The 5th High Level Seminar on Environmentally Sustainable Cities (HLS ESC), organised by the Governments of Indonesia, Japan, Cambodia, the United States, the AWGESC and the ASEAN Secretariat, was held in Surabaya, Indonesia from 28th February – 1st March 2014 under the framework of the East Asia Summit Environment Ministers Meeting (EAS EMM).
The Seminar was chaired by Mr. Dana A. Kartakusuma (Assistant Minister for Global Environment, Ministry of Environment, Government of Indonesia) and co-chaired by Mr. Junichi Shiraishi (Vice Minister for Global Environmental Affairs, Ministry of the Environment, Government of Japan), Dr. Vann Monyneath (Deputy Director General for Technical Affairs, Ministry of Environment, Government of Cambodia/Chairperson, AWGESC) and Mr. Alfred Nakatsuma (Regional Environment Director, RDMA), USAID).
The Seminar brought together about 180 participants consisting of representatives from 15 national governments, 36 local authorities and 31 international organisations, non-government organisations (NGOs), research institutions, private companies and others for information exchange, knowledge sharing and frank discussion on the agenda of ESC development.
In the Opening Session, an Introduction to the Seminar was delivered by Mr. Rasio Ridho Sani (Deputy Minister for Hazardous Substances, Hazardous Waste and Solid Waste Management, Ministry of Environment, Government of Indonesia) with Welcome Greetings from Mr. Junichi Shiraishi (Vice Minister for Global Environmental Affairs, Ministry of the Environment, Government of Japan). The Keynote Presentation was delivered by Ms. Tri Rismaharini (Mayor, City of Surabaya).
|Date||28 Feb. – 1 Mar. 2014|
|Venue||Sheraton Surabaya Hotel and Towers, Surabaya, Indonesia|
|Framework||East Asia Summit Environment Ministers Meeting (EAS EMM)|
|Organiser||Ministry of Environment, Government of Indonesia; Ministry of the Environment, Government of Japan; Ministry of Environment, Government of Cambodia; United States Agency for International Development (USAID); ASEAN Working Group on ESC (AWGESC); and the ASEAN Secretariat|
|Secretariat||Institute for Global Environmental Strategies (IGES)|
|Number of participants||Approx.180|
As with previous seminars, the event brought together diverse stakeholders to review the progress made in EAS participating countries on promoting ESC, exchange knowledge on priority areas and emerging topics as well as to explore collaboration opportunities. The highlight of the seminar was the official announcement of the ASEAN ESC Model Cities Programme’s extension into Year 2 of implementation, which was warmly welcomed by participants and appreciated by ASEAN Member States. The ASEAN ESC Model Cities Programme represents a concrete output of the HLS ESC seminars, as it has been specifically designed to realise the practical activities for promoting ESC as recommended by the 1st HLS ESC.
Active discussions were held over five Plenary Sessions and nine Thematic Sessions, which highlighted good practices by local governments as well as enabling actions and new initiatives by supporting stakeholders. This year, two side events were also held back-to-back with the seminar: Strategic Workshop on Air Quality Management for High-Level Decision Makers (organised by German International Cooperation (GIZ), Clean Air Asia and IGES and OECD Green Growth in Cities organised by the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD).
The Seminar concluded with the adoption of a Chair’s Summary which reaffirmed important actions and ideas for furthering the promotion of ESC in the region and provided specific recommendations to EAS Environment Ministers on broad paradigms and practical collaborative activities under the EAS EMM framework.
The outputs of the 5th HLS ESC will be reported to:
- 12th Meeting of the ASEAN Working Group on Environmentally Sustainable Cities (AWGESC) to be held tentatively on 28 – 30 May 2014 in Thailand;
- 25th Meeting of the ASEAN Senior Officials on the Environment (ASOEN) which is planned to be held tentatively in August 2014 in Lao PDR;
- 13th ASEAN Plus Three Environment Ministerial Meeting to be held tentatively in September 2014 in Lao PDR;
- The forthcoming 5th EAS Environment Ministers Meeting;
- Other relevant major meetings and seminars pertaining to ESC, including those under global processes such as the post-2015 development agenda and the preparations for the 3rd United Nations Conference on Housing and Sustainable Urban Development (HABITAT III, to be held in 2016) and to provide full support to their regional preparatory processes.