The Forum focused on the theme of UNEA-6, ‘Effective, inclusive, and sustainable multilateral actions to tackle climate change, biodiversity loss and pollution’.
It brought together governments, intergovernmental organizations, and major groups and other stakeholders to discuss regional environmental priorities and inform deliberations at UNEA-6.
Convening “in the wake of global and regional struggles to rebound from the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic,” the Forum of Ministers and Environment Authorities of Asia Pacific sought to forge a collective response to interconnected global challenges, reflecting the region’s determination to overcome the triple planetary crisis and work towards a more sustainable and resilient future. Ministers reviewed implementation of UN Environment Assembly’s (UNEA) resolutions and discussed the region’s inputs to UNEA’s sixth session (UNEA-6).
The Forum focused on the theme of UNEA-6, ‘Effective, inclusive, and sustainable multilateral actions to tackle climate change, biodiversity loss and pollution.’ It brought together governments, intergovernmental organizations, and major groups and other stakeholders to discuss regional environmental priorities and inform deliberations at UNEA-6. The Forum’s events took place in Colombo, Sri Lanka, from 1-5 October 2023.
The Asia-Pacific Youth Environment Forum 2023, which met from 1-2 October on the theme, ‘Children and the Environment,’ delivered a Youth Manifesto for Action. In it, young people from the region urge the ministers and environment authorities to propose a UNEA-6 resolution on the rights of children and youth to a clean and healthy environment.
Discussions during the Asia-Pacific Major Groups and Stakeholders Forum on Environment on 3 October highlighted the importance of inclusive and rights-based approaches to environmental protection and sustainable development.
The Senior Officials Meeting on 4 October was followed by the Ministerial Segment on 5 October, which included dialogue sessions on the role of multilateral actions and cooperation in facilitating regional solutions and solidarity. The Earth Negotiations Bulletin (ENB) summary report of the meeting highlights draft resolutions proposed by the dignitaries who attended the segment, including on:
- ‘Promoting synergistic approaches to address the triple crisis on climate change, biodiversity loss, and pollution, and support sustainable development,’ by Japan, which would scale up synergies to address the SDGs by compiling best practice and methodologies to promote them in science-based policymaking;
- ‘Effective, inclusive, and sustainable multilateral actions towards climate justice,’ by Sri Lanka, which would promote the establishment of a Climate Justice Forum to increase awareness and advocacy on climate justice;
- Promoting cascade systems for sustainable management of ancient and traditionally managed ecosystems, including agricultural ecosystems, by Sri Lanka, which could also provide insights into natural resource management more widely; and
- The Hindu Kush Himalayas by Nepal, to address snow melt and environmental damage caused by climate change, calling for urgent action to conserve this ecosystem.
The Forum, which has been convening biennially since 2015, brings together diverse countries with unique environmental challenges, fostering a spirit of collaboration to address the devastating impacts of the triple planetary crisis of climate change, biodiversity loss, and pollution in the region.
The second Regional Session of the UN Science-Policy-Business Forum (UN-SPBF) for Asia and the Pacific Region convened in parallel, providing inputs to the Forum of Ministers. [ENB Coverage of Fifth Forum of Ministers and Environment Authorities of Asia Pacific]