Press Release – The 2nd ASEAN Environmental Rights Working Group Meeting


The ASEAN Environmental Rights Working Group (AER WG) convened the 2nd Meeting on 21-22 November 2023 in Bangkok, Thailand.

The Meeting was chaired by H.E. Prof. Dr. Amara Pongsapich, Representative of Thailand to the ASEAN Intergovernmental Commission on Human Rights (AICHR), and was attended by members of the AER WG, including representatives from AICHR, ASEAN Commission on the Promotion and Protection of the Rights of Women and Children (ACWC), ASEAN Centre for Biodiversity, ASEAN Secretariat, ASEAN Youth Forum, ASEAN Disability Forum, and regional and international qualified experts on human rights and environmental laws.

The AICHR established the AER WG with the purpose of developing a regional framework or another appropriate document on environmental rights for further consideration by ASEAN Sectoral Bodies before eventual adoption by leaders of ASEAN.

The Meeting was updated on the progress from the 1st AER WG Meeting held on 21-22 August 2023, including presentation of a discussion paper by the technical consultant experts. The Meeting discussed the proposed provisions of above-mentioned document and recalled the goals of the working group to develop a framework in line with the internationally recognized-norms and standards on the rights to a safe, clean, healthy and sustainable environment, taking into consideration national circumstances and domestic laws of the AMS.

The Working Group also deliberated on the timeline of the consultation process in 2024 with proposed platforms for compiling inputs from stakeholders before the drafting of a document to submit to the AICHR. The Meeting emphasized the importance of consultation with ASEAN sectoral bodies before the drafting of the above-mentioned document by the AER WG, to ensure the final document is agreeable to all AMS. The 3rd Meeting of the working group will be held in March 2024.

The Meeting expressed its appreciation for the technical support and collaboration with the UN agencies, including UNESCAP, UNEP, and OHCHR and development partners, including but not limited to ARIEL, SIDA, and USAID-WWF.

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