Side Events

Special Event on Ocean Governance and Partnerships towards ‘Clean Seas’

There is growing recognition of the urgent need to address marine pollution including marine litter, which is not only impacting the coastal and marine environment but also has serious social and economic implications. It is estimated that 10 to 20 million tonnes of plastic are finding their way into the world’s oceans each year, costing approximately US$13 billion per year in environmental damage to marine ecosystems, including financial losses incurred by fisheries, tourism and beach clean ups1. It is estimated that global plastic production has increased by 8.7% per year on average over 1950-20122 and that ocean plastics cost the tourism, fishing and shipping industries in the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) region alone US$1.3bn a year3. In a business-as-usual scenario, the ocean is expected to contain more plastics than fish (by weight) by 20254. Countries in Asia and the Pacific are major sources of marine pollution, including marine plastic litter, and also highly vulnerable to its impacts. Strengthening regional ocean governance and partnerships is essential in addressing these issues effectively.

More information: Concept Note (pdf)

Background Materials

A Common Path: How does the Paris Agreement promote the goal of a resource-efficient and pollution-free Asia-Pacific?

The link between global climate action under the Paris Agreement (PA) and the move towards a pollution-free and resource-efficient Asia-Pacific is undeniable. Countries will need to develop an understanding of how the implementation of the Paris Agreement can enhance their sustainable development agendas and identify development co-benefits of their climate action as a means for prioritization. This side event brings together experts and practitioners in the field of climate action for a discussion on how the implementation of the Paris Agreement contributes to resource efficiency and pollution reduction and aims to showcase the transitional influence of climate action on the pathway towards a sustainable low carbon society.

More information: Concept Note (pdf)

Astana Green Bridge Initiative: Towards Inter-regional Partnerships for Sustainable Development

The event will focus on facilitation of the transition from traditional and unsustainable development models to the green economy model through the implementation of strategic investment projects based on multilateral international cooperation and transfer of technology, knowledge sharing and financial support from the main financial institutions and the public-private partnership. The program aims to unite efforts of countries in providing “green” economic growth in the region. A multilateral, cross-sectoral and voluntary Partnership Programme "Green Bridge" provides a stable and long-term basis for green investment, transfer of new technologies and innovations among member states, to update the sectors of the economy and create new and long-term green jobs. The side event will define defining the list of mechanisms of Inter-regional cooperation towards establishment of a resource-efficient and environmentally friendly Asia-Pacific region and would search for policy frameworks to ensure investment packages for “Energy of the Future”.

More information: Concept Note (pdf)

Is the Asia-Pacific ready for Climate Geoengineering?

The Carnegie Climate Geoengineering Governance initiative (C2G2) warmly welcome delegates to join an informal evening reception to learn about the latest thinking on climate geoengineering and the need to establish global governance around its development and deployment.

More information: Concept Note (pdf)

Impactful Investments in Water Efficient Infrastructures: Inputs to the 3rd Asia-Pacific Water Summit

Water efficiency is a broad term that encompasses water conservation and management plans to achieve more resourceful water use and to reduce water consumption patterns. Changing climatic conditions, rapidly increasing populations, and persistent over-use of available resources have generated concerns of a pending ‘global water crisis’. ADB (2013) estimated that at least US$59 billion in investments for water supply and US$71 billion for improved sanitation are needed to cover the region’s basic needs. It is also estimated that as much as 70% to 90% of household and industrial wastewaters return to the water eco-system untreated. How then can we buck this trend and move towards more efficient water use and avoid polluting the environment? However, this must be achieved without restricting water use across all sectors, while also ensuring sustainable withdrawals along with the supply of freshwater to address water scarcity. The wonders arise on how can the region accelerate and ensure impactful investment patterns? What are the enabling governing conditions and regulatory mechanisms of good water management to aid countries in the region towards their attainments of the SDGs?

More information: Concept Note (pdf)

Side-Event “Solutions towards an Air-Pollution Free Planet”

Air pollution is the world’s largest environmental health risk. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), exposure to air pollution costs the lives of 7 million people each year.1 Bulk of the burden is happening in the Asia Pacific region, where there are 3.3 million deaths linked to indoor air pollution and 2.6 million deaths related to outdoor air pollution (2012 estimates).2 Besides its health impacts, air pollution also poses a threat to the region’s economy, in terms of the lost labour income and welfare losses, food and water security, and climate system, thereby undermining poverty alleviation and achievement of sustainable development goals.

More information: Concept Note (pdf)

Asia Environmental Enforcement Awards

The Asia Environmental Enforcement Awards (the ‘Awards’) publicly recognize and celebrate excellence in enforcement efforts by public institutions and individuals to fight environmental crime in Asia. The Awards are given annually by UN Environment, with the generous support of the Swedish International Development Agency through the Regional Enforcement Network for Chemicals and Waste project. This year’s award ceremony will be held on 7 September 2017 in Bangkok at the United Nations Conference Centre during the Asia-Pacific Ministerial Summit on the Environment from 5 to 8 September. Up to 300 people are expected to be in aendance, and the awards ceremony will be followed by a dinner reception hosted by the Executive Director of UN Environment. The theme for this year’s Awards is ‘Fighting Pollution Crime in Asia’ and up to eight recipients (four organizations and four individuals) will be invited to Bangkok to be given the Award.

More information: Concept Note (pdf)

High-Level Side Event on “Gender, the Environment and Sustainable Development in Asia and the Pacific”

In Asia and the Pacific, the lives of a sizable proportion of women are inextricably tied to the use of environment for daily support and livelihood. More than 80 per cent of rural households in the region use biomass for fuel, compared with only 25 per cent of urban households, which affects a preponderance of women more than men. Around 58 per cent of the economically active women in the region work in the agriculture sector. Women constitute 54 per cent of the labour force in small-scale inland fisheries in the region. In order to advance the 2030 Agenda in the region, countries must respond to persisting gender-based inequalities in the sphere of managing the environment and natural resources. Through a high-level panel discussion, this side event would aim to share national experiences in tackling the intersections between gender and environment in, thereby offering important policy lessons and innovations that can guide the region towards truly inclusive and sustainable development. The side event will also witness the launch of ESCAP’s Gender, the Environment and Sustainable Development in Asia and the Pacific, the first Asia-Pacific report that comprehensively maps the linkages between gender inequality and environment at the levels of household, work, community and policy.

More information: Concept Note (pdf)

Towards Resource Efficient Asia-Pacific Through Seoul Initiative Network on Green Growth

The Asia and the Pacific region possess higher degree of vulnerability to complex environmental challenges, including water pollution, resource depletion, biodiversity loss, and land degradation. Addressing the identified issues, the Ministry of Environment of the Republic of Korea has operated the Seoul Initiative Network on Green Growth (SINGG) in cooperation with ESCAP since 2005 to provide a regional cooperation framework for Green Growth, considering economic, social, cultural and geographical features of the region. It also provides a framework for policy consultation, capacity-building and networking for the promotion of Green Growth at the regional level and to build partnerships in mainstreaming resource efficiency and green growth into national strategies and policies in support of the implementation of the 2030 Agenda. The event will consider key methodologies of disseminating green growth policy tools and emerging innovative instruments to achieve environmental sustainability in Asia-Pacific.

More information: Concept Note (pdf)


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UN Environment
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