Capacity Building

Mainstreaming environmental issues and sustainable natural resources into economic development is a long-term process. It requires significant human resources and technical capability, as well as appropriate implementation and administration frameworks.

As a result, a core focus of the first phase of CEP has been to integrate capacity building activities within all areas of the program.

Activities undertaken have sought to meet the following objectives:

i)    Embedding capacity building within projects and activities at grassroots/community-level in the BCI landscapes;
ii)   Introducing targeted capacity building for technical and mid-to-high level government officers through stand-alone projects and activities;
iii)  Carrying out action-research based capacity building by supporting GMS university students and encouraging internships at the EOC.
iv)  Enhancing institutional capacity by establishing implementation/administration frameworks, as well as providing technical support through state-of-the art tools, approaches, and technologies.

Increasing the subregion’s human and technical capacity

During Phase I, CEP applied an output-based capacity building strategy with a ‘learning by doing’ approach to increase the subregion’s human and technical capacity. Activities covered the critical areas of strategic environmental assessments (SEAs), biodiversity conservation and corridor development (BCI), and environmental performance assessments (EPAs).

A total of 7,576 people participated in EOC training activities, with beneficiaries including rural communities, mid-level managers/officials, and WGE members; 2,623 of these participants were women.

As a result of capacity building efforts, there is now a much greater understanding and ownership of environmental management at both community and government level. This is reflected in the success of the main CEP component activities, and the levels of cooperation achieved across GMS member countries.

Looking forward: A shift to organizational and institutional capacity

Under CEP (2006-2011) capacity development focused largely on technical human resource needs across the full range of areas addressed by the program.

While such capacity development will continue, particularly for climate change adaptation and mitigation (including REDD+ readiness), the focus of CEP (2012–2016) will be more on organizational and institutional capacities, with particular emphasis on strengthening the WGE and NSUs.

Activities will follow the principles of the Phnom Penh Plan (PPP) – a regional program for capacity development under the Human Resource Development Strategy of the ECP, designed to help develop a core group of motivated development leaders and managers who are competent to manage the complex and challenging GMS development agenda. This will not only improve access to GMS capacity building initiatives, but also to enable the CEP (2012-­2016) to influence capacity development more generally and mainstream environment into capacity building activities in the GMS.

Click here to find out more about these activities and CEP's other capacity building work.

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