ASEAN Declaration on Environmental Sustainability

WE, the Heads of State/Government of Brunei Darussalam, the Kingdom of Cambodia, the Republic of Indonesia, the Lao People’s Democratic Republic, Malaysia, the Union of Myanmar, the Republic of the Philippines, the Republic of Singapore, the Kingdom of Thailand and the Socialist Republic of Viet Nam, Member Countries of ASEAN, on the occasion of the 40th Anniversary of ASEAN and the 13th ASEAN Summit in Singapore;

Cognisant of mounting global concern over the environment and ASEAN’s obligations to its people in fulfilling the aims of the World Summit on Sustainable Development (WSSD) and to achieve the UN Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), in particular to ensure environmental sustainability in the context of sustainable development;

Determined that ASEAN should complement and support the efforts of global and regional organizations to tackle environmental issues, and in this regard support the APEC Leaders’ Declaration on Climate Change, Energy Security and Clean Development, and Indonesia’s efforts to host the 13th Session of the Conference of Parties (COP) to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) and the 3rd Session of the Conference of the Parties Serving as the Meeting of the Parties (CMP) to the Kyoto Protocol in December 2007;

Noting with concern the findings of the Inter-governmental Panel on Climate Change’s (IPCC) Fourth Assessment Report (AR4) that the warming of the climate system is unequivocal;

Further noting with concern, the adverse impacts of climate change caused by global emissions of greenhouse gases, particularly to the developing countries, such as the loss of biodiversity and severe environmental, social, health and economic consequences;

Reiterating the need to build an ASEAN Community that is economically vibrant and environmentally friendly, so that the present and future generations can enjoy a clean and sustainable environment;

Further recalling the 10 priority areas of environmental sustainability as agreed at the 7th Informal ASEAN Ministerial Meeting on the Environment, and the key areas of Environmental Management and Natural Resource Management outlined for the period 2004-2010 in the Vientiane Action Programme (VAP);

Reaffirming the goals of the Yangon Resolution on Sustainable Development, signed on 18 December 2003 and the Cebu Resolution on Sustainable Development, adopted on 10 November 2006, by the Ministers of ASEAN Member Countries responsible for the environment;

Acknowledging that fossil fuels will continue to be part of the energy landscape, and that ASEAN Member Countries, who are at different stages of economic development, will face various environment challenges and levels of resources needed to effectively address global environmental issues without compromising competitiveness or social and economic development;

Further acknowledging the efforts of ASEAN Member Countries to ratify the ASEAN Agreement on the Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources, signed on 9 July 1985, the ASEAN Agreement on Transboundary Haze Pollution, signed on 10 June 2002, and the Agreement on the Establishment of the ASEAN Centre for Biodiversity, signed on 27 September 2005;

Encouraging the efforts to develop an ASEAN Climate Change Initiative;

Recognising the importance of sustainable forest management in ASEAN, which will contribute significantly to the international efforts to promote environmental sustainability, and to mitigate the effects of climate change as well as transboundary environmental pollution;

Recognising the partnership of the world community in combating land degradation in the context of the United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification (UNCCD), a global instrument which can make a lasting contribution to the achievement of sustainable land management and environment; and

Further recognizing the importance of protecting the natural resource base for economic and social development, including the sustainable management and conservation of soil, water, mineral, coastal and marine resources as well as the improvement in water and air quality for the ASEAN region;


Environmental Protection and Management

  1. To honour and implement commitments to multilateral and regional  sustainable development and environmental agreements, so as to achieve the common goal of a clean and green ASEAN;
  2. To intensify regional and international cooperation in promoting, sharing and implementing environmentally sustainable practices, including the transfer of environmentally-sound technologies, the enhancement of human and institutional capacities and the promotion of sustainable consumption and production patterns;
  3. To adopt a holistic approach in fostering regional cooperation on environmental issues, with the participation of all relevant stakeholders; including business, academics, NGOs and civil society organizations;
  4. To expand on the existing work under the ASEAN Initiative on Environmentally Sustainable Cities;
  5. To intensify individual and collective efforts to improve the quality of air and water within ASEAN through regional or national initiatives to reduce industrial and transportation pollutions;
  6. To implement measures and enhance international and regional cooperation to combat transboundary environmental pollution, including haze pollution, through, among other things, capacity building, enhancing public awareness, strengthening law enforcement, promoting environmentally sustainable practices, as well as combating illegal logging and its associated illegal trade;
  7. To endeavour to reduce by half of the number of people without sustainable access to safe drinking water by 2010 in accordance with the VAP to meet the needs of ASEAN citizens, and significant improvement in the lives of slum dwellers by 2020 in ASEAN Member Countries in accordance with the UN MDGs;
  8. To promote the sustainable management and use of our soil, forest, coastal and marine environments as part of regional and global efforts on biodiversity conservation, mindful of their  important value as our natural heritage, and their contribution towards mitigating the effects of climate change and environmental degradation;
  9. To further promote cooperation among ASEAN Member Countries in combating land degradation for sustainable land management to support sustainable agriculture and environment;
  10. To call upon the international community to participate in and contribute to afforestation and reforestation, and to reduce deforestation, forest degradation, and forest fires, including  by promoting sustainable forest management and development, and combating illegal logging;
  11. To also call on the international community to implement debt-for-sustainable development swap arrangements;
  12. To forge ASEAN-wide cooperation to establish a regional nuclear safety regime, in line with our discussions at the 12th ASEAN Summit in Cebu on 13 January 2007; the Southeast Asia Nuclear Weapon Free Zone (SEANWFZ) Plan of Action adopted by the SEANWFZ Commission in Manila on 29 July 2007; and the agreement of the 25th ASEAN Ministers on Energy Meeting (AMEM) on 23 August 2007;
  13. To contribute to the UN Decade on Education for Sustainable Development through the ASEAN Environmental Education Action Plan to nurture environmentally conscious ASEAN citizens;

Responding to Climate Change

  1. To work closely with the international community to better understand and adapt to the adverse impacts of climate change, including, in particular, the related issues of greenhouse gas emissions and carbon sinks;
  2. To agree that the pursuit of climate change and energy security policies should avoid introducing barriers to trade and investment;
  3. To intensify cooperation on the joint research, development and deployment of low emission technologies for the cleaner use of fossil fuels, recognising that fossil fuels will continue to play a major role in our energy mix;
  4. To take concrete measures to promote the use of renewable and alternative energy sources such as solar, hydro, wind, tide, biomass, biofuels and geothermal energy, as well as, for interested parties, civilian nuclear power, while ensuring safety and safeguards that are of current international standards, and environmental sustainability throughout the full life cycle of production and use;
  5. To improve energy efficiency in key sectors of energy use through capacity building and information sharing of best practices in managing energy use and the adoption of appropriate technologies and practices;
  6. To undertake effective measures towards open and competitive regional and international markets geared towards providing affordable energy at all economic levels to facilitate the adoption of energy-efficient and low-emission technologies;

Conservation of Natural Resources

  1. To achieve by 2010, a significant reduction in the current rate of loss of biodiversity, as pledged by countries at the WSSD in 2002 and as envisaged by the Convention on Biological Diversity;Â
  2. To conserve our rich biodiversity, by promoting access to, and sustainable utilisation of its components, and  the fair and equitable sharing of the benefits from these biological and genetic resources;
  3. To take into account biodiversity considerations in the mitigation of and adaptation to climate change;
  4. To promote and support the ASEAN Centre for Biodiversity as a regional centre for biodiversity conservation and management;
  5. To strengthen efforts to implement the ASEAN Regional Action Plan on Trade in Wild Fauna and Flora, 2005-2010 through mechanisms such as the ASEAN Wildlife Enforcement Network;
  6. To support the conservation and management of ASEAN Heritage Parks and encourage ASEAN Member Countries to identify more Parks;
  7. To ensure the effective implementation of the ASEAN Strategic Plan on Water Resources Management;
  8. To promote conservation and sustainable management of key ecosystems, including forest, coastal, and marine habitats, such as coral reefs, through initiatives, in particular, the “Heart of Borneo”,  “Forestry Eleven forum”, and the “Coral Triangle Initiative on Coral Reefs, Fisheries, and Food Security”;
  9. To agree to collectively work towards achieving an aspirational goal of significantly increasing the cumulative forest cover in the ASEAN region by at least 10 million hectares by 2020; and
  10. Foster the sustainable management and efficient use of mineral resources and environmentally-sound mining practices.

DONE in Singapore, this Twentieth Day of November in the Year Two Thousand and Seven.