SACEP is the intergovernmental environmental organization for the South Asia region. The primary function of SACEP is to work with its eight member countries:
The 9th Meeting of the Governing Council held in August 2005 formally re-endorsed the role of SACEP as an intergovernmental organization of the region and entrusted SACEP to work closely with all national, regional, and international institutions, governmental and non governmental organizations as well as experts and other groups involved with environmental protection and sustainable development.
While there are many environmental and development challenges common to the countries of the region, actions at regional level can create synergy and optimize the benefits. SACEP seeks to work in areas where regional cooperation and collective action can add value to member countries and produce better outcomes for the region. The 9th Governing Council approved a new work programme of SACEP which include the following broad areas:
The 11th and 12th Meetings of the Governing Council of SACEP included the following arears to its Work Programme.
Promoting Sustainable Consumption and Production (SCP) was included to the Work Programme of SACEP at the 13GC-SACEP.
14GC-SACEP emphasized the need to facilitate a common platform for all member countries to get together to discuss, share experiences and develop a common strategy to overcome the prevailing air pollution in the South Asian region.
SACEP Strategy 2020 - 2030' was approved at the 15GC-SACEP for implementation and the meeting also approved the World Bank funded project titled 'Plastic free Rivers and Seas for South Asia Project', an International Development Association (IDA) Regional Grant.
SACEP is also an appropriate forum for action on transboundary environmental issues. These are issues where the geographical scope or impact extend beyond national boundaries.
Hosting and co-ordinating regional arms of international programmes and activities, have been a major role played by SACEP. For example, SACEP since 1983 has served as the secretariat for the South Asian Seas Programme, which comes under the umbrella of UNEP Regional Seas Programme.
During 39 years of its existence, SACEP in collaboration with various partner organizations had implemented a number of programmes in the field of Air Pollution, Biodiversity, Clearing-House Mechanism, Climate Change, conservation of Coastal and Marine Environment, Combating Illegal Trade in Wildlife, Data and Information Management, Environmental Education, Environmental Law, Environmentally Sustainable Transport, Sustainable Consumption and Production, Multi-lateral Environmental Agreements and Waste Management etc.