Philippines Replicates New Environmental Compliance Assistance Center

The Philippine Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) recently established an Environmental Compliance Assistance Center (ECAC) catering to local government units (LGUs) in the country. The center will provide fast and reliable technical assistance to local government authorities and officials for their environment- related concerns. The establishment of the ECAC for LGUs is the agency’s response to improve understanding and strengthen capacity of local agencies both as enforcers of environmental laws and also as operators of regulated establishments.

US EPA Trains Chinese Judges on Environmental Adjudication

On November 8-10, 2011, the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) worked with Vermont Law School to conduct a judicial training in Kunming, China in collaboration with the China University of Political Science and Law, the Center for Legal Assistance to Pollution Victims, and the Humanities College of Southwest University of Forestry located in Kunming. Approximately 30 judges from three provinces (Yunnan, Hainan, and Guizhou) participated in the training.

Vietnam Prepares Draft Guidelines on Contaminated Soil Monitoring

On November 29-30, 2011, Vietnam hosted a regional consultation meeting in Hanoi joined by counterpart officials from Korea, Malaysia and Thailand to share ideas on a draft technical guideline on contaminated soil monitoring. At the consultation meeting, experts shared lessons learned and recommendations based on implementation challenges and success in their respective countries. As for the next steps, Vietnam’s Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment will finalized the technical guidelines and explore opportunities to continue their twinning partnership with Korea.

Regional Workshop Explores Mainstreaming Climate Change Adaptation Into EIA

On October 25-26, 2011 in Bangkok USAID and the Institute for Global Environmental Strategies (IGES) co-organized a workshop on mainstreaming climate change adaptation and the Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) process under the auspices of the Asian Environmental Compliance and Enforcement Network (AECEN) and the Asia Pacific Adaptation Network (APAN).

Thailand and New Zealand to Share Experience on Community Participation in Watershed Restoration

During June 20-24, the Ministry for the Environment (MfE) and Waikato Regional Council of New Zealand hosted an observational program in Waikato for stakeholder representatives from Thailand’s Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment (MoNRE) and civil society groups from the Tha Chin River Basin to see first-hand community involvement tools and techniques in protecting and restoring waters.

AECEN Task Force on Environmental Compliance Assistance Centers Meets to Develop Toolkit

During May 24-27, 2011, the AECEN Environmental Compliance Assistance Center Task Force composed of officials from India, Thailand and the Philippines met in Hong Kong and Bangkok to develop a toolkit on establishing environmental compliance assistance centers. During a meeting in Hong Kong, the Task Force met with officials from the Government of Hong Kong to exchange discussions related to establishment, operation and management of compliance assistance centers.

Supreme Courts of Philippines and Indonesia Share Experience on Environmental Adjudication

On May 25-28, 2011, the Philippine Supreme Court and the Philippine Judicial Academy (PHILJA) hosted officials of the Indonesian Supreme Court and other relevant institutions for an observational program in Manila and Pampanga aimed at strengthening judicial capacity and court systems for handling environmental cases in Indonesia.

Nepal Develops Tools to Streamline Environment Review of Hydropower Projects with Support from Malaysia

Through a twinning partnership with the Malaysia Department of Environment, the Nepal Ministry of Environment (MOE) expanded efforts to developed new tools to improve and streamline the environmental impact assessment (EIA) process by developing a training program and registration scheme for EIA consultants. At a consultation workshop on May 24, 2011 in Kathmandu, stakeholders from various sectors provided feedback on the consultant registration scheme and training program aimed at improving the quality of EIA reports and ensuring a more efficient review process.