SHERATON TOWERS SINGAPORE
2-4 DEC 2003
One of the key outcomes of the World Summit on Sustainable Development held in Johannesburg in Aug 02 was the recognition of the importance of environmental sustainability.
2. Cities in ASEAN countries are in varying stages of development but face similar environmental problems, viz; air pollution from industries and vehicles, lack of sewerage and drainage infrastructure and inadequate solid waste management facilities. Although ASEAN cities have put in place programmes to tackle these problems and improve their environmental performance, with increasing population, urbanisation, industrialisation and economic growth, simply ensuring and maintaining good environmental performance is not good enough. Many cities have limited natural resources, yet they have to deal with the rising consumerism and rising expectations of their populace as they become more affluent. It is imperative, therefore, that ASEAN cities make judicious use of their limited resources and harness the opportunities offered by technology and innovation to ensure that their future citizens can enjoy a good and enduring living environment. It is critical for the long term survival of cities to go beyond environmental performance and move towards achieving environmental sustainability.
3. To demonstrate their commitment to achieving environmental sustainability for ASEAN, ASEAN Environment Ministers endorsed the "Regional Environmentally Sustainable Cities Programme" (RESCP) initiative on 4 Mar 03 in Siem Reap and set up an ASEAN Working Group to develop strategies and action plans to drive this initiative. ASEAN Environment Ministers also decided that Singapore would lead the ASEAN Working Group on Environmentally Sustainable Cities (AWGESC) to drive and develop the RESCP.
Workshop on Environmentally Sustainable Cities In ASEAN
4. AWGESC held a workshop in Singapore on 2-4 Dec 03 for ASEAN city managers and officials to develop a Framework on Environmentally Sustainable Cities for ASEAN. The ASEAN +3 countries, China, Japan and South Korea, and international organizations such as United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), United Nations University (UNU), United National Development Programme (UNDP) and Hanns-Seidel Foundation supported the Workshop.
5. ASEAN city managers and government officials have developed a proposed "Framework for Environmentally Sustainable Cities in ASEAN". The Framework will initially focus on the brown issues that are the basic building blocks to achieving a quality living environment in any city - Clean Air, Clean Water and Clean Land. The green and blue issues, which are dependent on the brown issues being successfully put in place, would be included at a later stage.
6. The proposed Framework comprises a set of comprehensive policies, strategies and programmes designed to attain environmental sustainability for ASEAN cities. A summary of the Framework is at the Annex
7. The AWGESC will seek ASEAN Environment Ministers' endorsement of the proposed Framework at the ASEAN Ministerial Meeting on the Environment (AMME) to be held in Yangon on 16-18 Dec 03. After endorsement has been obtained, AWGESC and ASEAN Secretariat will hold a seminar on the Framework for the mayors and officials of ASEAN cities participating in the programme. The cities will develop their respective masterplans and action programmes to implement the Framework.
8. AWGESC will also organise -
a) a series of workshops in each key area, viz; Clean Air, Clean Water and Clean Land to provide further technical assistance to ASEAN city managers and facilitate the development of effective action programmes; and
b) study trips for ASEAN city managers to cities that have successfully implemented good urban environmental management practices and effective environmentally sustainable action programmes.
9. AWGESC will also set up a virtual network of city managers/government officials involved in the RESCP by creating a webpage within the ASEAN Secretariat's website. The webpage would serve as a database containing good practices on urban environmental management within and beyond the region.
10. AWGESC will consider organising an international conference on sustainable cities in collaboration with the European Commission, ASEAN +3 countries and international organizations such as UNEP and UNDP.