B - PROPOSED PROGRAMME AND FUND PROGRAMME ACTIVITIES
I CONCEPTS FOR THE DEVELOPMENT OF LEVELS TWO AND THREE
102. Introducing the Level Two document, the Assistant Executive Director (Programme) described the unique coordinating and catalytic role of UNEP and its mandate for ensuring that environmental matters were approached on a sufficiently to comprehensive basis which took into account both their interrelatedness and the wider considerations of global concern to mankind.
103. Introducing the Level Three document, the Assistant Executive Director (Fund and Management) explained the relationship that existed between Levels Two nations, and Three, and reviewed the main features of the Level Three document.
104. Although there was broad consensus that the debate on the priority subject 107.areas agreed at the second session should not be reopened, many delegations pointed out that some of the documentation before the Committee showed signs of over-concern with the environmental priorities of the developed countries.
Delegations from countries in different stages of development emphasized that environment
the identification and application of environmental quality criteria were important, but there were other preoccupations in those places in developing countries where there was almost no water to be polluted, no food to be contaminated and no shelter to be had. Nevertheless, it was recognized that environmental pollution and stress in developed countries did constitute a major threat to the health of their people and to the environment, and that hunger, disease and squalor were not confined to any single part of the world.
105. Many delegations expressed appreciation of the secretariat's acceptance of a comprehensive and cross-sectoral approach, which perhaps marked it apart from some of the other bodies in the United Nations system. It was also observed, however, that, if UNEP were to turn that comprehensive approach into noticeable action in respect of environmental development and protection, a way must be found of further concentrating effort within the priority subject areas. Nearly all delegations thought that, provided the Governing Council expanded the criteria in Level Three and added a number of programmatic guidelines for both Levels Two and Three, UNEP could achieve such a further concentration of effort. UNEP was felt to be the only organization possessing the overview of the world environmental situation which was necessary in order to achieve comprehensiveness and at the same time to retain the desired selectivity, taking into account differing priorities and genuinely differing ways of assessing and solving environmental problems identified on the basis of the real and pressing needs of the people, especially in developing countries. One delegation observed that the Executive Director, in seeking further to develop the decision-making process within UNEP, might benefit from the advice of a group of experts conversant with modern management techniques.
106. Some delegations reaffirmed that UNEP should concentrate on a few action oriented programme items of great urgency which it could handle effectively, which were within its resources, in terms both of funding and of personnel, and which could produce promising results for wider and indeed global application where possible. That approach would apply particularly to those situations in which no existing organization was doing effective or sufficiently comprehensive work, or where a high degree of co-operation and the avoidance of duplication of effort could be achieved at the working level between UNEP and its partners in the United nations system and elsewhere. Some delegations and representatives of regional intergovernmental organizations observed that it was important for UNEP to take into account the need to strengthen existing national and regional institutional arrangements, and to promote community involvement in dealing with environmental problems as a way of implementing all relevant environmental programmes more rapidly. Such an approach would be especially valuable in work on particular regional ecosystems, and for determining when and how regional and national bodies more directly responsible should take over the main initiative from UNFP
107.It was observed that UNEP should continue its efforts to ensure that the United nations system as a whole functioned in an environmentally responsible manner. To that end, it was important that the Environment Co-ordination Board should become a more effective instrument in helping UNEP integrate the environmental elements of programmes within the United Nations system.
108.It was pointed out that Member States could help avoid the dilution of the Programme's efforts through extensive discussions in a multiplicity of fora by ensuring that their environmental policy focal points arranged for a consistent reponse to be provided to UNEP and to all other bodies in the United Nations system concerned with the environment.
109. Some delegations noted the need for using appropriate and simple words to describe programme activities in documents in a way that could be understood and judged in clear practical terms.
110. Most delegations observed that UNEP was involved in too many projects in Level Three, and advocated continued efforts by the secretariat to use the Fund of UNEP as a catalyst and in support of timely and relevant projects in harmony with the requirements of Levels One and Two of the programme.
111. A number of delegations welcomed the systems approach to the programme as a whole, particularly in relation to the various elements of those functional tasks of UNEP which only UNEP could undertake and which, taken together with a more action-oriented and interlinked approach to the priority subject areas, would provide a sound basis on which to develop policies for integrated environmental management.
112. Many delegations pointed out that the information and data activities included in the functional tasks should be highly responsive to the needs of the member States and supportive of all the priority subject areas. Attention was drawn to the pressing need for regular publication of an authoritative journal on the activities of UNEP at all programme levels.
113. Many delegations noted with interest that some programme activity centres had already been formed. Some delegations thought that an undue number of such centres might harm the central role of UNEP headquarters, while on the other hand some were strongly in favour of the establishment of such centres in developing countries, in order to concentrate and push forward specific programme activities.
114. A number of delegations asked for a more prompt and wider distribution of the results of UNEP seminars and expert meetings. Many delegations made specific offers to UNEP, or asked UNEP for assistance in terms of centres of expertise, forthcoming conferences or training programmes in particular priority subject areas.
115. At the conclusion of its debate on the subject, the Committee recommended for adoption by the Governing Council a draft decision on "'Concepts for the development of the proposed programme and Fund programme activities".
Action by the Governing Council
116. At its 39th meeting, the Governing Council adopted by consensus the draft decision recommended by Sessional Committee I (decision 28 (III)). 14/
(ii) Priority subject areas
(a) Human settlements and habitat
117. In commenting on the key priority subject area Human settlements and habitat, most delegations agreed with the general scope and balance of the proposed programme, and expressed satisfaction at its comprehensive and integrated nature. Many delegations, however, felt that the programme appeared to place emphasis on the urban dimension of human settlements, and stressed the fact that the consideration of rural development was an integral part of the whole area of human settlements.
116. Certain delegations considered that the question of alternative methods of energy production was lacking from the human settlements technology component of the programme. A few delegations expressed the view that insufficient funds were allocated to human settlements technology.
119. Social and cultural considerations were recognized as paramount in the planning and management of human settlements, and it was suggested that they could best be token into account by treating human settlements as a man-made ecosystem, and thus contributing to the development of the whole concept of human ecology. One delegation thought it might be more useful to approach human settlements as a component of the symbiotic relationship between human activity and the natural environment.
120. One delegation observed that the built environment produced its own microclimate which, in turn, had its own effect on the quality of life in human settlements.
121. It was pointed out that implicit in a proper understanding of the built environment was a recognition of the need for ensuring that its support services provided fairly for all its inhabitants, regardless of their income level. In consequence, some delegations felt that the Executive Director should be encouraged in his efforts to ensure that the human settlements and habitat programme reflected fully the requirements of the poorest and most needy sections of the population. It followed, therefore, that UNEP should concentrate on innovative and action-oriented pilot projects, especially in relation to slums, other marginal settlements and rural settlements, having regard to the differences between urban and rural development.
122.The Committee recommended for adoption by the Governing Council a draft decision submitted by the delegation of the Philippines on the dissemination of information and mobilization of public opinion regarding the United Nations Habitat and Human Settlements Foundation.
123. The Committee agreed to include its additional recommendations concerning "Human,. settlements and habitat'4 in the general draft decision on the programme and Fund programme activities (see paras. 285 to 292 below)
Action by the Governing Council
124.At its 40th meeting, the Governing Council adopted by consensus the draft decision recommended by Sessional Committee I (decision 39 (III)). 14/
125. For other action by the Governing Council on the Committee's recommendations concerning Human settlements and habitation see paragraph 293 below.
(b) Health of people and of the environment
126. Reviewing the subject of environmental health, delegations noted that the Executive Director had followed the guidelines established at the second session in developing a programme centred primarily on the assessment and prevention of the adverse effects of pollution on man. While almost all delegations supported the implementation of the activities described and the involvement of the relevant United Nations organizations, many wished to broaden the UNEP concept of environmental health; man, where he worked and lived, was exposed to many other environmental risks, particularly, although not exclusively, in developing countries. Accordingly, there were many demands for a further evolution and revision of programme and Fund activities to reflect and implement that broader approach. It was proposed, therefore, that the allocation from the Fund of UNEP for the health of people and of the environment should be increased by up to 20 per cent in accordance with established procedures. Among the points mentioned as important in the evolution of the programme were the development of global environmental quality criteria and the means of applying them, the inclusion of monitoring of non-human targets and the assessment of the effects of noise from industry and traffic, including air traffic.
127. Among the proposed activities receiving particularly strong support were the WHO environmental criteria programme, which it was considered should receive continued support from the Fund and should be well publicized, and the establishment of IRPTC as a programme activity centre on the basis of the recommendations of the expert workshop on an international register of potentially toxic chemicals, held at Bilthoven, the Netherlands, from 6 to 11 January 1975 15/ although one delegation wished to give prior emphasis to research in the area, and another observed that considerable design work needed to be done so that the Register could start in a satisfactory fashion. One delegation emphasized the importance of harmonized control of products hazardous to man and the environment.
126. It was pointed out that the inclusion of environmental health as a factor in total environmental management should be stressed, with particular emphasis on epidemiological considerations and on social, economic and legal policies adapted to popular needs.
129. Support was expressed for the idea of UNEP expert groups on assessment for the trans-sectoral review and evaluation of a carefully chosen number of environmental hazards of broad international significance.
130. It was again observed that the programme on health of people and of the environment should follow more faithfully the priorities expressed by the Governing Council and, indeed, should help determine the relevance of the present monitoring efforts in the context of GEMS.
131. There was wide support for the continued efforts of UNEP to stimulate interest in environmentally sound systems of pest management. It was observed that UNEP should encourage and support activities aimed at finding alternative methods of pest control which did not rely on the almost exclusive use of chemicals. High priority was advocated for the promotion of methods of biological control and other environmentally sound techniques which took account of effects on ecosystems, and for the action plan with regard to such integrated control of schistosomiasis, malaria, and parasites affecting cotton and other important crops, as well as other diseases of environmental importance, such as onchocerciasis and trypanosomiasis. The hope was expressed that UNEP would develop its plans in those areas in close co-operation with the relevant specialized agencies, with interested Governments in developing countries and with developed countries which could offer the assistance and advice needed to produce tangible results at the regional and global levels. UNEP should encourage the production of guidelines for the integrated control of pests and pathogens of economic and public health concern.
132. One delegation suggested that the pest management programme should take into account the environmental effects of both chemical and non-chemical methods of production.
133. Another delegation urged the UNEP secretariat to expand its interest in environmentally sound pest management activities and to strengthen its he co-operation with the appropriate parts of the United Nations system in helping to develop such activities.
134. The Committee agreed to include its recommendations concerning Health of people and of the environments' in the general draft decision on the programme and Fund programme activities (see paras. 285 to 292 below).
Action by the Governing Council
135. For the Governing Council's action on the Committee's recommendations concerning Health of people and of the environment", see paragraph 293 below.
(c) Terrestrial ecosystems, their management and control
136. The plans of the Executive Director for the priority subject area ';Terrestrial ecosystems, their management and control were welcomed, and it was noted that they agreed with the proposed programme for research and development. litany delegations observed that terrestrial ecosystems could only be effectively studied, conserved and managed with the consent, understanding and participation
of the human communities, who indeed formed part of such ecosystems.
137. There was total support for the work on arid lands and grazing lands ecosystems, Which were considered to be a very important programme area in which UNEP activity should be concentrated. Some delegations suggested that there was a need to gather together all of the scattered and not readily available information on the problem and to disseminate it to those who needed it. It was suggested that objectives should be more action-oriented, that savanna should be included in the programme area and that mountain ecosystems deserved greater al attention. Regarding other ecosystems, it was pointed out that ecological studies of representative ecosystems and similar ecoregions should be given priority in relation to resources management strategies and with emphasis on human communities.
138. Most delegations urged the secretariat to make use of the accumulated experience and activities of the relevant specialized agencies, as well as concentrating on activities at the national level, in a continuous effort of co-ordination.
139. It was also observed that UNEP should concentrate on securing action to help stop the spread of desertification, while bearing in mind the need for longer-term studies on such factors as climate. The Committee considered in this context the implementation of General Assembly resolution 3337 (XXIX) on international co-operation to combat desertification (see paras. 278 to 283 below).
140. Great importance was attached to the work on tropical woodland and forest Ecosystems, and the proposed actions presented by the Executive Director were widely supported. Some delegations considered that it would be better to tackle the related work mainly at the regional level. It was also observed that it would be wise to integrate such work with the area of the programme concerned with soils, because of the ecological interrelatedness of the two activities.
141. A number of delegations attached importance to the ecological management of the tropical forest ecosystem within the broader context of development in tropical countries. It was pointed out that UNEP should play its role in close co-operation with relevant specialized agencies and other interested organizations in research and development activities concerning tropical forests. One delegation suggested that UNEP should pay special attention to studies relating to the interactions between forest cover and bioclimatological conditions in tropical areas.
142. There was wide agreement on the programme for ecosystems, sites and samples (national parks and reserves) and endangered species and wildlife, and its importance among UNEP activities was highlighted. Several delegations suggested that the area deserved greater emphasis and more financial support. Delegations appreciated the programme to establish a network of national parks and reserves, and supported the secretariat's approach to organizing the related activities regionally, which would provide a more harmonized basis for co-operation between countries. It was pointed out that UNEP could help in the development of special guidelines for the selection and creation of such reserves.
143. Delegations welcomed the co-ordination of related activities with those of other international organizations working in the field. Many specifically mentioned the Man and the Biosphere Programme of UNESCO and its concern with the comprehensive analysis of human interactions with ecosystems and with the development of a network of biosphere reserves-, it was considered that the international structure of the UNESCO Programme might be more extensively utilized by UNEP, particularly where its projects were in the operational phase. It followed that a responsive programme for parks and reserves should not be limited to the conservation of nature, but should pay special attention to the requirements of human communities who had to make their living in harmony with the ecosystems involved. It was therefore vital that education and information activities should be encouraged in connection with national parks and reserves.
144. Some delegations pointed out that the main problems of the conservation of national parks and reserves were essentially national, and that suitable solutions were therefore best sought within the framework of national institutions in charge of wildlife conservation. It was also observed that there was historical evidence of a not infrequent difference of attitude between the local populations and those concerned for the long-term objectives of wildlife conservation.
145. Since the activities in relation to parks, reserves and wildlife were an important component of socioeconomic development, it was considered necessary to identify global criteria for park and wildlife management, which would include those sociocultural factors influencing the behaviour of human communities, as important components of national parks.
146. One delegation recalled the relevance of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora, which would enter into force in the near future, and suggested that, in order to make the Convention more meaningful in terms of continued watchfulness, it would require support from GEMS and other information systems of UNEP.
147. Many delegations expressed their concern for the disappearance of -Plant and animal species and particularly supported the activities aimed at protecting endangered species. One delegation requested the secretariat to pay special whales, and another to those migratory species for which the attention to protection of certain habitats did not provide sufficient safeguard.
148. k number of delegations emphasized the close relationship between the programme activities concerned with ecosystems, sites and samples (national parks and reserves), endangered species and wildlife, and genetic and other biological resources, and expressed the hope that work on them would be closely integrated.
149. Many delegations expressed concern about soil degradation, erosion and overuse, as well as eutrophication, and welcomed the related activities proposed by the secretariat. It was also stressed that such activities could only be seen within the broader context of the ecosystems concerned. One delegation noted that insufficient funds were allocated for soil protection. Another expressed its
Government's readiness to organize, in the autumn of 1976, an international symposium on eutrophication and rehabilitation of surface water.
150- In discussing the part of the programme activities concerning water, most delegations had second thoughts on the decision of the Governing Council at its second session, 16/ to concentrate solely on aspects of water quality. It was stressed that such aspects could hardly be considered separately from the acute problems of water resources.
151. Great interest was expressed in the forthcoming United Nations Water Conference, scheduled to be held in Argentina in 1977. Some delegations said that the role of the secretariat should be to maintain active collaboration and participation in the preparation of the Conference. It was considered that the regional meetings in the preparatory phase of the Conference would be an important factor in its success. In relation to water resources, a number of delegations expressed the view that the qualitative aspect should not be separated from the quantitative aspect.
152, Some delegations observed that the programme should be more concerned with the development of water resources. One delegation stressed that the availability of water could become the limiting factor in economic and social development, view of the failure of resources to meet the rapid increase in demand. In such conditions, the proper management of water became essential. The same delegation drew attention to the creation of an international training centre for water resources management, and underlined the interest which UNEP should have in the creation and operation of such a centre. One delegation noted that the funds allocated within the programme for water were insufficient. Another delegation expressed its willingness to contribute to the establishment of an international atlas of river basin
153. One delegation stated that water quality should remain the major concern of UNEP and that due care should be exercised so as to avoid overlapping and duplication of work regarding water quantity with other agencies and organs of the United Nations System
United Nations system dealing with the manifold aspects of the question of water resources.
154. The same delegation reserved its position with respect to the holding, in form envisaged, of the United Nations Water Conference.
155. Many delegations were greatly concerned at the decrease of genetic resources and supported the necessity of conserving the total biological heritage and of storing representative specimens of it to help in future environmental management and development. It was observed that UNEP had a unique role to Dl in helping to ensure that the erosion of genetic resources was arrested in the interest of future generations. One delegation particularly underlined the threat of mutations in human and animal populations, and also drew attention t general problems of atmospheric pollution. Knowledge of such matters could be profitably incorporated into IRPTC, since the Register could provide a useful input to work on the subject.
156. One delegation accepted that contemporary theoretical ecology had made important contributions to providing a framework in which to place ecological studies, and had given some clues as to where particular ecosystems might become increasingly less resilient under further environmental stress, but felt that there must surely be a return to rigorous, thorough and long-term quantitative inventorial ecological study.
157. Following its discussion on the priority subject area of "Terrestrial ecosystems, their management and control", the Committee recommended for adopt by the Governing Council a draft decision introduced by the representative of Zaire on behalf of the delegations of Argentina, Australia, Canada, the Central African Republic, Gabon, Kenya, Morocco, the Philippines, Senegal, Sierra Leo Sweden, Switzerland,, the United States of America and Zaire, on the subject o water resources.
158. The Committee approved the draft decision by consensus. However, the delegation of Brazil reiterated its reservations, as stated in paragraphs 153 and 154 above, and the representative of India stated that, had the draft been put to the vote, his delegation would have abstained.
159. The Committee agreed to include its additional recommendations concerning "Terrestrial ecosystems, their management and control" in the general draft decision on the programme and Fund programme activities (see paras. 285-292 below).
Action by the Governing Council
160. At its 40th meeting, the Governing Council adopted without a vote the decision recommended by Sessional Committee I (decision 31 (III)). 17/
161. The representative of Brazil said his delegation had stated its views on draft decision in Sessional Committee I (see paras. 153 and 154 above).
Furthermore,, he wished in plenary and for the record, to reserve his Government position on the issue and to reiterate that it had also reserved its position regarding the date, place and advisability of the proposed United Nations Water Conference.
162. For other action by the Governing Council on the Committee's recommendations concerning "Terrestrial ecosystems, their management and control" see
paragraphs 284 and 293 below.
163. Commenting on the proposed programme framework for "Environment and development", delegations underlined the high priority and fundamental importance of the issues involved for all countries and for the evolution and success of the programme as a whole. The secretariat was commended for the way in which it had undertaken the pioneering task of providing a comprehensive and
all-encompassing framework for consideration of environment-development linkages. It was noted that the regrouping of activities since the last session of the Governing Council had clarified the issues, and that the strategies and objectives would prove useful in the search for practical solutions among which individual countries could set their own priorities.
164. In view of the importance of the priority subject area for the developing countries and for development strategies, several delegations suggested that greater attention and resources would be needed from now on. One delegation proposed that a special item be placed on the agenda of the fourth session of the Governing Council dealing with environment-development relationships.
165. Several delegations stressed the fact that solutions to environmental problems in developing countries would be reached through development, but, on the other hand, concern was also expressed about possible conflict between development and environmental protection. Another delegation noted that,, in view of the ever-changing nature of the environment, one should speak of its harmonious and satisfactory evolution rather than its protection.
166. The great complexity and magnitude of the task was recognized. Stress was placed on the need for a continued integrated approach to the solution of environmental problems, and it was pointed out that the question was inextricably linked with the functional task of environmental management. The importance of IRS and GED4S as tools for attaining environment-development objectives was noted.
167. The global and holistic approach by the secretariat was welcomed and it was noted that global, regional and national approaches must form part of a comprehensive strategy. At the same time, many representatives noted that, in the further development of the programme area and in any practical actions, due attention must be paid to differing socioeconomic structures in different countries and to the particular characteristics of different ecoregions.
168.llany delegations considered that the coordinating and catalytic role of UNEP was crucial. It was suggested that UNEP should examine systematically how the environmental dimension was reflected in development activities within the United Nations system. Some delegations welcomed the aim of UNEP to play a full part in the emergence of the new international economic order, and also felt that many environment-development problems could be better solved by taking into account the objectives, strategies and plan of action as set out in General Assembly resolutions 3201 (S-VI) and 3202 (S-VI) concerning that new order. One delegation preferred to refer to that approach in terms of contributing to a new and equitable international economic order.
169. Noting General Assembly resolution 3345 (XXIX) of 17 December 1974, one delegation considered that UNEP had much to contribute to the activity planned by the Secretary-General of the United Nations regarding the complex relationship between population, resources, environment and development, and singled out in that connection eco-development, rational use of natural resources and "outer limits".
170. While the importance of research activities and studies in the new field of environment and development was noted, many delegations underlined the fact that the programme should be mainly action-oriented. It was generally felt that the programme should not be too academic and should give less space to studies whose results were uncertain. Greater importance should be given to practical action, including pilot projects, both as a means of translating various theoretical ideas into workable propositions, making the most of the feedback of experience gained for further research and studies, and as a means of helping developing countries to tackle specific problems reflecting their plans and priority needs. It was suggested that UNEP should support and encourage various national efforts of developing countries, and some delegations referred to self-reliance as a concept that must be taken into account with regard to managerial and technical capability, development of human resources and technologies. Several delegations felt that UNEP should therefore,, among other things, strengthen its regional activities, and welcomed the intention of the Executive Director to add professional and technical capability to the regional offices. It was pointed out that, through the proposed teams, UNEP should provide support to Governments, regional bodies, especially the economic commissions, the UNDP country programming exercise in the regions and regional programmes. The hope was expressed that UNEP would start the related activities as soon as possible. It was also proposed that UNEP, the specialized agencies and other United Nations organizations should engage in multilateral programming of their activities in various developing countries and form ad hoc interagency groups to consider specific projects.
171. A number of delegations accepted that the concept of ecodevelopment was of major operational importance. Many delegations emphasized the need for UNEP to take an integrated approach by relating environmental concerns to the political and economic realities of the countries involved. Some delegations spoke of the need for administrators to be fully aware of the concept of ecodevelopment. Others mentioned the need to take into account national plans and priorities. Many delegations approved the setting up of general guidelines, but reservations were made that existing guidelines should be consulted and local conditions, in terms of resources, population and economic and political structures, should determine the nature of specific -projects. It was suggested that representatives of countries from similar ecore7ions should discuss common problems. Several delegations pointed out that the ecodevelopment concept needed further elaboration by the secretariat before critical, substantive comment could be properly made by the members of the Governing Council. Another delegation observed that it was important not to degrade the concept of ecodevelodment by the overuse of the term.
172. Concerning the socioeconomic impact of environmental measures, some developing countries requested that more attention be given to the relationship between social factors and environment and development; UNEP should also study the psychological elements involved in the perception of environmental impact and the effect of social group attitudes on the environment.
173. It was the opinion of many that developing countries required assistance in identifying their own priority areas and in coordinating environment programmes, as well as in making decisions about those programmes & The need for social accounting was mentioned by one delegation, and another underlined the need for pre-audits and post-audits to obtain concrete data and experience.
174. One delegation said that emphasis should be placed on the analysis and study of possible solutions to the impact of developed countries' activities on developing countries and on the environment. It was requested that the mechanism whereby that impact was transferred should be studied.
175. In commenting on "Human settlements and habitats. A number of delegations had already mentioned the subject of natural products, including food, with regard to the desirability of alternative forms of energy production. Special attention was given by one delegation to the possibilities of expanding the use of renewable energy sources and the utilization of solar energy.
176. One delegation mentioned the need to replace synthetic products with natural ones; before replacement of synthetic products by natural ones or vice versa could be undertaken, specific figures on energy and material balances would be needed, which would require the development of physical models.
177. Many delegations considered technology to be the most important subject within the priority subject area of "Environment and development". One delegation suggested that, in the title of the area, the phrase "and appropriate technology should be added. Some delegations pointed out that pilot projects should be developed rather than academic analysis, since what was needed was practical work.
178.It was pointed out that technical co-operation was required between developed and developing countries to promote self-reliance with regard to technical capability and the development of environmentally sound technology. Another delegation pointed out the need for knowledge of local problems and technical availability in order to improve the bargaining power of developing countries, and obtain the best available technology from the environmental point of view. The close relationship between technology and IRS was also mentioned.
179. Some delegations mentioned that technologies which preserved the environment were available and that all countries needed information on tolerances and techniques for environmentally sound activity. It was pointed out that such information collected and supplied by UNEP would allow developing countries to make sounder choices with regard to foreign investment.
180. Many delegations stressed the importance of the programme activity on the environmental problems of specific industries. It was noted with satisfaction that the secretariat intended to take into account the views of trade unions and employees, as well as of state-owned and privately owned industries, in carrying out its work on the subject, and would consult Governments through all stages of the exercise. One delegation noted that, while the proposed framework was satisfactory, much more attention should be given to devising effective means of getting specific industries involved, and suggested that the proposed approach be re-examined. It was furthermore noted that UNEP should carefully study the work done by many international organizations in order to enlist their co-operation and avoid duplicating their efforts.
181. Several delegations suggested that the list of specific industries should be made more comprehensive and that it should include agro-based industries and agriculture., which were of particular importance to developing countries. One delegation suggested that UNEP should work towards internationally accepted limits for pollutants discharged by industry, on an industry-by-industry basis. The same delegation suggested that UNEP should help in the transfer of appropriate technology to developing countries in the field of waste treatment and disposal.
182,. One delegation suggested that the financial resources allocated to the environmental problems of specific industries should be doubled, whereas another suggested that the activity should be given the lowest priority among the subject covered under "Environment and development", especially in view of activities going on elsewhere.
183. The problem of industrial location was emphasized by both developing and developed countries, and appreciation was expressed for the secretariat's approach industrial location was seen not only as a tool to combat the discharge of pollutants, but as a broad environmental issue with many specific socioeconomic dimensions.
184. The Committee agreed to include its recommendations concerning "Environment and development" in the general draft decision on the programme and Fund programme activities (see paras. 285-292 below).
Action by the Governing Council
185. For the Governing Council's action on the Committee's recommendations concerning "Environment and development", see paragraph 293 below.
186. The Governing Council also adopted a draft decision on environment and development submitted during its general debate (see para. 76 above).
187. General support was expressed for the programmes and strategies proposed in relation to oceans. Particular support was expressed for the regional approach presented by the Executive Director and for his initiative in calling the Intergovernmental Meeting on the Protection of the Mediterranean as well as for action plan adopted by that meeting (UNEP/WG.2/5, annex). it was felt that the action taken on the Mediterranean should serve as a model for action in other marine ecoregions, such as the Straits of Malacca,, the Caribbean and the Indonesia archipelago.
188. One delegation proposed that a study be made on endangered species in the oceans, with special reference to the disappearance I of the seal Monachus monachu from the Mediterranean sea. Another called for support of the work of the advisory Committee on Marine Resources Research and its working party for the protection of marine mammals, and for research on the subject. The view was also expressed that the Executive Director should support the research work of the International Whaling Commission.
189. One delegation indicated, with particular reference to the Mediterranean, the need to appeal to all countries to adhere to international and regional conventions for the protection of the marine environment, to include in pollution control activities all pollutants, including hydrocarbons, toxic chemicals and discharge from ships, and to organize tourism in such a way as not to increase pollution. The same delegation emphasized the importance of soil conservation studies and the rehabilitation of semi-arid lands, and the desirability of associating with the planned action specialist or concerned non-governmental organizations, such as the United Towns Organization, whose activities had led to the adoption by the municipal authorities of the coastal towns of a charter for the protection of the Mediterranean.
Oceanographic Commission and IAEA to increase the capacity of the Monaco. Oceanographic Laboratory. The necessity of expanding the existing Integrated Global Ocean Station System pilot projects to include pollutants other than oil was pointed out. A number of delegations mentioned the importance of hazards provoked by marine pollution. A proposal was made for follow-up of the work already done for the establishment of a register of discharges from national and international rivers into the oceans. Support was given to the development of the proposed plan of the Executive Director concerning the Global Investigation of Pollution in the Marine Environment within the framework of Earthwatch.
191. Some delegations expressed the opinion that UNEP should extend scientific and technical assistance to base-line studies to determine the distribution patterns of pollutants and their effects on marine living resources, with special reference to methodologies for combating pollution. One delegation called for an extension of aid to developing countries in their activities related to oceans and their living resources, especially in providing appropriate equipment to combat pollution.
192.Problems arising from hydrocarbon pollution and the physical transportation of pollutants were cited, and it was emphasized that activities of UNEP in relation should take their effects into account. to oceans s
193.Many delegations stressed the need to provide technical assistance to initiate regional and base-line studies using observations from such points as islands, ships and platforms. Some delegations suggested that attention should be given not on to biological and chemical factors, but also to physical processes. Onedelegation stressed the importance of research on oceans and large ice masses for Climatological studies and predictions.
194. The view was expressed that UNEP should support the publication of broad guidelines and technical manuals which would serve as a basis for action to protect the Mediterranean and similar ocean ecoregions. It was suggested that UNEP should convene an expert group to start the preparation of such publications, and some delegations offered to serve as host to the meetings of such a group in order, in particular, to elaborate the document relating to the protection of the Mediterranean referred to as the "Blue Book". 18/
18/ A global study on the integrated planning of the development and management of natural resources in the Mediterranean region.
195. Some representatives mentioned the existing experience at the international level in co-operative activities on ocean protection. It was felt that UNEP co-operate with relevant United Nations organizations in the survey of living resources and the development of methodologies for monitoring those resources
196. Some delegations suggested that UNEP should support the development of innovative technologies in order to utilize solar and other relevant sources energy for desalination of sea water and brackish groundwater.
197. Although it was recognized that partially enclosed seas presented particular suitable ecosystems for study, it was pointed out that the environmental problem of the oceans should not be neglected.
198. The representative of IMCO described the Organization's work in marine pollution prevention and control, primarily in connection with its depositary function in respect of the International Convention for the Prevention of Pollution of the Sea by Oil of 12 May 1954 19/ and the International Convention for the Prevention of Pollution from Ships of 2 November 1973. 20/ IMCO was preparing a practical manual on marine pollution, and was sponsoring a symposium to discuss matters arising from the latter Convention. Its knowledge and expertise were freely available to UNEP, particularly in relation to regional activities for instance in the Mediterranean and Gulf areas.
199. The Committee recommended for adoption by the Governing Council two draft decisions submitted by the United States of America, concerning "Oceans: monitoring" and "Oceans: conservation of marine mammals".
Action by the Governing Council
200. At its 40th meeting, the Governing Council adopted by consensus the two decisions recommended by Sessional Committee I (decisions 32 (III) and 33 (III)). 21/
201. For other action by the Governing Council concerning the Committee's recommendations on "Oceans", see paragraph 293 below.
202. The Committee noted that the "Review of the impact of energy production use on the environment and the role of UNEP" (UNEP/GC/31/Add.1), Prepared by t Executive Director with the assistance of a consultant, had been examined by international panel of experts, which considered that the document required exhaustive revision. It was urged that the revision of the review be prepared soon as possible by an enlarged panel of experts and submitted to the Governing Council at its fourth session.
203. Further discussion concentrated mainly on the appropriate role which UNEP could play in relation to energy. The
majority of delegations indicated that the role of UNEP should be as indicated in paragraph 4 of the Executive Director's report. Many delegations stated that, within the approaches covered by that paragraph, particular areas should receive particular emphasis. It was pointed out that, since other international organizations and individual countries were engaged in various studies in the field of energy, care should be taken not to duplicate the work of others. However, one delegation expressed the view that all the actions suggested by the group were within the concern of UNEP.
204. It was generally agreed that UNEP should be concerned with the comparative assessment of the environmental effects of all forms of energy production and use.
205-Many delegations stated that UNEP should concentrate on supporting research and development efforts within and outside the United Nations system in respect of existing and prospective energy resources which did not have harmful environmental effects. In addition, the Executive Director was urged to undertaken pilot projects which demonstrated alternative methods of energy production and utilization based on renewable energy sources, especially as applied to rural communities in Developing countries, and to appropriate adequate funds for the purpose from the funds of UNEP.
206.In the view of a few delegations, UNEP should give priority in its activities to the evaluation of impacts of different methods of energy production and use. One delegation expressed the opinion that in view of the limited resources available for activities in the field of energy, UNEP should not be directly engaged in financing the development of technology for alternative energy sources.
207. Reservations were expressed by some delegations regarding the extent to which MP should provide guidance to Governments in relation to establishing standards and taking decisions regarding different forms of energy generation and use. mention was also made of the important links that existed between the activities in the field of energy and the role of GEMS.
208. In the area of nuclear energy, the importance of co-operation and co-ordination of activities between UNEP and IAEA was stressed and the statement of the *representative of IAEA on the subject was noted.
209. One delegation felt that the impact of energy production and use should be discussed only in relation to non-nuclear energy resources; UNEP should not become involved in the monitoring of radio-active fallout, wastes etc., but should such tasks to IAEA.
210. The Committee recommended for adoption by the Governing Council a draft decision introduced by the delegation of Pakistan on behalf of the delegations of Argentina, Australia, Egypt, India, Jamaica, Senegal and the Sudan, as well as own delegation, concerning the improvement of the human environment through use of renewable energy resources. The draft was approved by consensus after sponsors had accepted a proposal by the delegation of Brazil for the deletion the words "of the tropical belt" from the phrase "the rural areas of the tropical belt of the developing countries … in the first preambular paragraph.
211. The Committee agreed to include its additional recommendations concerning "Energy" in the general draft decision on the programme and Fund programme activities (see paras. 285-292 below).
Action by the Governing Council
212.,At its 40th meeting, the Governing Council adopted by consensus the draft decision recommended by Sessional Committee I (decision 34 (III)). 21/
213. For other action by the Governing Council on the Committee's recommendation concerning "Energy", see paragraph,293 below.
(g) Natural disasters
214. There was general support for the programme presented by the Executive Director in relation to natural disasters. It was stressed that not only the economic, but also the social impacts of natural disasters should be taken into account in the implementation of the programme.
215. The view was advanced that the programme, as it stood, was heavily oriented towards risk evaluation, whereas it should be more oriented towards monitoring, dissemination of warnings to ensure community preparedness, and assistance to agencies in improving their warning programmes, such as the WMO programme on tropical cyclones, the Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission (IOC) tsunami warning system in the Pacific and UNESCO and IOC programmes on seismic and tide gauge stations. Some delegations further stated the need for maintaining close contact with the Office of the United Nations Disaster Relief Co-ordinator, and one delegation asked that the experience of national relief agencies in cases o disaster abroad should be taken into account. A proposal was also made for support of research programmes leading to improved prediction techniques.
216. One delegation considered that the sum of $200,000 allocated for activities relating to natural disasters was inadequate, and suggested that it should be somewhat increased for 1976 and 1977.
217. The Committee agreed to include its recommendations concerning "Natural disasters" in the general draft decision on the programme and Fund programme activities (see paras. 285 to 292 below).
Action by the Governing Council
218. For the Governing Council's action on the Committee's recommendations concerning "Natural disasters", see paragraph 293 below.
(iii) Functional tasks
219. Nearly all delegations accepted the great importance and functional significance of Earthwatch, and observed that only UNEP could implement the concept and run its basic systems in keeping with the priorities of the programme.
220. One delegation observed that IRS and GEMS and the associated research and assessment functions were themselves components of a larger management information system, going beyond the original concept of Earthwatch, which was now seen as an essential tool in the promotion of integrated environmental management. Accordingly, there was a clear need for regional and national focal -points for the Earthwatch systems.
221. Many delegations felt that, as it was now accepted that Earthwatch should serve all priority subject areas, the special concerns of the developing world had been neglected, especially in relation to technical assistance and their
involvement in the implementation of the Earthwatch systems. One delegation wished to see a greatly increased sum of money allocated to the development of Earthwatch.
222. Some delegations balanced their acceptance and encouragement of the Earthwatch concept with firm caution regarding its development. They felt that a close watch must be kept on its components, which required considerable design work and which should have full regard for the free and lawful action of sovereign States. They further requested that Earthwatch should be fully reviewed at the fourth session of the Governing Council.
(i) Global -Environmental Monitoring System
223- It was the general opinion that GEMS deserved high priority. It was also observed that the promises made at the United Nations Conference on the Human Environment regarding action to meet the urgent need for a global monitoring system still needed to be fulfilled:, the Executive Director should now move
forward as speedily as possible with GEMS and other closely related aspects of
Earthwatch, mainly research and assessment, in a manner similar to that adopted for developing IRS.
224. Some delegations wish to see the development of GEMS take place in stages, on
a firm scientific basis which would lead to practical guidelines and criteria for the various components of the System, including the siting of monitoring stations and the selection of environmental parameters, linked with an effective communications system whose responsiveness would vary according to particular environmental concerns. It was recognized that UNEP was breaking 'new ground, and should draw on the most advanced thinking on how to tie together complex data collections within an international setting using agreed procedures and suitable formats.
225. Many delegations expressed the desire to see a considerable contribution in terms of technical assistance to developing countries, including training and instrumentation, in order that they might participate fully in the system within national and regional frameworks. Some delegations offered assistance to developing countries in the development of GEMS, in terms of technical training, intercalibration and systems analysis.
226. Several delegations emphasized that one of the most immediate tasks should be to find out what monitoring activities were being carried out by national and international institutions, and pointed to the essential role that certain specialized agencies should play in view of the experience they had already acquired with monitoring.
227. Attention was drawn to the objectives outlined by the Executive Director in the light of the principles, programme goals and guidelines contained in the rep of the Intergovernmental Meeting on Monitoring, held from 11 to 20 February 1974 (UNEP/GC/24). The Executive Director was urged by some delegations to form small groups of governmental experts to assist in the design of selected parts of GEMS to integrate their work into a coherent system in consultation, through UNEP, with the Environment Co-ordination Board, to assign certain lead responsibilities to appropriate specialized agencies, and to provide a detailed progress report to the Governing Council at its fourth session.
228. Some delegations re-emphasized the need to proceed with caution in the development of GEMS, to plan periodic reviews of its effectiveness and to ensure that information needed by GEMS should only be furnished on a voluntary basis.
One delegation reserved the right to reassess the system in the light of its future development.
229. It was emphasized that, within the context of Earthwatch, GEMS should endeavour to integrate existing programmes into wider, more complete and more useful frameworks, to identify gaps and short-comings in current monitoring activities and to suggest remedies. The role of regional intergovernmental organizations in that respect was stressed by their representatives and by a n of delegations.
230. Many delegations favoured the formation of several ad hoc groups of experts, as mentioned in paragraph 227 above, while some preferred the establishment of a more formal body of the Governing Council which would be responsible for the scientific basis of monitoring. Alternatively, there could be a permanent advisory group of experts.
231. One delegation observed that GEMS should help to make the identification of sources of pollution more efficient, so that those guilty of malpractice could be held responsible for taking the remedial action necessary to repair the damage done to the environment.
232. One delegation asked UNEP to take into account the relevant work of the Conference of the Committee on Disarmament and, if requested, to assist it.
233. One delegation reiterated that the principles of respect for national sovereignty, equality, mutual benefit and voluntary participation must be adhered to in all international environmental activities, including GEMS.
(ii) International Referral System
234. There was widespread support from many delegations and from representatives of intergovernmental organizations for the Executive Director's proposals for the development of IRS and the establishment of the IRS Programme Activity Centre Co-operation in the field of IRS was regarded as one of the most significant functional tasks, and it was pointed out that the system required as many partners as possible. A number of delegations re-emphasized the urgent need for UNEP to provide technical assistance in order to enable developing countries to participate fully in IRS.
235. The need for seminars and simple guide books on how to use IRS services was emphasized. It was pointed out that IRS would facilitate the use of simple information services which already existed. It was also suggested that the network approach, whereby users would at the same time be sources of information, should be followed.
236. It was frequently pointed out that the establishment of national focal points for IRS should be initiated as soon as feasible, the most important task being further to develop and consolidate national information systems. The development of regional focal points was also advocated.
237. Many references were made to the need for a flexible approach, which would allow compatibility with existing referral and information-disseminating capabilities, including an international information system for environmental law.
238.It was felt to be important that IRS should serve all other parts of the programme, both functionally and programmatically, especially as a basis for developing more detailed registers and inventories, for example, in connection with GEMS, IRPTC and Level One activities.
239. Several delegations not previously committed announced that their Governments were now ready to become active participants in IRS and to provide inputs in agreed form.
240.The Committee agreed to include its recommendations concerning "Earthwatch" in the general draft decision on the programme and Fund programme activities (see paras. 285 to 292 below).
Action by the Governing Council
241. For the Governing Councils action on the Committee's recommendations concerning "Earthwatch". see paragraph 293 below.
(b) Environmental management
242. The functional task of environmental management was widely accepted as of key importance to the programme as a whole and as a mechanism for identifying and meaning the components of the development process. The need for effective ,incorporation of environmental criteria in the development process and planning 'was noted by one delegation, which observed that the task was a difficult and 'urgent one for UNEP and that studies were needed to create a theoretical and Impractical base from which action would be possible.
· 243. Another delegation, while agreeing with the premise that one of the purposes of environmental management was to improve the management of the development process, noted that, at the Stockholm Conference, a broader had been given to the functional task of environmental management as interpretation environment. Consequently, the programme including actions aimed at improving the environment of environmental management of UNEP ought to go beyond that premise to include a variety of possible activities, such as treaties and legal instruments, which at first sight had little to do with the development process sensu stricto.
244. The importance of preventive action as an integral part of environmental management was stressed. One delegation also observed that UNEP information systems should be designed so as to be of special help in planning integrated environmental management, especially in developing countries.
245. The Committee agreed to include its recommendations concerning "Environmental management" in the general draft decision on the programme and Fund programme
activities (see paras. 285 to 292 below).
Action by the Governing Council
246. For the Governing Councils action on the Committee'- recommendations concerning "Environmental management", see paragraph 293 below.
(c) Supporting measures: information. education. training and technical assistance
247. There was general support for the activities proposed under supporting
measures. Some delegations expressed the view that environmental education, training courses and technical assistance activities were vital in enabling countries to integrate environmental considerations into the development process. it was pointed out that, in the implementation of the activities relating to education, training and technical assistance, it was important to stimulate the use of existing expertise in developing countries to provide technical assistance and training relevant to the real needs of the countries of the developing world. In that connection, UNEP should exercise its catalytic role in encouraging regional' co-operation in environmental education, training and technical assistance. Many delegations emphasized the need to use as much as possible the resources of existing institutions, and to strengthen them when necessary, rather than establish new ones.
248. It was observed that, however useful help from developed countries might be, only those from developing countries could truly understand their own problems, and thus develop and share a more relevant pool of expertise than that which was currently available.
249. Some delegations expressed doubts as to the advisability of establishing the proposed programme activity Centre on environmental education and training, if it were to be linked solely with UNESCO, since they considered that co-operation with' other agencies and the International Union for Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources was equally important. It was further pointed out that the needs of different regions must also be taken into consideration when instituting that activity. One delegation suggested that such a programme activity Centre could be established experimentally for one or two years. Some delegations expressed the view that serious consideration should be given to the possibility of locating the Centre in a developing country.
250. Support was given to the Executive Director's plans for the organization by UNESCO and UNEP, with the collaboration of the International Union, of an International Conference on Environmental Education. The Committee noted that, while UNESCO was considered to be the only organization of the United Nations system which could effect a change in traditional teaching and the attitude of ministries of education towards environmental education, the question of training of specialists required the collaboration of other competent specialized agencies.
251. Many delegations emphasized the importance of technical assistance in relation to the improvement of environmental conditions, particularly in developing countries. Special mention was made of the need to utilize the resources available to UNEP to encourage institution-building and related policies, as well as the drafting of legislation and regulations.
252. Delegations welcomed the proposed establishment of the clearing house for technical assistance, and requested further information on its operation. It was suggested that the over-all framework for technical assistance could be developed further, and that the criteria for those activities should be presented for review by the Governing Council at its fourth session. However, it was felt that not all criteria laid down could be rigidly applied in all cases requiring technical assistance. In analysing the proposed criteria for technical assistance, some delegations suggested an approach which differed somewhat from that of the Executive Director, especially with regard to greater emphasis on intersectoral projects.
253. Some delegations agreed that public awareness was an indispensable precondition for effective environmental action, and that world-wide communication of information was an important substantive component of the programme as a whole. Support was given to the Executive Director's intention to intensity awareness and appreciation of environmental issues by executing an appropriate information programme through mass communication media, as well as initiating a significant publishing activity.
254. One delegation suggested that, in order to obtain public and governmental support for the objectives of UNEP, information should be disseminated not only about the broad subject areas of the environment, but also about the activities of UNEP, in terms of its philosophy, the results of projects and reports of expert group meetings.
255. The Committee agreed to include its recommendations concerning "Supporting measures" in the general draft decision on the programme and Fund programme activities (see paras. 285 to 292 below).
Action by the Governing Council
256. For the Governing Councils action on the Committee's recommendations concerning "Supporting measures", see paragraph 293 below.
Development of the programme
I 257-It was generally agreed that it would be better to deal with the development of the programme within the context of the priority subject areas and functional tasks in which new topics might arise.
258. The Committee agreed to include in the general draft decision on the programme and Fund programme activities (see paras. 285 to 292 below) a recommendation regarding the reclassification within or exclusion from the programme of the subjects dealt with under "Development of the programme".
Action by the Governing Council
259. For the Governing Council's action in this respect, see paragraph 293 below.
(a) Outer limits
260. General support was expressed for the activities proposed in the area of
climatic change. It was felt that UNEP should pay special attention to the acquisition of data on the interaction between oceans and polar ice masses, which were necessary for understanding natural and man-made climatic changes. Some delegations called for intensified research on the subject.
261. The proposal of the Executive Director for a meeting on weather modification was supported. While it was considered premature to develop an international agreement on weather modification, it was felt that UNEP should, in preparation for the development of guidelines, support the WMO programmes for the augmentation of precipitation and the evaluation of weather modification experiments. Two delegations proposed that the work in that respect should be closely coordinated with the work of the Conference of the Committee on Disarmament on the report to be prepared in response to General Assembly resolution 3264 (xxix).
262. There was general support for the programme proposed by the Executive Director in the area of possible risks to the ozone layer. It was suggested that emphasis should be given to techniques and instruments for the measurement of ozone levels and of the parameters affecting the ozone layer.
263. With regard to the possibilities of increasing bioproductivity, it was generally agreed that more research and study were required, although one delegation considered that such activity might be outside the scope of the activities of UNEP.
264. The Committee agreed to include its recommendations regarding "Outer limits" in the general draft decision on the programme and Fund programme activities (see paras. 285 to 292 below).
Action by the Governing Council
265. For the Governing Council's action concerning "Outer limits", see paragraph 293 below.
(b) International environmental law
266. It was agreed that the subject area should in future be referred to simply as Environmental law", rather than "International environmental law", because both national and international environmental law were involved. One delegation felt that the existing phraseology tended to circumscribe the role of UNEP in the area.
267. It was generally agreed that environmental law was of great importance for achieving implementation of environmental policies, strategies and recommendations, both nationally and internationally. Many of the interventions made echoed various statements made in plenary. Delegations generally welcomed the strategy and objectives presented by the Executive Director. Some noted, however, that the area covered was very broad, and indicated the need for the Governing Council to single out subjects for concentration and give guidance to the Executive Director. One delegation felt that the work had by its very nature to proceed slowly, and that caution was necessary in order not to enter without due reflection into a-field of extreme complexity which was still largely unexplored.
268. There was widespread support for the suggestion by one delegation that environmental law should be included as an additional functional task within the
programme. One delegation observed that environmental law should not be regarded as an independent programme activity, but should be considered as a programme support activity within the functional tasks of UNEP.
269. Noting Governing Council decision 8 (II), 22/ several delegations underlined
the vital role that UNEP had to play in promoting environmental law. Some delegations also noted the important role to be played by the International Law Commission, expressed the hope that it would be brought into the picture and that its vast experience and expertise would be utilized, and said that UNEP should not duplicate the work of the Commission. One representative said that, in its activities, UNEP should also make use of governmental experts.
270. One delegation felt that to upgrade the importance of environmental law within the programme would require additional financial resources, and suggested hat that the Fund allocation for the year 1975 should be doubled.
271. Two delegations considered that the codification of environmental law would be premature, as jurisprudence in the field was very weak and situations varied greatly. One delegation suggested furthermore that only those rules forming part of current State practice could be codified, and that it would be preferable for UNEP to promote legal instruments, such as international agreements and conventions. Another delegation could not agree with the idea that codification of environmental law should be set aside, and proposed that UNEP undertake the task of drafting a general code of environmental law, and that, in order to speed up the work on the subject, a working group be set up. It was also observed that there was an international information system on environmental law in which- governments were invited to co-operate within the context of IRS.
272. The importance of assisting developing countries in drafting comprehensive environmental legislation and setting up appropriate machinery was generally
"273.One delegation felt that, in the proposed programme framework, it was not advisable to dissociate principle 22 of the Declaration of the United Nations Conference on the Human Environment 23/ from the Declaration itself, and suggested that they be considered together by of the Level Two document (UNEP/GC/31/Corr.2).
274. The representative of Australia submitted a draft decision on environmental -law. Although there was wide support for the proposal, certain delegations expressed reservations on those portions which in their view stated inadequately the inseparable link between State responsibility, on the one hand, and liability for environmental damage to areas beyond national jurisdiction, on the other. The representative of Australia introduced orally a revised draft which took those views into account, and the Committee agreed to recommend the revised text for adoption by the Governing Council.
275. The Committee agreed to include its additional recommendations regarding "Environmental law" in the general draft decision on the programme and Fund programme activities (see paras. 285-292 below).
Action by the Governing Council
276. At its 40th meeting, the Council adopted by consensus the draft decision
recommended by Sessional Committee I (decision 35 (III). L4/
277. For the remaining action by the Governing Council concerning "'Environmental law", see paragraph 293 below.
(v) International co-operation to combat desertification
278. In considering the part of agenda item 15 assigned to it, the Committee had before it, in the context of its debate on "Terrestrial ecosystems, their management and control", the Executive Director's note on the implementation of General Assembly resolution 3337 (XXIX): International co-operation to combat desertification (UNEP/GC/51/Add.2 and Corr.1)..
279. Introducing the discussion, the Deputy Executive Director drew attention to the programme which formed part of the preparatory process for the United Nations Conference on Desertification, scheduled to be convened in the summer of 1977. The General Assembly had requested that a world plan of action be presented to the Conference for its consideration. The first meeting of the task force to help the Conference secretariat prepare the plan of action would be held towards the end of June 1975. The priority programme and the preparations for the Conference would be linked to the continuing activities of UNEP in the field of arid and semi-arid lands. Much of the work would be integrated with existing projects and programmes of the United Nations system, as well as with other programmes. In view of the emphasis the General Assembly had placed on building up indigenous and autonomous science and technology capacity in the areas concern special attention would be given to working with and through national institution The proposed budget was a preliminary estimate, and the Executive Director would submit detailed estimates to the Governing Council at its fourth session.
280. During the debate, the hope was generally expressed that financial support would be made available to encourage the full participation of developing countries in the Conference. Some delegations recommended that the programme should concentrate on hot arid and semi-arid regions, rather than on cold deserts. Other stressed the need for the new responsibilities of UNEP to be carried out in close working relationship with its existing work programme in arid and semi-arid zones, and for avoidance of unnecessary overlapping. One delegation suggested that relatively lower priority might be given to studies of climate, which were long-term in character, and stressed the need to seek practical solutions to the more immediate problems which caused desertification.
281. Some delegations observed that there was an agreed formula for dealing with participation in United Nations conferences. The Deputy Executive Director said that the secretariat would follow the usual practice of the General Assembly in that respect.
282. One delegation also asked whether UNEP or the interested parties were to meet the interpretation and translation costs of using languages other than official United Nations languages in the Conference. It was agreed that the financial implications would be made available to the General Assembly together with the Governing Council's recommendation in that respect.
283. The Committee recommended a draft decision on international co-operation to combat desertification for adoption by the Governing Council.
Action by the Governing Council
284. At its 39th meeting, the Governing Council adopted by consensus the draft decision recommended by Sessional Committee I (decision 30 (III)). 24/
(vi) General action regarding the proposed programme and Fund programme activities
285. At the conclusion of its debate on the proposed programme and Fund programme activities, as a whole, the Committee considered a draft decision on programme and Fund programme activities suggested by the Rapporteur in the light of the debate.
General support was expressed for the draft decision.
286. The representative of the Federal Republic of Germany proposed the substitution of the word "could" for "can" in the first line and IV will" in the third line of paragraph 2, and the replacement of "the new international economic order" in the same paragraph by Via new international economic order". 25/
I 287. The representative of Poland proposed a new text to replace paragraph 4,I which originally read: "Notes the progress which the Executive Director has made in developing the concept of environmental management as encompassing all the functional tasks which support the priority subject areas of the Programme, and urges him to continue to encourage basic research on environmental methodologies, with a view to developing guidelines and procedures for environmental management which the United Nations Environment Programme can offer at the global, regional and national levels, particularly for application in developing countries;".
He also proposed the addition of the words "policy formulation" before "planning" in paragraph 9 (a).
288. The representative of Sweden proposed a new paragraph 9 (f), and accepted an amendment proposed by the representative of India adding the word "relevant".
289. The representative of Tunisia proposed the addition of the words "and improvement programmes" in paragraph 9 (d). The representative of the United States proposed the replacement of the phrase "Earthwatch, and related research, assessment and in paragraph 9 (h) by "Earthwatch, which consists of research, evaluations monitoring and the addition at the end of paragraph 9 (i) of the words and to report to the Governing Council's fourth session on the results of these efforts", and the addition in paragraph 13 of the words "and non-governmental" before "bodies".
290. All. the above amendments were accepted and the Committee agreed to recommend the draft decision for adoption by the Governing Council.
291. In addition, the Committee was informed of the decisions of the Council and the action taken in Sessional Committee II regarding the approval of additional allocations for Habitat: United Nations Conference on Human Settlements,, the United Nations Conference on Desertification and data-gathering related to the preparation of the Level One report. It considered the proposed apportionment of the allocation for Fund programme activities for 1975 (revised), 1976 and 1977, agreed to reduce by half the allocations under the heading "Development of the programme" and transfer the sums involved to "Environmental management", and recommended a draft decision on the allocation for Fund programme activities for adoption by the Governing Council.
292. The representative of Senegal said his delegation's acceptance of the draft decision on the allocation of resources was on the understanding that, in relation to the programme on energy, the Executive Director would use to the maximum extent the 20 per cent funding flexibility referred to in paragraph 4 of the decision.
Action by the Governing Council
293. At its 40th meeting, the Governing Council adopted by consensus the two draft decisions recommended by Sessional Committee I (decisions 29 (III) and 36 (III)). 26/