Regional: Core Environment Program and Biodiversity Conservation Corridors Initiative in the Greater Mekong Subregion, Phase 2

Sovereign Project | 44323-012 Status: Approved

Summary

The TA will promote sound environmental management and climate resilient interventions within the context of the GMS ECP. It will aim to reconcile development objectives in the GMS economic corridors with conservation and sustainable use of ecosystem services in priority transboundary landscapes and associated biodiversity corridors. The TA will accomplish this by integrating sound environmental management, biodiversity conservation and climate resilience measures in the GMS Economic Cooperation Program (ECP). Specifically, it will support the application of environmental management, planning and monitoring approaches and tools to aid investment decision making; support climate resilience through adaptation planning and low carbon and energy efficient investment strategies; support sustainable financing for conservation; and capacity development to ensure uptake of these measure by appropriate stakeholders including government, civil society and community groups.

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Project Name Core Environment Program and Biodiversity Conservation Corridors Initiative in the Greater Mekong Subregion, Phase 2
Project Number 44323-012
Country Regional
Project Status Approved
Project Type / Modality of Assistance Technical Assistance
Source of Funding / Amount
TA 7987-REG: Core Environment Program and Biodiversity Conservation Corridors Initiative in the Greater Mekong Subregion, Phase 2
Technical Assistance Special Fund US$ 800,000.00
Finland (w/ LoA) US$ 14.00 million
TA 7987-REG: Core Environment Program and Biodiversity Conservation Corridors Initiative in the Greater Mekong Subregion, Phase 2 (Supplementary)
A.T.F. - Swedish T.A. Grant US$ 8.30 million
TA 7987-REG: Core Environment Program and Biodiversity Conservation Corridors Initiative in the Greater Mekong Subregion, Phase 2 (Supplementary)
Nordic Development Fund US$ 5.30 million
Strategic Agendas Environmentally sustainable growth
Inclusive economic growth
Regional integration
Drivers of Change Governance and capacity development
Partnerships
Sector / Subsector

Agriculture, natural resources and rural development - Land-based natural resources management

Gender Equity and Mainstreaming No gender elements
Description The TA will promote sound environmental management and climate resilient interventions within the context of the GMS ECP. It will aim to reconcile development objectives in the GMS economic corridors with conservation and sustainable use of ecosystem services in priority transboundary landscapes and associated biodiversity corridors. The TA will accomplish this by integrating sound environmental management, biodiversity conservation and climate resilience measures in the GMS Economic Cooperation Program (ECP). Specifically, it will support the application of environmental management, planning and monitoring approaches and tools to aid investment decision making; support climate resilience through adaptation planning and low carbon and energy efficient investment strategies; support sustainable financing for conservation; and capacity development to ensure uptake of these measure by appropriate stakeholders including government, civil society and community groups.
Project Rationale and Linkage to Country/Regional Strategy The TA is consistent with the GMS Regional Cooperation Operations Business Plan (2011-2013), which aims to achieve the vision of an integrated, harmonious and prosperous GMS. Managing the environment and shared natural resources to help ensure sustainable development is one of four strategic pillars of the RCOBP. The TA is also closely aligned with the Strategic Framework for the next phase of the GMS Economic Cooperation Program (2012-2022).
Impact Improved biodiversity conservation and climate resilience across the GMS
Project Outcome
Description of Outcome Environment friendly and climate resilient GMS Economic Cooperation Program
Progress Toward Outcome

The Core Environment Program (CEP) progress made towards its 2016 Design Monitoring Framework outcomes so far in 2015 is summarized in brief below (more information available in the CEP website: www.gms-eoc.org)

CEP made substantial contributions to technical and human resource capacity development. During January to June 2015, CEP organized or co-organized 29 events, involving nearly 1,970 participants. These events included workshops, trainings, conferences, study tours, and planning meetings. There were 13 regional events and 16 national events. In addition, three briefs were published (on Green Freight, strategic environmental assessment, and ecosystem based adaptation) and a report produced on the status of natural capital in the GMS and means to increase investments in natural capital. A range of other knowledge products are in development.

CEP played a lead role in mobilizing broad-based partnerships on key environmental issues in the GMS: For example, The Fourth GMS Environment Ministers' Meeting (EMM4) was held in Nay Pyi Taw from 27 29 January and brought together more then 200 participants from the GMS countries, including government delegates, co-financing partners, and representatives from private sector, youth, the ADB, and NGOs. It solicited high-level consensus and support from the GMS countries and stakeholders to scale up efforts to protect and enhance natural capital to achieve inclusive and sustainable development in the subregion. Four knowledge events preceded the formal EMM4 meeting, including a Biodiversity Landscapes Forum, a Natural Capital Business Forum, a Youth Environment Meeting, and a Natural Capital Dialogue. Also, the CEP-led Climate Change Adaptation Roundtable series continued its contribution to regional knowledge exchange with roundtables six and seven held.

CEP continued to contribute to important policy and institutional development outcomes. These include further technical support to finalize Myanmar's environmental impact assessment (EIA) procedures and technical guidelines as well as a protected area assessment that has informed Myanmar's new ecotourism management strategy.

Progress was also made on scaling up and institutionalizing the biodiversity conservation corridors approach as well as facilitating regional collaboration for transboundary biodiversity landscape management. In Guangxi and Yunnan provinces (People's Republic of China), a range of assessments are currently being undertaken inform plans to expand and strengthen the corridor networks linking protected areas. Similarly in Thailand, work is underway to establish the first corridors in the Eastern Forest Complex (part of the Cardamom and Elephant Mountains landscape). Environment officials from Guangxi and Cao Bang (Viet Nam) signed a Memorandum of Understanding to collaborate in information sharing, capacity building, and to undertake joint management regarding border areas of the Sino-Viet Nam Karst transboundary landscape. Regional partners also explored mechanisms and opportunities to improve collaboration in transboundary landscapes at EMM4.

The Environment Operations Center (EOC) also increased its provision of online knowledge services, including updated GMS statistics and GIS data, as well as launching a e-news information service the GMS Environment News. This e-news disseminates ADB, environment ministry, and CEP environment-related news and publications directly to 700 key stakeholders as well as to thousands more regionally and globally via partner networks. The uptake of these and existing knowledge services continue to exceed targets. The newly launched online Myanmar Environment Portal is also providing stakeholders with better access to environment data, maps, and other resources at the national level.

Implementation Progress
Description of Project Outputs

Environmental planning systems, methods and safeguards improved

Management of transboundary biodiversity conservation lanscapes and local livelihoods improved

Climate resilient and low carbon strategies developed

Institutions and financing for sustainable environmental management improved

Status of Implementation Progress (Outputs, Activities, and Issues)

Component-level progress

Component 1: Environmental Planning, Safeguards and Monitoring

A natural capital forum was organized and natural capital report produced as key knowledge inputs for EMM4. The inception report for the multisector planning activity was submitted. An SEA capacity building program to improve provincial socioeconomic development planning in Lao PDR was developed. A CEP-supported SEA report for Viet Nam's revised Power Development Plan VII was finalized. A concept note for CEP support for Cambodia's NESAP was drafted and recruitment of three consultants initiated. Software for a new land use change model built and related training program developed. Legal and technical support was provided to revise Myanmar's draft Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) Procedure. A safeguards strengthening action plan was completed in Cambodia and priority EIA training activities identified. Technical support was provided to finalize national environmental (emissions) guidelines for Myanmar. The online Myanmar Environment Portal was launched. Statistics and GIS data on the GMS Environment Portal were updated. The Industrial Pollution Projection System (IPPS) was successfully applied in Lao PDR and a training and awareness program prepared. The Environmental Performance Assessment (EPA) report for Xishuangbanna was produced.

Component 2: Biodiversity Landscapes and Livelihoods

The second regional Biodiversity Landscapes Forum was organized as a EMM4 side-event. A MOU between Guangxi and Cao Bang was signed in May 2015 with an objective to strengthen collaboration in the management of Sino-Vietnamese Limestone landscape. CEP participated in the formulation of Yunnan Biodiversity Strategy and Action Plan, and advocated for the inclusion of biodiversity corridors as a strategic means to improve ecosystem connectivity in the province. Two consultation workshops were held to identify and priorities NTFPs that could potentially contribute to development of livelihoods of the people living in the biodiversity conservation corridors. Field assessment of ecotourism potential in 10 target protected areas was completed. A knowledge product is being reviewed and will be jointly publish with ICIMOD. An International Conference on Ecotourism Policy and Practice: Strengthening Livelihoods, Conservation and Adaptation was held in collaboration with ICIMOD and Ministry of Hotels and Tourism (MOHT). The final draft of Ecotourism Policy and Management Strategy was launched during the event.

Component 3: Climate Change

The sixth and seventh roundtable discussions on climate change adaptation in the GMS were held in April and June; Two knowledge briefs on Ecosystem-based Approaches (EBA) and Green Freight were produced, distributed at EMM4, and subsequently published; A climate risk financing assessment was conducted in Cambodia, Lao PDR and Viet Nam, and the assessment report was completed. A knowledge product based on this assessment was drafted; A field assessment of village organization capacity to disburse REDD+ funds was completed in Lao PDR; A training course on participatory forest management delivered for communities in Attapeu province, Lao PDR; Implementation of pilot projects under the Green Freight Initiative begun in Cambodia, Thailand, and Viet Nam.

Component 4: Institutions and Financing

CEP engaged in the GMS Economic Cooperation Program (ECP) through participation in the 7th GMS Economic Corridors Forum, providing training on SMCA for sub-corridor planning in Cambodia, and contributing updates for the First Progress Report of the RIF Implementation Plan as well as to the GMS Urban Development Strategic Framework. EMM4 was held on the theme of increasing investments in natural capital, and included four side-events. WGE-AM 21 was held, followed by a joint knowledge event with the WGA on inclusive and sustainable agricultural value chains and a technical workshop on the institutional future of EOC. The CEP Midterm Review was conducted. An inception report for the institutional development strategy and EOC transition roadmap and process was produced. CEP organized or co-organized 29 events, involving more than 1950 participants. The EMM4 Communications Plan was implemented. Two CEP National Communications Associates were recruited (Guangxi and Yunnan). EOC co-published with ADB three awareness-raising briefs and produced a natural capital report (currently being published). A total of 2995 hard copies of CEP publications were disseminated in the GMS. CEP twitter account launched GMS Environment Update e-news product launched and three editions produced. Six editions of the GMS Monthly Environment Media Roundup produced. CEP mailing list created covering 700 program stakeholders . Fifty-six environment news items uploaded onto CEP website (24 CEP items and 32 ADB items) and 65 environment events listed (including 15 CEP event pages). Twenty publications uploaded (16 ADB and 4 CEP). CEP 2014 Annual Report produced.

Geographical Location
Summary of Environmental and Social Aspects
Environmental Aspects
Involuntary Resettlement
Indigenous Peoples
Stakeholder Communication, Participation, and Consultation
During Project Design During the 2nd Environment Ministers' Meeting (EMM) held in Vientiane, Lao PDR in 2008, the GMS Governments acknowledged the useful contribution by the Core Environment Program-Biodiversity Conservation Initiative (CEP-BCI) towards the overall Economic Cooperation Program and requested ADB to begin preparation of a follow-on phase for endorsement at the 3rd EMM. This was reiterated by the Working Group on Environment (WGE) at their fourth semi-annual meeting in Bangkok in November 2009. Accordingly, commencing in January 2010, ADB supported the WGE and its technical secretariat, the Environment Operations Center (EOC) to prepare the second phase of CEP-BCI. Preparation involved several rounds of country-level and regional consultations which culminated in July 2011 with an in-principle endorsement of the Project Framework Document for CEP-BCI (2012-2016) at the third EMM.
During Project Implementation
Business Opportunities
Consulting Services The TA will require the services of international consultants (up to 175 person-months), national consultants (up to 751 person-months) and GMS country specialists deputed to the EOC (up to 47 person-months). International consultants staffing the EOC will be engaged as individuals and other international consultants for program implementation will be hired as individuals or through a firm in accordance with the Guidelines for the Use of Consultants by the Asian Development Bank and Its Borrowers and other arrangements satisfactory to ADB. The engagement of domestic consultants will be delegated to the EOC in accordance with arrangements satisfactory to ADB.
Procurement Equipment for the EOC and the NSU will be procured by ADB according to ADBs Guidelines for Procurement.
Responsible ADB Officer Pavit Ramachandran
Responsible ADB Department Southeast Asia Department
Responsible ADB Division Environment, Natural Resources & Agriculture Division, SERD
Executing Agencies
Asian Development Bank
6 ADB Avenue, Mandaluyong
Metro Manila, Philippines
P.O. Box 789, 1099 Manila,
Philippines
Timetable
Concept Clearance 22 Sep 2011
Fact Finding 26 Sep 2011 to 30 Sep 2011
MRM -
Approval 12 Dec 2011
Last Review Mission -
Last PDS Update 25 Sep 2015

TA 7987-REG

Milestones
Approval Signing Date Effectivity Date Closing
Original Revised Actual
12 Dec 2011 - 12 Dec 2011 31 Dec 2015 31 Dec 2016 -
Financing Plan/TA Utilization Cumulative Disbursements
ADB Cofinancing Counterpart Total Date Amount
Gov Beneficiaries Project Sponsor Others
800,000.00 27,600,000.00 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.00 28,400,000.00 12 Dec 2011 10,223,924.28

Safeguard Documents

See also: Safeguards

Safeguard documents provided at the time of project/facility approval may also be found in the list of linked documents provided with the Report and Recommendation of the President.

None currently available.

Evaluation Documents

See also: Independent Evaluation

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Related Publications

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