The China-ASEAN Environmental Cooperation Forum: Policy Dialogue and Workshop on Environmentally Sustainable Development was held on 16-18 September 2015 in Nanning, China, organised by the China-ASEAN Environmental Cooperation Centre (CAEC). The Forum which was cosponsored by Ministry of Environmental Protection of China and Government of Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous region, has been consecutively held over the past 4 years.
The Forum was attended by the ASEAN Secretariat, ASEAN Member States, representatives from United Nations Environment Program (UNEP), Asian Development Bank, Stockholm Environment Institute, officials from Ministry of Environmental Protection of China and Government of Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region, entrepreneurs, and relevant agencies.
At the opening session, Mr. Jian Xingchao of Department of Environmental Protection suggested that the forum will bring new opportunities to strengthen environmental cooperation between ASEAN and China. Meanwhile ASEAN Secretariat underlined that the formulation of the new ASEAN-China Strategy on Environmental Protection Cooperation 2016-2020 indicates the form of cooperation should move forward from capacity building workshops and seminars to a more concrete, long-term, on-the-ground, and high-impact projects with programmatic approach.
The Forum consisted of three main sessions including Policy Dialogue and Workshop on Environmentally Sustainable Development, China – ASEAN Roundtable on Cooperation and Development of Environmentally Sound Technology and Industry, and Exhibition on Environmentally Sound Technology and Industry of China.
In the first half of session I, Policy Dialogue on Environment, speakers from AMS and China shared their views and updates of their national policies on sustainable development. This session gave opportunity to participants to exchange views and ideas on conceptual framework, strategies, and regulations on environmental protection in their countries through presentations and discussions.
On the second half of the first session, Workshop on environmental sustainable development, there were five topics presented in each part of the session. They were as follows:
- China-ASEAN Strategy on Environmental Cooperation 2016-2020 and “Green One belt and One Road”.
- The experiences and practices on environmental impact assessment (EIA) in China and ASEAN countries.
- Sustainable Development Goals and Post-2015 Agenda, which highlighted the switch to sustainable consumption production (SCP) with the decoupling principle (doing more and better with less) and SCP partnership.
- China-ASEAN Cooperation on Environmental Data and Information Sharing. ASEAN Secretariat presented the environmental data and information sharing practices under ASEAN cooperation framework. Other information sharing experiences were also shared by ASEAN Center for Biodiversity and UNEP-WCMC.
- Investment and Trade for Green Development. On this session, some speakers highlighted the ASEAN-China FTA assessment and upgrading efforts.
The second session, China-ASEAN Roundtable on Cooperation and Development of Environmentally Sound Technology highlighted the Public-Private Partnership (PPP) experiences and policies in both China and ASEAN countries. The practices of PPP in private sector in China were also presented by speakers from the environment industry. As a long-term partnering relationship between the public and private sector, PPP has different legal system and policy in different countries. However it is recognized for generating benefits such as reducing financial burdens of government and risk sharing between private and public sector, as well as gaining advantages from private sector expertise and innovation.
The final part of the Forum was a visit to 12th ASEAN-China Expo, an exhibition on environmentally sound technology and industry of China and ASEAN. The exhibition targeted the theme of “promoting industrial cooperation, seeking green business opportunities under the Belt and Road Initiative”. It will provide more business opportunities for China and ASEAN countries to enlarge the China-ASEAN Free Trade Area and expand the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership.