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Briefing for Thursday, 22 April

CSD-7 Chair Simon Upton seeks high level guidance on suggestions from Major Groups

CSD-7 Chair Simon Upton circulated a summary of the main recommendations from the Multi-stakeholder Dialogue Segment on Tourism Wednesday. The summary sets out a number of new elements for consideration when negotiations recommence next week on the draft elements for decision from the CSD Intersessional Working Groups (ISWG). Addressing Ministers at the first High Level Segment in the afternoon, Chair Upton linked the future of the CSD as a "credible institution" to its handling of the recommendations from both the Multi-stakeholder Dialogue and the output from the High Level Segment which continues until Friday. He will be seeking guidance from the Ministers on their approach to both the output from the Intersessionals and this week�s output from the Dialogue sessions.

The Chair�s summary of suggestions from the Multi-stakeholder Dialogue Segment on Tourism includes recommendations to:

International Commission on sustainable consumption launched

The former UK Secretary of State for the Environment, Mr.John Gummer (right), announced the formation of a coalition of academic, government and business experts who will participate in an international Commission to develop an action plan for sustainable consumption for the UN�s �Earth Summit 3� in the year 2002. The Commission, based at Oxford University, will examine how consumption patterns, especially in industrialized countries, might be changed to enhance society and avoid irreparable damage to the environment.

Chaired by Mr.Gummer, the Commission has taken up the challenge of addressing a perceived gap in mainstream understanding of social, cultural, ethical and institutional change. The research programme will examine and compare existing initiatives to identify features critical for success. The Commission will also identify forces and agents behind large-scale changes in consumption patterns. It will focus in depth on issues of particular concern such as energy use and climate change, food consumption and land-use, housing, transport and demographics. The Commission will assess the roles of technical and social innovation, of cultural development and education, and also of particular agents such as government, business, advertisers and the media. Details from: Laurie Michaelis, Director of Research at the Commission, E-Mail:

Informal negotiations begin on Small Island Developing States

Informal negotiations on a draft text on implementing the Barbados Programme of Action on Small Island Developing States (SIDS) convened Wednesday evening. One observer expected substantial progress by the end of the week. Negotiators are considering a draft text prepared in the period between the ISWGs and CSD-7.

Photos and RealAudio from 21 April

Multi-stakeholder Dialogue Segment on Tourism: "Coastal Impact of Tourism"

Atherton Martin, Dominican Conservation Society, on behalf of NGOs, highlighted the linkages between sustainable livelihoods and tourism development. He said tourism must be carefully planned according to compatible land uses and water and coastal zone management. He proposed integrated planning, public awareness and training, resource mobilization and coordination.
Terry De Lacy, Australian Cooperative Research Centre for Sustainable Tourism, on behalf of Industry, proposed that the CSD: sponsor and seek funding for pilot projects that integrate Agenda 21 for Travel and Tourism with Local Agenda 21s and facilitate funding by international agencies and governments for research on best practices for tourism in coastal regions.
Jon Whitlow, International Transport Workers� Federation, on behalf of Trade Unions, called for comprehensive impact studies to be prepared for coastal development projects and application of the preventive and precautionary principles in planning and management. He said voluntary initiatives can only be complementary to regulatory requirements.
Richard Kenchington (Australia) stressed the need to devote attention to strategic planning and zoning. He supported calls to sponsor pilot projects to link Local Agendas 21 and the CSD's work on tourism, highlight examples of best practice and then apply lessons learned.
Suphavit Piamphongsant (Thailand) highlighted the growth of tourism in Thailand, its negative impacts on coastal areas, and measures undertaken to address these impacts. He supported a trade union recommendation that industry should undertake self-regulatory mechanisms to address problems caused by cruise ship activities.

Closing remarks from the morning session from representatives of:


Trade unions

Local authorities


High-Level Ministerial Segment: "Tourism and Sustainable Development"

Louise Fr�chette, UN Deputy Secretary-General, underscored that the tourism industry is one of the fastest growing sectors in the global economy and that its environmental impacts can be severe. She noted the relevance of tourism, oceans and consumption and production patterns to the review of the Barbados Programme of Action (POA) for SIDS, and called for continued support for SIDS.

Guyana (left), on behalf of G-77/CHINA, highlighted the value of tourism as an economic tool and noted the fragility of the resources on which it depends. Germany (right), on behalf of the EU, called on the tourism industry to work towards a global code of conduct for sustainable tourism.

Statements from the High-Level Segment:

Louise Fr�chette, UN Deputy Secretary-General of the U.N.

Guyana, on behalf of G-77/CHINA

Germany, on behalf of the E.U.

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Earth Negotiations Bulletin, 1999. All rights reserved.