Environment

In the Greater Mekong Subregion, 200 million people in rural areas depend on their surrounding environment for food, water, energy, and income. Forests, wetlands, mangroves, farmlands, and other ecosystems account for between 20% and 55% of the subregion's wealth.

The Working Group on Environment (WGE) provides overall leadership and direction for the subregion's Core Environment Program.


These natural ecosystems – and the food, water, energy and other vital elements they provide – lie at the heart of the development of the Greater Mekong Subregion. How these natural resources are protected, managed, and enhanced will determine the long-term sustainability of its environment and economic development.

Overexploitation of natural resources, pollution, vulnerability to climate change, and ever-increasing natural disasters are threatening these ecosystems. In addition, environmental degradation is posing risks to sustained long-term growth, and could cost a whopping $55 billion in foregone services over the next 25 years if left unchecked.

Unless there is better planning and management, the subregion’s resource-intensive development approach could lead to food shortages, price shocks, health hazards, and environmental damage that impact thousands of families and put businesses at risk.

To address these issues, the six GMS countries are partnering to protect and enhance their natural capital through the GMS Core Environment Program with the vision of a poverty-free and ecologically rich subregion.

The program is administered by the Asian Development Bank and overseen by the GMS Working Group on the Environment, made up of representatives of the GMS environment ministries. The work is coordinated by the GMS Environment Operations Center, which is hosted by ADB’s Thailand Resident Mission.

With support from this program, countries in the Greater Mekong Subregion are working to meet the increasing demand for food, energy, water, and other natural resources, while at the same time ensuring that resources are available for future generations. This includes balancing rapid growth with sustainable practices, and protecting vital water resources, controlling floods, preserving biodiversity and critical ecosystems, and mitigating the impacts of urban expansion.

At the 5th GMS Environment Ministers' Meeting in Chiang Mai from 30 January to 1 February 2018, the ministers endorsed the Core Environment Program Strategic Framework and Action Plan 2018-2022.

Related

Summary of Proceedings

GMS Core Environment Program website

Focal Persons at the Asian Development Bank

  • Srinivasan Ancha
    Environment, Natural Resources and Agriculture Division,
    Southeast Asia Department
  • Pavit Ramachandran
    Environment, Natural Resources and Agriculture Division,
    East Asia Department

Other Concerned Staff & Consultants

  • Rhodora Concepcion
    Thailand Resident Mission,
    Southeast Asia Department
  • Rafaelita Jamon
    Regional Cooperation and Operations Coordination Division,
    Southeast Asia Department/GMS Secretariat

Send inquiries to GMS Secretariat.

Deputy Director General of ADB's Private Sector Operations Department Christopher Thieme (left) and China Everbright CEO Wang Tianyi (right) after the signing. Photo: ADB.

ADB, China Everbright International Facilitate Clean Waste-to-Energy PPP in Viet Nam

HONG KONG, CHINA (2 February 2018) — The Asian Development Bank today signed a $100 million loan facility agreement with China Everbright International Limited to help a series of municipal waste-to-energy plants in primary and secondary cities in the Mekong Delta.  

News Releases

Rural communities in the Greater Mekong Subregion are vulnerable to climate-related disasters, such as floods, droughts, and storms. Risk financing can help people protect their livelihood and productive assets better through a combination of risk retention, risk sharing, and risk transfer mechanisms. Photo: ADB.

How Risk Financing Can Help Mekong Farmers Cope with Disasters

Risk financing can help at-risk communities better cope with the economic costs of natural disasters and extreme weather.

Articles

Viet Nam is helping farmers respond to climate change to protect their harvests and their livelihoods. Photo: ADB.

Viet Nam is helping farmers respond to climate change to protect their harvests and their livelihoods. Photo: ADB.

In Viet Nam, Government and Farmers Find New Ways to Manage Climate Change

New laws, policies, training centers—and plenty of infrastructure upgrades like water pumps and irrigation systems—are helping Vietnamese farmers deal with the challenges of weather, geography, and climate change.

Articles

Kampong Phluk commune, Tonle Sap Lake (Cambodia). Photo: ADB.

In recent years, Cambodia and Lao PDR have reported more than 150,000 cases of dengue annually. Photo: ADB.

ADB, Nordic Development Fund Help GMS Counter Climate Change Health Threat

MANILA, PHILIPPINES (5 June 2015) – The Asian Development Bank has approved a pioneering regional technical assistance initiative, with finance from the Nordic Development Fund, to help Cambodia, the Lao People’s Democratic Republic, and Viet Nam respond to climate-induced health threats.

News Releases