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ASEAN ministers agree on prioritised actions for environmental sustainability

The 15th ASEAN Ministerial Meeting on the Environment (AMME 15) and related meetings concluded in Siem Reap, Cambodia, on October 9 and released a joint statement.

 

 

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Delegates at the AMME 15 (Source: https://asean.org)

 

In the statement, the ministers acknowledged the achievements and progress of regionalenvironmental protection and cooperation on a number of environmental issues,in particular prioritised actions and initiatives taken on environmentalsustainability to further promote environmental cooperation in the region.

Theyrecognised that key cross-cutting and emerging environmental issues such asclimate change and marine debris pollution remain a challenge which requiresregional collective actions.

Theministers also noted the continuing dialogue between ASEAN and partners in thekey cross-cutting and emerging environmental issues such as climate change,environmentally sustainable cities, and circular economy in the ASEAN-EUHigh-Level Dialogue on Environment and Climate Change held on July 8, 2019 inBangkok, Thailand.

Theylooked forward to a successful outcome of the 25th session ofthe Conference of the Parties (COP25) to the United Nations FrameworkConvention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), which will take place on December 2-13,2019 in Santiago, Chile, including the convening of an ASEAN event under theIndonesia and Thailand pavilions at the sideline of the COP25.

Theyendorsed the ASEAN Joint Statement on Climate Change to COP25 to United NationsFramework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) for the consideration by theLeaders.

Theyrecognised the high and rapidly increasing levels of marine debris, andreaffirmed their commitment for the implementation of the Bangkok Declarationon Combating Marine Debris in ASEAN Region and the ASEAN Framework of Action onMarine Debris.

Theministers noted the progress of implementation of marine-debris relatedprojects and initiatives, including among others the ASEAN Plus Three Projecton Strengthening Capacity for Marine Debris Reduction in ASEAN region throughFormulation of National Action Plan for AMS and Integrated Land to Sea PolicyApproach (Phase I) supported by Japan, the ASEAN-PROBLUE Activities on MarineDebris supported by the World Bank, the ASEAN-Norwegian Cooperation Project onLocal Capacity Building for Reducing Plastic Pollution in the ASEAN Region(ASEANO), and the ASEAN-EU Partnership on Circular Economy.

Theyalso noted that the Third ASEAN Conference on Biodiversity (ACB2020) will beheld in Putrajaya, Malaysia, on March 16-19, 2020.

Theministers congratulated the four ASEAN Heritage Parks approved last year in2018, namely Bantimurung Bulusaraung National Park (Indonesia), Agusan MarshWildlife Sanctuary (Philippines), Bidoup Nui-Ba National Park (Vietnam), and VuQuang National Park (Vietnam) for their designation as the 41st, 42nd,and 43rd and 44th ASEAN Heritage Parksrespectively in 2018.

Theyexpressed concern over the severity and geographical spread of the recent smokehaze affecting various ASEAN countries in the northern and southern ASEAN. Theyalso expressed sympathy to the millions of people affected by the haze. The ministersnoted and appreciated the efforts undertaken by the ASEAN countries, and theoffers of assistance by countries to address the forest fires and theassociated smoke haze.

Theynoted ASMC’s efforts to deliver objective and reliable services to the ASEANregion in weather and climate prediction, and in monitoring, assessment andprovision of early warning for trans-boundary haze.

Theyreviewed the implementation of the ASEAN Agreement on Trans-boundary HazePollution (AATHP) and reaffirmed their commitment through concerted nationalefforts and regional cooperation to effectively implement the AATHP and theRoadmap on ASEAN Cooperation towards Trans-boundary Haze Pollution Control withMeans of Implementation to achieve a Haze-Free ASEAN by 2020.

Theprogress towards the finalisation of the Establishment Agreement and HostCountry Agreement of the ASEAN Coordinating Centre for Trans-boundaryHaze Pollution Control (ACC THPC) in Indonesia and the urgency to furtherintensify efforts to bring the negotiations to conclusion were also reviewed.

Theministers met their counterparts from Japan and Plus Three countries (China,Japan, and the Republic of Korea) at the ASEAN-Japan Ministerial Dialogue onEnvironmental Cooperation and the 16th ASEAN Plus ThreeEnvironment Ministers Meeting respectively on October 9, 2019 to review currentactivities and discuss future strategic cooperation in such areas ofbiodiversity, climate change, environmental education, environmental scienceand technology, environmentally sustainable cities, and marine plastic debris,amongst others./. VNA

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