Extract from the Mauritius Strategy (Chapter VI , Para 38-45)
38. The pressures on land resources that existed 10 years ago have only been exacerbated by competing uses, increased demands and land degradation. National strategies have to be elaborated on sustainable land use, which tackle such issues as land tenure and management systems, combating desertification and protecting biodiversity. These strategies should include environmental impact assessments and identify the necessary policy changes and capacity-building needs within the framework of the three pillars of sustainable development.
39. Further action is required by small island developing States, with the necessary support of the international community, to:
(a) Develop capacity to implement the multilateral environmental agreements and other relevant international agreements in relation to land resources;
(b) Develop capacity for sustainable land management and self-generating agro-ecosystems by building on communal tenure systems and traditional land-use planning and practices for crop, livestock and aquaculture production, taking into account the increasing competition for land resources resulting from tourism, urbanization and other activities;
(c) Strengthen land tenure and management systems, move from primary to tertiary agricultural production and diversify agricultural production in a sustainable manner.
40. Most small island developing States face serious challenges of land degradation as a result, inter alia, of inappropriate land use and poor irrigation management systems. Since the main objective of the United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification in Those Countries Experiencing Serious Drought and/or Desertification, Particularly in Africa,18 is to address land degradation, and considering the designation of the Global Environment Facility as a financial mechanism of the Convention, small island developing States should fully utilize available Global Environment Facility resources to develop and implement projects to address land degradation through sustainable land management. In this regard, every effort must be made to ensure the full implementation of the Convention.
41. Faced with the challenge of competitiveness, small island developing States should seek additional opportunities for diversifying their economies and markets, especially in the agricultural sector, in order to increase their degree of food security and self-reliance. Small island developing States are committed individually and through partnerships with each other, with the necessary support of the international community, to:
(a) Create an enabling environment for sustainably enhancing agricultural productivity and promoting agricultural diversification and food security;
(b) Remove production constraints and build programmes in such areas as seed production and integrated pest management systems;
(c) Enhance food processing, marketing and product development and quality control;
(d) Promote relevant research and development and the use of appropriate modern technologies;
(e) Promote sustainable aquaculture.
42. To elaborate concrete strategies to enhance efficient and sustainable agricultural production and ensure their food security through such initiatives as the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations sustainable agriculture and rural development initiative, the United Nations system and other relevant international organizations are urged to provide practical support to small island developing States for research into such matters as the diversification of agriculture; alternative uses for crops; improved husbandry; irrigation and water management; aquaculture; and the use of appropriate modern technologies for smallholder agriculture, including agricultural extension services.
43. The 2005 Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations conference of small island developing States ministers of agriculture is urged to consider endorsing priority actions to enhance the contribution of agriculture, forestry and fisheries to small island developing States sustainable development policies, in the light of the importance of the nutrition and food security needs of small island developing States.
44. Sustainable forest management to reduce forest loss and forest degradation is crucial to small island developing States. Small island developing States are committed, with the necessary support of the international community and in the framework of the Intergovernmental Panel on Forests/Intergovernmental Forum on Forests proposals for action and subsequent action of the United Nations Forum on Forests, the Convention on Biological Diversity work programme on forest biodiversity and the Johannesburg Plan of Implementation, to:
(a) Develop and strengthen partnerships for sustainable forest management, such as the Iwokrama rainforest programme;
(b) Increase stakeholder participation in all discussions regarding the development, management and conservation of forest and tree resources;
(c) Ensure adherence to national forest policies and legislation that have been developed to safeguard the rights of resource owners and legitimate or licensed users through the use of administrative and management mechanisms for the alienation, licence or transfer of "traditional rights" for commercial development purposes;
(d) Increase the awareness, promotion, adoption and enforcement of legislation to ensure that sustainable rotational logging practices and replanting initiatives are implemented.
45. In the mining sector, we recognize that small island developing States are committed, with the support of the international community, to improve national capacity for:
(a) Policy and legislation formulation;
(b) The development of databases and assessment of mineral and aggregate resources;
(c) Negotiations with transnational corporations, including measures to enhance the transparency of revenue flows;
(d) The evaluation of mineral sector projects, including using environmental and social impact assessment to identify opportunities and risks and ensuring compliance with mitigatory and ameliorative measures where impacts are negative, as well as dealing with mining tenement issues and raising land "owner" awareness and participation.