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Consensus on issues at Earth Summit

Our Bureau

NEW DELHI, Sept. 3

THE plenary of Environment Ministers at the Earth Summit in Johannesburg has agreed on some contentious issues such as bio-diversity, water and sanitation, management of natural resources, changing consumption patterns, climate change and labour standards, according to an official communique issued here on Tuesday.

The ministerial plenary of the summit has agreed on evolving an international regime to ensure fair and equitable sharing of the benefits arising from the use of genetic resources within the framework of the Convention of Bio-diversity.

With regard to water and sanitation issues, it was decided to halve the proportion of people without access to safe drinking water and basic sanitation facilities by 2015. Issues of eco-labelling were not included in the text, as it could be misused as a trade barrier.

On energy-related issues, the summit would take up a proposal circulated by the G-77 countries, which incorporates India's concerns. The proposal recognises that access to energy facilitates eradication of poverty.

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