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D - Supporting- measures

368. Because of the limited time available for discussion of supporting measures'. it was generally agreed that the subjects the debate on which is reported upon below might not have been given a full and balanced treatment in the discussions in the Committee.

1. Environmental education and training

-)C-9. @,Tost delegations supported UNEP's efforts and initiatives in 'Uhf@ field of environmental education and training, stressing that they represented an important aspect of UlqEP's catalytic role. Most delegations also expressed support for the revised training objectives, which reflected the coordinating role of (JITEP.

370. A number of delegations expressed concern at the apparent move to terminate the programme activity centre for environmental education and training, as reflected in the chances proposed in goal 16 for 1982, and assurance that the experiment would be properly evaluated was requested. In response, the Assistant Executive Director, Bureau of the Programme, said that the activity had been too ambitious, resulting in difficulties and high expenses in operating the centre. The secretariat would therefore pursue the objective of regionalized environmental education and training through other less costly means.

371. The co-operation between UNEP and UNESCO in the development of environmental education, the implementation of the Tbilisi recommendations 10/ and in the development of training programmes was supported. It was fel@, however, that much more should be done in training for environmental management. In that regard it was felt that the VTorld Conservation Strategy and the declaration of the multilateral funding agencies on environment and development should influence training programmes and curricula.

372. The need for the formulation of guidelines for incorporating environmental education into curricula was stressed, and UNEP was urged to co-operate with UNESCO in that respect, to initiate action on preparation of pedagogical material and training of teachers, and to pay greater attention to case studies.

373. One delegation warned against dispersal of UNEP's training initiatives. It was suggested that the programme should concentrate on a few major regional .centres, and that research must accompany training activities, especially at the university level.

374. It was suggested that UNI,',P and UNESCO should continue to co-operate in the preparation of technical cadres, using multi-disciplinary approaches. One

delegation warned against training professionals who wore too narrowly specialized.

375. Several delegations requested UNEP's support for national education and training programmes and for continuing support for the work of institutions such as the International Centre for Training and Education in Environmental Sciences (CIFCA), the Urbino Centre and national universities. One delegation observed that information on training programmes was not always made available to Governments. One delegation stressed the enormous importance of training in environmental management particularly in view of the growing demand for environmental assessment and the adjustment of projects to its results.

376. The representative of UNESCO noted that general- environmental education was a

10/ See Intergovernmental Conference on Environmental Education: Final Report (Pari@, UNESCO, 1978), declaration and recommendations, chap. III.

difficult and long-term task which he hoped UNEP would continue to support. He stressed the need for further assistance in the environmental education of engineers and economists, and he felt that training of specialists had to be selective and that there was a special need for training in the area of integrated resource management.

377. The representative of EEC referred to the work undertaken by EEC in the area of environmental education in schools, notably the network of pilot primary schools for environmental education, which could be of interest to UNEP, and underlined the possibilities of financial support for -training courses in environmental protection and related areas under the Lome' Convention (see A/AC-176/7).

2. Technical assistance

378. There was -eneral support for UNEP's role in technical assistance in particular the initiative in preparing the overview (UNEP Report No. 8), which contained useful and comprehensive information on UNEP's technical assistance activities. The new objectives and strategies for the technical assistance area were felt to constitute a reasonable approach to the provision of technical assistance.

379. Several delegations commended the work of the environmental co-ordination units in the regional commissions, and one expressed support for the regional advisory services, which were useful to countries seeking UNEP's help in assessing their environmental priorities and needs, and in planning activities at the policy and management levels.

380. The proposal for deletion of goal 18 was in general supported, in view of the statement of the Assistant Executive Director that the idea of the technical assistance clearing house had been tried for the last six years without achieving any tangible results. One delegation felt the deletion of the goal would be inappropriate.

3. Information

381. There was general support for the thrust of the information programme, which was felt to be of prime importance in reaching the public through dissemination of the mass of useful environmental information available from UNEP. One delegation however, suggested that the dissemination of that information could in certain instances be improved through the use of mass media and more use of national environmental information services. Two delegations advised that UNEP concentrate on general topics, leaving the publication of legal texts to specialized publishers such as the International Council on Environmental Law in Bonn, among other reasons in order to avoid duplication. Another suggested that wider dissemination of information and liaison between UNEP, member Governments and NGOs in their countries could be effectivly ensured through the INFOTERRA national focal points, and UNEP should take appropriate action to that end.

382. One delegation, supported by another, urged the secretariat to seek to employ authors from less developed countries to write about problems affecting those countries, as they felt that a more balanced and useful end product would result. It was suggested that the possibility of utilizing publishing companies in less

developed countries be explored. One delegation suggested that, to ensure close co-operation iiith developing countries, the regional information officers should be made more active and UNEP publications should, where possible, be regionalized. One delegation expressed concern about the apparent high cost of producing Mazingira.

383. Another delegation proposed that, due to the shortage of translators in its country and in view of the importance of environmental information, UNEP should undertake to translate important documents into Chinese to the extent possible, and it expressed support for the proposal to put out a Chinese edition of UNITERRA and other publications.

384. In its debate on information, the Committee also considered relations with non-governmental organizations, under agenda item 10, in which connexion it had before it documents UNEP/GC.8/9 and Corr.l. Delegations were in agreement that relationships between UNEP and non-governmental organizations were in general good and should be fostered. One delegation said that UNEP must continue its strong continuing commitment to NGOS, which another delegation said were an indispensable instrument for the promotion of public awareness.

385. The role of UNEP and the International Institute for Environment and Development (IIED) in establishing Earthscan was welcomed. One delegation suggested that Earthscan be given wider publicity and another, describing it as a well-documented environmental information service with a wide public reach, particularly in developing countries, stated that his Government had granted financial support and expressed the hope that other Governments would follow suit.

386. The co-operation between UNEP and the Environment Liaison Centre also drew fav6urable comment from some speakers and one delegation offered financial support described the Centre as a unique NGO focal point for contact with the United Nations system, and suggested that the role of the Centre in the organization and co-ordination of World Environment Day could evolve into a regular presentation throughout the year.

387. The representative of IIED thanked delegations for their comments regarding non-governmental organizations and expressed the hope that UNEP would give early attention to the suggestion made by one delegation, that NGO's be involved to a considerable degree in the Council's tenth session, in 1982, which would mark the tenth anniversary of the United Nations Conference on the Human Environment.

388. At the conclusion of its debate on supporting measures, the Committee recommended for adoption by the Governing Council, as orally revised by the sponsors, a draft decision on environmental education and training sponsored by the Latin American Group and Spain (see annex I, decision 8/14).

389. The secretariat indicated that the cost of the present support to CIFCA was about $450,000 in 1980; a continuation of the project could be expected to cost that amount per annum.

390. One delegation noted, as a clarification, that the phrase "take urgent measures should be interpreted as referring to action decided upon by the Executive Director.

391. The delegation of Uruguay indicated his Government's desire that the ad hoc meeting of representatives of Latin America and the Caribbean countries and Spain referred to in the decision be held in Uruguay.