Sweden Commits $8.3 Million to Mekong Environment Program
BANGKOK, THAILAND (11 December 2012) – The Government of Sweden today committed $8.3 million for a second phase of the Core Environment Program and Biodiversity Conservation Corridors Initiative (CEP-BCI), an Asian Development Bank (ADB) administered program helping the Greater Mekong Subregion (GMS) achieve environmentally-friendly economic growth.
“CEP-BCI is playing a crucial role in helping the subregion balance economic growth and environmental sustainability and we are delighted that Sweden is continuing to support this important work,” said Javed Mir, Director of the Environment, Natural Resources, and Agriculture Division for ADB’s Southeast Asia Department.
Sweden’s latest commitment follows the $11 million it contributed to the 2006–2012 pilot phase of the CEP-BCI. A co-financing agreement was signed this morning at the Embassy of Sweden in Bangkok.
Ambassador to Thailand, Klas Molin, who signed on behalf of the Government of Sweden, said CEP-BCI fits well with Sweden’s regional cooperation priorities in the Mekong.
“Sustainable development is a major objective of Sweden’s support to the region, and by strengthening the technical and institutional capacity of GMS countries for improved environmental management, CEP-BCI is helping achieve this,” Mr. Molin said.
CEP-BCI commenced in 2006 amid growing concern over environmental impacts arising from rapid economic development in the GMS. The program is helping GMS countries shift towards green economies, including support for biodiversity conservation and climate change adaptation and resilience.
CEP-BCI is part of the GMS Economic Cooperation Program, which has since 1992 invested more than $15 billion in subregional roads, airports, railways, power facilities, tourism infrastructure, and disease prevention. In October this year, Sweden committed $7.5 million to the Core Agriculture Support Program, another initiative under the GMS Program.
CEP-BCI is overseen by the GMS Working Group on Environment, consisting of representatives from the environment ministries of the six GMS countries: Cambodia, People’s Republic of China, Lao People’s Democratic Republic, Myanmar, Thailand, and Viet Nam.