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Environmental Important Policy




D. Ensuring Environmental Sustainability

ASEAN shall work towards achieving sustainable development as well as promoting clean and green environment by protecting the natural resource base for economic and social development including the sustainable management and conservation of soil, water, mineral, energy, biodiversity, forest, coastal and marine resources as well as the improvement in water and air quality for the ASEAN region. ASEAN will actively participate in global efforts towardsaddressing global environmental challenges, including climate change and the ozone layer protection, as well as developing and adapting environmentally-sound technology for development needs and
environmental sustainability.


D1. Addressing global environmental issues

Strategic Objective : Effectively address global environmental issues without impinging on competitiveness, or social and economic development based on the principle of equity, flexibility, effectiveness and common but differentiated responsibility, respective capabilities as well as reflecting on different social and economic conditions.

Actions :

  1. Intensify regional cooperation to enhance and strengthen national and regional capacities to address issues and commitments to relevant Multilateral Environmental Agreements (MEAs) through regional research, promoting awareness, capacity building programmes and informed policy choices;
  2. Promote synergies in the implementation of related MEAs through strengthening of regional cooperation to address measures related to the thematic clusters of MEAs on atmospheric issues such as climate change and ozone depleting substances, and MEAs on chemicals and chemical wastes;
  3. Promote ASEAN common understanding/common position on relevant MEAs; and
  4. Adopt a holistic approach in fostering regional cooperation on environmental issues, with the participation of all relevant stakeholders including business, academics, NGOs and civil society organisations.


D2. Managing and preventing transboundary environmental pollution

Strategic Objective : Implement measures and enhance international and regional cooperation to combat transboundary environmental pollution, including haze pollution, transboundary movement of hazardous wastes through, among others, capacity building, enhancing public awareness, strengthening law enforcement, promoting environmentally sustainable practices as well as implement the ASEAN Agreement on Transboundary Haze Pollution 2.

D2.1. Transboundary Haze Pollution

Actions :

  1. Operationalise the ASEAN Agreement on Transboundary Haze Pollution through the implementation of concrete preventive, monitoring and mitigation measures and to initiate the process of developing protocols for the implementation and operationalisation of the Agreement;
  2. Develop mutually beneficial cooperation amongst ASEAN Member States that acknowledge each country’s laws, rules, regulations, and national policies, whether it is multilateral or bilateral cooperation, which put more focus on prevention activities;
  3. Operationalise the ASEAN Coordinating Centre for Transboundary Haze Pollution Control to facilitate cooperation and coordination, including joint emergency response among Member States;
  4. Secure funds for the ASEAN Transboundary Haze Pollution Control Fund, with voluntary contributions from the Parties, and in cooperation with ASEAN partners to provide additional resources for the effective implementation of the ASEAN Agreement on Transboundary Haze Pollution; and
  5. Control and monitor land and forest fire occurrence in the region and promote the sustainable management of peatlands in the ASEAN region to reduce risk of fire and associated transboundary haze pollution through the implementation of the ASEAN Peatland Management Initiative (APMI) by the year 2015.

D2.2. Transboundary Movement of Hazardous Wastes

Actions :

  1. Enhance regional coordination and exchange of information, experience and expertise in hazardous waste management;
  2. Optimise the existence of Basel Convention Regional Centre for Training and Technology Transfer for Southeast Asia (BCRC-SEA) and the role of its Steering Committee in providing regional services of technology transfer and capacity building of hazardous waste management; and
  3. Establish effective and fully functioning regional mechanisms to address transboundary hazardous wastes, including illegal traffic of hazardous wastes, in line with the Basel Convention Procedures and Modalities.


D3. Promoting sustainable development through environmental education and public participation

Strategic Objective : Establish a clean and green ASEAN, rich in cultural traditions where the values and practices of the people are in accordance with the rhythm and harmony of nature, with citizens who are environmentally literate, imbued with the environmental ethic, and willing and capable to ensure the sustainable development of the region through environmental education and public participation efforts.

Actions :

  1. Implement the ASEAN Environmental Education Action Plan (AEEAP) 2008-2012;
  2. Establish a baseline assessment on the extent to which national curricula in the basic education system include Environmental Education (EE) and Environmentally Sustainable Development (ESD) content;
  3. Establish a baseline assessment on the extent to which teacher education programmes and in-service and pre-service training address EE/ ESD theory and practice;
  4. Ensure that Quality Assurance (QA) systems for formal education (that is, national standards) require the inclusion of EE/ ESD issues in the relevant disciplines;
  5. Promote research on EE/ ESD issues to ensure continuing development in formal education;
  6. Promote sustainable schools (for example, eco-schools/ green schools) concept and practice throughout ASEAN;
  7. Develop EE curricula, materials and resources that are locally relevant and complement ESD at the local/ community level;
  8. Promote EE as a key integrating tool for the development of ‘environmentally sustainable cities’ in each ASEAN Member State;
  9. Use appropriately designed and targeted EE for promotion of environmentally sustainable business practices;
  10. Promote ASEAN Environment Week which serves as platform for national level activities to celebrate and raise awareness of the region’s environment with all stakeholders in each of the ASEAN Member States;
  11. Establish a baseline of EE for sustainable development training needs for stakeholders in both the formal and non-formal sectors;
  12. Provide EE and ESD training opportunities for key stakeholders;
  13. Provide ASEAN EE for Sustainable Development Leadership Training Programmes for key target groups (e.g., government officials, members of parliament and other elected officials, media and communication professionals, youth, women, etc.);
  14. Create an ASEAN EE/ ESD scholarship scheme for the region’s stakeholders;
  15. Actively promote and manage the ASEAN Environmental Education Inventory Database (AEEID) as the central platform for information dissemination, exchange and learning for EE and ESD in ASEAN;
  16. Develop an ASEAN-wide ‘Youth for Sustainable Environment’ Network;
  17. Establish an ASEAN sustainable/green/eco-school network;
  18. Establish an annual ASEAN EE Conference/ Forum for the region’s EE stakeholders as a platform for the exchange of information, materials, experience, networking, etc;
  19. Build and strengthen existing networks of NGOs, universities and media throughout the region to be effective practitioners, promoters, communicators and agents of change for EE and ESD; and
  20. Enhance the participation of community leaders, such as those religious leaders who have close contact with local communities, in promoting public awareness on the importance of sustainable development and environmentally sustainable practices.


D4. Promoting Environmentally Sound Technology (EST)

Strategic Objective : Use environmentally sound technologies to achieve sustainable development with minimal impact on the environment

Actions :

  1. Operationalise the ASEAN Network on EST (ASEAN-NEST) by 2015;
  2. Work towards the adoption of region wide environmental management/labelling schemes to promote economic growth and environmental protection by 2015;
  3. Facilitate an EST Forum to develop technology need assessments and develop cooperation among ASEAN Member States;
  4. Enhance cooperation among ASEAN Member States within the framework of South-South and North-South cooperation to promote technology transfer;
  5. Explore the establishment of a clearing house centre on EST for ASEAN Member States (i.e. Cleaner Production Centre); and
  6. Intensify cooperation on joint research, development, deployment and transfer of


D5. Promoting quality living standards in ASEAN cities/urban areas

Strategic Objective : Ensure cities/urban areas in ASEAN are environmentally sustainable, while meeting the social and economic needs of the people.

Actions :

  1. Expand on the existing work under the ASEAN Initiative on Environmentally Sustainable Cities;
  2. Intensify individual and collective efforts to improve the quality of air and water within ASEAN through regional or national initiatives to reduce industrial and transportation pollutions;
  3. Share experiences, expertise and technology in areas such as urban planning including transportation, green building, water management, urban greenery and urban biodiversity conservation, sanitation and waste management, 3Rs (Reduce, Reuse and Recycle) and air, noise, water, and land pollution control, through among others twinning cities programme;
  4. Work towards initiatives such as “Low Carbon Society”, “Compact Cities”, “Eco-Cities” and “Environmentally Sustainable Transport”;
  5. Develop internationally comparable measures for environmental sustainability for major cities in ASEAN by 2015;
  6. Introduce and implement an ASEAN Environmentally Sustainable Cities (ESC) Award by 2008 as an incentive to promote ESC practices.


D6. Harmonizing environmental policies and databases

Strategic Objective : Promote feasible efforts to harmonise on a step-by-step basis environmental policies, and databases, taking into account the national circumstances of Member States, to support the integration of the environmental, social and economic goals of the region.

Actions :

  1. Work towards the implementation of the thirteen priority environmental parameters and undertake efforts to ensure region wide harmonization in terms of measurement, monitoring and reporting by 2015;
  2. Strive for harmonization of standards and conformity assessment procedures for environmental performance/programmes by 2015;
  3. Continue producing informative periodical state of the environment reports for policy making and addressing impacts on the environment;
  4. Promote environmental sustainable/green procurement practices in ASEAN Member States and develop a region wide strategy for the ASEAN region by 2015; and
  5. Encourage regional cooperation on Strategic Environmental Assessment of large-scale projects and other activities which may cause significant environmental impacts in the region.


D7. Promoting the sustainable use of coastal and marine environment

Strategic Objective : Ensure ASEAN’s coastal and marine environment are sustainably managed; representative ecosystems, pristine areas and species are protected; economic activities are sustainably managed; and public awareness of the coastal and marine environment instilled.

Actions :

  1. Enhance inter-agency and inter-sectoral coordination at the regional and international levels for achieving sustainable development of ASEAN’s coastal and marine environment;
  2. Build capacities to develop national marine water quality standards by 2015 using the ASEAN Marine Water Quality Criteria as a reference;
  3. Establish a representative network of protected areas to conserve critical habitats by 2015 through further implementation of the ASEAN Criteria for Marine Heritage Areas, and ASEAN Criteria for National Protected Areas;
  4. Promote conservation and sustainable management of key ecosystems in coastal and marine habitats, such as joint efforts to maintain and protect marine parks in border areas, and the “Coral Triangle Initiative on Coral Reefs, Fisheries and Food Security”;
  5. Enhance the capacity and capability of, as well as economic benefits for the fishery and other coastal community to encourage their active participation in promoting environmental sustainability;
  6. Promote the sustainable use of coastal and marine environment through public awareness campaign to highlight the global importance of coastal and marine environment in addressing food security, maintaining ecosystem services, as well as protecting marine environment;
  7. Promote collaboration among ASEAN Member States in responding to transboundary pollution due to the oil spill incidents; and
  8. Promote cooperation in addressing pollution of coastal and marine environment from land-based sources.


D8. Promoting Sustainable Management of Natural Resources and Biodiversity

Strategic Objective : Ensure ASEAN’s rich biological diversity is conserved and sustainably managed toward enhancing social, economic and environmental well-being.

Actions :

  1. Achieve by 2010, a significant reduction in the current rate of loss of biodiversity through implementing relevant national, regional and international programmes of work;
  2. Promote collaboration, sharing of lessons learnt on access and equitable sharing of genetic and biological resources by 2015;
  3. Promote further listing and coordinated management of ASEAN Heritage Parks as an effective platform for ecosystem-based protected areas management by 2015;
  4. Enhance cooperation in the management of transboundary protected areas between neighbouring ASEAN Member States;
  5. Take appropriate measures to minimise impacts of transboundary movement of living modified organisms in accordance with the Cartagena Protocol on Biosafety by 2015;
  6. Establish a functional regional network to promote capacity building in developing inventory of the biological resources and biosafety measures of the ASEAN Region by 2015;
  7. Enhance the role and capacity of the ASEAN Centre for Biodiversity (ACB) to function as an effective regional centre of excellence in promoting biodiversity conservation and management;
  8. Promote the involvement of local community to maintain biodiversity conservation and forest health by 2015;
  9. Promote effective management policies and practices to reduce the impact of invasive alien species at the regional and international levels;
  10. Promote regional cooperation on sustainable management of biodiversity such as sharing research and development experiences, exchange of experts, and training;
  11. Strengthen efforts to control transboundary trade in wild fauna and flora through the ASEAN Action Plan on Trade in Wild Fauna and Flora 2005-2010 and the ASEAN Wildlife Enforcement Network (ASEAN-WEN) to implement commitments to Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES);
  12. Explore cooperation among ASEAN Member States to conduct joint survey and monitoring of migratory wildlife; and
  13. Promote cooperation among ASEAN Member States in combating land degradation for sustainable land management to support sustainable agriculture and environment.


D9. Promoting the Sustainability of Freshwater Resources

Strategic Objective : Promote sustainability of water resources to ensure equitable accessibility and sufficient water quantity of acceptable quality to meet the needs of the people of ASEAN.

Actions :

  1. Continue implementation of the ASEAN Strategic Plan of Action on Water Resources Management;
  2. Endeavour to reduce by half the number of people without sustainable access to safe drinking water by 2010;
  3. Manage water resources efficiently and effectively in order to provide adequate and affordable water services by 2015;
  4. Promote the implementation of integrated river basin management by 2015;
  5. Promote public awareness and partnership to enhance integrated water resources management; and
  6. Promote regional cooperation on water conservation measures and programmes as well as scientific and technological innovations in water quality improvement and supply.


D10. Responding to Climate Change and addressing its impacts

Strategic Objective : Enhance regional and international cooperation to address the issue of climate change and its impacts on socio-economic development, health and the environment, in ASEAN Member States through implementation of mitigation and adaptation measures, based on the principles of equity, flexibility, effectiveness, common but differentiated responsibilities, respective capabilities, as well as reflecting on different social and economic conditions.

Actions :

  1. Implement Strategic Plan of Action of the ASEAN cooperation in Forestry
    (2005 – 2010);
  2. Encouraging environmentally sustainable planning and management of the ASEAN region’s forests;
  3. Strengthen to address social cultural aspect of illegal logging and its associated trade in particular poverty eradication and illicit practices such as corruption and money laundering;
  4. Support for global and regional initiatives to reduce emissions from deforestation and forest degradation, and to promote a reformed afforestation and reforestation under the Clean Development Mechanism (A/R-CDM) effort and to identify and avail appropriate international incentives and assistance;
  5. Support the implementation of regional forest related initiatives such as the “Heart of Borneo” initiative, the Asia Forest Partnership and Asia-Pacific Network for Sustainable Forest Management and Rehabilitation, as well as global efforts such as Forestry Eleven Forum;
  6. Enhance the capacities and human resources, including research and development in the forestry sector to achieve Sustainable Forest Management (SFM);
  7. Strengthen ASEAN cooperation and joint approaches in addressing international and regional forestry issues to participate in the development of a global partnership for development;
  8. Promote forest management involving the community living within and surrounding the forest for the sustainability of the forest and prosperity of the people;
  9. Promote the eradication of unsustainable practices and related illicit activities;
  10. Strengthen the implementation of forest law enforcement and governance to achieve sustainable management of forest resources and to support the sustainable development objective of Millennium Development Goals, including eradicating and combating illegal logging and its associated trade as well as combating the issue of illicit practices such as corruption and money laundering; and
  11. Implement the work plan for strengthening forest law enforcement and governance in ASEAN (2008-2015).


D11. Promoting Sustainable Forest Management (SFM)

Strategic Objective : Promote the implementation of sustainable management of forest resources in the ASEAN region and eradicating unsustainable practices including combating illegal logging and its associated trade through amongst others; capacity building, technology transfer, enhancing public awareness and strengthening law enforcement and governance.

Actions :

  1. Review and develop new Regional and National Communication Plan in each Member State to support ASEAN identity and awareness building efforts;
  2. Encourage all sectoral bodies to intensify their efforts in promoting ASEAN identity and awareness as well as enhance the roles of Senior Officials Responsible for Information (SOMRI), Senior Officials Meeting on Culture and Arts (SOMCA) and the ASEAN Committee on Culture and Information (COCI) in promoting ASEAN identity and awareness;
  3. Undertake a coordinated production of printed, broadcast and multimedia materials on ASEAN to be reproduced and disseminated by national information agencies and private agencies of ASEAN Member States starting in 2009;
  4. Engage the mainstream media in promoting, on a continuing basis, all ASEAN programmes and projects, including ASEAN’s cultural heritage and arts and the work of COCI;
  5. Increase media exchange and networking of communication personnel among ASEAN Member States and between ASEAN and its Dialogue Partners;
  6. Support school activities promoting ASEAN awareness, such as by encouraging the observance of the annual ASEAN Day;
  7. Initiate the establishment of linkages among ASEAN cities and townships, especially those with cultural arts and heritage elements.;
  8. Support the ASEAN Foundation’s mandate to promote ASEAN identity and awareness and people-to-people interactions, primarily within ASEAN, but also between ASEAN and its friends and partners;
  9. Promote ASEAN sporting events in the national and private media such as the SEA Games. and PARA Games;
  10. Encourage the use of ASEAN Anthem and other ASEAN Symbols to raise ASEAN awareness in ASEAN Member States;
  11. Encourage the establishment of ASEAN associations at national levels to promote awareness of ASEAN in ASEAN Member States;
  12. Encourage the deepening of understanding and tolerance among the peoples of ASEAN through interfaith dialogue and ensuring adequate exposure of these events in the media;
  13. Promote a culture of tolerance among media personnel about the diverse culture, religion and ethnicity of ASEAN by conducting enhanced inter-media dialogue among ASEAN media and in cooperation with other international actors;
  14. Enhance the use of and the capability to utilize new media technologies such as digital broadcasting to promote ASEAN awareness and identity and facilitating ASEAN media industry collaborations to showcase Member States’ culture, developments and talents;
  15. Strengthen national capabilities in the preservation and promotion of audio-visual heritage;
  16. Encourage active participation of ASEAN Media Editors through regular Meetings to promote ASEAN awareness;
  17. Encourage cooperation and networking including book exchange programmes among libraries in ASEAN; and
  18. Disseminate ASEAN culture, social traditions and values particularly among the young generation through the media.
  19. Promote exchanges of television programmes to enhance cross-culture understanding among ASEAN Member States;
  20. Mobilise the mass media and other cultural institutions to disseminate and share information on ASEAN culture, developments, accomplishments, benefits, and objectives to the people;
  21. Encourage youth exchanges such as the conduct of youth camps and similar activities to promote ASEAN arts and culture performances, ASEAN awareness and a sense of community among the public; and
  22. Include the studies on ASEAN arts and culture as well as their values in school curriculum.
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