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Report of main proceedings for 26 April 1999


CSD-7 participants heard national presentations during the morning and the beginning of the afternoon session, following which they commenced negotiations on draft decisions.


Poland and other Baltic countries discussed their cooperation to protect the Baltic Sea, including a new convention on the protection of the Baltic marine environment. Related efforts seek to promote sustainable development through a sectoral and joint-action approach. A panel from Iceland described the science and knowledge-based approach to the sustainable management of living marine resources used in Iceland. A stringent management regime includes the allocation of fishing rights, surveillance and enforcement.

Kenya discussed its efforts related to tourism and sustainable development. Initiatives include ensuring equitable distribution of benefits derived from tourism to the local communities. A representative of Panama spoke on the management of the Panama Canal, which returns to Panamanian control at the end of the year. Several developments are aimed at guaranteeing an orderly transition including laws for the new entity governing and managing the canal and its marine life. A representative of Mexico outlined national measures related to ocean and coastal management. He called for improved international coordination in a regional context.


TOURISM: Drafting Group I, chaired by Navid Hanif (Pakistan), considered the intersessional ad hoc working group's report on consumption and production patterns and tourism (E/CN.17/1999/16) and outcomes from the Tourism and High-Level Segments. The NGO Tourism Caucus called for an ad hoc meeting to consider establishing a multi-stakeholder working group, which they suggested should be convened by DESA and funded through a new Trust Fund funded by governments, industry and UN agencies.

To text on the decision to develop a tourism work programme, the G-77/CHINA proposed that policy development take place in "consultation" not "cooperation" with all interested parties. To text identifying actions by governments, the EU proposed that they create appropriate frameworks by applying a mix of instruments including integrated land-use planning, coastal zone management and eco-audits. BRAZIL and CHINA objected to referencing specific measures. The EU supported a High-Level Segment focus point calling for stronger action on the exploitation of women and children and support for the ILO's work in this area. The G-77/CHINA expressed difficulties with provisions on child labor. LIBYA and BRAZIL noted that other UN committees deal with these issues. SWITZERLAND proposed referencing a 1998 ILO Declaration. The G-77/CHINA proposed that the work programme identify the means and resources for implementation for developing countries. The EU and US objected.

To text on action by the tourism industry, the G-77/CHINA suggested that action be within the framework of national strategies and specified that voluntary initiatives do not substitute for government regulation. The US suggested that industry develop, implement and monitor voluntary initiatives. CANADA called for developing codes of conduct for industry and tourists through participatory processes.

On action by the international community, the G-77/CHINA proposed deleting references to the Inter-Agency Committee on Sustainable Development and calling on actors to keep the CSD informed. The EU objected. The US said the CSD should be informed of progress. The G-77/CHINA, supported by BRAZIL, proposed moving a subparagraph on concepts and definitions of sustainable tourism and eco-tourism to the top of the section. CANADA, AUSTRALIA, the EU and the US said they did not favor a discussion on definitions. On the benefits from tourism resources, the EU, opposed by BRAZIL, added calls for wider benefit sharing and employment of local workers, products and skills. On financial and technical support, CANADA added a reference to major groups as well as countries. The G-77/CHINA added text encouraging responsible behavior among tourists. AUSTRALIA added a subparagraph on using Local Agenda 21 for integrated planning approaches. The G-77/CHINA bracketed it. The G-77/CHINA said text on disseminating information on best practices could pose constraints on developing countries and proposed a reformulation. On promoting information exchange, the G-77/CHINA, opposed by the EU, added a reference to minimizing natural disasters and using "bilateral and multilateral arrangements." CANADA added references to community planning and coastal zone management to text on studies to promote sustainable tourism. The G-77/CHINA proposed text on support for integrated initiatives through pilot projects. The US said he would have to review text regarding an assessment of voluntary initiatives. The EU proposed text on sexual exploitation and the ILO. She also introduced text on reducing the volume of package waste associated with travel and tourism and on encouraging the tourism industry to design with nature. AUSTRALIA added eco- efficiency to the EU proposals.

On action under the Convention on Biological Diversity, the G- 77/CHINA added an invitation to consider fragile mountain ecosystems. On modalities of assessment, monitoring and reporting, the G-77/CHINA dropped specific references to organizations. The EU questioned a G-77/CHINA reformulation that invites governments in consultation with major groups to establish a mechanism to develop modalities. AUSTRALIA agreed with the EU and added language inviting major groups to explore integrating Local Agendas 21 with Agenda 21 for Travel and Tourism, with particular emphasis on coastal areas.

NEW ZEALAND said he would be disappointed if good ideas identified in High-Level Segment focal points fell by the wayside. The EU said she was astonished at the procedure adopted by the Chair.

CONSUMPTION AND PRODUCTION: During an evening meeting, SWITZERLAND proposed that principal goals be pursued "by all countries." The EU replaced a reference to the "special situation of developing countries" with a reference to the least developed and added a sentence on shared responsibility, noting the important role of the affluent. BRAZIL, supported by CHINA and EGYPT, objected. The G-77/CHINA inserted elements from Agenda 21 and UNGASS. NORWAY said equally rich people place the same burden on the environment wherever they live.

On developing country priorities, the G-77/CHINA added a reference to the burden of external debt and the EU added support for international development targets and strengthening efforts on the 0.7% of GNP for ODA target. SWITZERLAND proposed calling for voluntary use of labeling schemes and support for work on indicators. The EU supported the text on labeling schemes and proposed alternative text on indicators. The G- 77/CHINA and BRAZIL objected to labeling schemes. CHINA also objected to indicators.


OCEANS AND SEAS: Drafting Group II, chaired by Sandor Mozes (Hungary), broke into two informal working groups: one on oceans and seas, chaired by Alan Simcock (UK), and one on SIDS, chaired by John Ashe (Antigua and Barbuda). The informal group on oceans and seas considered the intersessional ad hoc working group's proposed elements for a draft decision (E/CN.17/1999/17) along with the focus points identified by the High-Level Segment.

Regarding general considerations, the G-77/CHINA proposed emphasizing priorities on ensuring well-being for present and future generations, eradication of poverty, food security and economic prosperity. The EU proposed a reference to the importance of preserving marine biological diversity. The G- 77/CHINA proposed changing references on the precautionary and polluter pays "approaches" to "principles" and inserting reference to the principle of common but differentiated responsibilities. The US noted that the Rio Declaration refers to the "principle of the precautionary approach." The EU proposed calling on governments to develop integrated approaches.

On major challenges at the national, regional and global levels, the EU suggested referring to respect for the "sovereignty," jurisdiction and "sovereign rights" of all coastal states. The G-77/CHINA proposed reference to threats from over-exploitation of marine living resources by industrialized fleets. CANADA, supported by the US, said that it would be more accurate to refer to "distant-water fishing nations." On international cooperation to support national and regional levels in developing countries, TURKEY proposed transferring "appropriate" environmentally sound technologies (ESTs) and ALGERIA requested that they be transferred on "concessional" terms.

On capacity building for action at the national level, the G- 77/CHINA suggested initiating or developing capacity-building programmes in the context of national plans. The EU proposed cooperation within and across different sectors at the regional level to promote integrated outcomes. On capacity building for action at the regional level, the G-77/CHINA proposed emphasizing the importance of cooperation "for the protection and sustainable use of regional seas, within the context of relevant regional legal regimes and consistent with international law." The Group also proposed deleting reference to the conclusions of the UNEP Governing Council. TURKEY proposed referencing financial organizations in addition to multilateral organizations.

On International Agreements, the EU, supported by CANADA, suggested replacing "rational" use of the seas with "sustainable" use of the seas. The G-77/CHINA proposed adding a call for all states that have not done to become parties to UNCLOS and the Agreement relating to the implementation of Part XI of the Convention. On a section on living marine resources, AUSTRALIA suggested changing the title to "Sustainable Fisheries and Aquaculture" and referencing "sustainable aquaculture" within the text. The EU proposed references to the precautionary approach and polluter pays principle. NORWAY and ICELAND proposed deleting a reference to "fish stocks that are being fished above the sustainable level." The G-77/CHINA, supported by MEXICO and TURKEY, proposed "encouraging" instead of "urging" states to sign and ratify international agreements on fisheries. The US, the EU, NORWAY, ICELAND and AUSTRALIA objected. On plans of action to reduce the incidental catch of seabirds in long- line fisheries, CANADA suggested including references to by- catch reduction plans and time-tables. MEXICO disagreed. The EU, supported by JAPAN, proposed deleting "highly industrialized fishing fleets" in relation to management of fishing capacity. JAPAN said the FAO should gather all relevant information for further analysis of factors contributing to over-capacity and over-fishing. On areas of particular concern dealing with living marine resources focusing on sustainable fisheries, ICELAND proposed that the reference to "representatives of fishers" be replaced with "stakeholders." NORWAY, supported by the US, proposed that the reference to "minimizing waste and discards" be included in a new paragraph in view of the importance of the issue. The EU proposed that the reference to the FAO also include "regional fisheries organizations." The US suggested a new paragraph on drift nets. PANAMA disagreed with all amendments.


Some confusion about the methodology for taking up focal points identified by the CSD-7 Chair at the High-Level Segment emerged during negotiations on Monday. One explanation offered for the confusion was the morning Bureau meeting's failure to decide on the precise modalities that would ensure that ideas raised during the Tourism and High-Level Segments achieved sufficient visibility and consideration alongside the intersessional outcomes once negotiations commenced.


DRAFTING GROUPS: Group I is expected to consider tourism at 11:30 am. Group II is expected to consider oceans at 10:00 am. Group III is expected to consider energy from 10:00-11:30 am. Groups I and II are scheduled to meet during the afternoon. An informal working group on SIDS is expected and a night meeting is possible.

SIDE EVENTS: A presentation on “Access to Genetic Resources” will take place at 1:15 at the Church Center. Check CSD Today for additional side events.

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