In August, the IRRI-led group will organize another workshop in Malaysia to evaluate and add indicators, especially on the socioeconomic dimensions of rice production. This, we hope, will allow ASEAN members to much better assess the impact of environmental problems, especially in comparison with each other.
"This is an exciting initiative for rice production in the region that will lead not only to a cleaner, greener rice industry in Asia but happier, healthier and wealthier rice farmers as well," Dr. Zeigler told the event in Hanoi.
ASEAN has designated the year 2006 as ASEAN Environment Year (AEY) with the theme "Biodiversity: Our Life, Our Future." The official launch of AEY 2006 was held at the Bogor Botanical Gardens, Bogor, Indonesia, on 18 May 2006 in conjunction with the 189th anniversary of the Bogor Botanical Gardens.
The launch of AEY 2006 aims to raise people's awareness of the region's rich biodiversity, and strengthen regional cooperation and implementation of actions on environmental conservation. It supports ASEAN's commitment to achieve the goals of sustainable development envisaged in ASEAN Vision 2020 on the establishment of a "clean and green ASEAN."
ASEAN Environment Year is celebrated every three years with the aim of promoting environmental awareness at all levels of society, highlighting ASEAN's environmental achievements, and strengthening partnerships among ASEAN member countries as well as the private sector, civil society and nongovernmental organizations in addressing environmental challenges in the region. A series of activities and campaigns addressing the AEY 2006's theme will be carried out in each ASEAN member country throughout this year.