ENB:04:22 [Next] . [Previous] . [Contents]

B. INFORMATION COLLECTION, ANALYSIS AND EXCHANGE:

The debate centered on the type of information to be collected: basic information (data-banks) or applied information (needed in combatting desertification) such as early-warning systems. There was consensus that the information should not be expensive or elitist. Canada suggested that the information respond to questions about specific localities (monitoring) with a minimum data set for answering specific questions. It should also cover the socio-economic aspects. India expressed concern that the requirements of the developing countries, as stipulated in the document, would require considerable funding. Morocco stressed the need for all countries suffering from desertification to have the requisite instruments to monitor and assess desertification. There is need to establish five to ten parameters to be collected periodically as a measure for the success of the programmes. UNESCO proposed that the process tap into UNDP's Sustainable Development Network. The role of coordination should not be centralized in one institution. Information collected should not just be exchanged between the parties but with everyone who needs it. It is also necessary to identify who will provide data and to consult with the UN agencies on this issue. It was proposed that the Panel of Experts identify information needs, intended uses, and existing information at the local, national and regional levels. At the end of the session, the Chair requested all the delegates to submit their written comments.