ASEAN Secretariat, 21 January 2011

Over 50 ASEAN representatives and climate change experts gathered in Jakarta this week to exchange ideas and best practices in addressing current and future impacts of climate change. During the two-day workshop, participants learnt from other’s current programmes, such as municipal building retrofits in Jakarta, the carbon neutral initiative in the Philippines’ Puerto Princessa and various available tools for measuring and monitoring greenhouse gas. Attendees also discussed how ASEAN cities can raise awareness and generate necessary support to develop effective carbon reduction and adaptation activities.

The Governor of Jakarta, Fauzi Bowo, in an opening statement delivered at the workshop expressed that climate change is a human issue and is therefore our joint responsibility to share our experiences in addressing it.

Ms Liana Bratasida, Chairperson of the ASEAN Working Group on Environmentally Sustainable Cities and Special Assistant to the Minister of Environment of Indonesia, said that while ASEAN cities have varying capabilities and capacities in handling climate change, the discussions show that they are all “taking innovative approaches to counter the effects of climate change through initiatives in adaptation, mitigation and climate proofing.”

The workshop was co-organised by the ASEAN Secretariat, the ASEAN Working Group on Sustainable Cities, the United States-funded ASEAN-US Technical Assistance and Training Facility, ICLEI and the World Bank.

ASEAN has in April last year adopted a Statement on Joint Response to Climate Change. In the Statement, Member States agree to enhance scientific collaboration to downscale climate change effects and incorporate mitigation and adaptation strategies into national development strategies and policies. They also pledge to collaborate on environmentally-sound technologies, towards low carbon and green economy.