ASEAN Senior Officials on the Environment (ASOEN)

DENR Secretary Roy Cimatu (6th from right) and Undersecretary Jonas Leones (2nd from right) pose with ASEAN senior environment officials at the 28th ASOEN held in Manila, Philippines on 26 July 2017. [DENR SCIS]

In 1989, the ASEAN Senior Officials on the Environment (ASOEN) was formed to support the AMME. The ASOEN was formerly the ASEAN Experts Group on the Environment (AEGE) under the ASEAN Committee on Science and Technology (COST). The ASOEN consists of Deputy Ministers or Undersecretaries of the Environment Ministries. The ASOEN has subsidiary bodies or working groups, namely:
- ASEAN Working Group on Climate Change (AWGCC)
- ASEAN Working Group on Chemicals and Waste (AWGCW)
- ASEAN Working Group on Coastal and Marine Environment (AWGCME)
- ASEAN Working Group on Environmental Education (AWGEE)
- ASEAN Working Group on Environmentally Sustainable Cities (AWGESC)
- ASEAN Working Group on Nature Conservation and Biodiversity (AWGNCB)
- ASEAN Working Group on Water Resources Management (AWGWRM)

The ASOEN and its subsidiary bodies meet yearly to supervise the implementation of the ASEAN Socio-Cultural Community (ASCC) Blueprint 2025 and the ASEAN Strategic Plan for Environment (ASPEN), the latter being under current deliberation.
Focal Office:
DENR Central Office
Established 1989
Focal Persons:
Undersecretary for Policy, Planning and International Affairs, DENR
Tel. No. (632) 928 1186

Assistant Secretary for Field Operations - Visayas, DENR
Tel. No. (632) 920 2212, 925 2339, 929 6626 loc 2176
The ASCC Blueprint 2025 is the guiding framework of ASEAN cooperation on the environment, with the vision, 'an ASEAN Community that engages and benefits the peoples and is inclusive, sustainable, resilient, and dynamic.' Under the Blueprint's characteristic of 'Sustainable' are the following key result areas and corresponding strategic measures that the AMS, including the Philippines, are expected to do:
- Strengthen regional cooperation to protect, restore and promote sustainable use of terrestrial ecosystems resources, combat desertification, halt biodiversity loss, and halt and reverse land degradation.
- Promote cooperation for the protection, restoration and sustainable use of the coastal and marine environment, respond and deal with the risk of pollution and threats to the marine ecosystem and coastal environment, particularly in ecologically sensitive areas.
- Adopt good management practices and strengthen policies to address the impact of development projects on coastal and international waters and transboundary environmental issues, including pollution, illegal movement and disposal of hazardous substances and waste, and in doing so, utilize existing regional and international institutions and agreements.
- Enhance policy and capacity development and best practices to conserve, develop and sustainably manage marine, wetlands, peatlands, biodiversity, and land and water resources.
- Promote capacity building in a continuous effort to have sustainable management of ecosystems and natural resources.
- Promote cooperation on environmental management towards sustainable use of ecosystems and natural resources through environmental education, community engagement and public outreach.
- Strengthen global and regional partnerships and support the implementation of relevant international agreements and frameworks.
- Promote the role of the ASEAN Centre for Biodiversity as the centre of excellence in conservation and sustainable use of biodiversity.
- Support the full implementation of the Strategic Plan for Biodiversity 2011-2020 and the Aichi Targets.

Since environmental issues cut across several sectors, the AMME, ASOEN and their working groups coordinate with relevant ASEAN sectoral bodies and with dialogue/development partners. For example, forestry and agriculture concerns are handled by the ASEAN Ministers for Agriculture and Forestry; mining and minerals are handled by the ASEAN Ministerial Meeting on Minerals while the ASEAN Ministers on Energy Meeting tackles energy issues. These three fall under the ASEAN Economic Community while AMME and ASOEN fall under the ASEAN Socio-Cultural Community.
Sources / Relevant Links:


The 29th ASOEN meeting and related conferences with dialogue partners were held in Singapore on 13-17 August 2018. With Singapore as Chairman of ASEAN, the overarching theme of the meeting was aligned with ASEAN's 2018 theme, "Resilience and Innovation." The meeting unanimously approved the nomination of four national parks/reserves, including the Philippines' Agusan Marsh Wildlife Sanctuary, to become one of the ASEAN Heritage Parks. The meeting also endorsed the Draft ASEAN Declaration on Biodiversity for presentation in COP14 of the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) and the draft ASEAN Declaration on Climate Change prepared for COP24 of the UNFCCC and the Framework for Cooperation between ASEAN and the Mekong River Commission. The ASEAN Member States also agreed on how to address emerging environmental issues such as marine plastic waste and green financing cooperation proposals and the communication strategy on environmental cooperation. Proposals on the 6th ASEAN State of the Environment Report (SOER6), Knowledge Management and Strategic Communication on ASEAN Cooperation on environment, green financing opportunities and setting measurable targets on marine debris in ASEAN were also reviewed.
Also discussed were the following: the drafting of a Collaborative Work Programme for the ASEAN Institute for Green Economy, the report on the Monitoring and Evaluation of the ASEAN Socio-Cultural Community Blueprint 2025, the initiatives of ASEAN 51 Chair Singapore in organizing the Special ASEAN Ministerial Meeting on Climate Action and the ASEAN Smart City Network and the proposed initiatives of Thailand as ASEAN Chair 52 on strengthening cooperation within ASEAN and its Dialogue Partners in reducing marine debris and marine litter in the region, enhancing cooperation in combating illegal wildlife trafficking in AMS, which fall under the ASEAN Senior Officials on Forestry and the ASEAN Ministerial Meeting on Agriculture and Forestry.
The ASOEN meeting was followed by the 12th ASEAN-Japan Dialogue on Environmental Cooperation, the 15th ASEAN Plus 3 Environment Ministers Meeting (ASEAN + 3 SOME 15), the 3rd Officials Meeting for the 5th East Asia Summit on Environment Ministers Meeting (EAS-OM 5), the 20th Governing Board of the ACB, the 1st Programme Steering Committee (PSC) Meeting for the EU-ASEAN Biodiversity Conservation and Management of Protected Areas in ASEAN (BCAMP) and the 4th PSC Meeting for the ACB German Cooperation Projects.
The 28th ASOEN meeting was held in Manila, Philippines, on 26 to 27 July 2017. It was hosted by the Philippines, being Chair of the 50th Anniversary of ASEAN in 2017. Mr. Lonkham Atsanavong, Director-General of the Department of Environmental Quality Promotion, Ministry of Natural Resources, Lao PDR served as ASOEN chair. The meeting unanimously elected Atty. Jonas Leones, DENR Undersecretary for Planning, Policy and International Affairs, as vice-chairperson of the Meeting. The Environment Senior Officials discussed the draft ASEAN Joint Statement on Climate Change, the ASEAN-EU Joint Statement on Climate Change and the draft ASPEN. The Meeting agreed that the following documents will be submitted to the 14th AMME for adoption/ endorsement: (1) Nomination of Kepulauan Seribu National Park and Wakatobi National Park, both in Indonesia as 39th and 40th ASEAN Heritage Parks; (2)ASEAN-UN Work Plan on Environment and Climate Change (3) Draft revised TORs of ASOEN and the following ASOEN working groups: AWGNCB, AWGCME, AWGWRM, AWGESC, AWGCC, AWGCW and AWGEE; (4) draft ASEAN-China Environmental Cooperation Action Plan (2016-2020); (5) Final Draft ASEAN Joint Statement on Climate Change 2017 (endorsement for adoption of the leaders); (6) Final Draft 5th ASEAN State of Environment Report; (7) 4th ASEAN Environmentally Sustainable Cities Award and Certificates of Recognition; and the (8) Final Draft ASEAN Strategic Plan on Environment (ASPEN). The Meeting was held back-to-back with the 11th ASEAN-Japan Dialogue on Environmental Cooperation, the 14th ASEAN+3 Environment Ministers Meeting (ASEAN + 3 SOME 14) and the 2rd East Asia Summit on Environment (EASOM 5).
The 27th ASOEN meeting took place in Nay Pyi Taw, Myanmar from 3 to 4 August, 2016. The senior officials reviewed the progress of the programs/projects in the ASEAN environmental cooperation framework and with dialogue partners in the fields handled by the working groups. Two documents discussed and approved at the meeting to represent the views of ASEAN Community include the ASEAN Joint Statement on Climate Change which was supposed to be read at the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change COP22 in Marrakech, Morocco in November 2016 and the ASEAN Joint Statement on Biodiversity to be read at the 13th meeting of the Conference of the Parties to the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD COP-13) in Cancun, Mexico in December 2016. This meeting was held back-to-back with the 38th Governing Board Meeting of the ASEAN Centre for Biodiversity (ACB).
This Page was updated on 16 December 2019 and will be updated on 10 December 2020
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