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National Implementation of Agenda 21

UNITED STATES OF AMERICA

IMPLEMENTATION OF AGENDA 21:
REVIEW OF PROGRESS MADE SINCE THE
UNITED NATIONS CONFERENCE ON
ENVIRONMENT AND DEVELOPMENT, 1992

Information Provided by the Government of United States to the
United Nations Commission on Sustainable Development
Fifth Session
7-25 April 1997
New York

United Nations Department for Policy Coordination and Sustainable Development
Division for Sustainable Development
The Information contained in this Country Profile is also available on the World Wide Web, as follows:
http://www.un.org/dpcsd/earthsummit

UNITED STATES

This country profile has been provided by:

Name of Ministry/Office: US Interagency Group for UNCSD

Date: December 1996

Submitted by: Mark G. Hambley

Mailing address: OES Bureau, Room 7831, Department of State,

Washington, D.C. 20520

Telephone: (202) 647-3489

Telefax: (202) 647-0217

E-mail:

Note from the Secretariat: An effort has been made to present all country profiles within a common format, with an equal number of pages. However, where Governments have not provided information for the tables appended to Chapters 4 and 17, those tables have been omitted entirely in order to reduce the overall length of the profile and save paper. Consequently, there may be some minor inconsistencies among the formats of the different country profiles.

All statistics are rendered as provided by the respective Governments.

TABLE OF CONTENTS

ACRONYMS
OVERVIEW
FACT SHEET
AGENDA 21 CHAPTERS
2. International cooperation to accelerate sustainable development in developing countries and related domestic policies
3. Combating poverty
4. Changing consumption patterns
5. Demographic dynamics and sustainability
6. Protecting and promoting human health
7. Promoting sustainable human settlement development
8. Integrating environment and development in decision-making
9. Protection of the atmosphere
10. Integrated approach to the planning and management of land resources
11. Combating deforestation
12. Managing fragile ecosystems: combating desertification and drought
13. Managing fragile ecosystems: sustainable mountain development
14. Promoting sustainable agriculture and rural development
15. Conservation of biological diversity
16. Environmentally sound management of biotechnology
17. Protection of the oceans, all kinds of seas, including enclosed and semi-enclosed seas, and coastal areas and the protection, rational use and development of their living resources
18. Protection of the quality and supply of freshwater resources: application of integrated approaches to the development, management and use of water resources
19. Environmentally sound management of toxic chemicals, including prevention of illegal international traffic in toxic and dangerous products
20. Environmentally sound management of hazardous wastes, including prevention of illegal international traffic in hazardous wastes
21. Environmentally sound management of solid wastes and sewage-related issues
22. Safe and environmentally sound management of radioactive wastes
23-32. Major groups
33. Financial resources and mechanisms
34. Transfer of environmentally sound technology, cooperation and capacity-building
35. Science for sustainable development
36. Promoting education, public awareness and training
37. National mechanisms and international cooperation for capacity-building in developing countries
38. International institutional arrangements
39. International legal instruments and mechanisms
40. Information for decision-making

ACRONYMS

APELL Awareness and Preparedness for Emergencies at Local Level
CFC chlorofluorocarbon
CGIAR Consultative Group on International Agriculture Research
CILSS Permanent Inter-State Committee on Drought Control in the Sahel
EEZ exclusive economic zone
ECA Economic Commission for Africa
ECE Economic Commission for Europe
ECLAC Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean
ELCI Environmental Liaison Centre International
EMINWA environmentally sound management of inland water
ESCAP Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific
ESCWA Economic and Social Commission for Western Asia
FAO Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations
GATT General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade
GAW Global Atmosphere Watch (WMO)
GEF Global Environment Facility
GEMS Global Environmental Monitoring System (UNEP)
GEMS/WATER Global Water Quality Monitoring Programme
GESAMP Joint Group of Experts on the Scientific Aspects of Marine Pollution
GIPME Global Investigation of Pollution in Marine Environment (UNESCO)
GIS Geographical Information System
GLOBE Global Legislators Organisation for a Balanced Environment
GOS Global Observing System (WMO/WWW)
GRID Global Resource Information Database
GSP generalized system of preferences
HIV human immunodeficiency virus
IAEA International Atomic Energy Agency
IAP-WASAD International Action Programme on Water and Sustainable Agricultural Development
IARC International Agency for Research on Cancer
IBSRAM International Board of Soil Resources and Management
ICCA International Council of Chemical Associations
ICES International Council for the Exploration of the Sea
ICPIC International Cleaner Production Information Clearing House
ICSC International Civil Service Commission
ICSU International Council of Scientific Unions
IEEA Integrated environmental and economic accounting
IFAD International Fund for Agricultural Development
IGADD Intergovernmental Authority for Drought and Development
IGBP International Geosphere-Biosphere Programme (ICSU)
IGBP/START International Geosphere-Biosphere Programme/Global Change System for Analysis, Research and Training
ILO International Labour Organisation
IMF International Monetary Fund
IMO International Maritime Organization
INFOTERRA International Environment Information system (UNEP)
IOC Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission
IPCC Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change
IPCS International Programme on Chemical Safety
IPM integrated pest management
IRPTC International Register of Potentially Toxic Chemicals
ITC International Tin Council
ITTO International Tropical Timber Organization
IUCN International Union for Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources
MARPOL International Convention for the Prevention of Pollution from Ships
OECD Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development
PGRFA plant genetic resources for agriculture
PIC prior informed consent procedure
SADCC South African Development Co-ordination Conference
SARD sustainable agriculture and rural development
UNCTAD United Nations Conference on Trade and Development
UNDP United Nations Development Programme
UNDRO Office of the United Nations Disaster Relief Coordinator
UNEP United Nations Environment Programme
UNESCO United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization
UNFPA United Nations Population Fund
UNICEF United Nations Children's Fund
UNIDO United Nations Industrial Development Organization
UNU United Nations University
WCP World Climate Programme (WMO/UNEP/ICSU/UNESCO)
WFC World Food Council
WHO World Health Organization
WMO World Meteorological Organization
WWF World Wide Fund for Nature (also called World Wildlife Fund)
WWW World Weather Watch (WMO)

OVERVIEW

Summary of U.S. Views five years after UNCED

The U.S. Government remains committed to promoting sustainable development consistent with UNCED's outcomes. U.S. efforts since UNCED have included the following: UN Commission on Sustainable Development (CSD): The U.S. strongly supported the establishment of the CSD, as called for in Agenda 21. The U.S. believes that the CSD should continue to serve as a focal point for monitoring the implementation of Agenda 21 at local, regional and international levels.

President's Council on Sustainable Development (PCSD): The U.S. completed its national effort to explore the implications of pursuing sustainable development through the PCSD. The recommendations outlined in the PCSD's 1996 report to the President are currently under review within the Administration.

National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA): The U.S. continues to implement NEPA. This law provides a broad mandate for federal agencies to create and maintain conditions under which society and nature "can exist in productive harmony and fulfill the social, economic, and other requirements of present and future generations of Americans." NEPA requires federal agencies to integrate environmental values into their decision-making processes.

Foreign Assistance: The U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) the principal U.S. Agency for foreign assistance activities was reorganized to make the promotion of sustainable development one of its principal objectives.

Post-UNCED Conferences: The U.S. has played an active role in helping produce successful outcomes to a number key post-UNCED sustainable development conferences, including: the World Conference on Human Rights (Vienna); Small Island Developing States Conference (Barbados); Population Summit (Cairo); Social Summit (Copenhagen); Fourth World Conference on Women (Beijing); Habitat II (Istanbul); Miami Summit; La Paz Summit; and APEC Sustainable Development Ministerial Conference (Manila).

Climate Change: In 1996, the U.S. took the lead in calling for accelerated negotiations on the text of a legally-binding protocol or other legal instrument on limiting greenhouse gas emissions to be completed for adoption by the late 1997.

GLOBE: In 1994/95, the U.S. spearheaded the international initiative proposed by Vice President Gore known as "Global Learning and Observations to Benefit the Environment (GLOBE)". The GLOBE program is a hands-on, school-based international environmental and education program composed of a world-wide network of students that take a core set of measurements in the areas of atmosphere/climate, hydrology, and biology/geology. To date, over 90 countries have expressed interest in becoming involved in the GLOBE program.

International Fisheries: The U.S. was a key player in developing the UN Convention on conservation of highly migratory and "straddling" fish stocks, and among the first group of countries to ratify the convention.

Marine Pollution: The U.S. hosted a UNEP organized conference on landbased sources of marine pollution in Washington in November 1995 that resulted in a Global Plan of Action to deal with this serious problem. The U.S. spearheaded international efforts in 1993/94 to call for a ban on radioactive waste dumping at sea.

Toxic Substances: Concerned with the health impacts of human exposure to lead, the U.S. took the lead in identifying problems posed by leaded gasoline and co-hosted an international workshop with Mexico in 1995 that resulted in recommendations to the CSD calling for a phase-out of lead in gasoline.

OVERVIEW (Cont'd)

Biodiversity and Forests: The U.S., through USAID, currently supports one of the largest international biodiversity conservation effort of any bilateral donor. The U.S. continues to promote forest conservation and sustainable management world-wide. Since UNCED, the U.S. has committed to the national goal of achieving sustainable management of federally managed forests by the year 2000.

International Coral Reef Initiative (ICRI): The U.S. was a major actor in spearheading the establishment of ICRI in 1994. Agenda 21 identifies coral reefs, mangroves and seagrass beds as high priority marine ecosystems in need of protection. ICRI's plan of action is an innovative, long-term approach aimed at protecting fragile coral reef ecosystems.

Desertification: The U.S. Administration is committed to the implementation of the Desertification Convention. The U.S. was an active participant in the successful negotiations on the Convention and signed it in October 1994.

Trade: The U.S. is committed to pursuing trade agreements that promote sustainable development. Included among U.S. efforts since UNCED are the U.S. contributions to the successful conclusions of the Uruguay Round and the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA). NAFTA incorporates provisions relating to environmental issues. It was the first trade agreement to specifically address such issues.

Environmental Technology: Since UNCED, the U.S. has undertaken a multi-million dollar Climate Country Studies Program with thirty countries, and is working with these countries to define appropriate U.S. financial and technical assistance to help the countries analyze their situations and opportunities in relation to global climate change issues. The Administration released a major report, "Technology for a Sustainable Future" which outlined a national strategy on environmentally sound technology development and cooperation. The U.S. remains one of the leading contributors to the Montreal Protocol fund designed to help developing countries and countries with economies in transition find alternatives to ozone depleting substances.

Major Groups: Based on long-standing U.S. democratic processes and institutions, the U.S. federal government remains committed to public policy development that involves all elements of U.S. civil society, including those major groups identified in Agenda 21.

Regional Initiatives: In the western hemisphere, the U.S. played a strong role both at the 1994 Miami Summit, as well as the 1996 La Paz Summit in Bolivia, to seek greater efforts in the regional promotion of sustainable development. The U.S. also encouraged the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) to increase its sustainable development and environment-related activities. In June 1996, President Clinton wrote to his fellow APEC leaders urging that a cooperative work program be advanced to promote greater sustainability in the region. A work program focusing on sustainable cities, a Clean Pacific initiative, and cleaner production processes was subsequently endorsed at the APEC Sustainable Development Ministerial in July 1996.

Executive Orders: To lead by example, and use the federal government's enormous purchasing power, the President signed a number of Executive Orders to drive markets for more environmental products related to the following: Recycled paperand environmentally preferable goods for federal purchases; Alternative fuel vehicles for federal car and truck fleets; Energy-efficient computers for all government uses; Accelerated government phase-out of ozone depleting chemicals; Pollution Prevention federal facilities to cut toxic emissions by 50 percent and report them under the Community Right-to-Know laws. The President also signed an Executive Order on environmental justice that will help to ensure that hazards are controlled in such a way that all communities receive environmental protection regardless of race or economic circumstance.

UNCSD - NATIONAL LEVEL COORDINATION STRUCTURE OF AGENDA 21 ACTIONS

(Fact Sheet)

UNITED STATES OF AMERICA

1. Key National Sustainable Development Coordination Mechanism(s)/Council(s).

President's Council on Sustainable Development

Contact point (Name, Title, Office): Keith Laughlin, PCSD Acting Executive Director, Council on Environmental Quality

Telephone: (202) 408-5296

Fax: (202) 408-6839

e-mail:

Mailing address: 730 Jackson Place NW, Washington, DC 20503

2. Membership/Composition/Chairperson: 25-members from industry, government, and NGOs

2a. List of ministries and agencies involved:

US Department of Energy, US Department of Agriculture, US Department of Commerce, US Department of the Interior,

US Environmental Protection Agency, US Department of State, US Department of Education, Council on Environmental Quality, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration

2b. Names of para-statal bodies and institutions involved, as well as participation of academic and private sectors:

Ciba-Geigy Corporation; Pacific Gas & Electric Company; Georgia-Pacific Corporation; Chevron Corporation; Citizens Network on Sustainable Development; General Motors Corporation; S.C. Johnson & Son, Inc.; Enron Corp.; Browning-Ferris Industries, Inc.

2c. Names of non-governmental organizations:

National Resources Defense Council; Sierra Club; The Nature Conservancy; AFL-CIO; National Wildlife Federation; Environmental Defense Fund; Columbia River Inter-Tribal Fish Commission.

3. Mandate role of above mechanism/council:

The Council's mission is to: develop and recommend to the President a national sustainable development action strategy that will foster economic vitality; develop an annual Presidential Honors Program recognizing outstanding achievements in sustainable development; raise public awareness of sustainable development issues and participation in opportunities for sustainable development. Council members serve on 8 main task forces: Eco-efficiency; Energy and Transportation; Natural Resources Management and Protection; Principles, Goals and Definitions; Population and Consumption; Public Linkage, Dialogue and Education; Sustainable Agriculture.

4. If available, attach a diagram (organization chart) showing national coordination structure and linkages between ministries:

Submitted by

(Name): Mark G. Hambley

Signature: Signed.

Title: US Special Representative to the UNCSD

Date: December 1996

Ministry/Office: United States Interagency Group for UNCSD, OES Bureau, Room 7831, Department of State, Washington, DC 20520

Telephone: (202) 647-3489

Fax: (202) 647-0217

e-mail:

AGENDA 21 CHAPTER 2: INTERNATIONAL COOPERATION TO ACCELERATE SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT IN DEVELOPING COUNTRIES AND RELATED DOMESTIC POLICIES (with special emphasis on TRADE)

NATIONAL PRIORITY:
STATUS REPORT: U.S. trade with developing countries is considerable. According to the most recent data, US imports from Third World countries accounted for 41 percent of U.S. world imports in 1991/92 (two year average), as compared to a total Development Assistance Committee (DAC) average of 23 percent in the same period. In the five year period 1986/87-1991/92, US imports from developing countries grew 6 percent annually in real terms, whereas exports to these countries increased by 14 percent. The U.S. runs a substantial developing country deficit, which in 1991/92 amounted to $58.7 billion in imports reported on cost insurance freight (c.i.f.) exports reported on free on board (f.o.b.) basis.

The regional distribution of US trade with Third World countries shows a heavy concentration of trade with developing countries in Southern and Eastern Asia. With an absolute amount of $118 billion in 1991/92 (two year average), 22 percent of total US imports came from that region, with an average annual growth rate of 7 percent in real terms over the preceding five-year period. The main trading partners are China, Hong Kong, Singapore, the Republic of Korea and Taiwan. Central and South America rank second among the main regions, accounting for 13 percent in the same period. The largest trading partner, by far, in this region is Mexico. In Africa, a substantial amount of U.S. imports are derived from Angola and Nigeria.

The U.S. General System of Preferences (GSP) provides preferential duty-free treatment to developing countries. The programme covers over a 140 beneficiary countries and territories and includes 4,400 products (textiles, watches, some leather goods, steel, glass and electronic articles are excluded). In 1993, the U.S. imported nearly $20 billion of duty-free products under the GSP programme, an increase of 17 percent over 1992. GSP imports represented about 16 percent of overall U.S. trade with beneficiary countries in 1993. United States duties forgone were approximately $900 million. This programme represented about 3 percent of total U.S. imports in 1992. Most GSP benefits go to a small number of more advanced developing countries. In 1992, 85 percent of duty-free imports under the GSP programme were from 10 countries. Mexico accounted for 29 percent but graduated from the GSP programme when NAFTA was implemented on 1 January 1994. The other top beneficiaries were Malaysia, Thailand, Brazil and the Philippines. Administrative exclusions have limited the impact of GSP so that in 1992, for example, 45 percent of GSP-eligible imports entered with duties applied to them. These administrative exclusions apply when a product fails to meet requirements that the beneficiary country's export contain at least 35 percent domestic content. The product must also be shipped directly from the beneficiary country.

The US remains a major proponent of liberalized trade as a means to promote sustainable development and has consistently advocated such an approach in numerous fora (most recently in APEC).

In the PCSD's report, goal 9 calls upon the U.S. to take a leadership role in the further development of global sustainable development policies. Goal 7 of the same report recommends that the U.S. continue efforts to promote economic and national security by actively participating in and leading cooperative international efforts to encourage democracy, support scientific research, and enhance economic development that preserves the environment and protects human health.

Cross-Sectoral Issues

1. Decision-Making Structure: By law, the Office of the US Trade Representative (USTR) plays the leading role in the development of policy on trade and trade-related investment. This organization, as it has evolved over the years, consists of three tiers of interagency committees that constitute the principal mechanism for developing and coordinating US government positions on international trade and international trade-related investment issues. The first two tiers are the Trade Policy Review Group (TPRG) and the Trade Policy Staff Committee (TPSC), both chaired by USTR, are sub-cabinet interagency trade policy coordination groups that are central to this process. The final tier of the interagency trade policy mechanism is the National Economic Council (NEC), chaired by the President and whose members include the Vice President and the Cabinet Secretaries and other senior-level Administration officials. The NEC considers policy matters referred to it by the TPRG. As policy decisions are made, USTR assumes responsibility for directing the implementation of that decision.

2. Capacity-Building/Technology Issues: Not applicable

3. Major Groups: USTR is generally seeks views of major groups, including from industry and key sectors, including the environment community and others, in decisionmaking efforts undertaken through the process.

4. Finance: Not applicable

5. Regional/International Cooperation: The U.S. cooperates in numerous regional and international fora dealing with trade issues and remains a strong proponent of liberalized trade in support of sustainable development.

STATISTICAL DATA/INDICATORS

AGENDA 21 CHAPTER 3: COMBATING POVERTY

NATIONAL PRIORITY:
STATUS REPORT: In order to provide a safety net for disadvantaged, elderly and disabled persons in American society, the federal government administers a range of social insurance and social assistance programs, including Medicare, unemployment insurance, worker's compensation, and temporary disability insurance. Also included are an array of "income support programs" such as supplemental security income (SSI), aid to families with dependent children (AFDC), Medicaid, food stamps, low-income home energy assistance programs, public housing, special nutritional programs and general assistance. Federally-administered social programs were not developed all at once to fulfil a specific agenda of national need. Rather, they are a range of legislation passed over the years to help meet the needs of particular groups of citizens at particular times. In August 1996, President Clinton signed into law the "Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity Reconciliation Act of 1996", which will virtually revamp many elements of key programs, including the AFDC and SSI. Further debate on the implementation of this legislation will likely continue in the President's second Administration. U.S. poverty thresholds are set to determine whether a person or family is eligible for assistance under a particular federal programme. The poverty threshold is established each year by increasing the previous year's threshold according to the change in the Consumer Price Index. The original poverty threshold was devised in the 1960s and was equal to three times the amount of money needed to buy the least expensive "nutritionally adequate" diet. In addition to federal efforts, there are a wide-range of poverty alleviation programs by States, religious and charitable institutions, businesses and local communities. By-and-large, these non-federal government efforts play an essential role in helping to assist individuals and groups affected by poverty in the US. Economic Prosperity and Equity are Goal #2 and Goal #3 respectively of the President's Council for Sustainable Development (PCSD). By economic prosperity, the PCSD means to "sustain a healthy U.S. economy that grows sufficiently to create meaningful jobs, reduce poverty, and provide the opportunity for a high quality of life for all in an increasingly competitive world." Measuring economic prosperity will be facilitated via a variety of yardsticks, including: economic performance, employment figures, poverty rates, savings and investment rates, natural resources, environmental accounting and productivity. Equity is defined as to "ensure that all Americans are afforded justice and have the opportunity to achieve economic, environmental, and social well-being." Equity is measured via income trends, environmental equity (environmental justice) and social equity. As part of its strategy to foster broad-based economic growth in developing countries, the US Agency for International Development (USAID) is committed to expanding access and opportunity for the poor and ensuring disadvantaged people have access to resources and technologies. USAID works with local governments and institutions to make regulatory, legal and institutional environments more equitable. USAID efforts in this regard include expanding access to formal financial services for micro-entrepreneurs; expanding access to technology, information and outreach services; and expanding economic opportunities for women and disadvantaged groups.

Cross-Sectoral Issues

1. Decision-Making Structure: The Congress and the Administration make up the basic decisionmaking structure at the federal level. Federal Agencies involved in implementing programs legislated by Congress include the Department of Health and Human Services, the Department of Labor, the Department of Agriculture, the Department of Housing and Urban Development and others.

2. Capacity-Building/Technology Issues: At the federal level, there are several programs, including those related to job training, that are aimed at helping train income disadvantaged individuals.

3. Major Groups: Major groups play an important role in developing and implementing numerous wide-ranging programs aimed at alleviating poverty in the US.

4. Finance: In 1995, federal expenditures on key social programs such as OASDI, Medicare, Medicaid, Food stamps, AFDC, and SSI amounted to over $740 billion.

5. Regional/International Cooperation: See description of USAID efforts on previous page.

NB: Developed countries, where domestic poverty alleviation is not a major concern may wish to briefly describe their position regarding global poverty alleviation.

STATISTICAL DATA/INDICATORS
1985
1990
1992
1995
Unemployment (%)
7.2
5.5
6.1
5.6
Population living in absolute poverty
14.0
13.5
13.2
13.2

(Est)
Public spending on social sector %
49.9
49.4
59.5
60.8
Other data

AGENDA 21 CHAPTER 4: CHANGING CONSUMPTION PATTERNS

NATIONAL PRIORITY:
STATUS REPORT: The President's Council on Sustainable Development (PCSD) sought to identify the factors influencing U.S. demographic consumption and waste generation trends. Since 1993, a policy debate on consumption and production was held at the national level. A preliminary report comprised of information compiled on U.S. demographic consumption and waste generation trends was presented to the Council at the April 1994 meeting. Following this report, the Council decided the Task Force would convene a series of public roundtable discussions among members of the Council, experts in the field and the interested public to identify substantive opportunities for intervention. The first roundtable was held on October 27, 1994 in which fertility and migration issues were discussed. The U.S. government collects and disseminates extensive data on consumption and production of goods and services. This data is available in the annual "Statistical Abstract of the United States" prepared by the U.S. Census Bureau, as well as in other U.S. data publications. In the PCSD report, policy recommendation 3 in Chapter 2 on "Extended Product Responsibility" calls for the U.S. to adopt a voluntary program that ensures responsibility for the environmental effects throughout a product's life cycle by all those involved in the life cycle. As stated in Vice President Gore's address at CSD I in 1993, the issue of sustainable patterns of consumption and production is an important one for the United States. Among the steps that the United States has taken, or will be taking related to sustainable consumption are: Increased Energy Efficiency; encouraging recycling programs; fostering pollution prevent programs; using federal government procurement and practices to better promote sustainable development goals related to consumption and production, and promoting environmental education, sustainable agriculture practices, and achieving sustainable forest management practices by the year 2000. From the U.S. perspective, it is clear that it is possible to promote more sustainable production and consumption patterns while promoting economic growth. In many cases, production processes which are more environmentally sound are also more economically efficient. Many U.S. companies have found that investing in pollution prevention and energy efficiency has provided significant cost savings in the long term. The internalization of environmental and social costs associated with production (including use of the polluter pays principle) provide a mechanism whereby market forces can be harnessed to increase the production of goods and services while reducing environmental damage. Another key component in promoting more sustainable patterns of production includes subsidy reform, which is an ongoing process in the U.S. USEPA has in place a number of programs that promote more sustainable production and consumption patterns, including the Energy Star Building Program, the Green Lights Program, and the Design for the Environment Program.

Cross-Sectoral Issues

1. Decision-Making Structure: No specific decisionmaking structure currently exists. Questions dealing with development of any federal role in addressing consumption issues in an overarching manner would need to be addressed by the Congress in consultation with the Administration. Questions of cleaner, more environmentally sound production methods are addressed at the federal level mainly by the USEPA. Questions involving energy efficiency and renewable energy policy issues are also addressed by the U.S. Department of Energy.

2. Capacity-Building/Technology Issues: Most technology issues related to federal government activities are addressed in regard to cleaner production processes work of USEPA and USDOE.

3. Major Groups: Major groups have been involved in discussions related to sustainable consumption and production that have been undertaken in the PCSD process.

4. Finance: Federal budget outlays are made mainly through USEPA and USDOE on cleaner production methods.

5. Regional/International Cooperation: U.S. representatives have been involved in the work of the OECD and UNEP and other international organizations on sustainable production and consumption patterns.

STATISTICAL DATA/INDICATORS
1985
1990
1992
1994
GDP per capita (current US$)
16,776
21,737
23,340
25,774
Real GDP growth (%)
3.1
1.1
2.4
3.1
Annual energy consumption per capita (Kg. of oil equivalent per capita)
7,644a
7,524
7,516
NA
Motor vehicles in use per 1000 inhabitants
717.3
754.8
751.5b
NA
Other data

a = 1989 b = 1993

Government policies affecting consumption and production.

1. Goals and Agents (Stakeholders)

Indicate with a (X) those agents which your Governments policies are meant most to influence.

Agents

Goals

Producers
Local

authorities
Central

Government
Households
Civil society
Material efficiency
Energy efficiency:
X
X
X
X
X
Transport
X
X
X
X
X
Housing
X
Other
Waste:
Reduce
X
X
X
X
X
Reuse
X
X
X
X
X
Recycle
X
X
X
X
X

Comments:

2. Means & Measures and Agents (Stakeholders)

Indicate with an (R) those agents who assume primary responsibility for any of the policy measures indicated; indicate with an (I) the agents for which the impact is expected to be especially significant.

Agents

Means & Measures

Producers
Local

authorities

Central

Government
House-

holds
Civil

Society
Improving understanding and analysis
X
X
X
X
X
Information and education (e.g., radio/TV/press)
Research
Evaluating environmental claims
Form partnerships
Applying tools for modifying behaviour
X
X
X
X
X
Community based strategies
Social incentives/disincentives (e.g., ecolabelling)
Regulatory instruments
Economic incentives/disincentives
Voluntary agreements of producer responsibility for

aspects of product life cycle

Provision of enabling facilities and infrastructure

(e.g., transportation alternatives, recycling)

Procurement policy
Monitoring, evaluating and reviewing performance
Action campaign
Other (specify)

Comments:

AGENDA 21 CHAPTER 5: DEMOGRAPHIC DYNAMICS AND SUSTAINABILITY

NATIONAL PRIORITY:
STATUS REPORT: The U.S. does not have an official population policy, in part because population density is low in the United States and large regions of the country are sparsely populated. In addition, there is little public consensus about either the need for population-based policies, or their nature. According to the U.S. National Report to the International Conference on Population and Development (April 1994), much of the need for family planning in the United States can be met with current contraceptive methods. However, the development of new methods will expand individual's choices and improve options for families.

Most family planning interventions are conducted by NGOs such as Planned Parenthood. In preparation for the International Conference on Population and Development, public meetings were held throughout the U.S. to facilitate the participation of NGOs and individuals. In Cairo, governmental and non-governmental participants collaborated together to draft an Action Programme that encompasses quality family planning and reproductive health services, women's empowerment, involvement of men in gender-specific issues, expanded access to education and health care services, and the reduction of wasteful resource consumption.

The U.S. has no specific policies to modify the spatial distribution of the population.

The Office of Population Affairs (OPA) within the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) provides resources and policy advice on population, family planning, reproductive health, and adolescent pregnancy issues. OPA also administers two grant programs under the "Public Health Service Act" (Public Law 91-572) under Title X, known as the national Family Planning Program, and Title XX, known as the Adolescent Family Life Program.

The Title X program supports grants to provide comprehensive family planning and reproductive health services contraceptive services and supplies, basic gynecological care, cancer and general medical screening, infertility services, education, counselling and referral to all eligible persons. Each year, the program serves nearly 5 million persons through a nationwide network of 4,800 clinics. Priority is given to persons from low-income families. Services are voluntary and provided on a confidential basis. Under Title X, OPA also maintains a clearinghouse on population and reproductive health issues. The OPA clearinghouse collects, develops, and distributes information on family planning, adolescent pregnancy, abstinence, adoption, reproductive health care, and sexually transmitted diseases, including HIV and AIDS.

The Title XX program supports grants for demonstration projects that (1) develop innovative programs to provide health, education and social services to pregnant and parenting adolescents, and (2) develop and test programs for preadolescents, adolescents and their families to delay the onset of adolescent sexual activity and thus reduce the incidence of pregnancy and STD infection.

Cross-Sectoral Issues

1. Decision-Making Structure: The U.S. Bureau of the Census, the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID), the National Center for Health Statistics of the Centers for Disease Control, the U.S. Department of Labor, the National Institute of Health's Center for Population Research and the Immigration and Naturalization Service are most directly concerned with demographic issues. USAID, the Department of Health and Human Services, and the Department of Education manage and operate programmes related to comprehensive population stabilization efforts. An interagency working group composed of representatives of the U.S. Department of State, National Security Council, USAID, Center for Disease Control, USEPA, Department of Health and Human Services, Department of Labor, Treasury Department, Office of Science and Technology Policy, CEQ, Department of Commerce, U.S. Bureau of Census and the Office of the Vice President coordinate population, environment, and development policies.

2. Capacity-Building/Technology Issues: No information

3. Major Groups: Women retain a key role in each of the major U.S. domestic and international agencies concerned with population and sustainable development, and constitute more than 50 % of the staff of some units with management responsibilities in these areas. Women constituted more than 50 % of the U.S. delegation to ICPD. A number of steps have been taken to involve women at all levels in programmes supported by USAID.

4. Finance: In fiscal year 1993, the United States spent approximately $25 million on the development of new contraceptive methods. A total of $144 million was spent on all aspects of population research.

5. Regional/International Cooperation: U.S. population assistance has been provided through both bilateral and multilateral channels under the Foreign Assistance Act. The U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) is the principal organization responsible for carrying out U.S. population assistance programmes. The U.S. works multilaterally through the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) which supports family planning and reproductive, maternal and child health programmes in about 60 countries, many of which do not receive direct assistance from the U.S. The U.S. - Japan Common Agenda is an initiative which began in July 1993 and includes the following goals: maximize the impact of each country's population and health assistance interventions, increase technical capacity to provide assistance, and increase opportunities to share lessons learned. The Summit of the Americas, The International Research and Training Program, Multilateral Development Banks (MDBs) are other examples of bilateral and multilateral programmes.

STATISTICAL DATA/INDICATORS
1990
1993
1995
Population (Thousands) mid-year estimates
249,924
258,233
263,081
Annual rate of increase (1990-1993)
1.1
Surface area (Km2)
9,363.5
9,363.5
Population density (people/Km2)
27.6
28.1
Other data

AGENDA 21 CHAPTER 6: PROTECTING AND PROMOTING HUMAN HEALTH

NATIONAL PRIORITY:
STATUS REPORT: The Health People 2000 plan, developed by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services since UNCED, links national health objectives through three goals: to increase the span of healthy life for Americans, reduce health disparities among Americans, and to achieve access to preventive services for all Americans.

According to the U.S. National Report to the International Conference on Population and Development (April 1994), in the early 1990s, one-tenth of the non-elderly were covered by Medicaid, a federal insurance programme for the poor, and 9.5 million children (15 percent) and 17 percent of all non-elderly people were without any health insurance.

The major federal programmes serving children and pregnant women are Medicaid, the Maternal and Child Health Block Grant Programme, the Special Supplemental Food Programme for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC), and the Community and Migrant Health Center Programme. Funding from several public programmes support family planning services. The President's Council on Sustainable Development (PCSD) maintains that one of its primary objectives is to ensure that every person enjoys the benefits of clean air, clean water, and a healthy environment at home, at work and at play. The PCSD seeks to decrease the number of people who live in areas that fail to meet air quality standards; limit the number of persons whose drinking water fails to meet national safe drinking water standards; reduce toxic emissions and decrease the incidence of diseases and deaths that are related to environmental exposures.

For a broad national goal like reducing smoking, the U.S. has adopted a combination of measures, including regulating smoking in public places and increasing taxes on tobacco.

HIV infection and AIDS is a national priority for disease prevention, as diseases related to personal behaviours have become critical components of health and mortality indicators. The National Commission on AIDS was established by public law "for the purpose of promoting the development of a national consensus on policy concerning AIDS and of studying and making recommendations for a consistent national policy." President Clinton has named a national AIDS Policy Coordinator to facilitate implementation of federal AIDS control programmes.

In recognition of current trends, the Department of Health and Human Services has set a goal for the year 2000 to "increase to at least 90 percent the proportion of sexually active, unmarried people aged 19 and younger who use contraception." In other words, policy has shifted from discouraging contraception on the basis of age and marital status to promoting it to all who do not have access to services.

Cross-Sectoral Issues

1. Decision-Making Structure: Decision-making on federal policy and programs on human health issues are arrived at through the deliberations of the Congress in consultation with the Administration. Key federal agencies involved include HHS, USEPA, the Food and Drug Administration and others.

2. Capacity-Building/Technology Issues: The U.S. is a world leader in training of medical personnel and in the development and of health related technologies.

3. Major Groups: Major groups play an active role in debate on health care issues at the federal, state & local levels.

4. Finance: National expenditures for health care reached an estimated $900 billion in 1993, which, on a per capita basis, is equivalent to $3,500 per person per year. The government's share of this spending was almost 44 percent of the total in 1991, and is projected to exceed 50 percent by the end of the decade. Therefore, containing health care costs while increasing the number of beneficiaries equitably is a major goal of the President's Council on Sustainable Development (PCSD). By the end of 1993, the federal government had spent approximately $17 billion in the fight against HIV infection. One in ten of non-elderly Americans are covered by Medicaid, a federal insurance programme. The Maternal and Child Health Block Grant Programme which supports the direct delivery of services in public health care settings receives funding from states which contribute $3 in matching funds for every $4 in federal funds received.

5. Regional/International Cooperation: The United States plays an active role in both regional and international health organizations, including WHO, UNICEF, UNAIDS, and the Pan-American Health Organization (PAHO). The U.S. also provides multilateral and bilateral assistance to promote and protect human health under the Foreign Assistance Act. USAID is the principal U.S. Agency responsible for carrying out these programs. In addition, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and the National Institutes for Health (NIH) also support international health programs. USAID provides bilateral assistance for health programs in almost 50 countries. Closely linked with population and family planning programs, USAID's health efforts are focused on three strategic areas: reducing child mortality by expanding access to and improving the quality of basic preventative services & supporting research for the development of new and better child health technologies; reducing maternal mortality through increased use of family planning, improving maternal health & safe delivery, & improved management of obstetrical complications; & reducing the spread of sexually transmitted infections, especially HIV/AIDS by focusing primarily on prevention of transmission of other sexually transmitted infections, increased information & increased availability and use of condoms.

STATISTICAL DATA/INDICATORS
1980
1990
1993
Life expectancy at birth: male/female
69.4/77.2
71.6/78.5
72.1/78.9
Infant mortality (per 1000 live births)
14
10
8.5
Maternal mortality rate (per 100000 live births)
9
8a
7.8(1992)
Access to safe drinking water (% of population)
100
Access to sanitation services (% of population)
98
Other data

AGENDA 21 CHAPTER 7: PROMOTING SUSTAINABLE HUMAN SETTLEMENT DEVELOPMENT

NATIONAL PRIORITY:
STATUS REPORT: The U.S. has no specific policies to modify the spatial distribution of the population. The American population has become largely urban and increasingly suburban and exurban. Cities across the country have seen population grow in the suburbs and beyond, rather than in city centers. In addition, large-scale migration during the 1970s and 1980s shifted the regional distribution of the population from the North and Midwest to the South and West.

Growth management has thus become an important concern for urban planners, particularly since fiscal resources have become increasingly constrained. Local governments are being more assertive in requiring developers of new housing or business facilities to bear the costs of providing streets, utilities, and other services. Local governments are also developing or revising regulations that determine where new buildings can be constructed, and how many people they may shelter.

Most decisions related to land-use are made at the local level, such as the case of Washington State, home to Seattle, one of the country's fastest growing metropolitan areas. In 1990, Washington passed the Growth Management Act, which is designed to provide incentives for well-planned growth. The legislation has led to broad-based citizen participation. Sustainable Seattle, a non-profit organization of citizens, initiated a process to evaluate the city's livability and environmental health via its project on indicators. Using a broad and open process, the group led the community in identifying social, economic and environmental indicators and conducted research to measure Seattle's environmental progress or deterioration.

The federal government's role in human settlement issues falls under the responsibility of the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD). HUD administers mortgage programs to help families become homeowners. HUD also fosters construction of new housing and renovation of existing rental housing and provides aid for low-income families who cannot afford their rent. HUD enacts programs to prevent housing discrimination, and encourages a strong private sector housing industry. HUD also cooperates with state and local authorities, as well as local non-governmental groups, to address problems posed by homelessness in many urban areas throughout the country.

HUD maintains a number of programs, including the Empowerment Zones and Enterprise Communities program. This latter program seeks to empower local citizens to become more involved in their communities and aware of environmental technology benefits that result from attracting new business and industries to depressed areas. HUD also has a Land Use Systems Technology program which involves research and technical aspects of urban development, land use, open space, environmental protection and other contexts of development. HUD's Office of Community Planning and Development also has a Sustainable Communities Development System aimed at providing overall policy and technical purview of technologies affecting all dimensions of the ecological, land, natural resources, industrial, and development aspects of urbanization.

Cross-Sectoral Issues

1. Decision-Making Structure: Federal policy on housing is based on programs enacted by the Congress and administered by HUD. However, virtually the entire housing development process land acquisition, construction, sale and financing is market driven. Typically, zoning regulations for housing are developed and administered at local levels, with little or no federal involvement.

2. Capacity-Building/Technology Issues:

3. Major Groups: No information

4. Finance: No information

5. Regional/International Cooperation: The U.S. played an active role in Habitat II. USAID's urban programming approaches promote the principles of sustainable human settlements development agreed to at Habitat II. These principles include: 1) decentralization and empowerment of local governments to enable them to carry out local environmental improvements; 2) creation of enabling financial and institutional/legal frameworks and environments which foster autonomy of local governments and increase participation of the private sector in the financing and delivery of urban services, housing and improved environmental management; and, 3) increasing citizen participation in the decision-making of local governments in urban services delivery. USAID programs are aimed at increasing access to water, sewerage, solid waste disposal services and basic shelter within unserviced low-income neighborhoods and squatter settlements; improving the quality and capacity for expansion of water supply and sanitation systems; increasing the efficiency and commercial viability of water and wastewater utilities or introducing public-private partnership models to support those services; improving old and/or introducing new cost recovery mechanisms for infrastructure investments; introducing proper legal and regulatory frameworks to facilitate the private sector's ability to finance and deliver shelter and infrastructure services; and increasing the participation of the public, with particular emphasis on the poor and on women, in planning and decision-making of municipal services.

STATISTICAL DATA/INDICATORS
1990
1995
Urban population in % of total population
75.2
76.2
Annual rate of growth of urban population (%)
1.1
1.3
Largest city population (in % of total population)
6.4
6.2
Other data

AGENDA 21 CHAPTER 8: INTEGRATING ENVIRONMENT AND DEVELOPMENT IN DECISION-MAKING

(See pages vii and viii at the beginning of the profile)

NATIONAL PRIORITY:
STATUS REPORT: Following UNCED, the U.S. has sought to better integrate policy considerations through closer coordination of environmental and economic agencies. The President's Council on Sustainable Development (PCSD) is the key national sustainable development coordinating mechanism of the United States. The National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) continues to provide a broad mandate for federal agencies to create and maintain "conditions under which man and nature can exist in productive harmony and fulfill the social, economic and other requirements of present and future generations of Americans."

In 1993, the Office of Environmental Policy was created in the Executive Office of the President to better ensure that environmental considerations are appropriately incorporated in Administration policies. In addition, environmental agencies have begun to play a greater role in policy coordination through bodies such as the National Economic Council, the Trade Policy Review Group and the Trade Promotion Coordinating Committee. This participation has resulted in innovative policies in such high-profile areas as trade policy, climate change and technology development. The results of this coordination can be seen in the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) and its supplemental agreements on labor and environment, entered into with Canada and Mexico.

The President's Climate Change Action Plan represents another government-wide effort to strategically integrate environment and development objectives over the coming years. The plan consists of nearly 50 initiatives designed to reduce greenhouse emissions to 1990 levels by the year 2000. It is estimated that these efforts will save $260 billion in energy bills by the year 2010 while promoting economic efficiency and competitiveness. Many initiatives are largely voluntary programmes designed to spur cost-effective actions without additional regulations and bureaucracy. One of these, The U.S. Initiative in Joint Implementation, jointly chaired by the Department of Energy and the Environmental Protection Agency, is a voluntary pilot programme designed to contribute to international understanding to reduce greenhouse gas emissions in different geographic regions through joint U.S. and foreign partnerships. In cooperation with other federal agencies and through meetings with federal, state, tribal and local officials, the EPA is developing a detailed set of measurable, national environmental goals in such areas as clean air, ecological protections, safe drinking water, and improved understanding of the environment. The 1993 Government Performance and Results Act (GPRA) requires strategic plans for all agencies containing long-range goals and objectives, as well as performance indicators for all government programmes. Most agencies are involved in strategic planning. A number of strategic plans put out by Agencies since Rio, including the National Oceanic and Atmosphere Administration (NOAA), the Department of Energy, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and agencies within the Department of the Interior and the Department of Agriculture, emphasize sustainable development as a conceptual framework for their activities. Several agencies, including the Department of Energy and the U.S. Forest Service, are setting goals for achieving sustainability in the use of those resources which are the responsibility of their respective agencies. In addition, agencies are developing joint strategies to address particular issues such as pesticide management and ecosystem maintenance. In general, agencies have made a marked effort since Rio to better integrate environmental and economic considerations into their decisions. For example, agencies which have traditionally emphasized resource development (such as the Bureau of Reclamation, the Bureau of Land Management, and the U.S. Forest Service) are now stressing the integration of conservation and resource management objectives as well to ensuring that such development is sustainable.

The Common Sense Initiative, administered by the EPA, reflects another example of a targeted approach which emphasizes increased attention to partnerships. Teams made up of industrial representatives, environmental advocates and federal regulators are developing sector-specific approaches through a review of existing environmental regulations, available pollution prevention and compliance strategies, and the promotion of innovative technologies, among other activities. Environmental Impact Assessments (EIAs) are usually used for policies, programmes and projects. EIA's are required under the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) for all major federal actions that significantly affect the quality of the human environment. Approximately 500 EIAs are carried out each year.

Cross-Sectoral Issues

1. Decision-Making Structure (please also refer to the fact sheet): Created by a 1993 Executive Order, the President's Council on Sustainable Development (PCSD) is xplicitly charged with recommending a national action plan for sustainable development to the President. The PCSD submitted its report, "Sustainable America: A New Consensus", to the President in early 1996. A presentation of the PCSD report was provided to delegates at CSD IV in May 1996. In the absence of a multi-sectoral consensus on how to achieve sustainable development in the United States, the PCSD was conceived to formulate recommendations for the implementation of Agenda 21. The Council's expressed mission is to: develop and recommend to the President a national sustainable development action strategy that will foster economic vitality; develop an annual Presidential Honors Programme recognizing outstanding achievements in sustainable development; raise public awareness of sustainable development issues and participation in opportunities for sustainable development. Council members serve on 8 main Task Forces : Eco-efficiency; Energy and Transportation; Natural Resources Management and Protection; Principles, Goals and Definitions; Population and Consumption; Public Linkage, Dialogue and Education; Sustainable Agriculture. The Council has been asked to follow up with policy recommendations.

The mission of the PCSD was prescriptive in nature, and emphasized agenda-setting rather than policy implementation. Accordingly, its Report "Sustainable America for the Future: a New Consensus for Prosperity, Opportunity and a Healthy Environment" is not the United States' National Agenda 21. The fundamental objective of the Council was to forge a consensus among the various stakeholders (government, business and industry, private citizens, non-profits, labor etc.) and create a viable sustainable development strategy that articulated the interests and concerns of all groups. Through a vigorous consensus-building process, the report was adopted unanimously by all participants. U.S. laws and regulations covering environmental protection, natural resource management and socio-economic development are administered by many federal agencies. Federal natural resource management is overseen, for example, by a number of different agencies in the Departments of Interior, Agriculture, Defense, Energy, Commerce, among others. Environmental pollution is regulated by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), the National Oceanic and Atmosphere Administration (NOAA), the Department of Justice, and other agencies. While this division of labor has resulted in a clear mission on the part of individual agencies, (and the U.S. has long had a coordinated inter-agency process for decision-making), the current arrangement has at times resulted in the fragmentation of policy approaches. Accordingly, several government-wide activities have been initiated since UNCED to identify weaknesses and improve national coordination and decision-making capability.

2. Capacity-Building/Technology Issues: No information

3. Major Groups: The PCSD is composed of leaders from government and industry, as well as from environmental, labor and civil rights organizations.

4. Finance: No information

5. Regional/International Cooperation: In addition to the CSD, the U.S. has cooperated in numerous fora to promote better integratioon of environment concerns into development in decision-making, including APEC, the Bolivia Sustainable Development Summit, and other international bodies and conferences.

AGENDA 21 CHAPTER 9: PROTECTION OF THE ATMOSPHERE

NATIONAL PRIORITY:
STATUS REPORT:

The Montreal Protocol and its Amendments

Montreal Protocol (1987) signed in 1988

London Amendment (1990) signed before 1992.

Copenhagen Amendment (1992) signed after 1992.

The latest report(s) to the Montreal Protocol Secretariat were prepared in 1996.

United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change

UNFCCC was signed in 1992.

The latest report to the UNFCCC Secretariat was submitted in 1994.

Additional comments relevant to this chapter: The President's Climate Change plan includes nearly 50 different initiatives (see chapter 8). In July 1996, the U.S. announced interest in achieving a binding agreement to reduce emissions of greenhouse gases. The U.S. government will attempt to reduce emissions through market-based solutions such as pollution trading permits and energy efficiency measures.

The U.S. Government promotes policies and programmes in the areas of "energy efficiency", "environmentally sound and efficient transportation", "industrial pollution control", "sound land-use practices", "sound management of marine resources" and "management of toxic and other hazardous waste". The government, scientific community and NGOs have conducted studies on the cumulative impacts of air pollution and the depletion of the ozone layer on public health. To date, one of the most important studies conducted is the EPA's Regulation Impact Analysis which was undertaken in 1994.

The private sector and the government have developed methodologies to identify threshold levels of atmospheric greenhouse gas concentrations. In the area of environment and transport, emissions monitoring is comprehensive and systematic. In the area of transboundary atmospheric pollution control, the government has facilitated the exchange of data and information at national and international levels. Regarding the programme area of energy, transport and industry, the U.S. Government has reviewed current energy supply mixes.

The U.S. Government is involved in the development and use of terrestrial and marine resources and land-use practices that will be more resilient to atmospheric changes and fluctuations. The U.S. government supports the conservation and enhancement of sinks and reservoirs of greenhouse gases, including biomass, forests and oceans, as well as other terrestrial, coastal and marine ecosystems. Regarding the programme area of preventing stratospheric ozone depletion, national goals concerning the phase-out of CFCs and other ozone depleting substances are outlined in the Clean Air Act amendments of 1990. The U.S. Government has also strengthened early warning systems and response mechanisms for transboundary air pollution resulting from industrial accidents and natural disasters.

Money-saving pollution prevention initiatives have been implemented at the facility level. The Pollution Pilot Project is led by a core group from the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC), Amoco Petroleum, The Dow Chemical Company, Monsanto Company, Rayanier and the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection. The group has begun to identify opportunities to cut production and environmentnal costs while reducing and preventing pollution at two chemical manufacturing facilities - a Dow Chemical plant in La Porte, Texas and a Monsanto plant in Pensacola, Florida.

Cross-Sectoral Issues

1. Decision-Making Structure: The Environmental Protection Agency, the U.S. Department of Energy, and the U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration Office are full-fledged members of the President's Council on Sustainable Development and are primarily responsible for the "protection of the atmosphere". The Clean Air Act and its amendments have been reviewed.

2. Capacity-Building/Technology Issues: The national early detection system, the national capacity to predict changes and fluctuations and capacity building for performing systematic observations and fluctuations are rated "good". These actions are primarily governmental and undertaken by the private sector. The U.S. Government has provided training opportunities in the area of transboundary atmospheric pollution control and encourages industry to develop environmentally safe technologies. The country's capacity for observation and assessment, research and information exchange are rated "very good".

3. Major Groups: The Government, scientific community and NGOs have conducted studies on the impacts of air pollution and the depletion of the ozone layer on public health.

4. Finance: In 1994, the U.S. contributed US$34 million to the Montreal Protocol. Air pollution abatement and control expenditures in the United States was estimated at $31.9 billion in 1993.

5. Regional/International Cooperation: Regarding the programme area of transboundary atmospheric pollution, the U.S acceded to the UN/ECE Convention on Long-Range Transboundary Pollution in 1979. In October 1993, the U.S. announced the "U.S. Initiative on Joint Implementation" (USIJI) to, among other things, encourage the development and implementation of cooperative, cost-effective voluntary projects between U.S. and foreign partners, especially projects that promote technological cooperation and sustainable development. USIJI also aimed at fostering private sector investment and innovation in the development and dissemination of technologies for reducing or sequestering greenhouse gas emissions. One of USIJI's objectives is also to encourage participating countries to adopt more complete climate action programs, including national inventories, baselines, policies and measures, and appropriate specific commitments. Complementing USIJI, is the U.S. Country Studies Program (CSP), an interagency program designed to provide technical and financial support to developing countries and countries with economies in transition for climate change studies. In 1994, USAID funding for projects to reduce global greenhouse gas emissions was at approximately $143 million, a more than 200 percent increase over similar funding expended in 1991 before UNCED.

STATISTICAL DATA/INDICATORS
1980
1990
1993
CO2 emissions (eq. million tons)
4,520
5,095
SOx "
25.9
22.4
21.5
NOx "
23.3
23.0
23.3
CH4 "
27.0
27.0
27.0
Consumption of ozone depleting substances (Tons)
NA
200(Est.)
46(1995)
Expenditure on air pollution abatement in US$ equivalents (million)
26.3(1981)
28.1
28.6
Other data: The U.S. Government actively participates in strengthening the Global Climate Observing System at national levels.
AGENDA 21 CHAPTER 10: INTEGRATED APPROACH TO THE PLANNING AND MANAGEMENT OF LAND RESOURCES

NATIONAL PRIORITY:
STATUS REPORT: There are no mandatory national or regional land use planning policies in the United States. Except on federal lands, or through federally-funded development projects, major land use decisions are made by private investors working within a regulatory framework established by state and local governments. Certain federal laws, notably the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) and various Civil Rights Acts, can strongly influence local decision-making but do not determine it. With respect to federal lands, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) and the U.S. Department of the Interior (USDI) have embraced the Ecosystem Approach to land management. The Ecosystem Approach to land management entails a comprehensive evaluation of all natural resource areas when making land management decisions within both federal and non-federal territory. The collaboration of state and local governments, private citizens as well as other federal agencies has facilitated sustainable land management practices throughout the nation's territory.

The USDA and USDI have undertaken several steps to initiate the implementation of the ecosystem approach, having participated in broader interagency efforts in this regard. These initiatives include assessing current organizational and budget structures to encourage interdisciplinary management and the establishment of interagency committees to address concerns such as data integration and the inter-agency programme coordination of activities, e.g. in the Pacific Northwest and the Florida Everglades. An example of the implementation of the ecosystem approach is the USDA National Resources Conservation Service's incorporation of ecological principles into its conservation planning assistance with non-federal land owners. All resources, (soil, water, air, plant and animal), as well as social, cultural and economics concerns are integrated into a planning approach to better recognize and avoid any negative environmental, social and economic consequences as a result of inappropriate land management applications.

When natural resource conflicts go beyond the scope of non-private landowners, mechanisms are available to facilitate the intervention of federal, state and local governments. It is common for non-government organizations such as The Nature Conservancy, Native Plant Society, Society for Range Management and others to be involved in the planning process. Coordinated Resource Management Planning (CRMP) is a decision-making process that is designed to improve and maintain natural resources via means that are congruent with the objectives of landowners, interest groups, and land management agencies. CRMP is a process which encourages people within a defined geographical area (such as a watershed), to identify mutual problems, needs, and opportunities. With the assistance of technical advisors, they develop a written action plan. This process has been embraced by several land management and technology transfer agencies in areas where natural resource conflicts have occurred.

State and local governments serve as direct land managers for numerous wildlife management areas, forests, parks, and water recharge areas through networking and coordination with federal, state and local agencies and as well as non-governmental organizations. In watersheds outside of New York City, federal, state, local, and non governmental organizations have implemented initiatives to encourage farmers to voluntarily establish conservation practices that will result in cleaner drinking water.

Another example of such activities is found in a 3,000 square mile watershed in South Dakota where poor grazing management practices on adjacent rangelands were identified as the primary cause of sedimentation in the Bad River (which empties into Lake Sharpe and the Missouri River). The state water board and the Governor identified the sedimentation of the Bad River as one of the state's most serious water quality problems which adversely impacts the quality of life of inhabitants of the city of Fort Pierre while concurrently causing diminishing hydrologic power generation in the area. Through a joint effort of local Soil and Water Conservation Districts, funding from a water quality programme of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) was obtained to assist local landowners in creating grazing management and soil conservation programmes to reduce sedimentation in the river. As a result, the restoration of native prairie ecosystems is occurring.

STATUS REPORT (Cont'd)

Private special interest groups such as The Nature Conservancy, Ducks Unlimited and Trout Unlimited have taken a pro-active role in assuring that the conservation and improvement of the natural resource base is being achieved on federal and non-federal lands. A good example of this kind of activity is the Malpai-Borderlands Project in southeastern Arizona and neighbouring New Mexico. This project revolves around a ranch purchased by The Nature Conservancy and a non-profit organization of 36 local ranchers, called the "Malpai Borderlands Group". This project covers approximately 1 million acres of an native grasslands (a rangeland ecosystem). The Malpai Borderlands Group and TNC have combined efforts to strive towards the common goal of long-term sustainability of fragile and native grasslands. To effectively sustain these grasslands and the endangered species present, coordinated grazing management and strict adherence to forage allocations is necessary so that ranchers have an opportunity to develop ecologically sound and sustainable ranching enterprises. Federal agencies have joined state and local agencies to help develop this project. TNC has also helped establish a network of "Heritage Programmes" which are in place in all fifty states. These programmes inventory endangered and threatened species and provide the scientific basis for prioritizing and guiding development away from critical habitat areas.

The National Crop Residue Management Alliance is a partnership of government agencies, agribusiness, and concerned citizens which helps farmers obtain information about crop residue management. State alliances and local conservation groups are working together at the local level in providing this information exchange. Private industry, the farm media, and USDA agencies are working together to promote responsible independent farming. The National CRM Alliance was established to assist local farmers in planning conferences on conservation systems installation, field demonstrations, and one-on-one consultations. By sharing resources and expertise, state and local organizations have organized farmer-to-farmer meetings designed to help implement sustainable farmland management practices.

Cross-Sectoral Issues

1. Decision-Making Structure: A number of U.S. federal agencies fulfil resource assessment and monitoring roles, and each land management agency has a different mandate. The USDA and USDI administer lands requiring direct land management allocation. On many of these lands, the USDA and USDI allow (for a fee) private enterprise to engage in the competitive use of timber, forage, wildlife, minerals, oil, gas, and water. Other lands, such as those administered by the U.S. FWS, are either strictly non-consumptive, or allow for a lesser degree of consumptive use (such as wildlife hunting). The National Park Service (NPS) administers a variety of parks, monuments, and historical landmarks, which all operate under the policy of preserving the natural and cultural resources that are indigenous to these sites. The USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) and National Resources Inventory (NRI), assess the condition and resource management concerns of non federal land within the lower 48 states every 5 years. Land classes inventoried include cropland and highland, pastureland, rangeland and small streams and bodies of water. USDA-Forest Service (FS) conducts Forest Inventory and Analysis (FIA) and Forest Health Monitoring (FHM) throughout federal and non-federal U.S. territory. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is currently developing the Environmental Monitoring and Assessment Programme (EMAP) which would provide a statistical framework for the national assessment of the health and condition of natural resources (the programme will eventually include international data). The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS), conducts surveys and monitoring of migratory birds throughout the United States, and utilizes computer analysis to identify voids in critical habitat areas. The USDI National Biological Service (NBS) is establishing mechanisms to collect and assess biological information that will assist decision makers in developing management and protection strategies. The Federal Geographic Data Committee (FGDC), an interagency committee, has been established to define data collection standards in an effort to provide "shared information" among agencies. As agencies continue to develop databases into geographic information systems, it will be necessary to have a common set of rules for digitizing data so that information between agencies can be readily exchanged. State and local representatives have also been included in the design and proposals coming from the FGDC.

2. Capacity-Building/Technology Issues: The USDA has two primary technology transfer mechanisms. The NRCS provides conservation technical assistance to private landowners and the Extension Service (ES) distributes university research findings to private landowners. This transfer of technology application and information is vital for non-federal landowners, so that they can recognize existing or potential natural resource conservation problems and conflicts. This multifaceted effort facilitates the sustainable management of non-federal land. Sustainable land management requires data collection, monitoring, assessment and interpretation of information and its effects on environmental, social and economic stability. As databases and modelling become more comprehensive, and as cooperative efforts continue internationally, it is expected that the link between sustainable land management will extend beyond the U.S. border and embrace a more holistic and global approach.

3. Major Groups: Refer to Status report of chapter 10 for information on NGO participation.

4. Finance: No recent information available as to total federal, state and local expenditures on sustainable land management issues.

5. Regional/International Cooperation: USAID cooperates in several developing countries with respect to promotion of sustainable land management practices.

AGENDA 21 CHAPTER 11: COMBATING DEFORESTATION

NATIONAL PRIORITY:
STATUS REPORT: The U.S. has the fourth largest forest area, exceeded only by Russia, Brazil and Canada. The U.S. defines a forest as land with at least 10 percent crown cover by forests trees of any size, including land that formerly contained 10 percent tree cover and tree cover that is artificially generated. Forest land includes transition zones and non-forested lands that are at least 10 percent stocked with forest trees and forest adjacent to urban build-up areas. This includes pinyon-juniper and chaparral areas of the west. The minimum area classified as a forest is .4 hectare and forest strips must be at least 37 meters wide.

Forests in the U.S. range from the dry chaparral "forests" of the Pacific, the oak-hickory forest of the east to the old growth Douglas fir and Sitka spruce forests of the Pacific Coast rain forest. The U.S. has numerous organized advocates for forest conservation and use, having a profound effect on American forestry and forest policy. Forest legislation has recently been revised to help combat deforestation envisaged under chapter 11 of Agenda 21 and includes The Forest Stewardship Act of 1990, the Cooperative Forestry Assistance Act of (1990), America the Beautiful (1990), National Indian Forest Resources and the Management Act. The U.S. has experienced a net growth in the area covered by forests since the 1920's. Although there have been areas of local concern with respect to deforestation, nationally, deforestation in not perceived as a problem, for natural and artificial reforestation overcompensates for forest loss. Therefore, reforestation is not an issue. However, the reforestation of marginal forest lands, the large number of private landowners and competing agricultural uses presents an obstacle to localized reforestation. In the U.S., the term "deforestation" is used to refer to the conversion of forest land to other uses or to a permanent non-forest condition. All USDA- Forest Service programme results are reported locally to national levels. Projects are evaluated at the local level. The real challenge to forestry management is monitoring the cumulative landscape effects of site-specific activities. This "outcome" perspective addresses the effects of human activities and government intervention on biological diversity and forest health. The extension function of the USDA Forest Service and the USDA Agricultural Extension Service is to educate, train and assist private forest owners and the States in conservation and sustainable management of forest lands.

Current assessments of the health and conditions of U.S. forests show that in many cases resource conditions are not satisfactory. For example, tree mortality as a result of exotic forest disease is so extensive that the composition of forest ecosystem across the U.S. has changed. Acid forming air born chemicals are having observable impacts on tree health. Large forested landscapes have an unnatural distribution of trees of different ages because of previous harvesting practices. Although older age forests are important to the biodiversity of forest ecosystems, the growing number of aging and over stocked forest landscapes are becoming vulnerable to insects and disease. The list of threatened and endangered species is increasing and some fish habitat and populations are limited by problems of water quality and quantity. The focus of U.S. forest conservation strategy is to concentrate on being sensitive to ecosystem needs, reducing demand for wood fiber through recycling, efficient harvesting and utilization and increasing the productivity of managed forests. This will reduce the impacts on forest ecosystems, decrease the area impacted and increase the value of all forest related resources.

The U.S. is moving forward to enforce its commitment to sustainable forestry by several measures, including: establishing an ecosystem approach to sustainable forest management, inventorying forest area by ecosystem, and adjusting the balance between environmental and commercial use of publicly owned lands. It also includes developing domestic criteria and indicators for sustainable management of U.S. forests and participating in the development of internationally agreed criteria and indicators for the conservation and sustainable management of temperate and boreal forests. The development of criteria and indicators for temperate and boreal forests was undertaken in partnership with those countries and non-governmental groups that have a stake in temperate and boreal forests.

Status Report (Cont/d)

The best example of policy following UNCED Forest Principles is the ecosystem management approach to the stewardship of public forest lands. The President's office has established an interagency coordinating committee for ecosystem management. By using this approach, concerted efforts have been made over the last 18 months in the Pacific Northwest to resolve issues centred on forest protection and timber harvest, the preservation of old growth ecosystems, scenic values, and the livelihoods of local communities. In April 1994, following a process of participation with all stakeholders and the completion of an environmental impact statement, the President's Forest Plan was adopted for all federal lands in the Pacific Northwest region.

The President's Forest Plan has three components: An Aquatic Conservation Strategy aimed at restoring and maintaining the ecological health of the region's watersheds, a Terrestrial Conservation Strategy aimed at maintaining late successional and old growth species habitat and the biological diversity associated with such ecosystems, and an initiative to help local communities adjust to new forest ecosystem protection management. The Fish and Wildlife Service is involved in the implementation of conservation and management programmes for forest dwelling neotropical birds. The Fish and Wildlife Service has developed partnerships with dozens of federal and State agencies, private conservation organizations and local governments to restore and manage forest habitats for these migratory species. The Texas Gulf Coast Wood Lot Initiative (important to migrating birds crossing the Gulf of Mexico) and the 12 million hectare Tennessee Valley Project are examples.

In October of 1994, the American Forest and Paper Association, which represents 95% of the industrial forest land in the U.S., approved a set of Sustainable Forestry Principles and Guidelines. Through these guidelines and measures, the aggregate performance of member companies will establish new standards for the entire industry and industrial forest landowners. The initiative includes performance measures for reforestation, and the protection of water quality, wildlife, visual quality, biological diversity and areas of special significance. The State Foresters are responsible for the establishment of State Stewardship Committees in every state which will include representation from a range of natural resource disciplines as well as the public and private sectors. Each State has also developed and is implementing state resource plans which will ultimately bring millions of hectares of nonindustrial private forest lands under stewardship management.

The Stewardship Incentives Programme, a companion programme to the Forest Stewardship Programme, began in 1992 and provides cost-share assistance for private landowners to implement a broad range of practices recommended under their Stewardship Management plans. Landowners with approved plans are eligible to receive up to 75 percent cost-share assistance for practices that include wildlife, fish habitat improvement, soil and water improvement, forest recreation enhancement, riparian and wetlands protection, reforestation, among other activities. During the first two years of implementation (through FY 1993), more than 16,200 hectares were planted in trees, windbreaks and shelterbelts were established or improved on approximately 3,200 hectares and wildlife habitat enhancement activities took place on an area encompassing 7,300 hectares.

The U.S. Forest Service, in partnership with 13 other Federal agencies, is leading the development of scientific protocols for implementing national and regional scale ecological assessments. The protocols will be tested in 1995 in the Columbia River Basin, the Southern Appalachian Mountains and the Mid-Atlantic states. This will augment the current forest inventory system of over 100,000 plots that are sampled on a 11 year cycle.

The U.S. Forest Service, the Environmental Protection Agency, the Bureau of Land Management and the States have begun an annual assessment of the health and vitality of the Nation's forests, which will serve as an early warning system for the broad areas effected by insects and diseases, atmospheric deposition, meterological events, human activities and climate change. The current programme includes 14 states.

Cross-Sectoral Issues

1. Decision-Making Structure: The U.S. Agency primarily responsible for the forestry sector is the USDA Forest Service. Other departments that are actively involved in forestry matters include, at the federal level: the National Park Service, Bureau of Indian Affairs; Fish and Wildlife Service; National Biological Survey, Bureau of Land management; Environmental Protection Agency and the Department of Defense. At the State level, 50 state forest and park agencies are involved in forestry matters. At the local level, hundreds of counties own and manage forest and park areas. The USDA Forest Service publishes an "Assessment of U.S. Forests" every ten years with 5 year updates. A corresponding Programme is also published every five years that provides broad guidance to more specific national forest plans, statewide resource plans, and research plans.

2. Capacity-Building/Technology Issues: In 1994, the USDA consisted of a total staff of 28,000 (15,471 professionals) and a budget of $3,264 million. Staffing and funding for the forestry services have not increased since UNCED. Forty thousand trained foresters are working on forestry management and protection. Seven thousand persons graduate as foresters each year. At federal, state and local levels, the forestry staffing situation is rated as "properly staffed". The federal government is focusing on reorienting the way professional foresters fulfil their resource management objectives. Indicators are being developed to measure the ecological sustainability of forests. The indicators will include information on disease, soil condition, wildlife, etc. The last forest inventory took place in 1992.

The US Forest Service has initiated a national programme to establish a network of Urban Tree Houses. The Urban Tree House is a cooperative community-based programme designed to bring an understanding of natural resource concepts and careers to urban children. The first Urban Tree House, inaugurated in Atlanta, serves as a working model for several other U.S. cities that are interested in operating their own Urban Tree House Programmes such as Washington, D.C.; Portland, Oregon; Nashville and Memphsis, Tennessee, among other locations. The U.S. Extension Service's Logger Education to Advance Professionalism Programme (LEAP) promotes silviculture and environmental education for loggers so they better understand the logic and philosophy involved in sound forest management. Currently, the majority of timber harvesting operations on private lands are carried out without the assistance or guidance of a professional forester of any kind. It is estimated that as much as eighty percent of all harvesting operations are planned and executed by only the logger, who is often unaware of the impact logging activities have on soil or water quality.

Another institutional improvement has been the use of electronic mail networks which is proving to be a very powerful communication tool for NGOs, government agencies and business.

3. Major Groups: The American public is becoming increasingly involved with forest management in the United States. Non-governmental organizations continue to draw attention to disparities between sustainable goals and current practices. Environmental laws from the early 1970s that facilitated public access to government and the growth in public dissatisfaction with forest management practices has generated a new era of public participation in forest matters. Today, the American public is demanding different forest goods and services than in the past, reflecting an increased desire for clean water, the ecological management of forests, biological reserves for rare ecosystems, and a variety of other environmental values. Many in the NGO community are also campaigning for the establishment of explicit ecological, social, economic and institutional objectives to better measure progress in sustainable forest management. A lack of resources, however puts NGOs at a disadvantage in their ability to address immediate issues. Government at all levels, however, is striving for a more efficient and effective working relationship with the public. The private sector is a full participant at federal, state and local levels. Labor unions are full participants at state levels and are not involved at the grassroots. Rural cooperatives participate as advisory participants at the state level and full participants at the grassroots.

Cross-Sectoral Issues (Cont'd)

4. Finance: Funding for forest management at the state and federal levels has not increased in the last few years. With inflation, actual budgets have decreased. Federal, state and local annual spending on forest management is approximately $6.4 billion.

5. Regional/International Cooperation: The United States participates in all major international, most regional and dozens of bilateral programmes. Programme effectiveness in the area of sustainable forest management goals has become a timely issue. The U.S. participates as a member of the Informal Working Group on Criteria and Indicators for the Conservation and Sustainable Management of Temperate and Boreal Forests, which includes primarily non-European temperate and boreal forest countries. The U.S. hosted an informal technical meeting of the Working Group in Olympia, Washington in September 1994 to advance these discussions. The U.S. also participates as an observer of the Helsinki process for developing pan-European national level criteria and indicators. From the U.S. perspective, an international consensus is needed to establish a common understanding, language and definition regarding what constitutes sustainable management of non-tropical forests. It is also an important step in implementing the UNCED Forest Principles and to furthering the joint commitment made by tropical timber consumer countries to sustainable manage their respective forests by the year 2000. In March 1993, the U.S., in conjunction with Australia, Sweden and Switzerland, entered into a sponsorship agreement to establish the new Center for International Forestry Research in Boger, Indonesia. U.S. bilateral assistance, through USAID, USDA and other federal agencies includes more than 150 projects in 95 countries throughout the world. Of particular interest is the focus on assistance to Russia which possesses 20 percent of the world's forests. The Peace Corp's environmental programmes have been expanded to include 900 volunteers working in 51 countries through all regions of the world. Nearly 50 percent of these volunteers are assigned to forestry related projects. As a member of the North American Forestry Commission (NAFC), institutional strengthening and capacity building for sustainable forestry has been a focus through training and technical exchanges. General projects include training and cooperating in fire suppression, cooperation to develop monitoring projects for migrating species, increasing the populations of endangered species, e.g. protection of monarch butterfly habitat, reintroducing the Mexican Grey Wolf, and improving neotropical bird habitat. Participatory management, important in the United States, has become the mechanism for including the perspectives and needs of all members of local communities. The International Intertribal Conference on Sustainable Forest Management, jointly sponsored by the U.S. Forest Service and USAID, also promotes participation and sustainable forest management by indigenous people.

STATISTICAL DATA/INDICATORS
1980
1990
1994
Forest Area (Km2)a
3,000,663
2,980,850
2,981,360
Protected forest areaa
126,915
142,512
143,899
Roundwood production (solid volume of roundwood without bark in mill m3)b
458.3c
512.8
495.8d
Deforestation rate (Km2/annum)b
1,590
NA
NA
Reforestation rate (Km2/annum)a
11,869
11,583
10,296
a = data from national report

b = data from UN Statistical Yearbook 1995

c = 1985

d = 1992

Other data: The percent of the total work force earn their living from the forestry sector in 1994 - 1.3; National income from the Forestry sector - 8%; Income from export of forest products in $US in 1994 - $13.9 billion; Import of forest products in $US - $17.4 billion; Area logged in 1994 - 30,848 Km2 ; Number of professionals involved in research - 27,000; Today, 33 percent (298.4 million hectares) of the U.S. is forested, constituting two-thirds of the original 445,344 million hectares of forest at the time of European settlement. 39 percent of U.S. forests are in public ownership; 61 percent are privately owned.

AGENDA 21 CHAPTER 12: MANAGING FRAGILE ECOSYSTEMS: COMBATING DESERTIFICATION AND DROUGHT

NATIONAL PRIORITY:
STATUS REPORT:

International Convention to Combat Desertification in Countries Experiencing Drought and/or Desertification

Particularly in Africa

Convention: Signed in 1994; but not yet ratified

Additional comments relevant to this chapter: Significant areas susceptible to desertification comprise approximately 37% of the United States. Numerous federal, state and local land use plans have been prepared for areas susceptible to desertification. These plans generally fall into three broad categories: functional or sector-specific plans, such as highway construction plans; resource specific plans, such as plans to manage fishery resources or plans to reduce soil erosion; and local comprehensive land use plans. The U.S. has only begun to undertake planning on an ecosystem-wide basis. There are no national or regional plans or strategies to combat desertification.

In August 1993, Legislation was revised to combat desertification and drought. In order to raise the overall level of knowledge of the causes and effects of drought and desertification, the Departments of Interior, Commerce (NOAA), and Agriculture, in coordination with other appropriate U.S. agencies, agreed to explore the feasibility of a domestic demonstration programme aimed at the optimum management of drylands for sustainable use.

The impact of improper farming, land use, natural causes and water withdrawals on desertification are rated as "modest"by the Government. Grazing has a "moderate" impact while fuel wood collection is rated "insignificant or none". Improper grazing practices in the 1800's and early 1900's resulted in the degradation of large areas of the western part of the United States. These areas have been slow to recover.

In order to address identified problems associated with desertification, Federal natural resource agencies, in cooperation with State, Tribal and local governments, non-governmental organizations and private land owners are gradually developing ecosystem based approaches to restore degraded areas. Social, economic and cultural incentives exist so that farmers undertake conservation and regenerative measures. Rangeland Reform '95 reduced grazing fees for good stewardship on federally-owned grazing lands.

The U.S. Departments of Agriculture, Commerce, and Interior, in coordination with other U.S. agencies, actively participated in activities to negotiate an International Convention to Combat Desertification in those countries experiencing serious drought and/or desertification (particularly in Africa) and co-sponsored an International Symposium and Workshop on Desertification in Developed Countries in October of 1994. The departments are currently developing a number of ecosystem based demonstration projects in the arid and semi-arid areas of the United States.

Cross-Sectoral Issues

1. Decision-Making Structure: There are a wide variety of federal agencies involved in combatting desertification and drought in the western part of the United States. These agencies include the Bureau of Land Management, the Bureau of Reclamation, the Environmental Protection Agency, the Fish and Wildlife Service, the Forest Service, the Geological Survey, the National Biological Survey, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, the National Science Foundation, and the Soil Conservation Service.

There are thousands of professional staff members in these agencies whose jobs involve combatting desertification and drought in one form or another.

There also are a significant number of state, local and tribal units of government and a wide variety of non-governmental organizations involved in combatting desertification and drought.

2. Capacity-Building/Technology Issues: There are approximately 25,000 hydrological monitoring stations. Their coverage is rated as "good".

There is "adequate" staff dealing with desertification issues at the Federal and State levels, while at the grassroots level, staffing is "below par". In general, there is a shortage of trained field level staff.

A number of workshops and conferences on the topics of desertification and drought have been proposed, including : the International Symposium and Workshop on Desertification in Developed Countries (October 1994) and the Fifth International Rangeland Congress (July 1995). An International Symposium and Workshop on desertification in Developed Countries has been proposed for May 1997.

3. Major Groups: NGOs are advisory participants at the field/grassroots level and ad hoc participants at National Planning and Middle levels. Women are ad hoc participants at National, District and grassroots levels. Youth are involved in national or district level planning and are "seldom" involved at the grassroots level.

4. Finance: Total federal, state and local spending on desertification is not available.

5. Regional/International Cooperation: The major international, regional and bilateral programmes active in the U.S. include UNESCO's Man and the Biosphere Programme (MAB); National Science Foundation LTER sites; U.S. / Mexico Border Environmental Issues Field Committee and the International Sonoran Desert Alliance.

STATISTICAL DATA/INDICATORS
1980
1990
1992
Area susceptible to desertification
37% of US
37% of US
37% of US
Land use and ecology
1982
1987
1992
Desert area of no or minimial value
near zero
near zero
near zero
cultivated land area
396,200Km2
370,500Km2
332,500 Km2
Pasture land area
57,500 Km2
58,500 Km2
58,600Km2
Other data

AGENDA 21 CHAPTER 13: MANAGING FRAGILE ECOSYSTEMS: SUSTAINABLE MOUNTAIN DEVELOPMENT

NATIONAL PRIORITY:
STATUS REPORT: Federal Agencies responsible for federal lands in mountainous areas are pursuing ecosystem approaches to land management. See chapter 10 summary.

The Appalachian Regional Commission (ARC) was established in 1965 pursuant to the Appalachian Regional Development Act of 1965. Its purpose was to help build a better economy and better quality of life for the people in the Appalachian Mountain region. An important element of the program is its unique partnership of federal, state and local governments. This structure helps put responsibility in the hands of citizens at the local level. In this process, initiatives from local citizens become part of each state's annual overall plan that is then approved by the ARC. This results in a "from the bottom up" approach to addressing local needs, rather than from the top down. Funds that have been distributed through ARC programs have been used for improving water and sewer systems, work force training programs, adult literacy programs, improving access to health care, and in construction of the Appalachian highway system. Since 1965, the 13-state region within the ARC has received $6.5 billion in special federal funding, which in turned has leveraged funds from state and municipal sources. In 1965, one in three people living in Appalachian Mountains were considered impoverished. Since then, the overall poverty rate has diminished to closer to that of the federal average. The number of adults who have received high school educations in the area has risen from one in 3 in 1965, to two in three; and the infant death rate has been cut in half over that same time period.

Cross-Sectoral Issues

1. Decision-Making Structure: Most all decision-making is taken at state and local levels.

2. Capacity-Building/Technology Issues: No unique technology situations in the Appalachian mountain area.

3. Major Groups: Major groups generally involved at local and state levels.

4. Finance: About $6.5 billion of federal funds provided through the ARC since 1965 in the Appalachian region.

5. Regional/International Cooperation: No information

STATISTICAL DATA/INDICATORS

AGENDA 21 CHAPTER 14: PROMOTING SUSTAINABLE AGRICULTURE AND RURAL DEVELOPMENT

NATIONAL PRIORITY:
STATUS REPORT: The U.S. Food, Agriculture, Conservation, and Trade Act of 1990 (7 USE 3101) defined sustainable agriculture as "an integrated system of plant and animal production practices having a site-specific application that will, over the long term, satisfy human food and fiber needs; enhance environmental quality and the natural resource base upon which the agriculture economy depends; make the most efficient use of nonrenewable resources and on-farm resources and integrate, where appropriate, natural biological cycles and controls; sustain the economic viability of farm operation; and enhance the quality of life for farmers and members of rural communities, and society as a whole."

The U.S. government continuously reviews policy, research programmes, extension programmes and other activities related to food production, marketing and consumption. The most recent national legislation on agricultural and rural development is the "Federal Agricultural and Improvement Act of 1996", more commonly referred to as the 1996 Farm Bill. This bill extended the Conservation Reserve Program until the year 2002. It also established the Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP) which combines functions of four other conservation programs, and a new Farmland Protection Program to purchase conservation easements om 68,800 - 137,600 ha to limit non-agricultural uses of land. To encourage the economic development of rural communities, the U.S. Government has an alternative Agricultural Research and Commercialization Programme. This programme seeks to enhance farm income by developing and commercializing non-food, non-feed uses of traditional and non-traditional agricultural products. A revolving loan fund, established to encourage this work has granted loans for purposes as diverse as the establishment of standards and common terminology for biofuels, the manufacture of paper from straw, the manufacture of high quality furniture from low-quality and small diameter logs, the use of kenaf as a mat for seeding lawn grass and making newsprint and fiberboard, and the use of milkweed as a filler for pillows and comforters.

Under the USDA's Sustainable Agriculture Research Extension (SARE) programme, research and education projects are funded that facilitate scientific investigation and education. Over 100 producer grants have been awarded through this programme to date. Farmers and ranchers must initiate and conduct these research grants. In one programme, feed savings of $233 per dairy cow was achieved with rotational grazing as compared to confinement feeding the Northeast Region. In addition, labor has been reduced by 59% and profits increased 32%. Monthly meetings and pasture walks helped participating dairy producers and neighbours make a smooth transition to pasture-based dairying, which required a small fraction of the chemical inputs used to produce grain for confinement dairy systems.

One example of the U.S. Government's effort to establish land reclamation programmes for degraded land is the Conservation Reserve Programme. The purpose of the programme is to assist land owners in the conservation and improvement of highly erodible land, fragile lands (including land with associated ground or surface water that may be vulnerable to contamination) and wetlands from annual cropping. Through long-term contracts and easements, approximately 36 million acres are incorporated in this programme.

The National Plant Germplasm Advisory Committee has been in operation for over 20 years. The U.S. Government, maintains the world's most extensive germplasm storage network. The base collection is housed in the National Seed Storage Laboratory. Active genebanks are located in more than 20 locations around the country.

Compared to plant germplasm initiatives, the conservation and sustainable utilization of animal genetic resources for sustainable agriculture is in its infancy. The U.S., however, has begun collecting a national inventory of available animal genetic resources.

STATUS REPORT (Cont'd)

The U.S. Government's research and education on Integrated Pest Management (IPM) includes research on pests, pesticide resistance, biological controls, cultural controls and sterile insect release programmes. IPM involves the exploration and utilization of biological cycles and genetic diversity of agricultural pests, host resistance, naturally occurring pathogens and parasites. It also includes the study and use of reduced toxicity pesticides. IPM involves training and education to foster a variety of pest control techniques in order to keep pesticide intervention to a minimum.

The U.S. Government has many programmes that collect data, establish databases, and provide network access to these databases. Databases are developed and maintained for germplasm information, pests, pesticide and fertilize use, production practices, soil types, forest types, insect infestations, and crop coverage/production. Economists analyze the data to compare input use and profitability of different production practices. These databases are accessed by research scientists, extension agents, farmers, and others through the National Agricultural Library's computer system through SANET (Sustainable Agriculture Network) over the INTERNET. The National Agricultural Library supports the Alternative Farming Systems Information Center, which provides information in print and other media in response to thousands of inquires on numerous subjects related to sustainable agricultural practices. A National Soil Survey and the Natural Resources Inventory contain information on soil types and conditions and land degradation.

Cross-Sectoral Issues

1. Decision-Making Structure: The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) is the leading US agency charged with implementation of US policies for the provision of food, fiber and forest products. This includes responsibility for research, development, and dissemination of knowledge about systems and sustainable methods of obtaining food, fiber, and forest products. To accomplish this mission, the USDA works in concert with many other groups including the President's Council on Sustainable Development, the National Science and Technology Council, the Committee on Food Safety and Health, other Federal agencies, State agricultural and forest experiment stations, State land-grant colleges and universities, extension services, non-profit organizations, among others.

2. Capacity-Building/Technology Issues: There are four SARE host institutions that administer regional programmes; the University of Nebraska, the University of Vermont, the University of Georgia, and Utah State University. These host institutions establish and oversee training activities (at various regional locations) administered by the USDA Extension Service and educate federal and state Cooperative Extension Agents and other professionals. Those trained can better impart sustainable agriculture concepts and practises to farmers and urban residents.

The U.S. Government is dedicated to making available all necessary knowledge and technology to farmers, extension agents and planners. USDA maintains a number of databases available to all users through the National Agricultural Library. The Extension Service retains agents in virtually every county of the United States. The Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) formerly the Soil Conservation Service) has resource planning specialists in virtually every county, to assist landowners with resource planning. Through the Sustainable Agriculture Network (SAN) funded by the SARE programme, information is being provided in many forms, including printed reports and databases that demonstrate research findings to farmers with computers and to information providers world wide. The Department of the Interior operates the Appropriate Technology Transfer for Rural Areas (ATTRA) programme which transfers information about sustainable agriculture to farmers. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) and the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) have formed a partnership with a number of groups and companies representing agricultural and non-agricultural pesticide users to promote environmental stewardship of pesticide use in the United States.

In order to improve farm productivity while minimizing risk to the environment, the U.S. Government manages a programme in Integrated Farm Management (IFM) Systems. The purpose of the IFM programme is research and education on crop and livestock management programmes that will enhance productivity while minimizing impacts on water quality, soil quality, and the environment.

3. Major Groups: A number of associations and NGOs are involved in the process associated with USDA programs as well as the legislative process pertaining to the farm bills developed and acted upon by the Congress, in consultation with the Administration.

4. Finance: No information

5. Regional/International Cooperation: The U.S. Government participated in the exchange of scientific personnel for education, training and cooperative efforts related to sustainable agricultural practices in developing countries. It also provides scientific, technical and educational assistance addressing issues of agricultural sustainability. USAID has supported sustainable agriculture practices through the International Agriculture Research Centers (IARCs), which receives their funding through the Consultative Group on International Agriculture Research (CGIAR). The U.S. is also one of CGIAR's leading contributors. The U.S. has also worked at FAO to support greater diffusion and action on programs that promote sustainable agricultural practices.

STATISTICAL DATA/INDICATORS
1985
1990
1995
Agricultural land (thousands of acres - rounded)
1,012,000
987,000
972,000
Number of farms
2,293
2,146
2,073
Acreage per farm
441
460
469
1989/90
1992/93
1993/94
Consumption of fertilizers (Kg/Km2 of agricultural land as of 1990)
4,337.0
4,400.6
NA
Other data

AGENDA 21 CHAPTER 15: CONSERVATION OF BIOLOGICAL DIVERSITY

NATIONAL PRIORITY:
STATUS REPORT:

Convention on Biological Diversity

Signed in 1993; but not yet ratified

Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora

Convention signed in 1993 and already ratified.

Additional comments relevant to this chapter: Post-UNCED domestic policy has focused on promoting partnerships among Federal, state and private programmes concerned with biological diversity, coordinating government-wide research, data systems, and technology development, and demonstrating ecosystem-based management approaches, while concurrently establishing protected areas, maintaining ex situ repositories for genetic resources and improving public education. Federal systems of national parks, forests, grasslands, wildlife refuges, marine sanctuaries, wilderness areas, and other management categories and special designations play a major role in situ conservation of biodiversity. Federal programmes and facilities also play a major role in collection and ex situ preservation of crop germplasm and other genetic resources of potential or actual economic importance.

In 1993, the Federal Government established the National Biological Service (NBS) to provide information and technology for managing biological diversity. NBS is a catalyst for developing methods and protocols for biological inventory, monitoring, research and data management. Through partnerships with other agencies and private organizations, the NBS will coordinate access to biological information by Federal, state and other land managers and other sectors of society, document diversity trends, and feature the causes of biological impoverishment. In 1994, the NBS began to develop and synthesize biological information to support cooperative management of 10 ecosystems and initiated a review of national and regional biodiversity issues and trends based on existing data sources. Under the auspices of the interagency Committee on the Environment and Natural Resources established by the White House in 1993, a Subcommittee on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Dynamics has been charged with developing an integrated government-wide strategy and implementation plan for R&D on biodiversity and ecological dynamics to support management and conservation of renewable resources. The Federal government launched an interagency effort in 1993 to develop a baseline synthesis of the current knowledge of major eco-regions in the U.S. In 1993, the White House Office of Environmental Policy established the Interagency Ecosystem Management Task Force to coordinate the implementation of a comprehensive Ecosystem Management scheme. The Task force seeks to promote a consistent approach to environmental management by learning from large scale ecosystem-based management efforts, and strengthening the ongoing development of an ecosystem management approach for federal lands and federally managed programmes. This approach entails involving multiple agencies within larger ecological boundaries. It also relies on finding ways to increase voluntary participation of state, tribal, and local governments as well as nongovernmental organizations and the public. Through the Ecosystem Management Initiative, multi-agency Ecosystem Management Teams are being established to work with local and regional stakeholders in developing "New Initiatives Laboratories" as cooperative demonstrations of ecosystem management in areas where such management is not well developed, yet where significant opportunities for demonstrating integrated management exist. Ecosystem management strategies have been adopted in the Departments of the Interior, Agriculture, Defense and Energy, as well as in the USEPA and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. In some cases, broad-scale organizational frameworks are being implemented. For example, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service in the Department of the Interior has defined approximately 50 ecosystem "units" across the country as a basis for future planning related to sustainable management and endangered species conservation.

Cross-Sectoral Issues

1. Decision-Making Structure: In the U.S., all levels of government, the private sector and individuals share major responsibilities for conservation and biological diversity. The federal government has broad responsibility for managing terrestrial and marine biodiversity of public lands (approximately one-third of the U.S. land area), coastal waters, as well as specific responsibilities for regulating private uses of resources of national interest that have important biological values (e.g. estuaries, wetlands, floodplain, critical habitat for endangered species). State governments have broad responsibilities for regulating uses of land and natural resources (e.g., hunting and fishing) not subject to Federal reservation. State and local parks and reserves are important in biodiversity conservation. In states that lack large federal landholdings, NGOs, private institutions and individual landowners protect large numbers of tracts, maintain significant ex situ facilities such as arboreta and zoological parks and play an increasing role in conservation.

2. Capacity-Building/Technology Issues: National Biodiversity Databases on Ecosystems include: National Wetlands Inventory, National Coastal Wetlands Database, Wetlands Creation and Restoration Database, Gap Analysis Database, Global Ecosystems, Biospherics Programme, Earth Resources Observation Systems, Data Atlases (Coastal/Marine Ecosystems) and the National Estuarine Inventory. Databases on Species include: Wetland Plant List and Species databases, Candidate Plant and Animal species, Endangered Species Country List, BIOS, Federal Interagency Sensitive Wildlife Information System, National Contaminant Biomonitoring, National Biomonitoring Inventory, North American Breeding Birds, Bird Banding and Band Recovery, Waterfowl Breeding Populations, Waterfowl Harvest, Winter Waterfowl, Marine and Waterbird Colonies, Fisheries Statistics, Living Maritime Resources Programme, Forest Inventory and Analysis. Other Databases include: Biosphere Reserve Integrated Monitoring Programme, National Resource Inventories in National Forests and Grasslands, National Park flora, National Park Fauna, Land Condition and Trend Analysis (U.S. Army). Taxonomy Databases include: Smithsonian Taxonomic Databases, Plant List of Accepted Nomenclature, Taxonomy and Symbols, EPA Taxonomic and the National Oceanographic Data Center Code System. Regional databases include: Endangered Plants of Northwestern states, New England Animal Species, raptors, Fish Stocking, Commercial Fish Catch. In 1991, 4,542 Ph.D Awards were granted in the biological sciences.

3. Major Groups: Cooperative efforts involving various levels of government and the private sector are underway to implement the biosphere reserve concept in several regions. For example, in the diverse forest ecosystem of the southeastern highlands, the Southern Appalachian Man and the Biosphere Programme is being implemented as a joint undertaking of the SAMB Cooperative and the SAMAB Foundation. The former organization includes representatives from Federal and state agencies, and the latter from private institutions, nongovernmental organizations, and local communities. Working together, these organizations enable ecosystem stakeholders to consult, share capabilities, and pool resources to address conservation and development problems in a biologically diverse and culturally distinctive area that includes territory of six states. The International Sonoran Desert Alliance is a public-private partnership, established in 1992 in an area of the western Sonoran desert that includes a cluster of biosphere reserves in northwestern mexico and Arizona. The Alliance includes residents, business leaders, state and federal resource managers and conservationists from the United States and Mexico, and offers an ecosystem-based forum for local communities to develop shared goals and joint projects for community development and protection of the cultural and biological diversity of one of the largest intact arid ecosystems in the world. The Nature Conservancy (TNC), has pioneered development of methods and data systems to support biodiversity conservation.

4. Finance: No discrete information available.

Cross-Sectoral Issues (Cont'd)

5. Regional/International Cooperation: The U.S. expanded participation in international programmes to support the conservation of native migratory species that require seasonal habitats in multiple countries through the Partners in Flight Programme. Government agencies and private organizations are establishing national, regional, state, and physiographic working groups to coordinate monitoring, research, and public education efforts to conserve neotropical migratory birds and their habitats, and to link these efforts with those of other nations in the Hemisphere. In 1994, the U.S., Canada, and Mexico signed an update to the North American Waterfowl Management Plan that expanded their commitment to restoring continental waterfowl populations and conserving the biological diversity of critical wetlands. From 1990 through 1993, the cooperative programme to implement the Plan has protected, restored, or enhanced 2.26 million acres in the U.S. and 1.19 million acres in Canada, and launched 15 projects in 9 Mexican states (1990 - 1994), as well as implemented mapping, planning and educational projects covering an additional 3 million wetland acres. The State Department has coordinated development of the interagency Coral Reef Initiative to build domestic and international partnerships, provide coordination and integration of existing and new activities, and develop the technical and human resources needed to conserve, protect, and manage coral reef ecosystems in the United States and the world. The CRI was launched through an international workshop in early 1995. By 1996, plans called for implementation of an expanded Coral Reef Research Programme, a global monitoring programme, a comprehensive programme of research and conservation of reef ecosystems under U.S. jurisdiction and an international programme of capacity-building focusing on partnerships for effective management of coral reef ecosystems, taking into account the full range of threats from local land-based pollution to the potential effects of global change. The Biodiversity Conservation Network, funded by the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID), works with NGO and private sector partners in host countries to develop and implement economically viable approaches for conserving biodiversity at the local level. Grants support development and marketing of new sustainable nonforest timber products, ecotourism enterprises, cooperative biodiversity prospecting and other innovative projects. In cooperation with the World Bank, USAID in 1994-1995 helped establish funding organizations to strengthen country institutions and support biodiversity activities in Indonesia (Indonesia Biodiversity Foundation) and Mexico (Mexican Conservation Fund), and recently provided a $3 million grant to Conservation International to conduct rapid biodiversity assessments in the Andean region of South America and insular Southeast Asia and the Pacific. Through the International Cooperative Biodiversity Groups Programme, USAID is collaborating with the National Institutes of Health and the National Science Foundation to award grants to U.S. and developing country partners for discovering bioactive agents for the pharmaceutical industry while encouraging biological conservation and sustainable economic development.

STATISTICAL DATA/INDICATORS
1992
1995
Protected area as % of total land area
10.5
10.5
1990
Latest 199_
Number of threatened species
2,379
2,500
Other data

AGENDA 21 CHAPTER 16: ENVIRONMENTALLY SOUND MANAGEMENT OF BIOTECHNOLOGY

NATIONAL PRIORITY:
STATUS REPORT: Through the use of advanced tools such as genetic engineering, biotechnology is expected to have a dramatic effect on the world economy over the next decade. Development of the uses of biotechnology is not just a U.S. government program, but a partnership of federal, state, and private sector resources. To date, the federal investment in biotechnology has been focused primarily on the health field. The results of this research are having a profound impact on medicine and health care, providing improved approaches to the diagnosis, treatment, and prevention of disease. A major report from the Biotechnology Research Committee (BRS) of the National Science and Technology Council (NSTC a cabinet-level council which serves as the principal means for the President to coordinate science, space, and technology policies across the federal government), was released in 1995 on biotechnology. This report, "Biotechnology for the 21st Century: New Horizons", identifies priorities for federal investment and specific opportunities in four specific areas: 1) agricultural biotechnology; 2) environmental biotechnology, with a focus on bioremediation; 3) manufacturing/bioprocessing, including energy research; and, 4) marine biotechnology and aquaculture. The report focused on these areas, and did not include the health field in light of all the efforts already undertaken in that area. The BRS has identified three overarching priorities for federal biotechnology research in the areas highlighted in the report as follows: 1) Expand research to discover, characterize, modify, and control the genetics and biochemical products and processes of a broad range of terrestrial and marine organisms for applications in biotechnology; 2) Apply the tools of modern biotechnology to problems in agriculture, the environment, and manufacturing to facilitate the development of new and improved products, processes, and test methods; and 3) Strengthen and enhance facilities, repositories, databases, reference standards, and human resources to ensure the future vitality of the U.S. biotechnology enterprise. The report can be accessed on the World - Wide- Web browser to http://www.nalusda.gov.bic/bio21

The U.S. believes that an area of particular interest to countries in the field of biotechnology relates to the agricultural sector. Both research and potential commercial use of biotechnology for plants in the environment can be obtained from the database for permits and deregulation developed by the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS). Most of the 48 species of plants, including trees, have been engineered for pest and disease resistance, and some for tolerance to environmental conditions. The database also allows researchers, governments, and industry to identify work of common interest. This information is available in the Internet.

The U.S. has a comprehensive system to review the food, agricultural, and environmental safety of transgenic organisms and products. This is effected by the USDA/APHIS, USEPA, and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. Animal vaccines are also reviewed for human and environmental safety and licenses by USDA/APHIS.

Cross-Sectoral Issues

1. Decision-Making Structure: The Biotechnology Research Subcommittee (BRS) of the Committee on Fundamental Science under the White House's National Science and Technology Council (NSTC) serves as a federal agency coordinating function on biotechnology issues among the 13 federal departments and agencies involved in biotechnology issues applicable to broad and diverse government missions and goals in this area. The Federal Government is one of three partners, along with the industrial and academic communities, in the collaborative venture that is biotechnology research and development.

2. Capacity-Building/Technology Issues: Available information in the report highlighted on the previous page.

3. Major Groups: Of all the major groups identified in Agenda 21, the U.S. scientific and technological community plays the largest role in biotechnology issues. U.S. NGOs also are involved in the debate of biotechnology issues that has occurred with respect to certain biotechnology issues.

4. Finance: Federal investment in biotechnology research was estimated at nearly $4.3 billion in fiscal year 1994.

5. Regional/International Cooperation: The U.S. has cooperated and intends to continue to cooperate in numerous international organizations and fora that address biotechnology issues, including the FAO, UNEP, OECD, and the North American Plant Protection Organization (NAPPO). USAID has implemented a model program for international technology transfer that helps developing countries gain access to the benefits of agricultural biotechnology. The six-year Agricultural Biotechnology for Sustainable Development (ABSP) project features unique research collaborations targetting domestic and tropical varieties of a wide-range of crops. U.S. participants include the Federal Government, four universities, a law school, two companies, an international research institute, and a biotechnology trade association. Training and expert consultation in intellectual property and biosafety regulations are offered to micro-propagation companies from Indonesia and Costa Rica and public institutions in those countries as well as Egypt and Kenya. To ensure that mutual benefits ensue, legal agreements for ownership, product distribution, and royalties are established early in the process.

STATISTICAL DATA/INDICATORS

AGENDA 21 CHAPTER 17: PROTECTION OF THE OCEANS, ALL KINDS OF SEAS, INCLUDING ENCLOSED AND SEMI-ENCLOSED SEAS, AND COASTAL AREAS AND THE PROTECTION, RATIONAL USE AND DEVELOPMENT OF THEIR LIVING RESOURCES

NATIONAL PRIORITY:
STATUS REPORT:

The UN Convention on the Law of the Sea: Signed but not yet ratified by the U.S.

See also the attached tables on the next pages.

The UN Convention on the Law of the Sea continues to serve as a comprehensive framework with respect to the uses of the oceans. It creates the structure for the governance and protection of all marine areas, including the air space above and the seabed and sub-soil below. The U.S. signed the accompanying Agreement Relating to the Implementation of Part XI of the Convention on July 29, 1994, and intends to apply the Agreement provisionally pending ratification.

The U.S. has a national policy on oceans as well as an integrated coastal area management programme. Existing coastal zone and area management plans encompass all marine activities within the Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ). Prior assessment of the impact of major activities on oceans is required under the National Environmental Policy Act and the Outer Continental Shelf Lands Act. Under the programme area of marine environmental protection, a tradeable permits programme for SO2 emissions and a cradle-to-grave hazardous waste management scheme has been introduced. Activities under this programme area are rated "very important" or "important". The Government has access to technologies that serve to identify the major types of pollution of the marine environment from land-based sources.

The Government participates in the development of socio-economic and environmental indicators, systematic observation systems, mussel watch programmes and clearing-houses, as well as capacity building and training programs. There are several databases (National Estuarine Inventory, National Coastal Discharge Inventory, National Status and Trends Programme, etc.) used by the U.S. Government, private sector or universities. These databases cover all relevant issues in coastal zones and are rated as "adequate". Since the 1972 enactment of the Coastal Zone Management Act, environmental assessments of coastal and marine areas are undertaken at least every two years. The U.S. is able to measure improvements and changes in the coastal and marine environment primarily through the National Status and Trends Programme.

Cross-Sectoral Issues

1. Decision-Making Structure: The National Security Council (NSC) Interagency Working Group on Global Environmental Affairs, including but not limited to all U.S. maritime and coastal agencies, has primary responsibility for ensuring the integrated planning and implementation of costal management policy. The NSC is fully integrated in the President's Council on Sustainable Development.

2. Capacity-Building/Technology Issues: The U.S. National Oceanic and Atmosphere Administration is working on a number of indices of nutrient enrichment, including an algae index. The U.S. noted, however, that an algae index alone, without other indices, is not very useful.

3. Major Groups: Major Groups have an advisory role in the national and local agenda-setting processes. These groups include the private sector, small-scale artisanal fishermen and indigenous people.

4. Finance: Bilateral and multilateral financial assistance has been provided by the U.S. Government since 1992 to implement activities to address the sustanable development of small islands and developing states (SIDS).

5. Regional/International Cooperation: The U.S. supports the Clearinghouse Concept in the Global Plan of Action for the Protection of the Marine Environment from land-based activities. Adoption of a UNGA resolution would facilitate coordination among the UN agencies and international organizations. The ratification and implementation of IMO treaties also requires international cooperation. The U.S. Mineral Management Service coordinates with counterpart agencies abroad with respect to offshore oil and gas operations. The United States fully supports the Agreement for the Implementation of the Provision of the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea of 10 December 1982 relating to the Conservation and Management of Straddling Fish Stocks and Highly Migratory Fish Stocks, as well as the 1993 Agreement to promote Compliance with International Conservation and Management Measures by Fishing Vessels on the High Seas. The U.S. also fully supports the Code of Conduct of Responsible Fishing which impacts the conservation and management of marine fisheries within the U.S. EEZ. The Government recently helped launch a process to establish a multinational initiative for an International Research Institute (IRI) and network dedicated to world-class scientific research and education on forecasting on year-to-year climate variability. The U.S. took the lead on developing the clearinghouse activity called for in the Global Programme of Action (GPA) on land-based activities and hosted the conference in 1995 which developed and adopted the GPA. The U.S. plays a significant role in the IOC, IPCC, World Weather Watch, Earth Watch, and International Mussel Watch. The U.S. notes the importance of para. 17.118 of Agenda 21 that calls for the UNGA to provide for regular consideration within the UN system on general marine and coastal issues, including environment and development items. The U.S. Government participates in the Global Ocean Observing System. USAID's Water and Coastal Resources Program addresses the vital and strategic interests in promoting the sustainable development of freshwater, coastal, and marine resources. USAID is playing a leadership role in providing direction and impetus to international efforts to address the needs for integrated coastal and freshwater resources management, preservation of aquatic biodiversity and reduction of pollution from land-based activities. As part of its strategy, USAID is actively supporting the International Coral Reef Initiative (ICRI), which stems in part from a U.S. initiative. In addition USAID actively supports the sustainable management of mangrove and other coastal ecosystems.

STATISTICAL DATA/INDICATORS
1980
1990
1994
Catches of marine species (metric tons)
4.987

(1984)
5.868
5,939

(1993)
Population in coastal areas
119,833
133,396
138,519
Population served by waste water treatment (% of country's

total population)

65.51
78.94

(1991)
80.83

(1993)
Discharges of oil into coastal waters (metric tons)
12.64
13.91
1.54

(1993)
Releases of phosphate into coastal waters (metric tons)
223,400

(1991)
Releases of nitrate into coastal waters (metric tons)
190,000

(1991)
Other data

Chapter 17 (Oceans) Continued:

Check the boxes in the column below left: Check the boxes in the column below right:
For level of importance use: For level of implementation use:
*** = very important *** = fully covered
** = important ** = well covered- gaps being addressed
* = not important * = poorly covered
N = not relevant O = not covered; N = not relevant

TABLE I. THE FOLLOWING ACTIVITIES HAVE BEEN CONSIDERED BY THE APPROPRIATE COORDINATING MECHANISM FOR INTEGRATED MANAGEMENT AND SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT OF COASTAL AND MARINE AREAS AND THEIR RESOURCES.

LEVEL OF

IMPORTANCE
ACTIVITY AS DESCRIBED IN AGENDA 21
LEVEL OF

IMPLEMENTATION
**
a. Preparation and implementation of land and water use and siting policies.
*
***
b. Implementation of integrated coastal and marine management and sustainable development plans and programmes at appropriate levels.
**
c. Preparation of coastal profiles identifying critical areas including eroded zones, physical processes, development patterns, user conflicts and specific priorities for management.
***
d. Prior environmental impact assessment, systematic observation and follow-up of major projects, including systematic incorporation of results in decision-making.
***
***
e. Contingency plans for human induced and natural disasters.
***
f. Improvement of coastal human settlements, especially in housing, drinking water and treatment and disposal of sewage, solid wastes and industrial effluents.
g. Periodic assessment of the impacts of external factors and phenomena to ensure that the objectives of integrated management and sustainable development of coastal areas and marine environment are met.
h. Conservation and restoration of altered critical habitats.
I. Integration of sectoral programmes on sustainable development for settlements, agriculture, tourism, fishing, ports and industries affecting the coastal areas.
**
J. Infrastructure adaptation and alternative employment.
**
**
K. Human resource development and training.
**
***
L. Public education, awareness and information programmes.
**
**
M. Promoting environmentally sound technology and sustainable practices.
**
**
N. Development and simultaneous implementation of environmental quality criteria.
**

TABLE II. TECHNOLOGY (MARINE ENVIRONMENT)

LEVEL OF

IMPORTANCE
ACTIVITY AS DESCRIBED IN AGENDA 21
LEVEL OF

IMPLEMENTATION
***
A. Apply preventive, precautionary and anticipatory approaches so as to avoid degradation of the marine environment, as well as to reduce the risk of long-term or irreversible adverse effects upon it.
***
***
B. Ensure prior assessment of activities that may have significant adverse impacts upon the marine environment.
***
***
C. Integrate protection of the marine environment into relevant general environmental, social and economic development policies.
**
**
D. Develop economic incentives, where appropriate, to apply clean technologies and other means consistent with the internalization of environmental costs, such as the polluter pays principle, so as to avoid degradation of the marine environment.
**
**
E. Improve the living standards of coastal populations, particularly in developing countries, so as to contribute to reducing the degradation of the coastal and marine environment.
**
***
F. Effective monitoring and surveillance within the exclusive economic zone (EEZ) of fish harvesting and transportation of toxic and other hazardous materials.
**

TABLE III. SEWAGE RELATED ISSUES

LEVEL OF

IMPORTANCE
ACTIVITY AS DESCRIBED IN AGENDA 21
LEVEL OF

IMPLEMENTATION
***
A. Sewage related problems are considered when formulating or reviewing coastal development plans, including human development plans.
***
***
B. Sewage treatment facilities are built in accordance with national policies.
***
***
C. Coastal outfalls are located so as to maintain acceptable level of environmental quality and to avoid exposing shell fisheries, water intakes and bathing areas to pathogens.
**
***
D. The Government promotes primary treatment of municipal sewage discharged to rivers, estuaries and the sea, or other solutions appropriate to specific sites.
***
***
E. The Government supports the establishment and improvement of local, national, subregional and regional, as necessary, regulatory and monitoring programmes to control effluent discharge. Minimum sewage effluent guidelines and water quality criteria are in use.
***

TABLE IV. OTHER SOURCES OF MARINE POLLUTION, THE GOVERNMENT HAS:

LEVEL OF

IMPORTANCE
ACTIVITY AS DESCRIBED IN AGENDA 21
LEVEL OF

IMPLEMENTATION
***
A. Established or improved upon, as necessary, regulatory and monitoring programmes to control emissions, including recycling technologies.
**
***
B. Promoted risk and environmental impact assessments to help ensure an acceptable level of environmental quality.
***
**
C. Promoted assessment and cooperation at the regional level, where appropriate, with respect to the input of point source pollutants from the marine environment.
**
**
D. Taken steps to eliminate emissions or discharges of organohalogen compounds from the marine environment.
**
**
E. Taken steps to eliminate/reduce emissions or discharges or other synthetic organic compounds from the marine environment.
**
***
F. Promoted controls over anthropogenic inputs of nitrogen and phosphorous that enter coastal waters where such problems as eutrophication threaten the marine environment or its resources.
**
***
G. Taken steps to develop and implement environmentally sound land-use techniques and practices to reduce run-off to water courses and estuaries which would cause pollution or degradation of the marine environment.
**
***
H. Promoted the use of environmentally less harmful pesticides and fertilizers and alternative methods for pest control, and considered the prohibition of those found to be environmentally unsound.
**
***
I. Adopted new initiatives at national, subregional and regional levels for controlling the input of non-point source pollutants which require broad changes in sewage and waste management, agricultural practices, mining, construction and transportation.
**
***
J. Taken steps to control and prevent coastal erosion and siltation due to anthropogenic factors related to, inter alia, land-use and construction techniques and practices.
**

TABLE V. ADDRESSING CRITICAL UNCERTAINTIES FOR THE MANAGEMENT OF THE MARINE ENVIRONMENT AND CLIMATE CHANGE. IN ORDER TO IMPLEMENT THIS PROGRAMME AREA THE GOVERNMENT IS CARRYING OUT THE FOLLOWING ACTIVITIES:

LEVEL OF

IMPORTANCE
ACTIVITY AS DESCRIBED IN AGENDA 21
LEVEL OF

IMPLEMENTATION
**
A. Coordinating national and regional observation programmes for coastal and near-shore phenomena related to climate change and for research parameters essential for marine and coastal management in all regions.
*
**
B. Providing improved forecasts of marine conditions for the safety of inhabitants of coastal areas and for the efficiency of marine operations.
**
*
C. Adopting special measures to cope with and adapt to potential climate change and sea-level rise.
*
*
D. Participating in coastal vulnerability assessment, modelling and response strategies particularly for priority areas, such as small islands and low-lying and critical coastal areas.
*
*
E. Identifying ongoing and planned programmes of systematic observation of the marine environment, with a view to integrating activities and establishing priorities to address critical uncertainties for oceans and all seas.
*
*
F. Research to determine the marine biological effects of increased levels of ultraviolet rays due to the depletion of the stratospheric ozone layer.
*
*
G. Carrying out analysis, assessments and systematic observation of the role of oceans as a carbon sink.
**

TABLE VI. RATING OF ACTIVITIES IN THE AIR AND MARITIME TRANSPORT SECTORS IN THE SMALL ISLANDS DEVELOPING STATES (SIDS)

AIR TRANSPORT
RATING
MARITIME TRANSPORT
RATING
1. Frequency (external flights)
NA
1. Frequency (external shipping)
NA
2. Frequency (in-country flights)
"
2. Frequency (in-country shipping)
"
3. Cooperation at regional level in air transport and civil aviation
"
3. Cooperation at regional level in shipping
"
4. Cooperation at international level
"
4. Cooperation at international level
"
5. Economic viability of national air line
"
5. Economic viability of national shipping line(s)
"
6. Economic viability of regional air line
"
6. Economic viability of regional shipping line (s)
"
7. national level training in skills for air transport sector
"
7. National level training in skills for maritime transport sector
"
8. Access to training in skills for air transport sector within the region
"
8. Regional level training in skills for maritime transport sector
"
9. Access to international training for air transport sector
"
9. Access to international training for maritime transport sector
"
10. Supportive of ICAO
"
"

AGENDA 21 CHAPTER 18: PROTECTION OF THE QUALITY AND SUPPLY OF FRESHWATER RESOURCES: APPLICATION OF INTEGRATED APPROACHES TO THE DEVELOPMENT, MANAGEMENT AND USE OF WATER RESOURCES

NATIONAL PRIORITY:
STATUS REPORT: Watersheds are a primary concern of the President's Council for Sustainable Development's (PCSD) research. The Task Force on Natural Resources facilitates the integration of assessing and analyzing the social, environmental and economic sustainability of people's activities. Chapter 18 sets ambitious objectives to meet the goal of satisfying the freshwater needs of countries for their sustainable development. The concept that is central to Chapter 18 is for countries to move toward integrated water resources management, a holistic approach that treats water resources as an integral part of the ecosystem. The United States is working towards this goal. Many projects are being undertaken in the areas throughout the United States - such as the Great Lakes-St. Lawrence River Basin, the Columbia River system, the Missouri River system, the Alabama-Coosa-Tallapoosa and Apalachiola-Chattahoochee-Flint River basins, and the Everglades that take a more integrative look at managing these resources than has been done in the past. A watershed management approach is being proposed for incorporation into the primary federal statute regulating water quality. Although the federal government administers a significant portion of the nation's water storage and conveyance facilities, water allocation and administration rests principally with the states.

Despite droughts and chronic water shortages in some locales and record floods in others, the U.S. has an abundance of high-quality fresh surface water and groundwater. Protection of both surface water and groundwater supplies are addressed at both local and state levels, as well as at the federal level. Federal statutes that provide protection for both surface and/or groundwater include the Clean Water Act, the Safe Drinking Water Act, the Resource Conservation and Management Act, and the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation and Liability Act.

The Clean Water Act has as its goal the "restoration and maintenance of the chemical, physical and biological integrity of the Nation's waters." Under this Act, it is illegal to discharge pollutants from a point source into any surface water without a National Pollution Discharge Elimination System permit. Most states have legal authority to implement and enforce the provisions of the Clean Water Act, while USEPA retains oversight responsibilities for most state water programs. Water quality standards, criteria to assure that streams are "fishable and swimmable", are set by each state, with USEPA oversight and approval. The Safe Drinking Water Act, which was reauthorized in 1996, has been established to protect the quality of drinking water in the U.S. This law focuses on all waters actually or potentially designated for drinking use, whether from above ground or underground sources. The Act authorizes USEPA to establish safe standards of purity and requires all owners or operators of public water systems to comply with primary (health-related) standards. While at the federal level, USEPA has primary responsibilities under both the Clean Water and Safe Drinking Water Acts, many agencies of the federal government are involved in water resource management activities, including the U.S. Geological Survey, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, and the USDA's Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS). State and local governments are also involved in water resource issues.

Cross-Sectoral Issues

1. Decision-Making Structure: Most decision-making on allocation and administration of freshwater resources rests with states and local governments. However, federal statutes pertaining to environmental protection of surface water and groundwater supplies are principally under USEPA oversight.

2. Capacity-Building/Technology Issues: Not a significant issues in the United States. The U.S. is a major world leader in the development and use of state of the art technology pertaining to water management and use. The U.S. Geological Service (USGS) usually produces a major water use report for the country approximately every five years.

3. Major Groups: Most interaction of major groups with respect to water allocation and administration is done at state and local levels. USEPA and the Congress also interact with major groups in the development and implementation of federal programs dealing with freshwater issues.

4. Finance: USEPA expended approximately $47 million in implementing the Safe Drinking Water and Clean Drinking Water Acts in 1994. However, billions are spent each year in the United States at federal, state and local levels with regard to protecting, allocating and administering U.S. water supplies.

5. Regional/International Cooperation: The U.S. has longstanding cooperative programs with Canada and Mexico on water issues in border areas. The U.S. has also participated at international meetings dealing with freshwater issues (most recently at the Dublin and Noordwijk conferences several years ago). USAID's Water and Coastal Resources Program includes support for freshwater resources management, wetlands protection, and agricultural water use efficiency activities. USAID is providing technical assistance/expertise to promote the integrated, equitable, and participatory management of water resources in developing countries and countries with economies in transition.

STATISTICAL DATA/INDICATORS
1980
1990
Latest 199-
Fresh water availability (total domestic/external in million m3)
Annual withdrawal of freshwater as % of available water
Other data

AGENDA 21 CHAPTER 19: ENVIRONMENTALLY SOUND MANAGEMENT OF TOXIC CHEMICALS, INCLUDING PREVENTION OF ILLEGAL INTERNATIONAL TRAFFIC IN TOXIC AND DANGEROUS PRODUCTS

NATIONAL PRIORITY:
STATUS REPORT: The foundation of the chemicals control programs in the United States is based on the Toxic Substance Control Act (TSCA) and Federal Insecticide, Fungicide and Rodenticide Act (FIFRA). Non-pesticide chemical uses are covered by TSCA, which requires pre-manufacture notification and testing in some cases. FIFRA requires the registration, based on the review of testing data, of the domestic use of any pesticide. A related statute, the Federal Food, Drug and Cosmetic Act (FFDCA) establishes tolerance levels for pesticides residues on foods, including imported foods. The Consumer Product Safety Act (CPSA) and the Federal Hazardous Substances Act (FHSA) address consumer exposure to hazardous chemicals and products, including those manufactured abroad. Occupational Safety and Health Act and the Mine Safety and Health Act address occupational exposures to hazardous chemicals.

The most significant innovations in chemical management in past 10 years have been the result of the Emergency Planning and Community Right-to-Know Act (EPCRA) and the Pollution Prevention Act. EPCRA set up networks of local and state-level committees with the mission to develop plans to prevent, prepare for and respond to chemical accidents. EPCRA also established the toxics release inventory (TRI), which is a publicly available national database of routine annual emissions of over 300 toxic chemicals to air, water, land and off-site disposal. Early in 1993, the President ordered previously exempted federal facilities, including military installations, to report TRI emissions as well as stockpiles of chemicals stored on-site. EPCRA, complemented by related voluntary programs, has, in many instances, resulted in greater reductions in environmental risk than more traditional command-and-control approaches. A significant change in the FHSA since UNCED has been the inclusion of guidelines for evaluating chronic hazards from the exposure to carcinogenic, neurotoxic and reproductive/developmental toxic substances. These guidelines facilitate better interagency and international coordination of policies regarding exposure to such substances. The Pollution Prevention Act established a bold national objective that "Pollution should be prevented or reduced at the source whenever feasible." The USEPA Administrator has made this ethic a central consideration of all EPA programs.

In 1996, the Food Quality Protection Act (FQPA) was adopted which amended FIFRA. The new law establishes stronger health-based safety standards for pesticide residues in all foods. It uses a "reasonable certainty of no harm" as a general safety standard. The single, health-based standard eliminates long-standing problems posed by multiple standards for pesticides in raw and processed foods. It requires USEPA to consider all non-occupational sources of exposure, including drinking water, and exposure to other pesticides with a common mechanism of toxicity when setting standards.

Cross-Sectoral Issues

1. Decision-Making Structure: In response to growing public awareness and concern over environmental threats to human health posed by toxic chemicals and substances, the U.S. Congress has established over the past 25 years a number of agencies to address different aspects of environmental health issues. The network of federal agencies, moreover, involves numerous constituent and participating groups. At the national level, the federal agencies - including USEPA, the Department of Labor's Occupational and Health Administration and 7 different agencies within the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), USDA, and the Department of Transportation -- play a large role in defining and pursuing environmental health goals pertaining to toxic chemicals and substances through research, administration and service programs, as well as via regulation and enforcement activities. These agencies also provide valuable assistance to state and local environmental departments and health agencies. State and local agencies must address many of the same environmental health issues as the federal government. The scope and responsibilities of state agencies are extremely diverse and vary from state to state.

2. Capacity-Building/Technology Issues: By-and large, the United States is a world leader in development and utilizing the latest state-of-the-art technology related to administering toxic chemicals and substances.

3. Major Groups: Non-government entities, predominately from the science and technological community as represented by colleges and universities, address a range of environmental health research and policy issues related to toxic chemicals and substances. Environmental NGOs are also actively involved in national and local debates involved in governmental efforts aimed at addressing problems posed by toxics.

4. Finance: Total amount of federal financing related to research, administration and regulation of is not available at this time, but increasing resource constraints are of concern.

5. Regional/International Cooperation: The United States has been successful in having fundamental democratic principles accepted as part of the foundation for international toxic chemical work in numerous fora, including OECD, UNEP, UNECE, IFCS, etc. In contributing to the CSD process, the United States co-hosted with Mexico a workshop on lead. The results of that workshop were instrumental in getting the CSD to call for governments to phase-out the use of leaded gasoline.

STATISTICAL DATA/INDICATORS

AGENDA 21 CHAPTER 20: ENVIRONMENTALLY SOUND MANAGEMENT OF HAZARDOUS WASTES, INCLUDING PREVENTION OF ILLEGAL INTERNATIONAL TRAFFIC IN HAZARDOUS WASTES

NATIONAL PRIORITY:
STATUS REPORT:

The Basel Convention on the Control of Transboundary Movements of Hazardous Wastes and their Disposal: signed in 1990, but not yet ratified.

At the federal level, the United States continues to pursue the environmentally sound management of hazardous wastes under key laws, including the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA) and the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation and Liability Act (CERCLA) also known as the "Superfund" Act. RCRA is a nation-wide program to protect human health and the environment from the risks of improper management of hazardous and solid waste, and it provides a "cradle-to-grave" system of regulations for hazardous waste to promote the cleanup of sites that have been contaminated with hazardous substances while ensuring that, to the extent possible, the polluter pays principle is adhered to. This program is, to a large extent, administered by State governments with federal oversight. CERCLA is designed to promote clean-up of sites and other areas where past disposal practices of hazardous substances may now pose a threat to the environment and/or human health. Under this law, a large portion of the cleanups are conducted by the polluters; States participates in the cleanups as well, but there is no delegation of authority in CERCLA that permits States to administer the program. Most States and many localities also have their own laws and regulations concerning hazardous and solid waste disposal.

Since UNCED, the Clinton Administration has made pollution prevention, including waste minimization one of its highest priorities for the USEPA. To further this goal, USEPA has pursued several policies, including issuing new guidelines for hazardous waste reduction programs that include community right-to-know features; convening a task force of USEPA and State officials to develop economically sound source reduction strategies and technical controls; and restructuring hazardous waste recycling programs.

USEPA has also focused RCRA initiatives since UNCED on environmental justice through siting, permitting, public involvement, corrective action, disproportionate impacts and Native American tribal issues. For example, the USEPA expanded public involvement and improving its own ability to include environmental justice in public health considerations and to assure that priority-setting methods adequately address environmental justice concerns. Much of the USEPA action related to environmental justice are done in line with the Executive Order issued by President Clinton in February 1994 on "Federal Actions to Address Environmental Justice in Minority Populations and Low-Income Populations".

Current disposal capacity is sufficient to handle expected amounts of hazardous waste safely until at least 2013. Combustion rules for hazardous waste were considerably tightened in 1994.

Cross-Sectoral Issues

1. Decision-Making Structure: The U.S. is strongly committed to public participation in environmental decision-making, and believes that federal programs dealing with hazardous waste issues are run better when there is significant public input into the process. As noted above, there are both federal programs as well as many state and local government programs that address hazardous waste issues.

2. Capacity-Building/Technology Issues: Federal agencies have established programs to encourage development of new hazardous waste cleanup technologies. The U.S. is generally recognized as a world leader in the development and utilization of advanced technologies associated with both pollution prevention and hazardous waste treatment.

3. Major Groups: Major groups play a key role in policy, scientific and technological issues involved with hazardous waste issues at federal, state and local levels. The predominant major groups involved include environmental NGOs, business and industry, and those from the scientific and technological field.

4. Finance: Information on total federal, state and local expenditures on hazardous waste issues are not available.

5. Regional/International Cooperation: The U.S. has worked closely with its North American neighbors to address hazardous waste issues. Although the U.S. has not ratified the Basel Convention, it actively participates in Basel technical meetings and has attended every meeting of the Basel Conference of Parties held to date.

STATISTICAL DATA/INDICATORS
1980
1990
1991
Generation of hazardous waste (million t)
276
Percentage of total hazardous waste managed in aqueous physical-chemical treatment units
76.0
Percentage of total hazardous waste managed vid land disposal
9.0
Percentage of total hazardous waste receiving thermal treatment
1.1
Percentage of total hazardous waste in recovery operations
2.2
Other data

AGENDA 21 CHAPTER 21: ENVIRONMENTALLY SOUND MANAGEMENT OF SOLID WASTES AND SEWAGE-RELATED ISSUES

NATIONAL PRIORITY:
STATUS REPORT: At the federal level, the U.S. continues to pursue the environmentally sound management of solid wastes through implementation of key federal laws including, the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA) and the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act (CERCLA) also known as the Superfund Act. The national goal for solid waste management continues to be the reduction of the amount of wastes through source reduction and recycling programs. USEPA is implementing a national program for businesses that provides extensive guidance on waste prevention and recycling, and for improving and expanding markets for recycled products. The federal government is helping States and localities plan for safe and cost-effective waste prevention, recycling and disposal by facilitating information exchange, providing technical assistance, setting minimum standards governing the safe management of municipal waste, as well as loans and other support for efforts to promote source reduction and recycling. More than 30 States have quantitative recycling targets for municipal solid waste ranging from 15 to 30 percent. Once a State has put into place the means to oversee and enforce RCRA rules, it may petition the federal government for the right to operate the RCRA program. To date, 46 States have received this right.

The U.S. still records the largest per capita generation of municipal solid waste among OECD countries. Municipal solid waste is expected to decline slightly on a per capita basis by 2000 mostly as a result of source reduction efforts. The pursuit of the RCRA goal of promoting waste reduction, reuse and recycling is succeeding in gradually reducing quantities of municipal waste being incinerated and landfilled: the proportion of waste recovered tripled between 1970 and 1993 and now stands at about 22 percent. Despite the fact that 38 States have enacted more than 140 recycling laws, with some having also established tax incentive programs for recycling, overall U.S. recycling rates are lower than those seen in other OECD countries. For example, nationwide about 34 percent of paper and 22 percent of glass were recycled in 1993 as compared to other OECD countries who have reached 40 percent and more in their paper and glass recycling efforts. The RCRA goal of cradle-to-grave management of waste is broadly being met. In spite of some slow efforts in some localities, most municipal waste is now disposed of in lined landfills, incinerated, or composted. Unsound disposal operations have been shut down. The share of incineration is not expected to grow and is likely to remain at about 16 percent, while landfilling is projected to decrease by about 10 percent between 1993 and 2000. With respect to sewerage issues, the federal response continues to focus on implementation of the Clean Water Act. Under this Act, federal funding contributed about three-quarters of the investment cost of local waste water treatment facilities. Over the past two decades, the Clean Water Act's "Construction Grants Program" provided a total of nearly $60 billion in federal assistance for the construction of municipal sewage treatment works, while states and local governments contributed over $20 billion. This has resulted in the U.S. as a leader among OECD countries with respect to state-of-the-art sewerage treatment. In 1991, the U.S. ceased dumping sewerage sludge in coastal waters.

Cross-Sectoral Issues

1. Decision-Making Structure: State and local governments in the United States continue to have the primary responsibility for municipal solid waste management. Invariably, based on the strong democratic system of government in the U.S., various stakeholders are included in the decision-making structure at the State and local levels. Solid waste management is typically provided or regulated by local governments with funding from general tax revenues. The federal government, through USEPA, establishes performance standards for State and local efforts to ensure protection of human health and the environment.

2. Capacity-Building/Technology Issues: USEPA cooperates with State and local communities in a number of programs to improve solid waste management and prevent pollution. One example of technology cooperation deals with Underground Storage Tanks.

3. Major Groups: Business and industry, the scientific and technological community, and environmental NGOs tend to be the most active of the major groups on solid waste management issues in the United States.

4. Finance: Under current policy, it is estimated that the RCRA program will cost $234 billion between 1990 and 2020.

5. Regional/International Cooperation: The United States cooperates with its neighbors, Canada and Mexico, in addressing solid waste and sewage-related issues as they may arise. USAID strives to alleviate problems arising from poor sanitation and contaminated drinking water by assisting local governments in developing countries and in countries with economies in transition to improve and expand urban environmental services and related infrastructure, primarily water supply, sanitation and drainage, and solid waste management. USAID programs are aimed at increasing the volume of wastewater collected and treated from poor neighborhoods; introducing municipal and industrial performance standards for disposal of waste; and increasing capacity for compliance and enforcement of pollution standards. USAID activities have resulted in improved access to waste collection services and supported private-public cooperation in solid waste management. These activities have resulted in better sanitation, particularly for the urban poor. The United States adheres to the OECD Council Decision governing trade in recyclable waste with other OECD countries.

STATISTICAL DATA/INDICATORS
1980
1990
1993
Generation of municipal waste (thousand t)
137,429
165,162
187,732
Waste disposed(% of municipal waste generation)
95+
95+
95+
Federak expenditure on pollution control/abatement (US$ billions)
5.5
5.1
6.7
Municipal waste recycling rates (%)
9.6
14.5
18.6
Municipal waste disposal after recovery (%)
90.4
83.4
78.3
Other data

AGENDA 21 CHAPTER 22: SAFE AND ENVIRONMENTALLY SOUND MANAGEMENT OF RADIOACTIVE WASTES

NATIONAL PRIORITY:
STATUS REPORT: United States policy continues to emphasize the safe storage of radioactive wastes, the development of permanent solutions to radioactive waste disposal and the present generation's accountability for current radioactive waste inventories. The U.S. Department of Energy is continuing its efforts to develop a waste-management system for spent nuclear fuel and high-level radioactive waste from both civilian and government facilities. The system will consist of a geologic repository, a monitored retriveable storage (MRS) facility, and a transportation system to support storage and retrieval. The U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) will license civilian facilities. A conceptual design has been completed for the MRS, which will handle and store fuel until it is permanently disposed of in a repository. Scientific feasibility investigations continue at Yucca Mountain in Nevada, which Congress has selected as a candidate for the geologic repository. The construction of an underground Exploratory Studies Facility is underway at Yucca Mountain to enable scientists to examine the geologic, hydrologic, and geochemical characteristics of the potential host rock. U.S. radioactive waste policy and program missions continue to be mandated by legislation passed by Congress and signed into law by the President. The following is the list of major legislation governing U.S. radwaste policy: the Atomic Energy Act; the Marine Protection, Research and Sanctuaries Act; the Energy Reorganization Act; the Department of Energy Organization Act, the Uranium Mill Tailings Radiation Control Act; the Low-level Radioactive Waste Act, the Nuclear Waste Policy Act, and the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act. Through this and other legislation, the storage and disposal of most commercially generated low-level waste is assigned to the States, and all other wastes, including low-level waste of non-commercial origin and all greater than class C low-level waste, are the responsibility of the federal government. The U.S. has not dumped low-level radioactive waste in the ocean since 1970. In November 1993, the U.S. called for an international prohibition of ocean dumping of low-level radioactive waste which was subsequently adopted by most parties to the London Convention.

Cross-Sectoral Issues

1. Decision-Making Structure: Federal agencies involved: DOE, NRC and the USEPA.

2. Capacity-Building/Technology Issues: U.S. considered a world leader in radwaste technology development.

3. Major Groups: Mostly, environment NGOs, business and industry and scientific and technological community involved at various levels of debate (i.e., local, state and national)

4. Finance: No information

5. Regional/International Cooperation: The U.S. cooperates in the IAEA, the London Convention, the NEA, and under numerous bilateral cooperation agreements.

STATISTICAL DATA/INDICATORS
No information

AGENDA 21 CHAPTERS 23-32: MAJOR GROUPS

The role of major groups are also covered under the various chapters of Agenda 21. The following is a summary of main objectives outlined in Agenda 21. Please check the appropriate boxes and describe briefly any important steps or obstacles.

STATUS REPORT ON PARTICIPATION BY MAJOR GROUPS AT THE

NATIONAL AND LOCAL LEVELS
Ch. 24: GLOBAL ACTION FOR WOMEN TOWARDS SUSTAINABLE AND EQUITABLE DEVELOPMENT.

The Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women was

Signed in 1980; not yet ratified.

24.b Increasing the proportion of women decision makers.

Percentage of women:

in government % 50.2 (1990) >50.5 (Est. 1992)

in Congress % 6 (1992) 10 (1995)

at local government level % 42.8(1991) 43.0(1991)

24.2.e assessing, reviewing, revising and implementing curricula and other educational material with a view to promoting dissemination of gender-relevant knowledge.

Curricula and educational material

Many local educational systems already promote relevant knowledge

(Note: The U.S. Women's Educational Equity Act Program promotes educational equity for women and girls, including those women and girls who suffer multiple discrimination based on gender and race. There is also a variety of federal statutes prohibiting discrimination by recipients of federal funds based on gender and other criteria (e.g., race, age, color, etc.)

24.2.f and 24.2.c formulating and implementing policies, guidelines, strategies and plans for achievement of equality in all aspects of society including issuing a strategy by year 2000 to eliminate obstacles to full participation of women in sustainable development. Policies/strategies etc. have been

No plans at present (no obstacles foreseen)

24.2.d establishing mechanisms by 1995 to assess implementation and impact of development and environment policies and programmes on women

No plans at present

Brief comments on this chapter (maximum 100 words) (please, do not exceed this page): According to the President's Council on Sustainable Development (PCSD), expanded opportunities for women are an important component of sustainable development initiatives, especially those that give "special attention to socio-economic factors that result in disproportionately high levels of unintended and teen pregnancy among disadvantaged segments of society."

STATUS REPORT ON PARTICIPATION BY MAJOR GROUPS AT THE

NATIONAL AND LOCAL LEVELS
Ch. 25: CHILDREN AND YOUTH IN SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT.

25.4 establishing processes that promote dialogue between the youth and government at all levels and mechanisms that permit youth access to information and opportunity to present their views on implementing A21.

Name relevant youth fora (3-4 most important): No information

Describe their role in

the national process: Ad hoc

25.6 reducing youth unemployment

Youth unemployment (16-19 years old) 1992:20.0% 1994: 17.6%

25.5 ensuring that by year 2000 more than 50% of youth -- gender balanced -- have access to appropriate secondary education or vocational training.

The goal set in Agenda 21: has been reached

Brief comments on this chapter (maximum 100 words) (please, do not exceed this page): Various U.S. Agencies have programs for children and youth. For example, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), through 4-H Youth Development Programs of the Cooperative State Research, Education, and Extension Service (CSREES) enrolled more than 5 million youth each year throughout the U.S. in programs dealing with such issues as Environmental Stewardship, Environmental Education, Earth Sciences and Natural Resource Conservation. The federal Government has also sought to reach out to children and youth through environmental education programs such as GLOBE (Global Learning and Observation to Benefit the Environment) which was launched by Vice President Gore in 1994/95.

STATUS REPORT ON PARTICIPATION BY MAJOR GROUPS AT THE

NATIONAL AND LOCAL LEVELS
Ch. 26: RECOGNIZING AND STRENGTHENING THE ROLE OF INDIGENOUS PEOPLE AND THEIR COMMUNITIES.

26.3.a establishing a process to empower indigenous people and their communities -- through policies and legal instruments: in place at the federal level under programs of the Bureau of Indian Affairs

26.3.b strengthening arrangements for active participation in national policies: indigenous people participate on an ad hoc basis.

26.3.c involving indigenous people in resource management strategies and programmes at the national and local level: See below

Brief comments on this chapter (maximum 100 words) (please, do not exceed this page): The Bureau of Indian Affairs is responsible for helping train American Indian and Alaska native groups to manage their own affairs under trust relationship to the federal government. In many/most instances, both groups were already pursuing traditional sustainable management practices on their lands with respect to natural resource stewardship.

Ch. 27: STRENGTHENING THE ROLE OF NON-GOVERNMENTAL ORGANIZATIONS: PARTNERS FOR SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT.

27.5 developing mechanisms that allow NGOs to play their partnership role responsibly and effectively.

27.6 reviewing formal procedures and mechanisms to involve NGOs in decision making and implementation.

27.8 promoting and allowing NGOs to participate in the conception, establishment and evaluation of official mechanisms to review development of national sustainable development strategy: NGO inputs are important.

27.7 establishing a mutually productive dialogue by 1995 at the national level between NGOs and governments.

Brief comments on this chapter (maximum 100 words) (please, do not exceed this page): The government has included representatives of NGOs in the National delegation to every session of the CSD as well as at other major international meetings. The government also collaborates with international non-governmental organizations and other international institutions in national and regional sustainable development programmes. In the U.S., major group organizations participate occasionally in national and local impact assessment projects and the design and implementation of national sustainable development agenda-setting. NGOs participate on a wide range of environmental, economic, and social activities that contribute to and promote sustainable development in the U.S. and abroad. The Government interacts with international PVOs, NGOs and other international organizations in sustainable development programmes internationally, mostly through the work of the U.S. Agency for International Development. There are also several bilateral and multilateral collaborative initiatives with international major groups in national and regional sustainable development programmes. The contribution of local major groups to national sustainable development activities is rated "essential", the contribution of national major groups is rated "constructive and helpful," and the contribution of regional and international major groups and NGOs is rated "quite helpful".

STATUS REPORT ON PARTICIPATION BY MAJOR GROUPS AT THE

NATIONAL AND LOCAL LEVELS
Ch. 28: LOCAL AUTHORITIES' INITIATIVES IN SUPPORT OF AGENDA 21.

28.2.d encouraging local authorities to implement and monitor programmes that aim to ensure participation of women and youth in local decision making.

There are at least NA local agenda 21s. NA% involve representation of women and/or youth

They involve NA% of population

The administration encourage local agenda 21 initiatives:

Brief comments on this chapter (maximum 100 words) (please, do not exceed this page): Sustainable communities involving local authorities is a major area for concentration recommended by the PCSD.

Ch. 29: STRENGTHENING THE ROLE OF WORKERS AND THEIR TRADE UNIONS.

29.2 full participation of workers in implementation and evaluation of A21.

29.3 a to e (By year 2000, (a) promoting ratification of ILO conventions; (b) establishing bipartite and tripartite mechanism on safety, health and sustainable development; (c) increasing number of environmental collective agreements; (d) reducing occupational accidents and injuries; (e) increasing workers' education and training efforts: Workers take some part in National Agenda 21 discussions/implementation

Brief comments on this chapter (maximum 100 words) (please, do not exceed this page): No information

STATUS REPORT ON PARTICIPATION BY MAJOR GROUPS AT THE

NATIONAL AND LOCAL LEVELS
30: STRENGTHENING THE ROLE OF BUSINESS AND INDUSTRY.

30.6 increasing the efficiency of resource use, including reuse, recycling, and reduction of waste per unit of economic output.

There are governmental policies encouraging the above objective.

30.18.a encouraging the concept of stewardship in management and use of natural resources by entrepreneurs.

List any actions taken in this area: No information

30.18.b increasing number of enterprises that subscribe to and implement sustainable development policies: No information

Brief comments on this chapter (maximum 100 words) (please, do not exceed this page): The U.S. believes that for sustainable development to succeed both at home and abroad, the involvement of business and industry is critical. That is why members of business/industry were included on the PCSD.

STATUS REPORT ON PARTICIPATION BY MAJOR GROUPS AT THE

NATIONAL AND LOCAL LEVELS
Ch. 31: SCIENTIFIC AND TECHNOLOGICAL COMMUNITY.

31.3.b improving exchange of knowledge and concerns between s&t community and the general public.

There is some effort in this direction.

31.9 developing, improving and promoting international acceptance of codes of practice and guidelines related to science and technology and its role in reconciling environment and development.

No information

Brief comments on this chapter not already described in chapter 35 (maximum 100 words) (please, do not exceed this page): See chapter 35 comments

Ch. 32: STRENGTHENING THE ROLE OF FARMERS.

32.5.c promoting and encouraging sustainable farming practices and technologies.

32.5.e developing a policy framework that provides incentives and motivation among farmers for sustainable and efficient farming practices.

32.5.f enhancing participation of organizations of farmers in design and implementation of sustainable development policies.

Brief comments on this chapter (maximum 100 words) (please, do not exceed this page): The 1985 Farm Bill passed by the U.S. Congress authorized the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) to establish a federal competitive grants program in the areas of sustainable agriculture, research and education (SARE). The SARE program's mission is to increase knowledge about and help farmers and ranchers adopt sustainable practices that are profitable, environmentally sound and beneficial to society. A total of $23 million were appropriated by USDA in 1995 and 1996 for hundreds of projects throughout the U.S. that will develop information for producers about how to farm more profitably while protecting the natural resource base and enhancing their communities.

AGENDA 21 CHAPTER 33: FINANCIAL RESOURCES AND MECHANISMS

Financial resources and mechanisms are also covered under each sectoral chapter of Agenda 21 where relevant. This summary highlights broader national financial policies, domestic and external (including ODA)

NATIONAL PRIORITY:
STATUS REPORT: Since 1992, the Government has provided new and additional grant funds for sustainable development and has developed and strengthened bilateral and multilateral initiatives in the area of finance. The Development Cooperation Policy has been reviewed since UNCED. The government is framing and coordinating foreign assistance expenditures in terms of six major objectives through the collaboration of various Agency heads under the chairmanship of the Secretary of State. The six objectives are : promoting sustainable development, building democracy, promoting peace, providing humanitarian assistance, promoting US prosperity and advancing diplomacy. Within the rubric of sustainable development, the four major programmes are: broad-based economic growth, protection of the global environment, stabilization of world population growth and support for democratic participation.

USAID spending represents .5 per cent of the Federal budget and the US has the lowest ODA/GNP ratio among DAC members. As is the case with other DAC Members, public expenditure constraints and new claims on aid funds are the chief determinants of the US aid budget. Aid appropriations managed by USAID amount to approximately $7.5 billion and compete with the other $250 billion in discretionary programmes. In terms of ODA, US aid disbursements fell in 1993 by some $2 billion or 19 percent in real terms to $9.7 billion, reflecting a downcycle in multilateral payments. In terms of geographical and functional allocation, the most dramatic changes in the appropriations for 1995/96 are the increases in emergency and humanitarian aid and the cuts to Asia and Latin America. Official aid to the countries of Central and Eastern Europe has begun to decline. New economic instruments: Pursuant to the 1993 Budget Law, the U.S. increased the federal tax by 4.3 cents to 18.4 cents per gallon of gasoline and 24.4 cents on diesel fuel on 1 October 1993. The tax was estimated to help reduce the U.S. budget deficit by 32.2 billion over a 5-year period. Elimination of environmentally unfriendly subsidies: The phasing out of environmentally unfriendly subsidies is currently under review in the United States.

ODA policy issues

No information

STATISTICAL DATA/INDICATORS
1991
1992
1993
ODA funding provided or received (Total US$million)
11.26
11.7
9.7
Average for 92-93
Average for 94-96
Net flow of external capital from all sources as % of GDP
Other data

AGENDA 21 CHAPTER 34: TRANSFER OF ENVIRONMENTALLY SOUND TECHNOLOGY, COOPERATION AND CAPACITY-BUILDING

Transfer of environmentally sound technology, cooperation and capacity-building is also covered under each sectoral chapter of Agenda 21 where relevant. This summary highlights broader national policies and actions relating to chapter 34.

NATIONAL PRIORITY:
STATUS REPORT ON LINKS BETWEEN NATIONAL, REGIONAL AND INTERNATIONAL INFORMATION NETWORKS/SYSTEMS: The federal government plays an important role in funding basic and applied research and development that is key in the development of future generations of environmentally critical technologies. The federal government also facilitates private sector and cooperative investments in needed research and development, by reducing uncertainties caused by regulatory and verification systems. The government seeks to increase the overall productivity of the nation's energy, food, manufacturing, transportation, construction and service sectors through environmental technologies and practices that significantly reduce the use of energy, materials and other inputs.

MEANS OF IMPLEMENTATION: During 1995, the federal government, in collaboration with the private sector and state and local governments, updated research, development and demonstration priorities for environmental technologies. The federal government continues to work with the private sector to establish a market-based verification process for environmental technologies. This process will be available nationally for environmental technologies within three years. In addition, the federal government recently launched the Rapid Commercialization Initiative (RCI), which is intended to accelerate the commercialization of near-commercial environmental technologies. Over the coming years, ten technologies will be commercialized through this new programme. Another priority of U.S. environmental technology is to increase its export to support and create new high-paying U.S. jobs and to contribute to the achievement of sustainable development.

In 1995, the White House National Science and Technology Council, and key federal agencies, released a 90-page "National Environmental Technology Strategy". The Administration's plan is a blueprint working with indsutry, states, communities and workers to help drive U.S. economic growth while solving environmental problems. To carry out this strategy, the federal government is implementing plans to, among other things, do the following: promote innovation by providing federal sites where U.S. companies can test and demonstrate the effectiveness of promising new environmental technologies; reinvent environmental regulations to allow businesses to develop and use the most efficient and effective technologies to meet high environmental standards, improve information and education for potential users throughout the U.S. and abroad; and provide assistance to U.S. environmental businesses so they can succeed in the global marketplace and assist developing countries in building capacity for addressing critical environmental challenges.

There are over fifty federal programs involved with environmental technologies among 10 different federal agencies.

Describe any work being undertaken at the national or local level regarding efforts to promote clean production processes and/or the concepts of eco-efficiency. These processes may include training, preferential financial arrangements, information dissemination and changes in legal or regulatory frameworks.

No information

Provide information on the adoption of environmental management systems. National reaction to environmental management system standards such as the ISO 14000 Series and others. Please note efforts made at the national level to promote their adoption and the creation of certification infrastructure in order to facilitate access to these standards to local industry.

No information

List and describe programs or work under way to facilitate the transfer of ESTs to small and medium sized enterprises. Please note efforts to facilitate access to financial resources and other transfer strategies.

No information

AGENDA 21 CHAPTER 35: SCIENCE FOR SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT

NATIONAL PRIORITY:
STATUS REPORT ON NATIONAL SCIENTIFIC KNOWLEDGE, RESEARCH NEEDS AND PRIORITIES: The Administration is committed to maintaining economic growth that creates jobs, protects human and ecological health, and promotes conservation of natural resources for existing and future generations. Scientific research and technological development are the key for sustainable development, that is, maintaining and enhancing environmental quality while continuing to strengthen our nation's economic economy and security. In 1993, President Clinton established the National Science and Technology Council (NSTC) to reinvent how research and development (R&D) is conducted in the United States.

In March 1995, the NSTC, through its Committee on Environment and Natural Resources (CENR), released a 75-page interagency strategy plan, "Preparing for the Future through Science and Technology: An Agenda for Environmental and Natural Resource Research". The interagency plan focuses the federal R&D dollars on the most pressing societal needs of the United States. As a result of the process of developing strategic and implementation plans for the CENR, the following areas of research have been identified for enhanced emphasis in the research and budget planning cycles of the CENR federal agencies with environment and natural resources research: Ecosystem Research--to promote the efficient use of natural resources while sustaining ecosystem integrity for future generations; Observations and data management to ensure that the necessary measurements are made efficiently and that the data are widely available to all stakeholders in easily usable forms; Socioeconomic dimensions of environmental change to understand the underlying human influences on the environment and the potential responses of society to change; Environmental Technology to protect the environment while stimulating economic growth and capturing emerging global markets; and, Science Policy Tools to improve integrated assessment and risk models so policymakers can make informed decisions on complex environmental and societal issues.

To meet the challenge for sound and cost-effective management of the environment and natural resources of the U.S., the Administration has undertaken significant changes in how we plan and fund federal research in support of sustainable development. The traditional single agency and single discipline approach to problem solving is being replaced by a coordinated, multiagency interdisciplinary approach. The NSTC, through the CENR, is coordinating decentralized agency programs to address environmental issues in an integrated manner. The CENR has seven sub-committees: Air Quality; Biodiversity and Ecosystem Dynamics; Global Change; Natural Disaster Reduction; Resource Use and Management; Toxic Substances and Hazardous and Solid Wastes; and Water Resources and Coastal and Marine Environments. These sub-committees coordinate the federal agency programs within their particular environmental area. In addition, there are three crosscutting methodological issue sub-committees: Environmental Technology; Social and Economic Sciences;, and, Risk Assessment. Advice has been, and will continue to be, sought from a wide range of stakeholders from academia, industry, other private-sector groups, Congress, and state and local governments.

The Global Learning and Observation to Benefit the Environment (GLOBE) program also attempts to encourage greater scientific education on environment issues at pre-college levels (see chapter 36 summary).

STATISTICAL DATA/INDICATORS
Year
Number of scientists, engineers and technicians engaged in research and experimental development
960,500
1991
Total federal expenditure on environment area research and development (US$billion)
$5.3
1995
Total federal expenditure on all forms of research and development (US$billion)
$69.9
1993
Other data:

AGENDA 21 CHAPTER 36: PROMOTING EDUCATION, PUBLIC AWARENESS AND TRAINING

NATIONAL PRIORITY:
STATUS REPORT: The United States Environmental Protection Agency's (EPA) Office of Environmental Education is a full member of the National Coordinating Body for Sustainable Development and is responsible for activities falling under chapter 36 of Agenda 21. The National Environmental Education Advisory Council, consultative body of the Department of Education, is comprised of eleven individuals who are appointed by the Administrator of the EPA. The Council serves as an important communication mechanism which links the federal government with educators around the country. The EPA encourages partnerships, mobilizes resources, provides information and assesses the needs of different population groups. It also works with United Nations agencies and organizations to provide guidance on policy development and technical assistance to benefit developing countries. For example, the EPA is currently working in conjunction with UNEP in the area of air quality monitoring with INFOTERRA. Regarding the use of tools for environmental education, printed material is often used at the primary school level, the university level, and occassionally in secondary schools. Audio visual tools are often used in primary and secondary school and at the university level. In vocational schools, audio visual materials are used occasionally.

a) Reorientation of education towards sustainable development: The Biodiversity and Ecosystems Network (BENI) was launched in October 1994 to utilize electronic communication networks to foster collaboration among partners in ecosystem management. The Global Learning and Observations to Benefit the Environment (GLOBE) was initiated to enable elementary and secondary school students to collect environmental data, report the data through the Internet, and receive synthesized reports from national environmental centers. As of mid-1994, 14 nations had agreed to collaborate with the U.S. on this initiative.

According to the PCSD Task Force on Public Linkage, Dialogue and Education "an educated public is our most powerful resource to meet the challenges created by increasing environmental, economic and social demands." Recognizing the importance of education, the Council created the Public Linkage, Dialogue and Education Task Force to serve as the vehicle through which the work of the Council is accessible to the public for information, review and comment. In addition to information dissemination on sustainable development, the PCSD and its activities, the Public Linkage Task Force promotes dialogue and outreach between the PCSD and community networks. Through its efforts, the Task Force hopes to foster national understanding of sustainable development.

To meet its mandate, the Task Force seeks to engage the business, environmental, labor, civil rights, educational and religious communities in the PCSD process. The Task Force is identifying and creating outreach opportunities for the Council through the use of print, audio and visual media, as well as via satellite. Once key communications networks are identified, they can be used to disseminate a variety of information pieces, including a newly developed Spanish/English brochure highlighting the work of the Council and Task forces.

The national strategy on education is prepared by the Department of Education and includes such programmes as Goals 2000 and School to Work. Although there is no single network for either schools or universities, there are many examples of national programmes at both levels. At the primary school level, school curricula has already been reviewed and revised, and at the secondary school level, the revision of school curricula is being undertaken currently to address environment and development as a cross cutting issue. There are no plans to revise school curricula in vocational schools. The topics of "environmental health", "safe drinking water", "sanitation", "food", "ecosystems", "recycling" and "energy saving" are taught on an ad hoc basis at all school levels.

b) Increasing public awareness: The U.S. has been involved in several awareness raising programmes and activities aimed at the population at large (Earth Day, industry supported campaigns, Ad Council, Program KAB, Arbor Day, GLOBE Program, Discovery Channel, National Geographic programmes, CNN, ZooQ, As it Happens, water clean-up programmes, etc.).

c) Promoting training: Although the EPA is not directly involved in a national strategy on education, it has been involved with the National Science and Technology Council's Committee on Education and Training (NSTC/CET). There are many in-service programmes available to teachers and other environmental education professionals through state education agencies, the federal government, NGOs, non-profit education and professional associations, the academic community, and tribal government agencies. Training takes place in both in-formal and non-formal settings. The EPA sponsors a variety of teacher-training programmes through the Environmental Education Division. On the other hand, there is very little pre-service training available to environmental educators beyond single courses.

ROLE OF MAJOR GROUPS: Women, NGOs, Local Authorities, Business and Industry and the Scientific and Technical Communities are members of the National Environmental Education Advisory Council. They provide the Administrator of EPA with independent advice on how the Agency implements the National Environmental Education Act.

FINANCING AND COST EVALUATION OF THE LABOR ACTIVITIES: No specific information available.

STATISTICAL DATA/INDICATORS
1980
1990
1994
Adult literacy rate (%) Male
90+
90+
90+
Adult literacy rate (%) Female
90+
90+
90+
Population reaching grade 5 of primary education (%)
97
98
98
Mean number of years of schooling
12.5
12.7
12.9
% of GNP spent on education
6.8
7.4
7.5
Females per 100 males in secondary school
100
98
96
Women per 100 men in the labour force
73
81
82
Other data:

Enrolment of students: see footnote "A" See "B"

First/Primary School

Level
Secondary School Level
Vocation Schools
College/University level
Male
Female
Male
Female
Male
Female
Male
Female
1980%
99
100
94
93
N/A
N/A
33
30
1990%
99
100
96
96
N/A
N/A
40
39
1994%
99
100
96
97
N/A
MN/A
43
47
Footnote: "A" students enrolled in vocational programmes at the secondary level are included in "secondary school enrolments". "B" percent of 20 and 21-year-olds enrolled in school. Source: All information from National Report to the CSD 1996

AGENDA 21 CHAPTER 37: NATIONAL MECHANISMS AND INTERNATIONAL COOPERATION FOR CAPACITY-BUILDING IN DEVELOPING COUNTRIES

National capacity building is also covered under sectoral chapters.

Donors: You may wish to describe here how Agenda 21 has influenced your ODA policies in this area.

Developing countries: You may wish to describe any new national mechanisms for capacity building - and any changes in technical cooperation.

NATIONAL PRIORITY:
STATUS REPORT ON NATIONAL ENDOGENOUS CAPACITY BUILDING: Building human skills and capacities throughout a society is essential for sound economic growth, poverty reduction, and improved quality of life. USAID is supporting programs in developing countries that address inadequate health services, particularly in the area of basic, preventive, and reproductive health care; education systems, especially primary education for girls and women; technical and business skills and access to technology; and other related social services and institutions that facilitate broad-based participation, especially by women, indigenous people, and disadvantaged groups. USAID believes that sustainable, broad-based development requires investing in people to improve their health and productivity, enhance their skills, protect their human rights, and help them to be full participants in society.

The acquisition of economically valuable skills plays a central role in the empowerment of individuals. Education increases social mobility and thus serves as a formidable mechanism of conflict resolution. Moreover, rising education levels are critical to democratic governance and peaceful political discourse. USAID's education programs give particular emphasis to the quality and availability of primary education, especially for the poor, women and girls, and minorities. USAID capacity-building programs also support targeted, market-oriented interventions, aimed at technical and vocational training, the free flow of technology and technical information; and training in business skills.

AGENDA 21 CHAPTER 38: INTERNATIONAL INSTITUTIONAL ARRANGEMENTS

Ch. 38: Brief summary of any particular UN System response affecting this country/state: No information to report

AGENDA 21 CHAPTER 39: INTERNATIONAL LEGAL INSTRUMENTS AND MECHANISMS

Ch. 39: International Legal Instruments are covered under the relevant sectoral chapters. This is a listing of major agreements/conventions (not already covered) entered into and relevant to Agenda 21:

-- North American Agreement on Environmental Cooperation under NAFTA, 1993

-- Convention for the Conservation and Management of Pollock Resources in the Central Bering Sea, 1994

-- North Pacific Anadromous Stocks Convention, 1993

-- UN Straddling and Highly Migratory Fishery Stocks Convention, 1995

AGENDA 21 CHAPTER 40: INFORMATION FOR DECISION-MAKING

This chapter is also covered under sectoral and other chapters of this profile. The matrix below gives an overview of how national authorities rate the available information for decision making.

Rating of available data and information suitable for decision-making

Agenda 21 Chapters
Very
good
Good
Some good
data but
many gaps
Poor
Remarks
2. International cooperation and trade
X
3. Combating poverty
X
4. Changing consumption patterns
X
5. Demographic dynamics and sustainability
X
6. Human health
X
7. Human settlements
X
8. Integrating E & D in decision-making
X
9. Protection of the atmosphere
X
10. Integrated planning and management of land resources
X
11. Combating deforestation
X
12. Combating desertification and drought
X
13. Sustainable mountain development
X
14. Sustainable agriculture and rural development
X
15. Conservation of biological diversity
X
16. Biotechnology
X
17. Oceans, seas, coastal areas and their living resources
X
18. Freshwater resources
X
19. Toxic chemicals
X
20. Hazardous wastes
X
21. Solid wastes
X
22. Radioactive wastes
X
24. Women in sustainable development
X
25. Children and youth
X
26. Indigenous people
X
27. Non-governmental organizations
X
28. Local authorities
X
29. Workers and trade unions
X
30. Business and industry
X
31. Scientific and technological community
X
32. Farmers
X
33. Financial resources and mechanisms
X
34. Technology, cooperation and capacity-building
X
35. Science for sustainable development
X
36. Education, public awareness and training
X
37. International cooperation for capacity-building
X
38. International institutional arrangements
X
39. International legal instruments
X
40. Information for decision-making
X

Additional Comments

The U.S. government does not have a formal plan that addresses information for sustainable development decision-making. There is, however, an informal effort, spearheaded by the Interagency Working Group on Sustainable Development Indicators (IWG/SDI), to develop a national set of sustainable development indicators. The group was created in January 1994 and has strong ties to the White House Office of Environmental Policy and the President's Council on Sustainable Development.

A number of U.S. agencies have identified the gathering, application, and dissemination of credible data as priorities in their strategic planning process. For example, the Bureau of Economic Analysis in the U.S. Department of Commerce has developed a framework for integrated economic and environmental accounts (IIESAs). Federal, State and local governments have programmes for gathering and sharing environmental data. At the Federal level, the Mission to Planet Earth Programme, the Global Earth Observing System and the Data and Information System of the National Aeronautics Space Administration provide data about the earth's land surface, water, and other characteristics to a broad range of users. The Department of Agriculture maintains a variety of ground-based environmental monitoring networks for water quality and quantity, forest cover, and other parameters. Information collected and managed for decision-making is highly dispersed within the U.S. government. At the federal level, a number of U.S. agencies are responsible for collecting environmental, health, demographic, economic and social information through a variety of statistical and reporting programmes. For example, the Interagency Working Group has over twenty representatives from various departments and agencies, most of which have some responsibility for gathering information. The same type of information is also collected at the non-federal level by state and local agencies.

The major principles in the U.S. EPA's new 5-year strategic plan, released July, 1994, (including, in part, ecosystem protection, environmental justice, pollution prevention and partnerships) are reflected in the EPA's data collection and management activities. The EPA has several data bases, including: the Inventory of Information Systems, Access EPA, The Guide to Federal Water Quality Programmes and A Guide to Selected National Environmental Statistics in the US Government. The data are not qualified as to their relevance to sustainable development, however. The EPA and Department of Interior are completing internal surveys of their data capabilities to contribute to the development of resource and environmental sustainable development indicators. The Dept of Commerce has initiated a survey process and other agencies are considering undertaking a similar activity. The IWG/SDI is coordinating this effort.

The Department of Energy has undertaken several initiatives to enhance data relating to energy production, importation and consumption in the United States. The department has recently issued guidelines for compiling an inventory of greenhouse gas emissions and new and existing data sets have been used to develop and expand the Department's integrated Dynamic Energy Analysis Simulation (IDEAS) model. IDEAS provides detailed projections of U.S. energy supply, demand, prices, cost and emissions for up to 40 years.

Data and information pertaining to environmental quality, human and ecological health and social and economic welfare are relevant to sustainable development and are collected by a variety of government agencies and institutions. This data has not yet been integrated into a unified data management system for sustainable development. In the United States, NGOs and federal, state and local level governments are leading efforts to define and apply sustainable development principles and develop indicators to measure progress. Through partnerships and outreach, however, other sectors of society are fast becoming users of sustainable development information. In addition to government sources of data and information, academic institutions, NGOs and industry are major sources of environmental information. The major foreign sources of information for sustainable development include UNEP's GEMS, GRID, GCOCS, IRPTC and INFOTERRA.

Computer networks are generally available throughout both the public and private sectors, and many have access to international services. Hardware and software compatibilities are the key obstacles to electronic communication in the United States. Although the government retains the capability to access remote sensing data, the cost of the data is a constraint to usage.

The President signed an Executive Order on Environmental Justice on 11 February 1994 that, among other things, directs all federal agencies to ensure that low-income and minority communities have access to better information about their environment and have the opportunity to participate in shaping government policies that affect their community's health.

STATISTICAL DATA/INDICATORS
1980
1993
1995
Number of telephones in use per 100 inhabitants
53.3
57.4
62.7
Other data

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1 November 1997