ENB:04:44 [Next] . [Previous] . [Contents]


The problem of definitions dates back to INCD-2. There were three problems. The first related to the definition of desertification and the recognition of the problem as a global issue whose effects are linked to climate change. The second problem related to listing countries in several categories, such as affected countries, affected developing countries, countries needing assistance, and other countries in a position to provide assistance. The third problem concerned the development of a glossary of the terms used in the text. Most of these issues were resolved at this session. The Kassas Group agreed to use the definition of desertification provided in Chapter 12 of Agenda 21, which makes no reference to "global dimension" or any links to climate change. The need for a list of countries was deemed unnecessary since ecosystems change over time. The issue of categories remains unresolved. The G-77 maintains that the UNCED process only recognized two categories of countries -- developed and developing -- and that the Convention should only incorporate these two. No decision was taken on the need for a glossary, but if and when it is considered necessary, the Conference of the Parties will be responsible for its formulation.