ESCAP Workshop on strengthening national policies for improving water use and limit water pollution in key industrial sectors in Asia

21 Feb 2019
Bangkok, Thailand
By invitation only

Though the manufacturing sector has been a driver of growth in Asia, it is also the source of critical environmental problems in the region, including the surge of water resource and water pollution. Estimates suggest that the industrial sector of the region will see the largest increase (of 65%) in water use by 2030 compared to other sectors in the economy. A recent study indicates also that “projected growth and climate change in the next 35 years in Asia would lead to about 1 billion more people becoming water-stressed”, underscoring the extent to which “industrial expansion and population growth exacerbate water access problems in Asia”2. To meet the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), and particularly SDG 6 related targets on improving water quality and water use efficiency, SDG 12 and related targets on Sustainable Consumption and Production, it is critical to limit adverse effects of industrialization on the environment.

The industrial sector in Asia is poised to undergo vast transformations due to major economies such as China envisioning a transition from an industrial to a more service-oriented/high-technology economies. This would entail a migration of labor and resource intensive manufacturing industries within the region, leading to significant expansion of manufacturing sector in many developing countries of the region. The projected south-south movement of industries calls for south-south learning on policy approaches to mitigate the environmental impacts of industrialisation.

The United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (ESCAP)’s mandate is to foster a development pathway that integrates the economic, environmental and social dimensions of sustainability, with a more efficient management of natural resources and a natural environment that
supports human well-being and shared prosperity in both urban and rural Asia and the Pacific.

This specific workshop aims at strengthening the national capacity in developing countries to design environmental policies for improving water use and limit water pollution in key industrial sectors through developing regional networks for the exchange of knowledge, experiences, lessons learned and good practices. It aims to support governments to produce sound and inclusive environmental policy on natural resource management and pollution reduction, as reflected by the Regional Road Map for implementing the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development in Asia and the Pacific, the Ministerial Declaration of the Seventh Ministerial Conference on Environment and Development and the outcome of the 5th ESCAP Committee on Environment and Development.