Expert Group Meeting on Strategies for Improving Environment Statistics in Asia and the Pacific

Date: 
2 Dec 2013 to 4 Dec 2013
Location: 
Bangkok, Thailand

At its third session in December 2012, the ESCAP Committee on Statistics reviewed new ideas for a regional collaboration to build capacities for environment statistics. The Committee recommended to explore options for an Asia-Pacific regional strategy for environment statistics, upon the adoption (globally) of the revised Framework for the Development of Environment Statistics (FDES 2013),which was subsequently finalized and endorsed by the 44th session of the United Nations Statistical Commission in 2013. The Committee also agreed to establish an informal network of experts and an online knowledge centre to foster regional collaboration in the area of environment statistics.

During the past two years, the United Nations Statistical Commission has accomplished several major breakthroughs for environment statistics at the global level. In addition to the endorsement of the revised FDES, the Commission adopted, in 2012, the System of Environmental-Economic Accounts (SEEA) Central Framework as the initial version of the international standard for environmental-economic accounts. A Call for improvements to statistics for monitoring a new set of sustainable development goals was also a point of emphasis in the outcome from the 2012 UN Conference on Sustainable Development (Rio +20).

This Expert Group Meeting provided a rare opportunity for experts from across the region to share their experiences working within these domains and to discuss potential strategies for increased regional cooperation to accelerate progress in environment statistics improvement. The meeting was attended by experts from national statistical offices and ministries of environment from eleven countries in Asia and Pacific. Representatives from Clean Air Asia, the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO), and the United Nations Statistics Division (UN-DESA) also contributed as resource persons.