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[Senate Treaty Document 104-29]
[From the U.S. Government Printing Office]



104th Congress                                              Treaty Doc.
                               SENATE   
 2d Session                                                      104-29
_______________________________________________________________________


 
   UNITED NATIONS CONVENTION TO COMBAT DESERTIFICATION IN COUNTRIES 
      EXPERIENCING DROUGHT, PARTICULARLY IN AFRICA, WITH ANNEXES

                               __________

                                MESSAGE

                                  from

                   THE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES

                              TRANSMITTING

   THE UNITED NATIONS CONVENTION TO COMBAT DESERTIFICATION IN THOSE 
    COUNTRIES EXPERIENCING SERIOUS DROUGHT AND/OR DESERTIFICATION, 
PARTICULARLY IN AFRICA, WITH ANNEXES, ADOPTED AT PARIS, JUNE 17, 1994, 
          AND SIGNED BY THE UNITED STATES ON OCTOBER 14, 1994




August 2, 1996.--Convention was read the first time and, together with 
the accompanying papers, referred to the Committee on Foreign Relations 
          and ordered to be printed for the use of the Senate


                         LETTER OF TRANSMITTAL

                              ----------                              

                                   The White House, August 2, 1996.
To the Senate of the United States:
    I transmit herewith, for the advice and consent of the 
Senate to ratification, the United Nations Convention to Combat 
Desertification in Those Countries Experiencing Serious Drought 
and/or Desertification, Particularly in Africa, with Annexes, 
adopted at Paris, June 17, 1994, and signed by the United 
States on October 14, 1994. The report of the Department of 
State is also enclosed for the information of the Senate.
    The purpose of the Convention is to combat desertification 
and mitigate the effects of drought on arid, semi-arid, and dry 
sub-humid lands through effective action at all levels. In 
particular, the Convention addresses the fundamental causes of 
famine and food insecurity in Africa, by stimulating more 
effective partnership between governments, local communities, 
nongovernmental organizations, and aid donors, and by 
encouraging the dissemination of information derived from new 
technology (e.g., early warning of impending drought) to 
farmers.
    The United States has strongly supported the Convention's 
innovative approach to combating dryland degradation. I believe 
it will help Africans and others to make better use of fragile 
resources without requiring increased development assistance. 
Ratification by the United States would promote effective 
implementation of the Convention and is likely to encourage 
similar action by other countries whose participation would 
also promote effective implementation.
    United States obligations under the Convention would be met 
under existing law and ongoing assistance programs.
    I recommend that the Senate give early and favorable 
consideration to this Convention and its Annexes, with the 
declaration described in the accompanying report of the 
Secretary of State, and give its advice and consent to 
ratification.
                                                William J. Clinton.


                          LETTER OF SUBMITTAL

                              ----------                              

                                       Department of State,
                                         Washington, June 21, 1996.
The President,
The White House.
    I have the honor to submit to you, with a view to 
transmittal to the Senate for its advice and consent to 
ratification, the United Nations Convention to Combat 
Desertification in Those Countries Experiencing Serious Drought 
and/or Desertification, Particularly in Africa, with Annexes, 
adopted at Paris June 17, 1994, and signed by the United States 
on October 14, 1994.
    The purpose of the Convention is to combat desertification 
(i.e., land degradation) and mitigate the effects of drought on 
arid, semi-arid, and dry sub-humid lands through effective 
action at all levels, including local, national, regional, and 
global levels, particularly in Africa. The central objectives 
of the Convention are to promote the sustainable use of 
drylands world-wide, but especially in Africa, to make more 
efficient use of aid resources, thereby helping to solve 
Africa's and other affected regions' chronic hunger problems. 
In particular, the Convention addresses a fundamental cause of 
famine and food insecurity in Africa, by stimulating more 
effective partnership between governments, local communities, 
non-governmental organizations (NGOs) and aid donors, and by 
encouraging the dissemination of information derived from new 
technology (e.g., early warning of impending drought) to 
farmers.
    Desertification affects about one-sixth of the world's 
population and about one-quarter of the total land area of the 
world. Over a million hectares of Africa, 73 percent of its 
drylands, are affected. Another 1.4 million hectares are 
affected in Asia. Dryland degradation is an underlying cause of 
recurrent African famine (as during the great Sahelian drought 
of 1971-73 and 1984-85). The United Nations Environment 
Programme (UNEP) estimates that desertification costs the world 
$42 billion a year, and the human cost is higher. The 
livelihoods of more than a billion people--almost a fifth of 
the entire population of the globe--are now at risk. Mass 
starvation, civil conflict, the relocation of millions of 
refugees--social crises arising from the dangerous convergence 
of poverty and dwindling natural resources--are a fundamental 
challenge to the international community. By focusing on 
desertification issues now, the United States and the 
international community may reduce the level of emergency 
relief, civil conflicts and outflows of refugees later; and by 
taking a leading role on desertification issues, the United 
States can strengthen its partnerships throughout Africa and 
other affected regions.
    The Department of State's support for this Convention is 
based on both global and Africa-specific considerations. At the 
global level, the Convention will stimulate cooperation on 
technical issues such as climate prediction and on dryland 
management. For Africa and other affected developed areas, it 
will encourage and support a more effective anti-
desertification effort drawing on ``lessons learned'' from past 
aid failures and aided by new technologies such as satellite 
early warning systems. The Convention also gives new 
recognition to the essential roles of both village-level and 
NGO participation in policy planning and implementation.
    The Convention contains four basic types of commitments:
  --those of all Parties to adopt an integrated approach to 
        desertification and to strengthen international 
        cooperation;
  --those of Parties affected by desertification (which 
        includes the United States) to have strategies to 
        address desertification and to promote public awareness 
        in this regard;
  --those of developing-country Parties affected by 
        desertification to prepare substantial National Action 
        Programs that identify causes of, and measures to 
        address, such desertification; and
  --those of developed-country Parties to provide support for 
        developing-country efforts to combat desertification.
    The Convention contains four Regional Implementation 
Annexes addressing Africa, Asia, Latin America and the 
Caribbean, and the Northern Mediterranean Region. They set 
forth in detail how the Convention is to be implemented in 
those regions, in particular within the context of National 
Action Programs. With respect to implementation of the 
Convention in Africa, to which the Convention assigns a 
priority, each participating African country is to coordinate 
the preparation, negotiation, and implementation of a National 
Action Program and may involve, as appropriate, other Parties 
and relevant intergovernmental and non-governmental 
organizations.
    The Convention's provisions governing the adoption of 
additional Regional Implementation Annexes gives the United 
States the option to make entry into force for the United 
States of a subsequent Regional Implementation Annex or of an 
amendment to a Regional Implementation Annex subject to its 
express consent to be bound. Therefore, I recommend that the 
United States include the following declaration at the time of 
deposit of its instrument of ratification:
         In accordance with Article 34(4), the United States 
        declares that, with respect to the United States, any 
        additional regional implementation annex or any 
        amendment to any regional implementation annex shall 
        enter into force only upon the deposit of its 
        instrument of ratification, acceptance, approval or 
        accession with respect thereto.
    Following the model of many other international 
environmental agreements to which the United States is a party, 
the Convention establishes a Conference of the Parties, a 
Secretariat, and a subsidiary body for scientific and 
technological advice. In addition, it calls for the Conference 
of the Parties to designate a ``Global Mechanism'' which, while 
not itself a funding source, is to inventory and provide advice 
on possible sources of, and innovative approaches to, such 
funding.
    The United States has strongly supported the Convention's 
innovative approach to combating dryland degradation. The 
Department of State believes it will help Africans and others 
to make better use of fragile resources without requiring 
increased development assistance. African governments are 
counting on U.S. continued support for the Convention. One 
hundred and fifteen States signed the Convention during the 
period it was open for signature. To date, thirty-one States 
have indicated their consent to be bound. The Convention will 
enter into force on the ninetieth day after the deposit of the 
fiftieth instrument of ratification, acceptance, approval, or 
accession. Early ratification by the United States will 
demonstrate to the rest of the world the U.S. commitment to 
combating desertification and is likely to encourage the 
participation necessary for effective implementation of the 
Convention. Ratification of the Convention is consistent with 
U.S. foreign policy and economic and environmental interests.
    Accompanying this Report is an Article-by-Article analysis 
of the Convention, including its Annexes.
    I recommend that this Convention, with Annexes, be 
transmitted to the Senate as soon as possible for its advice 
and consent to ratification.
    Respectfully submitted,
                                                Warren Christopher.
    Enclosure: As stated.


             ARTICLE-BY-ARTICLE ANALYSIS OF THE CONVENTION

Preamble
    The Preamble acknowledges, inter alia, that desertification 
and drought are problems of global dimension in that they 
affect all regions of the world and that joint action of the 
international community is needed to combat desertification 
and/or mitigate the effects of drought. It further notes the 
particular tragic consequences of these phenomena in Africa and 
expresses concern over the impact of desertification and 
drought on affected countries in Central Asia and the 
Transcaucasus.

                                 Part I


                              introduction


Article 1 (Use of Terms)
    This Article is largely self-explanatory. Four definitions 
of particular interest are ``desertification'', ``combatting 
desertification'', ``drought'', and ``affected countries.''
    ``Desertification,'' the subject of the Convention, is 
defined as ``land degradation in arid, semi-arid and dry sub-
humid areas resulting from various factors, including climatic 
variations and human activities.''
    ``Combatting Desertification'' is defined as including 
``activities which are part of the integrated development of 
land in arid, semi-arid and dry sub-humid areas for sustainable 
development which are aimed at:
          (i) prevention and/or reduction of land degradation;
          (ii) rehabilitation of partly degraded land;
          (iii) reclamation of desertified land.''
    ``Drought'' is defined as ``the naturally occurring 
phenomenon that exists when precipitation has been 
significantly below normal recorded levels, causing serious 
hydrological imbalances that adversely affect land resource 
production systems.''
    ``Affected countries'' are defined as countries whose lands 
include ``affected areas,'' which in turn are defined as 
``arid, semi-arid and/or dry sub-humid areas affected or 
threatened by desertification.'' The United States is 
understood to be an affected country for purposes of the 
Convention.
Article 2 (Objective)
    Article 2 establishes as the objective of the Convention 
combatting desertification and mitigating the effects of 
drought in countries experiencing serious drought and/or 
desertification, particularly in Africa, through effective 
action at all levels, supported by international cooperation 
and partnership arrangements.
    The Article recognizes that achievement of this objective 
will involve long-term integrated strategies, particularly at 
the local level, to improve living conditions.
Article 3 (Principles)
    This Article contains several concepts by which the Parties 
are to be ``guided'' in their actions to achieve the objective 
of the Convention and to implement its provisions. The 
inclusion of the term ``inter alia'' in the introductory phrase 
reflects that the list that follows is not intended to be an 
exhaustive list of relevant concepts that may guide the 
Parties. Most notably, however, it includes cooperation among 
all levels of government, communities, NGOs and landholders.

                                Part II


                           general provisions


Article 4 (General obligations)
    Article 4 contains general obligations that apply to all 
Parties.
    Paragraph 1 provides that all Parties may implement their 
obligations under the Convention either individually or 
jointly, either through existing or future bilateral or 
multilateral arrangements, or a combination thereof.
    Paragraph 2 lists a number of actions that all Parties must 
take in pursuing the objective of the Convention. These 
include, for example:
  --adopting an integrated approach addressing the physical, 
        biological and socio-economic aspects of the processes 
        of desertification and drought;
  --strengthening subregional, regional and international 
        cooperation;
  --cooperating within relevant intergovernmental 
        organizations; and
  --promoting the use of existing bilateral and multilateral 
        financial mechanisms and arrangements that mobilize and 
        channel substantial financial resources to affected 
        developing-country Parties in combatting 
        desertification and mitigating the effects of drought.
    The United States is already implementing the actions 
contained in this provision.
    Paragraph 3 provides that affected developing-country 
Parties are eligible for assistance in the implementation of 
the Convention.
Article 5 (Obligations of Affected-Country Parties)
    Article 5 contains additional obligations of affected-
country Parties. Such a Party (which would include the United 
States) is to:
  --give due priority to combatting desertification and 
        mitigating the effects of drought, and allocate 
        adequate resources in accordance with its circumstances 
        and capabilities;
  --establish strategies and priorities, within the framework 
        of sustainable development plans and/or policies, to 
        combat desertification and mitigate the effects of 
        drought;
  --address the underlying causes of desertification and pay 
        special attention to the socio-economic factors 
        contributing to desertification processes;
  --promote awareness and facilitate the participation of local 
        populations in efforts to combat desertification and 
        mitigate the effects of drought; and
  --provide an enabling environment by strengthening, as 
        appropriate, relevant existing legislation and, where 
        they do not exist, enacting new laws and establishing 
        long-term policies and action programs.
    The United States already more than meets these 
requirements through a variety of existing measures, including 
measures under statutory authorities such as the National 
Forest Management Act of 1976, 16 U.S.C. Sec. 471 et seq., Pub. 
L. No. 94-588; the Multiple-Use-Sustained-Yield Act of 1960, 16 
U.S.C. Sec. Sec. 528-531, Pub. L. No. 86-517; the Soil and 
Water Resources Conservation Act of 1977, 16 U.S.C. Sec. 2001 
et seq., Pub. L. No. 95-192; the Soil Conservation and Domestic 
Allotment Act, 16 U.S.C. 590 et seq., 49 Stat. 163 (1935); the 
Coastal Zone Management Act of 1972, 16 U.S.C. Sec. 1451 et 
seq., Pub. L. No. 92-538; the Federal Land Policy and 
Management Act of 1976, 43 U.S.C. Sec. 1701 et seq., Pub. L. 
No. 94-579; the Forest and Rangeland Renewable Resources 
Planning Act of 1974, 16 U.S.C. Sec. 1600 et seq., Pub. L. No. 
93-378; the Public Rangelands Improvement Act of 1978, 43 
U.S.C. Sec. 1901 et seq., Pub. L. No. 95-514; the International 
Forestry Cooperation Act of 1990, 16 U.S.C. Sec. 4501 et seq., 
Pub. L. No. 101-513; the Global Climate Change Prevention Act 
of 1990, 7 U.S.C. Sec. 6701 et seq., Pub. L. No. 101-624; and 
the Cooperative Forestry Assistance Act of 1978, 16 U.S.C. 
Sec. 2101 et seq., Pub. L. No. 95-313.
Article 6 (Obligations of Developed Country Parties)
    Article 6 contains additional obligations of developed 
country Parties. Such Parties are to:
  --actively support, as agreed, individually or jointly, the 
        efforts of affected developing country Parties, 
        particularly those in Africa, and the least-developed 
        countries, to combat desertification and mitigate the 
        effects of drought;
  --provide substantial financial resources and other forms of 
        support to assist affected developing-country Parties, 
        particularly those in Africa, effectively to develop 
        and implement their own long-term plans and strategies 
        to combat desertification and mitigate the effects of 
        drought;
  --promote the mobilization of new and additional funding 
        pursuant to Article 20, paragraph 2(b), described 
        below;
  --encourage the mobilization of funding from the private 
        sector and other non-governmental sources; and
  --promote and facilitate access by affected-country Parties 
        to appropriate technology, knowledge and know-how.
    The United States has traditionally lent its support 
(including financial support), both bilaterally and through 
multilateral fora, to efforts in developing countries, 
including in Africa, to address desertification and drought. 
The United States has also participated in recent efforts to 
identify appropriate ways for the Global Environment Facility 
(GEF) to provide new and additional resources to fund the 
incremental costs of implementing anti-desertification measures 
that relate to the GEF's four focal areas.
    The commitment to provide financial resources, which does 
not require any particular level of funding, would be met 
through periodic appropriations for bilateral and/or 
multilateral assistance (such as through the GEF). The 
commitment to promote and facilitate technology transfer can be 
implemented through the marketplace and any additional measures 
(such as technology cooperation seminars) that the government 
deems appropriate. U.S. NGOs, supported by tax-free donations 
and in some cases by USAID funding, will continue to play a 
major role in supporting anti-desertification work supportive 
of the Convention, especially in Africa.
Article 7 (Priority for Africa)
    Article 7 provides that, in implementing the Convention, 
the Parties are to give priority to affected African country 
Parties, in light of the particular situation prevailing in 
that region. The special needs of Africa were recognized by the 
international community at the 1992 United Nations conference 
on Environment and Development (the Rio ``Earth Summit'') in 
light of persistent and particularly severe desertification and 
drought problem in that region. As Article 7 makes clear, this 
priority is not intended to lead to the neglect of developing-
country Parties in other regions that are affected or 
threatened by desertification. Indeed, as discussed below, 
Regional Implementation Annexes for the Asian, Latin American 
and the Caribbean, and Mediterranean regions--in addition to 
the Annex for Africa--now form an integral part of the 
Convention.
Article 8 (Relationship with Other Agreements)
    Paragraph 1 calls upon Parties to encourage the 
coordination of activities under the Convention and, if they 
are Parties to them, under other relevant international 
agreements (such as the United Nations Framework Convention on 
Climate Change). Such coordination is intended to maximize 
benefit from currently uncoordinated activities and to avoid 
duplication of effort.
    Paragraph 2 provides that the Convention shall not affect 
the rights and obligations of any Party deriving from a 
bilateral, regional or international agreement into which it 
has entered prior to the entry into force of the Convention for 
it. This paragraph was intended to ensure that the Convention 
supplements, rather than supersedes, existing agreements.

                                Part III


 action programs, scientific and technical cooperation and supporting 
                                measures


Article 9 (Basic Approach)
    This Article contains the core obligation for affected 
developing country Parties (i.e., Parties that are eligible for 
assistance under the Convention). It requires each such Party 
to prepare, make public, and implement a ``National Action 
Program,'' further elaborated in Article 10, as the central 
element of a strategy to combat desertification and mitigate 
the effects of drought. Such programs are to utilize, to the 
extent possible, existing relevant successful plans and 
programs, and subregional and regional action programs. They 
are to be updated through a continuing participatory process on 
the basis of lessons from field action and research; further, 
the preparation of such programs is to be closely interlinked 
with other efforts to formulate national policies for 
sustainable development.
    Parties that are ``affected countries'' but are not 
developing countries (such as the United States) are not 
required to prepare National Action Programs.
Article 10 (National Action Programs)
    This Article sets forth the purpose and the basic content 
of National Action Programs. The purpose of such programs is to 
identify the factors contributing to, and practical measures 
necessary to combat, desertification and drought. Programs are 
to specify the respective roles of government, local 
communities and land users and the resources available and 
needed. Further, they are to:
  --incorporate long-term strategies;
  --allow for future modifications in response to changing 
        circumstances;
  --give particular attention to preventive measures;
  --enhance national climatological, meteorological, and 
        hydrological capabilities and the means to provide for 
        drought early warning;
  --promote policies and strengthen institutional frameworks 
        that develop coordination between the donor community, 
        governments at all levels, local populations and 
        community groups;
  --provide for effective participation at the local, national, 
        and regional levels by NGOs and local populations in 
        policy planning, decision-making, implementation, and 
        review of programs; and
  --require regular review of, and progress reports on, their 
        implementation.
    The Article also sets forth an illustrative list of 
measures that may, but need not, form a part of any National 
Action Program, e.g., sustainable irrigation programs, drought 
contingency plans.
Article 11 (Subregional and Regional Action Programs)
    This Article calls upon those affected-country Parties that 
are required to prepare National Action Programs under Articles 
9 and 10 (which does not include the United States) to consult 
and cooperate to prepare, as appropriate, Subregional and/or 
Regional Action Programs to harmonize, complement, and increase 
the efficiency of National Action Programs, e.g., through 
agreed joint programs for sustainable management of 
transboundary natural resources.
Article 12 (International Cooperation)
    This Article encourages affected-country Parties, in 
collaboration with other Parties and the international 
community, to cooperate to ensure promotion of an enabling 
international environment in the implementation of the 
Convention covering, e.g., fields of technology transfer, 
scientific research, information collection. The United States 
has been a leader in these areas for a long time.
Article 13 (Support for the Elaboration and Implementation of Action 
        Programs)
    This Article sets forth a list of measures which support 
National Action Programs, e.g., financial cooperation to 
provide predictability that permits long-term planning, use of 
cooperation mechanisms which better enable support at the local 
level, including action though NGOs.
Article 14 (Coordination in the Elaboration and Implementation of 
        Action Programs)
    This Article calls upon Parties to work closely together, 
directly and through relevant intergovernmental organizations, 
in the elaboration and implementation of National Action 
Programs, particularly through the development of ``operational 
mechanisms'' at the national and field levels that ensure 
cooperation among developed- and developing-country Parties and 
relevant intergovernmental organizations and NGOs. The proper 
use of such mechanisms will maximize the impact of assistance, 
avoid duplication of effort, and harmonize disparate 
approaches.
    The United States is already implementing this commitment 
through USAID's ongoing efforts to work with other donors to 
ensure that donors are not duplicating efforts. The USAID has a 
keen interest in the implementation of National Action Programs 
to combat desertification and works with international 
organizations such as the World Bank and the Development 
Assistance Committee to support programs that focus on multiple 
linkages among the environment, population growth, poverty, 
public health, market, public and non-governmental 
institutions, and social culture, and break the negative 
linkages between development and the environment.
Article 15 (Regional Implementation Annexes)
    This Article provides that elements for incorporation in 
National Action Programs are to be selected and adapted to the 
socio-economic, geographical and climatic factors applicable to 
affected Parties or regions; each Regional Implementation Annex 
is to contain guidelines for the preparation of action programs 
and their exact focus and content for the particular region and 
subregions.
Article 16 (Information Collection, Analysis and Exchange)
    In order to promote early warning and advance planning for 
periods of adverse climatic variation, this Article calls for 
Parties to integrate and coordinate the collection, analysis, 
and exchange of data relevant to systematic observation of land 
degradation in affected areas.
    The Article calls upon Parties, as appropriate, to take 
steps such as facilitating and strengthening the function of an 
existing global network of institutions and facilities for the 
collection, analysis and exchange of information.
Article 17 (Research and Development)
    Article 17 calls for promotion of technical and scientific 
cooperation in the fields of combating desertification and 
mitigating the effects of drought through appropriate national, 
subregional, regional and international institutions. To 
achieve this objective, the Parties are to support, according 
to their respective capabilities, research activities that, 
e.g., contribute to increased knowledge of the processes 
leading to desertification and drought with a view towards 
combating drought and desertification, achieve improved 
productivity of drylands and the sustainable use and management 
of resources, and address needs of local populations.
    The United States currently conducts domestic and 
international research on desertification and related fields 
pursuant to numerous authorities, e.g., the Forest and 
Rangeland Renewable Resources Research Act of 1978, 16 U.S.C. 
Sec. 1641 et seq., Pub. L. No. 95-307; the Food, Agriculture, 
Conservation, and Trade Act of 1990, 7 U.S.C. Sec. 1421 et 
seq., at Sec. 3291, Pub. L. No. 101-624; the National Science 
Foundation Act of 1950, 42 U.S.C. Sec. 1861 et seq., 64 Stat. 
149; and the Global Change Research Act of 1990, 15 U.S.C. 
Sec. 292 et seq., Pub. L. No. 101-606.
Article 18 (Transfer, Acquisition, Adaptation and Development of 
        Technology)
    Paragraph 1 creates a general obligation with respect to 
the transfer and acquisition of technology. It generally 
obligates the Parties, as mutually agreed and in accordance 
with their respective national legislation and/or policies, to 
promote, finance and/or facilitate the financing of the 
transfer, acquisition, adaptation and development of 
technologies that are relevant to combating desertification 
and/or mitigating the effects of drought. It further specifies 
that Parties are, in particular, to take steps such as fully 
utilizing relevant national and international information 
systems and clearinghouses for the dissemination of information 
on technologies, and facilitating access to technologies on 
favorable terms, including on concessional and preferential 
terms, as mutually agreed, taking into account the need to 
protect intellectual property rights.
    The United States currently implements these commitments 
through bilateral and multilateral aid programs administered by 
USAID and under the International Cooperation in Global Change 
Research Act of 1990, 15 U.S.C. Sec. 2951 et seq., Pub. L. No. 
101-606. Moreover, U.S. participation in activities of the 
World Bank, the United Nations Development Program (UNDP), the 
United Nations Environment Program (UNEP), the United Nations 
Food And Agricultural Organization (FAO), the World 
Meteorological Organization (WMO), the African Development Bank 
(AFDB), the African Development Fund (AFDF), the Inter-American 
Development Bank (IADB), the Asian Development Bank (ADB), the 
International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD), and the 
GEF are all relevant to the implementation of these 
obligations.
    Under paragraph 2, Parties are to take various measures, 
according to their respective capabilities and subject to their 
respective national legislation and/or policies, to protect, 
promote, and use in particular relevant traditional and local 
technology, knowledge, know-how and practices. The United 
States administers a number of programs aimed at protecting, 
promoting and using relevant traditional and local technology, 
knowledge, know-how and practices pursuant to a variety of 
statutory authorities (e.g., the Soil and Water Resources 
Conservation Act of 1977, 16 U.S.C. Sec. 2001 et seq., Pub. L. 
No. 95-192, and the Soil Conservation and Domestic Allotment 
Act, 16 U.S.C. Sec. 590 et seq., 49 Stat. 163 (1935)). Federal 
land-management agencies, in accordance with existing 
authorities (e.g., the Federal Land Policy and Management Act 
of 1976, 43 U.S.C. Sec. 1701 et seq., Pub. L. No. 94-579) and 
policies, seek out and take into consideration relevant 
traditional and local technology, knowledge, know-how and 
practices as part of their land management planning processes. 
Furthermore, Native Americans have established their own tribal 
laws, regulations, policies and practices to provide for the 
protection of their traditional and local technology, 
knowledge, know-how and practices. Dissemination of such 
information is done, inter alia, through Native American 
schools and colleges and land-grant colleges and universities.
Article 19 (Capacity Building, Education and Public Awareness)
    Paragraph 1 recognizes the significance of capacity-
building (i.e., institution-building, training and development 
of relevant local and national capacities) in efforts to combat 
desertification and mitigate the effects of drought. In this 
regard, the Article calls upon Parties to promote capacity-
building, as appropriate, through steps such as providing full 
participation at all levels of local people, by strengthening 
national desertification and drought training and research 
capacities, and by training members of rural organizations in 
participatory approaches for the conservation and sustainable 
use of natural resources.
    The United States already implements these obligations 
through multiple aid programs administered by USAID focussed 
specifically on capacity-building and training of local 
populations, in particular in Africa. The United States also 
implements this obligation through its activities in the World 
Bank, UNDP, UNEP, FAO, WMO, AFDB, AFDF, IADB, ADB, IFAD, and 
the GEF.
    This Article also calls upon Parties to cooperate with each 
other and through competent intergovernmental organizations and 
NGOs to undertake and support public awareness and educational 
programs to promote a world-wide understanding of the causes 
and effects of desertification and drought. Such efforts will 
involve, inter alia, access by the public to relevant 
information, wide public participation, and the expansion, as 
needed, of educational and adult literacy programs on the 
identification, conservation and sustainable use and management 
of the natural resources of affected areas. Lastly, this 
Article calls on the Conference of Parties to establish and/or 
strengthen networks of regional education and training centers 
to combat desertification and mitigate the effects of drought.
Article 20 (Financial Resources)
    Under paragraph 1, all Parties, taking into account their 
capabilities, are to make every effort to ensure that adequate 
financial resources are available for programs to combat 
desertification and mitigate the effects of drought.
    Paragraph 2 obligates developed-country Parties to:
  --mobilize financial resources to support the efforts of 
        developing-country Parties affected by desertification;
  --promote the mobilization of financial resources, including 
        new and additional funding from the GEF of the agreed 
        incremental costs of those activities concerning 
        desertification that relate to its four focal areas;
  --facilitate the transfer of technology, knowledge, and know-
        how; and
  --explore innovative methods for mobilizing and channeling 
        resources, including from the private sector.
    Paragraph 3 requires affected developing-country Parties 
(which does not include the United States) to mobilize adequate 
financial resources for the implementation of their National 
Action programs. Paragraph 4 further calls upon all Parties to 
seek continued qualitative improvement of various funding 
sources, including through the operational mechanisms referred 
to in Article 14.
    Under Paragraph 5, all Parties are also to take certain 
steps to help mobilize the financial resources necessary for 
affected developing-country Parties to address desertification. 
These include: rationalizing and strengthening the management 
of existing resources by using them more effectively and 
efficiently; giving due priority and attention within the 
governing bodies of multilateral financial institutions to 
supporting developing-country Parties in activities that 
advance Convention implementation; and working to strengthen 
regional and sub-regional cooperation to support national 
efforts.
    Paragraph 7 notes that efforts of developing-country 
Parties to implement effectively their commitments under the 
Convention will be greatly assisted by the fulfillment by 
developed-country Parties of their commitments under the 
Convention relating to financial resources and technology.
    The United States would implement commitments under this 
Article through the same means as for Article 6, discussed 
above.
Article 21 (Financial Mechanisms)
    Unlike certain other environmental agreements (e.g., the 
United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change), this 
Convention does not identify a particular financial mechanism 
for implementation of the Convention. Rather, Article 21 
identifies a multitude of means for promoting effective funding 
to combat desertification to be considered for adoption by the 
Conference of the Parties (COP), such as promotion of the 
availability of financial mechanisms; identification of steps 
to be taken by affected developing-country Parties to ensure 
efficient use of available financial resources. A ``Global 
Mechanism'' is established to promote actions leading to the 
mobilization and channeling of financial resources, and the COP 
is instructed to find an organization to house it. The 
Mechanism is to inventory relevant programs; provide advice on 
innovative methods of financing and on improving the 
coordination of cooperative activities at the national level; 
and provide interested Parties and others with relevant funding 
information. It should be noted that the Mechanism is not 
itself to provide financial resources.

                                Part IV


                              institutions


Article 22 (Conference of the Parties)
    This Article follows the practice common in international 
environmental agreements of establishing a Conference of the 
Parties to be the supreme body under the Convention. It will, 
inter alia, regularly review implementation of the Convention, 
establish such subsidiary bodies as are deemed necessary, 
coordinate with bodies established under other relevant 
conventions, and adopt by consensus rules of procedure and 
financial rules.
Article 23 (Permanent Secretariat)
    This Article establishes a Permanent Secretariat to perform 
various administrative functions in support of the Convention. 
The COP, at its first session, is to designate the Secretariat. 
The interim Secretariat, which will function until after the 
first meeting of the COP, is to be the secretariat that 
supported the negotiation of the Convention (see Article 35 
(Interim Arrangements) for such designation).
Article 24 (Committee on Science and Technology)
    This Article establishes, as a subsidiary body, a Committee 
on Science and Technology, to provide the COP with information 
and advice on scientific and technological matters relating to 
combatting desertification and mitigating the effects of 
drought. The Committee will be multidisciplinary and will be 
open to the participation of all Parties; it will comprise 
government representatives competent in the relevant fields of 
expertise.
Article 25 (Networking of Institutions, Agencies and Bodies)
    Article 25 provides that the Committee on Science and 
Technology (established under Article 24), under the COP's 
supervision, is to conduct a survey and evaluation of existing 
networks, institutions, agencies, and bodies willing to become 
units of a network to support implementation of the Convention. 
On the basis of such survey and evaluation, the Committee will 
recommend to the COP ways and means to facilitate and 
strengthen networking of such units at all levels. The COP is 
then to identify those units that are most appropriate for 
networking and recommend operational procedures.

                                 Part V


                               procedures


Article 26 (Communication of Information)
    This Article contains the reporting obligation of the 
Parties, namely that each Party is to communicate to the COP, 
through the Secretariat, reports on the measures it has taken 
to implement the Convention.
Article 27 (Measures to Resolve Questions on Implementation)
    This provision mandates the COP to consider and adopt 
procedures for the resolution of questions that may arise 
regarding implementation of the Convention.
Article 28 (Settlement of Disputes)
    This Article calls upon all Parties to settle any dispute 
arising concerning interpretation or application of the 
Convention through negotiation or other peaceful means of their 
choice. Paragraph 2 permits a Party, when joining the 
Convention, to declare that it accepts adjudication before the 
International Court of Justice and/or binding arbitration. We 
do not intend for the United States to make such a declaration. 
Therefore, recourse to binding arbitration would not be an 
option for disputes involving the United States under the 
Convention. However, Paragraph 6 provides for mandatory 
recourse, at the request of one Party to a dispute, to non-
binding conciliation in accordance with procedures to be 
adopted by the COP and set forth in an Annex. The United 
States, as all Parties, would therefore be subject to non-
binding conciliation for disputes as is the case in many 
environmental treaties.
Article 29 (Status of Annexes)
    There are currently four Regional Implementation Annexes to 
the Convention. This Article makes clear that these Annexes, 
together with any future Annexes, form an integral part of the 
Convention; thus, unless expressly provided otherwise, any 
reference to the Convention also constitutes reference to its 
Annexes. The Parties are to interpret Annexes in a manner 
consistent with the Convention.

Articles 30-40 (Final Clauses)

    Article 30 contains the procedures for amending the 
Convention. It provides that an amendment will enter into force 
for those Parties having accepted it 90 days after receipt by 
the Depository of instruments from at least two-thirds of the 
Parties that were Parties at the time the amendment was 
adopted.
    Article 31 establishes the procedures for adding new 
Annexes or amending existing Annexes. Annexes and amendments to 
Annexes other than Regional Implementation Annexes are to be 
adopted at the meetings of the COP and are to enter into force 
six months after notification by the Depositary of the 
provision's adoption for all Parties except those that have 
notified the Depositary that they do not accept the Annex or 
Annex amendment. Notifications of non-acceptance may be 
withdrawn (for example, when a Party has met its domestic 
requirements).
    As noted above, the Convention already contains four 
Regional Implementation Annexes that already form an integral 
part of the Convention.
    Article 31, coupled with Article 34, paragraph 4, governs 
the adoption of additional Regional Implementation Annexes and 
the amendment of any Regional Implementation Annexes. Once such 
an Annex/amendment is adopted, it enters into force for all 
Parties six months after the date of the communication by the 
Depositary to the Parties of such adoption, except in two 
cases:
          (1) where a Party has notified the Depositary within 
        the six-month period that it does not accept the annex/
        amendment (a so-called ``tacit'' approach); and
          (2) where a Party has made a declaration in 
        accordance with Article 34, paragraph 4 (i.e., a 
        declaration that any additional Regional Implementation 
        Annex or any amendment to any Regional Implementation 
        Annex will enter into force for it only upon the 
        deposit of its instrument of ratification, acceptance, 
        approval or accession with respect thereto), in which 
        case any such Annex/amendment will enter into force for 
        that Party only if it deposits an instrument of 
        ratification, etc.
    The second alternative, which was introduced by the United 
States, was intended to ensure that the Senate had the 
opportunity to advise and consent to subsequent Regional 
Implementation Annexes. Amendments to the existing Annexes or 
to subsequent Annexes would likewise be submitted to the Senate 
for its advice and consent unless, due to the technical and/or 
scientific nature of an amendment, it would be more 
appropriately entered into under the existing authority of the 
Executive.
    Article 32 provides that each Party to the Convention has 
the right to vote. Regional economic integration organizations, 
in matters within their competence, may cast the number of 
votes equal to the number of their members that are Parties to 
the Convention. A regional economic integration organization 
may not vote if any one of its member States votes on an issue, 
and vice versa.
    The remaining provisions of the Convention, Articles 33-40, 
address such issues as signature of the Convention, the naming 
of a Depositary (the Secretary General of the United Nations), 
and interim arrangements for a secretariat. Of note is Article 
36, which provides that the Convention shall enter into force 
only on the ninetieth day after the date of deposit of the 
fiftieth instrument of ratification, acceptance, approval or 
accession. Also of note are Article 37, which prohibits 
reservations to the Convention, and Article 38, which provides 
that a Party to the Convention may withdraw three years after 
the Convention's entry into force for it upon at least one 
year's written notice to the Depositary.

                    Regional Implementation Annexes

                                annex i

Regional Implementation Annex for Africa

    As noted above, Article 7 of the Convention reflects the 
intention of the Parties, in implementing the Convention, to 
give priority to affected-country Parties in Africa. To this 
end, Annex I elaborates, with considerable specificity, 
implementation of the Convention vis-a-vis Africa.
    The purpose of the Annex is to: identify measures and 
arrangements in accordance with the Convention; provide for the 
efficient and practical implementation of the Convention to 
address conditions specific to Africa; and promote processes 
and activities relating to desertification and drought within 
relevant areas of Africa.
    To this end, the Annex:
  --identifies particular conditions of Africa, for example, 
        the substantial number of countries and populations 
        adversely affected by desertification and by the 
        frequent recurrence of severe drought (Article 3);
  --sets forth commitments of African country Parties, for 
        example, adopting the combatting of desertification as 
        a central strategy in their efforts to eradicate 
        poverty, developing contingency plans for mitigating 
        the effects of drought, and making appropriate 
        financial allocations from their national budgets 
        reflecting the ``new priority'' Africa has accorded to 
        the phenomenon of desertification and/or drought 
        (Article 4);
  --reaffirms, and makes more specific to the context of 
        Africa, commitments of the Parties under the Convention 
        relating to financial, technological, and technical 
        assistance (Articles 5, 14, 15, 16, and 17);
  --elaborates on the process (including coordination and 
        consultation) and timetable for, and contents and 
        implementation of, National Action Programs (Articles 
        6, 7, 8, 9, and 18);
  --calls for the preparation, and identifies the contents, of 
        subregional and regional action programs (Articles 10, 
        11, 12, and 13); and
  --provides for how follow-up of the Annex is to be carried 
        out by African country Parties at the national, 
        subregional, and regional levels (Article 19).


                        annexes ii, iii, and iv


Regional Implementation Annexes for Asia, for Latin America and the 
        Caribbean, and for the Northern Mediterranean
    These Annexes are considerable shorter and simpler than 
Annex I. They provide guidelines for the effective 
implementation of the Convention in the affected-country 
Parties of the various regions in light of their respective 
particular conditions.
    Each Annex recognizes the particular conditions that apply 
within that region and the need for Parties to take these into 
account when taking action under the Convention. Particular 
conditions include, for example, the broad diversity of 
affected areas within Asia with regard to climate, topography, 
land use and socioeconomic systems; the frequent use in Latin 
America and the Caribbean of unsustainable development 
practices; and, with respect to the Northern Mediterranean, 
semi-arid climatic conditions affecting large areas, seasonal 
droughts, and very high rainfall variability.
    Each Annex identifies elements that affected-country 
Parties in that region may include in their National Action 
Plans; each also provides for subregional and joint action 
programs.
    Each Annex also reaffirms obligations of the Parties under 
the Convention relating to financial resources and mechanisms.
    Annex IV (Northern Mediterranean) also identifies steps 
that affected-country Parties in the region are to take in 
preparing and implementing their National Action Programs; it 
calls for such programs to be finalized as soon as practicable. 
This Annex further provides that subregional, regional, and 
joint action programs may be prepared and implemented in 
collaboration with those of other subregions or regions, 
particularly with those of the subregion of northern Africa.