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Publications archive - International Activities and Commitments


Key departmental publications, e.g. annual reports, budget papers and program guidelines are available in our online archive.

Much of the material listed on these archived web pages has been superseded, or served a particular purpose at a particular time. It may contain references to activities or policies that have no current application. Many archived documents may link to web pages that have moved or no longer exist, or may refer to other documents that are no longer available.

Australia's report to the UNCSD - 1996

Implementation of Agenda 21
Department of the Environment, Sport and Territories, 1996
ISBN 0 6422 4868 0

Capacity building

Chapter 37 of Agenda 21

International cooperation

Australia's development cooperation program supports capacity building in developing countries through a range of mechanisms, particularly in the areas of human resource development and technology transfer. For many developing countries amongst the most pressing problems are the lack of skilled personnel and technical and institutional capacity. Australia therefore considers that the transfer of environmentally sound technology accompanied by capacity building measures is crucial in assisting developing countries to adopt and implement prudent and sustainable environment policies.

Sustainable resource use continues to be a critical concern of Australia's development cooperation program in the South Pacific particularly due to the fragility of the islands' resource base. Considerable assistance is being provided on a country and regional basis to help the countries in the region manage their forestry and fisheries resources in a sustainable way. In addition, Australia has helped to prepare a code of conduct for the logging of indigenous forests in the South Pacific. These and other interventions reflect Australia's commitment to the Plan of Action of the Barbados Conference on the development of small island states.

Through its funding for the South Pacific Regional Environment Program (SPREP), Australia is supporting the National Environment Management Strategies (NEMS) program. The NEMS program assists Pacific Island countries to improve their legal and regulatory frameworks with the aim of integrating environment and development goals. The program involves an assessment of existing laws with amendments or new legislation recommended where appropriate.

Australia is funding an environmental technology transfer and capacity building project in Indonesia titled the BAPEDAL Pollution Control Project. This five year, $22 million project is designed to improve Indonesia's environment protection capabilities by helping to develop the capacity of Indonesia's environment protection agency.

Australian non-government organisations (NGOs) are highlighting the need to ensure NGOs and community groups in developing countries are involved in capacity building activities. For example, in promoting implementation of the Convention to Combat Desertification, NGOs are seeking resources for community participation in the implementation process for the convention, through the global NGO network known as RIOD.

In the Basel Convention on the Transboundary Movement of Hazardous Wastes, where a decision has been made to establish regional training centres in China and Indonesia, it has been proposed that NGOs be involved in training activities and in advising on the appropriateness of transferred technologies.

Through Australia's aid program, capacity building projects are underway in Papua New Guinea, Philippines and India. In Papua New Guinea, the $6.2 million Department of Environment and Conservation (DEC) Strengthening Project is aimed at assisting DEC to improve its capacity to fulfil its mandate for the sustainable management of Papua New Guinea's natural resources and environment. In the Philippines, Australia is contributing $5.5 million towards the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) Human Resource Development Project. The project aims to enhance the delivery of appropriate and sustainable human resource development systems and services to DENR and to develop appropriate support functions that best meet the human resources development needs of DENR.

In India, AusAID is currently implementing the 'Hyderabad Waste Management Project' at an estimated cost of A$12 million to improve hazardous waste management procedures and practices in the City of Hyderabad (Andra Pradesh). Assistance includes a waste minimisation/cleaner production, waste audit techniques, training, demonstration and grants to factories installing cleaner technologies. Capacity building of the Andra Pradesh Pollution Control Board is a key objective of this project.

The Australian Centre for International Agricultural Research (ACIAR) provides A$24 million for bilateral collaborative projects involving research partnerships between scientists in Australian and developing country institutions. ACIAR's projects have a strong capacity-building component, giving developing-country scientists opportunities to work with highly experienced Australian scientists who are often world leaders in their fields. These interactions are helping to build up the research expertise and thus the strength of the developing country institutions involved. ACIAR also provides A$1.9 million for both formal higher degree training and for informal short term training for project scientist and other staff of collaborating developing country institutions. In addition, ACIAR works closely with the Crawford Fund for International Agricultural Research to conduct short training courses in both Australia and South-East Asia to instruct scientists and technicians in state-of-the-art technologies. Master classes are regularly held for senior scientists.