Greening Economies in the Asia Pacific
The local team has been working with the Royal University of Phnom Penh to use the tool InVEST (Integrated Valuation of Ecosystem Services and Tradeoffs) in the Eastern Plains Landscape (Mondulkiri, Cambodia).
So far, WWF Cambodia has engaged provincial level government officials to build their capacity on how to use the tool and how to apply it outputs and outcomes. The team is doing this by bridging science and policy through participatory workshops to provide stakeholders at the provincial and national level with the necessary tools to find solutions that work best in the current context.
WWF Cambodia is also working collaboratively with other stakeholders to influence government on the application NatCap accounting, such as the establishment of suitable Decision Support System (DSS) options for Cambodia to promote the enabling condition of Green Economy in Cambodia.
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It has targeted policymakers within the region as well as the private sector to encourage improved land use planning and the uptake of more responsible business practices. Highlights include testing sustainable financing for conservation in the Greater Mekong through WWF’s Carbon and Biodiversity (CarBi) project tackling the drivers of forest loss in the Central Annamite Mountains located within both Laos and Vietnam.
It led to a number of recommendations for the establishment of similar financing mechanisms throughout developing nations. The team also undertook a study of Sustainable and Equitable Growth of the Lower Mekong. The modeling from this study found that there is a potential to add almost US$10.5 billion to the region’s economy by pursing a Green Economy over a Business as Usual growth model.
This case study provides a summary of the research produced by the WWF 2013 report and what it means for policy-makers in the Lower Mekong region in terms of concrete actions and recommendations.
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The Heart of Borneo
In support, WWF has developed a model of Green Economy as an overarching framework to integrate the management of these five strategic areas. In 2014, the HoB government formally adopted this model and encouraged member countries to take up this approach in areas under their respective jurisdiction.
The Indonesian Government has since developed a national level plan of action for Green Economy that provides guidance for implementation by Kalimantan provinces. In parallel, WWF - with the support of the International Climate Initiative - developed a trans-boundary project spanning southern Sarawak and northern Kalimantan to encourage timber and palm oil production that is free from deforestation and species impact while ensuring the interests of local people are considered through collaborative management.
► Read more about GE projects in Heart of Borneo
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Highlights of the in-country team’s work include the MSC certification of the commercially exploited short neck clam in Ashtamudi estuary, the second largest estuarine system in Kerala. The fishery in question underwent the full assessment in September 2014 and was MSC certified in Nov 2014, the first MSC certified fishery in India and only the second in South East Asia. Elsewhere, WWF is supporting water stewardship through its ‘Rivers for Life, Life for Rivers’ program in the Ganges basin.
Focussing on SME behaviour in the clusters of Moradabad and Kanpur, the local team is uncovering challenges including low awareness and planning for water risks among SMEs. In response, WWF is mapping and identifying key national and international buyers that can influence the behaviour of the SMEs that supply them.
The research has not only identified key brands as sources of leverage but also established a methodology to map supply chains of SME clusters, which is now being used in China and Turkey for similar work. WWF-India is also advocating the need for scaling up renewable energy by striving to establish ‘renewables as the new normal’ for a sustainable & green economy.
The team produced ‘The Energy Report: India: 100% Renewable Energy by 2050’ in technical partnership with TERI to demonstrate that a renewable-energy-based green economy is achievable for India. The in-country team has also turned its attention to consumer attitudes to certified products. In the fist of two initiatives, the team devised a consumer awareness campaign for FSC paper, winning a two-year grant from WWF worth 200,000 USD to implement it.
The campaign targeted both general consumers as well as heavy users of paper (printers, publishing houses, packaging material makers etc.) about the source of the paper they use, and about the environmental impacts associated with unsustainable paper production.
In a second strand, WWF-India along with the Central Marine Fisheries Research Institute (CMFRI) worked together to implement the 'Choose Wisely' menu across leading hotels. This replicated WWF’s global Choose Wisely, a research-backed consumer awareness program which aims to inform better choices on fish purchases and ultimately protect global fish stocks from over-exploitation.
WWF-India is also working with numerous stakeholders to mitigate the impacts of linear infrastructure on national landscapes. The team have moved beyond identifying sites where mitigation is required, to collaborating with engineers to create detailed design documents for mitigation measures.
By way of example, the team is engaging with policymakers and road developers to prevent the adverse consequences of constructing a new road across the Terai Arc Landscape (TAL) in Northern India that extends from the Yamuna River in the west to the Bagmati River in the east. The region contains unique grassland and scrub forest ecosystem that is known as the Terai.
WWF India is drawing on its Green Economy project in the region to assign values to the ecosystems that will be affected by this road. These values are being used to develop a range of scenarios including the value to the economy should the road not be built.
► Read more about GE projects in India
► Visit WWF India website
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WWF is now providing the tools, information, and capacity building to enable a transition to a green economy and map Myanmar’s natural capital and the benefits it provides to people and the economy. Implicit here is demonstrating how a green economy approach can bring multiple social, economic and environmental benefits.
For example, WWF is promoting renewable energy in Myanmar’s power sector and better-informed planning and design in transport infrastructure. Overall, the collabotation aims to bring conservation efforts together by ensuring lessons learned on the ground about sustainable infrastructure development are used to improve planning and policies at the national level.
This means gathering various stakeholders across civil society, communities, the private sector and government. It is still early days for the collaboration but the local WWF team has already carried out training for developing a green economy strategy and incorporating natural capital values into national accounting systems.
► Visit WWF Myanmar website
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