The Secretary-General of ASEAN Dato Lim Jock Hoi and the Ambassador of the European Union (EU) to ASEAN Igor Driesmans officially launched the Bike45Ride cycling event today (13/8) in Jakarta, as ASEAN and EU celebrate 45 years of strategic partnership.
Representatives of ASEAN, EU Delegations and EU Member States marked the occasion with a symbolic ride from the ASEAN Secretariat to the premises of the EU Delegation in Jakarta.
Prior to flagging off the start of the Bike45Ride, ASEAN Secretary-General Dato Lim Jock Hoi, in his opening remarks noted that the activity not only serves as a credible platform to create public awareness of the work of ASEAN-EU but also a vital form of effort to encourage more people towards the shift for more sustainable transportations.
Of ASEAN’s population of over 650 million, nearly 300 million people live in urban areas and more than 25% live in cities with over one million inhabitants. In the next 15 years, ASEAN’s urban areas are expected to accommodate another 100 million people. With €5.1 million support from the EU for 2021-2024, the Smart Green ASEAN Cities (SGAC) programme will assist ASEAN Member States to find green and smart solutions to the high urbanisation rate through digitalisation and use of technologies.
In his opening remarks, Igor Driesmans, EU Ambassador to ASEAN, said “Green growth and the environment are key strategic sectors of our partnership with ASEAN. This Bike45Ride event not only marks 45 years of our relations with ASEAN but also our commitment to continue working together towards a greener future. In the 45 years of partnership between our two regions, we have continuously worked to address our common challenges and to create a better future for both ASEAN and EU citizens. This bike ride competition aims to encourage all ASEAN and EU citizens in the region to take part in making our future greener.”
“Climate action is one of the Philippines’ priorities as Country Coordinator for the ASEAN-EU Dialogue Relations. Climate action and environmental sustainability are also central to ASEAN’s priorities,” said Elizabeth T. Te, Chargé d’Affaires, a.i. of the Permanent Mission of the Philippines to ASEAN. “Each one of us has the ability to make a significant impact to the environment through our own individual actions and steps, and also by inspiring others to follow suit. Cycling, taking public transport and other eco-friendly alternatives are small but concrete steps that each of us can take to reduce air pollution,” she added.
The Bike45Ride event is a virtual cycling competition organised from 13 August to 11 September 2022 for all ASEAN and EU citizens residing in the ten ASEAN Member States. Participants can take part as an individual or in a group of up to five participants to complete a total distance of 45 km within the race period.
“Cities are major sources of greenhouse gases, and analysis of the state of the atmosphere in the ASEAN region reveals that air pollution levels are increasing, with the energy and transport sectors being responsible for the largest carbon dioxide emissions,” said Fakri Karim, Acting Manager of SGAC Programme.