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The Chair then explained to the delegates that he will be presenting a report to the CSD in April, in addition to the report submitted by UNEP. He proceeded to outline his thoughts on this report and asked delegates for their comments. He noted that this Convention supports Principle 1 of the Rio Declaration, which says people are at the center of development, since the Convention concerns 900 million people and is based on a bottom-up approach and partnerships. He also noted the efforts to improve coordination of international assistance, and the integration and participation of NGOs in the process. Elements of the Convention that fit into the CSD"s consideration of other chapters of Agenda 21 include: food security; land use; the use of plant genetic resources; dryland forestry; water resources; and energy. He noted that when the Convention is examined in a broader framework, it has more stature and substance at the global level.

FINLAND noted that the Chair"s report also has to draw the linkages between this Convention, and the Climate Change and Biodiversity Conventions as well as the Statement on Forest Principles. BRAZIL added that the Chair should also include the links to international trade, since obstacles to market access to countries affected by desertification will hinder their efforts to combat desertification. Patterns of production and consumption should also be mentioned. The PHILIPPINES, on behalf of the G-77 and China, added that priority should be given to: the prevention of land degradation in vulnerable areas and the containment of degradation where it has already taken place; the fact that desertification and drought are global problems, not local problems; links between land degradation and climate change and biodiversity; and links to the mobilization of financial resources, transfer of environmentally sound technologies; and capacity building.

Discussion of this item will resume on Monday.