Environmental Sustainability in the Greater Mekong Subregion (GMS): Back to the Future |

Environmental Sustainability in the Greater Mekong Subregion (GMS): Back to the Future


The Greater Mekong Subregion (GMS) consisting of six countries - Cambodia, PR China (with Yunnan and Guangxi Provinces), Lao PDR, Myanmar, Thailand and Viet Nam - have been enjoying rapid growth and successful poverty reduction efforts over the last decade. Recently, attention of GMS countries has intensified towards environment and sustainable development issues. In 2005, the GMS Summit of Heads of State launched the Core Environment Program and Biodiversity Conservation Corridors Initiative (CEP/BCI) supported by the Asian Development Bank and the Governments of PR China, Finland, Netherlands, and Sweden. The intention of GMS countries is to meet head on emerging challenges such as ecosystem as well as institutional fragmentation, management of shared natural resources, and anticipated climate change impacts. Solutions will have to focus on consolidation, rationalization, and defragmentation of institutions and their functions in the national, subregional, and global environmental management machinery. Attention must also be given to putting in place conducive policies that provide incentives for sound institutional and technological (both material and intellectual) infrastructure commensurate with the scale and scope of these challenges.
Who can fill this gap? Who should and can do what? Options for doing this could be: top down/big bang theory (doesn't work); incremental/organic - focused/centered on and anchored in national development machinery. Subregional and global processes will be only as strong and effective as its constittuting parts. There is a justification and role for subregional and global processes but many of them exist already – the UN system, Multilateral Environment Agreements - MEAs, GMS, ASEAN and their operating apparatus. There is a need to rationalize and bring better integration and connectivity in terms of thinking and programming within these frameworks. The role of the academic institutions should be to: i) produce quality human resource capital with appropriate skills; and ii) fill knowledge resource gaps. Can academic institutions also play the role of supporting institutional defragmentation and accelerated institutional development keeping pace with complex demands and pressures of a rapid growth area such as the GMS?

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Hasan Moinuddin, BCI Task Leader and Climate Change Task Coordinator, GMS Environment Operations Center, Bangkok

Thursday, 02 April 2009
5.30 p.m. - 6.45 p.m.

Seminar Room 3-5
Level 3, Manasseh Meyer
Lee Kuan Yew School of Public Policy
469C Bukit Timah Road
Singapore 259772

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