sub-regional, regional and international levels. The
inputs received as of 31 January 1996 (from 100 organizations) were more than
twice those received for CSD95 (from 41 organizations). These inputs indicated
that major groups continue to open new avenues for dialogue, collaboration and
cooperation through participation in Agenda 21 monitoring and implementation
activities wherever possible. Major groups continue to be active in the CSD
itself, including its inter-sessional meetings. The special major group
related events prepared for the Commission■s meetings appear to have a
positive effect regarding a more direct involvement by selected actors from
among a major group sector. 

Country reports indicate there is continuing efforts to increase major group
participation in national decision making processes, and the national
coordination mechanisms. Most countries find the contributions from local,
national, regional and international major groups useful to their national
efforts. There are also indications that some countries are planning to
include major groups in their national delegations to the CSD. 

International organizations appear to focus more closely on the role of non-
governmental actors in their activities in general. Inputs and exchange with
international organizations show various levels of efforts to develop
NGO/major group strategies, frameworks and guidelines as a way to increase
overall cooperation and collaboration. 
Several obstacles continue to exist. Finance (for projects as well as for
training and institutional capacity building) remains an obstacle. Current
participatory arrangements are found to be lacking in the face of growing need
to share ideas, collaborate on projects, and increase overall commitment of
all actors at all levels. Demands for more predictable, somewhat formalized,
reliable and equal partnership opportunities in international and national
decision making bodies are gaining the support of major group organizations of
all sizes and geographical locations. 

These demands appear to be a healthy outcome of the Agenda 21 implementation
process itself. At present, Agenda 21 implementation and monitoring efforts
focus less on general sustainable development issues and more on their
specific aspects. Major group actors feel they can make significant
contributions with greater impact on the increasingly specialized discussions
if they could participate under more predictable, tangible and somewhat
formalized modalities. Further action to enhance national level participation
is desirable given that Agenda 21 objectives require concerted implementation
effort at the international, regional, national and local levels. The
catalytic role of large international NGOs, as well as regional and
international multilateral actors appear to become increasingly important in
brokering strategic partnerships between the governments and major groups.

At the international level, there appears to be further need to increase the
overall transparency and direct participation opportunities for major groups.
A particular area in this context, is the growing demands from major group
organizations for greater openness, transparency and participation in the
■Bretton Woods institutions■. While many major group organizations recognize
the recent efforts made by such bodies as the World Bank to increase
participation of the non-governmental sectors in its project design and
implementation processes, they also call for further efforts along these lines
by other multi-lateral financial and trade organizations.

B.   Recommendations for future action

Major groups related recommendations that may be adopted by the fourth session
of the CSD have a particular significance given the upcoming first five-year
review of Agenda 21 follow up by a special session of the General Assembly, in
June 1997. 

The analysis of inputs on major groups indicate at least three areas in which
further work needs to be done to encourage, enhance and enable the type of
participation that Agenda 21 envisions. These areas include: information
collection and dissemination, participatory arrangements, and programming
(i)  Information dissemination and collection

Information is essential to effective participation. Collection of useful
information and its dissemination in a timely, and accessible manner increases
transparency and the element of trust in an international effort. In the
1990s, the most important aspect of information is not its quantity but rather
its quality, or how useful and relevant it is to the user. Some areas of work
that can increase information collection and dissemination include:

Further development of simple and accessible information collection tools that
assist local people to take a more active role in assessing local
environmental conditions. Major group organizations, particularly those at the
local levels, have less access to various information data-bases and methods,
including monitoring tools. Capacity in these areas helps a community to (i)
develop a base-line for its local environmental problems and development
needs, and establish its priorities and strategies accordingly, and (ii) share
its local monitoring results with others around the world to assess overall
progress. Thus, developing simplified information collection methods and tools
and disseminating them widely among local major groups will help both the
local decisions and those at the national, regional and international levels.
There is a significant role in this area for international organizations,
including UN agencies and large NGOs, that have developed tools and kits for
monitoring local conditions, and have the network through which these
tools/kits can be more widely disseminated. 

More comprehensive reporting on Agenda 21 to the CSD.  The overall monitoring
of Agenda 21 will produce more substantial results as reporting moves closer
to achieving comprehensiveness. This is not only relevant to reporting by
countries and inter-governmental bodies but equally to information provided by
major group actors. Although some special programming efforts, such as the Day
of the Workplace or the Day of Local Authorities have increased knowledge of
the respective major group sectors■ activities, the existing knowledge is far
from giving a comprehensive picture. The reporting process could particularly
benefit from more information made available by business and industry,
indigenous people, women and farmers.

Data-base development. Many major group organizations as well as other
governmental and inter-governmental actors in Agenda 21 follow up are
increasingly requesting information on the role and participation of major
groups. Although a preliminary data-base in this direction has been created,
as requested by the CSD in 1995, further efforts need to be made. A potential
exists in reviewing current data-bases particularly among the major group
communities and explore how they can be linked. Some NGOs have an interest in
collaborating on this issue especially if the efforts aim to make the data-
base electronically available for all concerned parties. This initiative could
also be useful in collecting information on alternative approaches and methods
developed by major groups on sustainable development and make this set of data
available to all others to benefit and build upon. Such a review could include
collecting and assessing the usefulness of alternatives in changing
consumption and production patterns, human settlements, sustainable
agriculture and conservation of biodiversity. 
(ii) Participatory arrangements

As the work of the CSD progresses, there is increasing focus by major groups
on specific issues through institutional mechanisms, such as the Inter-
governmental Panel on Forests, or through formulation of work programmes, such
as those on transfer of technology or on sustainable development indicators.
As the sustainable development discussions get deeper into specific areas,
major group actors will need better participatory arrangements to allow for
their optimal inputs. 

The efforts of countries to include major group representatives in their
national delegation are positive and need to continue. Particularly in the
context of the 1997 review process. Further initiatives to include major
groups in national delegations need to be emphasized. A number of other
suggestions in this context include the following:

Establishing predictable, transparent and open participation structures at the
national level. Global objectives need the fertile ground of local and
national commitment to flourish. This is stressed in Agenda 21, which puts
local and national efforts at the core of the follow up process. The existing
examples of national efforts to include major groups in national sustainable
development discussions as well as in related project design and
implementation are positive steps. Similarly, the efforts of major groups,
particularly those of local authorities, to involve local communities and
organizations in sustainable development decision making are welcome
developments. However, many of these efforts remain as stand-alone examples of
best-practice rather than a globally shared strategy that stresses consensus
building and dialogue with all the relevant actors. Further and sustained
efforts in this area are essential.

Several tangible steps could be discerned. One area that may deserve attention
is partnerships between national governments and local authorities. Such
partnerships could explore how broad-based consultative mechanisms at the
local and national levels could further the common goals of sustainability.
Another area of focus could be additional efforts to raise the awareness of
the general population at the local and national levels about the existing
sustainable development institutions and the rules for broad public
participation in them. In many cases, major groups, particularly the local and
grass-roots organizations, do not yet seem to know that national or local
participatory mechanisms exist and that they can participate in these
processes. Finding openings for exchange of views and consultative decision
making needs to be a shared responsibility rather than a challenge that
belongs to major group or governmental actors alone. There is an overall need
to overcome established perceptions and prejudices by focusing on common

Allowing for more direct and effective participation at the international
level. A number of positive participatory precedents have been set in the CSD
as well as other fora. These include allowing non-governmental participants to
take a more active part in the negotiations, to include non-governmental
actors in informal groups and to make room for non-governmental views in
preparing proposals, reports and other documents.  For example, during the
last two years, some reporting exercises for the CSD involved more regular and
direct contacts with NGOs and other major groups through informal e-mail lists
or other methods. At the CSD, NGOs and major groups have been enjoying a
relatively more open and transparent participatory process. 

Similarly, the discussions at the first Inter-governmental Panel on Forests
allowed for non-governmental statements and inputs during the negotiations.
Some working groups of the meeting of the COP II for the Convention on
Biological Diversity were chaired by an NGO participant. The Prepcomms for
Habitat II and the participation of local authorities and other relevant
actors have illustrated the dynamism which partnerships bring to the
Conference process. The rules of procedure for Habitat II, in particular Rule
61, provides a special status for the participation of local authorities in
the Conference, its Main Committees, and, as appropriate, any other committee.

Some of these precedents may need to be formalized, particularly given that
these precedents appear to have increased the trust, collaboration and
cooperation between non-governmental and governmental actors at the
international level. It may be useful to collect more information on such
precedents and explore, with the 1997 in mind, how these experiences can be
put to use in the post-97 period of sustainable development efforts.

Exploring ways to harmonize participation rules at the international level.
The UN agencies and other regional and international inter-governmental bodies
have taken steps to increase their collaboration and cooperation with major
groups under the sustainable development issues within their fields of
competence. While these efforts have been welcome by major groups, the
diversity among the participation rules and requirements adopted by the
various organizations continue to be confusing, and time consuming. 

NGOs and major groups are often oriented to themes rather than institutional
processes. The latter usually have different participatory arrangements for
non-governmental actors. Although the difference may make sense for
institutional reasons, it creates unnecessary confusion and loss of time for
the major groups, when they try to deal with the arrangements, or they create
a barrier to sharing of thematic experiences between major groups and
international organizations.

An initiative in this context could be a review of arrangements for
participation, including the various frameworks, guidelines and strategies
developed by international bodies, in an informal committee composed of
representatives from international bodies and major groups working on
sustainable development issues. Such a committee could submit the results of
its deliberations to the fifth session of the CSD.

Preserving the baseline of non-governmental participation in the CSD itself
and expanding the participatory basis. A total of 570 NGOs, from among the
1400 who participated in UNCED, were placed on the roster after the conference
and are presently on ECOSOC■s Roster list as a result of ECOSOC decision
E/1993/215 para 2(c). These NGOs have been a valuable part of the work of the
Commission including its various inter-sessional activities and have been
instrumental in maintaining sustainable development high on the local,
national and international agendas. It is important to preserve this base-line
of active non-governmental participants in the CSD. An action in this
direction could be efforts to ensure that they are confirmed as having regular
ECOSOC Roster Status. 

There are also a growing number of NGOs and other major group organizations
that wish to become an active part of the CSD and related processes. Many,
since the Earth Summit, have reformulated their priorities and programmes to
increase their organizational capacity to make a contribution to the global
sustainable development efforts. Enabling their participation in the
international fora is an effective way to increase awareness of sustainable
development and Agenda 21 around the world and gaining further momentum for
the follow up process. Efforts that facilitate the entry of new organizations
into the fold of active major groups in the CSD and other related
international fora will be useful and should be considered.
(iii)Programme support

Inputs from major groups indicate the existence of a great deal of major group
based programming to implement the activities of Agenda 21. Some examples,
including various collaborative technical assistance programmes, are reported
earlier in this paper as well as in other background papers on major group
prepared for the previous CSD sessions. These on-going activities will
flourish and multiply if they are consistently supported and encouraged.  Some
activities that could help this process include:

Support for networking. Major group organizations are continuing their
networking efforts in order to increase exchanges between major groups on
thematic areas of Agenda 21 follow up. These networks create a fertile ground
for consensus building at the national, regional and international levels as
well as increase awareness of the UNCED follow up process among the non-
governmental actors. The networking efforts need sustained support from
governments and international organizations in order for the networks to
continue with their valuable contributions to building consensus and setting
common priorities. The type of support that the networks need range from basic
equipment to finance and training.

Supporting and catalyzing special major group events in the CSD. The
contributions of the Day of Local Authorities, the Day of the Workplace and
the Youth Inter-sessional have been very positive in terms of creating well-
focused partnerships in the preparation processes and also in terms of
increasing overall awareness about the initiatives generated by actors within
specific major group sectors. The positive experience gained from these events
were in part due to the equal partnerships catalyzed with the major group
partners and their networks. These experiences and modalities of working with
major groups may be useful to build on and disseminate in other arenas. Among
other things, the experiences can be useful guidance for the special events
that may be organized in the context of the 1997 review. 

Supporting and encouraging involvement of all major groups in the 1997 review.
Major group actors have shown that they are fully committed to the goals of
Agenda 21. The level of ownership so far demonstrated needs to be further
encouraged and supported to enable a five-year review in which major group
actors can contribute to its success as they did to the success of UNCED. 
Direct major group participation in the preparations for the 1997 review is
even more salient as this is a review of implementation activities in which
major groups have played a significant role. 

Some major groups have already developed preliminary plans to make a special
contribution to the 1997 review. Among these are the global survey of Local
Agenda 21 initiatives planned by local authorities and an expanded reporting
on young people■s views on Agenda 21 implementation planned by a number of
youth organizations. Similar initiatives from other major groups should be
invited and encouraged. Among such special events for the 1997 review, it
would be desirable to see programmes that focus on the role of indigenous
people, farmers and women. Although individual organizations and actors from
these groups have been active in the CSD process their coordinated and
collective views and experiences, including best-practice or partnership
examples, may need to be brought to the CSD and to the 1997 process.


1/     Major groups refer to the nine civil society sectors that Agenda 21
recognizes in Section III (Chapters 23-32) in terms of their significant
role in achieving its sustainable development goals. The nine groups
include Women, Children and Youth, Indigenous People, NGOs, Local
Authorities, Workers and Trade Unions, Business and Industry,
Scientific and Technological Communities, and Farmers.

2/     The total number reflects inputs received as of 31 January 1996.
As major group organizations continue submitting inputs up until the
CSD meets as well as during the meeting, the final number of inputs is
likely to be higher.

3/     The distribution of major group responses to the Survey  was as
follows: 29 from international organizations, 3 from regional
organizations, 33 from national organizations, 4 from provincial
organizations and  10 from local organizations of major groups. One
response omitted to provide the name of the organization or its location,
although the content of answers indicate this is a national organization
in South America.

4/     ELCI has been requested to conduct this survey by the United
Nations Environment Programme which is in the process of developing
a new strategy for NGO participation in its work.

5/     The World Summit for Social Development accredited 1299 NGOs,
of which 811 were represented by a total of 2,315 non-governmental
participants. The Fourth World Conference on Women accredited 2607 
organizations, and a total of 4,010 representatives from 1700
organizations participated in the conference itself.

6/     For example, at the World Summit for Social Development, in
Copenhagen, the United States announced that it plans to channel up to
40 % of its official development assistance through national and
international non-governmental organizations. 

7/     UTA: United Towns Association; ICC: International Chamber of
Commerce, USCIB: US Council for International Business, ICFTU:
International Confederation of Free Trade Unions; INEM: International
Network for Environmental Management

                                 Annex I

                 Summaries of Major Group inputs to CSD96

(This table includes inputs received as of 31 January 1996. Additional
inputs may have been received after this date. The table is in
alphabetical order by Organization Name. Inputs in this context refer to
reports prepared to express the views/activities of an organization on
one or more issues that are on the agenda of CSD96, other information
on the submitting group■s activities related to Agenda 21
implementation, or responses to the 1996 Survey on Major Groups.
Location refers to the Country that appears in the mailing address of the
organization. In the case of international organizations that have
affiliates or offices in multiple countries, the notation ■[country name]-
HQ■ was used.)

(Information is organized as follows: Organization Name, Location,
Scope of work, responded to the Survey --Yes/No--, Summaries of
additional information)

Additional information was not submitted
Information on activities -- the organization provides services such as
training, consultation, emergency relief, national and international links
and infrastructure development services to its community. Projects focus
particularly on the marginalized and the disadvantaged. Financial and
other support are obstacles to improving the existing services. 
Information on alternative waste management technology applications -
this organization has developed a low-cost and easy-to-install waste
management technology (Sistema Integral de Reciclamiento de
Desechos Organicos-- SIRDO) based on indigenous knowledge from
Mexico and China. The technology not only enables effective
management of domestic  waste and water resources, but also results
in production of an organic fertilizer that is 8-10 times more effective
than the in-organic brands. The installation and use of the SIRDOs
involve full community participation. Projects initiated in seven states of
Mexico have led to significant improvements in human and ecological
health and have helped build local small businesses. The success of the
projects have also attracted media attention. GTA has several new
projects in the works in need of financial support. 
Thailand- HQ
Additional information was not submitted
Report on Combating Poverty --  the report asserts that poor people
lack access to political, economic and cultural decision making
processes, and calls on the CSD to take steps to assure access of all
world citizens to education, employment, land, credit, food, shelter and
health services to enable a life of self-sufficiency and dignity.

Report on Population -- this report points to the lack of basic needs
coverage in the region (nutrition, sanitation, education etc.) and calls on
the region■s governments to give a higher priority to population
programmes (particularly those that focus on educating and empowering
women, young girls and other vulnerable social groups); and calls on
the CSD to invite member States to grant reliable public participation
structures and increase access to information to enable a diversity of
opinions in the public discourse. 
Additional information was not submitted
Additional information was not submitted
Information on projects -- projects focus on research studies, lecture
series, training, international workshops and publications.
Proposal to the CSD -- to organize an international workshop on
sustainable cities and lifestyles in 1997.
Additional information was not submitted
Report of the European Conference on Design for Environment (July
CRID Echos - newsletter of the organization; includes issues focusing
on UNCED and the WSSD. 
Action guides for NGO campaigns

UN Monde a Venir- L■avenir du Monde -- newsletter focusing on
sustainable development and Agenda 21 follow up. 
Reports on two seminars organized by CRID (on population and on Rio

Information on activities -- activities include information services through
publications and seminars; campaigns on a range of issues related to
Agenda 21 follow up. A recent campaign of the CRID network (Pact 21
campaign) focuses on mobilizing local communities to establish Local
Agenda 21 programmes, linking UNCED follow up with Habitat II
Input to CSD96 issues -- includes information on activities related to
atmospheric pollution, collaboration with national/regional major groups,
environmental education,  as well as a set of recommendations. The
main obstacles mentioned in the report are: (i) unstable  financial
resources; (ii) media indifference (compared to media attention that was
available during the UNCED process); (iii) lack of guarantees for
citizens■ participation at the national level; (iv) lack of access to
information; and (v) the need to expand dialogue with governmental
institutions (beyond the ministries of the environment) and with local
authorities. CASA also calls on the international community to
strengthen the legal instruments to prevent climate change, to recall
CFC using/producing machinery, encourage people■s participation, and
request UN bodies to develop and disseminate simplified environmental
monitoring methods.

This organization has been instrumental in the creation of the
Atmosphere Action Network East Asia (AANEA) which includes NGOs
from Korea, China, Hong Kong, Taiwan, Russia, Mongolia and Japan.
Its Citizens Air Pollution Survey (CAPS) was also a collaborative project
involving partnerships with 50 NGOs in South/East Asian and Central
and Eastern European regions. The project, funded by the Japan
Environment Cooperation, aims to promote participation of ■ordinary■
citizens in policy design and decision making processes by engaging
them in pollution monitoring activities. CASA has also organized a series
of lectures during 1995 on -Citizens University on Global Environment:
Part 3 - For the Children■. The 1996 series will hold focus on prevention
of climate change.

Annual report 1993-1994 --  the report provides hundreds of examples
of this organization■s activities which focus on linking indigenous and
developing country communities with those in Australia. Projects in 28
countries are carried out in partnerships with local NGOs and other
groups. A theme for all projects is ■local capacity building and
empowerment■. The organization disbursed over $10 million half of
which were grants of more than $100,000, during 93-94 period. 
Costa Rica
The Earth Council■s work focuses on facilitating and catalyzing major
group involvement in Agenda 21 follow up. A main focus of activities in
1995 was to assist the national councils for sustainable development
(NCSDs) to link at regional levels. The Council organized several
regional meetings for this purpose including meetings of NCSDs in Asia
and in the Americas. A data-base of NCSDs is maintained by the
Council. Another area of recent work of the Earth Council relates to the
Earth Charter which was proposed in UNCED but was not adopted. The
Council plans to promote a revised  charter in the context of the 1997
review of UNCED results at a special session of the General Assembly.

The Earth Council has been active in the CSD and was one of the
partners in organizing the Youth Intersesssional for CSD96. For the YI 
project, the EC has led the preparation of the Youth Information Packet
as a tool to increase  awareness of youth on the background and
current work of the CSD. The Packet has been distributed to youth
networks and is available  for CSD96.
Report on capacity building -- focus of activities in this area is on
institution building including further institutional development of
Ecopeace itself. A computerized data bank for exchange of information
between the region■s NGOs and other major groups is among the first

Report of the Gulf of Aqaba Task Force -- this Task Force focuses on
regional issues of oceans and seas, decision making and education. It
aims to utilize Ecopeace affiliates to bring together other regional
interest groups beyond those focusing on environment and development
issues. Target groups include local authorities, tourism industry, and

Report on integrating environmental considerations into new
development projects -- the activities focus on building an inventory of
newly emerging regional development projects (under the accelerated
development efforts in the region). The strategy is to integrate
environment and development issues into the new projects early in their
development to improve regional sustainable development decision-
Proposals for projects on various environmentally sound technologies
and processes for small and medium sized businesses in the country

Appropriate Low-cost building system criteria -- article that outlines a set
of criteria for low-cost housing including use of local materials, avoiding
high-tech equipment, emphasis on durability, and appropriateness to
local climatic conditions.  
Additional information was not submitted
Additional information was not submitted
Inputs included several information sheets on ENDA■s projects including:

Sustainable Land Use (focuses on research, training, networking.
lobbying and off-farm employment for the overall goal of sustainable
land use. Specific target groups of the project are women, youth and
local communities. About 20 local and national NGOs have committed to
the project by forming a new network which is currently in the process to
raise the funding needed.); 
Rusitu Hydro Power Station project (this is a joint venture of ENDA and
the Zimbabwe Energy Corporation. It aims to invest in the hydropower
station in order to increase local sustainable electricity production which
in turn is helpful to the local agricultural communities. The project is
near completion); 
Sustainable Agriculture project (on-going efforts to foster sustainable
agriculture through farmer-centered demonstrations as well as research
and information dissemination on soil fertility. The project has so far
helped over 250 farmers to switch to more sustainable agricultural
methods and technologies; 
Adaptive Strategies of the poor in arid and semi-arid regions project
(focus is on finding out how local people adapt to climate cycles and
promote successful adaptive mechanisms among communities. The
project has produced as report, a field guide book and a policy paper. It
has also influenced local policies in this area.); and,
Urban Agriculture Project Phase II  (aim is to improve livelihood of the
disadvantaged people in urban locations through research on the extent
of urban agriculture, its environmental effect and its impact on the urban
households. The project, initiated early 1996, is expected to produce
results in 1997) 
Semi-annual Report to Donors and Partners -- the report indicates that,
among other things, ELCI has conducted research on Indigenous
Indicators in Dryland Management, established electronic conferences
on women and environment issues in Africa, and launched a study on
the role of African NGOs in Agenda 21 implementation
ELCI works closely with NGOs and other groups from developing
countries. It has been instrumental in coordinating and building capacity
of developing country NGOs in a number of international processes
including those on desertification, biodiversity and forests. This network
NGO has been active in the CSD and a valuable partner of the CSD
Secretariat in information dissemination and outreach. 
Environmental Business Journal -- this journal provides information
services to business and industry and other interested parties on trends
in the private sectors related to sustainable development including
environmental management initiatives, investment and related regulatory
Blueprint for Sustainable Development of Virginia
Information on projects during 1995
Research reports (Brazil■s Extractive Reserves, Rediscovering the
National Environmental Policy Act).
Activities focus on inter-disciplinary research, analysis and training on
environmental law, as well as on related theory and institutions. Several
dozen projects range from international to local in geographical focus.
Some examples include: a searchable Regulatory Impact Analysis
Database; Wetlands Protection Project (which involves several
components such as National Wetlands Awards, Stewardship on Private
Lands project, and a regular newsletter); and a Citizen■s Handbook on
Environmental Assessment of Projects by Multilateral Funding
Additional information was not submitted
Netherlands- HQ
Right to Know and Public Participation -- this report highlights
transparency and the public right-to-know as essential elements in
Agenda 21 follow up. The participatory methods used by the Economic
commission for Europe in developing the -Guidelines on Access to
Environmental Information and Public Participation in Environmental
Decision Making■ are proposed as a model that could be used by other
international organizations. The FoEI demands detailed legislation and
promotion of a culture of transparency and involvement in the UN

Report on International trade and the environment -- this report provides
examples of FoEI activities focusing on monitoring international
organizations and agreements related to trade and environment issues.
Among the concerns raised are lack of clarity about the relationship
between the CSD and the WTO, and the lack of transparency in the
work of the WTO.

Report on Sustainable Societies: Environmental Space Concept Applied
Globally -- this piece gives a summary of the organization■s activities
under its Sustainable Societies programme which is based on the
■environmental space■ concept that FoEI developed. Some progress in
adoption of and support for this concept is observed in the case of
Denmark, the Netherlands and the European Community. The report
recommends to the CSD to agree on a clear working definition of
sustainable production and consumption patterns and to develop an
international work programme on this issue.

Report on Ozone Depletion -- this report raises two critical issues:
improvements in the Multilateral Fund process under the Montreal
Protocol and the phasing out of Methyl Bromide. Several technical and
political recommendations are made under each.

Information on activities in 1995 -- activities include the development of
Action Plan Sustainable Austria (which utilizes the ■environmental space■
concept developed by Friends of the Earth International and its affiliate
organizations); a one-year training  programme for sustainability
multiplicators (which aims to help national NGOs and government
officials to develop skills in disseminating the sustainable development
principles); and production of regular information sources such as the
Sustainable Austria magazine. The organization also takes part in
Sustainable Europe, a regional project led by FoE International.. 
Costa Rica
Ambio -- a special of issue on forest certification of this regular
newsletter of the organization.
Additional information was not submitted
Switzerland- HQ 
Input on Oceans■contains an overview of NGO contributions to the
various international fora convened on oceans, seas and related issues.
According to Greenpeace, these contributions range from providing
expertise to international discussions to developing, supporting and even
financing community based management programmes for coastal
management. Among other things, the input proposes further
improvements in NGO-UN collaboration in this area.

Additional information was not submitted
Trade and Environment Linkages: A Case study of India - this study was
done in collaboration with UNCTAD and UNDP. It concludes that
developing countries advance technologically in areas where trade is
strong but, in the long-term, further institutional arrangements
particularly in terms of greater information availability on trade,
technology and regulations are necessary; regionally grouped
harmonization of product standards is desirable; and process standards
need to be developed with sensitivity to the assimilative capacity of the
exporting countries as well as the [employment] needs of the people. 

Energy and the Environment -- booklet that describes extensive
research and analysis activities of IGIDR on the topic. 

A number of studies prepared between 1991-1993 were also included in
the input IGIDR is also a project partner within the Capacity 21
programme of UNDP.
Additional information was not submitted
List of services and projects - the organization produces various
information sources in the form of newsletters, studies
bulletins/conferences on the Internet focusing on agriculture and trade
issues including intellectual property and biodiversity, agricultural news
on the regulatory environment (both US and international), monitoring
relevant trade events and organic agricultural production methods.
Brochure -- on the Institute■s services which aim to design dwellings that
are in harmony with their environment. The overall design concept
emphasizes energy efficiency (using mostly solar energy), use of local
resources and materials, and putting recycling and reuse principles in
practical use.
Input on activities - these are related to changing consumption patterns
through education and raising public awareness. IPS has been
collecting and disseminating information on this general topic. The input
makes several recommendations including: there is need to build trust to
reduce barriers to change, the CSD should collect and disseminate
information on alternative lifestyles that are effective as solutions to
economic, social and political problems; and that the CSD should
establish a UN Expert Group to advise governments and institutions on
these topics.
Transportation and Greenhouse - this is a comparative study on the
impact of various fuel sources used in transportation in cities in the US, 
Australia, Canada, Europe and Asia.  The study finds that the cities with
highest provision for public transportation and the lowest provision for
the automobile have the lowest greenhouse gas levels. A conclusion is
that transportation policies are less related to wealth but more to the
infrastructure and land use priorities set at the community/local level,
hence indicating an important potential for local  authorities to change
the transportation patterns. 

Sustainable Cities: concepts, indicators and plans - this article
concludes that the sustainability agenda requires new approaches that
will need to be worked out mostly by communities and through
community good sense.
Additional information was not submitted
Additional information was not submitted
Malta- HQ
Report on Oceans and Seas - the report contains the following: Report
on Cooperation with UNEP/MAP in the framework of Barcelona
Convention and the Mediterranean Action Plan Phase II; Declaration on
the Sustainable Development of the Mediterranean (Adopted  at the
International Workshop on Regional Seas, April 1995); and, Report to
the North Meeting of the contracting parties to the Barcelona Convention

Project Proposal on Interdisciplinary Cooperation for Regional Ocean
Activities of ICCOPS include workshops, research and information
dissemination to encourage greater collaboration between the scientific
community and the decision makers in sustainable development of the
Mediterranean. ICCOPS has also initiated the Ocean 21 project which
involves university students and young researchers and aims to
increase information sharing and exchange among them. The Ocean 21
experience has so far been positive. ICCOPS proposes further
collaboration and information sharing between its member networks and
the various international organizations such as UN agencies whose work
relate to ocean/sea management.
Project profiles on ICSC projects in Katowice (Poland), Quidgdao
(China), Changzhou (China) and Phuket (Thailand). The ICSC focuses
on promoting sustainable development through demonstration projects.
Each project has a technical focus based on the concerned city■s needs
and priorities. For example, in Quingdao, the project focus was on
managing waste, while the Changzhou project worked on introducing
sustainable housing design.
France -HQ
Report on sustainable development activities -- includes activities of the
organization in two main areas: environmental management and cost-
effective environmental policy partnership. Under environmental
management, ICC reports that its Business Charter for Sustainable
Development continues to gain support from business and industry
around the world. The Charter currently has over 2100 company and
business association supporters. Efforts to operationalize the Charter■s
principles have led to an Environmental Management Systems Training
Resource  Kit developed jointly by ICC, UNEP and the International
Federation of Consulting Engineers (FIDIC). Under partnership, ICC
reports on its work related to environmental labeling, climate change,
hazardous waste, biodiversity, prior informed consent, economics of
environment and sustainable forest management. In all these areas ICC
is working closely with the various Convention Secretariats as well as
other relevant bodies. For example, the organization is acting as an
umbrella group to draw industry responses to the proposed Industry
Consultative Mechanism that is being discussed under the Framework
Convention on Climate Change. 

The ICC has been actively involved in the CSD and was one of the
Planning Group members that organized the Day of the Workplace for
Belgium -HQ
Reports from the ICFTU Working Group on Occupational Health, Safety
and the Environment - this group met in October 1995 to review
ICFTU■s activities related to standards; eco-auditing campaign; the Day
of the Workplace preparations for CSD96; harmonization of chemical
classification; implementation of the environmental action programme in
Central and Eastern Europe; women in health, safety and the
environment; and on information and communication. 

From the Ashes: A Toy Factory Fire in Thailand - this is an expose of
workplace accidents through a toy factory case. 

Report of the Second ICFTU World Conference on Trade Union
Education (1994)■the package includes a set of education materials
prepared in connection with various conferences and meetings including
the Cairo 1994 and Copenhagen 1995. 
1995 Annual Survey of Violations of Trade Unions Rights

ICFTU has been active in the CSD process and was a member of the
Planning Group that organized the Day of the Workplace for CSD96.
Switzerland- HQ
Report of the ICA Centennial Congress (Manchester 1995)

Report on Oceans - includes information on two seminars ICA has
organized on sustainable fishing. The ICA Fisheries Committee is
currently discussing a Code of Conduct for Responsible Fishing with
FAO. The report also includes ICA■s activities under poverty (the
positive role of cooperatives in creating employment, protecting
consumer interests, and relevant infrastructure issues), consumption
patterns promoting, investing in and developing environmentally friendly
products), and education (information dissemination through member
organizations in 90 countries).   

ICA has developed and adopted the Cooperative Agenda 21 at its !995
Congress meeting and is currently in the process of implementing this
programme through its member cooperatives and other grassroots
Canada- HQ
Initiatives -- ICLEI■s regular newsletter.
Bulletins on Local Agenda 21 initiatives from San Francisco (CA) and
Jacksonville (FL), United States.
Publications from ICLEI■s affiliates/members 
Biennial Report of ICLEI■s activities
Copies of bulletins prepared as a contribution to the Habitat II process.

ICLEI has launched the Local Agenda 21 programme at UNCED and
has been regularly mobilizing, coordinating, documenting and monitoring
its implementation. Among other activities in 1995, ICLEI has launched
Cities for Climate Protection campaign in Asia, devised a new five-year
strategy to promote global sustainable development through local action,
and organized numerous workshops and other meetings. One of these
meetings, In Japan, brought together, for the first time, 14 municipalities
involved in the Model Communities Programme, with support from the
Government of Japan. Another meeting, Mediterranean Cities Call for
Action, brought together 100 cities from the region in Italy. In addition to
such international and regional events, ICLEI has also been active in
mobilizing national seminars on Local Agenda 21. One such event took
place in Germany and involved representatives from 35 German cities. 
ICLEI feels that its on-going work has helped to inspire hundreds of
communities and municipal leaders to take local responsibility for the
global environment, but that there is need to do more. In this context,
ICLEI■s current strategic plan focuses on, among other things,
measurable targets, use of sophisticated economic instruments, and
strategic partnerships with the private sector.

ICLEI is actively involved in Habitat II and has been active in the CSD
process throughout the Commission■s work. This organization was the
main partner in organizing the Day of Local Authorities for CSD95. A
partnership between ICLEI and the CSD Secretariat is underway for a
global survey of Local Agenda 21 initiatives to produce inputs to Habitat
II and the 1997 review of Agenda 21 by a special session of the UN
General Assembly.
Report on activities relevant to Agenda 21 - activities include
partnerships with the UN system; Forum on Earth System Research;
Committee on Science and Technology in Developing Countries;
working groups on population, energy, Capacity building in science and
Water research; International Geosphere-Biosphere programme; START
network for information exchange and analysis; World Climate research
programme, among other projects
Germany- HQ
Briefings on recent initiatives - INEM has launched the Business and
Environment Twinning Initiative at the Third Ministerial Conference on
Environment for Europe (October 1995, Sofia, Bulgaria). This initiative
aims to link associations or companies of the Central and Eastern
European region with those in other regions of the world to mobilize
sharing of experiences and transfer of know-how. A first step in this
direction involves a twinning arrangement between two INEM affiliates:
the Swedish Association of Environmental Managers and the Latvia
Pollution Prevention Center. A twinning data-base managed by INEM
will facilitate further twinning arrangements which are open to all
interested parties. INEM is active in numerous international fora,
including the European Union, the OECD, AND UNIDO. 

INEM has been an active in the CSD process and was a member of the
Planning Group that organized the Day of the Workplace for CSD96. 
Report on activities - includes information on activities related to
decision making, role as an NGO, transfer of technology, capacity
building  and to oceans and seas. Activities concentrate on training
programmes, research, conference organization, and advisory services.
The report identifies lessons learned and makes a number of
recommendations as follows: (i) International NGOs need to act through
local institutions and in cooperation with regional systems in a
decentralized manner, (ii) high quality and replicable training courses 
have a multiplier effect, (iii) demand for training programmes increase
with increasing sensitization of decision-makers, (iv) coordination
between national governmental agencies, NGOs and regional
institutions is poor and need further networking, (v) NGOs working as
part of an official delegation can have a significant impact on the
outcome, (vi) training in project formulation is helpful for raising project
funding, (vii) networks of local, national, regional and international
institutions help link local initiatives with global needs and requirements,
and (viii) NGOs need assistance to extend their outreach, 
Additional information was not submitted
Japan- HQ
Pamphlet on the organization -- activities include, among other things,
production and dissemination of information materials on mangrove
forests; and training courses in mangrove ecosystem research and
management for local people as well as for NGOs and government
Report on transport and the environment - the report focuses on
transport related aspects of Agenda 21 chapters on Oceans and on
Atmosphere, and points out that both sea and land transport policies will
directly affect transport workers who need to play a vital role in the
related decision making and implementation actions. The Federation
runs regular campaigns to increase awareness of sustainable
development issues among transport workers.  Several technical
recommendations are made regarding internationalization of transport
costs, better coordination of management of transport issues which are
inter-disciplinary by nature, and governmental support for
pilot/experimental efforts in this area. The report also requests the CSD
to invite IMO to urgently address such issues as formulating measure
that eliminate financial gains from non-compliance with internationally
agreed standards on oceans and seas. With regards to the fisheries
issues (under Oceans chapter), the report raises concerns regarding
lack of transparency and participation of fishermen and their trade
unions in relevant decision making processes.  
Ethical Aspects of Law of the Atmosphere - this paper was submitted to
the CSD by decision of the participating member associations of
IUPPEPA at its 10th World Clean Air Congress (Finland 1995). The
paper proposes, among other things, that a ■World authority■ (new or an
existing body strengthened for this function) should establish maximum
use of nitrogen containing fertilizers as well as similar measures on
permissible emissions of methane. 
Additional information was not submitted
Booklet titled Towards Sustainable Development
List of activities related to Agenda 21 (includes information
dissemination to raise awareness on changing consumption patterns,
organizing seminars and other meetings on marine resource
management for local communities, part of ELCI Ecovolunteer program,
participate in the PCSD consultations)
Report of the Local Agenda 21 Survey 1994-1995 - this survey  covered
local authorities in the UK. Some survey results include high
commitment of UK local authorities to Local Agenda 21 process (71%);
obstacles to getting involved in Local Agenda 21 projects is lack of
enthusiasm and support, finance, and information; some have adopted
pubic consultation procedures (27%); developed their own sustainable
development indicators (29%)l used indicators developed by other
organizations (45%); undertook an internal environmental audit (49%).

Guidebooks/pamphlets - including those on Women and Sustainable
Development, Community participation in LA21, North/South linking for
sustainable development, Greening the local economy, Nature
conservation and Local Agenda 21, Sustainable Management of Solid
Wastes, Educating for a sustainable Local Authority, Green Purchasing,
Planning Transport and Sustainability.

Step by Step guide for LA21 - a guide prepared for use of local

Report on the LA21 Sustainability Indicators Project - this project aims
to provide models and guidance to Local Authorities that wish to
develop local sustainable development indicators. 
Additional information was not submitted
Note on activities - focus of activities is on local recycling and reuse that
creates local jobs and involve local people in the process.
Article on Population and Consumption
Copy of statement made to UNCED
Accounting for Change: Indicators for Sustainable Development -- this
publication is  a result of the NEF■s efforts on developing indicators for
sustainable development. The report provides an overview on the need
to develop a set of indicators that can respond to the sustainable
development challenge, as well as examples from efforts of communities
in this area. The report also proposes a practical agenda to move the
on-going work further. The initial essential steps include regular national
sustainability reporting from all countries, expanded local sustainability
reporting to increase learning from local experiences, corporate
sustainability reporting beyond voluntary initiatives in this area, and
public programme reporting. Other actions that are recommended
include bridging technical professionalism and participative competence;
tracking international footprints, exploring southern perspectives building
on sustainable business and building on local successful practices.

The NEF has been active in the CSD process, particularly with regards
to developing indicators. NEF has provided advice to youth groups
involved in the 1996 Youth Inter-sessional on their Indicators for Youth
kit. The report of the Youth Inter-sessional including the results of
testing of the Indicators for Youth kit by young people will be presented
to CSD96.
Newcastle Environmental Management Plan -- this is the City of
Newcastle■s Local Agenda 21 plan. It includes assessments of the state
of air quality, energy use, waste management, biological diversity, land
management and management of hazardous material in the city and
outlines future strategies and time-tables for each topic. This plan was a
result of broad-based participation involving municipal authorities, as
well as local universities, environmental NGOs, utilities and other
industries, and community groups. The City of Newcastle is currently in
the five year implementation phase and will release annual status
reports on progress.
Study on Sustainable Production and Consumption -- This study
promotes the view that -equity within the available environmental space
has to be accepted by everyone as the central principle for effecting and
maintaining sustainability■. The report reviews the related roles of
citizens, households, and governments. A set of specific action points
are also included.  

Social Summit Seen from the South -- collection of articles written by
NGO representatives from developing countries on topics related to the
Copenhagen Social Summit process including human centered
employment and military dimensions of debt. 
Japan- HQ
Planting Seeds for Earth Ethics -- report containing examples of OISCA
International activities around the world. OISCA provides training
services for trainees from 29 countries; and, technical assistance in
agriculture, fishery, and forestry through volunteer experts. The
organization coordinates its activities through its affiliates and offices in 
25 countries. 
Report on activities - efforts focus on combating poverty, population,
atmosphere, oceans, technology transfer, capacity building and
information for decision making. The organization runs income
generating programmes through training/production centers for women
and young people,  rural entrepreneurship training for rural and
indigenous youth, produces documentaries on conservation of local eco-
systems, demonstrates local technologies, and training grassroots
NGOs for more effectiveness. Many activities are carried out in 
partnership with International organizations, national governmental
institutions, and private sector parties, including the World Bank, various
Departments of the Government of India, and the Entrepreneurship
Development Institute of India. The organization has developed the
independent Environmental Information Network (ENVINET) which
disseminates information to researchers, policy makers, development
agencies and NGOs. OSVCWA recommends that the CSD supports
need-based, relevant and successful local and national activities.
New Zealand
Input on Cross-sectoral issues -- this input focuses on all cross-sectoral
issues in Agenda 21. The main argument made is that Agenda 21 over-
stresses economic growth as the answer to sustainable development. In
the view of the Institute, unrestrained market solutions will lead to further
inequity which is the fundamental cause of unsustainable development.
What is needed is a global resource manager that puts a premium on
equity and long-term sustainable use of resources. PIRM recommends
that  (i) the CSD to recognize over-reliance on trade liberalization and
economic growth will not meet sustainable development objectives, and
(ii) the CSD should convene an international NGO-based Task Force
mandated to explore alternative proposals on how to achieve
sustainable human development.
Input on activities and views - this input contains sections on
atmosphere and changing consumption patterns, primarily in the context
of the policies of the Government of Japan. The report is critical of
national energy policy including the existing energy taxes (that the
current tax system increases fossil fuel consumption), and lack of
sufficient focus on national education and public awareness. Under
changing consumption patterns, PF2001 welcomes the Japanese
Government■s effort to put this issue on the policy agenda. A number of
citizens■ activities sponsored or supported by the PF2001 network are
listed including partnership seminars organized in cooperation with the
Japanese Environment Agency.   
Report on the PARC campaign which focuses on local transportation
policies and their effect on local ecology including forests. The inputs is
a case-study of local issues, public-private dynamics, community
involvement and education.
Report on local atmospheric pollution project - this project involves a
survey of local citizens, pollution and carcinogen levels, health
conditions. A preliminary computerized system is developed to analyze
data. Further work is impeded by financial constraints.

Report on the effect of a local electricity plant on community health --
study that focuses on the effect of switch from natural gas to oil by the
local plant. 
The Way to Power: Development in the Hands of People - booklet on
civil society, state and markets in their relation to community
participation in development decision making.

Report on activities related to policy advocacy and building
communities-- activities mainly focus on drawing upon existing
community based organizations and indigenous social formations to
improve on and link with national and global processes. Rebuilding
communities is presented as a way to enable sustainable livelihoods
Additional information was not submitted
Reports on climate and oceans ■ these summarize public debates in
the Netherlands, on climate and oceans. The climate change discussion
shows that there is skepticism on whether the international community is
able to move closer to sustainable energy production methods. The
CSD is seen as a useful forum to start discussions  or processes that
could lead to more tangible international agreement on such ideas as
raising funds to support sustainable energy production/use through
taxes on air tickets. The focus of the oceans discussion was on
fisheries, fish stocks, and coastal management. The inputs calls on the
CSD to avoid oceans-related decisions or proposals that are
Additional information was not submitted
Additional information was not submitted
France- HQ
Report (published in 1994) covering such issues as climate change,
energy, transportation, land degradation, water, waste, consumption and
north-south issues. Content is based on a process that started with a
1990 conference on public sector unions and the environment.
q2000 was one of the partners  of the Youth Inter-sessional project. In
the YI process, q2000 led the organization of the two-day Youth
Workshop, 16-17 April 1996. The workshop aimed to assist youth to
become effective participants in the CSD process. Results from the
workshop, such as youth position papers on a number of Agenda 21
topics selected by youth, are available to CSD96 and will be part of the
presentations at the Youth Panel on 1 May 1996..
Additional information was not submitted
Sustainable Development Indicators for Youth Kit -- this Kit was
produced by Rescue Mission as part of the Youth Inter-sessional
project. The Kit uses the list of indicators that was discussed by CSD95
to present it in accessible language and format for use by young people
in their sustainable development monitoring efforts. The Kit has been
distributed to over 300 youth organizations around the world and used
as a basis evaluation tool at regional meetings of youth held in Asia,
Africa, Europe, and North America. Results from these meetings are
available to CSD96 by way of the Youth Panel as well as the exhibition
on Youth and Agenda 21. The efforts in this area were the first testing
of the indicators for sustainable development by a major group sector. 

Rescue Mission has also taken the primary responsibility in designing
the Youth and Agenda 21 exhibition prepared for CSD96. This
organizations is planning to engage in further activities, pending
availability of funding, to prepare inputs from young people for the 1997
review of Agenda 21 by a special session of the General Assembly.

Rescue Mission has been an active partner in the CSD process starting
with the production of a children■s version of Agenda 21 shortly after
UNCED and continued with the organization of a small Youth Round-
table event for CSD94. This organization was one of the major group
partners in the design, organization, coordination and execution  of the
Youth Inter-sessional project  taken on for CSD96.  The results from the
above activities are available to CSD96 and will be part of the
presentations at the Youth Panel on 1 May 1996.
Preserve Planet Earth Handbook -- provides project models, ideas and
information on how sustainable development promotes ecology. A
feedback mechanism is also included; a short survey requests Rotarians
to provide information on their local sustainable development projects.
This Project  aims to: (I) help local communities maximize their
resources to reduce dependence on outside funding, (ii) enable local
communities to manage sustainable development rather than depend on
long-term external support, (iii) integrate skills and information in support
of human development throughout the community, and (iv) strengthen
community institutions for long-term sustainable development.

Going Green: A guide to becoming an environmentally friendly business
without going broke -- designed to provide ideas for things businesses
can do within their day to day functions. The guide includes information
on how ■going green■ could be good for businesses, provides to-do lists,
and includes contact information for businesses that want to take a step
towards a more sustainable development based management in their
operations. The guide also provides a number of case-studies from the
Seattle (US) region. 
Paper on water management and the role of multilateral institutions --
views on how funding from multilateral institutions is being wasted for
studies rather than spent on activities that have a tangible and positive
impact on the water problems of the region.

A critique of national water policies 
Survival by Sea Water -- Information promoting sea water desalinization
as a way to deal with global water problems.

The Ryan Foundation conducts various local projects on issues ranging
from income generation  to rural environmentally sound technologies
and promoting indigenous knowledge. Extensive information collection,
dissemination, research and publications are also a part of the activities.
The organization also disseminates publications from other sources at
cost to local communities for awareness raising and building local
Brochure on activities

Report on Girl Child Development Project -- research project conducted
in 14 Local Government Areas in India focusing on the girl child■s
access to education, health care, and welfare. The survey found that
most local communities place little premium on the girl child■s education
or preparation for adult life, girl children themselves have low interest in
competing with the boys. Results were submitted to local officials who
provided their support to improve education of the girl children.

Report on Rain Water Harvesting and Saw dust Ovens Project - this 
project uses local resources and proven traditional technologies. The
project has shown that technology transfer is not only an international
issue but a local one, and that traditional technologies are not
necessarily inferior but require increasing awareness of communities
about their availability and advantages.

Report on Education and Public Awareness - focuses on SIRF■s
campaign through Nigeria Voice of Children project. The main focus is
educating and involving young people to better prepare them to be
responsible adults.

Report on Poverty Alleviation Programme - the project provides loans to
local women and small businesses, such as manufacturers and vendors.
Project has shown that the poor are appreciative of an opportunity that
help improve their welfare, they are prompt in their payments of the loan
and are therefore better financial risks than are usually assumed to be.
SIRF input also makes a number of recommendations including:
convening of a new UN Conference to highlight the condition of the girl
child; support for NGO projects focusing on the girl children;
grants/support to distribute the saw dust ovens in Africa; call for the
CSD to recognize the use of rain water harvesting technologies in the
Africa region; and the CSD to express support for local education
Additional information was not submitted
Report on combating desertification through participation -- contains a
summary of local activities related to mining, dam construction, capacity
building for participation, water management, and community
organization to prevent water logging. The organization uses an
approach that combines activism at the local/national level with that at
the international level. SCOPE is a member of RIOD established in
1995 and has projects that focus on studies as well as field level
Additional information was not submitted
Review of Progress in Combating Atmospheric Pollution in Scotland --
this input was prepared through consultation with local authorities,
businesses, the academia and community organizations. It is a case
study of progress in achieving the national targets related to climate
change and transboundary pollution in the context of Scotland. Among
other findings, the report asserts that some of the national targets were
achieved ■accidentally■ (due to a national industrial stagnation) and
questions whether the existing targets could have been set more
ambitiously. Recommendations include calls for phasing out nuclear
energy production (to ensure safety); more vigorous policy to encourage
renewable energy sources; greater community participation in local
decision making; changes in transport policy (such as reductions in road
building, greater spending for public transport), sulfur emission reduction
targets; increasing air pollution monitoring capacity; and greater local
authority powers to act on local air quality issues.     
Report on Sustainable methods to raising fruit crops - the organization
has been running a farm since 1965 raising fruit crops using sustainable
methods including composting of farm yard waste, micro-nutrients rather
than synthetic fertilizers and modified irrigation systems based on
indigenous practices that date to four thousand years ago.  Efforts
emphasize employment of women  in agriculture.
Additional information was not submitted
Solar Cooker Review (newsletter)
Case study on dissemination of solar cooking in areas of acute fuel
New Caledonia
Annual Report of 1994 describing activities on community development,
training programmes, information and networking services (Sustainable
Development Network in collaboration with UNDP).
Description of activities -- SASH is an affiliate of the International
Federation of Organic Agriculture Movements (IFOAM) and coordinates
the parent organization■s activities in Western and Central Africa. SASH
promotes environmentally sound farming practices through self-help
projects that improve the welfare of local communities while protecting
the local environment. Activities focus on education, training, technical
assistance and networking. SASH efforts have helped establish
community centres, create community forests and raise local capacity to
engage in self-help initiatives. Obstacles that SASH identifies include:
insufficient support staff, lack of office equipment, lack of international
funding partners, lack of training opportunities for staff; and lack of
adequate incentives for women and other groups to get involved in self-
help programmes.
Abstracts of projects and publications (focusing on environmental
awareness and activities, environmental economics, environmental
technologies, biodiversity among other topics)
Description of the action plan for the Priority Programmne 96-99
Report on activities - TVE provides support for film-makers in the South
including a data-base of film makers and technicians in the developing
world, and indigenous talent and skills, and outreach to audiences with
less access to environment/development information and programming.
It also produces health and environment information packs for NGOs
and schools in developing countries. TVE initiated a half-hour television
programme on Agenda 21 which is distributed through the Worldwide
Television News.
Information on activities at the second meeting of the Conference of the
Parties to the Convention on Biological Diversity. The materials
described TWN■s lobbying efforts on biosafety including promotion of a
Biosafety Protocol,  and community rights in the context of access to
genetic resources.  An independent  report on   Biosafety was among
the materials TWN distributed at the COP II for Biodiversity.
Additional information was not submitted
UNA-USA initiated a series of round-tables during the 94-95 cycle each
of which focus on a specific major group. During 95-96 the series
focused on farmers and on local authorities. These meetings bring
together representatives from the major group under focus, as well as
from the US government and UN agencies. Each meeting produces a
set of lessons. For example, the meeting on Farmers found that farmers
are disconnected from the international process and few have the
necessary resources or skills to build such linkages on their own.
Although some network NGOs are providing useful services these are
too fragile at present. Recommendations include: (I) broadening
participation (particularly direct involvement of farmers and their
organizations in international processes), (ii) strengthening the existing
links between sustainable agriculture proponents in the US (farmers
organizations, NGOs, academia and others) and the UN through
capacity building and training efforts, and (iii) expanding resources 
including that from foundations, large NGOs and government grant
Report on Strengthening the role of the education community in support
of sustainable development. This inputs focuses on the Education 21
initiative which involves a number of targets such as including
representatives from the education community in the national
sustainable development coordination mechanism by the end of 1996,
and establishing national Education 21 working group groups by 1998.
Three Years Since Rio Summit-- a review of the post-UNCED years.

UNED-UK has been organizing multi-stakeholder round-tables on
sectoral and cross-sectoral issues on the CSD■s agenda since 1994.
These round-tables have helped UK based major groups to link their
local activities and concerns with the national and international Agenda
21 follow up efforts. This organization has also led the preparation of an
NGO Forum on Finance during the Ad Hoc Inter-sessional working
group meeting on Finance and Consumption patterns (4-8 March 1996).
Brochure on Mushroom Culture in Riparian Areas 
Report on the Alternative (Sustainable) Resource Development project
in Russia 
Brief on other activities related to Agenda 21 (trade, decision making,
transfer of technology, education).

The efforts of this organization emphasize long-term sustainable
production, self-sufficiency for communities, developing domestic 
markets for locally produced goods, and linkages with local
communities, scientists and business people.
Recommendations to the CSD  on the role of women, including  a call
for CSD to urge governments to initiate policies and programs that
support women in their multiple roles as natural resource managers,
workers, consumers and family caretakers. A first concrete step to
enable full participation of women in sustainable development would be
greater representation of women in delegations to the CSD

Other inputs included a Report on monitoring the ICPD- A Year after
Cairo and Excerpts  from the Beijing Platform of Action.
Switzerland- HQ
Draft paper on Phase I of the Sustainable Production and Consumption
programme  -- work in this area aims to move the debate from one that
focuses on barriers to one that sees sustainable production and
consumption as an opportunity for commercial enterprises. Eco-
efficiency is presented as the overarching strategy with sustainable
production and consumption as the goal. Phase II of the programme will
showcase contributions of the business community to sustainable
consumption and production. Phase III will produce recommendations
on the issue.

The Council has organized several meetings on sustainable
development during the 1995-1996 cycle. It has also been involved in
the preparations of the Day of the Workplace, organized for CSD96.
Energy for our Common World- what will the future ask of us? -- booklet
containing the conclusions and recommendations of the 16th WEC
Congress held in Tokyo, in 1995. The conclusions identify a number of
sustainable development challenges that are ahead, including the urgent
need to assure access to energy for rural and urban populations in low-
income countries; the need for economic development to provide for the
needs of a rapidly growing world population. The recommendations
include phasing out energy subsidies, enabling a full-cost pricing of
energy, increasing public awareness of energy issues and dilemmas,
mobilizing local financing and initiating institutional change, greater
cooperation among countries on energy policy and planning, and
accelerating the development of alternative energy technologies and
WSAA■s current focus is on the Global  Assembly on Food Security, to
take place in November 1996. The meeting is convened by FAO. This
Summit is expected to formulate a Plan of Action on Universal Food
Security. Preparations involve events organized by farmers associations,
food security advocacy groups, fisher-folk, and organizations working on
rural development among other actors. 
(affiliate of Int■l NGO)
Report on Marine Pollution -- the report reviews the existing regional 
protocols on protection of the marine  environment and the lessons
learned from their to-date implementation. The Paris Convention for the
Protection of the North East Atlantic is reviewed as a case-study.
Recommendations include calls for the CSD to (I)  assess current
regulations related to discharges from offshore installations with a view
to establish a global framework to regulate them, (ii) to promote regional
actions in this area, and (iii) to promote relevant national actions
especially in locations outside of an existing  regional agreement.

Report on Oceans and All Kind of Seas -- this report  focuses on marine
protected areas (MPAs) as a critical component of effective marine
biodiversity conservation strategy. A number of MPA initiatives are
highlighted including those involving the Philippines, the European
Community and the Baltic Sea countries. Among the lessons, WWF-
Canada forwards the need to establish such programmes systematically
rather than ad hoc. Recommendations include calls for the CSD to (I)
endorse principles and guidelines for MPAs, (ii) identify and establish a
mechanism to evaluate potential MPA sites, and (iii) review actions 
taken on MPAs by the Second COP of Biodiversity Convention. 
Additional information was not submitted
Additional information was not submitted

                                 Annex II 

            Major Groups inputs grouped by geographical location. 

 Organization located in         Number of Organizations

a Developing Country                  
Brazil                                1
Cameroon                              1
Costa Rica                            2
Ethiopia                              1
Ghana                                 1
India                                 5
Israel                                1*
Jordan                                1
Kenya                                 1
Malaysia                              1*
Malta                                 2*
Mauritius                             2
Mexico                                1
New Caledonia                         1
Nigeria                               2
Pakistan                              2
Peru                                  1
Philippines                           3
Senegal                               1
Taiwan                                1
Thailand                              1*
Zaire                                 1
Zimbabwe                              2
Total                                 35
an Economy in Transition              
Russia                                1
Ukraine                               1
Total                                 2
a Developed Country                   
Australia                             3
Austria                               2
Belgium                               3*
Canada                                3*
France                                6***
Germany                               3*
Japan                                 4**
Netherlands                           4*
New Zealand                           1
Norway                                1
Switzerland                           5***
UK                                    14*****
USA                                   14***
Total                                 63

*      Indicates the number of organizations that have their headquarters
in this location

Annex III
Summaries of responses to the 
National Information Guidelines for 1996

Question 2a -- are major groups represented in the national sustainable
development mechanisms?

 Countries                        Reported in 1996          Reported in 1995
 Columbia                                                   yes
 Ecuador                                                    yes
 Finland                                                    yes
 France                                                     yes
 Germany                          Yes                       
 Iceland                          Yes                       yes
 Japan                                                      yes
 Malaysia                                                   yes
 Namibia                                                    yes
 Netherlands                      Yes                       
 Norway                                                     yes
 Peru                             Yes                       
 Philippines                                                yes
 Sweden                           Yes                       
 Uganda                           Yes                       
 United Kingdom                                             yes
 United States                                              yes
 Total for developing countries                                                
 Total for developed countries                                                 

Question 2b -- do major groups participate in (i) national and local
environmental impact assessment projects; (ii) the design of national
sustainable development projects/policies, (iii) the implementation of
national sustainable development projects?

 Country           (i)                            (ii)           (iii)
                   National        Local                         
 Germany           Yes             Yes            occasionally  yes
 Iceland           Yes             Yes            yes            occasionally
 Netherlands       yes             yes            occasionally  occasionally
 Peru              occasionally    occasionally   occasionally  occasionally
 Sweden            yes             yes            yes            yes
 Turkey            yes             yes            no             no
 Uganda            occasionally    occasionally   yes            yes
 United Kingdom                    yes            yes            yes yes
 Ukraine           yes             occasionally   yes            occasionally

Question 2c -- were major groups included in the national delegation to
CSD in the past; are there plans to include major groups in the national
delegation to CSD96, CSD97 or other relevant meetings? 

Country      CSD93, 94 or 95           CSD96 or CSD97            Other
 Germany          yes         not decided  --
 Iceland          No          No           No 
 Netherlands      yes         yes          Habitat II
Peru         no     --    One NGO was in delegation to Biodiversity COPII
(covered the cost itself). 
 There is political will to include major groups in delegation  to GA-97
depending on funds.
 Sweden           yes         yes          GA-97, Habitat II
 Turkey           yes (in 95)              yes 
 Uganda           no          may be, if funds are secured     --
 United Kingdom               yes          yes considered on an ad hoc basis
 Ukraine          no          no           
(GA-97 stands for the General Assembly Special Session to review
Agenda 21 in 1997)

Question 2e -- has the government received special assistance from
international or bilateral donors to support the ro
le of major groups?

 Country                     Donor
 Germany                     not applicable
 Iceland                     not applicable
 Netherlands                 not applicable
 Peru                        No
 Sweden                      not applicable
 Turkey                      No
 Uganda                      UNIFEM --for African Women Act on Agenda
21 programme.
 United Kingdom              not applicable
 Ukraine                     No

Question 2f -- does the government collaborate with international NGOs
or other major groups?

 Country                     Initiatives and partners involved
 Germany                     yes (examples)
 Iceland                     indirectly
 Netherlands                 yes (examples)
 Peru                        no  (obstacle)
 Sweden                      yes (examples)
 Turkey                      --
 Uganda                      yes 
 United Kingdom              yes 
 Ukraine                     yes (examples)

Question 2g -- does the government have bilateral or multilateral
initiatives of in this area?

 Country                     Initiatives or collaboration 
 Germany                     yes (examples)
 Iceland                     --
 Netherlands                 yes (examples)
 Peru                        yes (examples)
 Sweden                      yes (examples)
 Turkey                      --
 Uganda                      --
 United Kingdom              yes 
 Ukraine                     --

Question 2h -- has the government developed or used new/innovative
methods in this area?

 Country                     METHOD
 Germany                     support for local agenda 21 initiatives
 Iceland                     Sectoral Working Groups that involve major
 Netherlands                 Bilateral sustainable development treaties that
involve major groups in their implementation (examples)
 Peru                        None (obstacle)
 Sweden                      broad-based consultation with major groups
 Turkey                      ---
 Uganda                      Decentralization of environment/natural
resource management efforts that placed local authorities at the
 United Kingdom              programmes that encourage collaboration of
business and industry (Waste Minimization Clubs among firms,
Environment Technology Best Practice Programme), young people
(Eco-schools project of the Going for Green programme)
 Ukraine                     --

Question 2I -- how does the government rate the contribution of local,
national, regional and international major groups?

 Country          Local MGs                     National MGs    Regional MGs   
International MGs
 Germany          5             5               5               5
 Iceland          4             4               4               4
 Netherlands      4             5               3               4
 Peru             3             3               3               3
 Sweden           5             5               3               4
 Turkey           -             -               -               -
 Uganda           5             5               4               4
 United Kingdom                 5               5               5 5
 Ukraine          3             4               1               2
(Numbers are assigned only for readability. 5= essential, 4= constructive
and helpful, 3= quite helpful, 2= not very useful, and 1= has not
participated. MG is for ■major groups■)

Question 2j --suggestions on how major group contributions can be

 Country                      Suggestion
 Germany                      application of the co-operation principle which
aims for optimum level of participation by social groups in the
formulation and implementation of environmental goals and measures. 
 Iceland                      --
 Netherlands                  Involving major groups in preparatory meetings
.... governmental instructions and include them in the national delegation
to the CSD 
 Peru                         Timely and accessible information; simplifying
and centralizing environmental efforts
 Sweden                       Transparency and open decision making
process; financial support; including major groups in the national
delegation to CSD
 Turkey                       --
 Uganda                       MGs should recognize the need for
decentralization at the level of implementation.  
 United Kingdom               Support for local government initiatives such
as Local Agenda 21 programmes. Encouragement of business to use
environmental management principles
 Ukraine                      --


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Date last posted: 3 December 1999 10:27:35
Comments and suggestions: DESA/DSD