Chapter Three: Policy Responses
The policy background
MEAs and non-binding instruments
Laws and institutions
Industry and new technologies
Financing environmental action
Asia and the Pacific
| KEY FACTS|
Many countries have recognized their need to move beyond Agenda 21 in order to deal more effectively with the interlinked challenges of economic recovery, poverty reduction and sustainable development.
Most countries have now developed National Action Plans to combat desertification and some have gone further: Tunisia, for example, has strengthened its 'Yellow Hand' environmental programme to combat desertification and promote the socio-economic development of rural areas.
Some countries - for example Benin, Ethiopia, Eritrea, Ghana, Malawi, Mali, Mozambique, Seychelles and Uganda - have incorporated the environmental rights and responsibilities of their citizens in their constitutions.
The move toward sustainable development will require major changes in many policies, programmes, laws and institutional arrangements, outside as well as within the environment field.
Botswana and Namibia, for example, have recently developed natural resource accounts to enable a better assessment of their economic value and management options.
Regional centres have been strengthened to provide expertise in environmental management but most are vulnerable because of their dependence on government and donor funding; their inability to compete with the salaries offered by the private sector and international organizations is leading to a brain drain within and outside Africa.
The governments and people of Africa are increasingly setting their own agenda for change as a result of more democratic rule and improved governance in several countries and greater cooperation at the sub-regional, regional and global levels.