Roadmap for a green economy in the Heart of Borneo: a scoping study
The momentum for building a global green economy is growing. Spurred on by the need to curb greenhouse gas emissions, use resources more efficiently, provide long-term sustainable increases in GDP and standards of living and to value the often invisible natural assets that have underpinned economic success over the centuries.
Recognising the green economy opportunity in HoB, WWF and PwC have worked together to analyse the current situation in HoB and the global response to green growth, to make a series of recommendations for how HoB governments can seize on these opportunities.
Both WWF and PwC hope that the Roadmap for a green economy in the Heart of Borneo: a scoping study, provides a useful input for the three governments and both organizations stand ready to further support the elaboration and implementation of its recommendations. We believe an integrated approach to green growth is essential to understand the trade-offs and synergies between policies and practices and to help avoid unintended consequences.
The green economy is about improving prosperity in an environmentally friendly and socially inclusive way. Our analysis of these initiatives highlights the importance of critical success factors which need to be present to build a green economy.
National responses to the green economy opportunity vary. For some countries green growth is primarily about the natural environment, whilst for others it is largely an issue of urbanisation.
The green economy opportunity in the Heart of Borneo
A green economy in the HoB could help deliver the objectives set out in the 2007 Heart of Borneo Declaration, but also support goals such as economic growth, poverty alleviation and energy and food security. Green economic activity, such as renewable energy generation, bio-prospecting, eco-tourism, forest carbon and ecosystem service markets and sustainable agriculture and forestry could also attract foreign investment from both the public and private sector and improve the quality of the environment and the well-being and the prosperity of local inhabitants.
Progress is already underway in developing a greener economy in the region, with changes to both policies and practices. These range from payments for ecosystem services in Kalimantan, incentives for investment in renewable energy (i.e., Feed-In Tariffs (FITs)) in Malaysia and public-private conservation programs in Brunei.
On a more systemic level both Central and East Kalimantan have published low carbon growth and prosperity plans, Sabah has recently committed to a state wide REDD+ plan, and Brunei is working with Carbon Conservation towards a green economy.
However, efforts to fully deliver the Declaration and green economic growth will need direction, coordination and large scale implementation support to address capacity constraints, economic growth based on unsustainable natural resource use, the high costs of investing in economic transformation and continuing demand for unsustainable goods and services (mostly for export).
Changes to policies and practices are imperative, but need to be based on sound evidence generated through robust modelling, stakeholder engagement and demonstration projects .
The HoB scoping study outlines many of these activities and we hope it will be a welcome addition to the debate around building a long term sustainable economy in the HoB.