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Asia-Pacific governments meet to deliberate on region’s environmental challenge

  • Diplomatic Correspondent
  • 24th November, 2022 05:27:27 PM
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The seventh session of the Committee on Environment and Development will bring together Ministers and high-level representatives from countries across the Asia-Pacific region to identify opportunities to protect our planet through regional cooperation and solidarity.

The Committee will be organised on the theme of “Protecting our Planet through Regional Cooperation and Solidarity in Asia and the Pacific” from November 29 –December 1, according to ESCAP message received in Dhaka on Thursday..

Convened by the United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (ESCAP), the session is expected to adopt a ministerial declaration on “Protecting our planet through regional cooperation and solidarity in Asia and the Pacific.”

The declaration would foster stronger regional cooperation in climate action, the protection of ecosystems and oceans, sustainable urban development, and implementation of principles on environmental rights, all critical elements to achieve the common goal of a healthy environment.

The declaration also includes a regional action programme on air pollution, to build momentum for stronger science-based and policy-oriented cooperation to improve air quality management, including through improved air quality standards, open data sharing, exchange of best practices and capacity building. 

As a working committee of the Commission, the CED’s deliberations and its outcomes will support regional action and guide ESCAP’s responses in collaboration with the UN system and other development partners and stakeholders.

Member states are discussing two main outcomes during the preparatory process. The first is a Ministerial declaration on Asia-Pacific environment and development challenges and regional responses.

The draft declaration draws attention to regional collaboration and solidarity on environment and development challenges. 

The second is an Asia-Pacific programme on air pollution, as a platform for cooperation for improved air quality management.

The draft covers a wide scope of actions, including identifying technical and financial resources to accelerate action. 

Other opportunities to advance regional action provided by the CED include: discussion on reinvigorating multilateralism to strengthen the implementation of the regional agreements; Terms of reference for a Technical Expert Working Group on Environment and Development, being tabled; raising awareness on Principle 10 of the Rio Declaration of 1992 on access to information concerning the environment participation in decision-making processes and access to judicial and administrative proceedings; Regional discussion on the future of Asia-Pacific oceans in the Day for the Ocean; and Partnership events inviting new collaboration and networking opportunities, as well as side events and an exhibitions to deepen the discussion and exchanges.