GMS Ministers Endorse New Environment Agenda for the Subregion

The Environment Ministers from the six countries of the Greater Mekong Subregion (GMS) endorsed a five-year environment agenda today, according to a press release AKP received from the Asian Development Bank (ADB) this morning.

This environment agenda includes more than US$540 million worth of priority projects to spur green investments and increase environmental cooperation to help the subregion achieve sustainable growth.

The ministers approved the Core Environment Programe (CEP) Strategic Framework and Action Plan 2018-2022 during the Fifth GMS Environment Ministers' Meeting from Jan. 30 to Feb. 1 in Chiang Mai.

CEP has been instrumental in building trust and understanding between GMS countries for environmental efforts, and we will work further to strengthen the subregion's cooperation in addressing environmental challenges together, said Gen. Surasak Karnjanarat, Thailand's Minister of Environment and Natural Resources. The meeting provided us an opportunity to take stock of our progress and achievements, share knowledge, and discuss trends, directions, and emerging issues in the environment sector.

Apart from the US$540 million worth of investments focused on land-use management, waste management, pollution control, and climate-proofing of rural infrastructure, the five-year strategy will also pave the way for a new project preparation facility, which will help GMS countries fill investment gaps for green growth, mainly through project preparation and financing.

A green technology platform will also be established to act as a marketplace to connect technology providers with adopters, focusing on technology for waste management, renewable energy, fuel efficiency, climate resilience, and disaster risk management, among others.

The CEP has raised over US$100 million in additional financing, including US$98 million for biodiversity and conservation, created 2.6 million hectares of biodiversity corridors in seven trans-boundary landscapes, and trained more than 19,000 stakeholders in over 500 training and knowledge events.

Since 2006, CEP has strengthened its position as the foremost environment initiative in the GMS, said Mr. Ramesh Subramaniam, Director General of ADB's Southeast Asia Department. We will carry forward the key actions determined throughout this meeting to help achieve inclusive and sustainable development in the GMS.

GMS countries include Cambodia, the People's Republic of China (specifically Yunnan province and Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region), Lao People's Democratic Republic, Myanmar, Thailand, and Viet Nam.

Source: Agency Kampuchea Press