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Workshop on Inter-Linkages, Synergies and Coordination among Multilateral Environmental Agreements
26-27 February 2001, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia


Interlinkages Summary Report 26-27 February 2001, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia  

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Interlinkages Summary Report 14-16 July 1999, Tokyo, Japan  

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More meeting photos at ENB Inter-Linkages Snapshots Archive: | FEB 26 |

Highlights from Tuesday, 27 February

Final Plenary:

Following the presentation of the five working group reports in Plenary on Tuesday afternoon, 27 February, a panel comprised of the working group chairs and other experts discussed challenges faced and lessons learned in the working group deliberations and then responded to questions from the floor.

Chair Zakri Hamid (2nd Right), UNU/IAS, noted the need to highlight the examples and best practices raised within the working group discussions, and specifically emphasized the themes of communication, outreach and awareness as well as case studies.He also highlighted the need for case studies to further explore tangible inter-linkages. Raman Letchumanan (far right), ASEAN Secretariat, highlighted the institutional framework of the ASEAN Secretariat, including annual meetings of environment ministers and officials. He also listed working groups addressing MEA and coastal management issues, while noting that there are few project activities within such groups. Letchumanan then emphasized the potential role of the ASEAN Secretariat in providing input to and coordinating regional projects, while cautioning that such projects be country-driven.


Jacques Mougeot, SPREP, highlighted SPREPís strong regional framework and conventions and its action plan to implement regional conventions. He noted difficulties with synergies and expressed satisfaction with the inter-linkages initiative in moving toward concrete solutions. Mougeot noted the difficulties in projecting the Pacificís voice into the global scene and in this regard expressed satisfaction with the Pacific Islands Case Study outcomes 

Willem Wijnstekers
, Executive Secretary, CITES Secretariat, noted MEAs deal with not only the same issues but also use the same tools and said we must link according to issue clusters and use the same tools to avoid unnecessary costs. He advocated use of the Internet to coordinate training rather than holding an excessive number of training workshops

Ibarahim highlighted a recommendation that MEA Secretariats work together to identify needs of developing countries, especially within clusters of agreements relating to biodiversity and chemicals


Peter Gilruth (left), Hari Srinivas (right) and several other participants, highlighted the need to develop synergies with poverty alleviation, health and other development needs. One participant noted that donors often take thematic over synergistic approaches. Another highlighted the need to integrate MEA commitments within national policy frameworks, identify funding synergies within development assistance frameworks, and develop demonstration projects (e.g., on forest fire prevention in Southeast Asia to address climate, biodiversity, transboundary pollution and health issues).

Closing Remarks:

W. Bradnee Chambers, UNU/IAS, highlighted lessons learned from the meeting. He noted that discussions addressed the different dimensions of synergies and inter-linkages and that, while these were found to be complex, it has been seen that there are entry points at different levels. He noted an increased understanding of entry points at the regional and national level. Chambers said there is a clear need for an assessment to be done on how the conventions are integrated and implemented, and the need to do case studies has been identified. The meeting also showed synergies can be approached on the basis of clusters, tools, human health, an ecosystem approach and a bio-regional perspective. He stressed the specific value to UNUís work of the outputs from the working group on multi-stakeholder partnership and participation. 

Jerry Velasquez, UNU, highlighted UNUís strategy, action plan and mandate. He underscored UNUís role in developing and understanding inter-linkages, promoting an understanding among stakeholders of the inter-linkages initiative, and promoting implementation at the international, national, and regional level. He identified follow-up activities as the launch of the case studies, the conference report, a mailing list to provide information on upcoming activities, and three follow-up meetings: the global thematic in Tokyo in July 2001, the 2nd International Conference in July 2002, and Rio+10. He also identified this report by the International Institute for Sustainable Development and various other outputs from UNU.

Honorable Zakri Hamid thanked panel members, speakers and participants. He said it has been an enriching experience and formally closed the meeting.


Internet Resources and Other Relevant Information

Global Environment Information Centre Background to the Issues of Synergies and Coordination
United Nations University

Documents for the Interlinkages Meeting

ISIS Malaysia Multilateral Environmental Agreements (MEA) Infopaedia

Past IISD Coverage

Interlinkages Conference 14-16 July 1999, Tokyo, Japan

ÔŅĹ2001, IISD. All rights reserved.

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