Stimulating Knowledge Exchange Between the Countries
The GMS countries share many common environmental challenges and each country is testing solutions to suit their national priorities and contexts. This creates fertile ground for the six countries to exchange experiences and ideas. Sometimes, the spark for a country to try new approaches can be created simply by bringing people together to inspire and learn from each other, as is happening in the GMS.
The CEP provides many such provides many such opportunities through its knowledge events for environmental officials and development experts. The CEP network now includes many partners from throughout the subregion who have forged close working relationships with each other over the years.
The Working Group on Environment’s annual meeting in 2015 is a good example of how this spirit of sharing and cooperation is working. At the meeting, Viet Nam made a presentation on the successful pilot of its national payments for forest environmental services scheme. Under this scheme, more than half a million rural people receive cash payments from hydropower and water utility companies for patrolling and monitoring forest watersheds.
Inspired by the presentation, Cambodia’s Working Group on Environment coordinator, Khieu Borin, approached his counterpart from Viet Nam, Kim Ngoc, to learn more. In 2016, and with CEP support, Borin organized a national workshop on payments for ecosystem services (PES), which was attended by ministries and development organizations. The momentum for PES has since gathered steam in Cambodia, with government plans underway to trial PES for important watersheds in Sihanoukville and Siem Reap provinces, and possibly to develop a national policy. This example shows that good ideas can catch on due to the willingness of GMS countries to exchange their experiences and knowledge.
Publish Date: 31st March 2018