Green Infrastructure and Poverty Reduction in the Pacific Island Countries | Asian Development Bank

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Green Infrastructure and Poverty Reduction in the Pacific Island Countries

Event | 26 - 27 July 2017 Port Moresby, Papua New Guinea

Background

Pacific island countries (PIC) have experienced significant economic growth in the past two decades by increasing their trade integration in Asia and the Pacific Region. PIC exports have increased by 169% over the past 20 years, reaching $9.6 billion in 2013. Food and live animals accounted for 17% of exports while crude and mineral oils comprised the bulk of export earnings between 1993 and 2013. Nonetheless, natural calamities, remote geography, scattered populations, and lack of economies of scale have largely marred economic growth, undermining poverty reduction goals. Market fluctuations in fuel and food prices periodically create food insecurity leaving thousands without social safety nets except for family ties.

As green infrastructure—with a focus on renewable energy sources such as solar, wind, and hydro-power—becomes a popular vehicle of sustainable economic growth, it could also be critical to poverty reduction in the PICs. The transition from fossil fuels to renewable energy sources will save PICs millions in fuel costs and make them self-sufficient and independent of devastating international market shocks. The freed-up resources could be channeled into critical public healthcare, and education programs to improve capital and human development resources for long term economic growth and ultimately reduce absolute and relative poverty. The Cook Islands, Fiji, and Vanuatu have already pledged to increase their renewable energy production to 100% by 2030. Other countries are slowly following their initiative.

In line with this, ADBI will organize a workshop on green infrastructure and poverty reduction in Papua New Guinea to promote discussion on the current state, challenges, and opportunities facing green infrastructure development, and its impact on poverty reduction in the region.

Objectives

  • To enhance the capacity of policy makers in ADB’s DMCs to increase gains from green infrastructure projects to foster sustainable growth and reduce poverty;
  • To increase understanding among policy makers in ADB’s DMCs for the linkage between green infrastructure development and poverty reduction; and
  • To brainstorm innovative ways to reduce poverty by developing cost-effective green infrastructure projects.

Participants

About 25 people (including ADBI funded participants) drawn from governments of ADB’s DMCs, particularly officials from ministries of finance and ministries having policy making experience in renewable energy, and poverty reduction. ADBI-funded government officials will likely be invited from up to 10 Pacific island countries.

Output

Discussion on

  • PICs vulnerability to natural disasters and the impact on the economy and poverty in the region;
  • Social and economic infrastructure for poverty reduction and economic growth;
  • Potential benefits of green infrastructure (solar, wind and hydro power) for reducing poverty and boosting economic growth; and
  • Financing green infrastructure projects in the PICs.

How to register

By invitation only.

Language

English

Partners

Department of National Planning and Monitoring (DNPM), Papua New Guinea (PNG)

Time of event

09:00 - 18:00