Development and Environment
It is recommended that the appropriate regional organizations give full consideration to the following steps:
- Preparing short-term and long-term plans at regional, sub regional and sectoral levels for the study and identification of the major environmental problems faced by the countries of the region concerned as well as the special problems of the least developed countries of the region and of countries with coastlines and inland lakes and rivers exposed to the risk of marine and other forms of pollution;
- Evaluating the administrative, technical and legal solutions to various environmental problems in terms of both preventive and remedial measures, taking into account possible alternative and/or multidisciplinary approaches to development;
- Preparation, within the framework of international agreements, of legislative measures designed to protect marine (and fresh-water) fisheries resources within the limits of their national jurisdiction;
- Increasing and facilitating, in the context of development and as proposed in the World Plan of Action for the Application of Science and Technology to Development, the acquisition and distribution of information and experience to member countries through global and regional cooperation, with particular emphasis on an international information referral network approach and on a regular exchange of information and observation among the regional organizations;
- Establishing facilities for the exchange of information and experience between less industrialized countries which, although situated in different regions similar problems as a result of common physical climatic and other factors;
- Encouraging the training of personnel in the techniques of incorporating environmental considerations into developmental planning, and of identifying and analysing the economic and social cost-benefit relationships of alternative approaches;
- Establishing criteria, concepts and a terminology of the human environment through interdisciplinary efforts;
- Establishing and disseminating information on the significant environmental problems of each region and the nature and result of steps taken to cope with them;
- Providing and coordinating technical assistance activities directed towards establishing systems of environmental research, information and analysis at the national level;
- Assisting developing countries, in cooperation with appropriate international agencies, in promoting elementary education, with emphasis on hygiene, and in developing and applying suitable methods for improving health, housing, sanitation and water supply, and controlling soil erosion. Emphasis should be placed on techniques promoting the use of local labour and utilizing local materials and local expertise in environmental management;
- Encouraging the appropriate agencies and bodies within the United Nations to assist the developing countries, at their request, in establishing national science, technology and research policies to enable the developing countries to acquire the capacity to identify and combat environmental problems in the early planning and development stages. In this respect, special priority should be accorded to the type of research, technology and science which would help developing countries speed up, without adverse environment effects, the exploration, exploitation, processing and marketing of their natural resources.
It is recommended that Governments take the necessary steps to ensure:
- That all States participating in the Conference agree not to invoke environmental concerns as a pretext for discriminatory trade policies or for reduced access to markets and recognize further that the burdens of the environmental policies of the industrialized countries should not be transferred, either directly or indirectly, to the developing countries. As a general rule, no country should solve or disregard its environmental problems at the expense of other countries;
- That where environmental concerns lead to restrictions on trade, or to stricter environmental standards with negative effects on exports, particularly from developing countries, appropriate measures for compensation should be worked out within the framework of existing contractual and institutional arrangements and any new such arrangements that can be worked out in the future;
- That the General Agreement of Tariffs and Trade, among other international organizations, could be used for the examination of the problems, specifically through the recently established Group on Environmental Measures and International Trade and through its general procedures for bilateral and multilateral adjustment of differences;
- That whenever possible (that is, in cases which do not require immediate discontinuation of imports) , countries should inform their trading partners in advance about the intended action in order that there might be an opportunity to consult within the GATT Group on Environment Measures and International Trade, among other international organizations. Assistance in meeting the consequences of stricter environmental standards ought to be given in the form of financial or technical assistance for research with a view to removing the obstacles that the products of developing countries have encountered;
- That all countries agree that uniform environmental standards should not be expected to be applied universally by all countries with respect to given industrial processes or products except in those cases where environmental disruption may constitute a concern to other countries. In addition, in order to avoid an impairment of the access of the developing countries to the markets of the industrialized countries because of differential product standards, Governments should aim at worldwide harmonization of such standards. Environmental standards should be established, at whatever levels are necessary, to safeguard the environment, and should not be directed towards gaining trade advantages;
- That the Governments and the competent international organizations keep a close watch on medium and long-term trends in international trade and take measures with a view to promoting:
- The exchange of environmental protection technologies;
- International trade in natural products and commodities, which compete with synthetic products that have a greater capacity for pollution.
It is recommended that the Secretary-General ensure:
- That appropriate steps shall be taken by the existing United Nations organizations to identify the major threats to exports, particularly those of developing countries that arise from environmental concerns, their character and severity, and the remedial action that may be envisaged;
- That the United Nations system, in cooperation with other governmental and non-governmental agencies working in this field, should assist Governments to develop mutually acceptable common international environmental standards on products which are considered by Governments to be of significance in foreign trade. Testing and certification procedures designed to ensure that the products conform to these standards should be such as to avoid arbitrary and discriminatory actions that might affect the trade of developing countries.
It is recommended that the General Agreement of Tariffs and Trade, the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development and other international bodies as appropriate, should, within their respective fields of competence, consider undertaking to monitor, assess, and regularly report the emergence of tariff and non tariff barriers to trade as a result of environmental policies.
It is recommended:
- That the Secretary-General, in cooperation with other international bodies as appropriate, should examine the extent to which the problems of pollution could be ameliorated by a reduction in the current levels of production and in the future rate of growth of the production of synthetic products and substitutes which, in their natural form, could be produced by developing countries; and make recommendations for national and international action;
- That Governments of the developing countries consider fully the new opportunities that may be offered to them to establish industries and/or expand existing industries in which they may have comparative advantages because of environmental considerations, and that special care be taken to apply the appropriate international standards on environment in order to avoid the creation of pollution problems in developing countries;
- That the Secretary-General, in consultation with appropriate international agencies, undertake a full review of the practical implications of environmental concerns in relation to distribution of future industrial capacity and, in particular, to ways in which the developing countries may be assisted to take advantage of opportunities and to minimize risks in this area.
It is recommended that the Secretary-General, in collaboration with appropriate international agencies, ensure that a study be conducted of appropriate mechanisms for financing international environmental action, taking into account General Assembly resolution 2849 (XXVI).
It is being recognized that it is in the interest of mankind that the technologies for protecting and improving the environment be employed universally, it is recommended that the Secretary-General be asked to undertake studies, in consultation with Governments and appropriate international agencies, to find means by which environmental technologies may be made available for adoption by developing countries under terms and conditions that encourage their wide distribution without constituting an unacceptable burden to developing countries.
It is recommended that the Secretary-General, in collaboration with appropriate international agencies, take steps to ensure that the environmental considerations of an international nature related to the foregoing recommendations be integrated into the review and appraisal of the International Development Strategy for the Second Development Decade in such a way that the flow of international aid to developing countries is not hampered. Recommendations for national action, proposed by the Secretary-General of the Conference, shall be referred@ to Governments for their consideration and, when deemed appropriate, should be taken into account in the review and appraisal process during the consideration of matters for national action as included in the International Development Strategy. It should further be ensured that the preoccupation of developed countries with their own environmental problems should not affect the flow of assistance to developing countries, and that this flow should be adequate to meet the additional environmental requirements of such countries.