Enhanced Regional EU-ASEAN Dialogue Instrument

In July 2019, senior officials from ASEAN and the EU met in Bangkok to launch a High-Level Dialogue on Environment and Climate Change to strengthen cooperation on the shared regional and global challenges. The event was supported by the EU-funded Enhanced Regional EU-ASEAN Dialogue Instrument (E-READI), and future dialogues are to be held annually, with the participation of IGOs, NGOs and experts.
A circular economy approach is at the heart of the European Green Deal and during the High-Level Dialogue both regions committed to working together to move towards a circular economy for plastics. As a first step, a gap analysis on circular economy and plastics in ASEAN Member States was prepared by a team of experts from the Institute for Global Environmental Strategies (IGES), which identifies the main challenges to addressing plastics in the environment and highlights the value of regional networks and guidelines.
Also in the framework of EU-ASEAN dialogue activities, in November 2019 an ASEAN-wide study on natural capital (the world’s stocks of natural assets, including minerals, soil, air, water, forests and all living things) was launched at a two-day workshop in Bangkok organised in collaboration with the ASEAN Centre for Biodiversity. Also supported by EU-funded E-READI, the event brought together 65 stakeholders from the EU and ASEAN to discuss how to include the concept of natural capital in decision-making. In a peer-to-peer setting, EU counterparts shared best practices in using natural resources more sustainably to create greater value. Participants also agreed on milestones for an ASEAN Natural Capital Road Map, with the goal of establishing a Regional Natural Capital Platform to increase collaboration among all stakeholders in this area.

Circular economy is not just another environmental policy, nor just another climate policy, and it is not another trade policy either. It should be all that and more – a truly crosssectoral effort, built around people’s needs, and built together with industries and companies.

Daniel Calleja Crespo, Director-General DG Environment, European Commission

Impacts and dependencies on natural capital create both costs and benefits, not only for businesses but also for society. These are transferred as risks and opportunities that businesses need to manage more carefully. Natural capital ‘integral accounting’ approaches can help businesses and policy makers seize the magnitude and value of ecosystem services to take better decisions and limit risks.

Marta Santamaria, Policy Director, Natural Capital Coalition