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ASEF 20th Anniversary: Asia-Europe Environment Forum (ENVforum), A Reference Point for Consensus on the Implementation of the 2030 Agenda

Published on 11 Aug 2017

SDG

ASEF 20th Anniversary

In June 2003, the Asia-Europe Environment Forum (ENVforum) was launched in partnership with the Asia-Europe Foundation (ASEF) as a response to the ever-growing need for inter-regional collaboration on environmental issues in the Asia-Europe Meeting (ASEM) partner countries.

Since its establishment, the ENVforum has grown from a platform solely focused on environmental issues to a forum incorporating all aspects of sustainable development. In the last 15 years, it has strived to meaningfully contribute to the formulation of profound political decisions that are mindful of their environmental, economic and social impact. Today, it is a recognised reference point for Asia and Europe consensus on the 2030 Agenda and functions as an interface between government and civil society for policy recommendations.

 

"ASEF has played an important role as a bridge between Asia and Europe to share successful knowledge and experiences on how to build sustainable societies among various stakeholders."
Professor Suh-Yong CHUNG, Associate Dean and Professor, Korea University

 

To date, the ENVforum has organised over 70 high-level international meetings, roundtables, conferences and workshops with ASEF, bringing together over 1,500 selected participants from governments, academia, international organisations, NGOs and civil society. This enduring partnership has also generated 13 prominent publications addressing issues related to the topic of sustainable development.

Since 2013, ASEF continues to collaborate with a growing number and variety of organisations through the ENVforum. It exemplifies the on-going multi-stakeholder dialogue on the environment and sustainable development in the 2 regions: between regional organisations and regional blocs; individual Asian and European countries; governments, businesses and civil society; the academia and practitioners; and the grassroots and international community. They serve as the eyes and ears of the ENVforum, ensuring that our priorities and focus areas remain relevant for all stakeholders.

 

"Sustainability is the key word as we look ahead for the 21st century. ASEF's ENVforum is the only forum that provides opportunities to share knowledge, expertise and technologies between Asia and Europe."
Mr Surendra SHRESTHA, Vice-President for Development, Asian Institute for Technology

 

With over 15 years of ongoing dialogue, it became apparent that environmental issues have evolved to be an integral process of the sustainable development debate. As a result of this progression, the ENVforum aligned its projects with the current United Nations (UN) global processes on Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

The ENVforum is coordinated by ASEF. The consortium organises an annual conference, capacity-building workshops, dedicated research as well as ASEM specific events on sustainable development. One of the long term partners, Hanns Seidel Foundation (HSF), has vowed to continue the support for the ENVforum until 2019 and desires to cooperate beyond this date, as the overlapping focus on environment and climate change makes the Forum an ideal ally.

 

"ASEF is a central pillar of our work with countries in Southeast Asia. Especially the collaboration in the CLMV-Region has aided in the success of our projects. The Hanns Seidel Foundation highly values the cooperation with ASEF's ENVforum on supporting SEA's latecomer Cambodia, Myanmar, Lao and Viet Nam in achieving a successful implementation of the UN Agenda 2030."
Dr Axel NEUBERT, Regional Representative, Hanns Seidel Foundation Viet Nam Regional Office

 

In 2017, the ENVforum mounted a successful regional conference on "Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) – Planning for Implementation" in Myanmar and a follow-up Workshop in Lao PDR. The latter will be replicated in Myanmar and Cambodia later this year. The Forum maintains regional collaboration on various SDGs both in Asia and Europe, in order to address regional environmental concerns and manage natural resources for achieving the SDGs.

The Forum will hold its Annual Conference on "Asia-Europe Sustainable Development Goals and Financing: No Longer Business as Usual" in September in Hanoi, Viet Nam. The conference will offer a platform for exchange between representatives from the public and private sector, as well as from civil society, with the objective to explore potential funding sources for the 2030 Agenda and support multi-stakeholder approaches, in particular regional and international dialogue on Public-Private-Partnership and Sustainable Businesses from the Asia-Europe Meeting (ASEM) partner countries.

For more information on the Asia-Europe Environment Forum (ENVforum), please click here.