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ELABORATION OF AN INTERNATIONAL CONVENTION TO COMBAT DESERTIFICATION

INCD Chair Bo Kjell‚n opened the second week of the session by welcoming delegates to the new phase of the process: discussion on the structure and elements to be contained in the Convention. Kjell‚n noted that the task is to turn the "dreams" of Rio into human-centered reality. He made five major points: 1) this process does not begin from "scratch" and should build on past efforts, research and negotiations; 2) there is a link between the global aspects of desertification and the particular problems facing Africa; 3) Chapter 12 of Agenda 21 contains a negotiated set of elements that should be used in a constructive way; 4) the horizontal linkages to other chapters of Agenda 21 should receive attention; and 5) there is a need for local participation and to listen to people in the villages. He said that this negotiation is the first chance after UNCED to reflect the centrality of popular participation.