Jakarta (ANTARA) – Asean Secretary-General Surin Pitsuwan launched the inaugural Asec Brown Bag Series at the Asean Secretariat here on Friday.
The Asec Brown Bag Series is a forum provided by the Asean Secretariat to raise awareness of Asean`s initiatives among its staff, government officials and the public at large. It also serves as a venue to share ideas and insights on key issues facing the region and generate public interest in the activities of the Asean Secretariat in an informal setting, the Asean Secretariat said in a statement.
Surin said “the intention of the Series is to raise the awareness of issues pertinent to Asean. It is called Brown Bag Series to emphasize the informal setting to facilitate active and free-flowing exchange of views and ideas between key individuals in the areas of interest to Asean and the staff of the Asean Secretariat, as well as government officials and the public.”
“As a regional inter-governmental organisation bringing together nearly all areas of policy-making in the region, Asean is well placed to support the alignment of policies for Asean integration,” he added.
The first in the Series on “Climate Change and Deforestation: What Role for the New Asean?” was organised in collaboration with the Asean-German Regional Forest Programme (ReFOP). The guest speaker was Nur Masripatin, Secretary of the Forest Research and Development Agency of the Ministry of Forestry, Indonesia.
Nur Masripatin said the Reduced Emission from Deforestation and Forest Degradation (REDD) scheme could help to conserve forests in the region and reduce greenhouse gas emissions. “The REDD scheme requires strong coordination between the different sectors and levels of governance, and cooperation with the research institutions. To have a greater and wider impact, Asean should consider adopting such mitigation strategy to climate change and take the lead in the REDD process”, she said.
With the growing adverse effects of climate change, economic progress in the region will be hampered unless innovative solutions are introduced region-wide. One main objective of this first forum is to arrive at a better understanding of the kind of policy coordination and integration that will be required in both the forest and environment policies in order to mitigate the risks of climate change.
More Asec Brown Bag Series will be organised in the coming months as the Asean Secretariat intensifies its public outreach efforts. (*)