The Asian Group presented its draft regional implementation annex, A/AC.241/CRP.12, Monday afternoon.
ARTICLE 2 -- PARTICULAR CONDITIONS OF THE ASIAN REGION: This article was adopted with minor changes proposed by the Asian Group.
ARTICLE 3 -- FRAMEWORK FOR NATIONAL ACTION PROGRAMMES: Paragraph 2 generated protracted discussion. The Article states that bilateral and multilateral cooperation agencies may be involved in the development of national action programmes. The EU proposed language from the Northern Mediterranean Annex, pointing out that specific mention should be made to a consultative process, including governments and NGOs. He argued that there should be uniformity between the annexes on certain fundamental issues, such as the bottom-up approach. Syria proposed a reference to joint management of shared resources and other transboundary issues. Malaysia proposed that language from the Latin American Annex be used. The Secretariat will produce draft language.
ARTICLE 4 -- NATIONAL ACTION PROGRAMMES: India, on behalf of the Asian Group, tabled several amendments, including a reference in the chapeau to "affected country Parties and those experiencing desertification and drought," as well as two new sub-paragraphs. The former was debated extensively. The US, Canada, Australia and other OECD countries argued that this reference would have the effect of creating a new country category. The Philippines appealed for its retention. While some Asian countries may not be "affected" in the sense of the definition set out in the Convention, they would like to be able to take preventive action at the national level and to consult with affected countries. The two additions to Article 4 include a new sub-paragraph (g), which refers to the promotion of the integrated management of drainage basins, the conservation of soil resources, and the augmentation and efficient use of water resources. The new sub-paragraph (h) refers to the strengthening of "information, evaluation and follow-up and early warning systems in regions prone to desertification, taking into account climatological, meteorological, hydrological, biological and other relevant factors." But for the chapeau, the Article was adopted with minor changes.
ARTICLES 5 -- SUBREGIONAL AND JOINT ACTION PROGRAMMES and 6 -- REGIONAL ACTIVITIES were subject to the new proposals tabled by the Asian Group.
ARTICLE 7 -- FINANCIAL RESOURCES AND MECHANISMS: Discussion of this Article was deferred, pending the outcome of the financial discussions.
ARTICLE 8 -- COOPERATION AND COORDINATION MECHANISMS: India presented substantial changes. The new paragraph 1 refers to affected country Parties and "those experiencing serious drought and desertification." It also identifies the specific purposes to be promoted by cooperation and coordination mechanisms. The new paragraph 2 refers to the bodies to whom affected country Parties may consult with, as well as the objectives of such consultation. The new paragraph 3, bracketed by the EU, refers to periodic coordination meetings to be facilitated by the Secretariat. The issue of "those experiencing serious drought and desertification" was the most contentious issue. Discussion on this, and all the outstanding matters in the annex, was deferred to informal consultations.
[Return to start of article]