B. Recommendations for action at the international level
Environmental Aspects of Natural Resources Management
It is recommended that the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, in co-operation with other relevant international organizations, should include in its programme questions relating to rural planning in relation to environmental policy, since environmental policy is formulated in close association with physical planning and with medium-term and long-term economic and social planning. Even in highly industrialized countries, rural areas still cover more than 90 per cent of the territory and consequently should not be regarded as a residual sector and a mere reserve of land and manpower. The programme should therefore include, in particular:
- Arrangements for exchanges of such data as are available;
- Assistance in training and informing specialists and the public, especially young people, from primary school age onwards;
- The formulation of principles for the development of rural areas, which should be understood to comprise not only agricultural areas as such but also small- and medium-sized settlements and their hinterland.
It is recommended that the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, in co-operation with other international agencies concerned, strengthen the necessary machinery for the international acquisition of knowledge and transfer of experience on soil capabilities, degradation, conservation and restoration, and to this end:
- Co-operative information exchange should be facilitated among those nations sharing similar soils, climate and agricultural conditions;
- The Soil Map of the World being prepared by the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization and the International Society of Soil Science should serve to indicate those areas among which transfer of knowledge on soil potentialities and soil degradation and restoration would be most valuable;
- This map should be supplemented through the establishment of international criteria and methods for the assessment of soil capabilities and degradations and the collection of additional data based upon these methods and criteria. This should permit the preparation of a World Map of Soil Degradation Hazards as a framework for information exchange in this area;
- Information exchange on soil use should account for similarities in vegetation and other environmental conditions as well as those of soil, climate, and agricultural practices;
- The FAO Soil Data-Processing System should be developed beyond soil productivity considerations, to include the above-mentioned data and relevant environmental parameters, and to facilitate information exchange between national soil institutions, and eventually soil-monitoring stations;
- International co-operative research on soil capabilities and conservation should be strengthened and broadened to include:
- Basic research on soil degradation processes in selected ecosystems under the auspices of the Man and the Biosphere Programme. This research should be directed as a matter of priority to those arid areas that are most threatened;
- Applied research on soil and water conservation practices under specific land-use conditions with the assistance of the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations and, where appropriate, other agencies (United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization, World Health Organization and International Atomic Energy Agency);
- Strengthening of existing research centres and, where necessary, establishment of new centres with the object of increasing the production from dry farming areas without any undue impairment of the environment;
- Research on the use of suitable soils for waste disposal and recycling; the United Nations Industrial Development Organization, the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, and the World Health Organization should enter into joint consultations regarding the feasibility of an international programme in this area;
- These efforts for international co-operation in research and information exchange on soils should be closely associated with those of the UNDP/WMO/FAO/UNESCO programme of agricultural biometeorology, in order to facilitate integration of data and practical findings and to support the national programmes of conservation of soil resources recommended above;
- It should moreover be noted that in addition to the various physical and climatic phenomena which contribute to soil degradation, economic and social factors contribute to it as well; among the economic contributory factors, one which should be particularly emphasized is the payment of inadequate prices for the agricultural produce of developing countries, which prevents farmers in those countries from setting aside sufficient savings for necessary investments in soil regeneration and conservation. Consequently, urgent remedial action should be taken by the organizations concerned to give new value and stability to the prices of raw materials of the developing countries.
It is recommended that Governments, the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations and the World Health Organization, in cooperation with the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization and the International Atomic Energy Agency, strengthen and co-ordinate international programmes for integrated pest control and reduction of the harmful effects of agro-chemical
- Existing international activities for the exchange of information and cooperative research and technical assistance to developing countries should be strengthened to support the national programmes described above, with particular reference to:
- Basic research on ecology effects of pesticides and fertilizers (MAB);
- Use of radioisotope and radiation techniques in studying the fate of pesticides in the environment (joint IAEA/FAO Division);
- Evaluation of the possibility of using pesticides of biological origin institution for certain chemical insecticides, which cause serious disturbances in the environment;
- Dose and timing of fertilizers' application and their effects on soil productivity and the environment (Food and Agriculture organization of the United Nations);
- Management practices arid techniques for integrated pest control, including biological control (Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations and World Health Organization);
- Establishment and/or strengthening of national and regional centers for integrated pest control, particularly in developing countries (Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations and World Health Organization).
- Existing expert committees of the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations and the World Health Organization on various aspects of pest control should be convened periodically:
- To assess recent advances in the relevant fields of research mentioned above;
- To review and further develop international guidelines and standards with special reference to national and ecological conditions in relation to the use of chlorinated hydrocarbons, pesticides containing heavy metals, and the use and experimentation of biological controls;
- In addition, ad hoc panels of experts should be convened, by the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, the World Health Organization and, where appropriate, the International Atomic Energy Agency, in order to study specific problems, and facilitate the work of the above-mentioned committees.
It is recommended that the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, under its "War on Waste" programme, place increased emphasis on control and recycling of wastes in agriculture:
- This programme should assist the national activities relating to:
- Control and recycling of crop residues and animal wastes;
- Control and recycling of agro-industrial waste;
- Use of municipal wastes as fertilizers;
- The programme should also include measures to avoid wasteful use of natural resources through the destruction of unmarketable agricultural products or their use for improper purposes.
It is recommended that Governments, in cooperation with the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations and other agencies and bodies, establish and strengthen regional and international machinery for the rapid development and management of domesticated livestock of economic importance and their related environmental aspects as part of the ecosystems, particularly in areas of low annual productivity, and thus encourage the establishment of regional livestock research facilities, councils and commissions, as appropriate.
It is recommended that the Secretary-General take steps to ensure that the United Nations bodies concerned cooperate to meet the needs for new knowledge on the environmental aspects of forests and forest management:
- Where appropriate, research should be promoted, assisted, coordinated, or undertaken b the Man and the Biosphere Programme (UNESCO), in close cooperation with the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations and the World Meteorological Organization, and with the collaboration of the International Council of Scientific Unions and the International Union of Forestry Research Organizations;
- Research on comparative legislation, land tenure, institutions, tropical forest management, the effects of the international trade in forest products on national forest environments, and public administration, should be sponsored or coordinated by FAO, in cooperation with other appropriate international and regional organizations;
- The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, in conjunction with the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization and other appropriate international organizations, should give positive advice to member countries on the important role of forests with reference to, and in conjunction with, the conservation of soil, watersheds, and the protection of tourist sites and wildlife, and recreation, within the over-all framework of the interests of the biosphere.
It is recommended that the Secretary-General take steps to ensure that continuing surveillance, with the cooperation of Member States, of the world's forest cover shall be provided for through the programmes of the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations and the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization.
- Such a World Forest Appraisal Programme would provide basic data, including data on the balance between the world's forest biomass and the prevailing environment, and changes in the forest biomass, considered to have a significant impact on the environment;
- The information could be collected from existing inventories and on-going activities and through remote sensing techniques;
- The forest protection programme described above might be incorporated within this effort, through the use of advanced technology, such as satellites which use different types of imagery and which could constantly survey all forests.
It is recommended that the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations coordinate an international programme for research and exchange of information on forest fires, pests and diseases:
- The programme should include data collection and dissemination, identification of potentially susceptible areas and of means of suppression; exchange of information on technologies, equipment and techniques; research, including integrated pest control and the influence of fires on forest ecosystems, to be undertaken by the International Union of Forestry Research Organizations; establishment of a forecasting system in cooperation with the World Meteorological Organization; organization of seminars and study tours; the facilitation of bilateral agreements for forest protection between neighboring countries, and the development of effective international quarantines;
- Forest fires, pests and diseases will frequently each require separate individual treatment.
It is recommended that the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations facilitate the transfer of information on forests and forest management:
- The amount of knowledge that can usefully be exchanged is limited by the differences of climatic zones and forest types;
- The exchange of information should, however, be encouraged among nations sharing similarities; considerable knowledge is already exchanged among, the industrialized nations of the temperate zone;
- Opportunities exist, despite differences, for the useful transfer of information to developing countries on the environmental aspects of such items as:
- The harvesting and industrialization of some tropical hardwoods;
- Pine cultures;
- The principles of forest management systems and management science;
- Soils and soil interpretations relating to forest management;
- Water regimes and watershed management;
- Forest industries pollution controls, including both technical and economic data;
- Methods for the evaluation of forest resources through sampling techniques, remote sensing, and data processing;
- Control of destructive fires and pest outbreaks; and
- Coordination in the area of the definition and standardization of criteria and methods for the economic appraisal of forest environmental influences and for the comparison of alternative uses.
It is recommended that the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations strengthen its efforts in support of forestry projects and research projects, possibly for production, in finding species, which are adaptable even in areas where this is exceptionally difficult because of ecological conditions.
It is recommended that the Secretary-General ensure that the effect of pollutants upon wildlife shall be considered, where appropriate, within environmental monitoring systems. Particular attention should be paid to those species of wildlife that may serve as indicators for future wide environmental disturbances, and an ultimate impact upon human populations.
It is recommended that the Secretary-General ensure the establishment of a programme to expand present data-gathering processes so as to assess the total economic value of wildlife resources.
- Such data would facilitate the task of monitoring the current situation of animals endangered by their trade value, and demonstrate to questioning nations the value of their resources;
- Such a programme should elaborate upon current efforts of the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations and insight well produce a yearbook of wildlife2] statistics.
It is recommended that the Secretary-General ensure that the appropriate United Nations agencies cooperate with the Governments of the developing countries to develop special short-term training courses on wildlife2] management:
- Priority should be given to conversion courses for personnel trained in related disciplines such as forestry or animal husbandry;
- Special attention should be given to the establishment and support of regional training schools for technicians.
It is recommended that Governments give attention to the need to enact international conventions and treaties to protect species inhabiting international waters or those, which migrate from one country to another:
- A broadly based convention should be considered which would provide a framework by which criteria for some regulations could be agreed upon and the overexploitation of resources curtailed by signatory countries;
- A working group should be set up as soon as Possible by the appropriate authorities to consider these problems and to advise on the need for, and possible scope of, such conventions or treaties.
It is recommended that Governments agree to strengthen the International Whaling Commission, to increase international research efforts, and as a matter of urgency to call for an international agreement, under the auspices of the International Whaling Commission and involving all Governments concerned, for a 10-year moratorium on commercial whaling.
It is recommended that Governments and the Secretary General give special attention to training requirements in the management of parks and protected areas:
- High-level training should be provided and supported:
- In addition to integration- aspects of national parks planning and management into courses on forestry and other subjects, special degrees should be offered in park management; the traditional forestry, soil and geology background of the park manager must be broadened into an integrated approach;
- Graduate courses in natural resources administration should be made available in at least one major university in every continent;
- Schools offering courses in national park management at a medium-grade level should be assisted by the establishment or expansion of facilities, particularly in Latin America and Asia.
It is recommended that the Secretary-General take steps to ensure that an appropriate mechanism shall exist for the exchange of information on national parks legislation and planning and management techniques developed in some countries, which could serve as guidelines to be made available to any interested country.
It is recommended that the Secretary-General take steps to ensure that the appropriate United Nations agencies shall assist the developing countries to plan for the inflow of visitors into their protected areas in such a way as to reconcile revenue and environmental considerations within the context of the recommendations approved by the Conference. The other international organizations concerned may likewise make their contribution.
It is recommended that Governments take steps to coordinate, and cooperate in the management of, neighboring or contiguous protected areas. Agreement should be reached on such aspects as mutual legislation, patrolling systems, exchange of information, research project, collaboration on measures of burning, plant and animal control, fishery regulations, censuses, tourist circuits and frontier formalities.
It is recommended that Governments take steps to set aside areas representing ecosystems of international significance for protection under international agreement.
It is recommended that Governments, in cooperation with the Secretary-General of the United Nations and the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations where indicated, agree to an international programme to preserve the world's genetic resources:
- Active participation at the national and international levels is involved. It must be recognized, however, that while survey, collection, and dissemination of these genetic resources are best carried out on a regional or international basis, their actual evaluation and utilization are matters for specific institutions and individual workers; international participation in the latter should concern exchange of techniques and findings;
- An international network is required with appropriate machinery to facilitate the interchange of information and genetic material among countries;
- Both static (seed banks, culture collection etc.) and dynamic (conservation of populations in evolving natural environments) ways are needed.
- Action is necessary in six interrelated areas:
- Survey of genetic resources;
- Inventory of collections;
- Exploration and collecting;
- Evaluation and utilization;
- Conservation, which represents the crucial element to which all other programmes relate;
- Although the international programme relates to all types of genetic resources, the action required for each resource will vary according to existing needs and activities.
It is recommended that Governments, in cooperation with the Secretary-General of the United Nations and the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations where indicated, make inventories of the genetic resources most endangered by depletion or extinction:
- All species threatened by man's development should be included in such inventories;
- Special attention should be given to locating in this field those areas of natural genetic diversity that are disappearing;
- These inventories should be reviewed periodically and brought up to date by appropriate monitoring;
- The survey conducted by FAO in collaboration with the International Biological Programme is designed to provide information on endangered crop genetic resources by 1972, but will require extension and follow-up.
It is recommended that Governments, in cooperation with the Secretary-General of the United Nations and the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations where indicated, compile or extend, as necessary, registers of existing collections of genetic resources:
- Such registers should identify which breeding and experiment stations, research institutions and Universities maintain which collections;
- Major gaps in existing collections should be identified where material is in danger of being lost;
- These inventories of collections should be transformed for computer handling and made available to all potential users;
- In respect of plants:
- It would be expected that the "advanced varieties" would be well represented, but that primitive materials would be found to be scarce and require subsequent action;
- The action already initiated by FAO, several national institutions, and international foundations should be supported and expanded.
- In respect of micro-organisms, it is recommended that each nation develop comprehensive inventories of culture collections:
- A cataloguing of the large and small collections and the value of their holdings is required, rather than a listing of individual strains;
- Many very small but unique collections, sometimes the works of a single specialist, are lost;
- Governments should make sure that valuable gene pools held by individuals or small institutes are also held in national or regional collections.
- In respect of animal germ plasm, it is recommended that FAO establish a continuing mechanism to assess and maintain catalogues of the characteristics of domestic animal breeds, types and varieties in all nations of the world. Likewise, FAO should establish such lists where required.
- In respect of aquatic organisms, it is recommended that FAO compile a catalogue of genetic resources of cultivated species and promote intensive studies on the methods of preservation and storage of genetic material.
It is recommended that Governments, in cooperation with the Secretary-General of the United Nations and the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations where indicated, initiate immediately, in cooperation with all interested parties, programmes of exploration and collection wherever endangered species have been identified which are not included in existing collections:
- An emergency programme, with the cooperation of the Man and the Biosphere Programme, of plant exploration and collection should be launched on the basis of the FAO List of Emergency Situations for a five-year period;
- With regard to forestry species, in addition to the efforts of the Danish/FAO Forest Tree Seed Center, the International Union of Forestry Research Organizations, and the FAO Panel of Experts on Forest Gene Resources, support is needed for missions planned for Latin America West Africa, the East Indies and India.
It is recommended that Governments, in cooperation with the Secretary-General of the United Nations and the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations where indicated:
1. Recognize that conservation is a most crucial part of any genetic resources programme.
Moreover, major types of genetic resources must be treated separately because:
- They are each subject to different programmes and priorities;
- They serve different uses and purposes;
- They require different expertise, techniques and facilities;
2. In respect of plant germ plasms (agriculture and forestry), organize and equip national or regional genetic resources conservation centers:
- Such centers as the National Seed Storage Laboratory in the United States of America and the Vavilov Institute of Plant Industry in the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics already provide good examples;
- Working collections should be established separately from the basic collections; these will usually be located at plant and breeding stations and will be widely distributed;
- Three classes of genetic crop resources must be conserved:
- High-producing varieties in current use and those they have superseded;
- Primitive varieties of traditional prescient if agriculture (recognized as genetic treasuries for plan improvement);
- Mutations induced by radiation or chemical means;
- Species contributing to environmental improvement, such as sedge used to stabilize sand dunes, should be conserved;
- Wild or weed relatives of crop species and those wild species of actual or potential use rangelands, industry, new crops etc. should be included;
3. In respect of plant germ plasms (agriculture and forestry), maintain gene pools of wild-plant species within their natural communities. Therefore:
- It is essential that primeval forests, bush lands and grasslands which contain important forest genetic resources be identified and protected by appropriate technical and legal means; systems of reserves exist in most countries, but a strengthening of international understanding on methods of protection and on availability of material may be desired;
- Conservation of species of medical, aesthetic or research value should be assured;
- The network of biological reserves proposed by UNESCO (Man and the Biosphere Programme) should be designed, where feasible, to protect these natural communities;
- Where protection in nature becomes uncertain or impossible, then means such as seed storage or living collections in provenance trials or botanic gardens must be adopted;
4. Fully implement the programmes initiated by the FAO Panels of Experts on forest gene resources in 1968 and on plant exploration and introduction in 1970;
5. In respect of animal germ plasms, consider the desirability and feasibility of international action to preserve breeds or varieties of animals:
- Because such an endeavor would constitute a major effort beyond the scope of any one nation, FAO would be the logical executor of such a project. Close cooperation with Governments would be necessary, however. The International Union for Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources might, logically, be given responsibility for wild species, in cooperation with FAO, the Man and the Biosphere Programme (UNESCO), and Governments;
- Any such effort should also include research on methods of preserving, storing, and transporting germ plasm;
- Specific methods for the maintenance of gene pools of aquatic species should be developed;
- The recommendations of the FAO Working Party Meeting on Genetic Selection and Conservation of Genetic Resources of Fish, held in 1971, should be implemented;
6. In respect of microorganism germ plasms, cooperatively establish and properly fund a few large regional collections:
- Full use should be made of major collections now in existence;
- In order to provide geographical distribution and access to the developing nations, regional centres should be established in Africa, Asia and Latin America and the existing centres in the developed world should be strengthened;
7. Establish conservation centres of insect germ plasm. The very difficult and long process of selecting or breeding insects conducive to biological control programmes can begin only in this manner.
It is recommended that Governments, in cooperation with the Secretary-General of the United Nations and the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations where indicated, recognize that evaluation and utilization are critical corollaries to the conservation of genetic resources. In respect of crop-breeding programmes, it is recommended that Governments give special emphasis to:
- The quality of varieties and breeds and the potential for increased yields;
- The ecological conditions to which the species are adapted;
- The resistance to diseases, pests and other adverse factors;
- The need for a multiplicity of efforts so as to increase the chances of success.
It is recommended that Governments, in cooperation with the Secretary-General of the United Nations and the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations where indicated:
1. Collaborate to establish a global network of national and regional institutes relating to genetic resource conservation based on agreements on the availability of material and information, on methods, on technical standards, and on the need for technical and financial assistance wherever required:
- Facilities should be designed to assure the use of the materials and information:
- By breeders, to develop varieties and breeds both giving higher yields and having higher resistance to local pests and diseases and other adverse factors; and
- by users providing facilities and advice for the safest and most profitable utilization of varieties and breeds most adapted to local conditions;
- Standardized storage and retrieval facilities for the exchange of information and genetic material should be developed:
- Information should be made generally available and its exchange facilitated through agreement on
- Methods and technical standards;
- International standards and regulations for the shipment of materials should be agreed upon; Basic collections and data banks should be replicated in at least two distinct sites, and should remain a national responsibility;
- A standardized and computerized system of documentation is required;
- Technical and financial assistance should be provided where required; areas of genetic diversity are most frequently located in those countries most poorly equipped to institute the necessary programmes;
2. Recognize that the need for liaison among the parties participating in the global system of genetic resources conservation requires certain institutional innovations. To this end:
- It is recommended that the appropriate United Nations agency establish an international liaison unit for plant genetic resources in order:
- To improve liaison between governmental and non-governmental efforts;
- To assist in the liaison and cooperation between national and regional centres, with special emphasis on international agreements on methodology and standards of conservation of genetic material, standardization and coordination of computerized record systems, and the exchange of information and material between such centres;
- To assist in implementing training courses in exploration, conservation and breeding methods and techniques;
- To act as a central repository for copies of computerized information on gene pools (discs and tapes);
- To provide the secretariat for periodic meetings of international panels and seminars on the subject; a conference on germ plasm conservation might be convened to follow up the successful conference of 1967;
- To plan and coordinate the five-year emergency programme on the conservation of endangered species;
- To assist Governments further, wherever require d, in implementing their national programmes;
- To promote the evaluation and utilization of genetic resources at the national and international levels;
- It is recommended that the appropriate United Nations agency initiate the required programme on
- Such cooperation would apply to all genetic micro-organism germ plasm resource conservation centres and to all types mentioned
- Periodic international conferences involving those in the foregoing recommendations; concerned with the maintenance of and research on gene pools of micro-organisms should be supported;
- Such a programme might interact with the proposed regional culture centres by assuring that each centre places high priority on the training of scientists and technicians from the developing nations; acting as a necessary liaison; and tending financial assistance to those countries established outside the developed countries;
- The international exchange e of pure collections of microorganisms between the major collections of the world has operated for many years and requires little re-enforcement;
- Study should be conducted particularly on waste disposal and recycling, controlling diseases and pests, and food technology and nutrition;
- It is recommended that the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations institutes programme in respect of animal germ plasm to assess and maintain catalogues of the economic characteristics of domestic animal breeds and types and of wild species and to establish gene pools of potentially useful types;
- It is recommended that the Man and the Biosphere project on the conservation of natural areas and the genetic material contained therein should be adequate supported.
It is recommended that Governments, and the Secretary General in cooperation with the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations and other United Nations organizations concerned, as well as development assistance agencies, take steps to support recent guidelines, recommendations and programmes of the various international fishing organizations. A large part of the needed international action has been identified with action programmes initiated by FAO and its intergovernmental Committee on Fisheries and approximately 24 other bilateral and multilateral international commissions, councils and committees. In particular these organizations are planning and undertaking:
- Cooperative programmes such as that of LEPOR (Long-Term and Expanded Programme of Oceanic Research), GIPME (Global Investigation of Pollution in the Marine Environment) and IBP (International Biological Programme);
- Exchange of data, supplementing and explaining the services maintained by FAO and bodies within its framework in compiling, disseminating and co-coordinating information on living aquatic resources and their environment and fisheries activities;
- Evaluation and monitoring of world fishery resources, environmental conditions, stock assessment, including statistics on catch and effort, and the economics of fisheries;
- Assistance to Governments in interpreting the implications of such assessments, identifying alternative management measures, and formulating required actions;
- Special programmes and recommendations for management of stocks of fish and other aquatic animals proposed by the existing international fishery bodies. Damage to fish stocks has often occurred because regulatory action is taken too slowly. In the past, the need for management action to be nearly unanimous has reduced action to the minimum acceptable level.
It is recommended that Governments, and the Secretary General of the United Nations in cooperation with the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations an other United Nations organizations concerned, as well as development assistance agencies, take steps to ensure close participation of fishery agencies and interests in the preparations for the United Nations Conference on the Law of the Sea. In order to safeguard the marine environment and its resources through the development of effective and workable principles and laws, the information and insight of international and regional fishery bodies, as well as the national fishery agencies are essential.
It is recommended that Governments, and the Secretary General in cooperation with the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations and other United Nations organizations concerned, as well as development assistance agencies, take steps to ensure international cooperation in the research, control and regulation of the side effects of national activities in resource utilization where these affect the aquatic resources of other nations:
- Estuaries, inter tidal marshes, and other near-shore and in-shore environments play a crucial role in the maintenance of several marine fish stocks. Similar problems exist in those fresh-water fisheries that occur in shared waters;
- Discharge of toxic chemicals, heavy metals, and other wastes may affect even high-seas resources;
- Certain exotic species, notably the carp, lamprey and alewife, have invaded international waters with deleterious effects as a result of unregulated unilateral action.
It is recommended that Governments, and the Secretary General of the United Nations in cooperation with the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations and other United Nations organizations concerned, as well as development assistance agencies, take steps to develop further and strengthen facilities for collecting, analysing and disseminating data on living aquatic resources and the environment in which they live:
- Data already exist concerning the total harvest from the oceans and from certain regions in respect of individual fish stocks, their quantity, and the fishing efforts expended on them, and in respect of their population structure, distribution and changes. This coverage needs to be improved and extended;
- It is clear that a much greater range of biological parameters must be monitored and analysed in order to 'provide an adequate basis for evaluating the interaction of stocks and managing the combined resources of many stocks. There is no institutional constraint on this expansion but a substantial increase in funding is needed by FAO and other international organizations concerned to meet this expanding need for data;
- Full utilization of present and expanded data facilities is dependent on the cooperation of Governments in developing local and regional data networks, making existing data available to FAO and to the international bodies, and formalizing the links between national and international agencies responsible for monitoring and evaluating fishery resources.
It is recommended that Governments, and the Secretary General of the United Nations in cooperation with the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations and other United Nations organizations concerned, as well as development assistance agencies, take steps to ensure full cooperation among Governments by strengthening the existing international and regional machinery for development and management of fisheries and their related environmental aspects and, in those regions where these do not exist, to encourage the establishment of fishery councils and commissions as appropriate.
- The operational efficiency of these bodies will depend largely on the ability of the participating countries to carry out their share of the activities and programmes;
- Technical support and servicing from the specialized agencies, in particular from FAO, is also required;
- The assistance of bilateral and international funding agencies will be needed to ensure the full participation of the developing countries in these activities.
It is recommended that Governments concerned consider the creation of river-basin commissions or other appropriate machinery for cooperation between interested States for water resources common to more than one jurisdiction.
- In accordance with the Charter of the United Nations and the principles of international law, full consideration must be given to the right of permanent sovereignty of each country concerned to develop its own resources;
- The following principles should be considered by the States concerned when appropriate:
- Nations agree that when major water resource activities are contemplated that may have a significant environmental effect on another country, the other country should be notified well in advance of the activity envisaged;
- The basic objective of all water resource use and development activities from the environmental point of view is to ensure the best use of water and to avoid its pollution in each country;
- The net benefits of hydrologic regions common to more than one national jurisdiction are to be shared equitably by the nations affected;
- Such arrangements, when deemed appropriate by the States concerned, will permit undertaking on a regional basis:
- Collection, analysis, and exchanges of hydrologic data through some international mechanism agreed upon by the States concerned;
- Joint data-collection programmes to serve planning needs;
- Assessment of environmental effects of existing water uses;
- Joint study of the causes and symptoms of problems related to water resources, taking into account the technical, economic, and social considerations of water quality control;
- Rational use, including a programme of quality control, of the water resource as an environmental asset;
- Provision for the judicial and administrative protection of water rights and claims;
- Prevention and settlement of disputes with reference to the management and conservation of water resources;
- Financial and technical cooperation of a shared resource;
- Regional conferences should be organized to promote the above considerations.
It is recommended that the Secretary-General take steps to ensure that appropriate United Nations bodies support government action with regard to water resources where required:
1. Reference is made to the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, the World Health Organization, the World Meteorological Organization, the Department of Economic and Social Affairs of the United Nations Secretariat (Resources and Transport Division), the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization/International Hydrological Decade, the regional economic commissions and the United Nations Economic and Social Office in Beirut. For example:
- The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations has established a Commission on Land and Water Use for the Middle East, which promotes regional cooperation in research, training and information, inter alia on water management problems;
- The World Health Organization has available the International Reference Center for Waste Disposal located at Dabendorf, Switzerland, and International Reference Centre on Community Water Supply in the Netherlands;
- The World Meteorological Organization has a Commission on Hydrology which provides guidance on data collection and on the establishment of hydrological networks;
- The Resources and Transport Division of the Department of Economic and Social Affairs, United Nations Secretariat, has the United Nations Water Resources, Development Centre;
- The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization is sponsoring the International Hydrological Decade programme of coordinated research on the quality and quantity of world water resources.
2. Similar specialized centres should be established at the regional level in developing countries for training research and information exchange on:
- Inland water pollution and waste disposal ill cooperation with the World Health Organization, the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, the United Nations regional economic commissions and the United Nations Economic and Social Office in Beirut;
- Water management for rain-fed and irrigated agriculture, by the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations in cooperation with the regional economic commissions and the United Nations Economic and Social Office in Beirut;
- Integrated water resources planning and management in cooperation with the Department of Economic and Social Affairs of the United Nations Secretariat (Resources and Transport Division), the regional economic commissions, and the United Nations Economic and Social Office in Beirut.
It is recommended that the Secretary-General take steps to ensure that the United Nations system is prepared to provide technical and financial assistance to Governments when requested in the different functions of water resources management:
- Surveys and inventories;
- Water resources administration and policies, including:
- The establishment of institutional frameworks;
- Economic structures of water resources Management and development;
- Water resources law and legislation;
- Planning and management techniques, including:
- The assignment of water quality standards;
- The implementation of appropriate technology;
- More efficient use and re-use of limited water supplies;
- Basic and applied studies and research;
- Transfer of existing knowledge;
- Continuing support of the programme of the International Hydrological Decade.
It is recommended that the Secretary-General take steps to establish a roster of experts who would be available to assist Governments, upon request, to anticipate and evaluate the environmental effects of major water development projects. Governments would have the opportunity of consulting teams of experts drawn from this roster, in the first stages of project planning. Guidelines could be prepared to assist in the review and choices of alternatives.
It is recommended that the Secretary-General take steps to conduct an exploratory programme to assess the actual and potential environmental effects of water management upon the oceans, define terms and estimate the costs for a comprehensive programme of action, and establish and maintain as far as possible:
- A world registry of major or otherwise important rivers arranged regionally and classified according to their discharge of water and pollutants;
- A world registry of clean rivers which would be defined in accordance with internationally agreed quality criteria and to which nations would contribute on a voluntary basis:
- The oceans are the ultimate recipients for the natural and man-made wastes discharged into the river systems of the continents;
- Changes in the amount of river-flow into the oceans, as well as in its distribution in space and time, may considerably affect the physical, chemical and biological r6gime of the estuary regions and influence the oceanic water systems;
- It would be desirable for nations to declare their intention to have admitted to the world registry of clean rivers those rivers within their - jurisdiction that meet the equality criteria as defined and to declare their further intention to ensure that certain other rivers shall meet those quality criteria by some target date.
It is recommendations that the Secretary-General provide the appropriate vehicle for the exchange of information on mining and mineral processing.
- Improved accessibility and dissemination of existing information is required; the body of literature and experience is already larger than one would think.
- Possibilities include the accumulation of information on:
- the environmental conditions of mine sites;
- the action taken in respect of the environment; and
- the positive and negative environmental repercussions.
- Such a body of information could be used for prediction. Criteria for the planning and management of mineral production would emerge and would indicate where certain kinds of mining should be limited, where reclamation costs would be particularly high, or where other problems would arise.
- The appropriate United Nations bodies should make efforts to assist the developing countries by, inter alia, providing adequate information for each country on the technology for preventing present or future environmentally adverse effects of mining and the adverse health and safety effects associated with the mineral industry and by accepting technical trainees and sending experts.
It is recommended that the Secretary-General take steps to ensure proper collection, measurement and analysis of data relating to the environmental effects of energy use and production within appropriate monitoring systems.
- The design and operation of such networks should include, in particular, monitoring the environmental levels resulting from emission of carbon dioxide, sulphur dioxide, oxidants, nitrogen oxides (NO.), heat and particulates, as well as those from releases of oil and radioactivity;
- In each case the objective is to learn more about the relationships between such levels and the effects on weather, human health, plant and animal life, and amenity values.
It is recommended that the Secretary-General take steps to give special attention to providing a mechanism for the exchange of information on energy:
- The rationalization and integration of resource management for energy will clearly require a solid understanding of the complexity of the problem and of the multiplicity of alternative solutions;
- Access to the large body of existing information should be facilitated:
- Data on the environmental consequences of different energy systems should be provided through an exchange of national experiences, studies, seminars, and other appropriate meetings;
- A continually updated register of research involving both entire systems and each of its stages should be maintained.
It is recommended that the Secretary-General take steps to ensure that a comprehensive study be promptly undertaken with the aim of submitting a first report, at the latest in 1975, on available energy sources, new technology, and consumption trends, in order to assist in providing a basis for the most effective development of the world's energy resources, with due regard to the environmental effects of energy production and use: such a study to be carried out in collaboration with appropriate international bodies such as the International Atomic Energy Agency and the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development.
It is recommended that the Secretary-General, in cooperation with Governments concerned and the appropriate international agencies, arrange for systematic audits of natural resource development projects in representative ecosystems of international significance to be undertaken jointly with the Governments concerned after, and where feasible before, the implementation of such projects3].
It is recommended that the Secretary-General, in cooperation with Governments concerned and the appropriate international agencies, provide that pilot studies be conducted in representative ecosystems of international significance to assess the environmental impact of alternative approaches to the survey, planning and development of resource projects.
It is recommended that the Secretary-General, in cooperation with Governments concerned and the appropriate international agencies, provide that studies be conducted to find out the connection between the distribution of natural resources and people's welfare and the reasons for possible discrepancies.
It is recommended that the Secretary-General take steps to ensure that international development assistance agencies, in cooperation with recipient Governments, intensify efforts to revise and broaden the criteria of development project analysis to incorporate environmental impact considerations.
It is recommended that the Secretary-General take steps to ensure that the United Nations agencies concerned undertake studies on the relative costs and benefits of synthetic versus natural products serving identical uses.
It is recommended that the Man and the Biosphere Programme be vigorously pursued by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization in cooperation with other United Nations organizations and other international scientific organizations.
It is recommended that the World Meteorological Organization initiate or intensify studies on the interrelationships of resource development and meteorology.
It is recommended that the Secretary-General, in cooperation with interested Governments and United Nations specialized agencies, take the necessary steps to encourage the further development of remote-sensing techniques for resources surveys and the utilization of these techniques on the basis of proper international arrangements.
It is recommended that the Secretary-General, in cooperation with the appropriate agencies of the United Nations and other international organizations, promote jointly with interested Governments the development of methods for the integrated planning and management of natural resources, and provide, when requested, advice to Governments on such methods, in accordance with the particular environmental circumstances of each country.
It is recommended that the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations expand its present programme on the stabilization of marginal lands.