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AD HOC OPEN-ENDED WORKING GROUPS

The CSD's Ad Hoc Open-Ended Working Group on Sectoral Issues met from 27 February - 3 March 1995 in New York, under the chairmanship of Sir Martin Holdgate (UK). Delegates discussed the six reports of the Secretary-General on the following sectoral issues: integrated management of land resources, forests, combating desertification, sustainable mountain development, sustainable agriculture and rural development, and biological diversity. Among the recommendations was a request for the CSD to consider establishing an intergovernmental panel on forests to assess work already done and to propose further action. The Working Group also recommended that the CSD promote: the exchange of views by governments on integrated land management; the development of tools for integrated land management; priority to technology-related issues; the signature, ratification and implementation of the Convention on Biological Diversity and the Convention to Combat Desertification; action for the sustainable development of mountain areas; integration of energy-related issues into efforts for sustainable agriculture and rural development; and future work on the protection of traditional knowledge and practices of indigenous and local communities relevant to conservation and sustainable use.

The Ad Hoc Open-Ended Working Group on Finance met from 6-9 March 1995 in New York, under the chairmanship of Dr. Lin See-Yan (Malaysia). The Working Group recommended that the CSD: secure the implementation of all financial recommendations in Agenda 21, including meeting the accepted target of 0.7% of GNP for ODA as soon as possible; urge developed countries to take appropriate new measures towards a solution to the external debt problem of developing countries; encourage international financial institutions and development agencies to continue to enhance their efforts in support of sustainable development; promote capacity-building to enhance the use of economic instruments; prepare a detailed feasibility study on an environmental user charge for air transport; encourage interested parties to undertake a pilot scheme on internationally tradeable CO2 permits; examine the concrete modalities and usefulness of establishing environmentally sound technology rights banks; promote a detailed study of the Matrix approach; encourage governments and organizations to launch specific initiatives in support of their work in financing sustainable development; encourage the Working Group to involve private enterprise, research organizations, international financial institutions, development agencies and NGOs; and further promote the use of debt-for-sustainable development swaps, as appropriate.

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