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Cablegate: Asean Focus On Environment, Climate Change Increasing

VZCZCXRO1761
RR RUEHCHI RUEHDT RUEHHM
DE RUEHJA #2643 2620914
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
R 190914Z SEP 07
FM AMEMBASSY JAKARTA
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC 6345
INFO RUEHZS/ASSOCIATION OF SOUTHEAST ASIAN NATIONS
RUEATRS/DEPT OF TREASURY WASHINGTON DC
RUEHKO/AMEMBASSY TOKYO 0822
RUEHBJ/AMEMBASSY BEIJING 4325
RUEHBY/AMEMBASSY CANBERRA 1209
RUEHUL/AMEMBASSY SEOUL 4205
RUEAIIA/CIA WASHDC
RHEHNSC/NSC WASHDC

UNCLAS JAKARTA 002643

SIPDIS

SENSITIVE
SIPDIS

DEPT FOR EAP/MTS, EAP/RSP
USFS FOR CMACKIE
USTR FOR MLINSCOTT, DBROOKS
USAID FOR CBARBER, MMELNICK
DEPT FOR OES/IET and OES/ETC
NSC FOR CEQ CONNAUGHTON, VAN DYKE

E.O. 12598: N/A
TAGS: SENV EAID ECON PGOV ID
REF: A) JAKARTA 2550 B) JAKARTA 2450 C) JAKARTA 2336
SUBJECT: ASEAN FOCUS ON ENVIRONMENT, CLIMATE CHANGE INCREASING

1. (SBU) ASEAN activity and programs on environmental issues,
including climate change and illegal logging, is on the rise. ASEAN
is focusing more on the environment during its 40-year anniversary
and in the run-up to the 13th Conference of the Parties of the
UNFCCC (COP 13) in Bali this December. ASEAN is likely to issue at
least one landmark ministerial statement on forest law enforcement
and governance prior to November's 13th ASEAN Summit in Singapore.
The theme of this year's Summit is "Energy, Environment, Climate
Change and Sustainable Development", and officials expect additional
statements at the leader and ministerial level during the Summit to
add impetus to ASEAN activity on these issues.

2. (SBU) In recent conversations, ASEAN officials admit that ASEAN
has done little to address illegal logging at the regional level
(reftel A). However, ASEAN Ministers of Agriculture and Forestry
(AMAF) may issue a "Bangkok Declaration on Strengthening Forest Law
Enforcement and Governance (FLEG) in ASEAN" when they meet in
Bangkok from October 29-November 1. The draft Bangkok Declaration
calls for strengthening forest law enforcement and governance as "a
collaborative mechanism to address illegal logging and its
associated trade". This specific reference to illegal logging will
be the first for such a high-level ASEAN meeting. ASEAN Senior
Officials on Forestry (ASOF) prepared and reviewed the draft at
their 10th Meeting in Vientiane, Lao PDR, during July 2007,
following discussions on the topic the year before in Bali.

3. (U) The Joint Communique of the 40th ASEAN Ministerial Meeting
(AMM) in Manila, July 29-30, 2007, included strong language on the
environment and climate change. The Communique anticipated ASEAN
leaders signing a "Declaration on Environmental Sustainability" at
November's Summit. It also acknowledged a proposed "Singapore
Declaration on the Environment" that Leaders will issue during the
3rd East Asia Summit (EAS) in Singapore this November, and called on
the international community to support a successful COP 13. These
statements could incorporate common positions on climate change
issues in advance of COP 13. Ministers at the 10th Informal ASEAN
Ministerial Meeting on the Environment in Bangkok, September 5-7,
reiterated these points, noting that the Singapore Declaration will
be on climate change, energy and the environment.

4. (SBU) ASEAN officials point out that concrete action on issues
often gathers momentum only after ASEAN ministers or leaders make
these sorts of declarations. By doing so, they provide the
necessary public political backing for regional initiatives and
programs. In this context, ASEAN and Government of Indonesia (GOI)
officials have recently noted that initiating a regional process or
dialogue on illegal logging could be easier after this coming
November, in apparent reference to the Bangkok Declaration and other
similar political statements at the ASEAN Summit and EAS (reftel A).
A Singaporean diplomat in Jakarta told us that the GOI has not yet
approached Singapore or ASEAN for specific support on COP 13 or
initiatives like the "Forestry Eight" or Coral Triangle Initiative
(reftel B and C). He noted that this could change during and
immediately following the upcoming summits in Singapore, where
Indonesia could start to lobby for ASEAN support for specific
climate change and forestry policies.


HUME

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