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INTEGRATING ENVIRONMENT AND DEVELOPMENT IN DECISION-MAKING

AFRICAN REGIONAL MEETING OF NATIONAL COUNCILS FOR SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT: The second regional meeting of national sustainable development councils was held in Africa from 26-27 May 1995. The meeting was organized by the Earth Council, hosted by UNEP and co-sponsored by UNDP, UNEP and the DPCSD. The first regional meeting of national councils was held in Costa Rica in October 1994, involving the national councils of the Western hemisphere.

The meeting, jointly chaired by Maurice Strong (Chair, Earth Council) and Arba Diallo (Executive Secretary, Desertification Convention), included representatives from 28 countries and numerous NGOs. The presentations and the subsequent discussions indicated further need to emphasize approaches that build on the existing African experiences rather than adopting a standard national councils formula "imposed by the North." For more information, contact the Earth Council, tel: +506-256-1611; fax: +506- 255-2197; e-mail: ecouncil@igc.apc.org.

ASIAN REGIONAL MEETING OF NATIONAL COUNCILS FOR SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT: The Earth Council and the Philippine Council for Sustainable Development hosted this meeting of National Councils for Sustainable Development in Asia and the Pacific from 18-19 June 1995 in Manila. There were 80 participants from 22 countries and 10 international organizations.

Common concerns included: (a) poverty, rapid population growth, social and economic inequity and poor access to basic needs and services; (b) resource depletion and degradation; (c) weak institutional structures for planning and implementing sustainable development initiatives; and (d) adverse impacts of trade, debt and other global issues on the economies of developing countries.

Participants agreed that multi-stakeholders must be involved in decision-making, planning and implementation of sustainable development activities, particularly planning at the national and local levels. They also agreed to collaborate in the strengthening of a network or even the formation of a federation of national councils for sustainable development in the Asia-Pacific region to share information, plan projects, identify areas/activities for funding assistance by donor institutions, formulate unified positions and resolve conflicts. For information, contact the Earth Council, tel: +506-256-1611; fax: +506-255-2197; e-mail: ecouncil@igc.apc.org.

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