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    Round-up Press Release No: UNIS/ENV/85
    Release Date: 28 August 2000
    Committee on Energy and Natural Resources for Development
    Concludes Second Session
     

      NEW YORK, 25 August (UN Headquarters) -- The Committee on Energy and Natural Resources for Development decided to draw the attention of the Economic and Social Council to the fact that rural water supply and rural sanitation remained a subject of major concern, by the terms of a draft decision approved this morning as the 24-member expert body concluded its second session.

     By other terms of the text, one of several approved this morning, the Committee decided to draw the Council’s attention to the quality of rural water supply in some parts of the world as a major issue of concern, and call for protection of water sources and watersheds for ensuring water quality.

     The Committee also approved a draft decision on priorities for action and assessment in water and related areas of Agenda 21 and “Rio +10”.  By that text, the Economic and Social Council would request the Department of Economic and Social Affairs to submit an annexed text as an information document for participants in the tenth session of the Commission on Sustainable Development and Rio +10.

     [Rio +10 refers to the United Nations international conference scheduled for 2002 which will review implementation over the past decade of agreements adopted by more than 178 governments at the United Nations Conference on Environment and Development (UNCED) at Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, held from 3 to 14 June 1992.]

     By another text, approved as orally revised, the Council would invite governments and international organizations to make available, as background material in the preparatory process for Rio +10, case studies on management approaches to shared basins; protection of catchment areas for the management of drinking water sources; community involvement in land and water resources management for agriculture; water supply in both rain-fed and irrigated areas; and the impacts of integrated land and water resources management on water quantity and quality and on the economy of a country/region.

     Regarding the strengthening and coordination of United Nations activities in the field of water resources, the Committee decided to recommend that the Administrative Committee on Coordination (ACC) Sub-Committee on Water Resources aim towards better inter-agency coordination at the country and regional levels for the rationalization of project implementation.  By another text, the Committee decided to recommend that the Sub-Committee explore ways of making United Nations agency technical reports readily available through easily retrievable electronic forms.

     Approving another draft decision, the Committee recommended that the Economic and Social Council give due consideration to close linkages between water and ecosystems -- terrestrial as well as aquatic.  The Council should also duly consider the role of water in relation to the Convention on Desertification, the Convention on Biological Diversity, the Ramsar Convention on Wetlands and other conventions where water played a key role.

     By a draft decision on the contribution to sustainable exploitation of mineral resources, the Committee decided to examine, at its third session, the social, economic and environmental impacts of mineral extraction and metal production on integrated land and water management.  It also decided to work towards formulation of strategies for rehabilitation of land and water degradation by mining operations.

     Ainun Nishat (Bangladesh), Chairman of the Sub-group on Water Resources, introduced the drafts for the Committee's approval.

     Introducing the draft text on the energy sector, Wilhelmus Turkenburg (Netherlands), Chairman of the Sub-group on Energy, said it had not been finalized and that discussions were continuing.

     Also approved this morning, was a draft decision, orally introduced by Committee Chairman Christian Katsande (Zimbabwe), by which the Economic and Social Council would take note of the report on the Committee's second session, and decide to transmit it to the Commission on Sustainable Development.  The Council would also approve the provisional agenda and documentation for the third session.

     During the second session, which began on 14 August, the Committee reviewed the reports of the Secretary-General prepared for the eighth session of the Commission on Sustainable Development dealing with the issues of integrated planning and the management of land and water resources.  It also considered the outcome of the Commission's seventh and eighth sessions.

     Also considered during the session were the strengthening and coordination of United Nations activities in the field of water resources, as well as key issues related to the integrated planning and management of land use, ecosystems and freshwater development, with special emphasis on the impact of the quantity and quality of shared waters of riparian States.

     The Committee also considered the follow-up to its first session; its contribution to the ninth session of the Commission on Sustainable Development and its preparatory process; implications of the world energy assessment report for sustainable energy policy development; review of salient trends and issues on energy development and use in the context of sustainable development; and the multi-purpose use of hydro resources.

     Three Member States -- Egypt, Iraq and Turkey -- were represented by observers.  The United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), and the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) were also represented, as was the International Chamber of Commerce, a non-governmental organization in consultative status with the Economic and Social Council.

     At the start of the session, Mr. Katsande (Zimbabwe) was reelected Chairman.  Mr. Turkenburg (Netherlands) and Mr. Nishat (Bangladesh) were elected Committee Vice-Chairmen.  It was also decided that they would chair the Energy and Water Resources Sub-groups respectively.  Wafik Meshref (Egypt) served as Rapporteur of the Sub-group on Energy and Sergey Natalchuk (Russian Federation) as Rapporteur of the Sub-group on Water Resources.

     Twenty-one of the Committee's 24 members attended the session: Mr. Katsande, Mr. Turkenburg, Mr. Nishat, Mr. Meshref and Mr. Natalchuk; Carlos Alberto Aguilar Molina (El Salvador); Messaoud Boumaour (Algeria); Hernan Bravo Trejos (Costa Rica); Dmytro Victorovych Derogan (Ukraine); Bernard Devin (France); Malin Falkenmark (Sweden); Siripong Hungspreung (Thailand); Jon Ingimarsson (Iceland); Ahmad Kahrobaian (Iran); Owen Macdonald Kankhulungo (Malawi); Badr Kasme (Syria); Markku Juhani Makela (Finland); John Michael Matuszak (United States); Neculai Pavlovschi (Romania); Raymond Marcio Wright (Jamaica); and Zhang Guocheng (China). 

     The Committee was created through Economic and Social Council resolution 1998/46 of 31 July 1998, annex I, which merged the Committee on New and Renewable Sources of Energy and on Energy for Development and the Committee on Natural Resources.

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