The European Union and the Association of Southeast Asian Nations will unveil two new cooperative programs this year to promote sustainable peatland use. (Photo courtesy of Asean Secretariat)

EU, Asean Set to Cooperate on New Conservation Programs

BY :SHEANY

MARCH 02, 2017

Jakarta. In celebration of 40 years of bilateral relations, the European Union and the Association of Southeast Asian Nations will unveil two new cooperative programs this year to promote sustainable use of peatlands and enhance biodiversity conservation in the Asean region.

Francisco Fontan Pardo, the EU ambassador to Asean, said recently that the partnership between the two blocs continues to promote strong political, economic and social cooperation.

"Today, I am glad to highlight some of the successes of our joint work. We are starting two new ambitious programs aimed at protecting the environment and supporting the fight against climate change in Asean," Pardo said.

Pardo launched the 40th anniversary of the EU-Asean partnership alongside Asean Secretary General Le Luong Minh at the Asean Secretariat in Jakarta on Thursday (02/03).

"The two new programs on the sustainable use of peatlands and biodiversity conservation further signify and strengthen the long-standing relationship between Asean and the EU," Minh said.

"They reflect the shared goals and commitment of Asean and the EU in environmental protection and sustainable development."

With a budget of 20 million euros ($21 million), the program is aimed at reducing carbon emissions, mitigating transboundary haze and promoting responsible use of peatlands in the Asean region.

Approximately 90 percent of transboundary haze in the southern part of the Asean region is caused by fires originating in peatland areas.

The second program described by Pardo will boost efforts to protect biodiversity in the region and produce more effective systems of managing bio-protected areas. The program will target the extensive network of both existing and potential heritage parks in Asean to reduce loss of biodiversity.

The European Union has contributed 10 million euros to the conservation program as part of its larger allocation of 170 million euros for the region from 2014 to 2020. The European Union will be working with Asean to promote projects in specific areas, including enhancing connectivity through sustainable and inclusive economic integration and climate change-related environmental management.

Earlier this year, the EU Mission to Asean initiated a regionwide youth photo competition to highlight the strength of relations between the two blocs.

Irianto Frederico Da Lopez of Indonesia was one of the winners in the competition. He received his award on Thursday.

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