Press Release – The 3rd ASEAN Environmental Rights Working Group Meeting


The ASEAN Environmental Rights Working Group (AER WG) successfully convened its 3rd Meeting on February 27-28, 2024, in Manila, Philippines.

The meeting was chaired by H.E. Prof. Dr. Amara Pongsapich, the Representative of Thailand to the ASEAN Intergovernmental Commission on Human Rights (AICHR). Attendees included representatives from AICHR, the ASEAN Senior Officials on Environment (ASOEN), the ASEAN Commission on the Promotion and Protection of the Rights of Women and Children (ACWC), the ASEAN Centre for Biodiversity, the ASEAN Secretariat, the ASEAN Youth Forum, the ASEAN Disability Forum, and various regional and international experts in human rights and environmental laws.

During the meeting, progress of revisions to the consultation document on environmental rights in ASEAN from the 2nd AER WG Meeting in November 2023 was reviewed and deliberated. The proposed provisions of the document were discussed, with a focus on aligning with the existing ASEAN agreements and relevant international standards regarding the right to a safe, clean, healthy, and sustainable environment. The Working Group agreed to continue developing the document as an ASEAN declaration on environmental rights.

The Working Group deliberated on the consultation process with relevant stakeholders for inputs in 2024 before the draft declaration is submitted to the AICHR. The importance of consultation with ASEAN sectoral bodies was emphasized to ensure that the final document is comprehensive and agreeable to all AMS. The 4th Meeting of the Working Group is scheduled in May 2024.

The Meeting expressed appreciation for technical support from and collaboration with UN agencies, including the Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (UNESCAP), the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), and the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR), as well as development partners , including Asian Research Institute for Environmental Laws (ARIEL), the Swedish International Development (SIDA), the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) and the World Wildlife Fund for the Nature (WWF).

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