Background

The Ministerial Conference on Environment and Development in Asia and the Pacific (MCED) has been held every five years since 1985.  This gathering of ministers of environment and of development has been an agenda-setting forum to assess the state of sustainable development, identify regional perspectives and priorities and decide concerted actions in response to imperatives posed by global and regional environment challenges. The Sixth Ministerial Conference on Environment and Development in Asia and the Pacific (MCED-6) will be hosted by the Government of the Republic of Kazakhstan from 27 September to 2 October 2010 in Astana.

As the second decade of the twenty first century unfolds, the Asia and Pacific region continues to face persistent development challenges in terms of poverty alleviation, better access to basic services, sustainable use of natural resources and enhanced social inclusiveness. This situation is exacerbated by emerging risks and uncertainties including the food, energy and financial crisis as well as climate change threat. The region remains particularly susceptible to natural disasters, which are likely to increase in frequency and intensity as a result of climate change impacts.  All these severe challenges threaten to slow down and may even reverse developmental gains that the region has made over the past few decades.

Pursuing sustained economic growth, that is crucial to poverty reduction and social progress, must be undertaken in an environmentally responsible and socially equitable manner, which is increasingly realized and accepted by policy makers, business leaders and the societies as a whole. More and more countries have adopted Green Growth and other synergistic development strategies that booster healthy economic development, ensure environmental sustainability and strengthen socio-economic resilience.

Outcomes of previous MCEDs

1985        UNESCAP action areas

1990        Regional strategy for Sound and Sustainable Development in Asia and the Pacific

1995        Regional Action Programme for Environmentally Sound and Sustainable Development 1995—2000

2000        Regional Action Programme for Environmentally Sound and Sustainable Development 2001—2005 and Kitakyushu Initiative for a Clean Environment

2005        Regional Implementation Plan for JPoI 2006—2010 and a set of regional/ subregional initiatives including the Seoul Initiative on Green Growth