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Agenda 21, Chapter 12

Distr.
GENERAL
A/CONF.151/26 (Vol. II),
13 August 1992

ORIGINAL: ENGLISH

REPORT OF THE UNITED NATIONS CONFERENCE ON ENVIRONMENT AND DEVELOPMENT

(Rio de Janeiro, 3-14 June 1992)

Chapter 12

MANAGING FRAGILE ECOSYSTEMS: COMBATING DESERTIFICATION AND DROUGHT

INTRODUCTION

12.1. Fragile ecosystems are important ecosystems, with unique features and
resources. Fragile ecosystems include deserts, semi-arid lands, mountains,
wetlands, small islands and certain coastal areas. Most of these ecosystems
are regional in scope, as they transcend national boundaries. This chapter
addresses land resource issues in deserts, as well as arid, semi-arid and dry
sub-humid areas. Sustainable mountain development is addressed in chapter 13;
small islands and coastal areas are discussed in chapter 17.

12.2. Desertification is land degradation in arid, semi-arid and dry
sub-humid areas resulting from various factors, including climatic variations
and human activities. Desertification affects about one sixth of the world's
population, 70 per cent of all drylands, amounting to 3.6 billion hectares,
and one quarter of the total land area of the world. The most obvious impact
of desertification, in addition to widespread poverty, is the degradation of
3.3 billion hectares of the total area of rangeland, constituting 73 per cent
of the rangeland with a low potential for human and animal carrying capacity;
decline in soil fertility and soil structure on about 47 per cent of the
dryland areas constituting marginal rainfed cropland; and the degradation of
irrigated cropland, amounting to 30 per cent of the dryland areas with a high
population density and agricultural potential.

12.3. The priority in combating desertification should be the implementation
of preventive measures for lands that are not yet degraded, or which are only
slightly degraded. However, the severely degraded areas should not be
neglected. In combating desertification and drought, the participation of
local communities, rural organizations, national Governments, non-governmental
organizations and international and regional organizations is essential.

12.4. The following programme areas are included in this chapter:

(a) Strengthening the knowledge base and developing information and
monitoring systems for regions prone to desertification and drought, including
the economic and social aspects of these ecosystems;

(b) Combating land degradation through, inter alia, intensified soil
conservation, afforestation and reforestation activities;

(c) Developing and strengthening integrated development programmes for
the eradication of poverty and promotion of alternative livelihood systems in
areas prone to desertification;

(d) Developing comprehensive anti-desertification programmes and
integrating them into national development plans and national environmental
planning;

(e) Developing comprehensive drought preparedness and drought-relief
schemes, including self-help arrangements, for drought-prone areas and
designing programmes to cope with environmental refugees;

(f) Encouraging and promoting popular participation and environmental
education, focusing on desertification control and management of the effects
of drought.

PROGRAMME AREAS

A. Strengthening the knowledge base and developing information
and monitoring systems for regions prone to desertification
and drought, including the economic and social aspects of
these ecosystems

Basis for action

12.5. The global assessments of the status and rate of desertification
conducted by the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) in 1977, 1984 and
1991 have revealed insufficient basic knowledge of desertification processes.
Adequate world-wide systematic observation systems are helpful for the
development and implementation of effective anti-desertification programmes.
The capacity of existing international, regional and national institutions,
particularly in developing countries, to generate and exchange relevant
information is limited. An integrated and coordinated information and
systematic observation system based on appropriate technology and embracing
global, regional, national and local levels is essential for understanding the
dynamics of desertification and drought processes. It is also important for
developing adequate measures to deal with desertification and drought and
improving socio-economic conditions.

Objectives

12.6. The objectives of this programme area are:

(a) To promote the establishment and/or strengthening of national
environmental information coordination centres that will act as focal points
within Governments for sectoral ministries and provide the necessary
standardization and back-up services; to ensure also that national
environmental information systems on desertification and drought are linked
together through a network at subregional, regional and interregional levels;

(b) To strengthen regional and global systematic observation networks
linked to the development of national systems for the observation of land
degradation and desertification caused both by climate fluctuations and by
human impact, and to identify priority areas for action;

(c) To establish a permanent system at both national and international
levels for monitoring desertification and land degradation with the aim of
improving living conditions in the affected areas.

Activities

(a) Management-related activities

12.7. Governments at the appropriate level, with the support of the relevant
international and regional organizations, should:

(a) Establish and/or strengthen environmental information systems at
the national level;

(b) Strengthen national, state/provincial and local assessment and
ensure cooperation/networking between existing environmental information and
monitoring systems, such as Earthwatch and the Sahara and Sahel Observatory;

(c) Strengthen the capacity of national institutions to analyse
environmental data so that ecological change can be monitored and
environmental information obtained on a continuing basis at the national
level.

(b) Data and information

12.8. Governments at the appropriate level, with the support of the relevant
international and regional organizations, should:

(a) Review and study the means for measuring the ecological, economic
and social consequences of desertification and land degradation and introduce
the results of these studies internationally into desertification and land
degradation assessment practices;

(b) Review and study the interactions between the socio-economic
impacts of climate, drought and desertification and utilize the results of
these studies to secure concrete action.

12.9. Governments at the appropriate level, with the support of the relevant
international and regional organizations, should:

(a) Support the integrated data collection and research work of
programmes related to desertification and drought problems;

(b) Support national, regional and global programmes for integrated
data collection and research networks carrying out assessment of soil and land
degradation;

(c) Strengthen national and regional meteorological and hydrological
networks and monitoring systems to ensure adequate collection of basic
information and communication among national, regional and international
centres.

(c) International and regional cooperation and coordination

12.10. Governments at the appropriate level, with the support of the relevant
international and regional organizations, should:

(a) Strengthen regional programmes and international cooperation, such
as the Permanent Inter-State Committee on Drought Control in the Sahel
(CILSS), the Intergovernmental Authority for Drought and Development (IGADD),
the Southern African Development Coordination Conference (SADCC), the Arab
Maghreb Union and other regional organizations, as well as such organizations
as the Sahara and Sahel Observatory;

(b) Establish and/or develop a comprehensive desertification, land
degradation and human condition database component that incorporates both
physical and socio-economic parameters. This should be based on existing and,
where necessary, additional facilities, such as those of Earthwatch and other
information systems of international, regional and national institutions
strengthened for this purpose;

(c) Determine benchmarks and define indicators of progress that
facilitate the work of local and regional organizations in tracking progress
in the fight for anti-desertification. Particular attention should be paid
to indicators of local participation.

Means of implementation

(a) Financing and cost evaluation

12.11. The Conference secretariat has estimated the average total annual cost
(1993-2000) of implementing the activities of this programme to be about
$350 million, including about $175 million from the international community
on grant or concessional terms. These are indicative and order-of-magnitude
estimates only and have not been reviewed by Governments. Actual costs and
financial terms, including any that are non-concessional, will depend upon,
inter alia, the specific strategies and programmes Governments decide upon for
implementation.

(b) Scientific and technological means

12.12. Governments at the appropriate level, with the support of the relevant
international and regional organizations working on the issue of
desertification and drought, should:

(a) Undertake and update existing inventories of natural resources,
such as energy, water, soil, minerals, plant and animal access to food, as
well as other resources, such as housing, employment, health, education and
demographic distribution in time and space;

(b) Develop integrated information systems for environmental
monitoring, accounting and impact assessment;

(c) International bodies should cooperate with national Governments
to facilitate the acquisition and development of appropriate technology for
monitoring and combating drought and desertification.

(c) Human resource development

12.13. Governments at the appropriate level, with the support of the relevant
international and regional organizations working on the issue of
desertification and drought, should develop the technical and professional
skills of people engaged in monitoring and assessing the issue of
desertification and drought.

(d) Capacity-building

12.14. Governments at the appropriate level, with the support of the relevant
international and regional organizations working on the issue of
desertification and drought, should:

(a) Strengthen national and local institutions by providing adequate
staff equipment and finance for assessing desertification;

(b) Promote the involvement of the local population, particularly
women and youth, in the collection and utilization of environmental
information through education and awareness-building.


B. Combating land degradation through, inter alia,
intensified soil conservation, afforestation
and reforestation activities

Basis for action

12.15. Desertification affects about 3.6 billion hectares, which is about
70 per cent of the total area of the world's drylands or nearly one quarter
of the global land area. In combating desertification on rangeland, rainfed
cropland and irrigated land, preventative measures should be launched in areas
which are not yet affected or are only slightly affected by desertification;
corrective measures should be implemented to sustain the productivity of
moderately desertified land; and rehabilitative measures should be taken to
recover severely or very severely desertified drylands.

12.16. An increasing vegetation cover would promote and stabilize the
hydrological balance in the dryland areas and maintain land quality and land
productivity. Prevention of not yet degraded land and application of
corrective measures and rehabilitation of moderate and severely degraded
drylands, including areas affected by sand dune movements, through the
introduction of environmentally sound, socially acceptable, fair and
economically feasible land-use systems. This will enhance the land carrying
capacity and maintenance of biotic resources in fragile ecosystems.


Objectives

12.17. The objectives of this programme area are:

(a) As regards areas not yet affected or only slightly affected by
desertification, to ensure appropriate management of existing natural
formations (including forests) for the conservation of biodiversity, watershed
protection, sustainability of their production and agricultural development,
and other purposes, with the full participation of indigenous people;

(b) To rehabilitate moderately to severely desertified drylands for
productive utilization and sustain their productivity for
agropastoral/agroforestry development through, inter alia, soil and water
conservation;

(c) To increase the vegetation cover and support management of biotic
resources in regions affected or prone to desertification and drought, notably
through such activities as afforestation/reforestation, agroforestry,
community forestry and vegetation retention schemes;

(d) To improve management of forest resources, including woodfuel, and
to reduce woodfuel consumption through more efficient utilization,
conservation and the enhancement, development and use of other sources of
energy, including alternative sources of energy.

Activities

(a) Management-related activities

12.18. Governments at the appropriate level, and with the support of the
relevant international and regional organizations, should:

(a) Implement urgent direct preventive measures in drylands that are
vulnerable but not yet affected, or only slightly desertified drylands, by
introducing (i) improved land-use policies and practices for more sustainable
land productivity; (ii) appropriate, environmentally sound and economically
feasible agricultural and pastoral technologies; and (iii) improved management
of soil and water resources;

(b) Carry out accelerated afforestation and reforestation programmes,
using drought-resistant, fast-growing species, in particular native ones,
including legumes and other species, combined with community-based
agroforestry schemes. In this regard, creation of large-scale reforestation
and afforestation schemes, particularly through the establishment of green
belts, should be considered, bearing in mind the multiple benefits of such
measures;

(c) Implement urgent direct corrective measures in moderately to
severely desertified drylands, in addition to the measures listed in
paragraph 19 (a) above, with a view to restoring and sustaining their
productivity;

(d) Promote improved land/water/crop-management systems, making it
possible to combat salinization in existing irrigated croplands; and to
stabilize rainfed croplands and introduce improved soil/crop-management
systems into land-use practice;

(e) Promote participatory management of natural resources, including
rangeland, to meet both the needs of rural populations and conservation
purposes, based on innovative or adapted indigenous technologies;

(f) Promote in situ protection and conservation of special ecological
areas through legislation and other means for the purpose of combating
desertification while ensuring the protection of biodiversity;

(g) Promote and encourage investment in forestry development in
drylands through various incentives, including legislative measures;

(h) Promote the development and use of sources of energy which will
lessen pressure on ligneous resources, including alternative sources of energy
and improved stoves.

(b) Data and information

12.19. Governments at the appropriate level, with the support of the relevant
international and regional organizations, should:

(a) Develop land-use models based on local practices for the
improvement of such practices, with a focus on preventing land degradation.
The models should give a better understanding of the variety of natural and
human-induced factors that may contribute to desertification. Models should
incorporate the interaction of both new and traditional practices to prevent
land degradation and reflect the resilience of the whole ecological and social
system;

(b) Develop, test and introduce, with due regard to environmental
security considerations, drought resistant, fast-growing and productive plant
species appropriate to the environment of the regions concerned.

(c) International and regional cooperation and coordination

12.20. The appropriate United Nations agencies, international and regional
organizations, non-governmental organizations and bilateral agencies should:

(a) Coordinate their roles in combating land degradation and promoting
reforestation, agroforestry and land-management systems in affected countries;

(b) Support regional and subregional activities in technology
development and dissemination, training and programme implementation to arrest
dryland degradation.

12.21. The national Governments concerned, the appropriate United Nations
agencies and bilateral agencies should strengthen the coordinating role in
dryland degradation of subregional intergovernmental organizations set up to
cover these activities, such as CILSS, IGADD, SADCC and the Arab Maghreb
Union.

Means of implementation

(a) Financing and cost evaluation

12.22. The Conference secretariat has estimated the average total annual cost
(1993-2000) of implementing the activities of this programme to be about
$6 billion, including about $3 billion from the international community on
grant or concessional terms. These are indicative and order-of-magnitude
estimates only and have not been reviewed by Governments. Actual costs and
financial terms, including any that are non-concessional, will depend upon,
inter alia, the specific strategies and programmes Governments decide upon for
implementation.

(b) Scientific and technological means

12.23. Governments at the appropriate level and local communities, with the
support of the relevant international and regional organizations, should:

(a) Integrate indigenous knowledge related to forests, forest lands,
rangeland and natural vegetation into research activities on desertification
and drought;

(b) Promote integrated research programmes on the protection,
restoration and conservation of water and land resources and land-use
management based on traditional approaches, where feasible.

(c) Human resource development
12.24. Governments at the appropriate level and local communities, with the
support of the relevant international and regional organizations, should:

(a) Establish mechanisms to ensure that land users, particularly
women, are the main actors in implementing improved land use, including
agroforestry systems, in combating land degradation;

(b) Promote efficient extension-service facilities in areas prone to
desertification and drought, particularly for training farmers and
pastoralists in the improved management of land and water resources in
drylands.

(d) Capacity-building

12.25. Governments at the appropriate level and local communities, with the
support of the relevant international and regional organizations, should:

(a) Develop and adopt, through appropriate national legislation, and
introduce institutionally, new and environmentally sound development-oriented
land-use policies;

(b) Support community-based people's organizations, especially farmers
and pastoralists.


C. Developing and strengthening integrated development
programmes for the eradication of poverty and
promotion of alternative livelihood systems in
areas prone to desertification

Basis for action

12.26. In areas prone to desertification and drought, current livelihood and
resource-use systems are not able to maintain living standards. In most of
the arid and semi-arid areas, the traditional livelihood systems based on
agropastoral systems are often inadequate and unsustainable, particularly in
view of the effects of drought and increasing demographic pressure. Poverty
is a major factor in accelerating the rate of degradation and desertification.
Action is therefore needed to rehabilitate and improve the agropastoral
systems for sustainable management of rangelands, as well as alternative
livelihood systems.

Objectives

12.27. The objectives of this programme area are:

(a) To create the capacity of village communities and pastoral groups
to take charge of their development and the management of their land resources
on a socially equitable and ecologically sound basis;

(b) To improve production systems in order to achieve greater
productivity within approved programmes for conservation of national resources
and in the framework of an integrated approach to rural development;

(c) To provide opportunities for alternative livelihoods as a basis
for reducing pressure on land resources while at the same time providing
additional sources of income, particularly for rural populations, thereby
improving their standard of living.

Activities

(a) Management-related activities

12.28. Governments at the appropriate level, with the support of the relevant
international and regional organizations, should:

(a) Adopt policies at the national level regarding a decentralized
approach to land-resource management, delegating responsibility to rural
organizations;

(b) Create or strengthen rural organizations in charge of village and
pastoral land management;

(c) Establish and develop local, national and intersectoral mechanisms
to handle environmental and developmental consequences of land tenure
expressed in terms of land use and land ownership. Particular attention
should be given to protecting the property rights of women and pastoral and
nomadic groups living in rural areas;

(d) Create or strengthen village associations focused on economic
activities of common pastoral interest (market gardening, transformation of
agricultural products, livestock, herding, etc.);

(e) Promote rural credit and mobilization of rural savings through the
establishment of rural banking systems;

(f) Develop infrastructure, as well as local production and marketing
capacity, by involving the local people to promote alternative livelihood
systems and alleviate poverty;

(g) Establish a revolving fund for credit to rural entrepreneurs and
local groups to facilitate the establishment of cottage industries/business
ventures and credit for input to agropastoral activities.

(b) Data and information

12.29. Governments at the appropriate level, with the support of the relevant
international and regional organizations, should:

(a) Conduct socio-economic baseline studies in order to have a good
understanding of the situation in the programme area regarding, particularly,
resource and land tenure issues, traditional land-management practices and
characteristics of production systems;

(b) Conduct inventory of natural resources (soil, water and
vegetation) and their state of degradation, based primarily on the knowledge
of the local population (e.g., rapid rural appraisal);

(c) Disseminate information on technical packages adapted to the
social, economic and ecological conditions of each;

(d) Promote exchange and sharing of information concerning the
development of alternative livelihoods with other agro-ecological regions.

(c) International and regional cooperation and coordination

12.30. Governments at the appropriate level, and with the support of the
relevant international and regional organizations, should:

(a) Promote cooperation and exchange of information among the arid and
semi-arid land research institutions concerning techniques and technologies
to improve land and labour productivity, as well as viable production systems;

(b) Coordinate and harmonize the implementation of programmes and
projects funded by the international organization communities and
non-governmental organizations that are directed towards the alleviation of
poverty and promotion of an alternative livelihood system.

Means of implementation

(a) Financing and cost evaluation

12.31. The Conference secretariat has estimated the costs for this programme
area in chapter 3 (Combating poverty) and chapter 14 (Promoting sustainable
agriculture and rural development).

(b) Scientific and technological means

12.32. Governments at the appropriate level, and with the support of the
relevant international and regional organizations, should:

(a) Undertake applied research in land use with the support of local
research institutions;

(b) Facilitate regular national, regional and interregional
communication on and exchange of information and experience between extension
officers and researchers;

(c) Support and encourage the introduction and use of technologies for
the generation of alternative sources of incomes.

(c) Human resource development

12.33. Governments at the appropriate level, with the support of the relevant
international and regional organizations, should:

(a) Train members of rural organizations in management skills and
train agropastoralists in such special techniques as soil and water
conservation, water harvesting, agroforestry and small-scale irrigation;

(b) Train extension agents and officers in the participatory approach
to integrated land management.

(d) Capacity-building

12.34. Governments at the appropriate level, with the support of the relevant
international and regional organizations, should establish and maintain
mechanisms to ensure the integration into sectoral and national development
plans and programmes of strategies for poverty alleviation among the
inhabitants of lands prone to desertification.

D. Developing comprehensive anti-desertification programmes
and integrating them into national development plans and
national environmental planning

Basis for action

12.35. In a number of developing countries affected by desertification, the
natural resource base is the main resource upon which the development process
must rely. The social systems interacting with land resources make the
problem much more complex, requiring an integrated approach to the planning
and management of land resources. Action plans to combat desertification and
drought should include management aspects of the environment and development,
thus conforming with the approach of integrating national development plans
and national environmental action plans.

Objectives

12.36. The objectives of this programme area are:

(a) To strengthen national institutional capabilities to develop
appropriate anti-desertification programmes and to integrate them into
national development planning;

(b) To develop and integrate strategic planning frameworks for the
development, protection and management of natural resources in dryland areas
into national development plans, including national plans to combat
desertification, and environmental action plans in countries most prone to
desertification;

(c) To initiate a long-term process for implementing and monitoring
strategies related to natural resources management;

(d) To strengthen regional and international cooperation for combating
desertification through, inter alia, the adoption of legal and other
instruments.

Activities

(a) Management-related activities

12.37. Governments at the appropriate level, and with the support of the
relevant international and regional organizations, should:

(a) Establish or strengthen, national and local anti-desertification
authorities within government and local executive bodies, as well as local
committees/associations of land users, in all rural communities affected, with
a view to organizing working cooperation between all actors concerned, from
the grass-roots level (farmers and pastoralists) to the higher levels of
government;

(b) Develop national plans of action to combat desertification and as
appropriate, make them integral parts of national development plans and
national environmental action plans;

(c) Implement policies directed towards improving land use, managing
common lands appropriately, providing incentives to small farmers and
pastoralists, involving women and encouraging private investment in the
development of drylands;

(d) Ensure coordination among ministries and institutions working on
anti-desertification programmes at national and local levels.

(b) Data and information

12.38. Governments at the appropriate level, and with the support of the
relevant international and regional organizations, should promote information
exchange and cooperation with respect to national planning and programming
among affected countries, inter alia, through networking.

(c) International and regional cooperation and coordination

12.39. The relevant international organizations, multilateral financial
institutions, non-governmental organizations and bilateral agencies should
strengthen their cooperation in assisting with the preparation of
desertification control programmes and their integration into national
planning strategies, with the establishment of national coordinating and
systematic observation mechanisms and with the regional and global networking
of these plans and mechanisms.

12.40. The General Assembly, at its forty-seventh session, should be
requested to establish, under the aegis of the General Assembly, an
intergovernmental negotiating committee for the elaboration of an
international convention to combat desertification in in those countries
experiencing serious drought and/or desertification, particularly in Africa,
with a view to finalizing such a convention by June 1994.

Means of implementation

(a) Financing and cost evaluation

12.41. The Conference secretariat has estimated the average total annual cost
(1993-2000) of implementing the activities of this programme to be about
$180 million, including about $90 million from the international community on
grant or concessional terms. These are indicative and order-of-magnitude
estimates only and have not been reviewed by Governments. Actual costs and
financial terms, including any that are non-concessional, will depend upon,
inter alia, the specific strategies and programmes Governments decide upon for
implementation.

(b) Scientific and technological means

12.42. Governments at the appropriate level, with the support of the relevant
international and regional organizations, should:

(a) Develop and introduce appropriate improved sustainable
agricultural and pastoral technologies that are socially and environmentally
acceptable and economically feasible;

(b) Undertake applied study on the integration of environmental and
developmental activities into national development plans.

(c) Human resource development

12.43. Governments at the appropriate level, with the support of the relevant
international and regional organizations, should undertake nationwide major
anti-desertification awareness/training campaigns within countries affected
through existing national mass media facilities, educational networks and
newly created or strengthened extension services. This should ensure people's
access to knowledge of desertification and drought and to national plans of
action to combat desertification.

(d) Capacity-building

12.44. Governments at the appropriate level, with the support of the relevant
international and regional organizations, should establish and maintain
mechanisms to ensure coordination of sectoral ministries and institutions,
including local-level institutions and appropriate non-governmental
organizations, in integrating anti-desertification programmes into national
development plans and national environmental action plans.


E. Developing comprehensive drought preparedness and
drought-relief schemes, including self-help
arrangements, for drought-prone areas and
designing programmes to cope with environmental
refugees

Basis for action

12.45. Drought, in differing degrees of frequency and severity, is a
recurring phenomenon throughout much of the developing world, especially
Africa. Apart from the human toll - an estimated 3 million people died in the
mid-1980s because of drought in sub-Saharan Africa - the economic costs of
drought-related disasters are also high in terms of lost production, misused
inputs and diversion of development resources.

12.46. Early-warning systems to forecast drought will make possible the
implementation of drought-preparedness schemes. Integrated packages at the
farm and watershed level, such as alternative cropping strategies, soil and
water conservation and promotion of water harvesting techniques, could enhance
the capacity of land to cope with drought and provide basic necessities,
thereby minimizing the number of environmental refugees and the need for
emergency drought relief. At the same time, contingency arrangements for
relief are needed for periods of acute scarcity.

Objectives

12.47. The objectives of this programme area are:

(a) To develop national strategies for drought preparedness in both
the short and long term, aimed at reducing the vulnerability of production
systems to drought;

(b) To strengthen the flow of early-warning information to decision
makers and land users to enable nations to implement strategies for drought
intervention;

(c) To develop and integrate drought-relief schemes and means of
coping with environmental refugees into national and regional development
planning.

Activities

(a) Management-related activities
12.48. In drought-prone areas, Governments at the appropriate level, with the
support of the relevant international and regional organizations, should:

(a) Design strategies to deal with national food deficiencies in
periods of production shortfall. These strategies should deal with issues of
storage and stocks, imports, port facilities, food storage, transport and
distribution;

(b) Improve national and regional capacity for agrometeorology and
contingency crop planning. Agrometeorology links the frequency, content and
regional coverage of weather forecasts with the requirements of crop planning
and agricultural extension;

(c) Prepare rural projects for providing short-term rural employment
to drought-affected households. The loss of income and entitlement to food
is a common source of distress in times of drought. Rural works help to
generate the income required to buy food for poor households;

(d) Establish contingency arrangements, where necessary, for food and
fodder distribution and water supply;

(e) Establish budgetary mechanisms for providing, at short notice,
resources for drought relief;

(f) Establish safety nets for the most vulnerable households.


(b) Data and information

12.49. Governments of affected countries, at the appropriate level, with the
support of the relevant international and regional organizations, should:

(a) Implement research on seasonal forecasts to improve contingency
planning and relief operations and allow preventive measures to be taken at
the farm level, such as the selection of appropriate varieties and farming
practices, in times of drought;

(b) Support applied research on ways of reducing water loss from
soils, on ways of increasing the water absorption capacities of soils and on
water harvesting techniques in drought-prone areas;

(c) Strengthen national early-warning systems, with particular
emphasis on the area of risk-mapping, remote-sensing, agrometeorological
modelling, integrated multidisciplinary crop-forecasting techniques and
computerized food supply/demand analysis.

(c) International and regional cooperation and coordination

12.50. Governments at the appropriate level, with the support of the relevant
international and regional organizations, should:

(a) Establish a system of stand-by capacities in terms of foodstock,
logistical support, personnel and finance for a speedy international response
to drought-related emergencies;

(b) Support programmes of the World Meteorological Organization (WMO)
on agrohydrology and agrometeorology, the Programme of the Regional Training
Centre for Agrometeorology and Operational Hydrology and their Applications
(AGRHYMET), drought-monitoring centres and the African Centre of
Meteorological Applications for Development (ACMAD), as well as the efforts
of the Permanent Inter-State Committee on Drought Control in the Sahel (CILSS)
and the Intergovernmental Authority for Drought and Development (IGADD);

(c) Support FAO programmes and other programmes for the development
of national early-warning systems and food security assistance schemes;

(d) Strengthen and expand the scope of existing regional programmes
and the activities of appropriate United Nations organs and organizations,
such as the World Food Programme (WFP), the Office of the United Nations
Disaster Relief Coordinator (UNDRO) and the United Nations Sudano-Sahelian
Office as well as of non-governmental organizations, aimed at mitigating the
effects of drought and emergencies.


Means of implementation

(a) Financing and cost evaluation

12.51. The Conference secretariat has estimated the average total annual cost
(1993-2000) of implementing the activities of this programme to be about
$1.2 billion, including about $1.1 billion from the international community
on grant or concessional terms. These are indicative and order-of-magnitude
estimates only and have not been reviewed by Governments. Actual costs and
financial terms, including any that are non-concessional, will depend upon,
inter alia, the specific strategies and programmes Governments decide upon for
implementation.

(b) Scientific and technological means

12.52. Governments at the appropriate level and drought-prone communities,
with the support of the relevant international and regional organizations,
should:

(a) Use traditional mechanisms to cope with hunger as a means of
channelling relief and development assistance;

(b) Strengthen and develop national, regional and local
interdisciplinary research and training capabilities for drought-prevention
strategies.

(c) Human resource development

12.53. Governments at the appropriate level, with the support of the relevant
international and regional organizations, should:

(a) Promote the training of decision makers and land users in the
effective utilization of information from early-warning systems;

(b) Strengthen research and national training capabilities to assess
the impact of drought and to develop methodologies to forecast drought.

(d) Capacity-building

12.54. Governments at the appropriate level, with the support of the relevant
international and regional organizations, should:

(a) Improve and maintain mechanisms with adequate staff, equipment and
finances for monitoring drought parameters to take preventive measures at
regional, national and local levels;

(b) Establish interministerial linkages and coordinating units for
drought monitoring, impact assessment and management of drought-relief
schemes.


F. Encouraging and promoting popular participation and
environmental education, focusing on desertification
control and management of the effects of drought

Basis for action

12.55. The experience to date on the successes and failures of programmes and
projects points to the need for popular support to sustain activities related
to desertification and drought control. But it is necessary to go beyond the
theoretical ideal of popular participation and to focus on obtaining actual
active popular involvement, rooted in the concept of partnership. This
implies the sharing of responsibilities and the mutual involvement of all
parties. In this context, this programme area should be considered an
essential supporting component of all desertification-control and
drought-related activities.

Objectives

12.56. The objectives of this programme area are:

(a) To develop and increase public awareness and knowledge concerning
desertification and drought, including the integration of environmental
education in the curriculum of primary and secondary schools;

(b) To establish and promote true partnership between government
authorities, at both the national and local levels, other executing agencies,
non-governmental organizations and land users stricken by drought and
desertification, giving land users a responsible role in the planning and
execution processes in order to benefit fully from development projects;

(c) To ensure that the partners understand one another's needs,
objectives and points of view by providing a variety of means such as
training, public awareness and open dialogue;

(d) To support local communities in their own efforts in combating
desertification, and to draw on the knowledge and experience of the
populations concerned, ensuring the full participation of women and indigenous
populations.

Activities

(a) Management-related activities

12.57. Governments at the appropriate level, with the support of the relevant
international and regional organizations, should:

(a) Adopt policies and establish administrative structures for more
decentralized decision-making and implementation;

(b) Establish and utilize mechanisms for the consultation and
involvement of land users and for enhancing capability at the grass-roots
level to identify and/or contribute to the identification and planning of
action;

(c) Define specific programme/project objectives in cooperation with
local communities; design local management plans to include such measures of
progress, thereby providing a means of altering project design or changing
management practices, as appropriate;

(d) Introduce legislative, institutional/organizational and financial
measures to secure user involvement and access to land resources;

(e) Establish and/or expand favourable conditions for the provision
of services, such as credit facilities and marketing outlets for rural
populations;

(f) Develop training programmes to increase the level of education and
participation of people, particularly women and indigenous groups, through,
inter alia, literacy and the development of technical skills;

(g) Create rural banking systems to facilitate access to credit for
rural populations, particularly women and indigenous groups, and to promote
rural savings;

(h) Adopt appropriate policies to stimulate private and public
investment.

(b) Data and information

12.58. Governments at the appropriate level, with the support of the relevant
international and regional organizations, should:

(a) Review, develop and disseminate gender-disaggregated information,
skills and know-how at all levels on ways of organizing and promoting popular
participation;

(b) Accelerate the development of technological know-how, focusing on
appropriate and intermediate technology;

(c) Disseminate knowledge about applied research results on soil and
water issues, appropriate species, agricultural techniques and technological
know-how.

(c) International and regional cooperation and coordination

12.59. Governments at the appropriate level, and with the support of the
relevant international and regional organizations, should:

(a) Develop programmes of support to regional organizations such as
CILSS, IGADD, SADCC and the Arab Maghreb Union and other intergovernmental
organizations in Africa and other parts of the world, to strengthen outreach
programmes and increase the participation of non-governmental organizations
together with rural populations;

(b) Develop mechanisms for facilitating cooperation in technology and
promote such cooperation as an element of all external assistance and
activities related to technical assistance projects in the public or private
sector;

(c) Promote collaboration among different actors in environment and
development programmes;

(d) Encourage the emergence of representative organizational
structures to foster and sustain interorganizational cooperation.

Means of implementation

(a) Financing and cost evaluation

12.60. The Conference secretariat has estimated the average total annual cost
(1993-2000) of implementing the activities of this programme to be about
$1.0 billion, including about $500 million from the international community
on grant or concessional terms. These are indicative and order-of-magnitude
estimates only and have not been reviewed by Governments. Actual costs and
financial terms, including any that are non-concessional, will depend upon,
inter alia, the specific strategies and programmes Governments decide upon for
implementation.

(b) Scientific and technological means

12.61. Governments at the appropriate level, and with the support of the
relevant international and regional organizations, should promote the
development of indigenous know-how and technology transfer.

(c) Human resource development

12.62. Governments, at the appropriate level, and with the support of the
relevant international and regional organizations, should:

(a) Support and/or strengthen institutions involved in public
education, including the local media, schools and community groups;

(b) Increase the level of public education.

(d) Capacity-building

12.63. Governments at the appropriate level, and with the support of the
relevant international and regional organizations, should promote members of
local rural organizations and train and appoint more extension officers
working at the local level.

END OF CHAPTER 12
 

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