The Third GMS Environment Ministers Meeting

Phnom Penh, Cambodia 27 to 28 July 2011

Representatives of Cambodia, PRC, Lao People’s Democratic Republic, the Union of Myanmar, the Kingdom of Thailand, and the Socialist Republic of Viet Nam met to discuss and decide on the continuing collaboration on the most important resource that countries in the Greater Mekong Subregion (GMS) share -  the environment.

The 3rd GMS Environment Ministers meeting was opened by Samdech Akka Moha Sena Padei Techo Hun Sen, Prime Minister of the Kingdom of Cambodia. A visual video appetizer presenting common issues and progress made in the first five years of implementation was shown for the invited audience of more than 500 guests during the inauguration of the meeting.

Economic development in the GMS has outpaced many other parts of the world over the past two decades, as characterized by national average annual Gross Domestic Product (GDP) growth rates of between 5 to 10% in this period. Between 2000 and 2009, average annual GDP of GMS grew at a rate of over 9.5%. Much of the growth in the subregion was fueled by intra-regional demand for food, energy and commodities. Between 1992 and 2004, exports grew by 300% while intra-regional trade expanded even more dramatically – by 11 times. Foreign direct investment has contributed significantly towards development with increasing amounts originating within the region.

With the development of the subregion heavily dependent on natural resources, the Mekong Subregion is faced with environmental challenges affecting natural resources, forests and biodiversity, water resources, food security, energy security, and climate change.

“For the Mekong Subregion to continue to show positive, sustained economic growth, the efficiency of how resources are used to fuel this growth must become a core priority for every GMS country,” said Bindu Lohani, Vice-President-in-Charge, and Asian Development Bank (ADB).

Since 2006, GMS countries have been engaged in the Core Environment Program (CEP). This $30 million program is cofinanced by ADB and the Governments of Finland, Netherlands and Sweden, and the Poverty Reduction Cooperation Fund supported by the People’s PRC. In 2005, the GMS Environment Ministers endorsed the CEP which consolidated environmental initiatives under a single integrated program with the aim of achieving a poverty-free and ecologically rich GMS.

The second phase of CEP (2012-2016) is geared towards the development of “climate-related and environmental management measures”, addressing the issue by integrating environmental considerations in investment decisions of key economic sectors - such as agriculture, energy, tourism and transport - and in the development of economic corridors across the GMS.

In its five years of implementation, CEP has successfully demonstrated approaches and tools for sound environmental management and biodiversity conservation. These include the application of strategic environmental assessments, the piloting of biodiversity conservation corridors, Geographic Information System-based tools for land use planning, environmental performance monitoring, and innovative approaches to conservation financing.

See more content: Cambodia GMS General Events

See also

Natural Capital Business Forum

27th January 2015

Theme: Investing in Natural Capital: Public Private Cooperation for Future Prosperity in the Greater Mekong Subregion


The Fourth GMS Environment Ministers’ Meeting emphasized the need to strengthen collaboration between governments, development partners, business sector, and civil society in order to find ways to maintain and enhance the region’s natural capital stocks. A key step was the need to strengthen collaboration and coordination between businesses, government, and/or civil society in ways that are demonstrably good for business, local livelihoods and for the protection and enhancement of the subregion’s natural capital. In this context the Natural Capital Business Forum engaged the businesses in their capacity as a beneficiary of public sector investments as well as the investors in economic activities associated with natural capital.

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GMS Environment Media Roundup–June 2014

7th July 2014

Greater Mekong Subregion

Toward Green Growth in ASEAN

The Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) countries have exhibited high growth rates over the past decades, weathering even the worst of the global financial crisis. This impressive growth and accompanying rise in household income has brought great benefits to the ASEAN population of nearly 600 million, including declining poverty and strengthened social safety nets in many countries.

Source: Asia Foundation

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