Capacity 21 was created to help developing countries build the capacity to formulate and implement national programs for sustainable development; developing their own Agenda 21 plans. 214 These plans are then harmonized with the National Environmental Action Plans which the World Bank sponsors. 215 Capacity 21 also promotes the integration of environmental considerations into development plans. Through the use of Environmental Management Guidelines, Capacity 21 helps countries ensure that projects do not have negative effects on the environment. 216
Capacity 21 is a likely channel for increasing knowledge and capabilities in many areas, including technical skills needed to integrate environmentally sound technology, make sustainable development plans at the local level, and develop the environmental laws and administration needed to implement multilateral environmental treaties. Together with UNEP, UNDP's Capacity 21 can provide governments with an integrated program of environment and development law services as Agenda 21 urges, thereby promoting the participation of developing countries in international environmental agreements. 217
An independent review of Capacity 21 was carried out in 1996. The report, on the whole, praises Capacity 21, and states that it has made excellent progress toward fulfilling its objectives. 218
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Publication information: Book title: Equality among Unequals in International Environmental Law:Differential Treatment for Developing Countries. Contributors: Anita Margrethe Halvorssen - Author. Publisher: Westview Press. Place of publication: Boulder, CO. Publication year: 1999. Page number: 139.
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