Regional Environmental Co-Operation In EU and ASEAN: Lessons from Two Regions


February 22-23, 2010, The Institute of Southeast Asian Studies, Singapore

Organized by the Institute for Security and Development Policy and the Institue of Southeast Asian Studies

Aim and purpose

The purpose of this conference is to bring together scholars and policymakers to discuss the topic of regional cooperation in environmental protection in Europe and Southeast Asia, and what lessons both regions can learn from each other in this regard. Accordingly, the Institute for Security and Development Policy (ISDP) organizes a conference on 22-23 February, 2010 in Singapore together with the ASEAN Studies Center (ASC), convening from both regions the most qualified voices from a variety of backgrounds, on this topic. While participants are selected on scholarly merit, the diverse list of participants reflects also a broader desire to include policymakers and other high-level representatives, thus recognizing that information and research on regional environmental protection as a non-traditional security issue needs to be shared across a spectrum of actors. This will be a large-scale conference, moreover, with thirty participants.

The topic of regional cooperation in environmental protection has been chosen primarily for two reasons. First, it is clear that the interlinkages between environmental problems, as a non-traditional security challenge transcending national borders, with that of modes and mechanisms of regional and global governance to effectively counter such remain under researched, both in theory and in practice. Second, a comparison study on environmental policy between EU and ASEAN would be valuable not only for these two regions but for other regions where are interested in a trend of regional cooperation in this field, because ASEAN is also one of the leading regional institutions in parallel with the EU.

Conference Description

This conference will provide an opportunity to initiate a mutual exchange of knowledge between policymakers and researchers from the two regions from a comparative angle:

  • For the EU and ASEAN participants to discuss the environmental profiles and policies of their own respective regions, highlighting and updating each other on the successes and challenges they face.
  • For the EU participants to improve understanding on the environmental challenges facing the ASEAN region; and for the ASEAN participants to learn from European experiences on how regional cooperation strategies are carried out.
  • For both to explore meaningful ways of information- and experience-sharing in addressing the political, economic and social consequences of environmental degradation.
  • The topics covered by the conference include the following: 1) environmental governance; 2) conserving energy; 3) protecting air and water resources; 4) protecting biodiversity; and 5) a wrap-up session on the implications for regional cooperation. These are further outlined in the proposed conference agenda

In addition to specific presentations on the above topics, some of the key underlying research and policy issues addressed during the conference will include:

  • How to balance economic development and social pressures with environmental protection and sustainability – and how to exploit win-win opportunities?
  • How to share the burden of regional environmental protection among a diversity of states of varying sizes and levels of economic development?
  • How to implement binding environmental measures and develop policy coherence in different regulatory frameworks among ASEAN and EU member states respectively?
  • How to enhance environmental cooperation regionally and domestically between governments, agencies, and communities?
  • What are the differences and similarities in strategies and experiences of regional cooperation in Europe and Southeast Asia? What are the lessons drawn?
  • What is the scope for intra-regional cooperation to meet global environmental commitments?

Any queries can be directed to the conference coordinator Dr. Sangsoo Lee and Ms. Lily Koh.

This Conference is part of the Environmental Security in Asia Project


Click here for a complete program (pdf)

Conference Sponsor

Riksbankens Jubileumsfond (Bank of Sweden Tercentenary Foundation)

List of Participants

Director, Institute of Southeast Asian Studies, Singapore

Director, Institute for Security and Development Policy, Sweden

Head, ASEAN Studies Centre, Institute of Southeast Asian Studies, Singapore

Dr Ingmar von HOMEYER
Senior Research Fellow, Ecologic Institute, Belgium

Prof. Kheng Lian KOH
Director, Asia-Pacific Centre for Environmental Law
Emeritus Professor, Faculty of Law, National University of Singapore

Centre for Non-Traditional Security Studies S. Rajaratnam School of International Studies Nanyang Technological University

Mr TAN Keng Jin
Head of Environment and Climate Change Programme, Institute of Southeast Asian Studies, Singapore

Dr Ashok SWAIN
Professor and Director, Department of Sustainable Development, Uppsala University, Sweden

Mr Mark HONG
Head, Energy Programme, Institute of Southeast Asian Studies, Singapore

Dr Benjamin K. SOVACOOL
Research Fellow, Energy Governance Programme, Lee Kuan Yew School of Public Policy, National University of Singapore

Dr Francis JOHNSON
Senior Research Fellow, Energy and Climate, Stockholm Environment Institute, Sweden

Dr Silke MADER
Senior Expert, Austrian Energy Agency, Austria

Head, Environment Division, Cross-Sectoral Cooperation Directorate, ASEAN Secretariat

Professor, Department of Atmospheric Environment, National Environmental Research Institute at Aarhus University, Denmark

Dra. Masnellyarti HILMAN
Deputy Minister for Natural Resources Conservation Enhancement and Environmental Degradation Control Ministry of Environment, Indonesia

Dr Siripong Hungspreug
Director-General, Department of Water Resources, Thailand

Mr Tony LONG
Director, World Wildlife Fund (WWF), Belgium

Mr Rodrigo U. FUENTES
Executive Director, ASEAN Centre for Biodiversity

Policy Adviser, Butterfly Conservation Europe, UK

Dato Zakri HAMID
Tuanku Chancellor Chair, Universiti Sains Malaysia

EU Policy Officer, EU Policy and Agriculture
World Wildlife Fund (WWF), Germany

Dr Sangsoo LEE
Research Fellow, Institute for Security and Development Policy, Sweden