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Development Account Projects

Capacity-building in strategic planning and management of natural resources in Asia and the Pacific

Background:

Strategic planning and management is important for natural resources development and environmental protection. Through partnerships with subregional organizations, capacity building activities, and other South-South cooperation, the project encourages governments to introduce strategic planning and management approaches to natural resources development. Models and recommendations developed by the project in this context are applied to country-specific situations.

In implementing its activities, the project collaborates with a range of partners, including subregional organizations, such as the Economic Cooperation Organization (ECO), Association of South East Asian Nations (ASEAN), South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC), and the South Pacific Regional Environment Programme (SPREP), as well as with some non-governmental organizations.

Objective:

To strengthen the capacity of the developing countries of the Asia and Pacific region in strategic planning and management of natural resources development and environmental protection.

Expected accomplishments:

  • Existing networks of expertise on environmental protection and natural resources management will be strengthened and new networks established;
  • Development and adoption of guidelines on strategic planning and management of natural resources development and environmental protection;
  • Establishment of a core group of experts within the networks capable of sustaining the process of strategic planning and resource management and rendering assistance to the countries, especially in the formulation of national programmes of action.

Effects and Impact:

The project has further developed the strategic planning and management (SPM) approach, and has raised awareness, recognition and knowledge of SPM among experts and policy-makers from Central Asia, North-East Asia, South Asia, South-East Asia, and the Pacific as a valuable tool for natural resources development in support of sustainable development. Guidelines have been developed and their adoption has begun and networks of experts have been established and have started to assist developing countries with programme formulation. The topic of SPM has generated interest from participating countries and international organizations working the region, which have taken active part in the implementation of the project. Core groups or networks of expertise have been established in the 22 countries where the project has supported national level activities. The national networks have been supplemented by informal networks at sub-regional and regional level, representing institutions with involvement and a stake in water or energy resources planning and management from across the Asia-Pacific region.

The project has increased the ownership by stakeholders of planning and management of water and energy resources, and has committed them to work to improve their planning procedures. A number of countries have translated and disseminated the guidelines at national and local levels, while others are attempting to mobilize resources and gain the necessary political support for revising policies and procedures for further institutionalization of SPM. Two sets of guidelines (on energy and water resources) have been developed under the project, as well as training and other reference materials to supplement the guidelines during trainings.