21-22 Jun 1995
|Theme:||Three Years from UNCED|
-Growing partnership in Asia and the Pacific Toward
|Theme:||Initiatives Toward Sustainable Cities|
|Theme:||Cooperation on a Long-Term Perspective|
|Theme:||Development of the ECO ASIA Information Network|
Hotel Associa Shizuoka Terminal
and Nippondaira Hotel,
Environment Agency, Government of Japan
Shizuoka Prefectural Government
ĈON Group Environment Foundation
Environmental Information Center
Ministry of Foreign Affairs
Japan International Cooperation Agency
Global Environment Forum
Overseas Environmental Cooperation Center
The Japan Committee for Global Environment
Earth water and Green Foundation
1. CONGRESS BACKGROUND
The fact that the Asia-Pacific governments, researchers, public and private institutions as well as the general public are aware of the strong link between economic development, population growth and the deteriorating quality of the natural and human environment in the Asia-Pacific region, form the basis for the desire for "sustainable development" and the establishment of supportive activities such as ECO ASIA and related projects. Some of the environmental, social, and economic problems of the region resulting from modern economic development patterns have been described in detail in papers and reports of previous ECO ASIA congresses.
The Asia-Pacific region has over half the world' s population and is undergoing rapid economic, political and social change. These changes threaten not only much of its natural environment and the future availability of its natural resources, but also the urban environment and the long-term prospects for human activity here. As the region's economic activity grows, global environmental impacts are expected to increase substantially, not only through the demand for increased physical inputs into the economic cycle such as energy supply and materials for manufacturing, but because of the resulting growth in outputs, such as carbon dioxide and other green-house gases, industrial waste, and other forms of pollution.
Cooperative efforts at the local, regional and global levels are necessary if truly equitable activities towards sustainable development are to be created and implemented. As many people have recognized some time ago, national and local policy-makers, NGOs, industrial organizations and many other institutions and individuals should be given the opportunity to contribute to this process, so that there is a common understanding of all the problems, issues, possible options, and methods of cooperation available for their solution. One of the most important milestones in this process was the United Nations Conference on Environment and Development (the Earth Summit) held in Brazil in 1992.
Japan is one of the strongest economic powers in the Asia-Pacific region, and large sections of society, including the national government, have been seeking to advance cooperative environmental protection within the region. In 1991, the Environment Agency of Japan organized the first ECO ASIA congress (ECO ASIA ' 91), which made contributions to the Earth Summit.
The congress held one year from the Earth Summit, ECO ASIA'93, discussed regional cooperation based on long-term perspective of regional environment and development, and the ECO ASIA project, "A Long-Term Perspective on Environment and Development in the Asia-Pacific Region" was established. This project seeks to identify options for environmental policies that promote long-term sustainable development of the Asia-Pacific region with the year 2025 in mind. This project is expected to measure the major environmental problems confronting the region, their links with social and economic issues, and forecast the social, economic and environmental problems that can be expected from different development scenarios in the region. It will provide the appropriate scientific framework on these issues for regional policy-makers.
One of the main outputs of ECO ASIA ' 94 was a report on the progress of the ' ECO ASIA Long-Term Project'. It is thought that the results of this project will form part of the input from the Asia-Pacific region to the 1997 United Nations Special Session of the General Assembly on the Environment that will review and appraise the progress made in implementing Agenda 21.
ECO ASIA' 95 sought to review the world situation in light of changes over the three years since the Earth Summit and make contributions to sustainable development by promoting further cooperation on environmental protection in the region.
ECO ASIA'95 was attended by a wide range of participants, including senior officials from governments of 22 Asia-Pacific countries, international organizations, research institutions, industries, and NGOs; they exchanged opinions on a number of specific themes that have aroused intense interest in previous high-level ECO ASIA meetings that included ministerial attendance. Topics covered the role and expected actions of countries, including Japan, in the region as well as international organizations.
ECO ASIA'95 was chaired by Mr. Takao Ohnishi; Deputy Vice Minister of the Environment Agency, Japan. The position of Vice-Chairpersons was taken up by Dr.R.E.Soeriaatmadja, Special Assistant Minister of State for Environment in charge of Global Environmental Affairs, and Mr. John Gilbert, Deputy Secretary, Ministry for the Environment, New Zealand.
The results of this congress will be reported at ECO ASIA ' 96 to be held at the Ministerial-level next year.
2. SESSIONS OVERVIEW
This session provided a useful history of international activities in Asia and the Pacific in its quest for sustainable development, and a description of some of the more recent cooperative initiatives that serve as models, not only for the region, but also for other parts of the world.
Urbanization in the Asia-Pacific region is progressing so rapidly that it is predicted up to 60% of the region's population will be living in urban areas by the year 2050. Such a social structure will directly influence the lifestyles of many people in the region, and further economic activity in the cities will cause dire environmental impact.
Without the implementation of appropriate policies, cities in developing countries will most probably experience increasing air and water pollution; greater loads on infrastructure including water supply and sewerage systems, waste disposal, and public transport; plus a further deterioration of sanitary living conditions. Moreover, decrease and degradation of farmland and natural resources that are important for food production, recreation, and nature conservation will likely continue. Such phenomena will be particularly strong in areas close to major cities. On the other hand, the socio-economic system of mass production, mass consumption and mass disposal in developed countries of the region will also place extremely heavy burdens on the natural environment.
"The Long-Term Perspective on Environment and Development in Asia and the Pacific" project (ECO ASIA Long-Term Project) was undertaken after ECO ASIA'93, where it was supported by all participants. International workshops have since been held in March 1994 and February 1995 to discuss, amongst other things, the organizational structure for implementation of schedule and action, and the methodology for preparing the long-term projections needed to achieve the Project's objectives.
This session received a mid-term report on the Project' s state of progress, including the results of the workshops. There was then discussion on the evaluation of the project' s progress and future plans, as well as on cooperation needed to achieve sustainable development. The discussions in this session were particularly significant to the preparations being made for the ESCAP Environment Ministers Meeting in November 1995 and the 1997 UN Special Session of the General Assembly on the Environment.
The need for a mechanism that provides accurate and relevant information on the Asia- Pacific environmental protection has been repeatedly mentioned at previous ECO ASIA meetings. The Environment Agency of Japan thus prepared a proposal for an environment information network, which was presented to ECO ASIA'95. This session discussed some of the main requirements of the environment information network, such as the information that should be included and methods of implementation, which were subsequently supported by the participants. Also, since there are already numerous facilities in the region that are equipped with environmental information functions such as the UNEP/International Environmental Technology Center (IETC) in Japan, the Environmental Management Center (EMC) in Indonesia, and the Environmental Research and Training Center (ERTC) in Thailand, the necessity for cooperation with these organizations was emphasized.
[Session 5] General Discussion
In this session, the draft of the Chairperson's Summary of this congress was discussed, and necessary corrections were made.
[Session 6] Adoption of the Chairperson's Summary
In this session, the Chairperson' s Summary completed as a result of Session 5 was adopted.
3. OPENING SPEECHES
Mr. Miyashita began by pointing out that environmental problems today are a common issue for all peoples, ranging wide and diverse from familiar issues in daily life to those of global proportions, and will influence future generations. When the intricate linkages between these problems and their impact to Earth, the foundation of our lives are considered, Mr. Miyashita emphasized that "the need for well-coordinated cooperative international action to effectively respond to these issues is clearly vital" and that "it is essential that we follow on from what has been done since the Earth Summit by commencing actions which will result in the creation of a sustainable society through international cooperation."
He went on to note that in 1993 Japan enacted its "Basic Environment Law" which set out the direction of principles and basic measures in environmental policy, and that the "Basic Environment Plan" was formulated in 1994 based on this law. The plan, aimed at a long-term range of mid-2lst century stresses "International Activities" along with "Sound Material Cycle", "Harmonious Coexistence", "Participation", and ECO ASIA is considered to be "one of the important instruments in the pursuit of the objective of 'promotion of international activities'."
"If we can engage in concrete and well-coordinated action to deal with these challenges in this Asia-Pacific region, that will give a strong impetus for global-scale actions toward sustainable development."
Hon. Mr. Ishikawa also recognized the need for well-coordinated action to overcome global environmental problems which" are of such importance that they effect the very existence of mankind."
"To overcome these problems, it is important that at the international level, measures are taken steadily in keeping with each country' s social environment. At the same time, on the domestic level, the urgent task is to thoroughly reconsider not just the lifestyles of individuals but also our socio-economic systems themselves and to then take a comprehensive and well-planned approach to applying a variety of methods to their solution. I believe that local governments, whose actions directly affect their citizens, will have an increasingly important role to play in this process."
As part of Shizuoka Prefecture' s contribution .to action at the local level on behalf of its citizens, it adopted the 'Shizuoka Prefecture Action Plan for the Green Earth' in 1992. Mr. Ishikawa considers that this plan, "gives us direction in tackling global-scale environmental problems. We are moving toward preservation and genesis of the natural environment so that we may pass on to future generations a prefecture with natural resources rich in diversity and an abundantly blessed environment. We have also just begun work on a basic action plan which promotes these goals through measures and new regulations which keep the global environment firmly in their view."
Mr. Miyashita' s perspective on global environmental issues provides a basic philosophical position that is shared by many people seeking to protect natural systems and to exterminate poverty. He concluded, "I do not think it right that, after the earth has amassed a history of 4 billion years, mankind should be allowed to destroy the global environment in a short period of economic development far in excess of natural limits. To me, tackling environmental problems is an action transcending national borders and generations to protect the existence of mankind and something that must be done according to a principle of coexistence with nature. I hope that ECO ASIA will be the place for sharing these perceptions."
4. SESSION I KEYNOTE SPEECHES
In this session there were two keynote speeches and one presentation. The first, "Sustainable Development of Asia and the Pacific and the Role of Japan" was given by Mr. Kimio Fujita, President of the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA). The second, "Activities of International Organizations in Asia and the Pacific toward Sustainable Development" was presented by Dr.Suvit Yodmani, Regional Director and Representative of the Regional Office for Asia and the Pacific, United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP). This was followed by a presentation by Mr. Guangchang Shi, Director of the Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (ESCAP).
Mr. Fujita first sought to place Japan's current role as the world' s leading official development assistance (ODA) donor and its promotion of cooperation in the environmental field in a historical perspective. He emphasized that Japan had been receiving aid from many countries and institutions immediately after the Second World War fifty years ago, that loans from the World Bank from the 50s in particular was used to build much of the infrastructure important to the nation's post-war economic development, and that its repayment was completed in 1990, just five years ago.
However, Japan' s rapid economic development since the end of World War 11 has not been without the heavy cost of pollution, such as the Minamata mercury disease. This incident initiated serious tactics taken to solve the pollution problems, hence the Environment Agency of Japan was eventually established in 1971. JICA was founded in 1974 amidst such pollution issues, and Japan's performance in official development assistance (ODA) steadily increased. Mr. Fujita stated that Japan has been the world' s largest donor since 1989, and as a top donor recognizes its great responsibility.
In 1992, coinciding with the Earth Summit in Brazil, Japan's current ODA charter was established. Mr. Fujita stated that ODA operations are now provided with the objective of protecting the environment and achieving sustainable development, the guiding principle being the co-existence of environment and development.
At the Earth Summit in 1992, Japan pledged between \900 billion and \1 trillion of environmental ODA over 5 years, and more than half of this has been disbursed in two years. It can be surmised that cooperation in the environmental field is progressing steadily towards the goal. Of environmental ODA, JICA, mainly responsible for technical cooperation, has allocated approximately one-half of its 1993 environment-related technical cooperation assistance to the Asia-Pacific region.
However, Mr. Fujita stressed that such cooperation on environmental protection is not the sole requirement for sustainable development. In fact, Japan's assistance encompasses a diversity of elements including expansion of infrastructure, plus agricultural, mining and industrial developments. To prevent negative environmental and social impacts from its aid programs, Mr. Fujita said that JICA has striven to improve its developmental methodology and to strengthen its development implementation structure by such methods as incorporating stringent environmental impact assessment procedures at the earliest possible stage of cooperation project formation.
As is now widely acknowledged, the Asia-Pacific region is viewed as the growth region towards the 2lst century, and as a result faces many environmental problems. Mr. Fujita believes that in order to deal with problems related to sustainable development which are diverse yet close to daily life, similarly diverse and domestic measures are necessary. As Japan has much experience and knowledge in addressing such issues, it is important to find ways to best capitalize on and use these skills. Simple technological approaches are not sufficient in solving environmental problems; instead, a creative approach adjusted to a specific place and/or time becomes vital.
In addition, such communication and creativity will be realized, not on unilateral but mutual effort, a collaborative effort towards creativity, and the spirit of partnership. Although there are vast possibilities in shaping a partnership, the best condition is when individual possibilities and channels enhance each other. ECO ASIA'95 is a prime opportunity for forging partnerships, as is the significant role that JICA plays when providing ODA.
Such partnerships require human exchange and it is in this area that JICA has considerable experience, as with the acceptance of foreign trainees and the dispatch of technical experts, Japan Overseas Cooperation Volunteers, and survey teams. The 'Third Country Training Fund' in particular, utilizes the technologies and/or human resources of a relatively "progressed" developing country combined with funding or technical assistance from Japan, to transfer technology to trainees from neighboring developing countries. Approximately 70% of projects in 1993 under this scheme occurred in the Asia-Pacific region.
Partnerships between donor countries are also important and JICA has been promoting these, as well as developing its cooperation with multi-national donors and NGOs. Some examples are the bio-diversity preservation project supporting the Indonesian cause and the Environment Management Center Project. JICA also regards the understanding and participation of local residents receiving developmental assistance as essential, and strives to formulate projects by listening to the residents' opinion with a particular focus on the needs of the socially disadvantaged, including women.
Mr. Fujita considers that in order to deal with sustainable development, it is vital that countries and organizations in the region direct efforts towards a more efficient and effective use of limited resources, which in turn requires closer partnerships at all levels. In a world where the realms of political-economic activity transcend boundaries, seemingly domestic problems or problems seemingly contained in the Asia-Pacific region immediately becomes a global one. The quest for sustainable development towards the 2lst century is an important responsibility given to us for the coming generations. It is exceedingly important that residents of the Asia-Pacific region collaborate in the search for the road to sustainable development. Mr. Fujita concluded, "it is my fervent wish that ECO ASIA '95 be a fruitful congress."
Dr. Yodmani of the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) first stated that the effort by the Japanese Government in organizing ECO ASIA for the exchange of ideas and experiences concerning environmental protection and sustainable development is thought of highly by UNEP. Important statistics that relate to the environmental problems that face us include the 13.5 million children under the age of 5 dying each year in developing countries from malnutrition, the 25,400 million tons of top soil lost each year through soil erosion and the prospect of the extinction of one quarter of all the earth's biological diversity over the next two or three decades.
ECO ASIA is a congress in which we search for plausible and effective solutions to the environmental problem. ECO ASIA also gives us the chance to tackle the global environmental problem by making regional cooperation a reality and integrating various related factors such as increasing capability, expertise, human resources, technological know-how, and finances.
UNEP was established in 1972 to improve the quality of human life and the human environment. With these responsibilities, UNEP is in one of the best positions to describe the future of cooperative activities to enhance awareness of environmental protection and sustainable development. Dr. Yodmani stressed that "it is important to recognize that UNEP is an organization that is an agenda setter and a conveyor of dialogue on environmental matters, rather than a developer of operational projects. Thus, UNEP is a catalyst rather than a funding or implementing agency."
He said that UNEP's Regional Office for Asia and the Pacific is responsible for the planning, promotion and monitoring of collaboration on environmental protection activities with other sections within UNEP, and with other United Nations' regional and international agencies. The office continues to be involved in three primary areas of concern-environment assessment and monitoring, environmental policy formation and planning, and environmental management. He described some of the activities of the regional office and their usefulness.
The major UNEP Environment Assessment Programme for Asia and the Pacific has three components: counter-action capacity building and servicing; information management, data harmonization and dissemination; and assessment at global and regional levels. It has on-going programs in 40 developing countries. One end result of this program is expected to be national, sub-regional and regional State of the Environment reports that can be used as a basis for policy formulation and planning at the national and sub-regional levels.
A UNEP project that has been continuing since 1990, 'Project on Assistance Concerning CFC Use and its Control in Developing Countries', seeks to promote and facilitate the early elimination of the use of ozone depleting substances (ODS) in developing countries. This project builds a network of regional government officials in order to share their information and experiences. One result of this project was the decision by the government of Vietnam to phase-out most of its ODS use by 1997 rather than 2010 as allowed by the Montreal Protocol. The regional network used in this program is being copied and applied in Africa and Latin America.
Another network is the Network for Industrial Environmental Management which cooperates with industries and governments in the region to promote cleaner industrial production. Thus, it attempts to pre-empt and prevent pollution problems arising from industrial operations and waste disposal.
UNEP is also contributing to the establishment of the North-East Asian Regional Environment Programme. This important initiative arose out of decisions taken at UNCED in 1992 by the six participating countries - the Democratic People' s Republic of Korea, Japan, Mongolia, the People's Republic of China, the Republic of Korea and the Russian Federation. It has been supported by ESCAP, UNDP, the ADB, the World Bank and UNEP. As well as its specific projects, the members plan to prepare a ' holistic umbrella framework' for sub-regional cooperation on environmental protection, and this will be developed at a special meeting to be held in Mongolia during 1996.
The long-term strategic importance of this program was highlighted by Dr. Yodmani, who considers it to be "a fine example of multilateral environmental cooperation cutting across political sensitivities and differences among some countries. While in many instances environmental issues have tended to spark off friction and conflicts among nations, the North-East Asian Regional Programme seems to be paving the way for regional cooperation which could well impact positively on political and economic relations among countries of the sub-region."
An important effect of the recent tighter economic circumstances has been stronger efforts made by governments and organizations to achieve the same, or better results, from declining financial and other resource bases. This has stimulated increased cooperation and collaboration throughout the region. Dr. Yodmani emphasized that this strong level of cooperation has been facilitated by the extremely good relations that exist between the leaders, staff and advisers of the many agencies involved in tackling the region's environmental problems and promoting sustainable development. He also stated that the interest of local and national governments combined with these good working and personal relations will be able to produce valuable results, "despite the monumental work that remains ahead."
Mr. Guangchang Shi, Director of the Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (ESCAP) first expressed his thanks to the sponsor, and went on to say that actions towards sustainable development have been taken world-wide since the Earth Summit, and that awareness in the Asia-Pacific region concerning the integration of environment and development has been increasing. On the other hand he pointed out that environmental degradation and the exploitation of natural resources in developing countries in particular, is limiting options for future economic development.
Mr. Shi suggested four approaches necessary for sustainable development; "forming an environment that is receptive of policy change and contains the concept of sustainable development in its decision-making process", "improving legal and regulation frameworks", "effective policy utilizing economic methods", "building an accounting system that integrates environment and economics", and emphasized that these approaches be taken as a mutually complementary means to maximize the merit gained by integration.
ECO ASIA is an initiative to promote sustainable development with a focus on the Asia-Pacific region. Likewise, Mr. Shi introduced ESCAP and its third Ministrial Conference on Environment and Development in Asia and the Pacific planned in this November in Bangkok. According to Mr. Shi, the State of the Environment of 1995 will be reported and the "Regional Action Plan for Environmentally Sound and Sustainable Development 1996-2000" will be adopted at the November congress.
Mr. Shi stated that the environment diversity of the Asia-Pacific region, options for sustainable development, and the environmental problems to be faced by the region in the future will be understood through the State of the Environment Report of 1995.
The objective of the "Regional Action Plan" is to promote further regional cooperation, to strengthen the internal capacity of each country for sustainable development, and to promote projects that support national- and regional-level actions. He proposed as fields of action; "improvement of environmental quality", "preservation and management of natural resources and ecology", "improvement of policy for sustainable development", and "indicator and assessment of sustainable development".
Lastly, Mr. Shi pointed out that effective results for regional sustainable development will be born by sharing information and experiences between the Environment Ministers Meeting by ESCAP and ECO ASIA, and that strengthened cooperation between these two congresses is essential.
5. SESSION 2 PANEL DISCUSSION
The Co-ordinator of this session was Mr. Hiroshi Sawamura, Director-General, Global Environment Department, Environment Agency of Japan, and six panelists engaged in lively discussion.
As with the term' sustainable development', the term' sustainable cities' could have a variety of definitions. Participants in this session agreed that the concept of sustainable cities is first; that each citizen is guaranteed a safe and healthy life, and second; that the environmental burden stemming from urban activities is small as a whole. If such cities are to be created, then both the technical issues of urban environmental problems and related social aspects must be examined. Moreover it was pointed out that the construction of sustainable cities is indivisibly connected with the maintenance of economically, socially, and environmentally sound agricultural villages.
The problems and causes that need to be addressed in achieving sustainable cities in the Asia-Pacific region were identified by Mr. Ahn Young Che, Director-General for International Cooperation, Ministry of Environment, Republic of Korea. He said because the region's steady growth in population and urbanization has been contributing to the degradation of the environment, "we are consciously pursuing sustainable development, in particular sustainable cities, since indiscreet development and planless urbanization has yielded urban problems including traffic jams, sanitary issues, lack of infrastructure for indispensable urban needs and environmental issues surrounding air and water quality, and waste treatment. There is no doubt that such urban problems in our region have been detrimental to urban productivity and even daily functions."
Mr. Vijai Sharma, Joint Secretary of India's Ministry of Environment and Forests saw that a key question for urban development "is how much the Brundtland definition of 'sustainable development' can be fulfilled in many cities around the world, and the most pressing and unavoidable fact is that the present generation can attain a certain minimum quality of life only though accelerated economic activity".
Here the simple guidelines used by the United Nations Center for Regional Development (UNCRD) in its work could be useful. As explained by Mr. Antonio L. Fernandez, researcher at UNCRD, the organization interprets ' sustainable development' to mean the integration of three fundamental elements-ecological soundness, economic feasibility, and social and political acceptability.
Professor Masaaki Naito of the Graduate School of Global Environment Engineering, Kyoto University, suggested that because of the seriousness of the predictions of global environmental problems and crises, such as resource and food shortages, it is inevitable that "sustainable development" will eventually be replaced by the era of "survival development".
Several speakers made the point that when looking to solve urban development problems efficiently, the relationships between the causes and effects should be well understood and this understanding needs to be shared by all relevant interests. One important factor emphasized by Professor Naito was rapid industrialization and the decline of rural areas. This, he said, gave rise to urban pollution and community destruction by helping to lure large numbers of the rural population into the city.
Speakers from Korea, India, Thailand and Japan all highlighted the deleterious impacts of rapid and disorderly urbanization to society, and affirmed that only prompt action will reduce them. The problems of rapid and disorderly urbanization include worsening air and water qualities, increasing garbage and industrial waste, and major infrastructure deficiencies. Slum areas also continue to expand in developing countries as the rural poor migrate to the cities in search of work. Thus, when thinking about the development of sustainable cities, the development of areas other than the city should not be forgotten, for if the needs of rural areas are not being met, then population drifts to the city may continue. There must be parallel development of the cities and the rural areas.
However, as had been argued at earlier ECO ASIA congresses, Professor Naito noted that while many south-east Asian countries may look upon Japan as a successful model of industrial development, this growth in material benefits must be understood as one that has not been without significant environmental degradation.
Mr. Junji Kawasaki, Director General of Shizuoka Prefecture's Environment Bureau showed that Japan's economic growth has not been without significant cost at the local level. He said that once the many factory smokestacks in his prefecture symbolized Japan's industrial development, but as pollution increased, residents' attitudes changed. A survey indicated that many residents now feel that the quality of their environment has worsened and 80% consider that the government should place more emphasis on environmental protection rather than on economic progress. Also, forests and plantations in the prefecture are being lost due to expanding urban areas, while much of those that remain are being managed improperly because of the shift of rural workers to the cities and the use of poor-quality imported wood instead of locally-grown timbers.
Dr. Antonio L. Fernandez explained that characteristics inherent in cities also need to be understood if urban developmental and environmental problems are to be addressed properly. In developing countries particularly, there is usually a duality that exists in a city between the 'legal city' and the 'real city'. In the 'legal city', the provision of infrastructure and services is good and the rights of the people are assured as this city is the one that is recognized by governments and their administrators. However, the ' real city' is the one in which the poor, the squatters and the slum-dwellers live. Here, there is a lack of services and the rights of the people are often not recognized.
Mr. Vijai Sharma, Joint Secretary of India' s Ministry of Environment and Forests, explained how national and state housing policies in that country are promoting the improvement of conditions for slum-dwellers who make up 22% of India' s population. These policies encourage access to developed land assemblies, low cost financing, and the use of effective and appropriate building materials and technologies. Also, the state is supervising the construction of housing as joint ventures between the public and private sectors, to promote 'work in the home' businesses through skill upgrading in housing construction utilizing native energy and human resources. Mr. Sharma continued that improving housing conditions requires the use of low cost technologies which are economical, durable, functional and esthetically pleasing. One of UNCRD' s contribution to solving regional housing problems has been to place emphasis on low-income settlements with site and settlement improvement activities. Dr. Antonio L. Fernandez stated that strategies and partnerships are needed which will empower local people, and that providing security of land tenure is one method to encourage and enable people to take interest in, and responsibility for, their own areas.
While countries such as Korea have improved the air quality of their cities by the use of low sulfur and lead-free fuels, NOx pollution has become a problem with the greater use of cars in cities. Thailand is attempting to reduce the urban air pollution problems of the Bangkok Metropolitan Region with the construction of a mass transit system.
The handling and disposal of growing volumes of municipal-type wastes such as household garbage, is also a major environmental problem for cities, particularly in the highly consumptive industrial societies where mass production/mass consumption have been an integral part of their socio-economic systems. Korea reported some significant success with its Volume Based Collection Fee System for Domestic Waste. This initiative has led to a 37% decrease in domestic waste generation and an increase in recycling. Also there are indications that consumers are purchasing less packaged goods and manufacturers are avoiding the use of excessive packaging and using more recycle (materials in packaging. Japan recently introduced a new law to control the disposal of packaging waste, so it will be interesting to watch for changes resulting from this.
Urban lifestyles and practices have arisen over a long period in which rapid change is unusual. According to Dr. Antonio L. Fernandez of UNCRD, it usually takes about 20-25 years for innovations in urban development to take root and be accepted by governments despite the efforts of citizens and NGOs. Thus 'cross-sectoral' partnerships between the various interest groups and contributors are important. Dr. Fernandez stated that the processes need to be stressed more than the outcomes in various ways, and that the creation of suitable planning processes requires the early recognition of stakeholders, identification of responsibilities, and analysis of available resources.
International partnerships and cooperative activities are indivisible with domestic activities, In its promotion, internal capacity building in light of the objectives needs to be achieved, and strong opinions need to be stated. It is also important that opinions and information concerning plausible solutions that are inherently built up in each country be shared through the promotion of regional cooperation. Moreover from the view point of the "sustainable city", internal capacity building and inter-municipal partnership at the local level is significant, and the participants agreed that long-term contribution to the "sustainable city" is impossible without active and regional measures by local governments.
Access to information is also essential. Adequate information and data are necessary for informed policy and planning decisions. Information exchange at local, regional and international levels will be vital to this process, and the Environment Information Network to be proposed in this ECO ASIA congress could play an important role.
Professor Naito drastically claimed, "Innovative responses are required to halt environmental degradation. The unilateral society backed up by petroleum and progressing towards disposal must be changed into a recyclable society, while people and labor must be circulated between the city and agricultural regions. Ethics and values should be transformed to aim at self-sufficiency. " This views the city and the agricultural village as one circulating unit, and participants agreed that the categorization of the city is significant in making sustainable development a reality and preserving the environment. In other words, all participants affirmed the urgent necessity for further dispersion of population and funding between urban and rural areas, immediate action to be taken towards hardware of urban areas such as sewage and waste disposal facilities, the transformation of consumption and manufacturing patterns through increased participation by the local community, private corporations, and NGOs, education and increased awareness for this transformation, and the importance of the local governments in achieving these goals.
6. SESSION3 PRESENTATION ANDDISCUSSION
Mr. Takao Ohnishi, Deputy Vice Minister of the Environment Agency of Japan was chairperson for this session.
The first two international workshops held in 1994 and 1995, examined and agreed on the objective and methodology for implementation, draft workplan, and models to be used in the project.
The objectives of the project are to:
The project secretariat dealt by the Environment Agency of Japan will prepare reports to be submitted to ECO ASIA, organize necessary activities, and provide a financial base for activities. It will cooperate with governments , institutions and other interested parties of the region in the implementation of the project.
Also, a Steering Committee of four people has been established that plans, drafts, and advises the project. The committee members include Mr. Xia Kunbao from China, Mr. John Gilbert from New Zealand, Dr. Saksit Tridech from Thailand, and Mi. Saburo Kato from Japan who is the Chairperson.
In the first stage of the project, the regional socio-economic prospect and environmental problems in 2025 will be forecast based on the "business-as-usual-scenario", which assumes that each country in the Asia-Pacific region will continue to develop economically in the planned direction. Next, policy issues will be identified from this forecast, and policy options which best promote sustainable development will be examined in a computer simulation. Comments and input for this examination will be requested at ECO ASIA:96, following discussion at the third international workshop. The results will finally be drafted into a report to be presented at the United Nations Special General Assembly on Environment in 1997.
Mr. Gilbert began by mentioning the importance of sharing indicators that help make information and current situations mutually understandable, for the environmental problem transcends borders. He also pointed out that making predictions is not an easy task, but it is essential to establish a forecasting process and to develop an appropriate indicator that reflects regional characteristics. All of the above are goals set for this project, and Mr. Gilbert continued that the advantage of this project lies in bringing together views and problems related to the environment.
Although international agreements have shown progress by the means of many treaties such as CITES and the Convention on Biological Diversity, regional cooperation for its implementation will now be required. Such implementation requires data collection and utilization, and thus the Long-Term Project could be a starting point for the implementation of environmental protection.
Mr. Gilbert indicated that the work the Project must do over the next 12 months is vast according to the Project outline, and that a detailed work program is necessary.
The decision to establish this sub-project arose out of ECO ASIA'94, where a number of representatives such as China suggested that the Long-Term Project should be expanded to include land degradation. The problem of land degradation is extremely serious and a reality in developing countries.
Dr. Terry Rambo of the East-West Center reported on this sub-project.
Land degradation in the Asia-Pacific region is already dramatically impacting on the lives of many millions of rural people in the region. Almost 20% of the vegetated land in Asia has been degraded to some extent by human activity. Since a project on land degradation already exists in south Asia, this project will focus on the problems of forest and agricultural land in south-east and east Asia, with the cooperation of universities in China, the Philippines, Thailand and Vietnam.
The project's framework was decided at a planning workshop held in Thailand, February 1995, organized in collaboration with other institutions in the region. The project will use an input-output balance model to analyze all the interactions of agricultural ecosystems that influence the sustainability of the soil at the village-level. A balance between all these factors indicates sustainability. The presence of excesses or deficiencies indicates long-term problems.
The project will examine two very important types of land-use systems in the participating countries: lowland intensive rice paddy field systems which provide the bulk of these countries' food; and, upland shifting cultivation systems, on which many of the poorest people depend. The project will thus include some of the most seriously threatened systems, such as the mountain areas of south-west China, where there is already severe degradation, and the mountain areas of north Vietnam, where degradation is accelerating with very severe impacts on national infrastructure, even threatening the viability of the hydro- electricity project.
The application of this model has proved successful at the Red River Delta which showed that because of the export of agricultural products there is a serious and previously undetected potassium deficiency that will affect the long-term sustainability of its agricultural system.
Project teams are currently collecting data from other areas and there will be a 'synthesis workshop' in Kyoto during March next year, immediately prior to the 3rd International Workshop of the Long-Term Project. The findings of the sub-project teams and their implications will then be presented to the Workshop.
Participants will continue to provide data and other assistance to the Long-Term Perspective project.
7. SESSION 4 PRESENTATION AND DISCUSSION
The Co-ordinator of this session was Dr. Soeriaatmadja of Indonesia.
In his introduction to this session Dr. Soeriaatmadja stressed the need to gather regional environmental data, which would form the basis of the activities of ECO ASIA and various programs to tackle environmental problems and promote 'sustainable development' in the region. For the information to be able to be used to its maximum, it needs to be collected, stored, processed and made readily accessible to all relevant countries and organizations.
Mr. Hiroshi Sawamura, Director-General, Global Environment Department, Environment Agency of Japan then made a presentation on the proposal of the Agency to implement a project to study the development of an Environmental Information Network for Asia and the Pacific (ECO ASIA NET).
In discussing the need for this project, Mr. Sawamura said that achieving regional sustainable development requires sharing of environmental information and that each of the previous ECO ASIA meetings had indicated that some kind of mechanism was necessary to help achieve this goal.
In addition, he noted that the 'technological environment' required for the operation of ECO ASIA NET is gradually being developed. Advances in information technology are making it easier to harness multimedia technology and construct data bases, while international information processing and communications networks, such as Internet, are becoming more widespread. Internet itself provides the capability for data base decentralization enabling each country to manage its own information and easily share information through a uniform network.
There are also a number of existing database facilities to which the ECO ASIA NET could be linked so as to expand the availability of information to users, such as GRID (Global Resource Information Database) of the UNEP and the environmental technology database of UNEP/IETC (International Environmental Technology Center).
The Environment Agency of Japan proposes to conduct a study of ECO ASIA NET development while holding workshops with representatives of Asia-Pacific countries, international institutions and other concerned parties for an exchange of views on the subject.
Mr. Tomoyuki Matsumura of the United Nations Environment Programme's International Environmental Technology Center (UNEP/IETC) felt that this proposal, along with the UNEP Governing Council' s decision on technological transfer, is very timely and was sure that UNEP-ETC will support it very strongly as it would complement the information collection and distribution activities of the IETC. Contributions from regional countries and organizations would also be useful in helping the IETC develop its own international electronic communication network.
Congress participants appraised the Environment Agency of Japan for addressing concerns expressed in previous ECO ASIA meetings about the need to establish mechanisms to share environmental information. They supported the ECO ASIA NET proposal, as they saw that it would help strengthen activities of countries in gathering and distributing environment-related information. It will be useful to the process of achieving ' sustainable development', by promoting such things as environmental monitoring, policy development, resource management and the distribution of environmentally-sound technologies. It may also assist other networks in the region, such as the one that monitors acid deposition in east Asia.
Representatives of countries participating in ECO ASIA were requested to follow through on this issue so that their detailed requests and suggestions can be incorporated into the network' s developmental process. Moreover, it was decided that the Environment Agency of Japan will review the comments made in time for the first workshop of the following year.
8. SESSION5 GENERAL DISCUSSION
Most of the discussion in this session concentrated on drafting the Chairperson's Summary, and so is not recorded. However, there were several important points made throughout the Congress and in this session that relate to either the more general operations of ECO ASIA the issue of sustainable development or other related activities in the region, and these are recorded below.
Because the promotion of sustainable development was a component of the G7 discussions, Dr. Hirono felt countries should be encouraged to promote and strengthen their policies aimed at pursuing environmentally-benign development. The Summit considered that one of the most important causes of environmental degradation was poverty in developing countries, and assistance was needed to help overcome this. Many agreements relating to promotion of environmental protection were made. Dr. Hirono considered that the outcomes of the Summit were good reasons for countries participating in ECO ASIA to support the United Nations Environment Programme and the Commission on Sustainable Development. He felt that the objectives and functions of these two organizations should be clarified and then support given. He also thought that ECO ASIA participants should be heartened by the fact that such a high-level government meeting now had topics such as 'sustainable development' and environmental protection on its agenda.
He said that when a country decides to meet another country's demand for natural resources, cash crops may be planted instead of crops to meet local needs. Also, the rights of local people may be ignored. He described one situation in Thailand as an example of the environmental and social problems that can be caused by such policies. The Thai government has promoted the establishment of large areas of eucalyptus plantations in northern Thailand with the objective of increasing paper export. Yet, water resources in this area are scarce and the plantations will use a lot more, adding to the pressures on local people and the environment. Community opposition to the plantations has become very strong.
The Environment Agency of Japan organized annual meetings of Experts for the Acid Deposition Monitoring Network in East Asia from 1993 to 1995. These meetings brought together representatives from collaborating countries to share data and information, construct shared understanding of the issues involved and facilitate international cooperation.
Mr. Saboro Kato reported on the Second Experts Meeting held in Tokyo during March 1995. The meeting adopted Guidelines for Monitoring Acid Deposition in the East Asia region and agreed on the principal components of an acid deposition monitoring network in East Asia. They are:
It was agreed that the operation of the network centers and the availability of financial resources to meet the proposed network's objectives should be examined.
The Third Experts Meeting will be held in Niigata Prefecture, Japan from 14th to 16th November 1995, and it is expected to take further steps towards realizing the establishment of the network.
9. CHAIRPERSON'S SUMMARY
The meeting' s conclusions are recorded below.
Initiatives Toward Sustainable Cities
Cooperation on a Long-Term Perspective
Development of Environmental Information Network for Asia and the Pacific (ECO ASIA NET)
Wednesday June 21
17 : 00 Closure of the Meeting
2 . Participants 728 persons
(1) Participants from Abroad 44 persons (including accompany persons and the participants from the Embassy)
 International Organizations
(2) Participants from Japan 684 persons (including 24 formal participants)
11. List of Participants
Mr. Muhammad Abul Quasem
Joint Secretary, Ministry of Environment and Forest
H. E. Mr. Savath Pou
Under Secretary of State Ministry of Environment
Mr. Joseph Caron
Minister and Head of Chancery, Canadian Embassy in Japan
Mr. Baolin Hu
Director General, Department of Policy and Legislation
National Environmental Protection Agency
Mr. Bhaskaran Nair
Acting Permanent Secretary for Local Government and Environment
Mr. Vijai Sharma
Ministry of Environment and Forests
Dr. Roehajat Emon Soeriaatmadja
Special Assistant Minister of State for Environment in charge of Global Environmental Affairs
Mr. Takao Ohnishi
Deputy Vice Minister
Mr. Hiroshi Sawamura
Director-General, Global Environment Department
Mr. Ahn Young-Che
Director General for International Cooperation
Ministry of Environment
Republic of Korea
Mr. Pho Muangnalad
Director of Cabinet, Science, Technology and Environment Agency
Mr. Meng Leng Tan
Deputy Director General, Department of Environment
Ministry of Science, Technology and Environment
Ambassador Luvsandonj Bayart
Director-General, Department of International Organizations
Ministry of External Relations
U Thaung Tun
Secretary, National Commission for Environmental Affairs
Mr. Amrit Lal Joshi
Chief Planning Officer
Ministry of Forests and Soil Conservation
Mr. John Gilbert
Deputy Secretary for the Environment, Ministry for the Environment
Mr. Kembi Abraham Watoka
First Assistant Secretary, Division of Environment
Ministry of Environment and Conservation
Papua New Guinea
Mr. Bin Chee Kwan
Chief Engineer, International Cooperation, International Environment & Policy Department, Ministry of the Environment
Mr. Cecil Amerasinghe
Secretary, Ministry of Transport, Environment and Women's Affairs
Dr. Saksit Tridech
Deputy Secretary-General, Office of Environmental Policy and Planning Ministry of Science, Technology and Environment
Mr Rebert R. Kuntz
Second Secretary, U. S. Embassy in Tokyo
U. S. A.
Prof. Le Qui An
Vice-Minister, Ministry of Science, Technology and Environment
Mr. Yoshinobu Ishikawa
Mr. Takeshi Shoda
Mr. Junji Kawasaki
Director General of Environment Bureau
Mr. Guangchang Shi
Director, Environment and Natural Resources Management Division
Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (ESCAP)
Dr. A. Terry Rambo
Director, Program on Environment
East-West Center (EWC)
Mr. Carter Brandon
World Bank (IBRD)
Mr. Lachlan A. J. Hunter
Assistant Director, Management Services
International Tropical Timber Organization (ITTO)
Dr. Vili Fuavao
South Pacific Regional Environment Programme (SPREP)
Dr. Antonio Limuaco Fernandez
United Nations Centre for Regional Development (UNCRD)
Mr. Hidemi Kakei
United Nations Centre for Regional Development (UNCRD)
Dr. Suvit Yodmani
Regional Director and Representative for Asia and the Pacific, Regional Office for Asia and the Pacific
United Nations environment Programme (UNEP/ROAP)
Mr. Tomoyuki Matsumura
Senior Advisor, International Environmental Technology Centre
United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP/IETC)
Prof. Fu-chen Lo
Principal Academic Officer
The United Nations University (UNU)
Mr. Nobuyuki Araki
Professor, University of Shizuoka
Mr. Kimio Fujita
President, Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA)
Dr. Hiroshi Hattori
Director, Institute of Public Health and Environmental Science, Public Health and Hygiene Department, Shizuoka Prefecture
Mr. Naoki Hayashi
Alternative to the President, ĈON Group Environment Foundation
Prof. Ryokichi Hirono
Prof. Hidefumi Imura
Professor, Faculty of Engineering
Prof. Shunsuke lwasaki
Peoples' Forum 2001
Mr. Saburo Kato
Research Institute for Environment and Society
Prof. Hidetsuru Matsushita
Professor, University of Shizuoka
Mr. Akio Morishima
Professor of Law, School of Law, Nagoya University
Mr. Takaaki Moroto
Chairman, Task Force on Trade and Environment
Prof. Masaaki Naito
Professor, Graduate School of Global Environment Engineering,
Prof. Shiro Okabe
Professor, Faculty of Marine Science and Technology, Tokai University
Mr. Hiroshi Shimizu
President, Global Environmental Forum
Mr. Eiryo Sumida
Deputy Managing Director of Planning Department,
Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA)
Mr. Hiromu Takata
Senior Consultant, Global Environment Centre Foundation
Mr. Atsuo Yagihashi
Director General, Environmental Information Center
Mr. Tadashi Yasuhara
Adviser, Environmental Information Center