Implications of the Asia-Pacific Ministerial Summit on the Environment: Towards a Resource-efficient and Pollution-free Asia-Pacific

Briefing Note
cover image

On 5-8 September 2017, the Asia-Pacific Ministerial Summit on the Environment (the Summit) was convened in Bangkok, Thailand. This briefing note draws upon the observations of researchers from the Institute of Global Environmental Strategies (IGES) to underline key points involving the SDGs, air pollution, and resource efficiency that stood out during the Summit and could contribute to a stronger regional message on sustainable development from the Asia-Pacific region. In the first section, the briefing note highlights four considerations that merit consideration before greater convergence between regional sustainable development and international SDG processes is possible. The briefing note’s second section suggests that co-benefits offers a pragmatic, cost-effective way to manage air pollution and mitigate climate change in the Asia-Pacific region. Guidance to the region’s policymakers on the leveraging of social co-benefits, packaging short-term and long-term measures, and strengthening regional institutions is also provided to help achieve those multiple benefits. The briefing note’s third section reflects on some of the options and challenges to increase resource efficiencies in the Asia-Pacific. The section also underlines greater awareness of systemic constraints (as well as attendant rebound effects) that lock-in inequitable unsustainable resource use patterns and the potentially critical role of stakeholder engagement in working around systemic barriers. The final section discusses environmental governance issues that will help future Summits capitalise on the opportunity for greater regional leadership on sustainable development