Bilateral and Multilateral Cooperation

At the Rio conference Costa Rica and the Netherlands signed a Declaration of Intent to adopt a cooperation program with the aim of contributing to the implementation of the Rio Declaration and the Agenda 21. Delegations from the two countries met in San Jos‚ to elaborate the sustainable development agreement that was signed in June 1993. Similar bilateral agreements have been signed between Holland and the Governments of Bhutan and Benin.

The South-North Environment Campaigns Coalition (SECC) is an NGO project, designed to enable Southern NGOs to bring about change by empowering qualified and "rooted" national and regional NGOs in the South to play an effective international role. SECC was initiated by Environnement et D‚veloppement du Tiers Monde (ENDA- TM) in Senegal, the Center for Science and Environment in India, Promundo International in Argentina, and the Center for Ecodevelopment Studies and Application (CENESTRA) from Iran. SECC intends to build on the strengths of a few competent but secluded NGOs to preempt problems by supplying strategic and timely information to participating NGOs and by designing opportunities for them to make policy changes through advocacy. SECC will have a strong base in Paris, France, primarily to have access to all the sources of information which large international networks provide. Initial work will be on biodiversity, forests, population and trade.

Following UNCED last June 1992, a conference was held in Manaus, Brazil which aimed to put into action the recommendations of Rio. It was organized by the Association of the United Nations Universities (UNAMAZ), the program on Man and the Biosphere of UNESCO, the United Nations University and the Third World Academy of Sciences. One of the objectives was the establishment of a cooperative South-South program on environmentally sound socio- economic development in the humid tropics, notably Central and South America, Central Africa and South and South East Asia.

At the end of July 1993 an international conference "Environmental Education in the Commonwealth" took place in Bradford, England. Its aim was to develop environmental education within the British Commonwealth countries, a group of 50 nations with over 1,000 million people. Its specific objectives were: to enable the exchange of experiences among governmental education in Commonwealth countries; to stimulate contacts among those working with environmental education with a view to the establishment of working links, networks and the wide promotion of successful practices; and to discuss long-term strategies for the development of environmental education in the Commonwealth.

Our Shared Environment, An International Conference to raise Public Awareness of the Environmental Challenges Facing Israelis and Palestinians will be held from 12-14 December 1994 in Jerusalem. The conference will involve Israelis, Palestinians and representatives of outside governments and NGO's concerned with the environment. A book prepared by Israeli and Palestinian environmental experts is currently under preparation and will serve to highlight many of the issues to be discussed in the conference.