The role of ASEAN in shaping regional environmental protection

Authored by: Koh Kheng-Lian , Md. Saiful Karim

Routledge Handbook of the Environment in Southeast Asia

Print publication date:  September  2016
Online publication date:  September  2016

Print ISBN: 9780415625210
eBook ISBN: 9781315474892
Adobe ISBN: 9781315474885


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This chapter 1 seeks to demonstrate that since 1978, when environment was first put on the programme of work of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), it has been shaping the environmental agenda in an ‘evolutionary’ way. More recently, ASEAN has accelerated its efforts to deal with ‘new problems’ (for example, food and water security, pandemics) and emerging transboundary environmental issues, such as the impact of climate change, that are confronting not only ASEAN but the world. The role of ASEAN in shaping environmental protection as part of global environmental governance includes facilitating the implementation of multilateral environmental agreements such as the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD), the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) and the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), apart from its own programmes. A recent publication, comprising over 2,000 pages of selected documents in two volumes, shows that ASEAN has been very active in fashioning regional environmental governance, which includes policies, plans, programmes, strategies, roadmaps and hard law instruments (Koh, 2009; 2012a).

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