Established in 1982, SACEP is an inter-governmental organization.
Abbas told the meeting that since the establishment of SACEP, the member states have continuously worked towards implementation of the SACEP strategy and programme, which covers the key areas for intra-regional collaboration, such as, capacity-building, awareness-raising, systematic information exchange, technology transfer, environmental management and sustainable development, regional cooperation in the management of mountain ecosystems, watershed and coastal resources, wildlife and habitat conservation.
He underlined need for making SACEP a pro-active, robust platform for projection of synergized efforts for collaboration in environmental management at the regional level.
Director-General of SACEP, Anura Jayathilake, said that SACEP provides a great opportunity for the regional SAARC countries to play their active part to jointly tackle issues of environmental degradation and unsustainable use of natural resources.
Anura Jayathilake hoped that the 13th meeting of the Governing Council of SACEP will be success by coming up with novel ideas and initiatives to achieve regional environmental development.
She said that during 30 years of its existence, SACEP in collaboration with various partner organizations has implemented a number of programmes in the field of air pollution, biodiversity, climate change, clearing-house mechanism, coastal and marine environment, combating illegal trade in wildlife, data and information management, environmental education, environmental law, environmentally sustainable transport, multi-lateral environmental agreements, waste management, etc.
Joint Secretary of the Ministry of Earth Sciences of the Government of India, Shri An and Singh Khaki and Minister for Environment and Renewable Energy of Sri Lanka, Susil Premajayantha, SACEP shown their governments commitment for environment and future of South Asian countries is an important area to address in effective manner.
Earlier, during the meeting of the 13th Governing Council of SACEP, Pakistan's Climate Change Division Secretary Raja Hasan Abbas has been elected as a Chairman of SACEP, Karma Tshering from Bhutan as vice-chairman while the Climate Change Division Director-General, Irfan Tariq, has been elected as a Rapporteur.