DENR to host ASEAN senior environment execs’ conference

The Philippine government through the Department of Environment and Natural Resources will be hosting an important gathering of senior environment officials in the 10-member Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), with climate change and environmental cooperation on top of the agenda.

Some 80 delegates are expected to attend the 28th annual meeting of the ASEAN Senior Officials for Environment (ASOEN) to be held in Pasay City from July 23 to 29.

The meeting will be chaired by the Lao People’s Democratic Republic.

DENR Secretary Roy A. Cimatu said the meeting is “critical” among the ASEAN members to better manage the region’s environment and natural resources.

“Environment is transboundary in nature. As neighbors, we share the air that we breathe, the seas around us and the animals that travel across our borders. ASEAN and cooperative arrangements among its members are critical if we are to better manage our environment and natural resources,” Cimatu said.

The ASOEN meeting is part of the ASEAN 2017 Summit which is being chaired by the Philippines, with the theme “ASEAN 50: Partnering for Change, Engaging the World.”

ASOEN is composed of ASEAN officials with the ranks of Undersecretary, Assistant Secretary and Director.

Among the highlights of the meeting are the consultation on the draft ASEAN joint statement on climate change and the holding of the 11th ASEAN-Japan Dialogue on Environmental Cooperation.

The group will also hold a joint dialogue with senior environment officials of the Republic of Korea, China and Japan during the ASEAN Plus Three SOME or Senior Officials Meeting on Environment.

The three countries have provided support for various environment initiatives in Southeast Asia, particularly in the implementation of the 3R (Reduce, Reuse and Recycle) policy. They also provided training courses to enhance the region’s environmental protection capacity.

The ASOEN meeting is in preparation for the high-level ASEAN Ministers’ Meeting on the Environment or AMME to be held in Brunei in September.