Aimed at creating a green and clean ASEAN Community, the meeting discusses the establishment of cooperative mechanisms within ASEAN and between ASEAN and its partners towards future sustainable growth.
The ASEAN Community will be established by the end of this year on 3 pillars: politics-security; economics; and culture-society. Its establishment will open a new chapter in regional cooperation, particularly in environmental protection.
Quickly establish a cooperative mechanism on the environment
ASEAN has a diversified ecosystem and rich natural resources so cooperation on environmental protection has been a focal point of cooperation since the association’s establishment. ASEAN compiled the first ASEAN Sub-regional Environment Programme (ASEP I) with support from the UN Environment Program in 1977 and endorsed it in 1981.
A number of documents on environmental cooperation have been issued including the 1994-2000 ASEAN Strategic Plan of Action for the Environment, the 2004-2010 Vientiane Action Program, the 1999-2004 Hanoi Plan of Action, and the 2007 ASEAN Declaration on Environmental Sustainability.
ASEAN cooperation on environmental protection has been expanded with increased information and experience sharing. The Association has been supported by partner countries including Japan, the Republic of Korea, and China. ASEAN and ASEAN+3 cooperation has contributed significantly to improving environmental management and creating sustainable growth policies in each country.
Cooperation to resolve environmental challenges
Climate change, environmental pollution, and food and water security have had a major impact on the sustainable growth of every ASEAN member. Under the ASEAN Community Vision 2025, ASEAN seeks to develop a green and clean community to achieve sustainable growth, protect the environment, maintain the sustainability of natural resources, and ensure the well-being of the people. Priority will be given to managing and protecting natural resources including oil, water, energy, biodiversity, forests, and marine and coastal resources.
ASEAN has joined the effort to deal with global environmental challenges including climate change, protecting the ozone layer, and developing environmentally friendly technologies.
Realizing the vision of a green and clean ASEAN
ASEAN is promoting environmental education to encourage people’s involvement in protecting the environment. A working group on environmental education has been established, focusing on 5 priority actions: promote a green schools concept and practice throughout ASEAN; provide environmental education and environmentally sustainable development training opportunities for key stakeholders; actively promote and manage the ASEAN Environmental Education Inventory Database; develop an ASEAN-wide ‘Youth for Sustainable Environment’ Network; and organize ASEAN film festivals.
ASEAN has approved its 2014-2018 Environmental Education Action Plan to promote sustainable development through education and public participation in addressing environmental issues.