United Nations Environment Programme Regional Office for Latin America and the Caribbean

III. Preparation, integration and implementation of the elements related to the environment in the national plans for sustainable development

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III. Preparation, integration and implementation of the elements related to the environment in the national plans for sustainable development

Trade development and poverty reduction: new approaches for the integrated determination of policies at the national level

29. Nine national capacity building projects were started at national level to assess the impact of the planning and development policies in the objectives of sustainable development and to develop policies in response to such assessments. The projects were launched in the countries that are listed below and were executed by the proposing governments and the national institutions designated by governments:

a) Brazil: Integrated evaluation and planning within the framework if the Sustainable Plan for the Amazon, centered on the sphere of influence of the BR-163 road and the soybean sector.

b) Colombia: Integrated evaluation on the liberalization of the agricultural trade centered on the corn sector.

c) Chile: Project with the Ministry of Agriculture to incorporate the environmental dimension.

Integrated evaluation of the effects of the liberalization of trade in the rice sector

30. Studies, conducted by the countries, were undertaken in China, Colombia, Indonesia, Nigeria, Senegal and Vietnam on the environmental, social and economic effects of the trade liberalization in the rice sector. These studies provide the basis for the development of appropriate measures to ensure that the rice sector of these countries supports the objectives of sustainable development.

Integrated evaluation of the policies related to the trade and biological diversity in the agricultural sector

31. Based on the national experiences, a reference manual is being prepared for the assessment of trade and the biological diversity that will provide guidance to evaluate the policies related to trade in the sector of agriculture at a national level. This will strengthen the capacity to coordinate and harmonize the objectives of sustainable development, reduction of poverty and conservation of the biological diversity at a national level. The methodologies and instruments for the assessment of the reference manual shall be implemented in six pilot countries: Cameroon, Jamaica, Madagascar, Mauritius, Papua New Guinea and Uganda. The information on the possible effects over the society and the environment, including the impacts on the biological diversity, will be used to substantiate trade negotiations and the formulation of national policies.

IV. Support to national and regional institutions during the meeting, analysis and follow up of the environmental trends

32. The following activities, among others, were carried out:

Environmental evaluations at global region and subregional levels

a) GEO 3 for Latin America and the Caribbean was produced.

b) Assistance for the preparation of national reports on the state of the environment and evaluations concerning the environmental impact in Argentina, Chile, and Peru.

c) In 2006, national GEO activities were started in Belize, Cuba, Ecuador and Uruguay.

d) The GEO Cities Project: Currently, more than 35 cities in the region of Latin America and the Caribbean (LAC) have joined the network of evaluations of GEO Cities in Latin America and the Caribbean. Two metropolitan areas, Lima and Callao (Peru) and the metropolitan area of central Costa Rica initiated and completed their assessments in 2006.

e) The Youth AEO was prepared and it is promoting the participation of young people in activities for sustainable development, including the completion of the assessments pertaining to Cuba, and the start of activities pertaining to Chile; Colombia; Morelos and Veracruz, in Mexico; Panama; Lima and Callao, in Peru, Uruguay and Brazil. A subregional assessment has been completed in Central America and the one pertaining to the Caribbean is under way. 

f) Experimental project in Argentina and Brazil for the integrated evaluation of the environment and health (GEO Health).

Access to data and information concerning the environmental problems and emerging issues

a) Indicators of the Latin American and Caribbean Initiative for Sustainable Development (ILAC); Mexico, Costa Rica and Argentina requested it at the national level and published their reports in 2006.

b) National websites on the environment (experimental), which provide electronic access to data coming from the environmental surveillance activities.

V. Facilitation of the access, support to ecologically friendly Technologies and of the corresponding specialized knowledge

Evaluation of the sustainability of technologies

33. The activities carried out were aimed at building capacity to conduct environmental assessments, formulate policies and implement concrete actions related to the cleaner production methods, the sustainable consumption and production, and the management of wastes.

34. Several of the activities undertakes were coordinated with the Network of Environmental Authorities for the Urban Management of Latin America and the Caribbean, which was created in October of 2001 and, to the present, includes 20 cities of the region. Among the activities we find:

a) The onset of the distance training activities with a first course organized jointly with ECLAC: “Basis for a sustainable environmental management”.

b) A long distance course was held in relation to solid hazardous wastes, with the support of the Network of Centers form the Basel Convention, Montevideo headquarters.

c) A Forum of Air Quality Monitoring was promoted, as was another one on Solid Waste management in Mexico City, in which representatives from Latin American cities participated.

d) Two on site courses related to solid wastes were carried out in Panama en Buenos Aires.

e) Training activities were supported with Mercocities and with the Central American Commission of Environment and Development.

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