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REGIONAL TECHNICAL MEETING FOR THE INDIAN AND PACIFIC OCEANS

As part of the preparatory process, two regional technical meetings were held. The first meeting for the Indian and Pacific Oceans was coordinated by the South Pacific Regional Environment Programme (SPREP) and was held from 31 May - 4 June 1993 in Vanuatu. The report of this meeting is contained in document A/CONF.167/PC/7.

The meeting recommended that the PrepCom consider the following 15 priority areas as the basis for developing an action programme for small island developing States. These priority areas include: climate change and sea level rise; natural and environmental disaster preparedness; environmentally sound management of wastes and toxic substances; coastal and marine resources; freshwater resources; land resources; management of energy resources; management of tourism development; conservation of biological diversity; national institutions and administrative capacity; regional institutions and technical cooperation; transport and communication; management of science and technology; human resources (population, education, urban development and health); and environmental legislation.

The meeting also decided to endorse and recommend to the PrepCom guidelines for implementation, monitoring and review of the action programme for small island developing States. The recommendations include action to be taken at the national, regional, subregional and international levels. Some of the recommended actions at the national level include: prioritization of national strategies; nationwide reviews of national development and environmental plans; integration of environmental management into development planning; development of appropriate legislative measures; and improving understanding at the political and public levels.

At the regional and subregional levels, the meeting recommended that the appropriate organizations assist small island developing States to: build capacity to implement principles of sustainable development; participate in international negotiations on sustainable development issues; meet their commitments relating to international and regional instruments on sustainable development; facilitate the involvement of NGOs; and develop and apply environmental law. At the international level, the recommendations include: the provision of improved access to financial resources; support for agencies and programmes; encouraging private capital flows; encouraging cooperation and coordination between regional and subregional organizations; facilitating access to sound, efficient and appropriate technology; and ensuring education and the dissemination of information.

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