Environment and development
in coastal regions and in small islands
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The Kingdom of the Netherlands

Concern about the erosion of the world’s taxonomic heritage led UNESCO in the 1980s to encourage and support the establishment of the Expert-centre for Taxonomic Identification (ETI) at the University of Amsterdam. ETI’s biodiversity database and advanced electronic distribution technology help to address global, regional and local biological diversity issues. The Director General decided (June 1997) to admit ETI as an ‘NGO in operational relation with UNESCO’. Contributions to the development and refinement of CSI’s scope and objectives were made by a specialist from the Netherlands who attended the CSI Experts meeting (Paris, November, 1996). In 1997, ETI initiated a project to create a CD-ROM version of the ‘Manual of fish eggs and larvae from Asian mangrove waters’ that has also been published in hard copy (UNESCO-ISME, 1998). The ETI board met in January and March 2000. The chief of CSI attended the meetings.

Three experts from the Netherlands participated in the meeting on ‘Urban Development in the Coastal Environment’ held in Essaouira, Morocco in November 1997. A report on the conference was published as CSI Info 5: ‘Urban Development and Freshwater Resources: Small Coastal Cities - Proceedings and Recommendations’, ‘Développement urbain et ressources en eau : petites villes côtières - Actes et recommandations’. An expert from the Netherlands attended a Steering Committee meeting for the intersectoral project ‘Urban Development and Freshwater Resources in Small Historic Coastal Cities’ held at UNESCO headquarters in Paris at the end of March 1998.

A ‘BILKO International Executive Steering Committee Meeting and Coastal Remote Sensing Workshop’ was held in the Netherlands in November 1998 and was attended by two national experts. The Secretariat for the BILKO Coastal Remote Sensing Distance Learning programme was transferred from UNESCO Paris to the Netherlands (ITC, Enschedé). A proposal for a distance learning training module on coastal erosion was prepared.

One person from the Netherlands participated in the international residential seminar for the ‘Sustainable Development of Omisalj’ held in Croatia in October 1998 as a resource person. One person from the Netherlands attended the intersectoral workshop ‘Towards Wise Coastal Development Practices’ held at UNESCO headquarters in Paris in the beginning of December 1998, as an observer.

One social sciences and one natural sciences expert were supported by the Netherlands Committee for the International Hydrological Programme and the Netherlands National Commission for UNESCO to visit Alexandria (Egypt) in November 1999 as preparation for a workshop on ‘Water for Society’.

A session on ‘Water and Indigenous Peoples’ was organized at the Netherlands Conference Centre in The Hague, The Netherlands, as part of the ‘Second World Water Forum’ (March 2000). Indigenous people spoke of their knowledge of water and its sacred and symbolic force. Traditional water management strategies were explored and indigenous experiences with large-scale water development projects. Two people from CSI attended.

One person from the Netherlands attended an international seminar on ‘Développement Urbain Durable en Zones Côtières / Sustainable Urban Development in the Coastal Zones’ held in Mahdia, Tunisia, in June 1999. A report on the seminar was published as CSI info 8 (2000) ‘Développement Urbain Durable en Zone Côtière. Actes du Séminaire International’.

A presentation on the CD-ROM ‘Dream Trackers Yapa Art and Knowledge of the Australian Desert’ was made during the Second World Water Forum thematic session on Water and Indigenous People that was held in The Hague in March 2000. The CD-ROM was produced jointly by UNESCO as part of the Local and Indigenous Knowledge Systems in a Global Society’ initiative to integrate indigenous knowledge into development and conservation efforts.

The Dutch policy of land acquisition for conservation was discussed on the CSI Internet-based ‘Wise Practices for Sustainable Human Development’ forum in April 2002: ‘Further Examples of Successful Land Purchase for Conservation’.


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