Assessing Environmental Performance in the GMS

From 2007 to 2011, the CEP worked with the six GMS countries to strengthen their monitoring capacity and produce a second round of environmental performance assessment (EPA) reports.

This work built on an ADB technical assistance project that produced the subregion’s first EPA reports from 2003 to 2006. The CEP put more emphasis in the second round on building national capacity to conduct these assessments to produce better quality information and ensure that analytical results fed into planning processes.

National consultants and concerned government agencies led this work using the learning-by-doing approach. This effort resulted in national EPA units being established in the six countries. With the EPA process embedded in government agencies, closer collaboration with a wide range of sectors and ministries became easier and in turn resulted in better information and data.

The second round of EPAs continued to analyze the same environmental priorities undertaken in the first round: biodiversity conservation, climate change, poverty reduction, capacity building, and sustainable natural resource management. A notable difference in approach was the use of the development-pressure-state- impact-response framework, an extension of the pressure-state-response framework used for the first round. This enabled deeper insights into pressures on the environment as well as the social and biophysical impacts associated with environmental change.

The national reports and a subregional one were published in 2012, and timed to influence national development strategies, such as the Lao PDR’s Seventh Five-Year Socioeconomic Development Plan, 2011–2015. Yunnan provincial authorities decided to test the EPA approach at the prefecture level. In 2012, they adapted the EPA methodology to track the performance of Xishuangbanna prefecture’s 11th Five-Year Plan for Development of Ecological Construction and Environmental Protection. As well as the EPA report, they also produced a guidebook for applying prefecture EPAs.

In 2014, the CEP switched its emphasis on national support for EPAs to providing more timely monitoring information by developing an online statistics portal. This portal includes data to track regional, national, and landscape environment trends, and has become an integral part of the broader GMS Information Portal.

The CEP produced a third subregional EPA, covering 2006–2016, as a knowledge product for the 5th GMS Environment Ministers’ Meeting in January 2018.

“Pressures on forests are generally high and increasing, the key pressures being natural forest conversion to agriculture and plantation forest, excessive logging, and land clearance for large-scale development projects such as hydropower and mining.”
-- Greater Mekong Subregion Environmental Performance Assessment, 2006–2016. Page 2. (2017).

Publish Date: 31st March 2018

See also

Consultation Workshop on GMS Sustainable Agriculture and Food Security Program (SAFSP)

3 to 4 April 2019

GMS Sustainable Agriculture and Food Security Program (SAFSP): The proposed TA will build on accomplishments of the two phases of the Core Agriculture Support Program and support the implementation of Strategy for Promoting Safe and Environment-Friendly Agro-Based Value Chains in the GMS and Siem Reap Action Plan, which was endorsed by the GMS Agriculture Ministers in late 2017. The SAFSP interventions will focus on areas such as (i) climate-smart and gender-conscious agricultural value chains, (ii) food safety and quality, and (iii) water-food-energy nexus in a warming world (through the adoption of climate-friendly agricultural adaptation practices and technologies).


SAFSP will focus on ADB’s value addition in advancing the use of advanced digital technologies, leveraging investments and applying integrated solutions on the safe, environment and climate-friendly agro-based value chains in the GMS. The TA will assist GMS towards becoming a more integrated, prosperous, inclusive, resilient and sustainable subregion, by focusing on principles such as “food safety for all, climate-friendly agriculture, inclusiveness of small farmers, gender empowerment, corporate social responsibility, good governance, benefits for all GMS countries, and integration with ASEAN”.


The SAFSP will have the following themes to be implemented over 5 years:


      1.          Greening of agribusiness supply chains

      2.          Inclusive and gender-conscious food value chains

      3.          Financing climate-friendly agribusinesses

      4.          Food safety and quality standards, certification and traceability

      5.          Cross-border animal health and value chain development

      6.          Water for food security in a changing climate

      7.          Agricultural adaptation in the context of water-food-energy nexus


The Asian Development Bank (ADB) organized a workshop on the GMS SAFSP on 3-4 April 2019in Kunming, People’s Republic of China. The workshop was divided into six sessions, where each session discussed (i) key challenges for each seven themes, (ii)  current status (e.g. policies, building capacities and mobilizing investment for infrastructure), and best practices that could be replicated, (iii)  key priorities for action, and (iv) advantages or disadvantages in adopting a regional approach.

More than 80 participants attended. Delegates included senior government officials from 6ADB developing member countries, senior staff from international and regional development organizations, including ADB, non-government organizations, academia, and the private sector.

The agenda and presentation materials can be downloaded below.


More details

Consultation Workshop on GMS Climate Change and Environment Sustainability Program (CCESP)

1 to 2 April 2019

Greater Mekong Subregion (GMS) Climate Change and Environment Sustainability Program (CCESP): The proposed knowledge and support technical assistance (TA) on CCESP will build on the key achievements of two phases of the Core Environment Program and support the implementation of the GMS Core Environment Program Strategic Framework and Action Plan 2018-2022, which was endorsed at the Fifth GMS Environment Ministers’ Meeting held in 2018. The CCESP will focus on creating enabling conditions to leverage additional investment in priority areas such as (i) green technologies and sustainable infrastructure; (ii) natural resources and ecosystem services; and (iii) green growth, climate resilience and disaster risk management.

More details
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