ACC Network:News:June 1998

The ACC Network on Rural Development and Food Security

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Posted 28 May 1998

News: June 1998

See also News for July 1998, May 1998 and April 1998

Food Insecurity and Vulnerability Information Mapping System (FIVIMS)

The participants at the Food Insecurity and Vulnerability Information Mapping System (FIVIMS) meeting, convened at IFAD Headquarters in Rome from 15 to 17 April, endorsed the idea of Thematic Groups within the Network working on FIVIMS. In particular, the meeting proposed that Thematic Groups might wish to create a separate sub-group to work in more depth on FIVIMS. This more detailed work could then be provided as an input to the Thematic Group on Rural Development and Food Security in which members of one sub-group would not be precluded from participating in the work of other sub-groups. Some Thematic Groups are already setting up such sub-groups to focus on FIVIMS and/or other priority issues (e.g. Eritrea, Pakistan).

Global Mechanism

The First Conference of Parties (COP) of the Convention to Combat Desertification (CCD), held in Rome from 29 September to 10 October, 1997 enacted the first international treaty to have poverty eradication as its central concern. For the 1.5 billion inhabitants of the dry zones of our planet, the successful completion of the work of COP is a decisive advance in building the much needed global coalition to arrest and hopefully reverse the process of land degradation that threatens their livelihood. IFAD has been selected to house the Global Mechanism (GM) of the Convention. With the Global Mechanism, IFAD will form a hub of a network of partners to mobilize resources for poverty alleviation and the conservation of the environment.

For further information go to or contact Mr. Bahman Mansuri, Programme Director, Resource Strategy Development, IFAD, via del Serafico 107, 00142 Rome, Italy; e-mail:

One Earth, One Ocean, One Life: International Year of the Ocean

In recognition of the importance of the ocean, the marine environment and its resources for life on earth and for sustainable development, the United Nations has declared 1998 as the International Year of the Ocean. This provides a window of opportunity for governments, organizations and individuals to become aware of the ocean issues and to consider the actions needed to undertake our common responsibility to sustain the greatest common heritage we have and without which we cannot exist.

The overall objective is to focus and reinforce the attention of the public, governments and decision makers at large on the importance of the oceans and the marine environment as resources for sustainable development. The major aim of the joint efforts during 1998 will be to create awareness and obtain commitments from governments to take action, provide adequate resources and give the priority to the ocean and coastal areas which they deserve as finite economic assets. Go to the for more information.

"Water: A Looming Crisis?" International Conference on World Water Resources at the beginning of the 21st Century

This Conference will be convened by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), the International Association for Hydrological Sciences (IAHS) and the World Water Council (WWC) at UNESCO Headquarters in Paris, 3-6 June 1998. It is co-sponsored by: FAO, UNEP, WHO, WMO, ACSAD, IAH, IAHR, ICID, IWRA, SCOWAR, and the AcadŽmie de l'Eau/Agence Seine-Normandie, France.

Following the plenary session and Keynote speakers, five Working Groups will meet simultaneously to consider: Data and improvement of water resources assessment; water quality and environmental impact; impact of human activity on water resources; the extremes of water resources and their management; economic and social aspects of water resources

For further information, please contact: the Division of Water Sciences, UNESCO, 1 Rue Miollis, 75732 Paris CŽdex 15, France; fax: 33 1 45 68 58 11; e-mail:; or go to:

Water Resources Management

The Rural Development Department of the World Bank is offering an Internet-based-training course on Water Resources Management in collaboration with the Learning & Leadership Center. For further information, go to:

Global Teenager On-line Forum

This electronic Forum, officially endorsed by UNEP and UNDP, was launched at the United Nations Headquarters in New York on Earth Day, April 22 1998. It is designed to enable young people from around the world to share information about their efforts to contribute to the development of a sustainable form of civilization that does not deplete the resources needed for future generations.

The Forum's on-line discussion, led by members of Rescue Mission - Planet Earth, a network of 500 ecologically active student groups in 120 countries, is currently working on "Indicators of Sustainability" aimed at measuring their communities' progress in the implementation of Agenda 21.

For further information, contact the Forum's Website at:; or Michael O'Callaghan, Global Vision Corporation, 35 Langton Street, London SW10 0JL, United Kingdom; tel: +44 171 349 9104; e-mail:

Organic Farming's Contribution to Sustainable Agriculture

The European System of Cooperative Research Networks in Agriculture (ESCORENA), sponsored by the FAO Regional Office for Europe, launched a research group on "Methodologies in Organic Farming" in 1997. Their first technical workshop will be held at the end of September 1998 and large interest has already been shown by the research community. For additional information, contact the REU home page (../../../../regional/europe/default.htm) or Mr. Rainer Krell by e-mail:

Following the World Food Summit in 1996, the potential contribution of organic agriculture and other alternative agriculture methods to food security and sustainable agricultural systems is being more closely examined. Organic farming has been the subject of a number of seminars which have recently been convened at FAO Headquarters in Rome. In addition, organic farming will, for the first time, be included in the agenda of the next meeting of the Commission on Agriculture, scheduled for January 1999.

For further information, contact: Ms. Nadia Scialabba, Environment and Natural Resource Service, FAO, Viale delle Terme di Caracalla, 00100 Rome; e-mail:; or Mr. Rainer Krell: or go to: ../../../../regional/europe/default.htm

New legislation for sustainable development in Jordan

Following the approval of a new environmental law in Jordan in 1995 and the establishment of a General Corporation of Environment Protection (GCEP), important progress is being made towards the establishment of new legislative and institutional arrangements to promote sustainable and environmentally sound economic development. In this context, a National Agenda 21 Project was initiated with UNDP support in September 1996. As part of this initiative, an innovative forum to enable all the stakeholders to contribute their ideas and concerns was established and a public debate on environmental issues has been initiated using television and other channels.

A number of other projects related to the environment and natural resource management are being implemented with UNDP support in Jordan. For more information on these activities, please contact: Dr. Iyad Abumoghli, Senior Programme Officer, UNDP, P.O. Box 35286, Amman 11180, Jordan; fax: 00-962-676 582.

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