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Cablegate: East Asia Esth Hub Work Plan for Fy09

VZCZCXRO3117
PP RUEHCHI RUEHDT RUEHHM RUEHPB
DE RUEHBK #3388/01 3230004
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
P 180004Z NOV 08
FM AMEMBASSY BANGKOK
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 5072
INFO RUEHKL/AMEMBASSY KUALA LUMPUR 7439
RUEHJA/AMEMBASSY JAKARTA 7000
RUEHPB/AMEMBASSY PORT MORESBY 0737
RUEHDT/AMEMBASSY DILI 0641
RUEHBY/AMEMBASSY CANBERRA 9207
RUEHKO/AMEMBASSY TOKYO 1188
RUEHSV/AMEMBASSY SUVA 0375
RUEHBD/AMEMBASSY BANDAR SERI BEGAWAN 3368
RUEHGO/AMEMBASSY RANGOON 5381
RUEHPF/AMEMBASSY PHNOM PENH 2722
RUEHUL/AMEMBASSY SEOUL 5062
RUEHVN/AMEMBASSY VIENTIANE 5195
RUEHUM/AMEMBASSY ULAANBAATAR 0616
RUEHML/AMEMBASSY MANILA 0432
RUEHGP/AMEMBASSY SINGAPORE 4994
RUEHHI/AMEMBASSY HANOI 7179
RUEHKT/AMEMBASSY KATHMANDU 7443
RUEHHM/AMCONSUL HO CHI MINH CITY 0842
RUEHCHI/AMCONSUL CHIANG MAI 5852
RUEHJA/AMCONSUL SURABAYA 0065
RUEHHK/AMCONSUL HONG KONG 4857
RUEHIN/AIT TAIPEI 8976
RUCPDOC/DEPT OF COMMERCE WASHINGTON DC
RUEHC/DEPT OF INTERIOR WASHINGTON DC
RUEAWJL/DEPT OF JUSTICE WASHINGTON DC

UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 06 BANGKOK 003388

SIPDIS

EAP for AWYCKOFF,WBEHN; OES/PCI for NFITE, EROSE
DEPT FOR USAID/EGAT for BBEST, CBARBER; COMMERCE for NOAA; INTERIOR
for USGS, USFWS

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: SENV EAID AMGT SENV TH
SUBJECT: EAST ASIA ESTH HUB WORK PLAN FOR FY09

Ref: State 97800

1. Summary: This cable sets out the East Asian Regional
Environmental Officer's ("Hub") work plan for FY09. In accordance
with OES and EAP priorities the Hub will focus on three areas of
science diplomacy: clean energy, public health and conservation of
natural resources combined with law enforcement and sustainable
fisheries. The Hub will also support scientific and technological
collaboration, educational exchange opportunities, and support
climate change initiatives throughout the hub's 16 nations,
coordinating with the Suva Hub and Washington. The hub will
concentrate its efforts on posts with low ESTH staffing and on four
high profile regional projects: the Coral Triangle Initiative, the
ASEAN Wildlife Enforcement Network, the Heart of Borneo Initiative,
and the Mekong River Commission. End Summary.

2. The East Asia Hub encompasses 16 nations: Brunei, Burma,
Cambodia, China, East Timor, Indonesia, Japan, South Korea, North
Korea, Laos, Malaysia, Mongolia, Philippines, Singapore, Thailand,
and Vietnam. Some of the posts at these nations have large ESTH
sections, such as China, Japan and Indonesia, while others have only
part-time ESTH officers. The Hub's principal strategies are to
address East Asian trans-border ESTH issues, coordinate interagency
work and support ESTH officers at the East Asian posts, particularly
those posts where the ESTHoff is not a full time ESTH officer, for
example Timor Leste, Laos, Brunei and Mongolia. The hub will also
work more closely with the SE Asia mainland countries, due to
generally small ESTH sections and the many transnational issues.
Around one third of hub work will be on bilateral ESTH issues in
Thailand. For both bilateral and hub work, the Hub has one FSO and
one FSN; an EFM assistant is expected to start work soon.

3. Energy security is one of the highest priorities for this region.
Nearly one-third of world's population producing about one-quarter
of the global GDP is in this region, which threatens sustainable
economic development. The Hub will work to help the region reduce
the activities that could be causing harmful climate change, develop
conservation of irreplaceable resources and the development of
sustainable economies with clean energy. East Asia will play a
major, possibly predominant, role in determining the future course
of the world's economy and in maintaining international peace and
stability. Bangkok is the perfect hub for East Asia, as a number of
USG agencies maintain regional offices there: USAID, CDC, the Army
medical research unit AFRIMS and others. Several influential ESTH
NGOs also maintain regional offices, as well as international
governmental and financial institutions. By working closely with
the action officers and leaders of these organizations, the Hub will
be able to coordinate Washington policy with these agencies. The
presence of the International Law Enforcement Academy (ILEA) is a
natural site for regional enforcement conferences. Outlined below
are goals, objectives and the focus areas requested in Reftel.

4. CLEAN ENERGY
- Hydropower on the Mekong River - support transparency and
mitigation of environmental effects, considering many dams now back
on the planning table and limited ESTH time by posts in the Mekong
area. Draft cable on regional effects and need for transparency;
encourage research; coordinate USG and international efforts.
Success will be transparent hydropower decisions and dams with
reduced environmental impact. Engage with International
Organizations (the Mekong River Commission, the World Bank, and the
Asia Development Bank), national agencies (the Electricity

BANGKOK 00003388 002 OF 006


Generating Authority of Thailand and others), developers,
financiers, and others on the issues of transparency and a regional,
multi-disciplinary and integrative approach to hydropower
development that considers food security and natural resource
conservation.
- Air quality - improved air quality in the area's problem cities,
for example Ulaanbaatar. Bring USG expertise and best practices to
bear in support of ESTHoffs in constituent posts. Seek scientific
exchanges with agencies such as EPA. After assessment in some posts
with less attention, such as Mongolia, Hub will seek scientific
exchanges with agencies such as EPA and Embassy Science fellows.

5. PUBLIC HEALTH:
- The Hub interacts with the various regional agencies in Bangkok:
CDC, AFRIMS, APHIS and USAID. Hub will explore and synthesize
common trends in the various diseases that agencies are studying
independently.
- Avian Influenza, still a dominant health and economic issue in the
region; with new stages identified in outbreak analysis, work to get
posts to develop revised tripwires; success will be revised
tripwires at constituent posts. Continue chairing Pandemic task
force at Embassy Bangkok.
- HIV/AIDS, TB, Malaria, Dengue, Hoof and Mouth and other infectious
diseases - from recent conference attendance it appeared that
counterproductive behaviors (HIV/AIDS) and inexorable trends
(mega-urbanization) are making pandemic risks for many diseases
greater than ever. Hub will support and publicize the USG
interagency efforts through cable reporting and press releases. Seek
funding for Dengue research, currently low.
- Publicize the Regional Emerging Diseases Intervention Centre
(REDI) in Singapore, a new organization. Work to integrate its work
with U.S. agencies such as CDC, and promote exchanges.
- From attendance at recent conferences, Hub notes many disease
researchers today have little experience in program management;
identify and disseminate training opportunities for researchers.
Success will be organization of new training for researchers in
constituent nations.

6. NATURAL RESOURCE CONSERVATION WITH SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT:
- Coordinate and support regional conservation initiatives: Coral
Triangle Initiative (CTI), Heart of Borneo, Mekong River Commission
and others. Success will include increased hectares of well-managed
protected areas with improvement of livelihoods based on natural
resources.
- At least one enforcement training event organized during the work
plan year, using the ILEA Bangkok facility. With recent changes to
the Lacey Act, prepare outreach materials or organization of a
seminar at ILEA on extension of plant products to USG CITES
enforcement. Success will be successful enforcement of Lacey Act,
particularly for plants.
- Support and report on upcoming regional Wild Cat conference;
encourage any new members wanted by the Coalition Against Wildlife
Trafficking (Thailand and Malaysia), with a new member as a success
metric. Bridge the ASEAN-WEN and CAWT networks if both organizations
are interested.
- Support ASEAN Wildlife Enforcement Network (WEN) and work for
increased enforcement successes, and SECEN, Asian Environmental
Compliance and Enforcement Network (with USAID), trying to enlist
more members. Success measured in increased arrests. NGOs warn of
capacity and commitment challenges with AESEAN-WEN; Hub will visit
ASEAN-WEN officials with ESTHoffs and stress importance of
government commitment. Most importantly, work through ESTHoffs to

BANGKOK 00003388 003 OF 006


interact with ASEAN nations to fund the program that USAID is now
largely funding.
- Fisheries enforcement - develop use of ILEA for training event for
CTI and other interested nations.
- Thailand - resolve current issue with export of farm-raised
Siamese crocodile through interaction with Thai actors and USF&WS;
farmers need to enhance recovery of wild population. Use success in
facilitating trade with conservation to model for other posts.
- Monitor and support execution CTI State grant Three Regional
Grants monitoring: Thailand/Laos (wetlands management), Malaysia
(global environment center) and Vietnam (Regional cooperation for
NGOs). Success will be the number of people receiving effective
training from these programs, and measurement of the activities the
trained persons carried out.

7. SCIENCE & TECHNOLOGY:
- Foster S&T exchanges, scholarships, visits to the U.S.; look for
opportunities and increase the number of placements. This is a
dominant theme of all S&T meetings so far; scientists complain of
less USG opportunities compared to other nations. Success will be
increased or new exchanges or scholarships. ASEAN University Network
will be focus.
- Leverage the USGS's DRAGON project in the Mekong Delta as a model
for multi-disciplinary science and technology collaboration,
including its digital library and public-private sector
partnerships. (Explore use of data base as model for public
outreach and other data sharing situations, such as CTI).
- Investigate participation by constituent posts in GLOBE science
education program; if GLOBE program has faltered or never got
started, coordinate GLOBE materials to post and share best
practices. Success will be increased use of GLOBE program.
- Genetically Modified Organisms - use public outreach to explain
U.S. policy and dispel misinformation. Facilitate scientific
exchanges. Success measured by increased U.S. exports and reduction
in negative view of the U.S. caused by this issue.


8. REGIONAL COOPERATION PROJECTS:
- In general, Hub hopes to support regional projects through
solicitation of EAP/OES grants from FY09 funds. Hub will coordinate
with Suva Hub and organize grant process to meet objectives for the
various regional projects.
- CORAL TRIANGLE INITIATIVE, six-country effort that overlaps with
Suva hub and deals with climate change, conservation and economic
development objectives. While it may be too early for the CTI
nations to assimilate more support by other nations, seek to draw in
buffer states such as Vietnam into synchronizing with CTI
objectives. Success will be measured by at least one concrete action
program by each of the six nations, CTI nation funding and their
continued expressed commitment to CTI objectives. While NGOs and
RDMA are devoting many man-hours to this initiative, the Hub
perceives a need for a regional State Dept officer to coordinate
cables, press releases as Hub has done already. Hub will coordinate
with Suva hub but envisions being the State regional lead with NGO
consortium and USAID RDMA due to the greater involvement of the
larger East Asia hub nations. In visits to CTI nations, Hub can use
State good offices to ensure the nations continue to commit to
working with regional fisheries management organizations.
- HEART OF BORNEO INITIATIVE, three-country effort within East Asia
hub, dealing with conservation and climate change objectives.
Success metrics are the same as for CTI. While Kuala Lumpur and
Jakarta are well staffed, Hub will assist Brunei with grants

BANGKOK 00003388 004 OF 006


process, cable reporting and other support as requested.
- MEKONG RIVER COMMISSION and associated projects: Hub will interact
with Commission officials to assess and identify ways to build
capacity for shared water resource management. Hub will tie in
efforts on hydropower dam analysis and ASEAN-WEN enforcement needs.
Develop IVP and Science Fellow candidates to assist Commission.
- For all regional efforts Hub will coordinate closely with USAID
RDMA.
- ASEAN Wildlife Enforcement network, deals with law enforcement and
conservation goals; Hub coordinates USG support activities. Success
will include organization of at least one regional training event
and increases in arrests of illegal wildlife traffickers.
- Support USAID's Responsible Asia Forestry and Trade (RAFT)
Program, through cable reporting.
- Increase the amount or number of OES grants to trans-national
projects.
- Work with Suva and Kathmandu hubs to identify areas for
cooperation and coordination.
- STATE DEPARTMENT GRANTS: Monitor and support execution of three
Regional Grants: Thailand/Laos (wetlands management), Malaysia
(global environment center) and Vietnam (Regional cooperation for
NGOs). Success will be the number of people receiving effective
training from these programs, and measurement of the activities the
trained persons carried out.

9. FOREIGN ASSISTANCE PROCESS PARTICIPATION: During the season for
developing the next round of mission MSPs and Ops, Hub will offer
support for constituent posts to include at least one ESTH goal
paper, disseminating successful models from hub posts. Success will
be inclusion of ESTH goal paper and eventual funding where there was
none, or increased funding for posts with ESTH goals from last year.
The Hub will work with USAID RDMA to identify areas where increased
funding is needed. The Hub will also reach out to contacts in other
funding sources, such as private foundations (e.g. the Walton
Foundation that is working with CTI) to lobby for leveraged funding.
An important focus will be to lobby governments to fund programs
such as ASEAN-WEN, reducing USAID support and thereby freeing USG
funds for other purposes.

10. OUTREACH: The hub aims to communicate to the nationals and
governments of constituent posts how the U.S. is helping their
respective economic development, governance, climate change and
conservation needs. Hub will work closely with the Embassy PAO,
USAID RDMA PAO and bilateral missions and their public affairs
sections. Hub will concentrate on areas and constituencies where
U.S. approval rating is low, such as Indonesia and regions where the
ESTHoff is part time or has limited PA support. Hub will make
available public affairs products of the Department, NGOs as
appropriate and other USG agencies, especially for the regional
initiatives. The Hub's newsletter will be re-energized to publicize
USG efforts and successes and Hub will explore reaching a wider
audience. As Embassy Bangkok is a regional mission for many
agencies, Hub will develop an ESTH section for Bangkok's website
that will link to cables, the Hub newsletter and press releases.
Where needed Hub will develop or coordinate outreach products,
especially for regional initiatives, and seek opportunities to speak
to audiences directly to promote appreciation of U.S. efforts. The
Hub's first opportunity is the planned presentation to ASEAN
teacher's conference on U.S. techniques for environmental education;
hub will aim for a product that can be used by other ESTHoffs. Hub
will also publicize the work of other USG agencies, and U.S.
research institutions, such as NOAA and USGS, whose success stories

BANGKOK 00003388 005 OF 006


sometimes go unnoticed. Hub plans to participate in designing IV
programs tailored to the region's needs, with success measured by
the number of such programs and by the number of IVP selectees from
the Hub's region. Particular areas Hub will suggest for IV programs
include fisheries enforcement, hydropower planning and operations,
wildlife enforcement, forestry, and program management for medical
researchers. Hub will work to develop outreach to Muslim areas
using OES/STC program; there are negative perceptions of the U.S. in
areas of Indonesia, Malaysia, Southern Thailand and others.

11. TRAINING AND CAPACITY BUILDING: Hub will investigate and
publicize training opportunities for ESTHoffs, their EFM assistants
and LES. Hub will support applications of constituent ESTH staff
for Department training with letters of recommendation as
appropriate. Hub will also investigate training opportunities for
constituent officials and researchers in the U.S. and disseminate
opportunities to constituent ESTHoffs. For Hub staff, Hub will seek
enrollment in Managing State Projects for LES assistant and the ESTH
Tradecraft course for incoming EFM assistant (who will be at Post
for three years); we will also identify appropriate E-Learning FSI
courses for all three hub members.

12. TRAVEL/EVENT PLAN AND TIMELINE: Hub plans to use several
guidelines:
- International conferences, in part because of the regional nature
of the issue and in part because the local ESTH officer often does
not have time to attend. Valuable network opportunity. The Hub might
be in best position to write cable that ties together the regional
threads;
- Posts with part-time ESTHoffs, to support them;
- Posts that were not visited by Hub predecessor, in this case
Mongolia, Burma, East Timor, Singapore, Brunei and Indonesia (one
trip completed).
- Seek to coordinate travel with USAID RDMA travel for site visits
and events.
- Identify, assess and catalogue NGOs and science institutions on
visits and disseminate to other USG and NGO actors.
- Each trip would average 4-5 days: events plus day of other ESTH
meetings plus day of site visits. Amounts after travel events are
for air fare.
OCTOBER
Bangkok--USAID CTI Meeting
Bangkok--USAID AI Meeting
Phuket--International Conference on Dengue Fever $240
Manila--CTI Senior Officials Meeting $804
NOVEMBER
Bangkok--International Better Air Quality Workshop
Vientiane--UNDOC meeting on environmental crimes; visit dam sites
$400
DECEMBER
Jakarta -- biodiversity conference (consider, if post cannot cover);
use event to publicize CTI. $971
Northern Thailand - Give presentation on Environmental Education to
ASEAN teachers' conference of 1000 attendees.
Cambodia --Accompany Embassy Phnom Penh Science fellow, from EPA,
evaluating impacts and sustainability of hydropower projects. $400
JANUARY
Bangkok Wild Cat summit, with reporting cable.
FEBRUARY
Ulaanbaatar Best time for air pollution problem. Previous Hub
officer did not visit Mongolia and post has requested hub visit to
bring interaction on clean energy possibilities. $3225

BANGKOK 00003388 006 OF 006


MARCH TO APRIL
ESTH Hub Conference (Plan for Jakarta)
ESTH Hub meeting, Antarctic Meeting and consultations. $3,050.
Consultations will include NGOs, Department and USG agencies to
include NOAA, USGS, EPA, and USFS.
MAY
Indonesia World Ocean's Conference, CTI Heads of State Meeting;
site visit to Heart of Borneo or CTI site. $971
JUNE
Bangkok & Laos Wetlands management training course, beginning in
Bangkok and ending in Laos. Course may occur in May. (OES grant).
Hub officer or FSN assistant would attend the opening, in Bangkok
which includes the coursework. The last ten days are fieldwork, and
Hub officer and/or FSN would visit a day or two of fieldwork end and
then attend the graduation. $400 x 2.
DRAGON program summit Laos, bringing wetlands graduates (at USGS
request), seeking additional funding as necessary. DRAGON delta
research network deals with conservation and hydropower goals and
its best practices can be applied to information needs of CTI and
HOB.
DECEMBER
Chang Mai - ASEAN summit meeting (if USG can go as observers) To
work with USAID to get commitment of ASEAN nations to fund ASEAN-WEN
which has so far been almost entirely funded by USAID.
TO BE DETERMINED:
Monitor of Grant - Education for Nature Vietnam - Grant for Regional
NGO workshop regarding Wildlife Crime. $542
Monitor of Grant - Community Peatland Fire and Hazard Prevention
Project (Malaysia) $610
Various Thailand trips for conservation, river management, national
park, nuclear facilities and other subjects. 4 Trips within Thailand
@$250 each = $1000
Burma - as visa granted. $434
Brunei - Heart of Borneo site visit; S&T meetings. $601
Subtotal $14246
Hotel Rooms averaging $120/night @ 5 nights each (over-estimate)
$9375
Grand total hotels and air fare: $25,021
JOHN

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