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UNEP Mission to DPR Korea

Mr. Surendra Shrestha, UNEP Regional Director, led a UNEP Mission to DPR Korea, 26 -31 June. Consultations were held with senior officials from the National Coordination Committee on Environment and the Ministry of Land and Environment Protection. Discussions focused on the UNEP Framework Agreement with DPR Korea including Trust Fund, Regional Cooperation and priority projects in the environment sector. The mission also participated in a workshop on mainstreaming environment in the overall national development plan. The Planning Commission, Finance Ministry, Environment Ministry and 10 other agencies and institutions participated and provided inputs. The Workshop agreed to work together towards preparation of the National Sustainable Development Strategy (NSDS). Final programme of the Mission were meetings with the UN Resident Coordinator and senior officers from UNDP to discuss possible areas of cooperation. Mr. Purna Chandra Lall Rajbhandari, Senior Program officer at RRC provided support during the Mission.

Third Session of the Working Group on Future Development (WGFD3) of EANET
The Third Session of the Working Group on Future Development (WGFD3) of the Acid Deposition Monitoring Network in East Asia (EANET) was held in AIT, Thailand, 17-18 May. Representatives from Cambodia, China, Indonesia, Japan, Lao PDR, Malaysia, Mongolia, Myanmar, Philippines, Republic of Korea, Russia, Thailand, and Viet Nam participated in the Session. Representatives from the EANET Secretariat and Network Center, and an expert from the United Nations University Institute of Advanced Studies also attended. Mr. Mylvakanam Iyngararasan of RRC represented UNEP in the Session and delivered the Opening Remarks.

The Secretariat made presentations on the following: 1) Revision of the Terms of Reference of the Working Group on Future Development; 2) Draft Components of the Instrument to Provide a Sound Basis for Contribution to EANET; 3) Draft Report on review of the RRC.AP/AIT system to examine the possibility for the Secretariat to move to the UN system; 4) Revision of Procedures and Guidelines for Contribution to EANET to propose appropriate mechanism on voluntary financial contributions; and 5) Report on Establishment of a Trust Fund for EANET. The Session discussed the above reports and the Five-Year Medium Term Plan for EANET as presented by the Network Center.

Malé Declaration emission inventory preparation, scenarios and atmospheric transport modeling workshop

A training workshop on emission inventory preparation, scenarios generation, atmospheric transport modeling, and integrated information and assessment modeling (IIAM) was conducted at UNEP RRCAP, 3 - 8 July. The training aimed to build capacity in eight Malé Declaration countries for studying the air pollution issues especially transboundary transport of air pollutants, its potential impacts, and consequently enablingthe participants to design science-based, integrated policy options to mitigate the adverse effects of air pollution. Participants included representatives from: 8 Malé Declaration countries (Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Iran, Maldives, Nepal, Pakistan, Sri Lanka), SEI, IIIEE, SMHI, and UNEP. Mr. Mylvakanam Iyngararasan, Ms. Naw Wah Wah Htoo, Mr. Jacob Kurian, Ms. Pwint Phyu Aung and Dr. Maheswar Rupakheti of RRC participated in the training workshop.

Thailand Inception Workshop on National Sustainable Development Strategy (NSDS)
A workshop with 62 government, international organization, NGO and business representatives was held at the Royal Princess Hotel in Bangkok, Thailand,12 July, to discuss and develop an outline for the National Sustainable Development Strategy (NSDS). The objectives of the meeting were to: (1) provide an overview of NSDS objectives, approaches, and challenges; (2) take stock of the progress in Thailand's national sustainable development agenda; (3) review and provide feedback on a draft outline of the NSDS for Thailand; and (4) discuss and develop consensus on the implementation plan for preparing the NSDS. Mr. Surendra Shrestha, UNEP Regional Director, delivered theinaugural speech. Dr. Subrato Sinha and Dr Yuwaree Inna of UNEP ROAP and Dr. Aida Karazhanova of RRC participated at the workshop and made presentations on the various aspects of NSDS. The workshop was hosted by the Thailand Environment Insitute (TEI) and the National Economic and Social Development Board (NESDB). The Participants expressed their constructive comments and the vision on the draft outline of the NSDS for Thailand as reference to the next consultation meeting.
Republic of Kazakhstan: Formation of Institutional Basis for Sustainable Development

A workshop with 50 government, international organization, NGO and business representatives was held in Astana, Kazakhstan, 22-23 June, to discuss the development of a National Sustainable Development Strategy (NSDS). H.E. Minister Dr. Nurlan Iskakov and Deputy Minister Mr. Alzhan Braliyev, Ministry of Environmental Protection, chaired the 2-day workshop. The objective of the workshop was to discuss the main issues of sustainable development concept in Kazakhstan in order to: a) learn the international experience on the National Councils for Sustainable Development and on the preparation of NSDS; and b) discuss the methodology of the development, structure, contents and main priorities of NSDS (Kazakhstani Agenda 21). Based on existing long term development strategies and national priorities identified in the Address of the President to the nation, the Minister presented quantitative goals to be achieved in environment, social and economy sectors by the target years. The Minister emphasized quality of life as major goal of Sustainable Development and the need for ecosystem approach (8 river basin ecosystem) in addition to administrative territorial approach. Dr. Subrato Sinha and Ms. Saule Yessimova from UNEP ROAP and Dr. Aida Karazhanova from UNEP RRC participated at the workshop and made presentations on the various aspects of NSDS.

In relation to this, a meeting of the Kazakhstan Council on Sustainable Development (CSD), chaired by the Prime-Minister, was held to finalise the Draft Concept on Transition of Kazakhstan for Sustainable Development (Kazakhstani Agenda 21), Astana, 29 June. Members of the CSD and invited participants accepted the concept positively and discussed a number of issues on methodology, indicators, and the difference on competitiveness and sustainable development. It has been agreed that comments would be forwarded to the Ministry of Environment in one month. The group of national experts supported by the Government, UNEP and UNDP will revise the draft based on the UNEP guidelines. The final Concept on Sustainable Development will be submitted during the 3rd CSD Meeting scheduled in November 2006. Dr. Aida Karazhanova from RRC represented UNEP in the meeting.

Awareness Seminar on Acid Deposition Monitoring and Management, Philippines
The National Public Awareness Seminar/Workshop on Acid Deposition Monitoring and Management was held in Camelot Hotel, Quezon City, Philippines, 6-7 June. Participants included representatives from the government, private sector, NGO, academe, and media. The Environmental Management Bureau (EMB) organized and facilitated the Seminar/Workshop. Ms. Adelaida B. Roman, Programme Officer, EANET Secretariat/RRC, presented the Report for Policy Makers. The two main outputs from the workshop were: a) review of draft Filipino-version of the Report for Policy Makers; and b) Action Planning and Commitments for awareness on acid deposition.
Inception workshop for preparation of Bhutan Environment Outlook 2006 Report
A 2-day inception workshop on the preparation of the Bhutan Environment Outlook (BEO) report was jointly organized by the National Environment commission (NEC) and UNEP in Namsey Choling Resort, Paro, Bhutan, 27 -28 April. The objective of the workshop was to discuss the methodology and indicators needed to analyse the national environmental issues towards the preparation of the BEO. Mr. Sonam Yangely, NEC Director, gave the opening speech on behalf of HE Mr. Daso Nado Rinchen, NEC Deputy Minister. Participants included senior representatives from various government agencies and the UNDP. By the end of the training session, a tentative draft BEO outline prepared by NEC was discussed. The major environmental issues discussed include: population growth; land; air pollution; water resources and pollution; waste generation and disposal; climate change; and biodiversity and natural heritage. Mr.Jinhua Zhang , Acting Regional Coordinator, and Mr.P. L. Rajbhandari, Senior Program Officer, of RRC participated in the workshop.
Bhutan Inception Workshop on National Sustainable Development Strategy (NSDS)
The Bhutan Inception Workshop on National Sustainable Development Strategy (NSDS) was held at the Namsay Choling Hotel in Paro, Bhutan, 25-26 April. Participants included senior representatives from the government, international organizations, NGO and business sector. The objectives of the meeting were: a) to provide an overview of NSDS objectives, approaches, and challenges; b) to take stock of the progress on Bhutan's national sustainable development agenda; c) to develop an outline on vision, goals, objectives and targets, and means for implementation of NSDS programme; and d) to discuss an institutional mechanism for implementation of NSDS in Bhutan. Presentations included: a) 10th Five Year Plan and Sustainable Development by Mr. Tenzin Wangmo, Planning Commission; b) State of the Environment and Developments in Environmental Policy in Bhutan by Ms. Sonam Lhaden, National Environment Commission (NEC); and c) Options for the Preparation of a Sustainable Development Strategy for Bhutan by Mr. Ugen Tenzin, NEC. Dr. Subrato Sinha from UNEP ROAP and Dr. Aida Karazhanova of RRC facilitated the workshop. A session was held on the second day to discuss and develop agreement on the best option for implementing NSDS programme. Small group discussions to develop the draft NSDS outline were also initiated.

New Staff
On April 18, the Institute for Global Environmental Strategies (IGES) has appointed Dr. Peter N. King as the new Representative for the IGES Project Office in Bangkok based at RRC. Dr. Peter King replaces Ms. Taeko Takahashi who has completed her term and was stationed back to IGES Headquarters. Major activities of the IGES Bangkok office includes the Greater Mekong Subregion (GMS) and Bay of Bengal Initiative for Multi-Sectoral Technical and Economic Cooperation (BIMSTEC) projects. Contact at (66-2) 524-6440.
Champions of the Earth
UNEP is seeking nominations for its annual 'Champions of the Earth' award, which recognizes prominent and inspirational environmental leaders from each region of the world. More information at
Student Assistants and Interns (Contact at +66-2-5246442)
Ms. Liu Wenman from the National University Singapore joined theEarly Warning Component as anintern,1 May - 5 Aug. Mr.Utsav Maden from Nepal is an intern under the Tunza -South Asia Youth Environment Network (SAYEN) programme. Utsav worked assisted with the e-KH programme, 1 May - 30 Aug. Mr. Matthew Szelag is an intern from University of Washington, Seattle. He is assisting the NSDS programme, 26 June - 15 Sept.

For the period May-Aug, 3 students from the Asian Institute of Technology (AIT) assisted in various projects of RRC: Mr. Brahmanage Upul Kaluhetti, Mr. Arvind Kumar and Mr. Ilkhom Nazarov.