Strategic Planning

Natural capital underpins economic growth in the GMS yet is increasingly under pressure from rapid development and climate change.  An estimated 10-12% of the subregion’s GDP is lost every year through the overexploitation of forests, land, wildlife and fisheries and related environmental pollution. As these natural capital stocks decline, so to do the ecosystem services they provide, such as regulating the climate and providing productive soil and clean water.  

Policies, plans and programs that drive development in the region need to be strengthened to balance economic, environmental, and social goals.  Environmental costs needs to be given due considerations in planning and decision making process.  For a sustainable and prosperous future, the GMS countries need to put in place appropriate systems to plan for, and invest in, natural capital stocks.

GMS countries recognize the need to shift toward planning systems that optimize natural resource allocation for better long-term outcomes.  However, making this shift is an immense challenge.  Inadequate regulatory frameworks, a lack of technical know-how, fragmented government institutions and cross-sector coordination, and a lack of information on natural capital stocks and ecosystem services are among the many issues that need to be addressed. 

Since its 2006 beginning, the Core Environment Program has taken a lead role in supporting government efforts to improve strategic planning. In particular, CEP has introduced Strategic Environment Assessment (SEA) and piloted many SEA activities, helping mainstream the approach as a valuable planning tool.

Under its 2012–2016 Phase, CEP is expanding its strategic planning support with the aim of helping GMS governments to:

  • Transition toward more systematic and integrated planning (i.e. multi-sectoral, and area based) in GMS countries; and
  • Integrate economic valuations of natural capital in development plans and investments decisions.

CEP strategic planning activities focus on the following four areas:

  1. Building the awareness of decision-makers about the importance of integrating economic valuations of natural capital into planning and decision-making processes.
  2. Improving regulatory frameworks and institutional arrangements for cross-sector (tourism, energy, transport etc.) coordination and dialogue, SEA, and multistakeholder participation.
  3. Strengthening the technical capacity of government staff to apply best practice and analytical tools for planning through action-learning and knowledge exchange.
  4. Promoting the application of SEA and related tools to support sector- and area-based planning.

Click here to find out about CEP’s strategic planning activities.

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