History of ASOEN
ASEAN is home to 20 percent of all known species of the world and is the centre of the world’s marine biodiversity. All these rich natural resources, however, is confronted with immense environmental challenges and stresses. Increasing population, rapid urbanisation and progressive economic development has led to increase demand and consumption of food, water and energy. ASEAN region has also been facing a rise in average and extreme temperatures, increases in wet season rainfall, rainfall intensity and duration, and greater frequency of extreme events such as droughts, floods, land and/or forest fires.
Since 1977, ASEAN has cooperated closely in promoting environmental cooperation among its member states and its partners. In 2015, ASEAN leaders adopted ASCC Blueprint 2025 which envisions an ASEAN Community that engages and benefits the peoples and is inclusive, sustainable, resilient, and dynamic. The Blueprint guides ASEAN cooperation to include the conservation and sustainable management of biodiversity and natural resources, promotion of environmentally sustainable cities, climate change adaptation and mitigation, as well as promotion of sustainable consumption and production towards circular economy.
Through the leadership of the ASEAN Ministerial Meeting on Environment (AMME), the ASEAN Senior Officials on Environment (ASOEN) together with its thematic working groups and the ASEAN Centre for Biodiversity, continue to identify and implement regional policies, measures and programmes to promote environmental protection and sustainable development. ASOEN also promotes coordination, collaboration and/or partnerships with other ASEAN sectoral bodies, ASEAN Dialogue Partners, international organisations, and relevant stakeholders.
ASEAN continuously makes collective efforts in environmental protection through policy dialogue and harmonisation, research, capacity building, technical assistance, scaling up and replication of good practices across ASEAN countries; and awareness raising.
Some flagship initiatives include the ASEAN Heritage Parks Programme, ASEAN SDG Frontrunner Cities Programme, and ASEAN Eco-schools and Youth Eco-champion Award Programmes. ASEAN also regularly develops ASEAN State of Environment Reports and recently developed an ASEAN State of Climate Change Report to support evidence-based policy decision making process in ASEAN.
Moving forward, ASEAN is exploring ways to support the region’s transition to circular economy by taking into consideration the recommendations from the gap analysis study on circular economy for plastics.
ASEAN is also working towards establishing a climate resilient ASEAN by taking into consideration the outcomes and recommendations of the joint study on drought.
To further support ASEAN’s efforts to move towards into a more sustainable and environmentally-friendly meeting setup, ASEAN adopted ASEAN Guidelines on Green Meetings.
Guided by ASEAN Vision 2025, ASEAN continues to work hand in hand to strive for clean and green environment for the peoples of ASEAN.