Fourth Greater Mekong Subregion Environment Ministers’ Meeting (EMM4)

Nay Pyi Taw, Myanmar 27 to 29 January 2015

Every three years, environment ministers from the six Greater Mekong Subregion (GMS) countries gather to take stock of environment challenges and opportunities, and set the direction for regional responses under the GMS Economic Cooperation Program.

The Fourth GMS Environment Ministers’ Meeting (EMM4) was held on 29 January 2015 in Nay Pyi Taw, Myanmar, and preceded by knowledge events on 27 and 28 January. The EMM4 events were organized by the GMS Working Group on Environment (WGE) with the support of the Asian Development Bank-led Environment Operations Center (Secretariat to the WGE) and Myanmar’s Ministry of Environmental Conservation and Forestry. Funding is through the GMS Core Environment Program, the flagship environment initiative of the GMS Economic Cooperation Program.

The theme of EMM4 is “Increasing Investments in Natural Capital in the Greater Mekong Subregion”. Its objective was to take forward the call for green, inclusive, and balanced economy, made by ministers at the Third Environment Ministers’ Meeting in Cambodia in 2011, and operationalize the guidance from the 5th GMS Summit in December 2014. 

Specifically, EMM4 aimed to garner high-level consensus and support from the GMS countries and stakeholders for scaling up efforts to protect and enhance natural capital to achieve inclusive and sustainable development in the GMS. The meeting was especially timely, occurring shortly after the 5th GMS Summit held in December 2014, when the Leaders of the GMS countries pledged to implement the Regional Investment Framework (RIF) Implementation Plan (2014–2018) that represents a pipeline of priority subregional projects valued at over $30 billion. 

Knowledge events were held prior to the formal meeting of ministers on 29 January. These included three parallel events on 27 January – a Biodiversity Landscapes Forum, Natural Capital Business Forum, and Youth Environment Meeting – and a Natural Capital Dialogue on 28 January. The events brought together senior government officials and major environment stakeholders to develop a shared understanding of key issues, challenges, and solutions to unlock investments in natural capital within the context of the GMS Economic Cooperation Program and beyond. Specifically, these events were: 

  • Raise awareness about the value of natural capital within the context of sustainable and inclusive development of the subregion.
  • Build consensus on the need to integrate natural capital considerations into subregional and national development planning and to scale up investments in natural capital.
  • Identify opportunities and priority actions to increase natural capital investments.
  • Identify effective and efficient partnerships for cross-sector and stakeholder coordination and collaboration to increase investments in natural capital subregionally and nationally.

See also

Biodiversity Landscapes Forum

27th January 2015
Event

Theme: Designing mechanisms and building partnerships for the strategic planning and management of transboundary and other biodiversity landscapes

Overview

Biodiversity landscapes constitute a large proportion of the natural capital remaining in the Greater Mekong Subregion (GMS). They are a rich repository of globally important biodiversity, including many endemic and endangered species, and provide vital ecosystem services. This wealth of natural capital underpins the subregion’s security in terms of energy, food, and water. Seven of these landscapes cut across international borders. These transboundary biodiversity landscapes (TBLs), which are the focus of the GMS Core Environment Program, lie in juxtaposition to the GMS economic corridors, providing both challenges and opportunities for their effective management and conservation.

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