|Greater Mekong Subregion|
The Core Environment Program
Environmental degradation and its effect on economic development have been recognized by the international community as among the major impediments to sustainable development. Thus, in 2006, the Asian Development Bank supported improved environmental management in the Greater Mekong Subregion (GMS) through its Core Environment Program (CEP). The GMS is composed of the nations of Cambodia, Lao PDR, Myanmar, People’s Republic of China (its southern region), Thailand and Viet Nam. The CEP is also supported by the governments of Finland and Sweden.
The Core Environment Program was officially launched in April 2006 with the establishment of the GMS Environmental Operations Center in Bangkok, Thailand. The CEP aims to mainstream environmental considerations into the transport, energy, tourism and agriculture sectors of the GMS Economic Cooperation Program. It promotes the application of development planning tools that integrate environment into sustainable development.
The Biodiversity Corridors Initiative
The Biodiversity Conservation Corridors Initiative (BCI) is a flagship component of the Core Environment Program in the Greater Mekong Subregion. It is an innovative approach combining poverty reduction with biodiversity conservation. The BCI is a regional technical assistance program for promoting the establishment of sound environmental management systems and institutions. It aims to mainstream environmental management and biodiversity conservation in the GMS Economic Cooperation Program and subregional development. The initiative also aims to prevent the ecosystem fragmentation that could result from pressures in the economic development along the GMS economic corridors.
By 2015, the GMS countries will endeavour to maintain and improve the cover, condition and biodiversity of forestlands and associated ecosystems in priority biodiversity conservation landscapes and corridors by empowering the GMS countries to effectively manage their environment and economic development.
As of February 2010, several results have already been achieved by the CEP-BCI. These are, among others, the following:
ASEAN Centre for Biodiversity 2010. ASEAN Biodiversity Outlook, pp 123-124. Los Banos Laguna, Philippines 2010.