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124. In his introduction, the Assistant Executive Director explained that the main objective of this programme was to foster the study of biogeochemical cycles of phosphorus, sulphur and carbon. The main activities were scientific workshops and the publication of their findings.

125. Several representatives and observers welcomed and supported this programme, one recommending that the role of UNEP's regional offices be increased in its implementation.

126. One representative, noting that this programme was not in the Executive Director's list of priorities, expressed concern that a major new project was contemplated.

127. The Deputy Assistant Executive Director replied that the programme on lithosphere was not new, but rather a follow-up to work begun during the previous biennium. He agreed with the suggestion that the regional offices should play an important role and said that UNEP's clearing-house mechanism could also help implementation.

128. The observer for UNESCO expressed the interest of his organization in co-operating with UNEP on the environmental effects of mining, particularly in developing countries.