Investing in Natural Capital for a Sustainable Future in the Greater Meking Subregion
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Asian Development Bank. 2015. Investing in Natural Capital for a Sustainable Future in the Greater Meking Subregion. Mandaluyong City, Philippines: Asian Development Bank.
Permanent link to this item: http://hdl.handle.net/10568/76565
Natural capital has been a key contributor to the subregion’s rapid economic growth over the past 3 decades or so. However, the subregion’s key natural capital stocks are in a state of decline. This is evident by the degradation of arable land; considerable losses in forests, wetlands, and mangroves; and many species of fauna and flora becoming endangered or even extinct. The Greater Mekong Subregion (GMS) is poised to continue developing at a significant pace. The subregion is well placed to benefit from the emerging Association of Southeast Asian Nations Economic Community due to its strategic geographic positioning, extensive subregional connectivity, and strong sense of community established through 2 decades of subregional cooperation. The GMS Regional Investment Framework Implementation Plan (2014–2018), comprising a pipeline of prioritized investment projects worth over $30 billion and approved by GMS leaders at the 5th GMS Summit in Bangkok in December 2014, is indicative of the subregion’s development potential. However, the sustainability of the subregion’s future prosperity could be undermined unless the GMS invests significantly more in safeguarding and enhancing its natural capital. Indeed, in the context of the subregion’s vulnerability to climate change, natural disasters, and human-induced shocks, investments in natural capital present some of the most economically viable and socially inclusive adaptation and resilience strategies. Investing in natural capital will greatly help the GMS realize inclusive and sustainable development. Below are key messages from this report on natural capital in the GMS