MCED-5

The V Ministerial Conference on Environment and Development in Asia and the Pacific was held in Seoul on March 24-29, 2005. The Conference was organized by ESCAP at the support of the Government of the Republic of Korea and in cooperation with the United Nations Environmental Programme, the United Nations Development Programme and the Asian Development Bank.

Environmentally sustainable economic growth in Asia and the Pacific Region had been chosen as the focus of the Ministerial Conference. Ministers of environment and development of Asian and Pacific countries backed up the move for an environmentally friendly economic growth aimed at securing and enhancing synergism between the three bases of sustainable development, viz. economic growth, social development and justice, environment protection. The Conference was attended by more than 1,200 representatives from 52 member and associate member states of ESCAP.

The Conference backed up the Ministerial Declaration, the Seoul Initiative, and the Initiative «The environment as a business opportunity in the process of a sustainable economic growth in Asia and the Pacific Region», which confirmed readiness of governments in Asia and the Pacific region to attain sustainable development, improved quality of life and new approaches in management.

The Conference put forward an Initiative on Sustainable Development in Asia and the Pacific and the Regional Environmental Action Plan for Central Asia, 2006—2010.

The Regional Implementation Plan secures and enhances the role of various stakeholders in protecting the environment and assisting in sustainable use of ecosystems through promoting the participation of the civil society, building up partner relations between the government and the private sector, and attracting the private sector. The academic and scientific communities are expected to develop innovative concepts and technologies for promoting sustainable development.

The Conference marked a need for further strengthening of local communities to enhance connection between nature, culture and breadwinning.

The Conference admitted the role of various stakeholders in promoting environmentally friendly growth and stressed the need for developing a proper policy to support the public sector initiatives to enhance energy efficiency of production and, as a result, increase the environmental sustainability.

The national-level policy proposed in the Plan should be harmonized and linked with the national strategies for sustainable development and its national-level implementation will be the responsibility of the respective Governments in partnership with the private sector and civil society. However, the efforts of Governments will be supported and supplemented by activities at the subregional, regional and global levels.

The main message of the Conference was to link ecopolicy with economic policy and regard environment protection as a new business opportunity.

The Conference created a platform for a stakeholders’ dialogue through a number of side events, inter alia, the Civil Society Forum, the Eminent Scientists Symposium, the Eminent Environmental Economists Symposium, the Private Sector Forum, the Briefing on North-East Asia Regional Cooperation for the Prevention and Control of Dust and Sandstorms, the Multi-stakeholder Forum – APFED, the Japan Water Forum, and the Asia-Pacific Women’s Conference on Environment.

For more detail go to http://www.unescap.org/mced