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ASEAN Environment Ministers Discuss Climate Negotiations

13 October 2010: Environment Ministers from member States of the Association of South-East Asian Nations (ASEAN) met in Bandar Seri Begawan, Brunei Darussalam, on 13 October 2010, for the sixth meeting of the Conference of the Parties (COP) to the ASEAN Agreement on Transboundary Haze Pollution and the 12th Informal ASEAN Ministerial Meeting on the Environment.

Ministers discussed future regional cooperation on the environment, in particular on climate change. Ministers noted progress made in the implementation of the project on Rehabilitation and Sustainable Use of Peatland Forests in Southeast Asia, and encouraged international and regional collaborative partnerships to support it in addressing climate change and biodiversity loss through the mitigation of land and forest fires.

In addition, Ministers reiterated the importance of reaching agreement at the Cancun Climate Change Conference, based on the Bali Action Plan and Bali Road Map, and taking into account the Copenhagen Accord. They expressed concern over the slow pace of negotiations, noting that many key issues remain unresolved at this late stage. They agreed that the Cancun Conference should strive for a legally-binding agreement, particularly to limit the increase in average global temperature to below 2ºC above the pre-industrial level, with developed countries continuing to take the lead by: making more ambitious commitments and setting out specific and binding targets to reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions; supporting developing countries with adequate, predictable and sustainable financial resources, transfer of technology, as well as capacity enhancement to enable adaptation efforts and nationally appropriate mitigation actions (NAMAs) by developing countries.

Ministers endorsed the proposal to conduct the ASEAN Environmentally Sustainable Development Film Festival with the theme "Change the Climate Change" on the sideline of the 13th Informal ASEAN Ministerial Meeting on the Environment, to be held in 2011, in Cambodia.

ASEAN Ministers are expected to meet Environmental Ministers from China, Japan and the Republic of Korea at the ninth “ASEAN Plus Three” Environment Ministers Meeting on 14 October 2010, to exchange views on global environmental issues, and to discuss activities on biodiversity, climate change, environmental education, water resources management, promotion of environmentally sound technology and cleaner production, and solid waste and hazardous waste management. [ASEAN Press Release]