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Research on Innovative and Strategic Policy Options
RISPO Technical Summary 2005
RISPO Technical Summary 2004
RISPO Technical Summary
The Research on Innovative and Strategic Policy Options (RISPO) sub-project will develop a Good Practices Inventory and Strategic Policy Options to encourage sustainable development in the Asia-Pacific region. Four research themes were selected for initial focus:
Promoting eco-markets and eco-industry
Developing innovative urban systems
Appropriately using community resources
Networking stakeholders for action.
Under these four themes, eight sub-themes were selected for the first phase of APEIS (Table 2). International teams of researchers in the Asia-Pacific region are developing the tools, collecting examples of good practices, and exploring policy options for each sub-theme.
RISPO's approach differs from that of the other sub-projects. While IEM and IEA take a relatively large-scale, birdfs-eye view approaches, RISPO emphasizes ground-based field studies of successful examples of sustainable development practices. By taking this approach, RISPO intends to develop a sound understanding of the factors that promote or hinder sustainable development in various settings and to describe the lessons thus learned.
Table 2: Themes and Sub-themes of RISPO
Themes Sub-themes
Promoting Eco-Markets and Eco-Industry Innovative financing for renewable energy development
Creation of inter-boundary markets for recyclable materials
Improving environmental performance of small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs)
Developing Innovative Urban Systems Development of environmentally sustainable transport systems in urban areas
Appropriately Using Community Resources Promotion of biomass energy
Facilitating community-based tourism in protected areas
Networking Stakeholders for Action Promoting environmental education by NGOs
Promoting local/indigenous knowledge-based resource management
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RISPO Products
The Good Practices Inventory and Strategic Policy Options are the two major products of RISPO. Both are designed to assist policy-makers in pursing sustainable development (Fig.15). Although RISPO assumes policy-makers are the primary users of these products, they are also intended to promote discourse among a wider audience.
These two products will become available by March 2005. Preliminary versions will be completed by March 2004. In the meantime, a prototype of the Good Practices Inventory containing about 50 cases is available at the RISPO website as of June 2003.
Fig.15 Contents of GPI and SPO
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Good Practices Inventory (GPI)
One of the most important tasks of RISPO is to disseminate lessons learned from a wide variety of successful sustainable development practices. The inventory is designed to help overcome the lack of information on such practices in the region. It will serve as a storehouse of accumulated experiences and a platform for information sharing and discussion.
The inventory is an easily searchable database on the RISPO website (Fig.16). Information on each good practice includes critical and innovative instruments leading the practice successful, lessons learned, and potential for application. General criteria for selecting the specific cases include;
  1. Contribution to positive change using nonconventional approaches;
  2. Use of indicators for visible or measurable change;
  3. Demonstration of innovative and replicable / applicable approaches.
Fig.16 Prototype Good Practices Inventory
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Strategic Policy Options (SPO)
Collecting a wide variety of good practices will provide a base of various options applicable to the geographically, socially, culturally and economically diverse countries of the Asia-Pacific region. Based on the examination of the good practices collected, RISPO will develop Strategic Policy Options.
The Strategic Policy Options mainly targets policy-makers at local, national, sub-regional and/or regional levels as its primary audience. Options will be developed for each sub-theme of RISPO research areas highlight the keys to success, steps and policy measures to be taken to implement the option, the roles of various stakeholders in implementing the option, and possible alternatives under different socioeconomic conditions.
The Strategic Policy Options may include proposals on strategic approaches to the issues of concern, policy options, and action plans focusing on the following components:
Technology measures (development,transfer, diffusion)
Financial measures
Governance (regulatory measures, institutional arrangements, capacity building)
Awareness raising and partnership
Capacity Building and Pilot Projects
RISPO recognizes the importance of providing capacity building opportunities for stakeholders to apply these tools, as well as to demonstrate the feasibility of the options through pilot projects. While most capacity building activities will be activated after March 2004, some are being undertaken prior to this.
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RISPO Achievements in 2002
RISPO initially focused on organizing an international research team to collaboratively work on the eight research subthemes and to develop the prototype Good Practices Inventory.
Examples of good practices collected so far include:
Economic incentive policy to stimulate the growth of market for small-sized wind turbine (China)
Beyond recycling with asset management and de-manufacturing (The Philippines)
Demonstration and dissemination of cleaner technologies in the small-scale glass industry (India)
Introduction of electric three-wheelers in Kathmandu (Nepal)
Use of rice husks as fuel in process steam boilers (India)
Creative actions of the environmental conservation group, Ban Wang Lung, at Khao Luang National Park (Thailand)
An NGO environmental education network (Indonesia)
A indigenous knowledge-based reforestation project (Vietnam).
Key indicators were identified for the quantitative assessments of policy measures in some of the RISPO sub-themes such as biomass energy use and environmentally sustainable transportation.
Summary of the Practice :
The Uttam Urja project is developing a grassroots Energy Service Network that consists of a local NGO, dealers and retailers of solar systems, financial intermediaries, and local manufacturers of solar systems. It represents a package of energy products and services for rural areas rather than mere provision of a product alone, as was done in various government schemes. The Uttam Urja project demonstrates how the limitations of subsidy driven programs can be overcome with respect to local technology customization and delivery mechanisms.
Critical Instruments :
The Uttam Urja project combines a unique institutional model, technology, and awareness and capacity building to showcase the commercial viability of solar system markets.
Impacts :
Between 1999 and March 2003, close to 1000 domestic lighting systems and solar panels were sold without the need for government subsidy, partnerships with protected area authorities.
Lessons Leaned :
Setting up local assembly and dissemination systems can reduce product and service costs; customers are willing to purchase at real market prices without subsidy) if products and services are of high quality; instead of upfront subsidy to customers, effort should be placed on facilitating entrepreneurial initiative and provision of soft credit to customers.
Potential for Application :
The grassroots Energy Service Network provides an easily replicable model that builds on previous experiences.
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RISPO Major Progress in 2003
Research collaboration network with research institutes, universities, and NGOs in the Asia Pacific Region.
Preliminary version of Good Practice Inventory on internet with approximately 100 cases.
Framework of strategic and Strategic Policy Options for 8 sub-themes. The Strategic Policy Options database will become available on the web by March 2005.
Collaboration with the IEA to assess the impacts of Strategic Policy Options.

More Details in RISPO Technical Summaries 2004 (PDF)
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RISPO Major Progress in 2004
Research collaboration network with research institutes, universities, and NGOs in the Asia-Pacific Region.
Final version of Good Practice Inventory on the RISPO website with approximately 140 cases
Framework of Strategies and Strategic Policy Options(SPOs) under 8 sub-themes. The database on the RISPO website with approximately 80 SPOs
Scenario analysis in collaboration with the IEA to assess the impacts of Strategic Policy Options

More Details in RISPO Technical Summaries 2005 (PDF)
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E-mail APEIS@env.go.jp