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SAARC and the Environment

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  1. The organization was established through the SAARC Charter.
  2. Development Goals and Sustainability.
  3. SAARC also frames its environmental policies.
  4. Organizational Structure.
  5. Accelerating Agreements.
  6. Setting Formal Targets.
  7. Subregionalism and Bilateralism.
  8. Conclusion.

The Indian Subcontinent, though mired in poverty and overpopulation, contains one of the world's richest natural resource bases. As political and economic forces push the region to development, the future of the South Asian environment remains unclear. The countries of the region still face the question of how to transform their environmental resolve into true cooperation. In 1985, representatives from Nepal, India, Bhutan, Maldives, Sri Lanka, Pakistan, and Bangladesh came together in Dhaka to discuss worsening conditions in their countries. Agreeing that many of the problems of each country were common to the region as a whole, the assembly formally identified the need for international cooperation. The South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC) was thus formed to respond to the growing need for transnational action.

[...] Subregionalism in Asia: ASEAN and SAARC Experiences. UBS Publishers' Distributors Ltd., New Delhi [xviii] Kalam, supra n [xix] SAARC Charter, supra n Article section 1. Kalam, supra n ?low-key diplomacy has moved [ASEAN] speedily toward both integrative endeavour and faster growth.? 139 [xxi] SAARC charter, supra n Introduction, paragraph 1. [xxii] Social Charter, supra n Article II, section 2 [xxiii] SAARC?A Profile. SAARC Secretariat. Free Online Publications. 52. [xxiv] Id 49-51. [xxv] SAARC 7th Summit Declaration, Dhaka 1993. Paragraph 18. [...]

[...] While at the national level effects have been imperceptible, at the level of civic society SAARC has done well forming collegial bodies and encouraging transnational scholarly collaboration. Witnesses to this effectiveness are two separate environmental reports that have been commissioned: the Regional Study on the Environment and the Regional Study on the Greenhouse Effect and its Impact on the Region. Still, the recommendations of these reports are admittedly not implemented in member countries.[xxiv] SAARC member nations would be taking a major step forward if they drafted a treaty with the relative duties of each country determined by these studies and other economic indicators. [...]

[...] Environmental Priorities for South Asian Countries Country Land degradation Water scarcity Water quality Air pollution Urbanization Marine environment Deforestation Indoor Outdoor Bangladesh High Medium High Medium Medium High Medium Bhutan Low High Medium India High Medium Medium High Medium Medium Low Medium Nepal Medium High High Maldives Low High Pakistan High Low Medium High Medium Low Medium Sri Lanka Medium High source: Chatterjee, Romir, Meeta Mehra and Shilpi Banerjee. Environmental security in South Asia. The Energy and Resources Institute. February 2000. [...]

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