The Core Environment Program, implemented by NIRAS, organized the 5th GMS Environment Minister’s Meeting, where the ministers approved a 5-year plan.
A third phase of the Greater Mekong Subregion (GMS) Core Environment Program (CEP) was endorsed by environment ministers from six countries on February 1.
With its new 2018-2022 strategy and action plan, CEP will ramp up its policy and planning support and knowledge services.
New initiatives include a project preparation facility, an online green technology ‘marketplace’ and a help desk which offers policy support. The strategy also seeks to plug investment gaps in the “green” sector, and thus includes a pipeline of more than $540 million environment investments for which the project facility will source funding.
The Asian Development Bank-led CEP is the flagship environmental initiative of the $64 billion GMS Economic Cooperation Program and has been implemented by NIRAS Finland since April 2016.
The strategy was endorsed by the six GMS-countries’ environment ministers during the 5th GMS Environment Ministers’ Meeting (EMM-5).
The GMS-countries are: Cambodia, the People’s Republic of China (specifically Yunnan Province and Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region), Lao People’s Democratic Republic, Myanmar, Thailand, and Viet Nam.
The meeting was held over 3-days in the northern Thai city of Chiang Mai.
Prior to the formal meeting of ministers, a 2-day forum on green growth was held on 30-31 January, including policy dialogues on clean energy, sustainable infrastructure, natural resource management and climate resilience. More than 200 delegates attended, including senior government officials, representatives from ADB, NIRAS, and leading development organizations working in the subregion.
Over the first decade of it’s existence, CEP has established 2.6 million hectares of biodiversity conservation corridors and reduced poverty for 30,000 rural people.
The programme has also influenced 12 major laws, policies, and plans and organised more than 500 capacity building events for 19,000+ people.
“Since 2006, CEP has strengthened its position as the foremost environment initiative in the GMS,” said Ramesh Subramaniam, Director General of ADB’s Southeast Asia Department.
CEP is currently funded by ADB, the Global Environment Facility, the Government of Sweden, and the Nordic Development Fund.