Fixing What’s Broke with APEC

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Stewart Hudson, "Fixing What’s Broke with APEC", Aprenet, June 23, 1995, https://nautilus.org/aprenet/fixing-whats-broke-with-apec/

Fixing What’s Broke with APEC:

First Steps Toward a Sustainable Development
Plan That Can Be Adopted at the
November 1995 Osaka Minister’s Meeting

A National Wildlife Federation
Trade and Environment Report

June 23, 1995

Stewart Hudson, Senior Legislative Representative
Rodrigo Prudencio, Trade and Environment Specialist
Richard Forrest, East Asia Representative

Working for the Nature of Tomorrow
NATIONAL WILDLIFE FEDERATION


 

PREFACE

Fixing What’s Broke With APEC is the first in a series of new
reports on global commerce and
sustainability produced by the National Wildlife Federation’s
Trade and Environment Program. NWF
stands for a common-sense approach to conservation, in
which a strong economy and a healthy global
environment go hand in hand. We hope that this series of
reports will enhance the emerging dialogue
on how to ensure that both trade and environmental policy
help achieve this important goal.

We are also pleased to announce that this first report was
produced in collaboration with NWF’s
Tokyo-based East Asia Program. The East Asia Program’s
mission is to promote environmental
reform of foreign aid and development in the Asia region.
This report would not have been possible
without the assistance of Richard Forrest, who directs the East
Asia Program, as well as the thoughts
and advice provided by several of his colleagues in Japan.

Finally, a number of outside experts, including Ms. Lyuba
Zarsky of the Nautilus Institute in Berkeley,
California and Mr. Gareth Porter of the Environment and
Energy Study Institute in Washington, D.C.,
were kind enough to offer some views on earlier drafts of this
report. While they were not responsible
for the report’s contents, their contribution is greatly
appreciated.

We look forward to receiving your views on the content of
this and other succeeding reports in our
Trade and Environment series. Your comments will help us
shape future policy proposals. Please sent
your thoughts to Rodrigo Prudencio, Trade and Environment
Specialist at: nwfip@ igc.apc.org

TABLE OF CONTENTS

I. Introduction 1

II. Current APEC Efforts to Integrate Environmental Concerns
2

III. An APEC Sustainable Development Action Plan

A. Process Oriented Changes 4

B. Institutional Changes 5

C. APEC Committees and Working Groups 6

IV. The Special Role of Japan 13

V. Conclusion 15

I. Introduction

Since the 1992 Earth Summit, governmental performance in
integrating economic and environmental
concerns has steadily lost momentum, at least in terms of
regional and global agreements where this
kind of integration can occur. One particular area where
governments have fallen down on the job is in
the Asia- Pacific region and, specifically, the Asia-Pacific
Economic Cooperation (APEC) forum.
Though the subject of environment has been raised at different
meetings of APEC Ministers, little has
been done to develop an adequate action plan for integrating
environmental concerns within APEC.
This is particularly troubling given the increased economic
growth in this region, and the global
environmental problems that are at stake here.

The good news, perhaps, is that there is an opportunity to fix
what is broken with APEC. From
November 17-19, 1995, the government of Japan will host the
next meeting of APEC Ministers in
Osaka. As host, and befitting its status as one of the world’s
leading economic powers, Japan has the
authority and mandate to push the APEC countries to develop
a general plan of action for addressing
regional issues, including those related to environment.
Because Japan is host, and due to the current
lack of direction afflicting the APEC forum, the Osaka
meeting is an historical event that will speak
volumes as to the future of the Asia-Pacific region, APEC
itself, and the role of Japan in global affairs.

While several months remain before the APEC summit in
Osaka, planning for the event is already
underway among government negotiators as well as
representatives of the private sector. It is,
therefore, important to move quickly in broadening the agenda
for the Osaka meeting and involving a
wider group of stakeholders in the planning of this important
event.

This discussion paper is intended to lend momentum towards
the achievement of both of these
important goals by encouraging non-governmental
organizations, as well as the private sector and
governments, to initiate a discussion as soon as possible on the
elements of a sustainable development
action plan for the region. This paper focuses on elements of
an action plan that can be adopted at
Osaka, recommendations that may be added to in subsequent
Ministerial meetings. It is, therefore, our
intention that this paper will serve as perhaps the first, rather
than the last word on APEC’s plan of
action for sustainable development.

II. Current APEC Efforts to Integrate Environmental Concerns

As a starting point, it is useful to review how environmental
issues have been considered to date in
APEC proceedings. Indeed, the Environmental Vision
Statement adopted by APEC environmental
ministers in Vancouver, Canada in March of 1993 states that:

We, the Asia Pacific economies are agreed that we must
protect our environment and conserve
natural resources. In particular, we have to improve the
quality of air and water, and manage energy
resources to ensure sustainable development and provide a
more secure future for our people. We
agree to develop co-operative programs to that end.

Since the Vancouver meeting, agreement has been reached to
include environmental concerns in each
of the working groups and committees established under the
APEC umbrella. Those working groups
and committees include:

Economic Trends and Issues (ETI) Marine Resource
Conservation (MRC)

Trade and Investment (CTI) Fisheries (F)

Human Resources Development (HRD) Tourism (TO)

Industrial Science and Technology (IST) Transportation
(TR)

Regional Energy Cooperation (REC)
Telecommunications (TE)

In addition, APEC environmental experts have also agreed to
a set of principles for integrating
environmental issues into APEC, and they have provided
some tentative ideas in a variety of thematic
areas including: Environmental Technology, Economic
Instruments, Environmental Management
Standards, Environmental Education and Information, and
Sustainable Cities. Japan, in particular, has
taken the lead in discussions of potential APEC work to
promote sustainable cities in the region.

Moreover, it is worth noting that some environmental
language has already found its way into some
specific nooks and crannies of APEC work. The small group
consultations on APEC investment
principles, comprising representatives from Korea, the United
States, Indonesia, and Australia, in its
October 14, 1994 report proposed language on investment
principles which states that: “Member
economies will not relax health, safety, and environmental
regulations as an incentive to encourage
foreign investment.”

These tentative initiatives are important. However, taken as a
whole, APEC’s attention to
environmental issues has been inadequate to the forum’s own
stated goal of promoting sustainable
development in the region. Integration of environmental
concerns in the working groups, and ideas put
forth in the thematic areas described above, amount to rather
vague statements of intent, with little to
suggest that actual work products will be delivered within a
given period of time. This stands in stark
contrast with other areas of APEC activities where specific
timetables and work products have been
established.

Furthermore, the principles adopted by APEC environmental
experts are a mixed blessing when it
comes to crafting a sustainable development plan of action.
The principles do call for integrating
environment into the work of APEC, rather than as a separate
undertaking, and also encourage the
eventual development of clear proposals on environment
within each of the working groups. At the
same time, even though the APEC Eminent Persons Group
(EPG), and the private sector Pacific
Economic Cooperation Council (PECC) were invited to
participate in the recent environmental experts
meeting in Chinese Taipei, there is nothing in the principles
suggesting that broader public participation,
including that of environmental groups, will be part of APEC’s
standard operating procedures.
Principles that fail the basic test of leading to greater citizen
involvement in APEC work are not likely
to be successful at any level.

Finally, the principles endorse a prohibition on the creation of
new institutions, which would rule out an
APEC committee or working group specifically on
environment. This is a curious recommendation for
governmental environmental experts to have made, especially
given that other institutions, such as the
World Trade Organization’s new Committee on Trade and
Environment (CTE), and the recently
formed North American Commission for Environmental
Cooperation (CEC), have been created to help
forge a stronger consensus for trade and environment both
regionally and at a global level.

For the APEC to be successful, it must pay attention to
process-oriented changes that would
encourage public participation in its work; it should undertake
institutional changes that would allow it to
monitor and address a wide range of environmental conditions
in the Asia-Pacific region; and it must
incorporate more specific proposals and timetables in each of
its Working Groups and Committees.

III. An APEC Sustainable Development Action Plan

A. Process Oriented Changes

APEC has already invited the participation of business groups
in its work through the formation of an
APEC Business Forum, and by providing opportunities for
groups like the Pacific Economic
Cooperation Council to have notice of meetings, and to appear
before governmental experts. This is a
valid and appropriate step for APEC to have taken. However,
to ensure public support for its efforts in
the field of environment, this participation must be broadened
to include not only environmental experts,
but also representatives of non-profit environmental
organizations. Fortunately, there are a variety of
mechanisms for doing so.

First, international organizations like the International Union
for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN),
which have both governmental and non-governmental
members, can be called upon to identify
individuals in the region with expertise on environmental
issues. These individuals can comprise a
private sector environmental experts group that would assist in
the design and implementation of APEC
environmental work.

Second, an Asian-Pacific Environmental Forum, comprised of
two environmental NGOs from each of
the APEC countries, can be created. This forum, which should
be provided with information and
documents necessary to follow APEC activities, should be
utilized as a source of information about
public views on APEC and environment.

Third, as a complement to this forum, governments should
also be encouraged to form national
roundtables on APEC and sustainable development, and
provide annual reports to the other APEC
members on the conclusions reached by these roundtables.

In all cases, APEC parties should provide adequate
information and create mechanisms that would
ensure that the efforts made by the roundtables, the
Environmental Forum, and the environmental
experts are fully utilized in the work of the APEC.

B. Institutional Changes

Though APEC members clearly do not envision the creation
of large new bureaucratic structures, it is
nevertheless worthwhile to note that APEC has already
created a Secretariat. Headquartered in
Singapore, the Secretariat employs 25 individuals and has an
annual budget of $2 million. Ironically,
despite the attention given to environmental issues by APEC
members, and the variety of meetings in
which environment is a relevant subject, there is no
information to suggest that anyone within the
APEC Secretariat is charged with dealing with environmental
issues on a full time basis. This situation
can easily be remedied, with little cost to governments, by
adding an individual to the APEC Secretariat
staff who is qualified to deal with environmental concerns.

A second institutional change has to do with the lack of an
over-arching body within APEC to deal
with environmental issues. While some have called for the
creation of an APEC Commission for
Environmental Cooperation, a less far- reaching proposal
would be an Environmental Advisory Group
to the Senior Officials Meeting (SOM). This would
complement the existing APEC structure of
including environment in all other working groups and could
be used effectively to promote cooperative
environmental activities in the region; to encourage the
adoption and enforcement of sound
environmental laws in the region; and to ensure more regular
input from governmental environmental
agencies in APEC’s work.

There is also a lack of institutional architecture to deal
effectively with agriculture, as evidence by the
lack of a working group to cover this sector. Many experts
point to agriculture as a sector which poses
significant ecological risks, and yet one that need not be
inconsistent with an environmentally oriented
approach to trade and investment in the region. Given the
importance of food production and
environmental concerns in the Asia-Pacific region, the
inattention to agriculture is a major oversight,
and the creation of a working group an appropriate remedy.

One final institutional change would be to add environmental
issues to the research agenda for the
APEC study centers. These centers are a notable part of the
APEC process and could, if asked to do
so, help chart a course for trade and investment and
environmental protection in the APEC region.

C. APEC Committees and Working Groups

The Summary Action Plan of the APEC’s governmental
Environmental Experts, which was derived
from their August 1994 meeting, is a good place to start to
understand the ideas that have already been
put forth in existing APEC committees and working groups.
For the purposes of comparison a
synthesis of the recommendations contained in the Summary
Report is described for each of the
subgroups listed below. At the time this paper was written, it
was not clear whether any parts or all of
the Summary Report have been adopted by APEC
governments, or the APEC SOM. Nevertheless, it
is a useful backdrop to evaluate ideas that might be put forth
to APEC Ministers for approval at the
November 1995 Osaka meeting.

1. Committee on Economic Trends and Issues (ETI)

In the Summary Report, APEC environmental experts call for
ETI to give “full consideration” to the
wider use of economic instruments, and reference is made to a
paper prepared by the government of
New Zealand on “Economic Instruments for Environmental
Management.” The Report requests the
ETI to suggest how it might expand its work to include
economic instruments. The ETI is also asked to
“share the experiences of member economies” on the use of
such instruments.

This paper’s recommended Action Plan for the Committee on
Economic Trends and Issues:

(ETI-1) By October 1, 1996, ETI should produce a paper
which describes the use of economic
instruments within the APEC region, and which contains
recommendations on steps governments can
take to utilize these instruments to meet three specific
challenges: global climate change, the need for
waste reduction, and sustainable forest management.

(ETI-2) Given that ETI is responsible for charting economic
trends and identifying issues, a report
should be prepared by October 1, 1996 that examines the issue
of poverty in the region and how it will
be affected by the results of the Uruguay Round of
GATT\WTO negotiations, and trade and
investment liberalization promoted by APEC. The report
should provide a country by country analysis
of the economic impacts of trade and investment in the region,
and the prospects for whether and how
these benefits can more effectively help eradicate poverty in
the APEC region.

2. Committee on Trade and Investment (CTI)

The Summary Report calls for CTI “to consider” a number of
issues including the need for harmonizing
the use of economic instruments, the elimination of subsidies,
and the “adequate provision” of
environmental infrastructure. The Report also calls for adding
questions regarding enforcement and
compliance programs of APEC members, and environmental
management standards, to existing or
future CTI APEC member surveys.

This paper’s recommended Action Plan for the Committee on
Trade and Investment:

(CTI-1) The principles for investment in the region call on
countries to avoid “relaxing” environmental
regulations in order to attract investment. This is a useful
starting point, but if countries are serious
about this pledge, mechanisms must be devised to respond to
this practice should it occur. A useful
comparison can be made to Section 1114 of the text of the
North American Free Trade Agreement
(NAFTA), and the environmental side agreement that
accompanied the NAFTA. Moreover, the
current language says nothing about moving standards in an
upward direction, or the extent to which
individual investor responsibility should be added to the mix.
By April 1, 1996, the CTI should prepare a
report which recommends specific mechanisms for adoption
by APEC governments as a means of
avoiding the creation of pollution havens in the region.

(CTI-2) With respect to economic instruments, by April 1,
1996 the CTI should provide
recommendations on identifying subsidies that impede trade
and undermine sustainable development in
the APEC region, particularly those that contribute to global
climate change, impede waste reduction,
or lead to unsustainable forest management.

3. Human Resources Development Working Group (HRD)

The Summary Report asks HRD to “consider” supporting
training in the design and application of
economic instruments, and in the area of environmental
technology. It also calls for a core coordinating
group to deal with environmental education and “information
activities” within HRD, and on the topic of
sustainable cities asks HRD to “consider building on the
concepts of sustainable cities in awareness
and education efforts.”

This paper’s recommended Action Plan for Human Resources
Development:

(HRD-1) Governments should agree to provide increased
training in the design and application of
economic instruments in resource management for
government policy advisors and business\private
sector managers, and specify the financial commitments they
are willing to make to this effort in the
APEC region.

(HRD-2) At the Osaka Ministers’ meeting, governments
should announce formation of, “A Campaign
to Promote Environmental Awareness Within the APEC
Region,” and within a year convene a
conference of environmental education experts from the
APEC countries to draw up a specific action
plan for this purpose. The campaign should address primary
and secondary school education,
community and adult education, media and the exchange and
management of information on the
environment by both governments, the private sector, and
local communities.

4. Industrial Science and Technology Working Group (IST)

The Summary Report suggests consideration of an “APEC
environmental information clearinghouse
system”; full-cost pricing of resources “to avoid distortions in
investment patterns from underpricing of
natural and physical resources”; and the development of
recommendations on the use of technology in
forming sustainable cities.

This paper’s recommended Action Plan for Industrial Science
and Technology:

(IST-1) At the Osaka Ministers’ meeting, governments should
announce the formation of an
environmental information clearinghouse which is accessible
by the public. Governments should pledge
the budgetary resources necessary to ensure that the
information is available to communities
throughout the APEC region.

(IST-2) By October 1, 1996, governments should submit a
description of policies being undertaken at
national or sub-national levels, or voluntarily by private
industry, to encourage the internalization of
environmental costs in production. Industrialized countries
should also provide a description of efforts
made to promote zero-emissions from private sector industrial
facilities. The Working Group should
issue recommendations by May 1, 1997 based on the
information it receives.

5. Regional Energy Cooperation Working Group (REC)

In the area of regional energy cooperation, the Summary
Report again encourages APEC governments
to “consider” the utilization of economic instruments to
enhance regional cooperation; to expand the
Energy Working Group’s data base to include pollution
technology inventories; and to “consider”
proposals on energy related to sustainable cities.

This paper’s recommended Action Plan for Regional Energy
Cooperation:

(REC-1) By October 1, 1996, the Working Group should
present respective national energy demand
forecasts up to the year 2010, as well as an analysis of the
extent to which investments in energy
efficiency and conservation, as well as environmentally
sustainable and renewable energy sources, can
contribute to national energy needs. A conference on
environmental sustainability and the energy
sector in the APEC region should be organized for 1997, and
should include representatives from
governments, the private sector, universities and colleges, and
non-governmental organizations.

(REC-2) By October 1, 1996, the Working Group should issue
a list of recommendations for steps
APEC governments can take to eliminate or reduce subsidies
that encourage inefficient energy use
within the APEC region and contribute to global climate
change.

6. Marine Resource Conservation Working Group (MRC)

Again, the Summary Report makes only a vague reference to
“consider” the use of economic
instruments in promoting sound marine resource conservation.

This paper’s recommended Action Plan for Marine Resources
Conservation:

(MRC-1) The key to promoting sound marine resource
conservation is to empower local communities
to better manage their coastal resources. One of the most
successful projects of this nature is the
Sustainable Coastal Area Development (SCAD) program in
the Philippines. Representatives of this
program should be invited to brief governments attending the
Osaka meeting. No later than October 1,
1996, APEC governments should report back to the working
group on Marine Resources Conservation
on measures they will undertake to encourage community
participation in the sound management and
conservation of marine resources, with a special focus on the
shrimp aquaculture industry related to
exports.

(MRC-2) As part of this effort, the working group should
report to governments on the major economic
benefits resulting from sound management of marine
resources, and a listing of the major threats
affecting such management. This report should be prepared no
later than July 1, 1996.

7. Fisheries Working Group (F)

The Summary Report again makes a vague reference to the
application of economic instruments as a
means of promoting sound fisheries management.

This paper’s recommended Action Plan for Fisheries:

(F-1) At the Osaka Ministers’ meeting, the governments
should renew their support for full
implementation of the United Nations Convention on the Law
of the Sea. APEC governments should
announce steps they will take to enhance effective
management and conservation of marine living
resources, both in the global commons as well as within
territorial waters.

(F-2) By October 1, 1996, the Working Group should issue a
set of recommendations on steps
governments can take to reduce subsidies which provide
excess capacity within national fishing fleets,
and have a negative impact on the sound maintenance of fish
stocks.

8. Tourism Working Group (TO)

The Summary report talks about the possible use of economic
instruments to encourage
environmentally sustainable growth of tourism.

This paper’s recommended Action Plan for Tourism:

(TO-1) By December 31, 1997, APEC governments should
adopt environmental impact assessment
mechanisms for tourism projects in environmental sensitive
coastal zone regions. EIAs in these areas
will be at least as strict as existing national or local
requirements and will: provide mechanisms for
public participation; consider alternatives to the projects in
question; and consider mitigation as well as
avoidance of any identified threat to the environment posed by
these projects. Again, while many
governments have an on-going EIA process, this commitment
is designed to ensure that all such
tourism projects in the APEC region will be subject to an
analysis of environmental impact prior to the
project’s authorization.

(TO-2) By October 1, 1996, the Working Group will develop
a set of recommendations on economic
instruments that can be adopted by governments to promote
environmentally sustainable tourism.

9. Transportation Working Group (TR)

The Summary Report discusses the possible application of
economic instruments that would
“encourage environmentally sustainable transport systems,”
and asks the Working Group to “consider
relating their work to the important issue of sustainable cities.”

This paper’s recommended Action Plan for Transportation:

(TR-1) By October 1, 1996, the Working Group should issue a
report on efforts made by APEC
governments to promote the use of energy efficient
automobiles, the application of fuel efficient
technologies, and measures for switching to cleaner fuels as
part of improved national transportation
policies.

(TR-2) By October 1, 1996, APEC governments should report
on their efforts to promote more
environmentally sustainable transportation systems including,
but not limited to: the promotion of bicycle
transport and other low- impact modes of transportation; the
promotion of mass transit where
applicable; and the elimination of subsidies for transportation
systems that are environmentally
unsustainable.

10. Telecommunications Working Group (TE)

The Summary Report calls for consideration of an APEC
environmental information clearinghouse
system.

This paper’s recommended Action Plan for
Telecommunications:

(TE-1) By October 1, 1996, APEC should provide a
continuous source of information of its activities
via communication networks, such as the Internet. Pertinent
data would include the timing and agenda
for upcoming APEC meetings, as well as their location, and
government contacts for the subjects that
would be covered by such meetings.

IV. The Special Role of Japan

The Osaka Ministers’ Meeting is critical to the future of
APEC, and it is entirely appropriate that the
role of host should fall to the world’s largest foreign aid donor
and one of the leading economic actors
in the Asia-Pacific region. As is customary, the role of host
provides an opportunity for the government
of Japan to announce unilateral measures that will help set the
tone for the APEC gathering. While
these measures may be domestic in intent, they could have a
great effect on the image of Japan that is
visible on the world stage. If Japan wishes to project an image
of leadership on environmental issues,
and to leave an important mark on the historical evolution of
APEC, then announcement of the
following measures in the weeks leading up to the Osaka
summit could further that goal.

First, Japan could announce internal tax reforms that would
encourage volunteerism and the growth of
non-governmental organizations. The recent and tragic
earthquake in Kobe demonstrated that private
voluntary organizations can play a valuable role in responding
to emergency situations and mobilizing
public support for rebuilding efforts. What is true in
emergencies is also true in the long-
term–non-governmental organizations can assist society by
doing things that governments and the
private sector cannot. In the area of sustainable development,
NGOs can play a valuable role in public
education and encouraging citizen participation in the
construction of sustainable cities and towns.

In most other industrialized countries, and many developing
countries, these organizations receive a
great deal of public support through charitable contributions.
Unfortunately, in Japan the tax code
makes it difficult for NGOs to receive public contributions.
By announcing a change in current tax law
to encourage volunteerism in areas like environmental
protection, Japan can send a very important
signal both domestically, and to other countries of the APEC
region, about the important role of private
voluntary organizations.

Second, while Japan has made admirable progress in dealing
with environmental issues such as
pollution, it has not done as well in the area of nature
conservation. This is particularly true in the array
of river diversion, flood control, and port development
projects that are now under consideration or
underway in Japan. The Hakata Bay port development project,
Nagara and Nibutani dam projects, and
Chitose river diversion project in Hokkaido are all vivid
examples of projects undertaken with little or
no consideration of their impact on natural resources.

Thus, in a second important initiative, the government could
announce that it intends to make
environmental impact assessments mandatory for all major
public and private projects, especially those
which raise natural resource concerns. This idea has been
under discussion for some time and has
been identified by legal experts as a gap to be filled in Japan’s
safety net of environmental protection
laws. An announcement of this further step would be
extremely useful within Japan, and also for the
message that it sends to other APEC countries.

Finally, Japan has taken the lead in APEC to promote
sustainable cities. It has tabled several papers
during APEC experts’ meetings, and given its full support to
the United Nations Environment
Programme’s International Environmental Technology Centre
in Kyoto, Japan, to serve as an
information center for urban environmental problems. These
are important measures of support that
have lent credence to the concept of sustainable cities, both
within Japan and abroad.

However, these measures fall far short of an action plan that
can be put in place in Japan, and for that
matter throughout the Asia-Pacific region. If Japan is serious
about the promotion of sustainable cities,
a third unilateral initiative that could be announced in the run-
up to the Osaka meeting would be the
announcement of a national meeting on sustainable cities that
would produce a domestic plan of action
for changing the current unsustainable patterns of urban
development. This national meeting, which
should involve representatives from cities across Japan, can
build on initiatives that are already
underway from Fukuoka to Obihiro, and in several other cities
and towns in between. The action plan
that could develop from the meeting should focus on basic
issues like water and energy use and the
promotion of green areas and conservation of resources
utilized by cities. Stakeholders that should
participate in the meeting, and development of the action plan,
would include individuals and
environmental groups, as well as the private sector and local,
regional and national governments.

Given its leadership on this issue, Japan might also call on the
other countries of APEC to convene
similar national meetings, and report back to the APEC
Ministers meeting in 1996.

V. Conclusion

As noted above, the Osaka Ministers’ meeting will mark an
historical turning point in the evolution of
APEC; it also provides a unique opportunity for Japan to
determine the image that it intends to project
on the world stage. Sustainable development is a critical
challenge in the Asia-Pacific region, and
success in achieving it will not happen automatically. APEC is
broken in this regard, and the Osaka
meeting may be one of the last chances for repair.

By putting proposals on the table now, non-governmental
organizations, as well as the private sector
and APEC governments, can help fashion a meaningful plan
of action for sustainable development in
the region. Failure to do so, and resorting only to the usual
complement of alternative forums that
surround summits of this kind, will probably result in APEC
continuing the course that it is now on,
where environmental concerns are more of an afterthought
rather than an essential element of how to
pursue sustainable development in Asia and the Pacific.

In that regard, perhaps the most fitting conclusion to this
paper is to close with the following excerpts
from the APEC Leaders Economic Vision Statement which
was adopted when they met in November
1993:

…We envision a community of Asia Pacific economies in
which…our environment is improved as we
protect the quality of our air, water and green spaces and
manage our energy sources and renewable
resources to ensure sustainable growth and provide a more
secure future for our people…We
recognize this vision will become a reality only if we work
together actively to achieve it. We are
convinced we can succeed.


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