The ACP-EC Partnership Agree signed on 23 June 2000 in Cotonou, Benin, is currently at the focus of development policy interest. Following intensive and occasionally difficult negotations on the Partnership Agreement over the period September 1998 to Ferbruary 2000, the ACP and EC members states successfully concluded them to continue a tradition that has now lasted for 25 years
Dr. Heike Kuhn
Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development
Negotiations on the Revision of the Development Co-operation between the European Union (EU) and its African Caribbean and Pacific (ACP) Associates were concluded in February 2000. Until now, the Lomé Convention has been regarded as a model of genuine partnership between the EU and its ACP associates . Nevertheless, on the horizon are considerable reforms to the co-operation arrangement that have to be concretised. This applies in particular to the extensive opening of ACP markets for EU products, lack of coherence in EU agricultural policy and its development policy, and compliance with multilateralism within the framework of the World Trade Organisation (WTO).
Dr. Francis A.S.T. Matambalya,
University of Dar-es-Salaam,
Faculty of Commerce, Dar-es-Salaam, Tanzania,
Dr. Susanna Wolf,
Zentrum für Entwicklungsforschung (ZEF),
On 23rd June last, the representatives of the 77 states that now constitute the ACP Group, met with the representatives of the 15 EU states to sign the agreement negotiated to succeed the Lomé Convention. Lomé had become a catchword for problems of late because of opposition to preferential access for commodities as exemplified by the WTO challenge to the Banana Protocol and, controversy over the political innovations proposed for the successor agreement.
Carl B. Greenidge,
former Secretary General ad interim and,
Deputy Secretary General, ACP Group
For some ten years now, there has been a controversial international debate on the necessity of international instruments to enhance the conservation and sustainable management of forests, and notably on the question of a global forest convention. These issues are linked closely to the outcomes of the 1992 Rio UN Conference on Environment and Development (UNCED). In the forest sector, UNCED adopted globally authoritative Forest Principles and cross-sectoral recommendations on forest conservation, instead of the convention on tropical forests originally desired by OECD countries. In order to support the forest-related decisions of Rio, the Intergovernmental Panel on Forests (IPF) was established in 1995 under the aegis of the UN Commission on Sustainable Development (CSD). The CSD?s Intergovernmental Forum on Forests (IFF) carried on where the IPF left off in June 1997.
Dr. Astrid Skala-Kuhmann,
Independent consultant on international environmental law,
In the forest policy arena, national forest programmes (NFPs) are the topic of the day - and with good reason. All over the world experts are deliberating on how to shape a consolidated and coordinated process in which to implement national policies and measures, regional agreements and the global commitments emanating from UNCED and its follow-up. Forest-related issues have, until now, been approached with a rather limited understanding of sustainability. It remains a world-wide need to establish a precautionary development approach that places people at the centre of development, secures resources for the future and forges new partnerships for sustainable development. The NFP approach provides an international tool helpful in this endeavour.
Deutsche Gesellschaft für Technische Zusammenarbeit -GTZ,
German Technical Cooperation,
International Tropical Forestry Programmes, Bosau-Majenfelde, Germany
In step with growing pressures upon land resources, it became increasingly important to conserve biological diversity as a pivotal component of the natural basis of human existence. Since the beginning of the 20th century, protected areas have been designated. People, perceived as »destroyers of nature«, were habitually excluded from these areas. However, the realisation is gaining ground worldwide that nature conservation and development are inseparably linked. The challenge now is to develop new protected area management strategies which involve local people and other stakeholders.
Dr. Jürgen Hagmann,
Freelance GTZ-LISTRA consultant,
Dr. Thora Amend,
Freelance GTZ-LISTRA consultant,
Parque Nacional Cerro Hoya project
Dr. Stephan Amend,
Parque Nacional Cerro Hoya project,
Autoridad Nacional del Ambiente (ANAM), ECO/GTZ, Republica de Panamá
State ownership continues to predominate in most tropical forest countries. »Bringing the forest back« into society as a development factor, freeing forestry from its isolation, is an aim that goes hand in hand with the goal of using tropical forests in a manner that both conserves them and valorise their benefits. This requires cooperation and partnership between government and the people living in and around forests.
Friederike von Stieglitz,
Deutsche Gesellschaft für Technische Zusammenarbeit (GTZ) GmbH - German Technical Cooperation -
Rural Policies and Regional Development, Division, Eschborn, Germany
In The Gambia, the active participation of the rural population in forest management started less than a decade ago. The implementation of community forestry follows a step-wise process, which culminates with the transfer of permanent ownership of the forest resources to the rural communities. The experience in The Gambia has proven that the challenge of sustainable forestry can be attained with government´s will to empower the rural population with forest ownership
Gambian-German Forestry Project
P.O. Box 504
Banjul, The Gambia
In the late 1980s, tropical timber boycotts emerged in response to dramatic tropical forest destruction and the inability of international programmes to contain the situation. Forest management certification was subsequently developed as an alternative to boycotts. Certification is based on sustainable development principles. It defines verifiable and binding criteria for sustainable forest management (SFM) in negotiation with stakeholders. Moreover, it monitors and verifies compliance with these criteria through the agency of independent certifiers and - valorises - SFM.
Dr. Dietrich Burger,
Coordinator of the BMZ/GTZ Forest Certification Project, Deutsche Gesellschaft für Technische Zusammenarbeit (GTZ) GmbH,
German Technical Cooperation,
At the beginning of this new millennium the population distribution of the world is approximately half rural and half urban. These proportions at this historical juncture present a timely opportunity to revisit a question that has occupied spatial planners for much of the past century: can rural-urban linkages be promoted in a way that benefits both rural and urban areas? More specifically, can both town and countryside progress in a reciprocal manner in rural regions?
Professor Mike Douglass,
Department of Urban and Regional Planning,
University of Hawaii, Honolulu,
Hawaii, U. S. A.
In the age of globalisation, there is a visible trend towards decentralisation and regionalisation, especially in developing countries currently under centralised government; this trend is leading to a new allocation of roles between the state, local district organisations and civil society. Such changed frameworks are opening up new possibilities for regional and multidisciplinary spatial planning in rural areas in which all sections of the population participate.
Dr Petra Stremplat-Platte,
Deutsche Gesellschaft für Technische Zusammenarbeit GmbH, - German Technical Cooperation - Rural Development Division,
Since the post-war period, rural areas in germany have been undergoing a permanent, in some cases radikal, structural change: the integration of refugees and an improvement in food supply were the primary concerns of the 1950´s. Surplus production and growing environmental awareness were the characteristic features of the 1970´s and 1980´s. The period following the fall of the Berlin Wall in Autumn 1889 was marked by German reunification. Spatial planning and land consolidation in the context of land law and of a land-use system are also significant in a discussion of development policy when the concern is to achieve efficient agricultural production, to alleviate poverty and prevent conflicts and to secure social equity.
Dr.- Ing.Karl-Friedrich Thöne
Head of Department of Land Development
Ministry of Agriculture, Nature Conservation and Environment of Thuringia
Developing countries are increasingly decentralising their decision-making authority for development planning and management from the national to the local levels. The principle of subsidiarity, the wishes to involve local people in a more participatory manner and the desire to reduce developmental costs incurred at the national level are just some of the main reasons for this movement. A comparative study of different decentralising approaches of Kenya and Nepal seeks to demonstrate that merely shifting the planning and decision-making competence to the local district level is not sufficient.
Dr Nikolaus Schall,
Modern information technologies, including Geographic Information Systems (GIS), are becoming increasingly important in regional planning for the analysis of socio-economic data of small areas. The beneficiaries of these information systems are not only the public institutions, but also the private sector. Sri Lanka may be cited as an example, where regional planning authorities have been created as part of the political decentralisation reforms. A Regional Information System operated by the Provincial Planning Unit in Central Province, supported by German Technical Cooperation, is being used increasingly by private business.
Dr Robert Riethmüller,
Deutsche Gesellschaft für Technische Zusammenarbeit GmbH, German Technical Cooperation, Rural Development Division,
Agricultural development is receiving less and less attention in bilateral and multilateral development co-operation. The public funds available for this - Official Development Assistance (ODA) - are constantly diminishing and have fallen by 32 percent since 1996. Many governments in developing countries are placing only inadequate priority on smallholder agriculture and on rural development.
German Agro Action, Deutsche Welthungerhilfe e.V.,