Report of main proceedings for 25 April 1996


Delegates to the fourth session of the Commission on Sustainable Development (CSD-4)heard reports on national experiences with coastal area management and continuednegotiations on draft decisions related to cross-sectoral issues, finance and consumptionand production patterns.


Damien Houeto, Director of the Ministry of Environment of Benin, spoke on ICZM inBenin. He highlighted: erosion; over-harvesting of mangroves for firewood; sedimentsfrom inland waters; and water pollution from LBA and offshore sources. He described aproposal for stabilizing coastline but stated that implementation is constrained by otherdevelopment needs and insufficient resources. Regarding ICZM, he described a plan underpreparation for the following: land management including agriculture and livestock;forestry; industry; transport and infrastructure; urban development; and energy.

Chalapan Kaluwin, Senior Climate Change Officer, South Pacific Regional EnvironmentalProgrammes, described such coastal management challenges as: environment; education;climate change; sea-level rise; institutional arrangements; culture; and finance. He statedthat land and sea are owned by the people and not by the government. Coastal areamanagement includes both traditional and Western concepts. To encourage institutionalcapacity for ICZM, a culturally-sensitive regional, bottom-up framework is beingdeveloped. To control marine pollution from shipping, observance of regional agreementsis important. Vulnerability assessment is being developed for sea-level rise.

Cheryl Fraser, Assistant Deputy Minister, Department of Fisheries and Oceans ofCanada, stated that three different ecosystems found along the Pacific, Atlantic and Arcticcoastlines require different ICZM models. She identified the following constraints: limitedpublic and government commitment; jurisdiction overlaps, with 15 federal agencies havingjurisdiction over water; and limited scientific data. Community-based managementinitiatives, including those with indigenous groups in the Arctic, as well as regionalinitiatives, are leading to a national plan for ICZM. She concluded by describing: the draftCanada Oceans Act to consolidate existing legislation; an Oceans Management Strategybased on sustainable development and the precautionary approach; and a NationalProgramme of Action consistent with the Washington GPA.

Bo Kjelln described recent actions in the Baltic Sea region, such as a Joint CooperationProgramme. The Programme, carried out by countries and financial institutions, seeks toeliminate pollution from industries and sewage plants and has produced concrete resultsthrough a “hot spots” approach. He also described a Baltic Sea protected areas programmethat prevents development within 100-300 meters of the waters edge, and noted the needfor further protection of wild salmon and small mammals. An initiative was also launchedto promote modern, flexible spatial planning.

Haroldo Mattos de Lemos, Secretary of Coordination for Environmental Issues, Ministry ofthe Environment, Water Resources and Legal Amazon, Brazil, called attention to the needfor a comprehensive integrated plan for the coastal area, which includes Atlantic tropicalforest and mangrove areas. Large cities and industrial zones also impact the region. Brazilhas made progress in ICZM, such as establishing: data bases; community participation; andprotection programmes for biodiversity, coral reefs and marine turtles. Contributions oftraditional knowledge and from science and technology are important.

Delegates then completed their discussion of atmosphere and oceans issues. TRINIDADAND TOBAGO, speaking on behalf of AOSIS, highlighted the importance of the FCCCand Berlin Mandate to SIDS, and of ESTs in support of the Convention’s goals.BANGLADESH underlined the responsibilities of Annex 1 and non-Annex 1 countriesunder the FCCC. He described efforts to phase out CFCs and to mitigate marine pollution.IRAN called for regional environmental action plans for the Persian Gulf and Caspian Sea,and invoked CITES for sturgeon protection. SOUTH AFRICA highlighted efforts on: theMontreal Protocol; Agenda 21 on living marine resources; ICZM; and the WashingtonGPA.

The RUSSIAN FEDERATION requested future presentations on regional cooperation forcoastal management. He outlined efforts on ozone depleting substances, and supportedregional coordinating mechanisms on climate change. MEXICO highlighted: marine andcoastal ecosystems; reducing organic discharge from LBA; and protection of living marineresources. He underscored Mexico’s commitment to implementing the FAO Code ofConduct. The INTERNATIONAL COUNCIL OF SCIENTIFIC UNIONS called for supportfor the Climate Agenda and the GOOS, and emphasized ICSU’s readiness to studyinternational waters. UNIDO highlighted its energy program to promote both industrialdevelopment and environmental strategies to combat climate change.


The Drafting Group considering financial issues reconvened in the afternoon, chaired byDaudi Ngelautwa Mwakawago (Tanzania). In the draft decision on financial resources andmechanisms (Chapter 33 of Agenda 21), the G-77/CHINA added the “urgent” need tofulfill financial commitments, and further GEF replenishment. Three new subparagraphsaddress: initiatives to stabilize volatile foreign private capital flows; the circumscribedimpact of capital flows; and the need for business and transnational corporations (TNCs)to encompass sustainable development. A new paragraph calls for new measures toalleviate external debt.

The G-77/CHINA introduced language on: environmental responsibility and TNCs;innovative mechanisms and the Joint Development Committee of the World Bank and IMF;and the financing role of major groups. The EU reaffirmed that Agenda 21 financing ingeneral will come from a country’s own public and private sectors, and suggestedconcentrating ODA in LDCs and vulnerable sectors. He deleted a reference to achievingstability in international private capital movements. On the expansion of foreign privatecapital flows, the US added language on non-discriminatory trade and open investment, andnational laws, regulations and protecting intellectual property rights in the context ofmobilizing resources for sustainable development. He noted the WTO agreement onTRIPS. On economic instruments, SAUDI ARABIA added language on economicinstruments and international income redistribution, and conditionality. JAPAN deleted thereference to the gradual abolition of subsidies.

In the draft decision on changing production and consumption patterns (Chapter 4), the G-77/CHINA stated that the draft was not balanced and that they are working on a redraft.The US added text from the Report of the Ad Hoc Group, noting that changes in“patterns” could result in the sustainable use of natural resources and that there is a trendtowards a global consensus on the importance of changing “patterns.” He added areference inviting governments to report to CSD-5 on their experiences.

In the sub-paragraph noting the responsibility of developed countries, the US and the EUdeleted the reference to the principle of common but differentiated responsibilities. The EUadded text noting the importance of all countries recognizing their responsibility.NORWAY added a reference to “sustainable lifestyles.”

The EU added paragraphs recognizing that governments can influence other stakeholders insociety, that procurement policies can address the use of environmentally-sound products,and urging governments to facilitate participation of major groups. The EU combined theparagraphs regarding business and industry and NGOs.

NORWAY added references urging actors to bring their findings to CSD-5 and through thatinto the Special Session, and added the OECD to the list of international organizationscalled on to conduct policy relevant studies. CANADA called for the “furtherdevelopment,” in addition to the possible use, of concepts such as carrying capacity, eco-space and ecological footprints.


The Drafting Group considering cross-sectoral issues met during the morning. In the draftdecision on international institutional arrangements (Chapter 38 of Agenda 21), the G-77/CHINA stressed the need to review the CSD’s structure in the paragraph noting the newelements introduced in the work of the CSD. The EU added text underlining the linkagebetween various UN Commissions through their multi-year programmes of work.

In the draft decision on international legal instruments and mechanisms (Chapter 39), theUS expressed reservations about references to “principles” of international law. The EUprioritized UNEP’s work in reviewing international law and referred to the Montevideoreview. He proposed paragraphs recognizing the administrative burden on developingcountries and the importance of major group participation. CANADA introducedparagraphs on compliance and monitoring, and dispute resolution.

In the draft decision on promoting education, public awareness and training (Chapter 36),the G-77/CHINA added text calling on actors to provide assistance to promote educationin developing countries. The EU, supported by CANADA, added text noting that traditionalknowledge should be valued and establishing a work programme based on the operativeparagraphs of the decision. CANADA added a paragraph encouraging governments towork in partnership with youth to prepare them for sustainable livelihoods.

In the draft decision on information provided by governments and organizations, new EUparagraphs deal with consultation on reporting to future sessions of the Commission, takingaccount of ISDs, and streamlining reporting requirements. CANADA cautioned that adistinction must be drawn between CSD-related reporting and treaty-based obligations,including Rio conventions.

In the first revision of the draft decision on integrating environment and development indecision-making (Chapter 8), delegates agreed to encourage the development of strategiesfor “sustainable development, including economic, social and environmental aspects ofgrowth,” rather than for “economic growth in the context of sustainable development.” TheEU proposed text noting the importance of integrated environmental accounting. SAUDIARABIA bracketed “NGOs” in the paragraph calling for actors to support nationalactivities to implement Agenda 21.

In the first revision of the draft decision on Major Groups (Chapters 23 to 32), the G-77/CHINA specified NGO participation in mobilizing technical and financial assistance tosupport sustainable development in developing countries. A new subparagraph urgesgovernments to involve major groups in preparations for the review process at the nationallevel and at the UN. The US said an invitation to ensure major group involvement in theSpecial Session should be directed through ECOSOC.


The contact group on oceans continued its work on the Annexes to the report of the AdHoc Group on Sectoral Issues. Agreement was reported on Annex I (Washington GPA),which was said to be similar to the language in the Annex. Observers reported that AnnexII (Fisheries) requires considerable work. The chair of the contact group held informalconsultations Thursday afternoon, and the contact group will meet again Friday.


PLENARY: The Plenary will meet throughout the day in Conference Room 1 tohear country presentations on sustainable development strategies.

DRAFTING GROUPS: Drafting Group I (oceans) will meet in Conference Room 2in the morning and again from 4:00-6:00 in the afternoon. Drafting Group II (finance) willmeet in Conference Room 2 from 3:00-4:00.

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