Earth Negotiations Bulletin

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 A Reporting Service for Environment and Development Negotiations

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Published by the International Institute for Sustainable Development (IISD)

Vol. 05 No. 153
Tuesday, 2 May 2000

MONDAY, 1 MAY 2000

Delegates to the Commission on Sustainable Development met in three Drafting Groups throughout the day. Drafting Group I discussed integrated land management in the morning and agriculture in the evening. Drafting Group II addressed finance, trade, investment and economic growth in the morning and afternoon. Drafting Group III discussed preparations for Rio+10, a draft decision on the Intergovernmental Forum on Forests (IFF), and other matters. A panel on participation and indigenous people was convened in the evening.


INTEGRATED LAND MANAGEMENT: Delegates discussed the draft document on integrated land management and agriculture (E/ CN.17/2000/11). JAPAN expressed concern over the definition of key terms throughout the text. In the introduction, the EU proposed references to, inter alia: equal access and rights to land, local strategies and good governance. The G-77/CHINA, with ARGENTINA, suggested reference to mineral extraction and rehabilitation. The US proposed reference to integrated watershed management. On priorities for future work, CANADA, with BRAZIL, emphasized sustainable development of minerals and metals. The G-77/CHINA proposed references to rehabilitation of mining areas and coral reefs. On prevention and/or mitigation of land degradation, AUSTRALIA suggested reference to protection and enhancement of greenhouse sinks. The US proposed language on, inter alia, the economic, social, environmental and cultural values of water in policies and programmes, and attention to gender disaggregation. The G-77/CHINA proposed, inter alia, adding text on traditional knowledge. COLOMBIA proposed reference to NGO participation in the implementation of sustainable development programmes.

On access to land and security of tenure, the EU proposed a new section title: Equal Access to Land and Legal Security of Tenure. Supported by CANADA, she proposed deletion of a reference to culture and traditions in text regarding government policies on property rights and land. On critical sectors and issues, CANADA proposed a paragraph inviting governments to examine the social and environmental impacts of the mining industry. The US suggested replacing a reference to the Cartagena Protocol with a call to promote biotechnology applications that do not pose adverse health or environmental effects. On rural-urban interactions, the EU introduced text requiringgovernments to undertake strategic urban planning approaches to manage urban growth. The G-77/CHINA proposed text requesting governments to pursue or strengthen the process of decentralization.

AGRICULTURE: In the evening, delegates discussed the section on agriculture. The G-77/CHINA, supported by the US, AUSTRALIA, and CANADA, proposed deleting a paragraph on studying the possible role of the multi-functional character of agriculture. JAPAN, with the REPUBLIC OF KOREA, POLAND and NORWAY, preferred to retain the paragraph. The EU proposed, and COLOMBIA opposed, reference to completion of national strategies for sustainable development by 2002. On access to resources, the EUROPEAN COMMISSION added access to genetic resources, results of applied research, training, and propagation material. He proposed a paragraph on an integrated resource management approach to water. On financing SARD, the EUROPEAN COMMISSION added a reference to international financial institutions. The RUSSIAN FEDERATION added references to economies in transition. On biotechnology, the G-77/CHINA proposed a reference to the Cartagena Protocol and the CBD. The EUROPEAN COMMISSION called on governments to introduce labelling of genetically modified products. The US proposed deleting a phrase urging signature and ratification of the Cartagena Protocol, replacing it with a call for governments to give timely consideration to signing and ratifying the Protocol. COLOMBIA opposed amendments to paragraphs on biotechnology and the precautionary principle, and on the Protocol. BRAZIL opposed a US-proposed paragraph on water resources, based on the Hague Ministerial Declaration. On agricultural trade, the G-77/ CHINA proposed a paragraph on policies and strategies for green agriculture.

On UN and other international activities, AUSTRALIA and CANADA called for clarification on, and the G-77/CHINA proposed deleting, reference to food safety nets. On participation, the SUSTAINABLE AGRICULTURE AND FOOD SYSTEMS CAUCUS and FAO supported, and the G-77/CHINA opposed, language on establishing an ad hoc open-ended working group on SARD.


FINANCE, TRADE, INVESTMENT AND ECONOMIC GROWTH: Drafting Group II, chaired by Choi Seok-young (Republic of Korea), considered the Report of the Ad Hoc Inter-sessional Working Group on Financial Resources and Mechanisms and on Economic Growth, Trade and Investment (E/CN.17/2000/10).

On introductory objectives, the G-77/CHINA emphasized common but differentiated responsibilities. The EU stressed the importance of social equity. On sustainable development resources, the G-77/CHINA noted that FDI is concentrated in a few developing countries. The US supported text on strengthening cooperative efforts, preventing future crises and providing crisis management. The G-77/CHINA identified ODA as the main source of external funding, called for new sources of finance, and urged developed countries to honor their commitments. On development policies, the G-77/CHINA emphasized partnership strategies between developed and developing countries. The EU, with JAPAN and KOREA, supported deleting reference to ODA in the form of grants. NORWAY opposed. The EU proposed reference to targeting resources to developing countries with sound policies.

The G-77/CHINA recommended "cancellation" of bilateral aid debts and emphasized access to developing country exports. The RUSSIAN FEDERATION proposed reference to debt swaps. The US suggested deletion of, and the EU and the REPUBLIC OF KOREA proposed amendments to, language requiring creditors to consider methods for the identification of unpayable debt. On attracting foreign investment, the G-77/CHINA proposed deleting text on effective "market" economy policies, and inserting reference to prevention of destabilization resulting from private capital flows. On mobilizing domestic financial resources, the G-77/CHINA suggested deleting language on integrating environmental finance into public finance. The EU suggested reference to "good" governance, policy integration between ministries, and the polluter pays principle.

On the Clean Development Mechanism: the G-77/CHINA proposed deleting the paragraph; JAPAN proposed reference to joint implementation and emissions trading; the REPUBLIC OF KOREA suggested deleting reference to private sector financing; and NORWAY emphasized early ratification of the Kyoto Protocol. The G-77/CHINA, opposed by POLAND, proposed deleting reference to the GEF as the principal funding mechanism. The US proposed alternative text noting the GEFs useful role.

ECONOMIC GROWTH, TRADE AND INVESTMENT: On promoting sustainable development through trade, the US stressed the elimination of unjustifiable non-tariff trade barriers. The G-77/CHINA urged developing countries to improve market access for developed country exports. On food security, the EU proposed cross-referencing text with that of the drafting group working on agriculture. SUDAN highlighted the Heavily Indebted Poor Country (HIPC) initiative. On trade liberalization, the G-77/CHINA stated that governments should equitably distribute trade benefits. The EU said that benefits should reach vulnerable groups through improved labour standards. On indigenous development of ESTs, AUSTRALIA proposed deleting reference to the TRIPs Agreement. On trade, the G-77/CHINA emphasized the effects of environmental requirements on developing country exports. The EU noted that developing countries have experienced export losses from limits on trade, suggesting that technology transfer and enterprise development be supported by the GEF.

On synergies between trade liberalization and environmental protection, JAPAN, with the REPUBLIC OF KOREA, suggested reference to "environmentally harmful" policies. On certification and labelling, the G-77/CHINA specified "voluntary" schemes. The REPUBLIC OF KOREA proposed that multilateral environmental agreements (MEAs) play a role in the promotion and dissemination of ESTs. NORWAY proposed reference to the Convention on Biological Diversity and the TRIPs Agreement. The G-77/CHINA suggested deleting a paragraph on environmental impact assessments. NORWAY proposed text on providing financial and technical support to countries undertaking assessments. On investment, the G-77/CHINA emphasized the role of developed countries in supporting implementation of appropriate policies. The EU supported reference to a multilateral framework for investment and to regulating the "duties" of investors. He proposed text on ensuring that environmental and social standards are not lowered to attract foreign investment. The US proposed deleting reference to the subsidiaries of TNCs. CANADA encouraged the development of mechanisms for the environmental "assessment" of export credit projects. On strengthening institutional cooperation, the G-77/CHINA proposed reference to capacity building. On researching applications of the principle of common but differentiated responsibilities, NORWAY proposed adding the polluter pays principle and, with the EU, the precautionary principle.

On improving institutional frameworks, the EU proposed text on reforming international financial institutions, and, regarding the private sector, suggested deleting text on fulfillment of Agenda 21 financing commitments. The US, supported by the EU, SWITZERLAND and JAPAN, suggested deleting text regarding the creation of an ad hoc intergovernmental panel on the fulfillment of financing commitments.


PREPARATIONS FOR THE TEN-YEAR REVIEW OF UNCED: The G-77/CHINA outlined his vision for Rio+10. The EU identified areas of consensus reached in earlier discussions such as, inter alia, the need for broad participation and a developing country location, and called for consideration of issues related to environment and security. Delegations considered a draft decision on the outcome of the IFF. CANADA noted that there is no mention of how the proposed UN Forum on Forests (UNFF) is to be linked to the UN. BRAZIL suggested informal consultations to discuss the UNFF location.


In a panel discussion: the INUIT CIRCUMPOLAR CONFERENCE (Canada) described the activities of the Arctic Council, noting its work at global environmental negotiations; the BIORESOURCES DEVELOPMENT AND CONSERVATION PROGRAMME (Nigeria) described the activities of a Participatory Rural Appraisal Scheme; the INTERNATIONAL INDIAN TREATY COUNCIL (Canada) emphasized the importance of using indigenous peoples� knowledge; and the FOUNDATION ASIAN INDIGENOUS WOMEN�S NETWORK (Philippines) noted the establishment of a Permanent UN Forum on Indigenous Peoples.


The International Chamber of Commerce is reported to have withdrawn from the steering committee managing the voluntary initiatives project created by CSD-6. They have cited a strong difference of opinion between industry and NGO representatives within the steering group regarding the appropriate mechanisms for monitoring initiatives.


DRAFTING GROUP I: The first revised draft on agriculture will be available this morning. The Drafting Group will reconvene at 3:00 p.m. in Conference Room 1.

DRAFTING GROUP II: The first revised draft on finance will be available from 9:30 a.m. The Drafting Group will reconvene at 3:00 p.m. in Conference Room 3.

DRAFTING GROUP III: Drafting Group III will reconvene at 11:00 a.m. in Conference Room 3 to consider preparations for Rio+10 and a draft decision on the outcome of the Intergovernmental Forum on Forests.

This issue of the Earth Negotiations Bulletin � <> is written and edited by Peter Doran <>, Jonathon Hanks <> and Wendy Jackson <>.The Editor is Pamela Chasek, Ph.D. <> and the Managing Editor is Langston James "Kimo" Goree <>. Digital editing by Leila Mead <> and Ken Tong <>. The Sustaining Donors of the Bulletin are The Netherlands Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Government of Canada (through CIDA), the United States (through USAID), the Swiss Agency for Environment, Forests and Landscape (SAEFL), the United Kingdom Department for International Development (DFID) and the European Commission (DG-ENV.) General Support for the Bulletin during 2000 is provided by the German Federal Ministry of Environment (BMU) and the German Federal Ministry of Development Cooperation (BMZ), the Danish Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Ministry of Environment of Austria, the Ministries of Foreign Affairs and Environment of Norway, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Ministry of Environment of Finland, the Government of Sweden, the Government of Australia, the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), the Global Environment Facility (GEF) and BP Amoco. The Bulletin can be contacted by e-mail at <> and at tel: +1-212-644-0204; fax: +1-212-644-0206. IISD can be contacted by e-mail at <> and at 161 Portage Avenue East, 6th Floor, Winnipeg, Manitoba R3B 0Y4, Canada. The opinions expressed in the Earth Negotiations Bulletin are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views of IISD and other funders. Excerpts from the Earth Negotiations Bulletin may be used in non-commercial publications only and only with appropriate academic citation. For permission to use this material in commercial publications, contact the Managing Editor. Electronic versions of the Bulletin are sent to e-mail distribution lists and can be found on the Linkages WWW server at The satellite image was taken above New York �2000 The Living Earth, Inc. For information on the Earth Negotiations Bulletin, send e-mail to <>.

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