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ERIA Participates in 18th ASEAN+3 Environment Ministers Meeting and ASEAN-Japan Ministerial Dialogue on Environmental Cooperation

24 August 2023

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Vientiane, 24 August 2023: Koji Hachiyama, Chief Operating Officer of the Economic Research Institute for ASEAN and East Asia (ERIA), gave a presentation at the 18th ASEAN Plus Three Environment Ministers’ Meeting (EMM) and ASEAN-Japan Ministerial Dialogue on Environmental Cooperation (AJMDEC) on 24 August 2023.

Hachiyama spoke of how the mission of the Regional Knowledge Centre for Marine Plastic Debris aligns perfectly with the ASEAN Regional Action Plan for Combating Marine Debris in the ASEAN Member States (2021-2015), and that ERIA is committed to supporting the strategies set forth by the Regional Action Plan.

At the EMM, Hachiyama highlighted three ERIA activities focusing on the ASEAN+3 region:

  1. ERIA initiated the project to develop a Regional Plastics Outlook focusing on the ASEAN+3 region, in partnership with the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) and the Institute for Global Environment Strategies (IGES). Based on the OECD’s Global Plastics Outlook in 2022, the new report aims to enhance region-specific modelling to provide a more granular assessment of the plastics production, utilization, and waste generation of each ASEAN member state.
  2. ERIA started the Pilot Project of Floating and Drifted Marine Plastics in Mangrove in Indonesia, which investigates the composition of plastic debris and their negative impact on mangrove forests, as well as to establish a community-led clean-up model. The lessons learned will be disseminated not only in Indonesia but also widely in ASEAN countries. 
  3. ERIA is also conducting the Bioindicator Development for Marine Litter in ASEAN Region project. Recognizing the lack of a harmonized methodology to assess and monitor the impact of plastics on the marine ecosystem, this project aims to identify suitable species within the ASEAN context as indicators to assess the impact of plastic pollution on the marine environment. 

At the AJMDEC, Hachiyama introduced three more ERIA activities focusing on the ASEAN region:

  1. ERIA’s Private Sector Platform highlights the efforts already undertaken by private companies to reduce plastic waste. As of today, 76 entries from companies from seven ASEAN+3 countries have been published online. ERIA has organized seven events in seven different ASEAN countries to promote the public-private dialogue.
  2. ERIA has been selected as one of the 3RproMar Knowledge Partners for Marine Litter Prevention in ASEAN. GIZ, along with the ASEAN Secretariat, chose ERIA, the Asian Institute of Technologies and the Norwegian Institute for Water Research to form a Knowledge Partnership from 2022 to 2024 to enhance regional knowledge management.
  3. Since the end of 2021, ERIA has been steering the Experts Working Group (EWG) on Marine Plastic Debris. This EWG covers a wide range of marine plastic debris issues, including: a plastic value chain study and gap analysis, expertise mapping and database development, a plastic leakage study, and monitoring indicator development. Four meetings had been organized by May 2023.

A number of environment ministers from ASEAN Member States (AMS) have welcomed the progress of the implementation of marine-debris related projects and initiatives, but at the same time expressed concern about the rapid increase of marine plastic pollution in the region. The ministers said their commitment to implement the ASEAN Regional Action Plan on Combating Marine Debris should be reaffirmed by the meetings.

Siti Nurbaya Bakar, Indonesia's Minister of Environment and Forestry, said it was necessary to establish a venue for ASEAN member states to discuss marine plastic pollution. She said the Indonesian government will organize an ASEAN Conference on Combating Plastic Pollution before the third session of the Intergovernmental Negotiating Committee, to develop an international legally binding instrument on plastic pollution (INC-3), which is being held in November in Nairobi, Kenya.

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