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NICARAGUA:

On behalf of the Central American States, Amb. Erich Vilchez Asher expressed concern that there are not sufficient resources allocated to the GEF and Capacity 21 and urged the adoption of bolder more flexible funds. He welcomed the entry into force of the Biodiversity Convention and said that the Central American countries will participate in the Conference of Parties after ratification. He mentioned a number of areas where the Central American States are cooperating on environment and development issues. Thanks to regional cooperation, there is now a Central American Commission on Environment and Development, the environmental dimension is being integrated into national and regional planning processes, and all countries now have environmental protection laws or bills under discussion. In November 1992, the Central American presidents signed a regional agreement on the transboundary movement of hazardous wastes and in October 1993 a regional forest protection policy was agreed to. He hopes that Habitat II will address the relationship between external debt, environmental protection and poverty. He also welcomed Malaysia's proposal to establish an inter-governmental group on forests.