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Regional/Sub-regional coordination related to the environment
Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) - ASEAN Senior Officials on the Environment (ASEON)
ASEAN's effort in cooperation on environment led to establishment of institutional structure as well as various declarations and plans of action for environmental cooperation.
ASEAN was established in 1967 by ASEAN Declaration. As of end-2001, it consists of ten members : Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, Brunei, Vietnam, Laos, Myanmar and Cambodia. The primary purposes of ASEAN are to accelerate economic growth and to promote matters of common interest in economic fields. Although there was no mention about the cooperation in environment in the above declaration, increasing awareness in the world in the area of the environment culminating with Stockholm Declaration 1972 which called for regional cooperation in environment, led to the launch of ASEAN's Sub-regional Environment Programmes (ASEPs) since 1977.
However, the cooperation in ASEAN is done through consensus. There is no ASEAN Parliament to issue laws/regulations to its member countries and no enforcement agencies. In the absence of enforcement at sub-regional level, the role of each of its member states in implementation and enforcement becomes critical. Thus, at present, the role of ASEAN is essentially the guiding force. Each member country must play its part in implementing the various ASEAN instrument.
A number of environmental instruments are implemented, e.g., the Meeting of the ASEAN Heads of Government, the ASEAN Ministerial Meeting on the Environment (AMME), ASEAN Senior Officials on the Environment (ASOEN) and its subsidiary Working Groups.
ASEAN Institutional Framework for Environmental Cooperation
ASEAN Heads of Government
ASEAN Heads of Government comprise of presidents or prime ministers of the member countries and is held once every three years. It provides the vision and broad thrust for ASEAN cooperation in various sectors. The environmental matter may feature in the agenda of such meeting. Some landmark meetings in the area of environment include the meeting in Bangkok which led to the Bangkok Declaration on the ASEAN Environment (Nov1984) and Singpaore Summit in 1992 just before the Rio Summit in 1992.
ASEAN Ministerial Meeting on the Environment (AMME)
The AMME takes place once every three years in order to ensure that decisions of the Heads of Government are implemented and also promote ASEAN cooperation. Informal meetings have also been held on annual basis since 1994.
ASEAN Senior Officials on the Environment (ASOEN)
ASOEN meets annually are responsible for formulation, implementation, and monitoring of regional programmes and activities on environment. At the Ninth ASOEN Meeting in 1998, Working Groups were restructured and streamlined from original six Working Groups to three Working Groups as follows:
- Working Group on Nature Conservation and Biodiversity
- Working Group on Coastal and Marine Environment
- Working Group on Multilateral Environment Agreements
ASEAN's major policies and programmes on environment
|ASEAN FACTS AND FIGURES
|Policy Framework for Environmental Cooperation in ASEAN (derived from)
||ASEAN Vision 2020
|Environmental Objectives and Strategies in ASEAN (based on)
||Hanoi Plan of Action
|Environmental Programmes and Activities in ASEAN
||Strategic Plan of Action on the Environment, 1999-2004
|Most Recent Ministerial Declaration on the Environment
||The Kota Kinabalu Resolution on the Environment (October 2000)
|Source: ASEAN State of the Environment Report 2000
Sub-regional Environment Programmes
To promote the integrated policymaking in ASEAN, various programmes and plans of action have been formulated including
- ASEAN Environmental Programmes (e.g. ASEPs)
- ASEAN Strategic Plan of Action on the Environment (1999-2004)
- Hanoi Plan of Action (1999-2004)
- ASEAN Cooperative Plan on Transboundary Pollution (1995)
- ASEAN Regional Haze Action Plan (1997)
- ASEAN Plan of Action for Energy Cooperation (1999-2004)