To date, the main achievements under CEP include:
Significant progress in building GMS government awareness and understanding of Strategic Environment Assessments (SEAs) as a decision-support tool. Six SEAs have been completed in support of energy, tourism, and provincial level land-use planning, with their results increasingly informing GMS national socio-economic development plans.
Seven pilot sites have been established under the Biodiversity Conservation Corridors Initiative (BCI), encompassing more than 1.2 million hectares and involving over 28,000 beneficiary households. Interventions at these sites have helped improve local natural resource and biodiversity assets as well as social, financial, and human resource assets. The initiative has also supported the establishment of more than 181 local institutions such as village development funds. Reflecting the importance of the BCI’s integrated conservation and development approach, Cambodia, Lao PDR, and Viet Nam are scaling up BCI work through $69 million in grant and loan funds.
Environmental Performance Assessment (EPA) is now well accepted in the subregion as an environmental monitoring and management tool. CEP has successfully supported GMS countries in strengthening their institutional and technical capacities to collect, compile, analyze, and disseminate environmental data. Since 2003, two rounds of national EPA reporting have been conducted, and findings have been influencing national sector and socio-economic planning. Under the most recent round of reports (2007–2011), an enhanced analytical and indicator framework was adopted and has helped ensure that the assessments more effectively complement existing country performance monitoring systems and reporting needs.
CEP’s is increasingly integrating climate change considerations throughout all of its work and is already contributing to GMS knowledge on adaptation and mitigation. A framework for assessing climate change risks for agrarian communities has been successfully tested and is ready for replication. The concept for an innovative low carbon sector intervention ‘Carbon Neutral Transport Corridors’ has been developed and is now ready for piloting. CEP has also built strong partnerships with national universities, institutes, and other organizations to strengthen science and policy linkages for climate change initiatives.
CEP’s capacity building work has led to a progressively strengthened and secure role for the GMS Working Group on Environment to support the mainstreaming of sound environmental management within GMS economic development. To this end, national support units and an operationally cost-effective Environmental Operations Center have been established. CEP has also established itself as an environmental information hub and referral center for the GMS and beyond. At the local level, more than 7,000 rural community participants have been trained in biodiversity conservation and livelihood development activities.