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Educational, Informational, Social and Cultural Aspects of Environmental Issues

Recommendation 95

It is recommended that the Secretary-General make arrangements for the United Nations system:

(a) To provide countries on request with tile necessary technical and financial assistance iii preparing national reports on the environment, in setting up machinery for monitoring environmental developments from the social and cultural standpoint and, in particular, in drawing up national social, educational and

cultural programmes;

(h) To support and encourage projects for continuing cooperation among, national social, educational and cultural programmes, including their economic aspects, in an international network. The organizations of the United Nations system, including(' the regional economic commissions and the United Nations Economic

Social Office in Beirut will be called upon to participate in this activity, as will other international governmental and non-governmental agencies;

(c) To organize the exchange of information on experience, methods and work in progress in connexion with continuous social diagnosis, particularly at the regional level and between regions with common problems;

(d) To facilitate the development of social and cultural indicators for the environment, in order to establish a common methodology for assessing environmental developments and preparing reports on the subject;

(e) To prepare, on the basis of the national reports on the state of, and outlook for, the environment, periodic reports on regional or sub regional situations and on the international situation in this matter. The activities described above could be coordinated by the new bodies for environmental coordination, taking into account the priorities agreed upon according to the resources available. International bodies responsible for technical and financial cooperation and assistance could also help in carrying out these tasks.

Recommendation 96

1. It is recommended that the Secretary-General, the organizations of the United Nations system, especially the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization, and the other international agencies concerned, should, after consultation and agreement, take the necessary steps to establish an international programme iii environmental education, interdisciplinary ill approach, in school and out of school, encompassing all levels of education and directed towards the general public, in particular the ordinary citizen living in rural and urban areas, youth and adult alike, with a view to educating him as to the simple steps lie might take, within his means, to manage and control his environment. A programme of technical and financial cooperation and assistance will be needed to support this programme, taking into account the priorities agreed upon according to the resources available. This programme should include, among other things:

(a) The preparation of an inventory of existing systems of education, which include environmental education;

(b) The exchange of information on such systems and, in particular, discrimination of the results of experiments in teaching;

(c)The training and retraining of professional workers in various disciplines at various levels (including teacher training);

(d) Consideration of the formation of Groups of experts in environment disciplines and activities, including those concerning the economic, sociological, tourist and other sectors, in order to facilitate the exchange of experience between countries which have similar environmental conditions and comparable levels of development-,

(e) The development and testing of new materials and methods for all types and levels of environmental education.

2. It is further recommended that United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization, under the Man and the Biosphere Programme, the World Health Organization, the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, the United Nations industrial Development Organization, the World Meteorological Organization and all the organizations concerned, including the scientific unions coordinated by the International Council of Scientific Unions, should develop their activities in studying desirable innovations in the training of specialists-and technicians and, in collaboration with the United Nations Development Programme, should encourage the institution, at the regional and the international level, of courses and training periods devoted to the environment.

3.It is further recommended that international organizations for voluntary service, and, in particular, the International Secretariat for Volunteer Service, should include environmental skills in the services they provide, in consultation with the United Nations Development Programme through the United Nations Volunteer Programme.

Recommendation 97

1. It is recommended that the Secretary-General make arrangements:

(a) To establish an information programme designed to create the awareness which individuals should have of environmental issues and to associate the public with environmental management and control. This programme will use traditional and contemporary mass media of communication, taking distinctive national conditions into account. In addition, the programme must provide means of stimulating active participation by the citizens, and of eliciting interest and contributions from non-governmental organizations for the preservation and development of the environment;

(b) To institute the observance of a World Environment Day

(c) For the preparatory documents and official documents of the Conference to be translated into the widest possible range of languages and circulated as widely as possible;

(d) To integrate relevant information on the environment in all it’s various aspects into the activities of the information organs of the United Nations system;

(e) To develop technical cooperation, particularly through and between the United Nations regional economic commissions and the United Nations Economic and Social Office in Beirut.

2. It is also recommended that the Secretary-General and the development agencies make arrangements to use and adapt certain international development programmes-provided that this can be done without delaying their execution-so as to improve the dissemination of information and to strengthen community action on environment problems, especially among the oppressed and underprivileged peoples of the earth.

Recommendation 98

It is recommended that Governments, with the assistance of the Secretary-General, the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, the United Nations Educational Scientific and Cultural Organization and the other international and regional intergovernmental and non-governmental agencies concerned, should continue the preparation of the present and future conventions required for the conservation of the world's natural resources and cultural heritage. In the course of this preparatory work, Governments should consider the possibility of putting into operation systems of protection for elements of the world heritage, under which those Governments that wish to save elements of their national heritage of universal value would be able to obtain from the international community, on request, the technical and financial assistance required to bring their efforts to fruition.

Recommendation 99

1. It is recommended that Governments should:

(a) Noting that the draft convention prepared by United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization concerning the protection of the world natural and cultural heritage marks a significant step towards the protection, on an international scale, of the environment, examine this draft convention with a view to its adoption at the next General Conference of UNESCO;

(b) Whenever appropriate, sign the Convention on Conservation of Wetlands of International Importance;

2. It is recommended that the Secretary-General, in consultation with the competent agencies of the United Nations system and the non-governmental organizations concerned, make arrangements for a detailed study of all impossible procedures for protecting certain islands for science;

3. It is recommended that a plenipotentiary conference be convened as soon as possible, under appropriate governmental or intergovernmental auspices, to prepare and adopt a convention on export, import and transit of certain species of wild animals and plants.

Recommendation 100

It is recommended that the Secretary-General make arrangements:

(a) To be kept informed of national pilot schemes for new forms of environmental management;

(b)To assist countries, on request, with their research and experiments;

(c) To organize the international exchange of information collected on this subject.

Recommendation 101

It is recommended that the Secretary-General take the appropriate steps, including the convening of an expert meeting, to organize an International Referral Service for sources of environmental information, taking into account the model described in paragraphs 129 to 136 of the report on educational, informational, social and cultural aspects of environmental issues (A/CONF.48/9), in order to assist in the successful implementation of all the recommendations made in respect of those aspects of environmental issues and of most of the recommendations envisaged in the other substantive subject areas covered in the Conference agenda.

DEVELOPMENT AND ENVIRONMENT

Recommendation 102

It is recommended that the appropriate regional organizations give full consideration to the following steps:

(a) Preparing short-term and long-term plans at regional, sub regional and sectoral levels for the study and identification of the major environmental problems faced by the countries of the region concerned as well as the special problems of the least developed countries of the region and of countries with coastlines and inland lakes and rivers exposed to the risk of marine and other forms of pollution;

(b) Evaluating the administrative, technical and legal solutions to various environmental problems in terms of both preventive and remedial measures, taking into account possible alternative and/or multidisciplinary approaches to development;

(c) Preparation, within the framework of international agreements, of legislative measures designed to protect marine (and fresh-water) fisheries resources within the limits of their national jurisdiction;

(d) Increasing and facilitating, in the context of development and as proposed in the World Plan of Action for the Application of Science and Technology to Development, the acquisition and distribution of information and experience to member countries through global and regional cooperation, with particular emphasis on an international information referral network approach and on a regular exchange of information and observation among the regional organizations;

(e)Establishing facilities for the exchange of information and experience between less industrialized countries which, although situated in different regions similar problems as a result of common physical climatic and other factors;

(f) Encouraging the training of personnel in the techniques of incorporating environmental considerations into developmental planning, and of identifying and analysing the economic and social cost-benefit relationships of alternative approaches;

(g) Establishing criteria, concepts and a terminology of the human environment through interdisciplinary efforts;

(h) Establishing and disseminating information on the significant environmental problems of each region and the nature and result of steps taken to cope with them;

(i) Providing and coordinating technical assistance activities directed towards establishing systems of environmental research, information and analysis at the national level;

(j) Assisting developing countries, in cooperation with appropriate international agencies, in promoting elementary education, with emphasis on hygiene, and in developing and applying suitable methods for improving health, housing, sanitation and water supply, and controlling soil erosion. Emphasis should be placed on techniques promoting the use of local labour and utilizing local materials and local expertise in environmental management;

(k) Encouraging the appropriate agencies and bodies within the United Nations to assist the developing countries, at their request, in establishing national science, technology and research policies to enable the developing countries to acquire the capacity to identify and combat environmental problems in the early planning and development stages. In this respect, special priority should be accorded to the type of research, technology and science which would help developing countries speed up, without adverse environment effects, the exploration, exploitation, processing and marketing of their natural resources.

Recommendation 103

It is recommended that Governments take the necessary steps to ensure:

(a) That all States participating in the Conference agree not to invoke environmental concerns as a pretext for discriminatory trade policies or for reduced access to markets and recognize further that the burdens of the environmental policies of the industrialized countries should not be transferred, either directly or indirectly, to the developing countries. As a general rule, no country should solve or disregard its environmental problems at the expense of other countries;

(b)That where environmental concerns lead to restrictions on trade, or to stricter environmental standards with negative effects on exports, particularly from developing countries, appropriate measures for compensation should be worked out within the framework of existing contractual and institutional arrangements and any new such arrangements that can be worked out in the future;

(c) That the General Agreement of Tariffs and Trade, among other international organizations, could be used for the examination of the problems, specifically through the recently established Group on Environmental Measures and International Trade and through its general procedures for bilateral and multilateral adjustment of differences;

(d)That whenever possible (that is, in cases which do not require immediate discontinuation of imports), countries should inform their trading partners in advance about the intended action in order that there might be an opportunity to consult within the GATT Group on Environment Measures and International Trade, among other international organizations. Assistance in meeting the consequences of stricter environmental standards ought to be given in the form of financial or technical assistance for research with a view to removing the obstacles that the products of developing countries have encountered;

(e) That all countries agree that uniform environmental standards should not be expected to be applied universally by all countries with respect to given industrial processes or products except in those cases where environmental disruption may constitute a concern to other countries. In addition, in order to avoid an impairment of the access of the developing countries to the markets of the industrialized countries because of differential product standards, Governments should aim at worldwide harmonization of such standards. Environmental standards should be established, at whatever levels are necessary, to safeguard the environment, and should not be directed towards gaining trade advantages;

(f) That the Governments and the competent international organizations keep a close watch on medium and long-term trends in international trade and take measures with a view to promoting:

(i) The exchange of environmental protection technologies;

(ii) International trade in natural products and commodities, which compete with synthetic products that have a greater capacity for pollution.

Recommendation 104

It is recommended that the Secretary-General ensure:

(a)That appropriate steps shall be taken by the existing United Nations organizations to identify the major threats to exports, particularly those of developing countries that arise from environmental concerns, their character and severity, and the remedial action that may be envisaged;

(b) That the United Nations system, in cooperation with other governmental and non-governmental agencies working in this field, should assist Governments to develop mutually acceptable common international environmental standards on products which are considered by Governments to be of significance in foreign trade. Testing and certification procedures designed to ensure that the products conform to these standards should be such as to avoid arbitrary and discriminatory actions that might affect the trade of developing countries.

Recommendation 105

It is recommended that the General Agreement of Tariffs and Trade, the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development and other international bodies as appropriate, should, within their respective fields of competence, consider undertaking to monitor, assess, and regularly report the emergence of tariff and non tariff barriers to trade as a result of environmental policies.

Recommendation 106

It is recommended:

(a)That the Secretary-General, in cooperation with other international bodies as appropriate, should examine the extent to which the problems of pollution could be ameliorated by a reduction in the current levels of production and in the future rate of growth of the production of synthetic products and substitutes which, in their natural form, could be produced by developing countries; and make recommendations for national and international action;

(b) That Governments of the developing countries consider fully the new opportunities that may be offered to them to establish industries and/or expand existing industries in which they may have comparative advantages because of environmental considerations, and that special care be taken to apply the appropriate international standards on environment in order to avoid the creation of pollution problems in developing countries;

(c) That the Secretary-General, in consultation with appropriate international agencies, undertake a full review of the practical implications of environmental concerns in relation to distribution of future industrial capacity and, in particular, to ways in which the developing countries may be assisted to take advantage of opportunities and to minimize risks in this area.

Recommendation 107

It is recommended that the Secretary-General, in collaboration with appropriate international agencies, ensure that a study be conducted of appropriate mechanisms for financing international environmental action, taking into account General Assembly resolution 2849 (XXVI).

Recommendation 108

It is being recognized that it is in the interest of mankind that the technologies for protecting and improving the environment be employed universally, it is recommended that the Secretary-General be asked to undertake studies, in consultation with Governments and appropriate international agencies, to find means by which environmental technologies may be made available for adoption by developing countries under terms and conditions that encourage their wide distribution without constituting an unacceptable burden to developing countries.

Recommendation 109

It is recommended that the Secretary-General, in collaboration with appropriate international agencies, take steps to ensure that the environmental considerations of an international nature related to the foregoing recommendations be integrated into the review and appraisal of the International Development Strategy for the Second Development Decade in such a way that the flow of international aid to developing countries is not hampered. Recommendations for national action, proposed by the Secretary-General of the Conference, shall be referred@ to Governments for their consideration and, when deemed appropriate, should be taken into account in the review and appraisal process during the consideration of matters for national action as included in the International Development Strategy. It should further be ensured that the preoccupation of developed countries with their own environmental problems should not affect the flow of assistance to developing countries, and that this flow should be adequate to meet the additional environmental requirements of such countries.