BANGKOK, 9 July 2019 – At the launch of a High-Level Dialogue on Environment and Climate Change in Bangkok yesterday, Senior Officials from ASEAN and the European Union (EU) reaffirmed the commitment to strengthen cooperation between ASEAN and the EU on shared regional and global challenges related to protection of the environment and climate change.

Ms. Astrid Schomaker, Director for Global Sustainable Development at the European Commission’s Directorate General for Environment, and Mr. Hazri Hassan, Director for International Policy at the Ministry of the Environment and Water Resources who also represented Singapore as the ASEAN-EU Country Coordinator, delivered the joint Opening Statements.

As agreed in the Joint statement of the 22nd ASEAN-EU ministerial meeting in January 2019, the dialogue will provide space for exchanges of best practices and lessons learned, assessing progress towards relevant environmental and climate goals, and designing enabling conditions at regional scale. At the meeting, ASEAN and the EU approved the jointly adopted Objectives and Working Arrangements for the Dialogue as a new milestone in their relationship, building the foundation for further growth and exploring new joint projects on environment and climate change.

The officials then discussed the main areas of cooperation which addressed mitigation, adaptation, long-term strategies and sustainable finance in relation to climate change. They  also discussed other environment issues, conservation of natural resources, water and biodiversity, waste management, plastics and marine litter. Further, Sustainable Cities and Communities, addressing ‘SMART Green ASEAN Cities,’ and focusing on smart solutions enabled by digitalization and use of technologies were deliberated.

One highlight in this regard was the presentation of the executive summary of findings and recommendations of a recently conducted regional gap-analysis on the state of circular economy for plastics in ASEAN Member States. The analysis, conducted by a team of experts from the Institute for Global Environmental Strategies, developed a knowledge base for follow-up actions by the EU to inspire and assist circular economy approaches to plastic issues in the ASEAN region.

The EU shared its longstanding experience on waste management and circular economy. In its 2018 Plastics Strategy, the European Union has committed to assist other regions in shifting towards a circular economy for plastics and both regions agreed to tackle this problem together.  Both sides agreed that the issue of plastic waste export deserves special attention and urgent action.

The High-Level Dialogue was supported by the Enhanced Regional EU-ASEAN Dialogue Instrument (E-READI), a development cooperation program that facilitates dialogues between the EU and ASEAN in priority policy areas of joint interest. Drawing on the EU’s experience of regional integration, the E-READI policy dialogue facility further strengthens both the ASEAN regional integration process as well as the overall ASEAN-EU partnership.

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The Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) was established on 8 August 1967. The Member States of the Association are Brunei Darussalam, Cambodia, Indonesia, Lao PDR, Malaysia, Myanmar, Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and Viet Nam. On 31 December 2015, the ASEAN Community was formally established. The ASEAN Secretariat is based in Jakarta.

The European Union (EU) is a political and economic union of Member States including Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Croatia, Republic of Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden and the UK.

For more information, please contact:

EU Mission to ASEAN, Programme Manager, Pierre Destexhe Pierre.DESTEXHE@eeas.europa.eu

E-READI, Communication & Outreach Expert, Denada Stottele denada.stottele@asean.org