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         19 December 2002

On 21 January 2003, the United Nations University (UNU) together with the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) Secretariat, the Ministry of the Environment of Japan (MOE), the Institute for Global Environmental Strategies (IGES), the Institute of Strategic and International Studies (ISIS), Malaysia, the South Pacific Regional Environment Programme (SPREP), and the United Nations De-velopment Programme in Papua New Guinea (UNDP/PNG), will organize a public forum on "Inter-linkages and Environmental Governance - National and Regional Strategies and Ways Forward in Asia and the Pacific" at the UN House in Tokyo.

The public forum will present results and outline future prospects and follow-up activities derived from national and regional case studies on environmental governance undertaken in Asia and the Pa-cific by UNU and its partners in 2001 and 2002. These studies are part of the UNU Inter-linkages Ini-tiative, which seeks to identify strengths, gaps and challenges in the current system of environmental management. The initiative also aims to promote opportunities for effective and efficient implementa-tion at national and regional levels of sustainable development instruments, particularly multilateral environmental agreements (MEAs).

The case studies cover Palau, Vanuatu, Cook Islands and Papua New Guinea in the Pacific and the 10 ASEAN member countries (Brunei Darussalam, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and Viet Nam). They examine aspects of the environmental govern-ance process, including negotiations, strategic planning, legal frameworks, finance mechanisms, in-formation management, consultation and coordination, capacity building, awareness raising and educa-tion, NGO participation, and various other institutional and organizational issues.

Key figures in both theory and practice on environmental governance in the region have been invited to speak at the public forum, including Dr. Raman Letchumanan, Assistant Director and Head of the Environment Unit, ASEAN Secretariat; Dr. Jacques Mougeot, Legal Adviser at SPREP; Mr. Joseph Turia, Assistant Resident Representative for UNDP/PNG; Mr. Philip Mathews, Assistant Director General, ISIS Malaysia; Ms. Shona Dodds of the Australian National University; Ms. Andrea Deri of IGES; and UNU researchers Dr. Jerry Velasquez and Mr. Uli Piest.

UNU launched the Inter-linkages Initiative in 1999 with a clear goal of contributing to the preparations and follow-up of the World Summit for Sustainable Development (WSSD). The initiative is based on the recognition that even though Agenda 21 outlined the inter-linked nature of our problems, we have yet to develop a synergistic and cohesive response to these problems. An inter-linked approach to problem solving is therefore necessary to consider not only the feasibility of solutions but also to high-light the need for the subsidiarity of activities. More information on the case studies, including downloadable reports, and the initiative in general are available online at

Media representatives are cordially invited to attend. A preliminary programme is attached. English-Japanese translation will be provided.

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For further information please contact: the UNU Public Affairs Section
Tel. (03) 5467-1243, -1246; Fax (03) 3406-7346




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