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UNITED
NATIONS
A

        General Assembly
Distr.
GENERAL
A/C.2/51/SR.14
9 September 1997

ENGLISH
ORIGINAL: SPANISH

FIFTY-FIRST SESSION
Official Records



SECOND COMMITTEE
14th meeting
held on
Wednesday, 23 October 1996
at 3 p.m.
New York

SUMMARY RECORD OF THE 14th MEETING

Chairman: Mr. HAMBURGER (Netherlands)

later: Mr. DJABBARY (Islamic Republic of Iran)
(Vice-Chairman)

CONTENTS

AGENDA ITEM 97: ENVIRONMENT AND SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT (continued)

(a) IMPLEMENTATION OF THE DECISIONS AND RECOMMENDATIONS OF THE UNITED NATIONS CONFERENCE ON ENVIRONMENT AND DEVELOPMENT (continued)

(b) SPECIAL SESSION FOR THE PURPOSE OF AN OVERALL REVIEW AND APPRAISAL OF THE IMPLEMENTATION OF AGENDA 21 (continued)

The meeting was called to order at 3 p.m.


AGENDA ITEM 97: ENVIRONMENT AND SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT (continued) (A/51/3 (Part II), A/51/87, A/51/131, A/51/208-S/1996/543, A/51/210, A/51/211-S/1996/551, A/51/295, A/51/357, A/51/462-S/1996/831, A/51/375)

(a) IMPLEMENTATION OF THE DECISIONS AND RECOMMENDATIONS OF THE UNITED NATIONS CONFERENCE ON ENVIRONMENT AND DEVELOPMENT (continued) (A/51/3 (Part II), A/51/76 and Add.1, A/51/510)

(b) SPECIAL SESSION FOR THE PURPOSE OF AN OVERALL REVIEW AND APPRAISAL OF THE IMPLEMENTATION OF AGENDA 21 (continued) (A/51/420)

/...

3. Mr. FAWAZ (Lebanon) said that desertification was a threat to the entire international community owing to its general impact, which forced affected countries to seek assistance from other countries. Various strategies had been adopted in a number of countries, but the problem persisted. Desertification was associated with poverty, ignorance and unstable political conditions, and the situation was therefore critical. Even if solutions seemed to be evident in most cases the application of those solutions was not. It was important to approach the problem on an international level and in a practical manner, not just theoretically in international forums. No country could solve the problem of desertification or escape its consequences single-handedly, because if it did it would be transferring the problem to its neighbours. Various factors were contributing to desertification in Lebanon: the reduction in the number of forested areas, the steady increase in the size of the population and the greater need for housing coupled with the consequent decrease in the number of open spaces, the increased incidence of forest fires in mountainous areas, the indiscriminate felling of woodlands, the indiscriminate use of pesticides and chemicals leading to environmental pollution, the lack of awareness by the population, and the continuing Israeli occupation of a large area of South Lebanon, in defiance of the international community and Security Council resolution 425 (1978), which called upon Israel to withdraw its forces from Lebanon unconditionally. Furthermore, the Israelis were pursuing a policy of systematically burning woodlands and prohibiting peasants from cultivating the land.

4. The Lebanese Ministry of Agriculture had adopted measures to prohibit the felling of woodlands, require 20 per cent of surface area to be planted with new woodlands, regulate the campaign against forest fires and prohibit the hunting of wild birds. There were plans to increase the size of forested areas by up to 200,000 hectares. The Ministry was also encouraging irrigation projects, road-building and soil conservation with the cooperation of international and regional institutions including the Bretton Woods institutions and the Global Environment Facility (GEF). In addition, his Government had heeded the call of the international community to clamp down on the cultivation of plants used in drug production. Lebanon was in the process of reconstructing its infrastructure, to which end a national strategic plan would be implemented with the assistance of the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP).

/...
The meeting rose at 4.40 p.m.


This record is subject to correction. Corrections should be sent under the signature of a member of the delegation concerned within one week of the date of the publication to the Chief of the Official Records Editing Section, room DC2-794, 2 United Nations Plaza, and incorporated in a copy of the record.

Corrections will be issued after the end of the session, in a separate corrigendum for each Committee


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