Asia Pacific Group meets to discuss regional environment agenda

The Forum provided a platform for governments, intergovernmental organizations, and other stakeholders to discuss and prioritize environmental issues in the Asia Pacific region.
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The fifth Forum of Ministers and Environment Authorities of Asia Pacific (5th AP Forum) was held in Sri Lanka last month. The event was jointly organized by the Government of Sri Lanka’s Ministry of Environment and the United Nations Environment Programme. The Forum provided a platform for governments, intergovernmental organizations, and other stakeholders to discuss and prioritize environmental issues in the Asia Pacific region. The Forum aimed to contribute to the outcome of the sixth session of the UN Environment Assembly (UNEA-6) taking place from in February 2024. The UNEA-6 theme is “Effective, inclusive and sustainable multilateral actions to tackle climate change, biodiversity loss, and pollution”.

The Cook Islands was invited to this Forum in which the Associate Minister for Environment Honourable Tereapii Maki Kavana – Head of Delegation, Halatoa Fua -Director for Environment, and also Vavia Tangatataia – NES Manager Environmental Compliance, attended on behalf of the Cook Islands Government. 

According to Mr Tangatataia, the forum offers an opportunity for Member States, and stakeholders to present an Asia Pacific perspective on discussions at the UNEA-6 in Nairobi, Kenya early next year. This means that Participants will review the progress of UNEA resolutions’ implementation in the region, as well as the progress made in regional forums and platforms where UNEP is the secretariat. Such forums include the Asia Pacific Clean Air Partnership, Asia Pacific Adaptation Network, Acid Deposition Monitoring Network in East Asia, and the Asia-Pacific Regional Forum on Environment and Health

Furthermore, the Forum identify regional priorities and emerging issues, and address challenges and opportunities to strengthen the regional environmental agenda, delivering on environmental dimension of the SDGs, and regional commitments to multilateral environmental agreements. Participants will contribute to the draft UNEA-6 result documents, including ministerial statements and draft resolutions, and will share their insights and ideas to achieving the environmental dimension of the 2030 SDGs.

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The National Environment Service is established to protect, conserve and ensure the Cook Islands environment is managed sustainably. The agency is headed by a Director with delegated powers to carry out the functions of the Environment Act 2003.

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