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PRESENTATIONS OF NATIONAL EXPERIENCES IN INTEGRATED LAND MANAGEMENT AND SUSTAINABLE AGRICULTURE

On Wednesday, 19 April 1995, the CSD heard national presentations on integrated land management and rural development and agriculture.

Australia: Geoff Gorrie, First Assistant Secretary, Land Resources Division, Department of Primary Industries and Energy, described Australia's Landcare Programme ' a community and government partnership. Planning approaches are developed according to local needs and with the involvement of interest groups. The concept of Landcare originated with farming communities in the mid-1980's and focuses on soil conservation. Landcare groups have provided a mechanism for local communities to identify and address the causes of soil, water and vegetation management problems as well as socio-economic issues.

Achievements of the first three years of the Decade for Landcare include: increased community awareness; the formation of 2,200 Landcare groups; increasing corporate support; and research and development on sustainable management of natural resources. Outstanding objectives are: encouraging sustainable practices on a voluntary basis; placing emphasis on implementation on the ground; and integration of production and conservation objectives.

Chile: Dr. Manuel Lladser Prado, Expert from INTEC (Technology Institute of Chile), gave a presentation on the influence of environmental measures on Chilean vegetable and fruit exports. Prado noted that the primary problems for developing countries include lack of technical know-how, excessive regulation, and restrictive trade practices and barriers. He highlighted some of Chile's environmental problems, including landfills, litter, depletion of the ozone layer, marine pollution, and exhaustion of non-renewable resources. He referred to the recently established Environmental Commission and the first Eco Fair, which was held in early 1995. In 1994, Chile enacted a framework environmental law. Prado described the state of fruit and vegetable production in Chile and the extensive work being undertaken to promote clean packaging, including the use of environmentally-friendly materials, eco-labeling and recycling.

Hungary: Mrs. Gabriella Mohacsy-Toth, Ministerial Senior Adviser, Hungarian Ministry for Agriculture, presented an historical overview of agriculture in Hungary. Since 1989, political, social and economic changes have included a transformation of the land tenure regime and production patterns, transition to a market economy, and harmonization with EU regulations. A partial compensation process has been implemented for confiscated lands. New concepts in environmentally sound land use policies have been introduced, including: soil information systems; agrarian regional development, including provision for backward regions; a programme to reduce pesticides risk; legislation on land ownership and soil conservation; and financial facilities, including State funds for wildlife, forests and land protection. Outstanding problems include: fragmentation of land units; inappropriate financial provisions; and low regional level activity due to the historical dominance of central planning mechanisms.

Indonesia: Minister of Agriculture, Syarifudin Baharsjhah, presented Indonesia's experience with sustainable agriculture and rural development. The goals of Indonesia's first 25-year plan were self-sufficiency in rice, the alleviation of poverty and prosperity and well-being for all. The plan, which began in 1969, focused on agriculture and rice self-sufficiency and was implemented in stages to improve nutrition, living standards and economic growth. Despite widespread problems with pests and disease, Indonesia became self-sufficient in rice.

By 1986, pesticides were being uniformly and frequently applied, irrespective of real need and local conditions. Over-fertilization had killed natural predators, resulting in an explosion of crop pests. The Government prioritized the Integrated Pest Management (IPM) programme, which: restricted pesticide use; demanded that the choice of pesticides take account of the predator population; and banned many types of pesticides. Indonesia has once again achieved self-sufficiency in rice, and pesticide use has decreased 60%. New programmes have been implemented to enable small farmers to achieve self-reliance, take advantage of opportunities, obtain credit and accumulate savings.

Morocco: Korachi Taleb Bensouda, Inspector-General in Charge of the Environment, Ministry for Agriculture, reported on land management and sustainable development in Morocco. Only 12% of Morocco is suitable for agriculture. The rural population is ageing and declining in number. The Moroccan land management programme focuses on: food security; improving agricultural production; protection and conservation of natural resources; and better integration of agriculture into the economy. Morocco also has a number of national plans for managing irrigation and water use, reforestation, electrification, and preventing soil erosion and land degradation. The government is also trying to promote public awareness of sectoral- based projects and methods for sustainable agriculture and rural development. Twelve million hectares of land are subject to erosion. Morocco is applying reforestation and other techniques to prevent further erosion. Popular participation is fundamental to the success of such programmes.

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