Governing Council Meetings

03 – 06 November 2019 15th Governing Council of SACEP, Dhaka, Bangladesh pdf-download
26 – 28 March 2018 14th Governing Council of SACEP, Colombo, Sri Lanka, – hosted by the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan pdf-download
5th December 2013 13th Governing Council of SACEP, Islamabad, Pakistan, pdf-download
3rd November 2010 12th Governing Council of SACEP, Colombo, Sri Lanka pdf-download
22nd May 2008 11th Governing Council of SACEP and 4th Intergovernmental Ministerial Meeting of SASP, Jaipur, India pdf-download
25th January 2007 10th Governing Council of SACEP, Kathmandu, Nepal pdf-download
24th – 26th August 2005 9th Governing Council of SACEP and 3rd Intergovernmental Ministerial Meeting of SASP, Thimpu, Bhutan pdf-download
26 November 2003 3rd Special Session of the Governing Council, 26 November 2003, Colombo, Sri Lanka pdf-download
21 January 2003 2nd Special Session of the Governing Council, Colombo, Sri Lanka pdf-download
01 July 2002 1st Special Session of the Governing Council, Colombo, Sri Lanka. pdf-download
29 September 2001 8th Governing Council Meeting, Colombo, Sri Lanka pdf-download
22 April 1998 7th Governing Council Meeting, Malé, Maldives pdf-download
01 September 1994 6th Governing Council Meeting, Islamabad, Pakistan. pdf-download
27 September, 1992 5th Governing Council Meeting, Colombo, Sri Lanka pdf-download
25 – 26 April, 1988 4th Governing Council Meeting, Kabul, Afghanistan. pdf-download
12 – 13 January 1987 3rd Governing Council Meeting, New Delhi, India. pdf-download
17 – 18 April 1985 2nd Governing Council Meeting, Dhaka, Bangladesh. pdf-download
27 – 29 January 1983 1st Governing Council Meeting, Colombo, Sri Lanka pdf-download
18 – 25 February 1981 High Level Meeting to Initiate the South Asia Co-operative Environmental Programme (SACEP), Colombo Sri Lanka. pdf-download
10 – 15 March 1980 Inter-Governmental Expert Group Meeting pdf-download

The Governing Council (GC)

The Governing Council is responsible for determining policy and programmes of SACEP and it oversees these activates by meeting regularly to review the ongoing programmes and to endorse new recommendations put forward by the Secretariat. It consists of one representative from each member states who will be of Ministerial rank. Since becoming a legal entity in 1982, SACEP held Thirteen Governing Councils Meetings and the following table indicates the important initiatives and decisions taken at these meetings.

  Date & Venue Inauguration Participants Important Initiatives and Decisions
GC1 27- 29 January 1983
Colombo, Sri Lanka
Hon. Ranasinge Premadasa, Prime Minister of Sri Lanka Member countries (32) :Afghanistan-3, Bangladesh-3,
Sri Lanka-16.Other (16) :UN bodies-10, WHO-1, IUCN-1, Dept of Env., India-2, Anna Uni. India -1, CISIR-1
  • Adoption of Resolution calling for the Establishment of a Trust fund for SACEP
  • Approval of 12 projects formulate by SACEP and lay down of criteria for project selection
  • Designation of the year 1988 as the Year of Trees for South Asia
GC2 17- 18 April 1985, Dhaka, Bangladesh Rear Admiral Sultan Ahamed, Deputy Chief Martial Law Administrator, & Chief of the Naval Staff & Minister for communications, ports, shipping, irrigation Member countries (30) :Afghanistan-3, Bangladesh-15,
Sri Lanka-3.Other (13) :UN bodies-7, Donors-3(AUSaid), SACEP Sec.-3
  • The adoption of the Rules of Procedure for the Governing Council
  • Approval of the Modalities of Focal Points of SACEP
  • Recommended that SACEP should continue to formulate the South Asian Seas Action Plan and its implementation in close collaboration with Oceans and Coastal Areas Programme Centre of UNEP.
  • Recommended the creation of an efficient planning & monitoring unit within the SACEP Secretariat.
GC3 12-13 January 1987, New Delhi, India Hon. Rajiv Gandhi, Prime Minister, India  
  • Development of a new formula for sharing the expenditure to make SACEP a viable self-supporting institution.
  • The meeting sought for the continuing support of SACEP by UN and other International Organizations.
  • Recommended that member states should seriously examine the appropriateness of their Subject Area Focal Points.
GC4 25-26 April 1988, Kabul, Afghanistan Hon. Sultan Ali Keshtmand ,Prime Minister of Afghanistan . Member countries (18) :Afghanistan-11,
Sri Lanka-2.Other (14) :UN bodies-6, WHO-2, FAO-2, WFP-1, SACEP Sec.-3
  • Approval of Rules and Regulations of SACEP Secretariat
  • The establishment of a fund for financing projects and programmes of SACEP on the basis of voluntary contribution by member states and other donors.
  • Approved the Terms of Reference for a Panel of Experts from within the region to review SACEP’s current projects and programmes and to formulate a Plan of Action for next five years.
  • UNESCO was requested to prepare an Inter-country Environmental Education Project for South Asia .
GC5 27 September 1992, Sri Lanka Hon. Ranasinge Premadasa ,President of Sri Lanka Member countries (32) :Bangladesh-3,
Sri Lanka-18.Other (19) :UN bodies-5, Donors-5 (ADB, CIDA, JICA, WB), Colombo Plan-1, FAO-1, WHO-1, SACEP Sec.-6
  • Approval of the creation of project preparation, planning and monitoring cell within the SACEP secretariat.
  • Approved the SACEP Plan of Action 1992-1996
  • Working closely with the SAARC Secretariat was stressed.
GC6 1 September 1994, Islamabad, Pakistan Mr. Asif Ali Zardar, Member National Assembly and Chairperson of Pakistan Environment Protection Council Member countries (25) :Bangladesh-3,
Sri Lanka-3.Other (7) :UN bodies-3, IUCN-1, SACEP Sec.-3
  • Recommended implementation of UNEP/ESCAP/SACEP/ Projects on ‘Capacity building in the field of Planning & Management of the Coastal areas in the South Asian seas region, which was approved during the 1994 Intergovernmental Meeting held in India .
  • Recommended to support the need of the additional space and staff as proposed by the SACEP secretariat.
  • Endorsed the recommendation made by the Meeting of Senior Officials on National Focal Points in assisting the Secretariat in its activities.
  • Recommended that efforts of SACEP should be publicized more.
  • Agreed that the relationship between SAARC and SACEP should be such that the scarce resources available in the region should be utilized prudently and that there should not be any duplication of efforts.
GC7 22nd April 1998, Malé, Maldives Hon. Maumoon Abdul Gayoom, President, Maldives Member countries (20) :India – 4,
Sri Lanka-4.Other (12) :UN bodies-4, WHO-1, WMO-1, SACEP Sec.-6
  • Endorsement of a revised list of priority subject areas (SSP2) for South Asia , which are in accordance with Agenda 21.
  • Adoption of Malé Declaration on Control and Prevention of Air Pollution and its Likely Tranboundary Effects for South Asia .
  • Requested the Director General of SACEP to prepare a portfolio outlining in detail the aims and activities of SACEP and make it available to possible donor/funding agencies.
  • Agreed to ensure that SAARC is informed of SACEP’s experience in the field of environment and its wish to collaborate and complement work of SAARC in that area.
GC8 28-29 September 2001, Colombo, Sri Lanka Hon. Dinesh Gunawardena, Minister of Transport & Environment Member countries (25) :Bangladesh-2,
Sri Lanka-6.Other (21) :UN bodies-13, Donors – 1(ADB), SAARC-1, Regional Env. Hub (US Embassy)-1, SACEP Sec.- 5
  • Recommended that the present system of Focal Points should remain, but mechanisms for intra-country co-ordination need to be stimulated and strengthened.
  • Agreed that SACEP Secretariat should be strengthened in terms of staff and other requirements.
  • Recommended the use of the State of Environment Reports prepared by the member countries as the basis in formulating new programme activities.
  • Recommended to select few priority issues related to the whole region and develop programme activities to be implemented during a specific time period.
  • Recommended SACEP Secretariat to take measures to collect, collate and disseminate all information on environment, so that SACEP should become the storehouse of knowledge in the region and
  • Recommended the invitation of major donors to the SACEP programmes, as observers at SACEP GC Meetings.
  1 July 2002, Colombo, Sri Lanka


1st Special Session

Hon. Rukman Senanayake, Minister of Environment & Natural Resources Member countries (18) :Bangladesh-2, Bhutan-1, India-2, Maldives-2, Nepal-3, Pakistan-2, Sri Lanka-6.



Other (9) :UN bodies-2, IMO-1, IOI-1 Regional Env. Hub (US Emb.)-1, SACEP Sec.- 4

  • The meeting was held to initiate a process for developing a South Asia regional position paper on sustainable development for the WSSD.
  • This report is to contain salient features from the countries of the region to be presented to the high level delegations at the Summit .
  • SACEP with UNEP assistance will develop a Type 2 paper for submission to WSSD.
  • UNEP to assist SACEP to organize a launch meeting to present the position paper.
  21 January 2003, Colombo, Sri Lanka


2nd Special Session

Hon. Tyronne Fernando, Minister of Foreign Affairs Member countries (20) :Bangladesh-3, Bhutan-2, India-2, Maldives-2, Nepal-3, Pakistan-4, Sri Lanka-4.



Other (19) :UN bodies-5, Donors-2(CIDA), AFEG-1, SAARC-1, SACEP review panel-2, SACEP Sec.- 8


  • Highlighted the need to collaborate as a region to demand that necessary support services are forthcoming to achieve and implement the goals endorsed at the WSSD.
  • Some recommendations given to SACEP by member countries:
  • Develop projects to mobilize international support
  • Assist with capacity building to achieve the obligation in MEAs.
  • Forge alliances for environmental protection & sustainable development
  • Develop mechanisms to promote environmental compliance and enforcement at national and regional level
  • Address response mechanisms for interlinked poverty and environment issues
  • Increase co-operation and collaborative work in the region
  • The South Asia environment Education and Training Action Plan – 2003-2007 approved.
  • SACEP external review stated that SACEP’s performance can be enhanced through member country support, secretariat efficiency, donor support and support (collaboration) from NGOs, Academia, Scientific institutions.
  • Work programme for 2003-2004 approved – including:
  • Developing a regional action plan for implementation of WSSD outcomes
  • Developing regional legislative frameworks for coastal zone management, EIA, Assessment /documentation of bio-diversity.
  • Implementation programme for water and sanitation
  • Initiation of sound environment management plans for dismantling of ships in the SAS region.
  6 November 2003, Colombo, Sri Lanka


3rd Special Session

Hon Rukman Senanayake, Minister of Environment and Natural Resources Member countries (20) :Bangladesh-4, Bhutan-2, India-3, Maldives-1, Nepal-2, Pakistan-2, Sri Lanka-4.



Other (19) :UN bodies-2,DA – 1, SACEP review panel-1, SACEP Sec.- 8


  • SACEP will continues to concentrate on issues of regional significance that complement and supplement the work by the member country governments, with expressed focus in the following work areas: a)Assessments and Strategy Development b) Experience Sharing and Networking and c) Capacity Building
  • The work programme and future work undertaken should reflect general priorities set by WSSD/MDG/SoE reports with attention to issues of poverty, equity, gender, economic stability, and cultural norms of the region.
  • Bangladesh and India accepted to co-host the Climate Change SAFP while Bio-safety was included within the Biodiversity SAFP hosted by India .
  • Developed projects/programmes to be implemented in collaboration with partners inclusive of civil society while also strengthening links and collaborative work with NFPs and (SAFPs).
  • Recruitment of additional staff.
  • The establishment of an Advisory Committee to assist SACEP with technical and other support services needed to carry out the work programme.
  • Establishing close co-operation with SAARC in the field of environment.
  • Exploring modalities to establish the Corpus Fund.
GC9 26 August 2005, Thimphu, Bhutan Hon’ Prime Minister of the Royal Government of Bhutan, His Excellency Mr Lyonpo Yeshey Zimba Member countries (23) :Afghanistan 1; Bangladesh-1, Bhutan-14, India-3, Maldives-2, Sri Lanka-2.



Other (08) :UN bodies-4, SACEP Sec.- 4


  • The Director General shall complete the detailed work programme for circulation and approval by the Chairman of the 9th Governing Council by December 2005
  • The support from UNEP to the on-going activities to be recognized and UNEP is requested to continue its support to SACEP through the SENRIC project implementation.
  • The Governing Council approved additional allocation of US Dollars One hundred thousand only (US $ 100,000) for core programme development from recovered arrears.
  • The Secretariat to maintain one single fund for the purpose of Trust fund / Reserve / Program development and by laws for the fund to be framed to permit proper utilization of such funds.
  • The Advisory Body for SACEP proposed was decided, may not be necessary as it will create another layer of bureaucracy.
GC10 25 January 2007, Kathmandu, Nepal Hon’ Dr. Ram Sharan Mahat, Minister of Finance, Government of Nepal Member countries (18) :Afghanistan 1; Bangladesh-1, Bhutan-4, India-2, Maldives-2, Nepal-5, Pakistan-2, Sri Lanka-1



Other (17) :UN bodies-4, ADB-1, GoUSA-1, CEE-2, ICIMOD-2, SAARC-2, SACEP Sec.- 5


  • Agreed for establishment of Basel Convention Regional Centre for South Asia to be hosted at SACEP Secretariat
  • Endorsed the resolution for Adoption of SAICM for South Asia Region
  • Agreed in principle to establish a regional Biodiversity CHM in SACEP. Noted that except for one country none of the other countries had developed National CHMs and it will be beneficial to develop national CHMs in close co-ordination with the Regional CHM.
  • The GC decided that SACEP should incorporate Combating illegal trading in wildlife to the Work Programme which helps to strengthen the enforcement of CITES in the region and in controlling illegal domestic and international trading wild Fauna and Flora
GC11 22 May 2008, Jaipur, India Hon’ Shri S. K. Singh, the Governor of Rajasthan, Government of India Member countries (14) :Afghanistan 1; Bangladesh-1, Bhutan-3, India-3, Maldives-2, Nepal-1, Pakistan-1, Sri Lanka-2



Other (13) :UN bodies-1, GoUSA-3, Traffic In’tl-4, SACEP Sec.- 5


  • Endorsed the Statement on South Asia Wildlife Trade Initiative as the ‘South Asia Initiative for Combating Illegal Trade in Wildlife’, and unanimously adopted it as the “JAIPUR DECLARATION”.
  • The Meeting of the Governing Council of SACEP endorsed the Proposal on Waste Management
  • The Meeting appreciated the proposed initiative on Environmentally Sustainable Transport (EST) in collaboration with UNCRD
  • The Meeting appreciated the collaboration developed between SACEP and SAARC for development of the State of Environment Report for South Asia
GC12 3 November 2011, Colombo, Sri Lanka Hon’ Mr. D. M. Jayaratne, Prime Minister of Government of Sri Lanka Member countries (19) :Afghanistan 3; Bangladesh-2, Bhutan-2, India-2, Maldives-4, Nepal-1, Pakistan-1, Sri Lanka-4



Other (10) :UN bodies-3, SACEP Sec.- 7


  • The Meeting agreed on the principle of rotation to be followed to appoint the Director General of SACEP
  • Agreed upon the the Declaration on Cleaner Fuel and Vehicles prepared by the SACEP Secretariat
  • The meeting adopted the Ministerial Statement on ‘South Asia’s Biodiversity beyond 2010’.
  • To Strengthen the linkage between SACEP and SAARC
GC13 5 December 2013 Islamabad, Pakistan Hon’ Mr. Zahid Hamid, Federal Minister, Ministry of Science and Technology, Islamic Republic of Pakistan Member countries (20) :Afghanistan 2; Bangladesh-2, Bhutan-1, India-2, Maldives-2, Pakistan-9, Sri Lanka-2 :UN bodies-2, SACEP Sec.- 4



  • Government of Pakistan to nominate a suitable candidate as DG-SACEP in accordance with the approved Criteria to assume duties by 15th April 2015.
  • To develop a Regional Clearing House Mechanism (CHM)
  • SACEP to come up with concrete proposals through which the concept of Sustainable Consumption and Production can comfortably be dovetailed within the policy making mechanisms of member countries
  • Preparation of South Asia position paper to reflect the post Rio +20 challenges related to environment sustainability (e.g. green economy, energy, water and sanitation etc.)