International Workshop on ECO ASIA Long-term Project
3-4 March 1998
- The International Workshop on ECO ASIA Long-term Project was held in Tokyo, Japan from 3 to 4 March 1998. It was attended by 38 participants from 14 countries and 5 organizations (see Participants List). The workshop was chaired by Mr. Saburo Kato.
- The objectives of the workshop were (i) to share information on the recent events and initiatives related to the project, and (ii) to develop the work plan for Phase II of the Long-term Project.
- A leading presentation was made about Phase I of the Project. Reports were also made on ECO ASIA activities in February 1998, including the Second International Workshop on Environmental Information Network for Asia and the Pacific (ECO ASIA NET) held in Tokyo, and the workshop of the Project on Eco Consciousness in Asia-Pacific held in Hong Kong.
- Presentations were made on issues of relevance to planned and possible future activities of ECO ASIA, including
(a) the Third Conference of the Parties of the U.N. Framework Convention on Climate Change (COP3) (December 1997, Kyoto, Japan);
(b) Environmental Indicators - A Path to the Future (New Zealand's environmental indicators);
(c) the Asia-Pacific Network for Global Change Research (APN); and
(d) the Fourth Conference of the Parties to the Basel Convention (February 1998, Kuching, Malaysia).
- An active discussion was held over a draft Work Plan of Phase II of the ECO ASIA Long-term Project. Main points of the discussions were as follows.
(a) The Project should provide professional and scientific input for the policy dialogues of Ministers at ECO-ASIA Congresses, such as helping to identify common and timely policy issues that they could address.
(b) ECO ASIA should strive for the development and expression of common
messages from the Asia-Pacific region to international fora.
(c) The activities of Phase II of the Project should be action-oriented, in order to achieve concrete outputs of the Project to the Asia-Pacific region, and achievements for each country involved in the Project.
(d) The Project should develop and demonstrate its value-added to sustainable development in the Asia-Pacific region, compared to other fora.
(e) It was suggested that interim reviews of the progress in the Project should be conducted, and necessary revisions in the Project identified as it progresses.
(f) Methodologies should be developed to implement ECO ASIA activities and concepts more effectively.
(g) In line with the concept of "ECO Partnership" it was proposed that efforts should be made to maximize the active participation of major stakeholders in the Project, within fiscal constraints.
- Participants agreed that the objectives of Phase II of the Project are:
(a) To identify options for the environmental policies that can promote the long-term sustainable development of the Asia-Pacific region in the context of its socio-economic situation and also indicate environmental issues that may emerge from different development scenarios in the region;
(b) To provide input to the ECO ASIA Congress for consideration as a possible contribution to "Rio+10" in the year 2002; and
(c) To enhance human resources and institutional capacities of the participating countries to realize sustainable development through implementation of this Project.
These objectives will be attained through application of the four concepts, namely; Eco-Consciousness, Eco-Partnership, Eco-Technology and Eco-Investment, and Eco-Linkage, which were developed in Phase I.
- Groups were formed during the workshop to discuss the Project development and Phase II activities for the each of the areas of ECO ASIA work: (a) Eco-Consciousness, (b) Eco-Partnerships, (c) Eco-Policy Linkages, (d) Eco-Technology/Eco-Investment. In addition, one group discussed the focal points for ECO ASIA Long-term Projects, and involvement of ECO ASIA NET and stakeholders.
- The participants agreed to revise the draft Work Plan of Phase II of the Project to reflect discussions made and agreement reached at this workshop. The time schedule for future work agreed upon for 1998 is as follows:
|mid-April||Distribute Second Draft of Phase II Work Plan for further review|
|end of May||Submission of comments to the Secretariat |
|end of June||Distribute Draft Final Work Plan |
|September||Submission to ECO ASIA Congress |
- The Environment Agency of Japan announced that it would report the outcome of this workshop and the progress to date on the Long-term Project at the ECO ASIA Congress to be held in Sendai, Japan in September 1998.
- Participants expressed their appreciation to the Environment Agency of Japan for hosting the workshop, and to Mr. Kato for his excellent chairing of the workshop.