ASEAN meets to reform structures for environmental co-operation

Environmental officials of ASEAN member states convened in Kuala Lumpur on 14-15 July to recommend reforms to "inter-governmental structures for effective global environmental co-operation".

Convened by the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) and the ASEAN Secretariat, the deliberations are part of preparations for the United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development ("Rio+20," 4-6 June 2012, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil).

"The absence of strict enforcement mechanisms, as exist in other international regimes, such as the international trade regime, often left countries with few incentives to comply with their obligations," said Says Raman Letchumanan, Head of Environment Division at the ASEAN Secretariat in Jakarta.

Dr. Raman stressed that "developing countries are also hampered in fulfilling their obligations due to their lack of capacity and the lack of political will. The system is simply too fragmented for under-resourced countries to be able to follow up decisions taken at Conferences of Parties of multilateral environmental agreements and to be able to identify all the differing access criteria for environmental funding."