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INTERSESSIONAL HIGHLIGHTS

WORKSHOP ON INDICATORS FOR SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT: The Governments of Belgium and Costa Rica, UNEP and the Scientific Committee on Problems of the Environment (SCOPE) organized a workshop in Ghent, Belgium, on indicators for sustainable development. The 50 governmental, intergovernmental and NGO representatives who attended the workshop from 9-11 January 1995, recommended that the CSD consider producing a menu of indicators for countries to use in their national policies. These indicators may be used in national reports to the CSD and other intergovernmental bodies. Other recommendations included: testing and adjustment of the core set of indicators in some countries or regions, on a voluntary basis; and focusing scientific efforts on improving sustainability indicators.

WORKSHOP ON ECONOMIC INSTRUMENTS FOR SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT: This workshop, which took place from 12-14 January 1995 in Pruhonice, was organized by the Czech Republic and the CSD Secretariat to generate inputs for the CSD Ad Hoc Working Group on Finance. The 88 representatives from 23 countries, UN organizations, business and NGOs examined: information on global aspects of financing sustainable development and aspects related to economies in transition; recommendations to the CSD and other international institutions; and recommendations to national policy makers. Recommendations to the CSD included: all stakeholders should participate in the debate about choice, design and implementation of economic instruments (EIs); EIs should address both the symptoms and causes of environmental degradation; real case studies should be supported to investigate the impact of specific EIs; the implementation of a non- binding and voluntary pilot programme of international CO2 emission trading should be encouraged; and the framework, modalities, technical and legal aspects of a charge on air transport should be further evaluated.

ROUNDTABLE ON TECHNOLOGY TRANSFER: UNIDO, in cooperation with UNEP and the DPCSD, convened a Roundtable on Technology Transfer, Cooperation and Capacity Building for Sustainable Development in Vienna, Austria, from 6-8 February 1995. Participants produced a text, 'Elements of a Work Programme on Environmentally Sound Technologies.' This document addresses the following issues: policy development, particularly the use of economic instruments in national policies; national needs assessments in support of environmentally sound technology transfer and capacity-building; promotion of environmentally sound technology centers; North-South and South-South cooperation; and technology intermediaries.

OSLO ROUNDTABLE ON SUSTAINABLE PRODUCTION AND CONSUMPTION: This ministerial roundtable, sponsored by Norway, took place in Oslo, from 6-10 February 1995. Participants agreed that more sustainable production and consumption will require long-term structural change to economies and lifestyles. Among the recommendations, particular emphasis is placed on: building partnerships for sustainable consumption between different sectors of society; establishing a policy framework for sustainable consumption; extending producer responsibility for the environmental impacts of goods and services; setting governmental example in sustainable consumption through environmentally sound public procurement and administration; and empowering individuals and households to adopt more sustainable consumption patterns.

SECOND EXPERT GROUP MEETING ON FINANCE AND AGENDA 21: The Expert Group Meeting on Finance and Agenda 21, co-sponsored by Malaysia and Japan, took place from 15-17 February 1995, in Glen Cove, New York. Participants emphasized that: private financial flows are an increasingly important source of financing for many environment-related infrastructure projects; the CSD should continue to support efforts aimed at reaching the target of 0.7% of GNP for ODA; and IFIs should seek closer cooperation with national sustainable development councils. The participants also explored innovative international mechanisms, including the environmental user charge on air transport, internationally tradeable CO2 permits, and joint implementation, and suggested that the CSD further study these options. Finally, the expert group examined a matrix approach to sectoral and cross-sectoral finance and recommended that the CSD support efforts to consider additional policy- relevant dimensions of the matrix.

WAGENINGEN WORKSHOP ON INTEGRATED LAND MANAGEMENT: The Netherlands and the FAO co-sponsored the Workshop on Integrated Land Management from 20-22 February 1995, in Wageningen, the Netherlands. More than 80 representatives from 32 countries and six intergovernmental and non-governmental organizations discussed the intermediate level (meso level) as a platform for participatory approaches to integrated land management. The Workshop recommended: managing a multi-stakeholder planning process; and possibilities for sustainable economic development in rural areas. Some of the recommendations to governments included: review land tenure arrangements or legislation; provide investment in rural areas to implement Agenda 21; promote capacity building in rural areas; incorporate indigenous knowledge and methods of land resources management into policies; develop criteria and performance indicators for sustainable land use; and develop partnerships between public authorities and stakeholders.

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