Building Capacity for Land Use Change Modeling (2014–2017)
Land use is constantly changing in the Greater Mekong Subregion. At the same time, land use planning processes are often poorly informed, risking decisions that may lead to social and environmental costs that outweigh intended benefits.
Improving Payment for Forest Ecosystem Services Implementation: TA-8592 VIE (2014-2016)
Viet Nam is a country with rich biodiversity, possessing natural ecosystems from tropical jungles to dry forests, mountains, wetlands, and marine ecosystems. Forests cover 43% of the land and provide ecosystem goods and services that are essential to sustain the livelihoods of much of the population.
Support to Viet Nam’s Environmental Protection Planning Circular (2016)
Viet Nam has dramatically reduced poverty over the past two decades through rapid economic development. However, this process has included some poorly planned industrialization, urbanization, and agricultural intensification, which has led to pollution, resource depletion, and environmental degradation.
SEA Support for Land Use Planning in Viet Nam (2015-2016)
Viet Nam’s 10-year Land Use Plans undergo revisions every 5 years, a process led by the Ministry of Natural Resource and Environment (MONRE).
Cambodia Safeguards Support (2015-2016)
Although Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) has been a legal requirement in Cambodia since 1999, many poorly planned investment projects continue to have major environmental and social consequences.
National Pollution Control Strategy – Lao PDR (2015-2016)
As Lao PDR continues its impressive development trajectory, the need to strategically and systematically prevent and mitigate pollution becomes increasingly urgent. Trends such as population growth and urbanization, increased consumerism, agricultural intensification, and industrial expansion are among many drivers of pollution in the country.
GMS Forest and Biodiversity Regional Support Project (2014-2016)
With support from the Global Environment Facility (GEF), the GMS Core Environment Program is strengthening regional collaboration to manage key transboundary biodiversity landscapes in the GMS.
Cambodia National Environment Strategy and Action Plan (2015-2016)
Required under Cambodia’s Law on Environmental Protection and Natural Resources Management, the country is developing a National Environment Strategy and Action Plan (NESAP) with the support of the GMS Core Environment Program .
Deqin Biodiversity Conservation Pilot Site, Yunnan, PR China (2007 onwards)
Nestled in the central Hengduan Mountains of Yunnan Province and bordering Sichuan and the Tibet Autonomous Region, Deqin County is the northernmost part of the Mekong Headwaters landscape.
Biodiversity Strategy and Action Plan for Yunnan Province: TA 46089
Biodiversity conservation in the People’s Republic of China (PRC) is conducted under the framework of the National Biodiversity Strategy and Action Plan (NBSAP), 2011–2030. The PRC has initiated ambitious conservation targets under its NBSAP and requires all provinces to prepare provincial-level BSAPs.
Payments for Forest Environmental Services in Viet Nam (2014–2017)
In recent years, there has been increased global recognition about the important socioeconomic contribution of ecosystem services for rural livelihoods and broader society. This has helped drive countries to make greater efforts to more sustainably manage their natural capital – forest, land, and water resources and related ecosystem services.
Climate Integrated Management of Transboundary Landscapes (2015–2016)
Transboundary biodiversity landscapes in the GMS are rich in natural capital, but are increasingly under threat from development and climate change pressures, leading to environmental degradation and more vulnerable local communities.
Integrated Energy Planning (2015–2016)
Growing demand for energy goes hand-in-hand with rapid economic development. Since 2005, GDP per capita in the GMS has increased 260% while electricity consumption has nearly doubled. As their economies continue to rapidly grow, all six countries need to utilize additional energy resources to meet increasing domestic demand. In addition, Lao PDR and Myanmar view energy exports as a major economic opportunity.
SEA Support for Socioeconomic Development Planning (2015–2016)
Under Viet Nam’s 2011 Strategic Environmental Assessment (SEA) decree, development plans of five years duration or more, including socioeconomic development plans (SEDP), are required to undergo an SEA. However, implementation of the decree is still relatively weak, with technical SEA capacity one of the major constraints.
Multisector Planning for Sustainable Development (2015–2016)
Development planning in the GMS is often fragmented, with ministries and sectors lacking the capacity, tools, or incentives to work together to meet sustainable development goals. When competing for the same natural resources, implementing one sector plan is often to the detriment of another. As a result, resource allocation can become inefficient, costly, and ultimately unsustainable.
SEA Support for River Basin Planning in Viet Nam(2012–2015)
While strategic environmental assessment (SEA) is a statutory requirement for most major strategic planning exercises in Viet Nam, there has been little guidance on how to apply SEA to river basin planning.
SEA Support for Socioeconomic Development Planning in Lao PDR (2014–2016)
Lao PDR is developing a decree and guidelines for strategic environmental assessment (SEA) in an effort to mainstream SEA in the country's development planning processes.
Ecotourism Support to Myanmar (2014-2015)
Tourism in Myanmar has boomed in recent years, with the industry generating nearly $1.8 billion in revenue in 2014 as international tourist arrivals hit the 3 million mark for the first time, nearly triple the number of arrivals in 2012.
Myanmar Environment Portal (2014-2015)
Readily available environmental information and data is an essential prerequisite for government planners to make effective development decisions and realize sustainable development goals.
Capacity support for pollution modeling (2013-2016)
The industrial sectors of Cambodia, Lao PDR, and Myanmar are rapidly growing and are helping drive economic development. For example, in Lao PDR, industry has doubled its proportion of national Gross Domestic Product during the past decade (12% to 25%). While the expansion of pulp industries including paper mills, cement factories, food processing and garment manufacturing, are providing new jobs and economic benefits, there are increasing concerns over industrial pollution, particularly on water and land quality.
Developing Nationally Appropriate Mitigation Actions (NAMAs) for freight transport (2014 onwards)
The freight sector in the Greater Mekong Subregion (GMS) is emerging as a significant source of greenhouse gas emissions, driven in part by regional economic cooperation and the associated development of economic corridors. In order to test interventions that could mitigate increases in emissions from freight transport, pilot projects are being implemented in Lao PDR, Thailand and Viet Nam through the GMS Green Freight Initiative .
Environmental Analysis of the GMS Regional Investment Framework (2012–2013)
From early 2012, the Asian Development Bank (ADB) begun preparing a Regional Investment Framework (RIF) to operationalize the Greater Mekong Subregion (GMS) Strategic Framework 2012–2022.
Myanmar Safeguards (2012 onwards)
Since late 2012, CEP has supported Myanmar’s Ministry of Environmental Conservation and Forestry (MOECAF) to establish a national environmental safeguards system.
Risk financing for climate resilience (2013-2015)
Rural households and communities in the GMS employ a wide range of strategies to minimize the impact of climatic shocks. These include crop and labor diversification, personal savings, investments in semi-liquid assets such as livestock, and informal risk pooling arrangements among peers.
GMS Climate Change Adaptation Roundtable
A number of development organizations in the GMS are working closely with the countries to help them more effectively integrate climate change considerations into development decisions.
GMS Green Freight Initiative (2013 onwards)
The freight and logistics sector in the GMS plays a pivotal role in supporting the expansion of trade, and in turn, economic growth. A 2010 Core Environment Program study of the GMS East-West Economic Corridor – connecting Lao PDR, Thailand and Viet Nam - found that promoting green freight through improved logistics management and fuel efficiency measures could reduce GHG emissions and lower freight company fuel costs.
Capacity building for REDD+ readiness (2013 onwards)
Forests in the GMS are important carbon sinks, provide valuable eco-system services, contain extensive and unique biodiversity, and are an important source of livelihood for millions of local people, many of whom live in poverty. The on-going destruction and damage to natural forests in the GMS through over-exploitation has long been one of the major environmental challenges facing the subregion. In response, GMS countries are engaging in REDD+ (“Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and forest Degradation”).
Biodiversity Conservation Corridors Project (2011 onwards)
One of the major successes of CEP Phase I was the scaling up of its biodiversity conservation corridor pilot work. In 2011, ADB approved grants and loans worth $69 million for Cambodia, Lao PDR, and Viet Nam under a new project to further engage local communities in the sustainable management of important biodiversity landscapes.
Asia-Pacific Forestry Sector Outlook Study II (2007 to 2011)
CEP provided technical and financial support to the Asia-Pacific Forestry Sector Outlook Study II (APFSOS II), which began in 2007. Led by the Food and Agricultural Organization of the United Nations, the outlook studies provide a benchmark for monitoring change, and predicting future trends, for forestry in the GMS and broader Asia-Pacific region.
An SEA of the North-South Economic Corridor Strategy and Action Plan (2008 to 2009)
The North-South Economic Corridor (NSEC) – linking Kunming to Bangkok, Kunming to Hanoi, and Hanoi to Nanning – is one of the flagship investments under the GMS Economic Cooperation Program.
Vulnerability and adaptation to climate change in GMS rural communities
Rural communities in the GMS are particularly vulnerable to climate change. While there is considerable indigenous knowledge within communities on managing climate-related risks, understanding how a community’s vulnerability profile will change from climate and non-climate risks is essential for empowering local people to develop strategies for a climate-resilient future.
GMS Development Maptool
To create synergy and avoid duplication, development planners need to know what projects other organizations are doing and where they are doing them. Without this knowledge, opportunities to maximize impact and use resources efficiently will be missed.
A tourism SEA in the Golden Quadrangle (2011 to 2012)
In recent years, the border region around the Golden Quadrangle, involving PR China, Lao PDR, and Thailand, has received attention for potential tourism development. There is increased tourism development in the Xishuangbanna area and in Northern Lao PDR (both ecotourism and cultural tourism) and this area has been designated as a key development priority under the GMS Tourism Sector Strategy.
SEAs for power development planning in Viet Nam (2007–2011, 2014)
Viet Nam has a rapidly growing demand for electricity, with current growth rates of around 15% per annum expected to continue, or increase, for the foreseeable future. This reflects Viet Nam’s rapid progress in economic development and the country’s growing income, urbanization and changing consumption patterns.
An SEA of the tourism sector in Cambodia (2007 to 2009)
From the mid-1990s to 2006, following years of conflict, tourist numbers in Cambodia grew at around 20% per year and in 2006, generated $1.5 billion in revenues.
Carbon neutral transport corridors feasibility study (2010-2012)
With support from ADB, ‘economic corridors’ are being developed across the GMS to improve transport connectivity and facilitate trade. An upsurge in traffic and development along these corridors is leading to increased greenhouse gas emissions and environmental changes. These need to be carefully managed to ensure environmental sustainability.
Phnom Penh Plan Environment Trainings for Senior Officials
The Phnom Penh Plan (PPP) is a regional program for capacity development under the Human Resource Department Strategy of the GMS Economic Cooperation Program. It is designed to help develop a core group of motivated development leaders and managers to manage the complex and challenging GMS development agenda.
Cambodia: Eastern Plains BCI Pilot Site (2006 to 2009)
This biodiversity conservation corridor pilot area connects four protected areas in Mondulkiri province, Cambodia. Covering 50,000 hectares, the area is rich in forest resources, and is also home to many regionally threatened mammals and birds.
Cambodia: Cardamom Mountains BCI Pilot Site (2006 to 2009)
This biodiversity conservation corridor pilot site in the southwest of Cambodia covers 936,522 hectares in three provinces. The area is rich in forest resources, and is also home to many regionally threatened mammals and birds.
Cao Bang – Guangxi Transboundary Corridor Pilot Site, Viet Nam and PR China (2009 onwards)
This pilot site aims to enhance biodiversity connectivity between Bangliang Nature Reserve in Jingxi County of Guangxi Province and the adjacent Trung Khanh Nature Resrve in Cao Bang Province, Viet Nam. The establishment of a transboundary biodiversity corridor, with a protected core zone and sustainable use zone with agriculture, will provide an optimal habitat for wildlife, as well as the co-existence of human beings.
Lao PDR: Xe Pian – Dong Hua Sao BCI Pilot Site (2006 to 2009)
This biodiversity conservation corridor pilot sire in the south of Lao PDR covers a 32,000 hectare strip of land in Champasak Province, between the Dong Hua Sao and Xe Pian national protected areas.
Thailand: Tenasserim BCI Pilot Site (2007 onwards)
This biodiversity conservation corridor is located in the Tenasserim Range in western Thailand, between the Western Forest Complex and the Kaeng Krachan Complex. To the west, the corridor borders forested areas in Myanmar.
Viet Nam: Ngoc Linh-Xe Sap BCI site (2006 to 2009)
Biodiversity conservation corridors at this pilot site cover 130,827 hectares in Quang Nam and Quang Tri provinces. The corridors include part the Central Annamite mountains – ranked as a ‘critically important’ landscape due to the unique variety of species that inhabit this area.
Xishuangbanna BCI Pilot Site, Yunnan, PR China (2007 onwards)
The Xishuangbanna biodiversity conservation corridors pilot site is located in southern Yunnan and stretches down to the border with Lao PDR. Of the eight corridors identified, CEP has focused activities in two (Nabanhe to Mangao and Mengla to Shangyong), the latter of which includes a transboundary nature reserve that is home to a wild elephant population.
Second round of environmental performance assessments
During the second round of EPAs, increased emphasis was given to building national capacity, producing better quality information, and ensuring that analytical results fed into national planning processes.
First round of environmental performance assessments
Environmental performance assessments were conducted in six GMS countries, namely Cambodia, Lao PDR, Myanmar, Thailand, Viet Nam, and Yunnan Province in the PR China. This was part of an ADB regional technical assistance project known as Strategic Environment Framework Phase II (SEF II) conducted from 2003–2005.