Jakarta (ANTARA News) - The ASEAN Environment Ministers presented the Second ASEAN Environmentally Sustainable Cities (ESC) Award to recognise exemplary initiatives to keep ASEAN cities clean, green, and livable even as they continue to grow as centers of economic and industrial activity.
The event held in Bali, Wednesday, also included the presentation of Certificates of Recognition, for the first time, to six cities in ASEAN which were selected on a competitive basis, the ASEAN Secretariat said in a statement here on Wednesday.
Each Certificate recognises notable efforts made by small cities (20,000 - 750,000 people) and big cities (750,000 - 1.5 million people) in ASEAN in the categories of "Clean Air", "Clean Land", and "Clean Water".
The ASEAN ESC Award was first awarded in 2008 by the ASEAN Environment Ministers.
The ASEAN ESC Award serves as an added incentive for cities in ASEAN to promote environmentally sustainable practices, monitor and evaluate progress towards environmental sustainability in ASEAN cities, promote environmental education and awareness among city communities, encourage innovation and best practices, stimulate public participation in city programmes, recognise efforts towards improving sustainability, and to encourage partnership between public authorities, private sector and non-governmental organisations.
Secretary-General of ASEAN Dr Surin Pitsuwan said ASEAN as a region has a wealth of natural resources that sustain essential life support systems both for the region and the world. "Like many other regions in the world, ASEAN is facing difficult challenges in ensuring cities and urban areas are environmentally sustainable, while meeting the social and economic needs of people.
The ASEAN ESC Awards and Certificates of Recognition aims to inspire and promote environmentally sustainable practices as a platform to share information, experiences and foster cooperation among ASEAN cities in our quest to attain a green ASEAN Community by 2015," he said.
The Award Ceremony was attended by among others Environmental Affairs Minister Dr Balthasar Kambuaya, Deputy Secretary-General of ASEAN for ASEAN Socio-Cultural Community Dato` Misran Karmain, a number of ASEAN senior environment officials, ASEAN city governors/mayors, and representatives from the nominated cities.
Trophies and certificates were presented by Dr Kambuaya to the ASEAN City Mayors or their representatives as due recognition of their efforts and to encourage them to continue showing appreciation and care for the environment.