Ecotourism In Nam Et – Phou Louey National Protected Area, Lao PDR

Proudly contributed by Janina Bikova

This brief outlines the ecotourism model implemented at the Nam Et-Phou Louey National Protected Area (NEPL NPA) in Houaphan Province, Lao PDR (Laos). The ecotourism products at NEPL NPA have been designed to create a direct link between conservation and tourism so that the money that tourists pay has a positive impact on encouraging local people to protect endangered wildlife. is is achieved through both direct employment of local people in service provider groups, and through incentives that provides benefits to a larger number of villages linked to wildlife conservation.

The Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS) has been supporting the NEPL Management Unit since 2003, and has assisted with the development of ecotourism products commencing in 2009. During this time significant experience has been gained on how to implement ecotourism in the Laos NPA context, and how to ensure effective operations and meaningful community engagement. Currently 26 villages (more than 2000 households) are participating in ecotourism with 4 villages being directly engaged to provide services for tours.

Lessons from ADB Transport Projects: Moving Goods, Connecting People, and Disseminating Knowledge

The Asian Development Bank (ADB), the largest multilateral development finance institution in Asia and the Pacific, has been providing project financing to its developing member countries (DMCs) for half a century. In the process, it has accumulated a wealth of knowledge from its operations, including innovations, good practices, lessons, and ways to tackle challenges during project design and implementation. The capture, sharing, and eventually reuse of the knowledge, play an increasingly important role in achieving greater development effectiveness.
Efficient transport system is a key factor in promoting inclusive economic development, reducing poverty, and improving the quality of life. It will improve trade and connect farms to markets. People will gain access to jobs, schools, and healthcare.. For ADB, the transport sector has been one of the most important sectors since its establishment in 1966. As of 31 December 2016, ADB’s ordinary capital resources loans in the transport sector amounted to $36 billion, accounting for 35% of ADB’s total OCR loans. In Strategy 2020, ADB’s Long-Term Strategic Framework, 2008–2020, expanding transport and communication connectivity in the region and other infrastructure investments were recognized as one of the five core areas of ADB’s operational focus.
This book, Lessons from ADB Transport Projects: Moving Goods, Connecting People, and Disseminating Knowledge, endeavors to harvest practical knowledge from ADB’s operations in the transport sector. ADB’s Economic Research and Regional Cooperation Department gathered the knowledge for this book in collaboration
with the Transport Sector Group and regional departments, including resident missions. This work was produced under the regional technical assistance (Provision of Knowledge Products and Services to Developing Member Countries through Systematic Knowledge Sharing [TA 8392-REG]), which aims to support—in a systematic manner—the capture and sharing of the knowledge embedded in ADB’s development projects, among other things.
Comprising a sector overview and 20 case stories that covers different subregions and sub sectors, this book captures and shares ADB-wide operations knowledge in the transport sector to promote cross-project learning. We hope the readers, particularly government officials, executing and implementing agencies in the DMCs, and ADB project officers, will find this book informative and useful, and allow it to influence and improve the design and implementation of future transport projects for enhanced development effectiveness.

Strategy for Promoting Safe and Environment-Friendly Agro-Based Value Chains in the Greater Mekong Subregion and Siem Reap Action Plan, 2018–2022

The Greater Mekong Subregion (GMS) has a great opportunity to be a major supplier of safe and environment-friendly agriculture products (SEAP). The GMS economies are growing rapidly, and their population of over 330 million is becoming larger, richer, and more urbanized. Increasingly, GMS consumers look for food characteristics such as safety, healthiness, and environment-friendliness. GMS farmers generate huge surplus of agrifood products, and agribusiness companies are more sophisticated and better able to develop regional and global reach. Agricultural and food trade is growing rapidly. Trade integration is accelerating thanks to policy initiatives and development of transportation corridors and logistics systems. The improved infrastructure and the opportunity to move further along the value-added path are great incentives for the increasing ow of foreign direct investment (FDI).

Connecting Greater Mekong Subregion railways: A strategic framework

This strategic framework for connecting Greater Mekong Subregion (GMS) railways is the rst step in developing and implementing an integrated railway system in the subregion. All the GMS countries have independent plans to develop their railways. Yet all desire to see an integrated sys- tem that would move their freight and passengers seamlessly around the subregion and beyond.
To date, the individual countries have focused on the investments needed for line construction, with little attention to the other aspects of infrastructure, let alone the many requirements of cross-border traf c—such as compatible and mutually recognized immigration, customs, and health clearances; tech- nical and operational standards; and/or procedures and facilities, such as axle change at borders— that also need to be addressed.
This strategic framework, based on a study requested by the GMS countries, develops a practical approach to GMS railway integration, provides the GMS countries with an initial framework for achieving integration and interoperability, identi es priority initiatives, builds a platform for further dia- logue and discussion between and among GMS countries, and provides a context for evaluating future projects.

Overview of Draft GMS Transport Sector Strategy

The new TSS necessary to provide a framework for cooperation and sustaining progress beyond 2015.
• There have been changes in the operating environment; new TSS is needed to ensure that strategy remains relevant.
• Transport sector accounts for largest share of project cost in RIF-IP; new TSS is needed to serve as strong anchor for cooperation.
• New TSS is necessary to help ensure that cooperation in the transport sector contributes to overall GMS development.

Infrastructure for Asian Connectivity

This book addresses the prospects and challenges concerning both soft and hard infrastructure development in Asia and provides a framework for achieving Asian connectivity through regional infrastructure cooperation towards a seamless Asia.
Key topics include:

1. Demand estimates of national and regional infrastructure in transport, electricity, information and communication technology, and water and sanitation;
2. Empirical results on the costs and benefits of regional infrastructure for economies and households;
3. The impact of infrastructure development on the environment and climate;
4. Sources and instruments of infrastructure financing;
5. Best practices and lessons learned from the experiences of the Asian region and other regions; and
6. Experience of public-private partnership projects.

This insightful book will serve as a definitive knowledge product for policymakers, academics, private sector experts and infrastructure practitioners interested in the regional and national infrastructure demand, investment and benefits in the region. Concerned officials from private and public sectors, and other experts involved in environmental and natural resources studies will also find this compendium invaluable.

Voyage of discovery. Working towards inclusive and accessible travel for all

This study was commissioned to better understand the needs of travellers with accessibility needs, and to identify a framework for action for the travel industry.
It is clear that delivering a more accessible travel experience, which responds to the needs of all travellers, is both a social imperative as well as an opportunity for the travel industry.
Delivering on travellers’ accessibility needs is an increasing demand. World demographic indicators show a growing, ageing population that will represent over 21.5 per cent of people by 2050. This is why, for the purposes of this study, accessibility refers to the needs of people with disabilities and seniors.

This study provides a comprehensive framework for how the travel industry can think more strategically about accessibility. In 2015, the Ambrose study identified three main pillars of accessible tourism where action needed to be focused: information (relating to both access to information, and information on accessibility), customer service (relating to those working in the travel and tourism sector to better serve the travellers’ needs) and facilities (relating to the physical environment). Ambrose provided a valuable reference for thinking about accessible tourism.

Integrated Water Resources Management-based Basin Development Strategy 2016-2020 for the Lower Mekong Basin

The Basin Development Strategy for 2016- 2020 (henceforth BDS 2016-2020) replaces the 2011-2015 Strategy. This updating re ects the dynamic challenges encountered in the Lower Mekong Basin (LMB).
The Mekong, one of the world’s greatest rivers, is an exceptionally complex system with high intra-annual and inter-annual ow variability caused by the Southwest Monsoon, bringing both great risks and opportunities. It is also a rapidly changing river because of its contribution to the rapid economic development of the basin countries, but also as a consequence of this development on the river itself, including the impacts of increasing population, urbanisation and industrialisation. Adding to these on-going changes are uncertain futures, particularly as a consequence of climate change. In all river basins, futures are uncertain and solutions are always provisional. This is particularly so in the Mekong basin due to the rapidity of change, within and outside the water sector. The dynamic updating of the Strategy is an essential response to these challenges. This updating aims to engage stakeholders in a regular cycle of cooperative engagement, re ective analysis, adaptive strategy preparation and pragmatic, achievable action.

Adaptation to climate change in the countries of the Lower Mekong Basin: regional synthesis report

The Lower Mekong Basin (LMB) covers an area of approximately 606,000 km2 within the countries of Cambodia, Lao PDR, Thailand, and Viet Nam. Based on the outcomes of recent national and regional studies, there is growing concern about the potential effects of climate change on the socio-economic characteristics and natural resources of the LMB region. There is an identified need for a more informed understanding of the potential impacts from climate change. In response, the Mekong River Commission (MRC) has launched the regional Climate Change and Adaptation Initiative (CCAI). The CCAI is a collaborative regional initiative designed to address the shared climate change adaptation challenges of LMB countries. The Regional Synthesis Report (RSR) has been prepared as part of the initial phase of the CCAI to provide a snapshot of current knowledge and activities related to climate change in the LMB countries. The speci c objectives of the RSR are:
• To inform a wide audience of the current state of knowledge of climate change issues in LMB countries and across the region;
• To provide up to date information on regional and national adaptation activities and policy and institutional responses in relation to climate change;
• To present the results of a climate change ‘gap analysis’ identifying information de ciencies and shortcomings in planned activities and policy and institutional responses;
• To present a series of recommendations for future climate change related actions in the LMB.

TRANSBOUNDARY DIALOGUE under Mekong Integrated Water Resources Management Project

The Mekong River flows 4,900 km across six countries in Southeast Asia from China to Vietnam before emptying into the sea. It is one of the largest and most bio-diverse rivers in the world, providing rich ecosystems and abundant natural resources to the riverine countries and their people. It is important to manage the resources beyond national boundaries as water, fish and sediment, all flow from one country to another. However, governing the river across borders has been a challenge for the Mekong countries due to differing national interests and priorities. Transboundary dialogue can help reduce tension and increase cooperation among countries. The Mekong River Commission (MRC) supports its four member countries in the Lower Mekong Basin – Cambodia, Lao PDR, Thailand and Viet Nam – to enhance transboundary cooperation through the Mekong Integrated Water Resources Management Project (M-IWRMP). The project promotes IWRM practices of coordinated planning and management with the application of MRC’s procedural rules, known as Procedures, and technical tools on water use planning, data sharing and flow monitoring.
The project originally began in 2009 with three inter-linked regional, transboundary and national components to increase IWRM-based water cooperation among the four countries at both basin-wide and local levels. The regional component, funded by the Australian government, was completed in 2015 after it advanced the application of the MRC Procedures and their technical guidelines and developed a package of modeling tools for basin-scale water utilisation. While the transboundary component focuses on bilateral water cooperation, the national component supports each member country to improve governance mechanisms and build technical capacity to carry out coordinated planning and utilisation of water within the national boundaries. The World Bank finances both the transboundary and national components.