National Strategy for Ecologically Sustainable Development

Prepared by the Ecologically Sustainable Development Steering Committee
Endorsed by the Council of Australian Governments
December, 1992
ISBN 0 644 27253 8

Australia's Overseas Aid Policy
Part 3 Intersectoral Issues - Chapter 28


To build a portfolio of development cooperation activities that are environmentally sound and contribute to ecologically sustainable development.

Strategic Approach

This will involve continued action in four main areas: the promotion of ESD in international forums and to recipient countries; initial screening of all proposals and the establishment of sectoral guidelines for environmental assessment of proposals; maintenance of the Environment Assistance Program within the Australian international development cooperation program; and the integration of ESD policy with other development assistance policies and provision of training. The importance of ESD in the development cooperation program flows both from governments' commitment to implementation of this Strategy and the National Greenhouse Response Strategy, and the Commonwealth Government's endorsement of actions agreed at UNCED.

Objective 28.1

  • to integrate ecologically sustainable development in all aspects of Australia's official development assistance program

The Commonwealth Government will:

  • continue to place emphasis on assisting countries to develop population policies and programs, alleviate poverty, apply ESD principles for the use of renewable and non-renewable resources, manage natural resources in a sustainable way, and improve energy efficiency and pollution management
  • continue to assist developing countries to identify environmental priorities and strengthen environmental expertise, legislation and institutions
  • continue to pursue a policy of supporting projects and programs that promote ESD both in relation to multilateral banks and non-government organisations' activities
  • through the Australian International Development Assistance Bureau (AIDAB), develop sectoral guidelines to provide detailed guidance on implementation of this Strategy Package
  • continue to develop guidelines for general environmental assessment, including working towards early finalisation of guidelines for social and economic infrastructure, education and training, and mining, energy and industry
  • maintain its commitment made to conduct annual environmental audits of AIDAB's projects to assess their conformity to the objectives, principles and guidelines in this Strategy Package
  • continue to utilise the Environment Assistance Program as a mechanism for promoting ESD through international cooperation programs
  • ensure that AIDAB's Interim Policy Statement on Ecologically Sustainable Development in International Development Cooperation is revised to take account of the goal, objectives and principles outlined in this Strategy, the National Greenhouse Response Strategy and implementation of Agenda 21 as part of the post-UNCED process
  • continue to encourage climate related training and infrastructure support to neighbouring developing countries