NOTE:         This is a final, advanced version of a chapter of
              Agenda 21, as adopted by the Plenary in Rio de
              Janeiro, on June 14, 1992.  This document will be
              further edited, translated into the official
              languages, and published by the United Nations
              for the General Assembly this autumn.

Basis for action

37.1   The ability of a country to follow sustainable
development paths is determined to a large extent by the
capacity of its people and its institutions as well as by
its ecological and geographical conditions.  Specifically,
capacity-building encompasses the country's human,
scientific, technological, organizational, institutional
and resource capabilities.  A fundamental goal of
capacity-building is to enhance the ability to evaluate and
address the crucial questions related to policy choices and
modes of implementation among development options, based on
an understanding of environmental potentials and limits and
of needs as perceived by the people of the country
concerned.  As a result, the need to strengthen national
capacities is shared by all countries.

37.2   Building endogenous capacity to implement Agenda 21
will require the efforts of the countries themselves in
partnership with relevant United Nations organizations, as
well as with developed countries.  The international
community at the national, subregional and regional levels,
municipalities, non-governmental organizations,
universities and research centres, and business and other
private institutions and organizations could also assist in
these efforts.  It is essential for individual countries to
identify priorities and determine the means for building
capacity and capability to implement Agenda 21, taking into
account their environmental and economic needs.  Skills,
knowledge and technical know-how at the individual and
institutional levels are necessary for
institution-building, policy analysis and development
management, including the assessment of alternative courses
of action with a view to enhancing access to and transfer
of technology and promoting economic development.
Technical cooperation, including that related to technology
transfer and know-how, encompasses the whole range of
activities to develop or strengthen individual and group
capacities and capabilities.  It should serve the purpose
of long-term capacity-building and needs to be managed and
coordinated by the countries themselves.  Technical
cooperation, including that related to technology transfer
and know-how, is effective only when it is derived from and
related to a country's own strategies and priorities on
environment and development and when development agencies
and Governments define improved and consistent policies and
procedures to support this process.


37.3   The overall objectives of endogenous capacity-building
in this programme area are to develop and improve national
and related subregional and regional capacities and
capabilities for sustainable development, with the
involvement of the non-governmental sectors.  The programme
should assist by:

       (a)    Promoting an ongoing participatory process to
define country needs and priorities in promoting Agenda 21
and to give importance to technical and professional human
resource development and development of institutional
capacities and capabilities on the agenda of countries,
with due recognition of the potential for optimal use of
existing human resources as well as enhancement of the
efficiency of existing institutions, and non-governmental
organizations including scientific and technological

       (b)    Reorienting and reprioritizing technical
cooperation including that related to technology transfer
and know-how process with due attention to the specific
conditions and individual needs of recipients, while
improving coordination among providers of assistance to
support countries' own programmes of action.  This
coordination should also include non-governmental
organizations and scientific and technological
institutions, as well as business and industry whenever

       (c)    Shifting time horizons in programme planning and
implementation addressing the developing and strengthening
of institutional structures to enhance their ability to
respond to new longer-term challenges rather than
concentrate only on immediate problems;

       (d)    Improving and reorienting existing international
multilateral institutions with responsibilities for
environment and/or development matters to ensure that those
institutions have the capability and capacity to integrate
environment and development;

       (e)    Improving institutional capacity and capability,
both public and private, in order to evaluate the
environmental impact of all development projects.

37.4   Specific objectives include the following:

       (a)    Each country should aim to complete, as soon as
practicable, if possible by 1994, a review of capacity- and
capability-building requirements for devising national
sustainable development strategies, including those for
generating and implementing its own Agenda 21 action

       (b)    By 1997, the Secretary-General of the United
Nations should submit to the General Assembly a report on
achievement of improved policies, coordination systems and
procedures for strengthening the implementation of
technical cooperation programmes for sustainable
development, as well as on additional measures required to
strengthen such cooperation.  That report should be
prepared on the basis of information provided by countries,
international organizations, environment and development
institutions, donor agencies and non-governmental partners.


Build a national consensus and formulate capacity-building
strategies for implementing Agenda 21

37.5   As an important aspect of overall planning, each
country should seek internal consensus at all levels of
society on policies and programmes needed for short- and
long-term capacity-building to implement its Agenda 21
programme.  This consensus should result from a
participatory dialogue of relevant interest groups and lead
to an identification of skill gaps, institutional
capacities and capabilities, technological and scientific
requirements and resource needs to enhance environmental
knowledge and administration to integrate environment and
development.  The United Nations Development Programme in
partnership with relevant specialized agencies and other
international intergovernmental and non-governmental
organizations could assist, upon request of Governments, in
the identification of the requirements for technical
cooperation including those related to technology transfer
and know-how and development assistance for the
implementation of Agenda 21.  The national planning process
together, where appropriate, with national sustainable
development action plans or strategies should provide the
framework for such cooperation and assistance.  The United
Nations Development Programme should use and further
improve its network of field offices and its broad mandate
to assist, using its experience in the field of technical
cooperation for facilitating capacity-building at the
country and regional levels and making full use of the
expertise of other bodies, in particular the United Nations
Environment Programme, the World Bank and regional
commissions and development banks, as well as relevant
international intergovernmental and non-governmental

Identify national sources and present requests for
technical cooperation, including that related to technology
transfer and know-how in the framework of sector strategies

37.6   Countries desiring arrangements for technical
cooperation, including that related to technology transfer
and know-how, with international organizations and donor
institutions should formulate requests in the framework of
long-term sector or subsector capacity-building strategies.
Strategies should, as appropriate, address policy
adjustments to be implemented, budgetary issues,
cooperation and coordination among institutions, human
resource requirements, and technology and scientific
equipment requirements.  They should cover public and
private sector needs and consider strengthening scientific
training and educational and research programmes, including
such training in the developed countries and the
strengthening of centres of excellence in developing
countries.  Countries could designate and strengthen a
central unit to organize and coordinate technical
cooperation, linking it with the priority-setting and
resource allocation process.

Establish a review mechanism of technical cooperation in
and related to technology transfer and know-how

37.7   Donors and recipients, the organizations and
institutions of the United Nations system, and
international public and private organizations should
review the development of the cooperation process as it
relates to technical cooperation, including that related to
technology transfer and know-how activities linked to
sustainable development.  To facilitate this process, the
Secretary-General could undertake, taking into account work
carried out by the United Nations Development Programme and
other organizations in preparation for the United Nations
Conference on Environment and Development, consultations
with developing countries, regional organizations,
organizations and institutions of the United Nations
system, including regional commissions, and multilateral
and bilateral aid and environment agencies, with a view to
further strengthening the endogenous capacities of
countries and improving technical cooperation, including
that related to the technology transfer and know-how
process.  The following aspects should be reviewed:

       (a)    Evaluation of existing capacity and capability
for the integrated management of environment and
development, including technical, technological and
institutional capacities and capabilities, and facilities
to assess the environmental impact of development projects;
and evaluation of abilities to respond to and link up with
needs for technical cooperation, including that related to
technology transfer and know-how, of Agenda 21 and the
global conventions on climate change and biological

       (b)    Assessment of the contribution of existing
activities in technical cooperation, including that related
to technology transfer and know-how, towards strengthening
and building national capacity and capability for
integrated environment and development management and
assessment of the means of improving the quality of
international technical cooperation, including that related
to technology transfer and know-how;

       (c)    A strategy for shifting to a capacity- and
capability-building thrust that recognizes the need for the
operational integration of environment and development with
longer-term commitments, having as a basis the set of
national programmes established by each country, through a
participatory process;

       (d)    Consideration of greater use of long-term
cooperative arrangements between municipalities,
non-governmental organizations, universities, training and
research centres and business, public and private
institutions with counterparts in other countries or within
countries or regions.  Programmes such as the Sustainable
Development Networks of the United Nations Development
Programme should be assessed in this regard;

       (e)    Strengthening of the sustainability of projects
by including in the original project design consideration
of environmental impacts, the costs of
institution-building, human resource development and
technology needs, as well as financial and organizational
requirements for operation and maintenance;

       (f)    Improvement of technical cooperation, including
that related to technology transfer and know-how and
management processes, by giving greater attention to
capacity- and capability-building as an integral part of
sustainable development strategies for environment and
development programmes both in country-related coordination
processes, such as consultative groups and round tables,
and in sectoral coordination mechanisms to enable
developing countries to participate actively in obtaining
assistance from different sources.

Enhance the expertise and collective contribution of the
United Nations system for capacity- and capability-building

37.8          Organizations, organs, bodies and institutions of
the United Nations system, together with other
international and regional organizations and the public and
private sectors, could, as appropriate, strengthen their
joint activities in technical cooperation, including that
related to technology transfer and know-how, in order to
address linked environment and development issues and to
promote coherence and consistency of action.  Organizations
could assist and reinforce countries, particularly least
developed countries, upon request, on matters relating to
national environmental and developmental policies, human
resource development and fielding of experts, legislation,
natural resources and environmental data.

37.9   The United Nations Development Programme, the World
Bank and regional multilateral development banks, as part
of their participation in national and regional
coordination mechanisms, should assist in facilitating
capacity- and capability-building at the country level,
drawing upon the special expertise and operational capacity
of the United Nations Environment Programme in the
environmental field as well as of the specialized agencies,
organizations of the United Nations system and regional and
subregional organizations in their respective areas of
competence.  For this purpose the United Nations
Development Programme should mobilize funding for capacity
and capability-building, utilizing its network of field
offices and its broad mandate and experience in the field
of technical cooperation, including that related to
technology transfer and know-how.  The United Nations
Development Programme, together with these international
organizations, should at the same time continue to develop
consultative processes to enhance mobilization and
coordination of funds from the international community for
capacity and capability-building, including the
establishment of an appropriate database.  These
responsibilities may need to be accompanied by
strengthening of the United Nations Development Programme's
own capacities.

37.10         The national entity in charge of technical
cooperation, with the assistance of the United Nations
Development Programme resident representatives and the
United Nations Environment Programme representatives,
should establish a small group of key actors to steer the
process, giving priority to the country's own strategies
and priorities.  The experience gained through existing
planning exercises such as the national reports for the
United Nations Conference on Environment and Development,
national conservation strategies and environment action
plans should be fully used and incorporated into a
country-driven, participatory and sustainable development
strategy.  This should be complemented with information
networks and consultations with donor organizations in
order to improve coordination, as well as access to the
existing body of scientific and technical knowledge and
information available in institutions elsewhere.

Harmonize the delivery of assistance at the regional level

37.11         At the regional level, existing organizations
should consider the desirability of improved regional and
subregional consultative processes and round-table meetings
to facilitate the exchange of data, information and
experience in the implementation of Agenda 21.  The United
Nations Development Programme, building on the results of
the regional surveys on capacity-building that those
regional organizations carried out on the United Nations
Conference on Environment and Development initiative, and
in collaboration with existing regional, subregional or
national organizations with potential for regional
coordination, should provide a significant input for this
purpose.  The relevant national unit should establish a
steering mechanism.  A periodic review mechanism should be
established among the countries of the region with the
assistance of the appropriate relevant regional
organizations and the participation of development banks,
bilateral aid agencies and non-governmental organizations.
Other possibilities are to develop national and regional
research and training facilities building on existing
regional and subregional institutions.

Means of implementation

(a)    Financing and costs

37.12         The cost of bilateral expenditures to developing
countries for technical cooperation, including that related
to technology transfer and know-how, is about $15 billion,
or about 25 per cent of total official development
assistance.  The implementation of Agenda 21 will require
a more effective use of these funds and additional funding
in key areas.

37.13         The Conference Secretariat has estimated the average
total anual cost (1993-2000) of implementing the activities
of this chapter to be between $300 million and $1 billion
from the international community on grant or concessional
terms.  These are indicative and order of magnitude
estimates only and have not been reviewed by governments.
Actual costs and financial terms, including any that are
non-concessional, will depend upon, inter alia, the
specific strategies and programmes governments decide upon
for implementation.

                      * * * *

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Note 448      A21/38 Institutions
unced                             7:22 am  Jul 10, 1992

From: UNCED 
Subject: A21/38 Institutions


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