PPP Training on Environmental Safeguards for Transport and Energy in the GMS
Bangkok, Thailand 25 to 29 March 2013
This 5-day training program aimed to provide planners and environmental assessment practitioners with the concepts, tools and approaches to systematically integrate environmental safeguards into the transport and energy sectors of the GMS Economic Cooperation Program.
Organized by EOC in collaboration with ADB's Phonm Penh Plan program, the training focused on how to apply strategic environment assessment (SEA) in support of sector planning processes, and project-level environmental and social assessment good practice. Particular attention was given to best practice in SEA and environmental and social impact assessment (ESIA) and identifying key features and actions required to enhance sector planning effectiveness and project sustainability.
Participants were GMS middle level officials (director level and equivalent) who were part of the GMS National Secretariats, members of the GMS Working Groups, and/or members of focal agencies (or executing agencies) involved in development planning at provincial, national and subregional levels. They came from the following sector/line agencies: energy, transport, planning, finance and provincial government offices, and about 24 people attended.
The training program had the following four themes:
1.SEA application in transport and energy sectors; assessment of economic and environmental trade-offs associated with sector development plans, and effective integration of environmental aspects into sector planning and implementation.
2.Fundamentals of environmental and social impact assessment good practice; learning from international and regional experience in identifying key and recurrent issues and strengthening project safeguard performance.
3.Good practice criteria for sustainability and safeguards in regional transport investment, including climate proofing of transport projects.
4.Integration of environmental and social safeguards into GMS energy projects; building cost-effective additionalities into project design, construction, and operation
Immediate outcomes for participants were expected to be:
1.Improved understanding of how environmental safeguards can enhance investment performance in transport and energy sectors.
2.Better appreciation and knowledge of safeguards good practice and effectiveness monitoring, encompassing: (i) application of SEA in transport and energy sector planning, (ii) good practice for conduct and review of environmental impact assessments, (iii) criteria for sustainability and safeguards in regional transport investments, and (iv) integration of environmental and social safeguards into regional energy projects.
3.Sharpened problem solving, analytical and strategic action skills in formulating and implementing transport and energy sector plans and projects.
4.Shared experiences and creation of a GMS environmental planning and safeguards community of practitioners.
Trainers and Learning Approach
The program was delivered by development planning and environment safeguards experts from the Asian Development Bank, EOC, and universities and environment-related agencies from the GMS and beyond. Participatory learning methods were the focus, including case studies, group discussions, and problem solving exercises, as well as presentations from experts.