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INTERSESSIONAL HIGHLIGHTS

THE CSD INTERGOVERNMENTAL PANEL ON FORESTS (IPF): The IPF held its second session from 11-22 March, 1996 in Geneva. Delegates conducted their first substantive discussions of six programme elements: underlying causes of deforestation and forest degradation; fragile ecosystems affected by desertification and the impact of air pollution on forests; needs and requirements of countries with low forest cover; international cooperation in financial assistance and technology transfer; assessment of the multiple benefits of all types of forests; and methodologies for proper valuation of the multiple benefits of forests. Delegates also completed initial consideration of national forest and land use plans, traditional forest-related knowledge, criteria and indicators, trade and environment and international organizations and multilateral institutions. During the final two days of the meeting, delegates considered the Co-Chairs’ summaries. They designated these transitional in nature to signify that the summaries did not represent negotiated text. Delegates agreed to begin negotiations at IPF-3 on items that had received substantive consideration at this session, although another substantive discussion is scheduled on the programme element on financial assistance and technology transfer. Further information can be found at the following internet addresses: http://www.iisd.ca/; http://www.un.org/DPCSD; and http://webonu.fastnet.ch.

EXPERT MEETING ON THE ASSESSMENT OF TECHNOLOGY NEEDS FOR SUSTAINABILITY: This meeting was hosted from 5-7 February 1996, in Scheveningen/The Hague, by the Netherlands and Switzerland. The meeting was convened to contribute to the ongoing discussions on technology transfer and capacity building, in particular in the framework of the CSD and the OECD/IEA Climate Technology Initiative. Roughly 40 experts from national governments, international organizations, industry and research institutes participated in the meeting, which produced conclusions and recommendations regarding National Needs Assessments (NNAs) for technological capacity building. The conclusions have been elaborated into a “Guidance Document on NNAs regarding Environmentally Sound Technologies,” which aims to provide guidance on the use of NNAs to countries or organizations planning to initiate or strengthen their capacity building efforts. For a full report contact: Ms. Petra Loeff, Ministry of Housing, Spatial Planning and the Environment, PO Box 30945, 2500 GX, The Hague, The Netherlands. Tel: +31-70-3391291; Fax: +31-70-3394080

WORKSHOP ON METHODOLOGIES FOR INDICATORS OF SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT: The Environmental Agency of Japan sponsored this workshop on 5-8 February 1996, in Glen Cove, NY, to discuss methodologies for indicators of sustainable development. This was the third in a series of meetings organized by governments and NGOs to further the indicator work of the CSD. Attendees included delegates from 29 national governments, UN organizations and other NGOs. Six Working Groups reviewed various subsets of the methodology sheets and prepared detailed recommendations for the DPCSD. The workshop recommended that the CSD invite national governments, on a voluntary basis, to test and further develop the indicators in the context of sustainable development and provide feedback about their experience. For more information contact: Mr. Toshiro Hirase, Environment Agency of Japan; Tel: +81-3-3580-1704; Fax: +81-3-3581-5951; e-mail: QGB01573@niftyserve.or.jp.

AFRICAN REGIONAL WORKSHOP ON TECHNOLOGY NEEDS ASSESSMENT IN SUPPORT OF THE TRANSFER OF ENVIRONMENTALLY SOUND TECHNOLOGIES AND INTERNATIONAL TECHNOLOGY COOPERATION: The African Regional Centre for Technology (ARCT), the DPCSD and the UN Economic Commission for Africa (ECA) co-organized this workshop, which was held in Dakar, Senegal, from 17-19 January 1996. The workshop was attended by 31 experts from 15 African countries and 6 representatives from international organizations. The discussion addressed areas such as: the linkages between technology needs assessment and technology assessment; specific cases in Africa where technology needs assessment was part of technology transfer or acquisition activities/arrangements; application of technology needs assessment; experiences in developing methodologies for technology needs assessment, in support of the transfer of ESTs, that have proven to be useful under the conditions and needs of countries in the African region; and experiences of public and private sector managers regarding the usefulness of technology needs assessment. For more information contact: Mr. Dirk Pilari, DPCSD. Tel: +212-963-6757; Fax: +212-963- 1267; e-mail: pilari@un.org.

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