Manila, Philippines — The ASEAN Ports Association (APA) and German Technical Cooperation (GTZ) are jointly implementing the "Sustainable Port Development in the ASEAN Region" project, designed to help a selected number of ports comply with international environment and safety standards while improving their efficiency.The three-year project is financed by the German Federal Ministry for Economic Co-operation and Development. Nine ports in five countries have been selected to actively participate in the project. These are Sihanoukville Autonomous Port and Phnom Penh Autonomous Port in Cambodia, Tanjung Priok and Tanjung Perak in Indonesia, Iloilo and Cagayan de Oro in the Philippines, Bangkok and Laem Chabang in Thailand, and Saigon Port in Vietnam."Ports are an important factor in the economic sustainability of the ASEAN region, they need to continue growing. Without proper planning and well managed operations, port-related activities can impact on the environment and nearby communities," said Uwe Breitling, GTZ Team Leader.The project will work with individual ports and address their specific needs, as well as engaging in the development of training for a wider audience in each of the countries. The project will also collaborate with the Partnership in Environmental Management for the Seas of East Asia (PEMSEA) to assist the participating ports to implement and continually improve their safety, health and environmental management via an integrated approach.