Senior ASEAN officials meet to discuss environmental issues hinh anh 1Deputy Minister of Natural Resources and Environment Vo Tuan Nhan (Photo:

Hanoi (VNA) - The 31st Meeting of ASEAN Senior Officials on the Environment (ASOEN 31) and related meetings kicked off via videoconference on November 24 and will run until November 27.

ASOEN 31 is an occasion for ASEAN member countries to review ASOEN activities and issue recommendations to improve their effectiveness, contributing to the realisation of targets in the draft ASEAN strategic plan on the environment as well as environmental sustainability within the framework of the ASEAN Socio-Cultural Community and the ASEAN Community Vision 2025.

Apart from officials of member states, it is also being attended by representatives from the ASEAN Secretariat, the ASEAN Centre for Biodiversity, the EU Delegation to Vietnam, and the German agency for development cooperation (GIZ).

Opening ASOEN 31, Deputy Minister of Natural Resources and Environment Vo Tuan Nhan said the Vietnamese Government always attaches importance to environmental protection, especially biodiversity conservation; the management of water resources, the marine environment, and coastal zones; climate change; chemicals and waste; marine plastic waste; and sustainable economic development.

He noted that Vietnam strongly supports the building of an ASEAN plan of action on marine waste and the bloc’s joint declaration at the 15th Conference of the Parties (COP 15) of the Convention on Biological Diversity.

By jointly making and implementing a regional action plan and issuing joint declarations, member countries reflect their cohesion in working with the international community to deal with global environmental problems, Nhan said.

To achieve environmental sustainability, he called upon all parties to exert stronger efforts to resolve pressing issues such as trans-boundary water and air pollution, marine plastic waste, and climate change, to ensure better social welfare and a safer living environment while sustainably conserving and managing biodiversity for the sake of current and future generations of people throughout ASEAN.

As countries in the region and the world continue to deal with COVID-19, closer cooperation is needed to defeat the pandemic, Nhan said, adding that it is also necessary for countries to continue standing side-by-side to handle regional environmental issues on the basis of cooperation and mutual trust.

Events on the sidelines of ASOEN 31 include the 14th ASEAN-Japan Dialogue on Environmental Cooperation, the 17th ASEAN Plus Three Senior Officials’ Meeting on the Environment, and the second ASEAN-EU high-level dialogue on the environment and climate change.

The ASOEN chairmanship will be handed over from Malaysia to Myanmar at the closing session of ASOEN 31./.