|Progress Toward Outcome
The Core Environment Program (CEP) has delivered major outputs towards achieving its intended outcome of an environment friendly and climate-resilient GMS economic cooperation program to date. Progress made towards its 2016 Design Monitoring Framework outcomes 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. To date, CEP has organized or co-organized 70 events, involving nearly 3,204 participants. These regional and national events included workshops, trainings, conferences, study tours, and planning meetings. 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 2729 January and brought together more than 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 11 roundtables held by March 2016.
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 (Peoples 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. An inception report for Cambodia's NESAP formulation was drafted, and an Inter-Ministerial Task Force was established. A new and improved version of the CLUMondo land use change model was developed and used by CEP to generate technical inputs for the SEA of Viet Nam's Land Use Policy 2016-2020 revision. Training of trainers and awareness raising events on land use change assessment and modelling were also conducted in each GMS country/province. Legal and technical support was provided to revise Myanmar's draft Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) Procedure. The National Environmental Quality Guidelines and EIA Procedure were formally issued Myanmar with CEP's legal and technical support. A Cambodia environmental safeguards capacity strengthening action plan was finalized and planned training activities prioritized, and two provincial level courses delivered on environmental impact assessment (EIA) report review. 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 delivered. 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, and resulted in a 3-year action plan for regional collaboration for transboundary landscapes. A MOU between Guangxi and Cao Bang was signed in May 2015, and another one in September 2015 between Yunnan and Luang Namtha, with an objective to strengthen collaboration for the management of Sino-Vietnam Karst transboundary and the Mekong Headwaters landscapes. 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 prioritize NTFPs, which 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. 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 report on assessment of ecotourism potential of protected areas in Myanmar and its knowledge product completed; providing background information to develop the Ecotourism Policy and Management Strategy (EPMS). EPMS is an official document that guides responsible and sustainable ecotourism development in Myanmar.
Component 3: Climate Change
Four roundtable discussions on climate change adaptation in the GMS were held in 2015 and another two during the first quarter of 2016. Two knowledge briefs on Ecosystem-based Approaches (EBA) and Green Freight were produced, which were 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 later drafted. In Viet Nam, climate risk financing measures were integrated into new guidelines for Commune Development Funds in Quang Tri province. A field assessment of village organization capacity to disburse REDD+ funds was completed in Lao PDR and a training course on participatory forest management was delivered for communities in Attapeu province, Lao PDR. The testing phase of fuel efficient technologies under the Green Freight Initiative in Lao PDR and Viet Nam was completed; training curriculum on eco-driving developed, and study on logistics management initiated. By end 2015, activities for Strengthening Capacity to Use Climate Change Data and Information for Planning were initiated and climate change data sets were prepared for the online platform.
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 and Second Progress Reports 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 70 events, involving more than 3,204 participants. The EMM4 Communications Plan was implemented. EOC co-published with ADB three awareness-raising briefs a natural capital report, as well as factsheet with ICIMOD on Myanmar's new ecotourism strategy and a factsheet with CIFOR on PFES for Viet Nam. The 2016 Stats and Maps Notebook was also prepared. A total of 3,259 hard copies of CEP publications were disseminated in the GMS. The CEP twitter account was launched as well as the GMS Environment Update e-news product and seven editions were produced to date. There were 12 editions of the GMS Monthly Environment Media Roundup and a CEP mailing list was created with 825 program stakeholders. By end 2015, 108 environment news items were featured on the CEP website (47 CEP items and 61 ADB items) and 123 environment events listed (including 26 CEP event pages). Thirty-two publications were uploaded (28 ADB and 4 CEP). The CEP 2014 Annual Report and 2015 Semi-Annual Report were produced. The 2015 Annual Report is currently under finalization.