The Strategic Plan of Action on the Environment has the following five objectives:
- to respond to specific recommendations of Agenda 21 requiring priority action in ASEAN;
- to introduce policy measures and promote institutional development that encourage the integration of environmental factors in all developmental processes both at the national and regional levels;
- to establish long term goals on environmental quality and work towards harmonised environmental quality standards for the ASEAN region;
- to harmonise policy directions and enhance operational and technical cooperation on environmental matters, and undertake joint actions to address common environmental problems; and
- to study the implications of AFTA on the environment and take steps to integrate sound trade policies with sound environmental policies.
To attain these objectives, the following strategic thrusts and actions will be pursued:
Strategy 1: Support the development of a regional framework for integrating environment and development concerns in the decision-making process.
1.1 Continue support in the documentation of regional EIA experiences leading towards the harmonisation of procedures;
1.2 Initiate acctivities that will make use of natural resource and environmental accounting studies and approaches; and
1.3 Establish procedures that would initiate the integration of environmental concerns in the various ASEAN programmes activities.
Strategy 2: Promote government-private sector interactions that lead towards the development of policies that mutually support the thrust of each sector.
2.1 Initiate studies on development of environmental and trade policies which are supported to the principles of sustainable development;
2.2 Establish mechanisms that encourage government and private sectors to adopt appropriate environmental standards backed up by sufficient economic incentives; and
2.3 Set up government-private sector information linkages/networks to include information on technology, expertise and facilities for environmental management.
Strategy 3: Strengthen the knowledge and information data base on environmental matters.
3.1 Pursue the establishment of basic environmental quality standards leading to the setting up of harmonised quality standards in the region;
3.2 Identify centers of excellence for environmental R&D and eventually build them as focal points of environmental networks; and
3.3 Establish a mechanism for the preparation of periodic reports on the state of the region’s environment.
Strategy 4: Strengthen institutional and legal capacities to implement international agreements on environment.
4.1 Undertake a comparative study on the institutional structure and legislation structure and legislation on environmental management;
4.2 Establish capacities to support regional efforts to implement international agreements and participate effectively in the negotiation of new or revised agreements; and
4.3 Enhance collaboration with international bodies overseeing the implementation of international agreements and cooperation.
Strategy 5: Establish a regional framework on biological diversity conservation and sustainable utilization of its components.
5.1 Promote the development of a framework for the protection and conservation of heritage areas and endangered species; and
5.2 Strengthen capacities for R&D to enhance biodiversity conservation in the region.
Strategy 6: Promote the protection and management of coastal zones and marine resources.
6.1. Improve regional marine and coastal environmental coordination; and
6.2 Develop a framework for the integrated management of regional coastal zones.
Strategy 7: Promote environmentally sound management of toxic chemicals and hazardous wastes, and control of transboundary movement of hazardous wastes
7.1 Establish a regional guidelines for assessing highly pollutive industries and safe handling of potentially harmful chemcials entering the ASEAN region; and
7.2 Strengthen the information network on the transboundary movement of toxic chemicals and hazardous waste.
Strategy 8: Develop a system for the promotion of environmentally sound technologies.
8.1 Establish linkages with existing clearing houses on environmentally sound technologies;
8.2 Establish mechanisms that identify end users of R&D results and encourage the participation of private sector;
8.3 Strengthen linkage and coordination with other ASEAN committees such as COST doing related R&D work on the environment; and
8.4 Support the promotion of indigenous technology or technologies that have been adapted to regional needs.
Strategy 9: Promote regional activities that strengthen the role of major groups in sustainable development.
9.1 Support the publication of regional environmental magazine and newsletters;
9.2 Strenthen regional information network and promote exchange of expertise on environmental education programmes; and
9.3 Develop strategic programmes of action that will strengthen the role and participation of major groups on environmental management and decision making.
Strategy 10: Strengthen the coordinative mechanism for the implementation and management of regional environment programmes.
10.1 Establish an operational system at the ASEAN Secretariat that could plan, monitor and facilitate the implementation of environmental projects; and
10.2 Source and match funding requirements for proposed projects.