The Ministers of The ASEAN Countries Met to Address Actions on Environtment

The Ministers of The ASEAN Countries Met to Address Actions on Environtment

Indonesia urged ASEAN Member States to lead by example and uphold collective actions in addressing environmental challenges to realizing ASEAN as an Epicentrum of Growth and maintaining ASEAN Centrality.

AMME – ASEAN Ministerial Meeting on Environment met in Vientiane Lao PDR on 23 August 2023, to provide policy and strategic guidance related to ASEAN cooperation on environment in advance. It was seventeenth meeting. ASEAN Senior Officials on Environment – ASOEN reported to the AMME what the notes of 34th ASOEN Meeting, and some of them are noted from preparatory meeting 22 August 2023 – previously day.

Raising issues to advance climate action, promoting biodiversity conservation, combating marine plastic pollution and realising sustainable cities. Director General of Agency for Standardisation of Environment and Forestry – ASEFI, Director General of Climate Change, Delegations from International Cooperation Bureau, Directorate General of Climate Change, ASEFI, also Ministry of Foreign Affairs – were there to shape the intervention of Indonesia.

Lao PDR chaired the meeting. HE Minister Environment and Forestry Siti Nurbaya congratulated to the Government of Lao PDR as the Host and Chair of the 17th ASEAN Ministerial Meeting on the Environment for their excellent arrangement and warm hospitality. She said “Environmental issues, especially climate change is a complex challenge of our time”. She also highlighted that Indonesia developed various initiatives that would lay the foundation for the next generation to build on and contribute to the ASEAN sustainability agenda.

ASEAN remains committed to address environmental challenges in the region and the world. ASEAN Ministerial Meeting on the Environment should lead the role in strengthening regional environmental and climate resilience.

At the occasion, plastic pollution become a flying issue. Plastic pollution has emerged as a critical environmental issue affecting the marine ecosystem worldwide. The Southeast Asian region is no exception to this global challenge, where its extensive coastlines and significant marine biodiversity, faces the urgent need to address the escalating problem of plastic pollution and its detrimental impacts on the marine environment.

Ary Sudijanto as National Focal Point ASOEN Indonesia, to brief the meeting on the upcoming ASEAN Conference on Combatting Plastic Pollution Enhanced Synergies and Collaborative Actions to Combatting Plastic Pollution Including to Marine Environment.

In response to the growing concerns on climate change impacts,  ASEAN is developing a Joint Statement on Climate Change to UNFCCC COP-28 and ASEAN Community-Based Climate Action. ASEAN Member States are considered among the world’s most vulnerable countries to the impacts of climate change. According to The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) Special Report on Global Warming, the highest mean temperature of 1.5°C will result in five climate risks for Southeast Asia, namely (i) an increase in high heat-related mortality rates; (ii) increased risk of drought-related water and food shortages; (iii) exacerbated poverty, greater inequalities and urban-related vulnerabilities; (iv) increased risk of crop failure and lower crop production; and (v) water shortages in arid regions.

At that momentum, Minister Siti reiterated that through ASEAN Joint Statement on Climate Change to UNFCCC COP-28, ASEAN calls over all Parties, to strengthen their 2030 targets in NDCs to align with the Paris Agreement and urges developed countries to provide financial, technological, and capacity support to AMS in a timely, coordinated, sustainable, and gender-responsive manner for better understanding at all levels.

Last year, Indonesia submitted its enhanced NDC targeting emission reductions to 31,89% with national capacity, and it reached 43,2% with the support by overseas cooperation. Indonesia’s real achievements in reducing emissions is undeniable, with the figure of real emission reduction of 47,28% in 2020 and 43,82% in 2021.Indonesia’s Forest and Other Land Use Net Sink 2030 has been one of the backbones to achieve this goal. Based on international consultation and analysis process by UNFCCC through 3rd BUR in November 2022, in period of 2018-2020 Indonesia’s emission reduction is around 570 million CO2 eq; that are available to be used for collaboration in example on result-based contribution or others mechanism.

To acknowledge the importance of non-party stakeholders in particular local communities and strengthen their roles in climate change action, Indonesia also develops a community-based climate program through Program Kampung Iklim (PROKLIM) as part of its national strategies to increase national climate resilience. Proklim aims as of 2022, 4,218 villages were registered at the National Registry System (SRN) as climate villages. I believe that other ASEAN Member States has also develop similar programs with different approaches. I hope that we can share our experiences and document our best practices through the ASEAN Community-based climate action.

At the meeting, Indonesia emphasized,  on post-2020 Global Biodiversity Framework, the fact that not all parties are at the same level if targets are assessed numerically. Indonesia supports voluntary commitment with appropriate flexibility based on common but differentiated responsibility, recognizing respective national circumstances, priorities, and capabilities. I am proud to report that 54.48% of Indonesian forests fell within a legally established protected area; 25,93% of important sites for terrestrial biodiversity in Indonesia were protected; and 39% of important sites for freshwater biodiversity were protected in 2021.

This year President Joko Widodo issued Presidential Instruction on the mainstreaming of biodiversity conservation in sustainable development. The main purposes are to balance biodiversity conservation and economic policies in development planning, protection of critical ecosystem and sustainable utilization of natural resources for the welfare of society. Indonesia believes that this policy would strongly support the achievement of Kunming Montreal Global Biodiversity Framework (KMGBF) targets.

Management of invasive alien species (IAS) is one of the Kunming-Montreal 2030 global targets to be immediately addressed.  IAS is considered as one of the major threats to biodiversity among other drivers of biodiversity loss and declining native species.  Indonesia invites ASEAN Member States to jointly combat the threat of invasive alien species through the development of ASEAN Regional Action Plan on Invasive Alien Species Management.

Furthermore, Indonesia fully supports the global agenda to end plastic pollution including in the marine environment since it is very much in line with our national policy and regulation in combating plastic waste and pollution. We have a strong commitment joining global movement to end plastic pollution through the establishment of an international legally binding instrument and we believe that the National Action Plans should be the backbone to implement this international legally binding instrument. Indonesia has carried out four activities related to marine environment which are, i) implementation of monitoring marine debris and micro plastics at 23 locations and clean-up activities working with private sectors and communities in coastal areas due to waste from the sea, ii) carrying out rehabilitation of coral reef ecosystems in 14 locations, iii) ASEAN-Indo-Pacific Workshop on Marine Plastic Debris and iv) ASEAN Conference in Combatting Plastic Pollution: Enhance Synergies and Collaborative Actions to Combatting Marine Pollution.

In the waste management sector, Indonesia supports the promotion of ASEAN Sustainable Cities through national initiatives including the establishment of waste recycling, domestic waste segregation, green open space development and circular economy implementation. Collaboration involving the government, community at large, and the business world has also been initiated. Indonesia is initiating the Horizontal Learning for ASEAN Sustainable Cities Workshop as the regional platform to share experiences and lessons learned on promoting sustainable city among ASEAN Member States.

Indonesia also invited the Memer States to convey their views about invitation from the Republic of Congo to the Amazon/Congo/Borneo-Mekong-Southeast Asia Summit – the Three Basins of Biodiversity Ecosystems and Tropical Forest which will be convened in the Brazzaville on 26-28 October 2023.


News Writer: Yayuk Siswiyanti

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