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NEWS UPDATES 9 August 2010

ASEAN+3 pledges environmental cooperation

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Japan, China and South Korea pledged a variety of environmental co-operation with the Association of Southeast Asian Nations at a meeting of ASEAN + 3 senior officials in Hanoi.

Japan's representatives promised US$70 million for the ASEAN development fund and more than $50 million to help narrow the development gap between ASEAN members.

They also agreed to an exchange of young people over five years at a total cost of $325 million and support for ASEAN member countries to implement the 3R Policy (Reduce, Recycle, Reuse).

China's representatives asked for the establishment of an ASEAN-China Environment Centre to work as consultant and technical co-operative agency for the drafting of strategies for environmental protection to 2019.

The ASEAN member countries acknowledge China as the master of both environmental impact and strategic environmental assessments.

South Korea's representatives pledged to support short-term training courses as well as masters and doctorate courses to improve environmental skills within ASEAN.

The ASEAN + 3 officials met to review cooperation between the group and propose new initiatives for environmental cooperation.

Their talks were part of the preparations for the ASEAN + 3 Environment Ministers Meeting scheduled for Brunei in August next year.

Senior officials briefed the gathering about the promotion of environmental education between 2008-12, including the ASEAN Youth Forum for sustainable development and an Ecological School Programme in Japan, China and South Korea.

Brunei is a key nation in the effort to promote environmental education and to call for co-operation from the +3 countries.

The meeting decided that Asean-South Korea environmental officials would organise two short-term training courses for experts and senior officials.

The courses are intended to promote an exchange of experience and knowledge about sustainable development strategies between environmental agencies and relevant organisations in South Korea.

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