The United Nations Conference on Desertification, meeting in Nairobi, has set an informal goal of "zero desert growth" by the year 2000.
GV EXTERIOR Kenyatta Conference Centre, Nairobi, Kenya (NATURAL SOUND)
GV INTERIOR Pan African Congress of South Africa Deputy Publicity Secretary D.M. Morwatshehla addressing conference (ENGLISH)
CU & SV Delegates listening (2 shots)
SCU Mauritanian delegation leader M.A. Diop addressing conference (FRENCH)
SV Swedish delegate taking notes
SCU Canadian delegation leader B.A. Williams addressing conference (ENGLISH)
The Pan African Congress delegate's solution was clear.
MORWATSHEHLA: "It is the belief of my organisation that the deserts must be liberated from the colonialists and the racists in southern Africa and the zionist imperialists before mankind can tackle the problems of desertification."
WILLIAMS: "The government of Canada recognises the serious implications of continued desertification, and by consequence it is prepared to consider carefully the financial implications. To date, Canada has actively supported a wide range of desertification-related projects through the Canadian International Development Agency. Projects funded by CIDA vary from the improvement of grazing practices and livestock production to rangelang ecological monitoring, soil conservation, water resources studies and dry land farming techniques."
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Background: The United Nations Conference on Desertification, meeting in Nairobi, has set an informal goal of "zero desert growth" by the year 2000. It's hoped that by then the growth of deserts will have been cancelled out by programmes of desert reclamation. Many delegates from the one hundred nations attending the conference are agreed on the need for massive funds to be poured into projects to stop the growth of deserts throughout the world. But the tone of mutual effort and co-operation was met with a strident political speech by the delegate from the Pan African Congress, Mr. D. Morwatshehla during the session on Friday (2 September).
While some of the delegates at the conference supported the Pan Africa Congress attitude, others opposed turning the need for action against the growth of the world's deserts into a political slugging match. The Mauritanian delegation leader, Mamadou Diop, speaking in French said the struggle against desertification, if it,s to be efficient, needs real co operation, at all levels. Success, he said, depended on how much effort the international community would deploy.
The Canadian delegation leader agreed, and outlined Canada's existing commitment to the problem.