In November 1998, the Norwegian Agency for Development Cooperation (NORAD) designated UNEP EAP.AP to implement a project on Strengthening National Capabilities on Environment Assessment and Monitoring towards the Preparation of the Global State of the Environment Report 2000, focusing on two Asia-Pacific subregions, namely South Asian and the Greater Mekong Subregions. Specifically, the following seven countries are covered: Bangladesh, Bhutan, Maldives, Nepal, Sri Lanka, Lao PDR, and Vietnam.
The goal of this project is to strengthen the capacity of and assist national governments in establishing strong information technology base for data processing, modelling and analysis requirements that supports SoE assessments and reporting, and improve the basis for decision making in the handling of important/emerging environment problems. The Project shall assist in preparing national and regional SoE reports which shall be a contribution to "2002 Global State of Environment Report" and "2002 Earth Summit". Finally, it aims to set in motion a continuous and regular assessment process in the region to facilitate the decision making process.
Outputs: Handbook on preparation of an SoE report
National SoE reports for all 7 countries
South Asia Regional SoE Report
South Asia Youth SoE Report
4 SoE reports on Internet
Trained staff (on SoE Database and Reporting) at Key National Institutions
1. Inception Meeting
Three separate Inception Meetings were organized to initiate the implementation of the SEAMCAP Project in South Asia, Lao PDR and Vietnam, in April 1999. Participants to the meetings included representatives from the National Environment Agencies, the Collaborating Centres, ICIMOD, SACEP, UNEP, and an independent regional advisor.
2. Preparation of the National SoE Reports( for Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Nepal, Sri Lanka)
UNEP EAP.AP has established Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with each designated Local Government agencies, referred to as the National Focal Points, for the preparation of National SoE Reports which includes support for SoE data collection, and provision of Hardware/Software and Training on SoE Reporting:
Science, Technology and Environment Agency (STEA), Lao PDR
Ministry of Forestry and Environment (MoFE), Sri Lanka
National Environment Agency (NEA), Vietnam
Ministry of Population and Environment (MoPE), Nepal
Ministry of Home Affairs, Housing and Environment (MHAHE), Maldives
Department of Environment (DoE), Bangladesh
National Environment Commission (NEC), Bhutan
In collaboration with the National Focal Points, UNEP EAP.AP established Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the following Local Collaborating Centres for the purpose of assisting the National Focal Points with the preparation of SoE reports:
Thailand Environment Institute (TEI) for the Lao PDR SoE Report
DEMA Consultants for the Sri Lanka SoE Report
Centre for Environmental Engineering of Towns and Industrial Areas (CEETIA) for the Vietnam SoE Report
International Centre for Integrated Mountain Development (ICIMOD) for the Nepal SoE Report
Bangladesh Centre for Advance Studies (BCAS) for the Bangladesh SoE Report
Tata Energy Research Institute for the Bhutan SoE Report
MoUs with the national focal points and collaborating centers in South Asia are being implemented in collaboration with SACEP. The SoE reports are launched invarious occassions and meetings.
3. Regional and National Training on SoE Database and Reporting
The Regional and National Training on SoE Database and Reporting were conducted with the objective of training the designated officials on the overall principles of SoE reporting, conceptual framework for SoE database development, environmental data standards, environmental trend analysis, statistical concepts for data analysis, database management, and country report preparation.
The officials trained in the Regional workshops, in consultation with national focal point, took the lead role in arranging and facilitating the in-country SoE training with assistance from the UNEP RRC.AP resource persons.
All training were organized in collaboration with the National Focal Agencies, ICIMOD and SACEP. List of Conducted Training to Date à hypertext linking to the existing list of Training under SoE
4. SoE Data and Information collection
During the in-country SoE Training, the participants have developed the mechanism for completing the SoE Database using the standard RRC.AP indicators/parameters. The data collection had been carried out in each country and was completed by February 2000. Data and Information collected included:
a. Collection of environmental (ie. land, forest, water, atmosphere, biodiversity and coastal and marine resources) and socio-economic data and information based on the SoE database framework, and
b. Compilation of relevant literature (ie. reports, handbooks, CDs, journals, etc.) on the mentioned issues
5. Preparation of the South Asia SoE Report-Policy Makers and Youth version
UNEP RRC.AP has established an agreement with the Development Alternatives for the preparation of the South Asia SoE report, in collaboration with SACEP. The process of preparation of the South Asia SoE report commenced on February 2000. Both the policy makers and youth version South Asia SoE were officially launched and disseminated on 21 jan 2003 in SACEP Governing Council.
6. Preparation of SoE Handbook
The Handbook on SoE reporting will be a source book to help move towards greater harmonization of environmental information and assessment through development and encouragement of common approaches, practices, and terminology at national and sub-regional level. The aim of the Guidebook/manual is to assist the national and subregional institutions to prepare the integrated SoE report. Both reports are expected to be launched by mid-2003.
7. Training on Electronic SoE Reporting
User-friendly, indicator-based SoE report for 4 countries (2 countries from South Asia and 2 countries from GMS region) will be made available on internet with technical assistance from GRID-Arendal. Professional staff from ICIMOD, SACEP and MRC, as well as EAP.AP, Bangkok received a one week intensive training, 20-24 August 2001, by UNEP/GRID-Arendal in generating and disseminating electronic SoE products for subsequent training of member countries in the region.