Working Group III: Mitigation

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Concerning capacity building, the conventions and instruments emphasize the dimension of human resource development as a basic condition for addressing the crucial questions related to the evaluation and implementation of policy options. Here, the potential for synergies is considerable since different instruments focus on enhancing the cross-transfer of professional skills to bridge the gap between academic specialization and the job functions of professionals involved in multidisciplinary issues. A variety of complementary and overlapping areas exists in seminars, courses, and workshops on planning tools and methods, policy analysis, and shared fields, reflecting the training needs under each convention.

Data collection and management, analysis and processing of the information, and dissemination are the core of the conventions and instruments. This requires information systems to be set up so that information can be transposed into proper database structures to enable its archiving, retrieval, expansion, and application. Even though each convention addresses a specific set of problems, considerable overlap exists in the data requirements. Information on land uses, forestry, agriculture, infrastructure, and population, among other areas, is common data needed across the instruments. Taking advantage of synergy in information systems avoids redundancy and dispersion in data collection and management, especially in developing countries where the technical competence and expenditure required are beyond the capacity of local agencies.

At the international level the institutions responsible for the various instruments can also support synergy at the national level by co-ordinating among themselves and helping to ensure that participant countries are not burdened by conflicting directives or timing in reporting requirements (UNDP, 1997). Moreover, the scope for linkages among international bodies of scientific expertise, established under different conventions, is evident.

Table 10.4: Overlapping requirements of the Parties to the Rio agreements (UNDP, 1997)
  Climate change Biological diversity Desertification Forestry principles
National inventories Article 4(b)     Principle 12(a)
National and regional action plans Article 4(b) “Strategies”
Articles 6(a), 6(b)
Articles 9, 10 Principles 3(a), 5(a), 6(b), 8(d), 8(h), 9(c)
Article 4(b) and Intergovernmental Panel on Forests (IPF) Proposals for Action
Legislation Preamble Article 8(k) Article 5(e) Principles 8(f), 13(d)
Research Article 5 Article 12(b) Articles 17, 19(b) Principle 12(a)
Public education Article 6 Article 13 Articles 5(d), 19 Principle 12(d)
Environmental impact Assessment Article 4(i), 4(d) Article 14   Principle 8(h)
Public participation Article 6(i)(a)(iii) Article 9 Article 19(4) Principle 2(d)
Exchange information Article 7 Article 17 Article 16 Principles 2(c), 11, 12(c)
Training Article 6 Article 12(a) Article 19 Principles 3(a), 11, 12(b)
Reports Article 12 Article 26    
Examine obligations; assess implementation Article 7(e) Article 23   Principle 12(a)
Report steps to Conference of the Parties (CoP) Article 12 Article 26 Article 26  

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