Commission on Sustainable Development Background Paper No.23 Sixth Session 20 April-1 May 1998 ASSESSMENT OF PROGRESS IN THE IMPLEMENTATION OF AGENDA 21 AT THE NATIONAL LEVEL: SUMMARY TABLES AND GRAPHS TABLE OF CONTENTS Pages I. Introduction 1-3 2. Ratification of International Agreements 4-6 3. National Decision-Making Structures Africa 7 Asia and the Pacific 8 Europe and Northern America 9 Latin America and the Caribbean 10 Analysis of Implementation by All Reporting Countries 11 4. National Instruments and Programmes Africa 12 Asia and the Pacific 13 Europe and Northern America 14 Latin America and the Caribbean 15 Analysis of Implementation by All Reporting Countries 16 5. Policies, Programmes and Legislation (Sectors) Africa 17 Asia and the Pacific 18 Europe and Northern America 19 Latin America and the Caribbean 20 Analysis of Implementation by All Reporting Countries 21 * * * INTRODUCTION The information contained in this background document is supplementary to a number of other documents being submitted to the sixth session of the Commission on Sustainable Development, including the following: - Report of the Secretary-General on National Reporting to the Commission on Sustainable Development (E/CN.17/1998/8) - Report of the Secretary-General on Modalities for the Exchange of National Experiences at the Regional Level (E/CN.17/1998/9) - Assessment of progress in the implementation of Agenda 21 at the national level: table of key coordination mechanisms and actions (Background Paper # 24). - List of official sustainable development contacts (Background Paper # 25). - List of official World Wide Web Sites identified by Governments (Background Paper #26) Each of these documents focuses on different aspects of the same data, that is, information provided by Governments to the Commission on Sustainable Development. This background document attempts to capture graphically some of the key areas of national progress in the implementation of Agenda 21. It is based on the information provided by Governments both in the 1997 Country Profiles and in response to the 1998 Guidelines. As of 31 March 1998, one hundred and six countries have submitted national information. This document includes ratification of major international agreements of relevance to sustainable development, national decision- making structures, national instruments and programmes, and sectoral policies, programmes and legislation. Information is given by country, grouped by regions. An area referred to as -Northern Americaž which includes Canada and the United States, is combined with Europe. At the end of each section there is a summary table on implementation by all reporting countries by subject area. This provides an opportunity to compare progress across sectors and issues. For more detailed information, please refer to the UN System-Wide Web Site on Sustainable Development, which draws on the national reports to the UN Commission on Sustainable Development to present country- and issue- specific information on sustainable development worldwide, with hyperlinks to relevant web sites throughout the United Nations System, the Secretariats of the Conventions and official web sites of national Governments. Information is updated as it is received from Governments. WWW address is: http://www.un.org/esa/agenda21/natlinfo Notes on the Methodology General Issues: Every effort has been made by the Secretariat to interpret the country data accurately. Nonetheless, it should be kept in mind that some ambiguities in the texts were inevitable, and this might have resulted in errors in interpretation and analysis. In particular, the following points should be kept in mind in reading the graphs: 1. Information has been taken from the 1997 Country Profiles submitted to the fifth session of the CSD, as well as information received from Governments in response to the 1998 Guidelines. Information from a total of 106 countries has been analyzed. 2. A blank space may indicate either a -nož or a lack of information. As more information becomes available, these graphs will be updated. 3. Many developing countries and countries with economies in transition have recognized and even emphasized the importance of formulating integrative policies and programmes in various areas, but note that action has been prevented because of a lack of resources. The graphs have no method for reflecting "good will" in the absence of action, but it is important and should be taken into account. 4. The overall political structure of a country may colour its responses. For example, a country with a weak federal authority but strong provincial or state authorities is less likely to reflect the existence of major national programmes and plans. At the same time, comprehensive and integrative action may be taking place at decentralized levels. In a standardized graphs or table, it is not always possible to capture these nuances. 5. Several countries have policies that are officially referred to as "sustainable development" policies, or some variant thereof. Many also have "environmental policies" In general, if an "environmental" policy is defined by the country as incorporating most or all of the issues contained in Agenda 21 in an integrative manner, it was considered to be equivalent to a "sustainable development" policy. If, however, there was no explanation of the policy, or if it were clearly designated as strictly environmental, it was not considered to be a national sustainable development policy. Sectoral Issues: 6. In the sectoral areas, credit has been given specifically for "Policies, Programmes and Legislation". Consequently, a number of important activities may be underway in a country but not indicated here. However, where a set of activities has been presented as an integrated and consistent whole, it has been presumed that this reflects the existence of at least an implicit policy or programme. 7. Some sectors are not particularly relevant for some countries, and where possible, it has been indicated as "not applicable" (n/a). This should be taken into consideration when reading these graphs. Countries may also have chosen to report a single programme in the chapter on forests or agriculture, for example, when, in fact, the programme is addressing all or most of the areas of Agenda 21. The Secretariat has attempted to identify these cases and reflect them appropriately, as possible. 8. In some cases, countries may not have a national programme, because of lack of relevance, but they are heavily involved in supporting bilateral and multilateral efforts in other countries. This is particularly true in the area of deserts. Such international assistance has not been included in the graphs since the emphasis here is on national action at the national level. * * * ---------------------------------------------------------------------------- PLEASE NOTE: The Secretariat would like to provide the Commission with information as accurate and up-to-date as possible. Countries are invited to provide their additions or corrections to the National Information Analysis Office of the Division for Sustainable Development. Contact: Ms. Maria Mercedes Sanchez, Tel. (212) 963.9421. ---------------------------------------------------------------------------- Ratification of International Agreements (not available) National Decision-Making Structure Africa (not available) Asia and Pacific (not available) Europe, Northern America (not available) Latin America and Caribbean (not available) National Decision-Making Structure - Analysis of Implementation by All Reporting Countries (not available) National Instruments and Programmes Africa (not available) Asia and Pacific (not available) Europe, Northern America (not available) Latin America and Caribbean (not available) National Instruments and Programmes - Analysis of Implementation by All Reporting Countries (not available) Policies, Programmes, and Legislation Africa (not available) Asia and Pacific (not available) Europe, Northern America (not available) Latin America and Caribbean (not available) Policy, Programmes, and Legislation - Analysis of Implementation by All Reporting Countries (not available)
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Date last posted: 8 December 1999 15:15:30