The United States is committed to help ASEAN build back better through promoting sustainable energy and infrastructure, helping ASEAN adapt to, and mitigate against, the adverse effects of climate change, supporting conservation and marine sustainability efforts, and partnering on science, technology, and innovation. Advancing Sustainable Recovery brings together the U.S. government’s efforts to promote a sustainable and resilient recovery, including sustainable energy and infrastructure, climate change and conservation, maritime issues, and science, technology, and innovation. Advancing Sustainable Recovery aligns with the fifth broad strategy of the ASEAN Comprehensive Recovery Strategy, “Advancing Toward a More Sustainable and Resilient Future.”
In August 2021, the United States announced the new U.S.-ASEAN Connect Green Economy Series. This program facilitates virtual, hybrid, and in-person capacity-building workshops designed to support ASEAN policy makers and other stakeholders in exploring sustainable development topics including circular economy; low-carbon technologies; renewable energy; marine plastic debris; and other relevant topics.
Science and Innovation
The United States has helped support the ASEAN-U.S. Science Prize for Women for since 2014, inspiring young women in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM) fields across the region. This Prize honors women researchers in STEM and highlights their work. In 2020, the winner was Dr. Yoke-Fun Chan of Malaysia.
The Global Innovation through Science and Technology initiative is led by the Bureau of Oceans and International Environmental and Scientific Affairs Office of Science and Technology Cooperation (OES/STC), and brings together S&T, innovation, and entrepreneurship to strengthen entrepreneurial ecosystems, build connections with American business, and utilize economic opportunity to achieve peace and security. GIST equips young men and women around the world with the skills they need to become successful entrepreneurs by helping them turn their ideas into new ventures that have the potential to transform their communities. Microsoft annual Imagine Cup is a global pitch competition for tech students. The competition is run through a series of in-country events and finals, a regional final, and a global final held on Microsoft’s campus in Seattle. Microsoft runs the competition independently, but in 2016 GIST become the first external partner of the Imagine Cup for the regional NEA/AF finals in Lebanon. Microsoft will join the GIST public-private partnership to continue to partner on the Imagine Cup and other GIST programming. Microsoft’s current vision of the Imagine Cup events in Malaysia include a pitch day (Dec), a country final (Feb/Mar), and the regional final (April).
The Blue Dot Network will bring together governments, the private sector, and civil society under shared standards for global infrastructure development. The network will certify infrastructure projects that demonstrate and uphold global infrastructure principles. Certification by the Blue Dot Network will serve as a globally recognized symbol of market-driven, transparent and financially sustainable development projects. Learn more about the Blue Dot Network here.
USAID Clean Power Asia helped structure renewable energy investments worth nearly $590 million across the region, totaling $927 million. PDF [268 KB]
The Vietnam Low Emissions Energy Program V-LEEP helped Vietnam deploy 549 MW of new solar rooftop systems, mobilize $465 million in private clean energy investments, and generate enough clean energy to power 950,000 homes.
The Indonesia Clean Energy Development II (ICED II) project mobilized $1.6 billion in public and private investment to achieve a potential capacity of 560 MW of renewable energy – enough to power 4 million light bulbs all year – and assisted in the installation and commercial operation of another 427 MW in clean energy including wind, solar, and hydro projects.
Climate Change and Conservation
As part of President Biden’s Executive Order on Tackling the Climate Crisis at Home and Abroad, the U.S. will host a Climate Summit on April 22 to raise ambition to meet the climate challenge. The Summit will include the reconvening of the Major Economies Forum at the leaders level, and will also involve other participants to add more voices. The U.S. will seek to raise ambition to meet the climate challenge and make a meaningful contribution at the 26th United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP26) and beyond.
The Climate Change Adaptation and Resilience project leveraged $3.7 million from government and private sector to manage climate and disaster risk and provided technical assistance in drafting and implementing Indonesia’s National Action Plan for Climate Change Adaptation.
NASA and USAID partner through the SERVIR-Mekong [PDF 255kb] program to improve climate forecasting and planning. This helps Lower Mekong countries (Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar, Thailand, and Vietnam) build locally developed and sustainable solutions to lessen the impact of drought and safeguard food security.
The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) and the Indonesia Meteorology, Climatology and Geophysics Agency (BMKG) have partnered for nearly 15 years on joint research cruises and scientific exchanges to support disaster preparedness and environmental protection. Every year NOAA hosts two BMKG employees at their U.S. offices, and offers two graduate scholarships at the University of Washington.
The Clean Air Green Cities [PDF 120 kb] activity worked with local stakeholders to address air pollution in Hanoi. In 2018, USAID supported a pilot to raise public awareness of the negative health impacts of air pollution from cook stoves and to encourage environmentally friendly alternatives.
U.S. – ASEAN Water Smart Engagements (WiSE)
Water Smart Engagements (WiSE) to Pair U.S. and ASEAN Smart Cities Network on Water Issues
Water Smart Engagements (WiSE) will pair five ASEAN Smart Cities Network cities with U.S. cities, water districts and utilities for the purpose of collective capacity building and innovative technology familiarization. The program is being conducted under the U.S.-ASEAN Smart Cities Partnership (USASCP) and features a two-way exchange program that “twins” ASEAN and U.S. urban water and sewerage entities. The overall purpose of the program is three-fold: first, to increase water security in ASEAN partner cities through sustainable water management solutions; second, to establish long-term relationships between ASEAN and U.S. utilities to foster communication and build capacity; and third, to increase the exchange of services, goods, science and technology.
From 2009-2020 the Lower Mekong Initiative (LMI) the U.S. government provided $3.9 billion in assistance to the five Mekong partner countries. Together with Cambodia, Lao PDR, Burma, Thailand, and Vietnam, we launched the U.S.-Mekong Partnership to expand our areas of cooperation, bringing additional resources to address issues of economic connectivity, human capital, women’s empowerment, transboundary water and natural resource management, and non-traditional security, such as transnational crime, including wildlife and timber trafficking.
The Davao Gulf Business Incubator partnership will set up a business incubator in the Philippines that will offer its services to farmers, fishers and their families and to existing medium, small and microenterprises. The aim is to successfully incubate business and encourage entrepreneurship by annually training, in partnership with the Ateneo de Manila University, at least 150 fishers, farmers and their families from the Davao Gulf region. They will be trained on managing a business, including production and marketing. Partners include the United States government, Gerry Roxas Foundation, Tuason Development Foundation, Hijo Resour ces Cor poration. Learn more about PPP here.
The Department of State’s Bureau of Oceans and International Environmental and Scientific Affairs issued a $987,500 grant to the Ocean Conservancy focused on three objectives: 1) supporting implementation of Vietnam’s National Action Plan for Management of Marine Plastic Litter and influencing similar progress on a regional and global level; 2) increasing access to financing for improved and more sustainable waste management infrastructure; and 3) increasing availability of Vietnam-specific science to influence data-driven policymaking and identify interventions to reduce leakage of waste into the ocean. Learn more here.
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The Department of State’s Bureau of Oceans and International Environmental and Scientific Affairs issued a grant worth just under $200,000 to the nonprofit environmental organization Rare in September 2020 to combat conservation crimes and support the Blue Economy by improving management of marine protected areas (MPAs) in Indonesia using innovative small-scale vessel tracking technology. The project will apply a behavior-centered approach focused on enhancing the vessel tracker user experience – reducing barriers to fishers adopting the technology and to managers using the outputs. The project aim is for tracking data to be seamlessly accessible and intuitively useful for resource managers, for fishers to see a clear value proposition in its use, and to develop a financing plan for adoption at a scale matching the existing management framework across Indonesia’s coastal waters. The primary goal is that by September 2022 a representative fishing community in Indonesia’s Wakatobi National Park will have demonstrated the efficacy of small-scale vessel monitoring technology as a model for integrating real-time surveillance into community-based fisheries management and identified the enabling conditions for expansion to other local management councils. Learn more [PDF 4MB]
The Department of State’s Bureau of Oceans and International Environmental and Scientific Affairs supported the Global Knowledge Initiative and its partners SecondMuse and Circulate Capital (formerly known as Closed Loop Ocean) to reduce ocean waste in Indonesia. The primary objective of this project was to lay the foundation to expand a model that SecondMuse had been building with the Office of the Mayor of Surabaya, Indonesia called an Ocean Plastic Prevention Accelerator (OPPA), across Indonesia and SE Asia. The Surabaya OPPA works with local and regional waste management and plastic recycling communities and industry to increase both the quantity and quality of waste and recycling entrepreneurs and build local markets that support local entrepreneurs working with post recycled materials and associated services or activities. The project supported entrepreneurs and waste management companies in Indonesia and across SE Asia, including connecting entrepreneurs with capital from Circulate Capital and to a growing market for recycled plastics represented by several private sector partners, and owners of large-scale plastic recycling plants. The project was a key piece in the consortium’s strategy to build 20 OPPAs over the next 5 years. Learn more https://www.oppa.id/
The Department of State’s Bureau of Oceans and International Environmental and Scientific Affairs supported a project to increase Social Mobilization for Marine Waste Management in Vietnam organized by the Center for Community Health Research and Development in Vietnam. The overarching goal of this project was to reduce marine debris through capacity building for the development of environmentally sustainable waste management systems in Ly Son District, Quang Ngai Province, a fast-growing coastal and marine tourist attraction. The overall strategy for this project was to spur lasting behavior change in waste management and environmental protection by motivating a critical mass of citizens to actively participate in waste management activities. The primary objectives were to improve behavior of the local people, businesses, and tourists in solid waste collection and sorting, and to enhance capacity for effective policy enforcement and create a multi-sector collaborative mechanism for solid waste management.
The Phuket Hotels Association and the U.S. Embassy Bangkok, through a Science Fellowship Program, partnered to tackle waste management challenges in Phuket. The goal is to significantly reduce single-use plastics at Phuket’s hotels. As a result of this collaboration, the Phuket Hotel Association’s 65 member properties (representing nearly 11,000 rooms on the island) have already reduced the volume and types of single-use plastics in operation and will eliminate the use of plastic water bottles in guest rooms by 2019. This is an important step toward reducing and eliminating marine plastic pollution, which is affecting marine health everywhere and a threat to tourism in Thailand and the region. When implemented next year, Phuket will become one of the first tourism destinations in the world to have made such a large commitment to managing marine pollution and addressing the problem. Learn more here.
The U.S. and ASEAN signed the 2019 ASEAN-United States Leaders’ Statement on Cybersecurity Cooperation outlining a vision for a peaceful, secure and resilient regional cyberspace that enables economic progress and enhances regional for all. Learn more about the Leaders’ Statement on Cybersecurity Cooperation here: https://asean.org/asean-united-states-leaders-statement-cybersecurity-cooperation/
The inaugural ASEAN-U.S. Cyber Policy Dialogue was held in Singapore on October 3, 2019. The Dialogue demonstrated strong partnership and a shared vision of an open, interoperable, reliable and secure information communications technology (ICT) environment that fosters efficiency, innovation, communication, and economic prosperity. Learn more about the ASEAN-US Cyber Policy Dialogue here.