UN Information Services (23 January 2006) Bangkok – The UN Regional Implementation Meeting (RIM) for Asia and the Pacific ended today with a pledge to focus on energy use, industrial development, air pollution and climate change. The meeting was organized by UNESCAP in partnership with the UN Department of Economic and Social Affairs and UN agencies UNEP, UNDP, FAO and UNIDO. It was attended by 29 countries in the Asia-Pacific region, as well as UN Agencies, NGOs and civil society participants.
"We need to change to environmentally sustainable economic growth if we want to continue the economic growth necessary for poverty eradication," Executive Secretary of UNESCAP Mr. Kim Hak-Su said.
Four areas explore this new approach of harmonizing economic growth with environmental sustainability – industry, energy, climate change and air pollution.
Attaining sustainable development in Asia and the Pacific is the key to global sustainability delegates noted. The current pattern of economic growth presents challenges to enhanced sustainable development, and poses major threats to environmental sustainability in Asia and the Pacific region.
"Thailand addresses climate change with win-win policies to implement socio-economic measures. Thailand aims to lower the rate of energy consumption and increase the supply of renewable energy," Thailand’s Vice Minister Dr Kitti Limskul said.
While industry and energy contribute immensely to social and economic development, they are also main contributors to environmental challenges facing the region, including climate change and deteriorating air quality.
"The variety of demands on energy underlines the multiple challenges we face today," Ms JoAnne DiSano, Director of the UN Division for Sustainable Development said.
"The region needs to further promote the use of renewable resources, which the region is endowed with, creating more usable output per resource input, generating less waste, and recycling. Energy security in Asia-Pacific region has deteriorated as rapid economic growth increased demand for energy resulting in increased net imports to the region," said Mr Chung, Chief of UNESCAP’s Environment and Sustainable Development Division.
Industry needs to enhance eco-efficiency, markets for environmental goods and services, which the industry sector could respond to, need to be developed, the meeting noted.
Stresses from climate and climate-related events and phenomena that could be exacerbated by future climate change are already being felt by most countries through extreme weather and natural disasters in the region. Adaptation in agriculture, forests and terrestrial ecosystems are considered high priority measures for most Asian countries, while the top priority for small island developing states is adapting water resources and coping with sea level rises.
The 2006 Asia-Pacific RIM at the UN Conference Centre in Bangkok will make major inputs for the fourteenth session of the Commission on Sustainable Development (CSD) in May.
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For further information, please contact:
Mr. Rae Kwon Chung, Director
Environment and Sustainable
Tel: +(66-2) 288-1510
Fax: +(66-2) 288-1048
E-mail: [email protected]
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David Lazarus, Chief, UN Information Services
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Source: Press Release No: G/01/2006