The Deputy Prime Minister of Lao PDR, Mr Asang Laoly, launched the ASEAN Environment Year 2009 celebrations at the magnificient natural heritage of Champasak Province in Lao PDR with the theme “Ecotourism: Our Nature, Our Culture” on 30 March 2009.
The theme reflects a shared commitment of all ASEAN Member States to promote eco-tourism to ensure sustainability of environmental conservation and efficient use of our natural resources.
The host Lao PDR Government is implementing a national policy which supports development of natural, cultural and historical tourism sector with a view to transforming the land-locked into a land-linked nation to provide linkages for economic, trade and tourism cooperation in the region and sub-region.
Dr Surin Pitsuwan, Secretary-General of ASEAN, represented by Deputy Secretary-General Dr Soeung Rathchavy was at the event.
She declared the celebration supports ASEAN’s commitment to achieve the vision of a Clean and Green ASEAN where the values and practices of the people are in harmony with nature.
The ASEAN Environment Year (AEY) is celebrated every three years with the aim of promoting environmental awareness at all levels of society.
A Regional Workshop on Identification of Ecotourism Best Practices in ASEAN Countries, spearheaded by the ASEAN Centre for Biodiversity, was held on 29 March 2009 in Champasak Grand Hotel as a side event supporting the AEY 2009.
A study tour of Biodiversity Corridor Conservation for the Greater Mekong Sub-region countries was also conducted from 27-28 March 2009 as a side event of this important celebration.
Aseansec, "ASEAN Celebrates ASEAN Environment Year 2009 in Champasak Province Champasak Province, Lao PDR" dated 30 March 2009 in the Aseansec website [downloaded on 2 April 2009], available at http://www.aseansec.org/Bulletin-Mar-09.htm#Article-17