Establishment of IGES Project Office
to further promote regional activities of IGES with better
Established in 1998, Institute for Global Environmental Strategies (IGES)
has grown into a dynamic policy research institute, whose geographical
outlook is global complemented by a deep-rooted regional focus.
As one of the regional activities, IGES conducts a research project, i.e. APEIS/RISPO1 and
contributes to the GEF-Project on the National Environmental Performance
Assessment and Sub-regional Strategic Environment Framework in the Greater
Mekong Sub-region that is led by Asian Development Bank (ADB) and United
Nations Environment Programme (UNEP).
The IGES Project Office in Bangkok is established in April 2003 at the
Asian Institute of Technology (AIT) as a project office to strongly promote
IGES has enjoyed a close and fruitful relationship with Thailand, Thai-based
experts and organisations such as Thailand Environment Institute (TEI).
IGES had opportunities to work closely with the international organisations
such as UNEP, UN ESCAP and ADB. The new office in Bangkok is also expected
to further enhance linkages and partnerships between IGES and its partners.
To commemorate the establishment of its Project Office in Bangkok,
IGES will organise an inaugural symposium, entitled; "Environmental
Challenges, Opportunities and Regional Cooperation in South East
Asia" at AIT Conference Center Auditorium of the Asian
Institute of Technology (AIT), Thailand on 30 May 2003.
Despite substantive efforts made at national, sub-regional, regional and
global levels, environmental deterioration and degradation of natural resources
continue to threaten sustainable development in the region. South East
Asia is no exception. Rather, considering the socio-economic perspectives
such as rapid population growth, accelerating migration into urban areas,
and dynamic economic growth, environmental conditions and natural resources
such as freshwater will be even worse without effective and timely actions.
The World Summit on Sustainable Development (WSSD), held in Johannesburg,
South Africa from 26 August to 4 September 2002, sought to overcome the
obstacles to achieving sustainable development and to generate initiatives
that would deliver results and improve people's lives while protecting
the environment. The symposium has been organised to provide an opportunity
to exchange views on a future path from Johannesburg toward sustainable
At the symposium, Dr. Tongroj Onchan, a long partner for IGES and a leading
expert in Thailand, will give a keynote address that identifies major obstacles
to achieving sustainable development and provide brief assessment of WSSD
in the context of South East Asia. His presentation will form a foundation
of the overall discussions at the symposium.
The symposium will include a panel discussion. Prof. Akio Morishima, Chair,
the Board of Directors, IGES will serve as a coordinator. A wide variety
of stakeholders such as government, academia, non-governmental think-tank,
and international organizations will attend as the discussants. They will
present their views on major threats facing South East Asia and/or introduce
their own initiatives to break through obstacles. Those discussants include:
Dr. Chaiyod Bunyagidj, Vice President, Thailand Environment Institute;
Dr. Monthip Sriratana Tabucanon, Director General, Department of Environmental
Quality Promotion, Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment, Government
of Thailand; Mr. Warren Evans, Director, Environment and Social Safeguard
Division, ADB; Mr. Ravi Sawhney, Director, Environment and Sustainable
Development Division, UN ESCAP; and Mr. Surendra Shrestha, Regional Director
and Representative, UNEP Regional Office for Asia and the Pacific.
Inspiring views from those speakers and active dialogue with the floor
will certainly create a new ground for post-WSSD actions and suggest expected
future contributions by IGES including IGES Project Office in Bangkok to
sustainable development in the region.
1 APEIS/RISPO: Research on Innovative and Strategic Policy
Options under the framework of the Asia-Pacific Environmental Innovation
Strategy Project. The APEIS is a region-wide project initiated by
the Ministry of the Environment of Japan in collaboration with numbers
of governments in the region, as well as research institutes in the
field of environment and development and key international organisations.
For detailed information of APEIS/RISPO, please refer //www.iges.or.jp/APEIS/RISPO/index.html