overcome the existing sectoral approach, which often leads to conflicting decisions. It also stresses the need for international cooperation in integrated coastal zone management, particularly at the regional level. The advantages of a regional legal instrument are seen in the possibility of exchange of information on integrated coastal zone management; the harmonization of customs and tariffs; the approximation of pollution control measures; and the joint management and protection of shared natural resources. The report also concludes that the adoption of a regional agreement would entail political benefits, such as a strengthening of the Indian Ocean Commission and the "diplomatic prestige" of having created the first specific international agreement on integrated coastal zone management.
Promotion, if not adoption, of such a regional agreement on integrated coastal zone management would be within the competence of the Indian Ocean Commission, which is expected to facilitate cooperation in natural resource management. Specifically, such an agreement could either be concluded by the member states of the Indian Ocean Commission as a separate treaty, adopted as a protocol additional to the Treaty of Victoria, as an "implementation protocol" or a common decision, the latter being endorsed by the report as the most appropriate option. The Council of Ministers was expected to consider the proposed regional legal instrument at its meeting in April 1997.
Lothar Gündling Etienne Sinatambou
The major developments within the ILO in relation to the environment in 1996 centred on its continuing activities on the working environment, especially in the field of chemical safety, and on new instruments adopted by the International Labour Conference in the maritime sector. In a wider sense, it also of course contributed to the preparations for the follow-up process to Rio (Agenda 21) in the Commission on Sustainable Development, by pointing out the range of ILO instruments and procedures that are relevant to both the physical and human aspects of the issues addressed.
Further efforts were made in 1996 toward the development of a harmonized system for the classification and labelling of chemicals, an area in which the ILO has played a major coordinating role. An action programme on the use of chemicals at work was also completed in 1996, involving assistance in designing and implementing national programmes for the environmentally sound management of hazardous chemicals and their waste in five countries.