South Asia Co-operative Environment Programme (SACEP)

South Asia Co-operative Environment Programme (SACEP)

 

Basics and Backgrounds

  • South Asia Co-operative Environment Programme (SACEP) is an intergovernmental organization. It is headquartered in Colombo, Sri Lanka.
  • It was established in 1982 by the governments of South Asia to promote and support protection, management and enhancement of the environment in the region.
  • The members of SACEP includes Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Maldives, Nepal, Pakistan and Sri Lanka.
  • SACEP also acts as the Secretariat for the South Asian Seas Programme which comes under the purview of UNEP’s Regional Seas Programme.
  • Since its creation, SACEP has implemented a number of projects and programmes in the areas of environment education, environment legislation, biodiversity, air pollution, and the protection and management of the coastal environment. SACEP is also secretariat for the South Asian Seas Programme.
  • The Malé Declaration on control and prevention of air pollution and its likely trans boundary effects for South Asia is another significant efforts which encourages intergovernmental cooperation to combat the trans boundary air pollution problem

Objectives

  • Recognition of environmental degradation caused by factors like poverty, overpopulation, over consumption and wasteful production threatening economic development and human survival,
  • Integration of environment and development as essential prerequisites to Sustainable Development, and
  • Importance of co-operative action in the South Asian region where many ecological and development problems transcend national and administrative boundaries.

Governing Structure

  • The Colombo Declaration and the Articles of Association of SACEP constitute the legal base for SACEP.
  • The principal organs of the Governance Structure of SACEP are the Governing Council (GC), Consultative Committee (CC) and the SACEP Secretariat.
  • The GC is the principal review and deliberative body of SACEP and is responsible for determining its policy and programmes.
  • It consists of one representative from each member state who will be of Ministerial portfolio and as per Articles of Association, should meet annually.
  • Since becoming a legal entity in 1982, up to date Twelve GC meetings and Three Special Sessions of the GC had been held.
  • The Consultative Committee is responsible for facilitating implementation of Policies, Strategies and Programme/Projects determined by the GC and it consists of representatives of the Diplomatic Missions of member countries residing in Colombo.
  • The Secretariat consists of the Director General and professional, administrative and supporting staff. The secretariat is based in Colombo, Sri Lanka and is under the patronage of the Sri Lankan Government.

Vision

  • Recognition of environmental degradation caused by factors like poverty, over population, over consumption and wasteful production threatening economic development and human survival,
  • Integration of environment and development as essential prerequisites to Sustainable Development, and
  • Importance of co-operative action in the South Asian region where many ecological and development problems transcend national and administrative boundaries.

Mission

  • To promote regional co-operation in South Asia in the field of environment, both natural and human in the context of sustainable development and on issues of economic and social development which also impinge on the environment and vice versa
  • To support conservation and management of natural resources of the region
  • To work closely with all national, regional, and international institutions, governmental and non-governmental, as well as experts and groups engaged in such co-operation and conservation efforts.

Salient Features of South Asia

  • The region covers almost one twentieth of the earth’s surface and provides a home for about one fifth of the world population.
  • The degree of urbanization in 1999 ranged from 7 percent in Bhutan to 33 percent in Pakistan. Mumbai, Calcutta, Delhi, Karachi and Dhaka are fast growing cities with population more than 10 million.
  • Over 30 percent of the population earns less than one dollar per day and the per capita GNP for 1998 ranged from US$ 210 to 130. It is US$ 210 in Nepal to 1,130 in Maldives.
  • Although the economies of the countries are primarily agricultural, industrialization has increased during the past decade.
  • South Asia is home to 14 percent of the world’s remaining mangrove forests and the Sundarbans found between Bangladesh and India is one of the largest continuous mangrove stretch in the world .
  • 6 percent of the world’s coral reefs are in the South Asian seas. The atolls of Maldives and Lakshadweep islands of the region, are biodiversity rich marine habitats.
  • Hindu Kush Himalayan belt is home to over 25,000 major plant species, comprising 10 percent of the world’s flora.
  • The region is prone to natural disasters such as cyclones, floods and landslides. From 1990-1999, the region accounted for over 60 percent of disaster-related deaths worldwide.

India and SACEP

  • Recently the Union Cabinet chaired by Prime Minister has approved signing of a MoU between India and SACEP for cooperation on the response to Oil and Chemical Pollution in the South Asian Seas Region.
  • The MoU intends to promote closer cooperation between India and other maritime nations comprising the South Asian seas region namely, Bangladesh, Maldives, Pakistan, Pakistan and Sri Lanka for protection and preservation of marine environment in the region.

15th SACEP Meeting

  • The Union Minister for Environment, Forest and climate change & Information and Broadcasting (I&B), Prakash Javadekar, has participated in the 15th governing council meeting (GCM) of the South Asia Cooperative Environment Programme 2019 (SACEP)in Dhaka,
  • The meet with the SACEP member countries witnessed the issues of plastic waste management, biodiversity and other issues related to the environment were discussed among South Asian Member countries.

 

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