ESCAP TASKED WITH PROMOTING HOLISTIC GREEN POLICIES
Bangkok, United Nations Information Services (UNIS) -- There are serious problems in trying to
integrate environmental considerations into economic policy making processes. They range from
putting the operation on a more holistic approach to development, to serious institutional and
technical constraints, scarcity of appropriately trained staff and financial resources.
These were some of the points raised in a report on the environment to the member-countries of
the Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific at their 56th Commission Session
June 1 to 7 in Bangkok at the United Nations Conference Centre.
ESCAP is being urged to increase its activities in the area of integration of environmental
considerations into economic policy making processes. ESCAP must implement the project by
working closely with other international agencies in order to benefit from their expertise.
There was a need to facilitate greater capacity building in the integration of environmental
considerations into economic decision making in the region through activities such as the
exchange of information, the promotion of public awareness, community participation in
environment-related issues and the incorporation of environmental issues in human resource
The forthcoming Ministerial Conference on Environment and Development in Asia and the
Pacific, to be held in Kitakyushu, Japan from 31 August to 5 September 2000, will provide an
opportunity to fully integrate environmental considerations in economic decision-making and
ESCAP will intensify efforts to mainstream this process through the Conference outcomes.
To promote the active participation and contribution of everyone concerned with environment and
development matters, including government officials, scientists, NGOs, business community, and
civil society, the Conference will be held concurrently with several associated events, including a
media symposium, an NGO symposium, a clean technologies exhibition, and a youth caucus.
Some other interesting points raised in the report:
--Women play a major role in areas such as agriculture and irrigation and for that reason
deforestation, famine and drought had serious adverse effects on their opportunities for work.
-- ESCAP is promoting the North-East Asia Sub-regional Programme of Environmental
Cooperation with the participation of the Democratic Republic of Korea, Japan, Mongolia,
Republic of Korea, and the Russian Federation.
-- ESCAP also plays a significant role in the assessment and development of mineral resources in
-- Geographic Information Systems (GIS) is an important tool for the collection of data on
geology and mineral resources and many countries in the region were using GIS for the
assessment of mineral tracts within their lands areas. The importance of GIS was underlined
especially in the integrated assessment, development and management of land and mineral
resources for sustainable economic development.
-- Many countries in the Asia Pacific had made integration of environmental impact assessment,
environmental legislation on air, land, water and forests; the incorporation of social aspects of
environment degradation; and public awareness campaigns.