South Asia

Published: Friday 30 September 2005

Reviving SACEP: At the Ninth Governing Council meeting of the South Asia Cooperative Environment Programme (SACEP) on August 26, 2005, in Thimpu, Bhutan, environment ministers of India, Bhutan, Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Maldives and Sri Lanka discussed past roadblocks and future targets. Pakistan and Nepal did not attend the meet. Agreeing upon the need to "regenerate and rebuild" SACEP, the members acknowledged that poor funding and institutional capacity were the main causes of the body not meeting its past objectives.

SACEP has survived on contributions from member countries, which have not been benevolent enough; only Bhutan and Sri Lanka have fully contributed the amounts pledged. Members approved a proposal to allocate 30 per cent of arrear contributions for programme development.

They also recognised that pursuing too many broad programmes was a reason for past failures and proposed to focus only on a few crucial activities. They chose two thematic areas, waste management and adaptation to climate change, as the main areas for immediate programme activities.

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