MANILA, PHILIPPINES - The Asian Environmental Compliance and Enforcement Network (AECEN) will be officially launched on 2-3 August at the ADB headquarters in Manila. The foundation meeting for AECEN is being co-organized by ADB and the United States Agency for International Development (USAID).
The regional workshop brings together more than 80 senior environmental officials, judges, lawyers, and civil society leaders from 13 Asian countries - Bangladesh, Cambodia, People's Republic of China (PRC), India, Indonesia, Japan, Lao People's Democratic Republic, Pakistan, Philippines, Singapore, Sri Lanka, Thailand, and Viet Nam - to formally launch AECEN and develop network programs and activities. Experts from the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), and the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) will also participate.
As a regional practitioner network, AECEN is dedicated to promoting improved environmental compliance and enforcement policies and practices through counterpart exchange and information sharing. The meeting is expected to endorse the establishment of AECEN as a regional network platform for Asian country members at both the national and regional levels.
Member countries for the newly created network will issue a joint statement in support of improved environmental compliance and enforcement throughout the region, and the importance of regional cooperation.
"In response to the pressures of urbanization and industrial growth, Asian countries have made significant progress in developing environmental legal and institutional frameworks, though much work remains in implementing and enforcing these legal requirements," says Bindu N. Lohani, Director General of ADB's Regional and Sustainable Development Department.
"As illustrated by the creation of this new practitioner network, enforcement has become a top priority in the region. ADB believes that through regional cooperation, Asian environmental agencies and other stakeholders can join hands to develop the necessary tools to address their priority development challenges."
Reynato S. Puno, Senior Justice of the Supreme Court of the Philippines, and Michael T. Defensor, Secretary of the Philippine Department of Environment and Natural Resources, will present keynote and welcoming addresses during the regional workshop.