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: IFAD stated that the preparation of national action programmes (NAPs) cannot be hurried. NAPs must be dynamic and evolve as experience is gained. Egypt cautioned delegates that, from its experience, desertification projects are usually expensive and may need to be implemented at the regional and subregional levels.

Algeria, on behalf of the Maghreb Union, reported that its subregional action programme should be finalized soon. Burkina Faso called attention to its emergency plan and national plan of action. Botswana is working on a national action plan and a state of the environment review, while Pakistan, with the assistance of UNEP, has developed a national plan to combat desertification. Spain has drafted three desertification-related national plans. In March, Japan will send a mission to Senegal to discuss the development of a concrete pilot project that could be adapted for other affected African countries. CILSS is holding consultations aimed at developing a subregional programme of action and the IGADD is also focusing on action programmes at the national and subregional levels.

In addition, concrete projects are already being implemented. Belgium is supporting reforestation programmes in Benin, Burkina Faso and C“te d"Ivoire. Morocco is focusing on reforestation, soil and water conservation, mobilization of water resources, irrigation, dune stabilization and development of pasture areas, and has began to work on its national action programme. Iran is, likewise, involved in dune stabilization and degraded land restoration.

Switzerland drew attention to the fact that some activities being outlined under the resolution on urgent action for Africa were prepared before the completion of the Convention and wondered whether new funds were required.