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Report of the National Seminar on Environment and Sustainable Development, Aden, 25-27 February 1989.
[Unpublished] 1989. iv, 131 p.The 1989 final report on the environment and sustainable development includes a summary of events an a summary of types of participants in attendance. The purpose of the seminar was to provide senior national experts, policy makers, planners, and executives (in conjunction with UN representatives) with a forum for examination of issues and to propose recommendations and solutions. The level of awareness must be raised among officials and the public. Policy instruments and action must be identified in order to contribute to sustainable growth and the alleviation of poverty. The principle components of a national environmental strategy were to be outlined. The National Council for Environmental Protection needed to be reactivated. After the opening statements, the topics included in this presentation were the organization and agenda for 5 working groups, development projects and environmental considerations, environmental legislation and institutions, marine and coastal areas environment and resources, environmental awareness and education and human resources, policies and future trends, the seminar declaration and recommendations, and closing statements. The full text is provided for the opening statements, the closing statements, and the background papers. Lists of additional background papers and the seminar steering committee members are also given. The seminar declaration referred to the interlocking crises of development, environment, and energy. Population growth threatens world survival, particularly in the poorest countries. Expected economic growth will further deplete environmental resources and contribute to pollution. The world is bound together by these concerns. International debt forces poor countries to overexploit resources and destroy their production base. Developing countries are still in economic disarray. Economic reform hasn't worked for poor countries, and the resource gap is widening between countries. The answer is sustainable development, which is based on an equitable and rational exploitation of natural resources. International cooperation and peace must be strengthened dialogue and understanding and support for the UN.
Environmental Health Perspectives. 2002 Feb; 110(2):A77.The Web site's Information for Public and Media page provides links to information such as secretariat press releases, educational information kits for classroom use, books, posters, images, and the Down to Earth newsletter. Many of the materials are available in French, Spanish. Russian, Arabic, Chinese, and/or German. Multilingual fact sheets have been developed on topics including the causes and consequences of desertification, partnership agreements between aid donors and affected states, and how desertificatjon is fought in certain regions. (excerpt)
Washington, D.C., World Bank, 2001 Apr. 29 p.This report reviews the objectives and principles of the UN Convention to Combat Desertification (CCD) in the evolving World Bank and global context and presents emerging lessons from mainstreaming the CCD into World Bank activities. New initiatives to integrate these lessons and foster partnerships are also highlighted. It also outlines the major challenges ahead and how the Bank could address them.
Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic United Nations International Research and Training Institute for the Advancement of Women [INSTRAW], 1997. 4 p.This article describes the Plan of Action (POA) of the 1992 Rio de Janeiro UN Conference on the Environment and Development: Women in Forestry, Climate Change, Biodiversity, and Desertification. The conference and POA support sustainable development and a global partnership between developed and developing countries, and between governments and civil society. 172 governments adopted the Agenda 21 POA. The plans on Climate Change and Biological Diversity were legally binding Conventions. The Convention to Combat Desertification was enforced in 1996. Chapter 11 of Agenda 21 defines a policy framework for women and forestry that ensures a rational and holistic approach, which involves the participation of women, youth, indigenous peoples, the private sector, and government. The forestry plan promotes the participation of this broad group of people in forest-related activities and their access to information and training programs and institutional formation and strengthening. The forestry programs should maintain and expand existing vegetative cover. The Biological Diversity Convention aims to conserve biological species, genetic resources, and habitats, and to ensure sustainable use of biological materials. The benefits from genetic resources should be fairly and equitably shared. The Convention on Climate Change establishes a process for responding to climate change, including a reporting system and transfer of funding and technology to developing countries. The Convention on Desertification aims to ameliorate the effects of drought and to act with international cooperation and partnership agreements to improve land productivity, conservation, and sustainable management of land and water resources. The Convention relies on "a bottom up" approach and a framework that counters the degradation of drylands, deserts, and semi-arid grasslands.
[Unpublished] 1994. Presented at the Third INC-D Session of the Intergovernmental Negotiating Committee on the International Convention on Desertification, United Nations, New York, 17 January 1994. 4 p.In his speech before the intergovernmental negotiating desertification committee of the UN on January 17, 1994, Gus Speth addressed the issues of sustainable food security, the importance of the deterioration of land resources, the global mechanisms for environmental change, and country targets and negotiations. He recognized the role of desertification as a barrier to sustainable food security and sustainable livelihoods. 13-18 million people die each year from hunger, malnutrition, and poverty-related causes. One billion are too poor to obtain the food necessary to sustain a normal work load. Half a million people are too poor to obtain food for minimal activity. Every third child is underweight by the age of five years. Approximately 2500 calories of food per day are consumed by the four billion world population. World food output must triple in order to meet demand. The desertification committee has the capacity to meet these challenges by focusing on agreements and actions with results for real people. The UN Development Programme (UNDP) is working on desertification in Africa and has five goals for helping countries deal with the problems. Severe land degradation can be stopped by the formation of action plans by involved countries and with support from new donors. Success will depend upon the extensive involvement of nongovernmental organizations, affected communities, women's groups, and grassroots organizations which should focus on underlying causes. Targets should be set for slowing or reversing the process over a 10-year period or longer. UNDP aims to support each country's development plans and policies for combating desertification, to strengthen local community institutions, to build capacity for disaster mitigation and preparedness, and to improve the information base on environment and natural resources. UNDP wants to bring together all relevant UNDP initiatives (UNSO, Capacity 21, GEF, the SDN, the CDF, UNIFEM, and the core program) and make a concerted effort to attack severe desertification areas. A global partnership is needed. UNDP is working to enhance the participation of some of the most affected countries and to provide technical and financial assistance.
INTEGRATION. 1994 Jun; (40):49-50.Humans need food to survive. The encroachment of deserts, losses of water and generic and cultural resources, as well as climatic changes, however, threaten our long-term survival. Desertification in the world's arid and semiarid regions is one of the most serious problems our planet and its people face. It is one of the principal barriers to sustainable food security and sustainable livelihoods. Moreover, desertification is not a future threat, but an active local reality which needs to be reversed. Since World War II, an area the size of China and India combined has experienced moderate to extreme soil deterioration. More than 75% of this degradation has occurred in developing regions, mostly in arid and semiarid regions. The author explains how the UN Development Program is strengthening its capacity to help countries address desertification as we face the challenge of tripling world food output over the next 50 years given likely population increases.
POPULATION BULLETIN OF THE UNITED NATIONS. 1993; (34-35):19-34.As part of the preparation for the up-coming International Conference on Population and Development, an expert group met at UN headquarters on January 20-24, 1992. The group noted that the momentum of population growth was expected to add 3 billion people to the global population between 1985 and 2025, with more than 90% of the growth occurring in the developing countries which are least able to respond to the attendant resource and environmental demands. The expert group discussed the interaction of population and resources, specifically the impact of population growth on the environment and carrying capacity. The meeting then focused on environmental discontinuities and uncertainties and on environmental degradation, specifically the loss of agricultural land, the destruction of tropical forests, fresh-water resource, the loss of biological diversify, and climate change. Following their deliberations, the expert group drafted 18 recommendations addressed to governments, social institutions, and international organizations. The group urged that governments establish or strengthen the integration of environmental and population concerns into development policy-making and planning and support technologies to achieve sustained economic growth and development while striving to replace the use of fossil fuels with renewable resources. Areas of the environment subject to acute population pressure should be identified and policies devised to reduce that pressure. Ecologically helpful labor-intensive projects should be implemented for their dual benefits. Women should be included in these activities, and their status in society, therefore, should be improved through improved education and participatory opportunities. The uses of water should be optimized to acknowledge its scarcity. The delivery of service to alleviate poverty should proceed in a manner that invites community participation, which, along with education, will be vital to institute these changes. Adequate resources for urban management should be allocated to local authorities. Environmentally displaced people should receive assistance while the cause of their uprooting is simultaneously addressed. Land-use planning and promotion of emergency prevention is increasingly important as populations settle in areas vulnerable to natural disasters. International organizations are urged to support efforts to minimize the health impacts of environmental degradation and increase their assistance in the areas of population, sustainable development, and the environment, especially in training and national planning. Awareness of the interrelatedness of these issues should be promoted in every way possible, especially through education, training, and the support of databases. Policy-oriented research should focus on identifying critically endangered areas. As policies are devised for sustainable development, special attention should be paid to improving the circumstances of indigenous people, and their accumulated experience with sustainable development should be sought and used. Finally, conflicting goals between countries should be identified by governments to allow open analysis, successful negotiation, and satisfactory solutions.
ANNUAL REVIEW OF POPULATION LAW. 1989; 16:212, 612-5.Resolution No. 44172, December 19, 1989, from the United Nations-General Assembly reviews the plan of action to combat desertification. Step A, implementation of the plan of action to combat desertification begins with recalling of previous resolutions concerning desertification, acknowledges with deep concern the problem of desertification, which has a global impact but is still on the fringe of growing awareness on the part of the international community, and how imperative it is to combat environment deterioration effectively within the framework of the interdependence of nations. It expresses grave concern at the continuing spread and intensification of decertification in developing countries, particularly in Africa, the indescribable human suffering, economic and financial losses, and social disruption caused by that scourge; it acknowledges that drought and desertification place a considerable burden on the economic and financial capacities of the developing countries affected and that the negative effects of the international economic environment impede their efforts to undertake effective and sustained programs to combat desertification, for which they bear primary responsibility. The resolution notes the inadequacy of financial resources for the implementation of the plan of action to combat desertification, urges governments to increase and intensify their efforts and to prioritize decertification control, and requests a report containing expert studies in the specified areas. Step B, implementation in the Sudan-Sahelian region of the plan of action to combat decertification, begins with the recall of previous resolutions, reviews important facts and concerns, urges affected countries to include projects to combat desertification and drought in their national development plans and to accord high priority to them. It invites the United Nations Sudano-Sahelian office to intensify its efforts to mobilize additional resources to support the efforts of the countries covered under its mandate.
Washington, D.C., World Bank, 1987. xi, 62 p. (World Bank Technical Paper No. 61)The problem of desertification in the Sahelian and Sudanian Zones (SSZ) of West Africa is addressed. Desertification is defined as the process of sustained decline in biological productivity of arid and semiarid land. Desertification is complex and poorly understood and is caused by the interaction between drought and human abuse. Better management is a viable long term solution. In the SSZ, there is variable rainfall and low fertility soil, and resources are overexploited by humans. The focus of discussion is on defining the nature of the problems and the geographic features of the SSZ; the problem is complex and multifaceted and includes population pressure. The nature of and pressures on traditional production systems (agrosylvicultural, agrosylvipastoral, and sylvopastoral) are described as well as the carrying capacities of traditional production systems. Past development activities and common weaknesses of development activities are reviewed with reference to the agricultural, livestock, and forestry sectors. The elements of a strategy for better resources management are delineated. Some general observations are made. Actions are defined with reference to pressure on 1) carrying capacity (CC) in areas where the ratio of population (RP) does not exceed CC, where RP slightly exceeds OC, and where RP greatly exceeds CC; the issue of irrigation increasing carrying capacity is dealt with. Other elements are 2) upgrading competence in research and training, 3) reducing demand (population and wood), and 4) the policy environment (land law and incentives). Implications for actions are indicated for the members of the Comite Inter-Etats de Lutte contre la Secheresse dans le Sahel, governments, financiers in general, and for the World Bank group in particular. A statistical appendix is provided with information on land distribution, soil suitability, population and distribution by a number of factors, and carrying capacity. Elementary erosion techniques and research orientations also are provided.
POPLINE. 1992 Sep-Oct; 14:3.The conditions of desert expansion in the Sahara are highlighted. On the southern border the desert is growing at a rate of 3-6 miles/year. This growth is encroaching on arable land in Ethiopia and Mauritania. The region loses up to 28,000 sq miles/year of farmland. 33% of Africa's fertile land is threatened. Land-use patterns are responsible for the deterioration of the soil. Traditional practices are not effective because the practices are not suitable for permanent farming. Farmers also have stopped environmentally sound practices such as letting the fields remain fallow in order to renew soil fertility. Nomads overgraze areas before moving on. A recent study by the World Bank's Africa Region Office was released; the report details some of the links between rapid population growth, poor agricultural performance, and environmental degradation. Soil conditions are such that valuable topsoil is blow away by the wind because the layer is too thin. Vegetation at the desert's edge is used for cooking purposes or for heating fuel. Tropical and savannah areas are depleted when tree replacement is inadequate. Only 9 trees are planted for every 100 removed. The report emphasized the role of women and children in contributing to population pressure by increased fertility. Women's work load is heavy and children are a help in alleviating some of the burden of domestic and agricultural work. There is hope in meeting demographic, agricultural, food security, and environmental objectives over the next 30 years if the needs of women are met. The needs include access to education for young women, lessening the work loads of women, and decreasing child mortality through improved health care and access to safe water.
[Gland, Switzerland], International Union for Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources [IUCN], 1989 Oct. , 42,  p. (Etude de Cas en Population et Ressources Naturelles)The agroforestry project (AFP) of Yatenga province in Burkina Faso incorporates the conservation of natural resources, demographic problems, and community participation. The AFP, financed by OXFAM (Oxford Committee for Famine Relief), is concerned with the fight against desertification for the restoration of soil. The villages of Longa and Ranawa were surveyed among numerous villages where AFP was carried out in Yatenga province. In 1985 the population of the country number 7.9 million people with an annual growth rate of 2.6%; in 1989 it reached 8.8 million. Mortality is 144/1000, the average is 6.5 children/woman, average life expectancy is 46 years, and only 8% live in urban areas. In 1985 there were 1283 inhabitants in Ranawa with 172 households; Longa had 730 inhabitants; and in both mossi ethnicity and Islam religion predominated. The inception of AFP lay in the drought of 1968-73 that resulted in destruction of forests, pasturage was overgrazed, and erosion followed. The 1979-82 phase involved research on techniques of conservation of water and soil with community participation. The 1982-86 phase was committed to the popularization of these techniques. The 1987-89 phase included application of measures and agricultural utilization. A total of 2790 peasants were trained in 406 villages during 1979-88. 190 hectares (ha) were improved in Ranawa and 100 ha in Longa out of a total of 5227 ha restored. A questionnaire was administered to 34 people to evaluate AFP performance and included OXFAM managers, AFP managers, 7 government and nongovernment managing staff, 22 members of focal groups, and agents of regional agropastural promotion centers. The achievements of AFP were encouraging, but insufficient human and financial resources, lack of initiative by the beneficiaries, and the need for methodological improvement were limiting factors.