|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.
|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 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.