APEC Ministerial Meeting on Sustainable Development Action Programme 7.11.96

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APEC Ministers responsible for the Environment, "APEC Ministerial Meeting on Sustainable Development Action Programme 7.11.96", Aprenet, July 11, 1996, https://nautilus.org/aprenet/apec-ministerial-meeting-on-sustainable-development-action-programme-7-11-96/

Official APEC Documents


APEC Ministerial Meeting on Sustainable Development Action Programme

Manila, Philippines
July 11-12, 1996

Ministers from Australia, Brunei Darussalam, Canada, Chile, People’s Republic of China, Hong Kong, Indonesia, Japan, Republic of Korea, Malaysia, Mexico, New Zealand, Papua New Guinea, the Republic of the Philippines, Singapore, Chinese Taipei, Thailand, and the United States met for an APEC Meeting on Sustainable Development in Manila from 11-12 July 1996. Also present were the APEC Secretariat and an observer from the South Pacific Forum.

In keeping with the commitment of APEC Leaders to achieving sustainable growth and equitable development to ensure prosperity for the people of the region, Ministers have agreed to an Action Programme to advance cooperation on sustainable development in APEC. Building on existing work by APEC fora and consistent with the goal of free and open trade and investment in the Asia Pacific region by 2010 for industrialized economies and 2020 for developing economies, Ministers discussed the following issues:


The Asia Pacific region now constitutes 55 per cent of the world’s population, and this figure is growing rapidly. Associated with rapid industrialisation has been the trend towards migration to urban areas. For both developed and developing APEC member economies, urbanization can have negative environmental and social impacts such as reduced air and water quality and increased health risks. Urban infrastructure in the Asia Pacific region holds great potential for investment from public and private sectors. This includes infrastructure related to transportation systems, telecommunications, urban development, energy, and environmental infrastructure.

The Ministers recommended that Senior Environmental Officials review, through appropriate fora such as round table discussions, related activities on sustainable cities within and outside APEC, so as to identify options for appropriate work in APEC and to make recommendations to Environment Ministers at their APEC Meeting on Sustainable Development in 1997.

The Ministers supported efforts by APEC economies to :

  • Strengthen capacity building to facilitate the exchange of scientific and technical knowledge on sustainable cities by designating appropriate organizations in APEC economies to serve as contact and coordination centers.
  • Encourage sharing of knowledge and experiences on the elements of a sustainable city including technologies and changes in production and consumption patterns, and promote community level experiment model project with an aim to create eco-cycle communities.
  • Enhance information exchange on policies, indicators and standards, building on ongoing activities in APEC and promoting dialogue among public and private sectors and with non-government organizations as appropriate.
  • The Ministers also agreed to further develop their own mechanisms for communications with the private sector, non-government organizations and institutions and maximize public-private partnerships to leverage additional resources and capabilities and capitalize on opportunities.2) CLEAN PRODUCTION / CLEAN TECHNOLOGYTo achieve the ideal of sustainable development, it is important to make use of the technologies and practices that lead to cleaner production so that the APEC economies can enjoy socio-economic development while preserving the environment for future generations. The concept of cleaner production is particularly attractive to APEC, which is a rich mixture of economies from highly developed to newly industrializing ones. Interactions among APEC member economies will increase the opportunities for the dissemination of technologies and the exchanges of operating experience.

    The Ministers invited the Industrial Science and Technology (IS&T) Working Group to develop and implement the Cleaner Production Strategy called for in the Ministerial Declaration, working with the Human Resources Development Working Group, the Energy Working Group, and other working groups, as appropriate.

    The Ministers called for the Strategy to indicate, at a minimum, the following elements :

    • formulation of specific strategies for industrial and agricultural sectors that promote dissemination of clean technologies and experiences;
    • mobilization of public-private partnerships in major industry sectors to promote cleaner production;
    • sponsoring of government-industry workshops, seminars and demonstration projects on cleaner production;
    • sharing information on clean technologies and cleaner production policies through electronic means (e.g. Japan’s Virtual Center for Environmental Technology Exchange and the APEC Centre for Technology Exchange and Training for Small and Medium Enterprises (ACTETSME);
    • strengthening of government capabilities through capacity building at both the national and local level, providing the tools needed to help achieve cleaner production goals;
    • conducting cleaner production training through the “APEC Sustainable Development Training and Information Network,” to be led by the Human Resources Development Working Group;
    • improving APEC member economies’ access to expert input and facilitating the exchange of expertise related to the implementation of cleaner production methods;
    • promoting ISO 14000, which involves voluntary actions by industry to establish environmental management systems and committing to continuous improvements in environmental performance;
    • focusing on the special needs of the small- and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs); and promoting cleaner production technologies that help minimize or eliminate greenhouse gas emissions.
    • Ministers directed Senior Environment Officials to report to them when they next meet in Canada in 1997 on how this Strategy is being advanced in relevant APEC fora.

    3) SUSTAINABILITY OF THE MARINE ENVIRONMENTAPEC members share the Pacific basin, which constitutes an essential component of the global life support system, and have a common interest in the quality of the Pacific environment. The oceans and seas of the Pacific Basin are critical to economic development in the APEC Region. The potential exists for APEC to address the challenges facing the marine environment in concert with existing efforts.

    Ministers agreed that, in moving from vision to action on the marine environment, APEC should undertake a stocktaking of existing APEC activities and related activities of other relevant organizations. Ministers instructed Senior Environment Officials to develop concrete action oriented recommendations for APEC activities for consideration at the next APEC Meeting of Ministers of the Environment on Sustainable Development. This effort should include, among other things, consideration of :

    – the existing and potential efforts of APEC working groups and other APEC fora;

    – the activities of other relevant organizations;

    – the importance of integrated coastal management; and

    – the application of technologies to this goal.

    The Ministers also agreed to invite the Marine Resource Cooperation Working Group Meeting in September 1996 to contribute to the first steps in this process and consider its future role in this initiative.


    At the June 1996 Experts’ Meeting on Innovative Approaches Towards Environmentally Sustainable Development in Manila, participants agreed that sustainable development requires a recognition of the potential impacts of economic change on the environment and the importance of environmental assets for sustainable development.

    The Ministers agreed to :

    • Promote innovative approaches for sustainable development, in keeping with domestic priorities.
    • Establish a dynamic and living library of case studies through documentation of successful and unsuccessful member economy experiences.
    • Collaborate on enhancing the capacity of environment and natural resources users and managers towards innovative approaches to sustainable development.
    • Recommend to the APEC Senior Officials Meeting that APEC fora be tasked with considering the incorporation, where, appropriate, of innovative approaches in the following areas:

    – introduction of environment and natural resources accounting (ENRA) into the system of National Income Accounts ;- utilization of market-based instruments;

    – sharing of information and expertise in promoting, adapting and adopting innovative approaches to sustainable development;

    – application of participatory approaches in planning, determining and implementing innovative approaches to environment and natural resources management;

    – building the capacities of environment and natural resource users and managers in planning, determining and implementing innovative approaches or sustainable development;

    – complementing market-based instruments with regulatory measures to ensure optimal resource utilization.


    Ministers recognized the work being undertaken under the auspices of the Economic Committee, as directed by APEC Senior Officials, to follow up on the Leaders’ directive regarding the impact of fast-expanding population and rapid economic growth on food, energy and environment. Ministers further directed Senior Environment Officials to provide input to the Economic Committee on the environmental aspects of this important initiative.

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