Sustainable Development

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Sustainable Development


The Asia-Europe Foundation (ASEF) is an intergovernmental, not-for-profit organisation which brings together the people of Asia and Europe to address common global challenges. It is the only permanent institution of the Asia-Europe Meeting (ASEM) political dialogue Process and is publicly funded by voluntary contributions from 53 ASEM Partners.

Sustainable Development is one of ASEF’s seven key thematic areas. In this field, we engage civil society, governments, and businesses on national, regional, and international levels to build capacity on issues of sustainability. We organise workshops, dialogue platforms, and knowledge hub meetings that produce research on the state of sustainability in Asia and Europe. We align our work with the United Nation’s 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and contribute to the global debate on climate change through the ASEM Process.

Our Work

Every year, we organise the Asia-Europe Environment Forum (ENVforum) Annual Conference. The ENVforum is a partnership between ASEF, Hanns Seidel Foundation (HSF), ASEM SMEs Eco-Innovation Center (ASEIC), Institute for Global Environmental Strategies IGES and the Government of Sweden through the Strategic Collaborative Fund administered by the SEI - Stockholm Environment Institute.

In 2019, the topic of the ENVforum Annual Conference was the role of consumers in triggering changes in consumption & production (29-30 July 2019, Yokohama, Japan). Attendees included the United Nations Industrial Development Organization (Viet Nam), SWITCH-Asia, Central European University, the European Environment Agency, Stockholm Environment Institute, various ASEM Ministries of Environment and Planning and Investment, and representatives from the private sector e.g. IKEA Retail Poland and Unilever.

The ENVforum consortium also organises a series of regional conferences on the implementation of SDGs in Cambodia, Lao PDR, Myanmar, the Philippines, and Viet Nam.

In 2019, we published two publications – Sustainable Consumption and Production [SCP] in Lao PDR after the Voluntary National Review; and Closing the Loop: ASEM’s Transition Towards Achieving a Circular Economy – which showcase ASEM Partners’ efforts towards SCP. We also published the Handbook for ASEAN Government Officials on Climate Change and the SDGs, highlighting the climate policy profiles of the ASEAN member states.

Since 2016, the ENVforum has been co-organising and hosting events at the UN Climate Change Conferences (COP), together with the Government of Korea. ASEF has also organised side-events at COP, generating an audience of more than 150 people from across the world.

Stay tuned for our upcoming 2020 activities! Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, some of our activities are postponed and might change in format.

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We produce several publications a year on topics like circular economies, and sustainable consumption and production. Visit to find them all!

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