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AECEN supports regional capacity building initiatives through applied research, training programs and toolkits that complement and support twinning activities. In line with this,the AECEN Secretariat organizes regional workshops and networking events to share results and help create new partnerships.
In further identifying areas for regional cooperation, the AECEN Secretariat conducted the following regional assessments:
1. Rapid Assessment on Environmental Impact Assessment in Asia
Over the past three decades, Asian countries have adopted environmental impact assessment (EIA) as a useful planning tool that follows a fairly standardized sequence of steps. As with other areas of environmental regulation in Asia, however, there remains a significant gap between theory and practice in the implementation of some key elements of EIA. In 2009, a rapid assessment conducted by the AECEN Secretariat identified key weaknesses in EIA implementation in the region.
2. Strengthening Legal and Policy Frameworks for Addressing Climate Change in Asia
With support from the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) and the USAID in 2008, the AECEN Secretariat produced a preliminary survey of climate change laws and policies in selected countries of the Asia region. The report provided a preliminary review of policy gaps and enforcement challenges of existing legal and policy frameworks in India, Indonesia, Japan, People’s Republic of China, Philippines, Thailand and Vietnam.
3. Member Institutional Capacity Review
To understand capacity limitations of AECEN members, the network supported a regional study of institutional capacity of selected Asian countries. Through a consultative process, AECEN worked with members to gather and analyze information on legal frameworks, institutional capacity and program effectiveness. A factsheet was distributed followed by more detailed questionnaires to gather information. Responses were analyzed and a presentation was made at the 2008 Regional Forum.
4. Workshops on Environmental Compliance and Enforcement Performance Indicators
Recognizing the need for environmental agencies to adopt appropriate performance management systems to support planning, performance evaluation and continuous improvement of programs based on performance indicators, trainings in Thailand, Philippines and Vietnam were conducted on this topic.