This seminar was organised by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the People’s Republic of China in partnership with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Singapore, Ministry of Environmental Protection of the People’s Republic of China, and the China-ASEAN Environmental Co-operation Centre.
Environmental protection has been on the top of the ASEM agenda since the 1st ASEM Summit in Bangkok, Thailand in 1996, when ASEM members agreed “that mutually beneficial co-operation should be undertaken in this field including the transfer of environmentally sound technology to promote sustainable development” (Chair’s Statement of the 1st Asia-Europe Meeting (ASEM1), Bangkok, Thailand, 1996, point 16).
The 1st Asia-Europe Environment Ministers’ Meeting (EnvMM1) was held in Beijing, China, in 2002. During this Meeting, Ministers recognised “that ASEM Partners are facing common challenges with regard to environment and development issues and that the cooperation between the two regions will be conducive to addressing global environmental issues” (Chair’s Statement of the 1st Asia-Europe Environment Minsters’ Meeting (EnvMM1), Beijing, China, point 6).
Air pollution has become a serious problem worldwide. It not only poses great environment-related health threats, but also has a significant negative environmental and economic impact. Without effective prevention mechanisms and policies, it is obvious that many benefits of economic growth will only come at the expense of deteriorating air quality. Through their long standing air pollution policies, the EU and other European countries have made some notable progress region-wide in improving air quality over the past years. There is great potential for Asian and European countries to share best practices of air pollution prevention and control, and to enhance capacity building and cooperation in this field.
The two-day seminar on capacity building on air pollution prevention and control took place on 22 and 23 October 2013 in Beijing, China, which aimed to:
- Share information, experiences and best practices on air pollution prevention and control, and present a report to the next ASEM Environment Ministers’ Meeting (EnvMM)
- Contribute to capacity building on air pollution prevention and control in developing ASEM countrie.
- Enhance the policy dialogue and technology cooperation between Asia and Europe in the field of air pollution prevention and control
It brought together about 80 participants from the government, academics and experts from the field, industry, business, and representatives from IOs and NGOs.