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REGIONAL IMPLEMENTATION ANNEX FOR ASIA
The purpose of this Annex is to provide guidelines and arrangements for the effective implementation of the Convention in the affected country Parties of the Asian region in the light of its particular conditions.
Particular conditions of the Asian region
In carrying out their obligations under the Convention, the Parties shall, as appropriate, take into consideration the following particular conditions which apply in varying degrees to the affected country Parties of the region:
(a) the high proportion of areas in their territories affected by, or vulnerable to, desertification and drought and the broad diversity of these areas with regard to climate, topography, land use and socio-economic systems;
(b) the heavy pressure on natural resources for livelihoods;
(c) the existence of production systems, directly related to widespread poverty, leading to land degradation and to pressure on scarce water resources;
(d) the significant impact of conditions in the world economy and social problems such as poverty, poor health and nutrition, lack of food security, migration, displaced persons and demographic dynamics;
(e) their expanding, but still insufficient, capacity and institutional frameworks to deal with national desertification and drought problems; and
(f) their need for international cooperation to pursue sustainable development objectives relating to combating desertification and mitigating the effects of drought.
Framework for national action programmes
1. National action programmes shall be an integral part of broader national policies for sustainable development of the affected country Parties of the region.
2. The affected country Parties shall, as appropriate, develop national action programmes pursuant to articles 9 to 11 of the Convention, paying special attention to article 10, paragraph 2 (f). As appropriate, bilateral and multilateral cooperation agencies may be involved in this process at the request of the affected country Party concerned.
National action programmes
1. In preparing and implementing national action programmes, the affected country Parties of the region, consistent with their respective circumstances and policies, may, inter alia, as appropriate:
(a) designate appropriate bodies responsible for the preparation, coordination and implementation of their action programmes;
(b) involve affected populations, including local communities, in the elaboration, coordination and implementation of their action programmes through a locally driven consultative process, with the cooperation of local authorities and relevant national and non- governmental organizations;
(c) survey the state of the environment in affected areas to assess the causes and consequences of desertification and to determine priority areas for action;
(d) evaluate, with the participation of affected populations, past and current programmes for combating desertification and mitigating the effects of drought, in order to design a strategy and elaborate activities in their action programmes;
(e) prepare technical and financial programmes based on the information derived from the activities in subparagraphs (a) to (d);
(f) develop and utilize procedures and benchmarks for evaluating implementation of their action programmes;
(g) promote the integrated management of drainage basins, the conservation of soil resources, and the enhancement and efficient use of water resources;
(h) strengthen and/or establish information, evaluation and follow up and early warning systems in regions prone to desertification and drought, taking account of climatological, meteorological, hydrological, biological and other relevant factors; and
(i) formulate in a spirit of partnership, where international cooperation, including financial and technical resources, is involved, appropriate arrangements supporting their action programmes.
2. Consistent with article 10 of the Convention, the overall strategy of national action programmes shall emphasize integrated local development programmes for affected areas, based on participatory mechanisms and on the integration of strategies for poverty eradication into efforts to combat desertification and mitigate the effects of drought. Sectoral measures in the action programmes shall be grouped in priority fields which take account of the broad diversity of affected areas in the region referred to in article 2 (a).
Subregional and joint action programmes
1. Pursuant to article 11 of the Convention, affected country Parties in Asia may mutually agree to consult and cooperate with other Parties, as appropriate, to prepare and implement subregional or joint action programmes, as appropriate, in order to complement, and increase effectiveness in the implementation of, national action programmes. In either case, the relevant Parties may jointly agree to entrust subregional, including bilateral or national organizations, or specialized institutions, with responsibilities relating to the preparation, coordination and implementation of programmes. Such organizations or institutions may also act as focal points for the promotion and coordination of actions pursuant to articles 16 to 18 of the Convention.
2. In preparing and implementing subregional or joint action programmes, the affected country Parties of the region shall, inter alia, as appropriate:
(a) identify, in cooperation with national institutions, priorities relating to combating desertification and mitigating the effects of drought which can better be met by such programmes, as well as relevant activities which could be effectively carried out through them;
(b) evaluate the operational capacities and activities of relevant regional, subregional and national institutions;
(c) assess existing programmes relating to desertification and drought among all or some parties of the region or subregion and their relationship with national action programmes; and
(d) formulate in a spirit of partnership, where international cooperation, including financial and technical resources, is involved, appropriate bilateral and/or multilateral arrangements supporting the programmes.
3. Subregional or joint action programmes may include agreed joint programmes for the sustainable management of transboundary natural resources relating to desertification, priorities for coordination and other activities in the fields of capacity building, scientific and technical cooperation, particularly drought early warning systems and information sharing, and means of strengthening the relevant subregional and other organizations or institutions.
Regional activities for the enhancement of subregional or joint action programmes may include, inter alia, measures to strengthen institutions and mechanisms for coordination and cooperation at the national, subregional and regional levels, and to promote the implementation of articles 16 to 19 of the Convention. These activities may also include:
(a) promoting and strengthening technical cooperation networks;
(b) preparing inventories of technologies, knowledge, know-how and practices, as well as traditional and local technologies and know-how, and promoting their dissemination and use;
(c) evaluating the requirements for technology transfer and promoting the adaptation and use of such technologies; and
(d) encouraging public awareness programmes and promoting capacity building at all levels, strengthening training, research and development and building systems for human resource development.
Financial resources and mechanisms
1. The Parties shall, in view of the importance of combating desertification and mitigating the effects of drought in the Asian region, promote the mobilization of substantial financial resources and the availability of financial mechanisms, pursuant to articles 20 and 21 of the Convention.
2. In conformity with the Convention and on the basis of the coordinating mechanism provided for in article 8 and in accordance with their national development policies, affected country Parties of the region shall, individually or jointly:
(a) adopt measures to rationalize and strengthen mechanisms to supply funds through public and private investment with a view to achieving specific results in action to combat desertification and mitigate the effects of drought;
(b) identify international cooperation requirements in support of national efforts, particularly financial, technical and technological; and
(c) promote the participation of bilateral and/or multilateral financial cooperation institutions with a view to ensuring implementation of the Convention.
3. The Parties shall streamline, to the extent possible, procedures for channelling funds to affected country Parties in the region.
Cooperation and coordination mechanisms
1. Affected country Parties, through the appropriate bodies designated pursuant to article 4, paragraph 1 (a), and other Parties in the region, may, as appropriate, set up a mechanism for, inter alia, the following purposes:
(a) exchange of information, experience, knowledge and know-how;
(b) cooperation and coordination of actions, including bilateral and multilateral arrangements, at the subregional and regional levels;
(c) promotion of scientific, technical, technological and financial cooperation pursuant to articles 5 to 7;
(d) identification of external cooperation requirements; and
(e) follow-up and evaluation of the implementation of action programmes.
2. Affected country Parties, through the appropriate bodies designated pursuant to article 4, paragraph 1 (a), and other Parties in the region, may also, as appropriate, consult and coordinate as regards the national, subregional and joint action programmes. They may involve, as appropriate, other Parties and relevant intergovernmental and non-governmental organizations in this process. Such coordination shall, inter alia, seek to secure agreement on opportunities for international cooperation in accordance with articles 20 and 21 of the Convention, enhance technical cooperation and channel resources so that they are used effectively.
3. Affected country Parties of the region shall hold periodic coordination meetings, and the Permanent Secretariat may, at their request, pursuant to article 23 of the Convention, facilitate the convocation of such coordination meetings by:
(a) providing advice on the organization of effective coordination arrangements, drawing on experience from other such arrangements;
(b) providing information to relevant bilateral and multilateral agencies concerning coordination meetings, and encouraging their active involvement; and
(c) providing other information that may be relevant in establishing or improving coordination processes.
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