Global Environment

The Second Asia Pacific Seminar on Climate Change - Section 1

1.ORGANIZATION OF THE SEMINAR

1. The Second Asia-Pacific Seminar on Climate Change was organized in cooperation with the Asian Development Bank and held in Bangkok on March 29 - 31, 1993.

A. Attendance

2. The Seminar was attended by representatives of the following member countries of the Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific: Australia, Bangladesh, China, Democratic People's Republic of Korea, India, Indonesia, Japan, Republic of Korea, Malaysia, Maldives, Mongolia, Myanmar, Nepal, Pakistan, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and Viet Nam.

3. The following United Nations bodies, specialized agencies, and intergovernmental organizations were represented: United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), World Health Organization (WHO), Asian Development Bank (ADB), Commission of the European Communities (CEC), and Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC).

4. The ADB Regional Study Team on Global Environmental Issues, consisting of country study coordinators, international consultants led by Climate Institute, United States of America, and members of the Interagency Coordination Committee, and some resource persons also participated in the Seminar.

B. Opening Statements

5. In welcoming the participants to the Seminar, the Executive Secretary singled out the issue of climate change from among all global environmental threats and drew the attention of the participants to the international efforts, including those of the IPCC, on the scientific assessment of the causes, consequences, evaluations, and socio-economic impacts of climate change and rising sea level. The Executive Secretary also spoke on the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, signed at Rio, wherein emphasis was placed on international and regional cooperation and respective responsibilities. The Asian and Pacific region voiced concern over the uncertainties surrounding the implications and impacts of global warming; in particular the small island states were very concerned because they be most vulnerable to the effects of rising sea levels. The Executive Secretary referred to the need for assessment and research studies on emissions in order to develop appropriate measures and actions to address these problems and to the need to prioritize the human resources, institutional capacity, and regional and sub regional cooperation necessary to accomplish these actions. Several ongoing activities in the region including the joint efforts and initiatives taken by the Government of Japan to establish an Asia-Pacific network for Global Climate Change Research would guide the nations down a clearer path to begin solving these issues.

6. In his statement to the Seminar, the Vice-President of the Asian Development Bank referred to the prevailing geographic and economic contrasts among the countries of the Asia-Pacific region. The development of a regional strategy to cope with climate change would, therefore, have to depend on international cooperation, external financing, and the choice of appropriate technologies. He held the view that the experience gained from national case studies should be used in drawing up national strategies when dealing with global climate change and its regional implications.

7. In reviewing the environment-related activities of the Bank over the past decade during which 20 percent of total lending occurred, the Vice-President pointed that the Bank has made a firm commitment to the social and environmental sectors for the next few years. It was also noted that the Bank has been promoting close cooperation among countries and taking special initiatives to support the regional efforts and national efforts of individual governments.

8. In conclusion, the Vice-President urged the countries in the region to work closer in addressing the complex and varied nature of climate change in order to ensure a sustainable quality of life for the present generation without sacrificing the same quality of life for future generations.

C. Election of Officers

9. The Seminar elected Mr. Hussain Shihab (Maldives) as Chairperson, Mr. Wen Jian Ping (China) and Mr. Leoncio A. Amadore (Philippines) as Vice-Chairpersons, and Mr. Ryutaro Yatsu (Japan) as Secretary.

D. Adoption of the Agenda

10. The meeting adopted the following agenda:

  1. Opening session.
  2. Election of officers.
  3. Adoption of the agenda.
  4. Global response to climate change:
    (a)
    IPCC findings;
    (b)
    Activities of international organizations.
  5. Regional implications of climate change:
    (a)
    Climate change scenarios, assessment of rise in sea levels, and socioeconomic impacts for the Asian and Pacific region.
    (b)
    ADB regional study on global environmental issues:
    (i)
    Overview presentation;
    (ii)
    Presentation of national case studies.
  6. Feasible financing mechanisms and innovative economic instruments to counter climate change.
  7. Regional strategy on climate change.
  8. Seminar recommendations.
  9. Other matters.
  10. Adoption of seminar report and closure of the meeting.
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