Publication of 2005 Top News on the Environment in Asia
Featuring top news reports from twenty-one countries in the Asia-Pacific region

13 April 2006
The Institute for Global Environmental Strategies (IGES), Hayama, Japan, is pleased to announce the publication of 2005 Top News on the Environment in Asia.

“Top News” is a compilation of important environmental news topics selected by environmental experts from the Asia-Pacific region as well as by international organisations and research institutes. With Bhutan contributing reports for the first time, this 2005 edition brings together more news items than ever before, with three organisations and twenty-one countries submitting 118 articles. *1

While these news stories do not necessarily reflect the official views of the countries or organisations concerned, they provide a comprehensive overview of environmental issues that these countries have faced over the past year.

2005 was a year of several major natural disasters and instances of serious environmental damage such as the severe earthquake that hit northern Pakistan, the intense rainfall in southern India and the pollution of the Songhua River in north-eastern China. Varying reports were received regarding the Asian countries that were subjected to extensive destruction by the Sumatra earthquake and subsequent Indian Ocean tsunami at the end of 2004. While some articles record the progress of efforts at reconstruction and disaster management based on lessons learnt, those from Sri Lanka and India report the devastating impact inflicted upon their vital industries and infrastructure and indicate that much still remains to be done there. The adaptation to climate change due to global warming has become an urgent concern in the region and appropriate measures are required for this vulnerable area.

The progress of cooperative international efforts in the areas of global warming, bio-safety and destruction of the ozone layer was also covered. Regarding the efforts to tackle the problem of global warming, the development and amelioration of a domestic system for the Clean Development Mechanism (CDM) was reported in China, Indonesia and the Philippines following the effectuation of the Kyoto Protocol in February.

The concerns that are currently faced by Asian countries featured in “Top News” are wide-ranging and include: global warming, air quality, the water environment, waste disposal, hazardous chemicals, nature conservation, natural disasters, etc. Governments and related organisations must take timely and appropriate measures to address these urgent issues.

- 3 organisations: IGES, United Nations Environment Programme Regional Office for Asia and the Pacific (UNEP/ROAP),
Regional Environmental Centre for Central Asia (CAREC)
- 21 countries: India, Indonesia, Australia, the Republic of Korea, Cambodia, Singapore, Sri Lanka, Thailand, China, Japan, New Zealand, Nepal, Pakistan, Bangladesh, the Philippines, Bhutan, Vietnam, Malaysia, Mongolia, Lao PDR and Russia.

For enquiries about this press release please contact:
Ms. Kido, PR Officer
The Institute for Global Environmental Strategies(IGES)

2108-11 Kamiyamaguchi, Hayama, Kanagawa, 240-0115 Japan
Tel: +81-46-855-3734 Fax: +81-46-855-3709

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